Rep. Steel Tours Port of Long Beach
Discussed solutions to ease backlog, introduces legislation to address supply chain crisis
(November 10, 2021) Huntington Beach, CA – Yesterday Rep. Michelle Steel (CA-48) toured the Port of Long Beach to get a firsthand look at the unprecedented backlog of cargo ships off the Southern California Coast. The Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles together move 40% of all shipping containers entering the U.S. and the backlog at these ports has affected the entire country. Rep. Steel has introduced legislation to address the supply chain crisis – the Safeguarding the Supply Chain Act and the bipartisan Supply Chain Crisis Taskforce Act.
Ports are governed by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), while airlines and railroads are required to abide by the 1934 Railroad Labor Act (RLA). The Safeguarding the Supply Chain Act would move the Longshoremen and ports to the RLA, just as Congress moved airlines to the RLA in the 1930s. Ports are critical to U.S. infrastructure and trade and should be governed in the same manner as the railroad and airline industries. This move reflects the essential nature of the jobs of Longshoremen in the supply chain.
While at the Port of Long Beach, Rep. Steel spoke with the Port’s Chief Wharfinger, Director of Government Relations, Homeland Security Stakeholder Coordinator, and Director of Environmental Planning. They discussed solutions for easing congestion, safety concerns, and environmental impacts of idling ships.