Facing a crowd of more than 1,200 protesting dockworkers, the Port of Los Angeles’ Harbor Commission delayed a decision Tuesday over whether to approve a permit that would open the way to automation in North America’s largest terminal.
The 30-day postponement on a construction permit for Maersk, the giant shipping firm, was requested by Mayor Eric Garcetti, who wrote the commission that he was “confronted by a complex set of negotiations which would benefit from more time.”
It was the second delay Garcetti had requested on the controversial permit to replace about 100 diesel tractors, which are operated by members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, with driverless electric vehicles, potentially eliminating hundreds of jobs.
Garcetti had requested a 28-day delay on March 21 but did not hold a meeting on the issue until Monday, when he led a six-hour closed-door session with union officials and representatives of Maersk, its APM Terminals subsidiary, and the Pacific Maritime Assn., which bargains with labor on behalf of terminal operators.
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