Plastics-driven growth at Gulf Coast ports also benefiting Charleston


The petrochemical boom is leading to faster growth at maritime ports in Gulf Coast states than in other parts of the country, a new report by Chicago-based industrial real estate firm JLL shows.

“In recent years, the refining and processing of oil and gas into chemicals, plastics and other products has helped increase port volumes and industrial real estate demand along the Gulf Coast,” the report states.

Plastics and chemicals account for 46.7 percent of exports at the , one Port of Houston of 14 U.S. and Canadian ports that JLL studied. An estimated 250,000 cargo boxes of new exports will be created by 2019 as newly delivered petrochemical projects ramp up production, according to the report.

“The new demand has meant good news for much of the region, but especially the broader Houston market,” JLL said. “Close proximity to Port Houston and cheap natural gas makes this a market to watch over the next couple of years.”

Overseas demand for plastic pellets that can be used to make hundreds of products — from toys and medical devices to milk jugs — also is benefiting the Port of Charleston. Companies are building rail-served facilities near the port to bring in plastics that can’t be exported from the Gulf Coast because of limited container capacity.

Read More:  The Post and Courier

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“Payroll Ghosting” in Tampa, Florida

June 27, 2017 – In the past few weeks, “payroll ghosting” has made news in Tampa, Florida. A ghost worker is a term used to refer to a nonworking employee who is falsely entered on the company payroll.  Several investigations have determined longshoremen were not involved in any misappropriations of payroll.  The reported “payroll ghosting” issue stemmed from an operations manager who had been tampering with the timesheets.  The manager involved was terminated.  The ILA does not condone or tolerate acts of ghosting.

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J. H. “Buddy” Raspberry 2017 Scholarship Reception & Awards Luncheon

On Saturday, June 17th, the J. H. “Buddy” Raspberry 2017 Scholarship Reception & Awards Luncheon was held at the Hilton Americas in Houston, Texas.  This was the 8th year of the event in which a total of $78,000 in scholarship funds was awarded to 22 recipients.

Buddy came to the Houston Waterfront in 1961 and joined ILA Local 1273.  He rose through the ranks to become the President of the South Atlantic & Gulf Coast District (SAGCD) in 1978, until his untimely passing in 1990.  Buddy was a “student” for all of his life in the sense that he never stopped learning.  He was well aware of the value of a formal education as he attended Texas A&M University and University of Texas.  It is only fitting that his memory be honored by this scholarship fund.


Retired SAGCD general counsel Jim Watson started an account for the scholarship fund in 1994.  The account sat idle for many years until Michael Dickens, the former SAGCD Secretary-Treasurer, brought the fundraising to a new level by partnering with the Houston Port Authority and West Gulf Maritime Association (WGMA).  Through the joint fundraising efforts, the scholarship funds have grown from the original deposit of 100 dollars to an astounding 3.3 million dollars.  Our success could not have been achieved without the contributions of our employers and partners of the industry as well as the hard working men and women of the ILA community who believed in the cause.


The J. H. Buddy Raspberry Scholarship is unique in that the scholarship recipient must be an employee, or child/grandchild of an employee, in the West Gulf ILA and maritime industry.  We proudly support the educational endeavors of our future generations.  Congratulations to our scholars and their families.

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The Power of Technology in Communications during Crisis

The U.S. Coast Guard has given the all-clear to reopen the Wando terminal at the Port of Charleston in South Carolina, lifting a lockdown from a “dirty bomb” threat at the port the night of Wednesday, June 14, 2017. The threat was determined to be a hoax, but for Kenneth Riley, President of ILA Local 1422, and the Local 1422 members that were at the port that night, the threat was no hoax. Thanks to Harbor Watch and it’s short messaging service (SMS) messaging capabilities, commonly known as text messaging, members of Local 1422 were able to act in a swift and safe manner during the threat.

Local 1422 uses Harbor Watch’s SMS messages on a regular basis, but last night’s event was a first for a port emergency. This incident highlights the need to send meaningful information quickly in port emergencies. Riley stated that, “Harbor Watch aided us tremendously in real time to react to the threat we faced” and that this was “a great learning experience.” The fact that Local 1422 delivered critical information during the perceived emergency into the hands of its’ members within minutes is priceless.

A special thanks also goes out to Peaches Rouse who played a key role in transmitting all the emergency communications. As this situation has clearly demonstrated, technology can play a vital role in providing communication during a crisis.

Source: South Atlantic & Gulf Coast District

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The A. Philip Randolph Miami-Dade Clarence Pittman, Jr. Scholarship Night in White

On Saturday, June 10th, A. Philip Randolph Miami-Dade Chapter hosted the Clarence Pittman, Jr. Scholarship Night in White Dinner & Reception at the Biscayne Bay Marriott in Miami, Florida with ILA officials across the east and gulf coast in attendance. Ten graduating seniors received scholarships and four of those students also received a laptop.

In addition to the recognition of the scholarship recipients, three community partners were also honored at the reception: Alan Robb, President of the South Atlantic & Gulf Coast District, who received the Champion of Labor Award; Terry Wright, CEO/Founder of “Don’t Take My Life… Let Me Live”, a group that targets youth violence prevention; and Kim McCray, community organizer.

The A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI) is a non-profit organization primarily for African-American trade unionists. It was named after Asa Philip Randolph, who was one of the greatest black labor leaders in American history and the father of the modern American civil rights movement. Randolph organized and led the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the first predominantly African-American labor union. He and Bayard Rustin, his friend and fellow activist, founded APRI in 1965 after their successful 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and the passage of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. To Randolph and Rustin, the fight for workers’ rights and civil rights were inseparable and through the APRI that fight continues today.

Clarence Pittman, Jr. was a native of Miami who graduated from Booker T. Washington and was an alumnus of Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio. He was the President of the ILA Local 1416 for 31 years as well as a Vice President of the South Atlantic and Gulf Coast District, and a member of both South Florida AFL-CIO and the South Eastern Dock and Marine Council. The scholarship was named after Mr. Pittman due to his selflessness in contributing generously to countless charities and organizations. In 2011, Mr. Pittman was honored by APRI for “Distinguished Service” at its National Conference held in Miami Beach, Florida noting that he had been a member of the Institute since the organization was chartered in 1987.

The ILA commends these students and honorees achievements and thanks the APRI Miami-Dade President Lovette McGill and its members for supporting the community and public education.

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