The Business Council SUPPORTS this legislation that would reform the arcane hiring practices of the Waterfront Commission of New York and New Jersey. Enactment of this legislation would give employers in the Port of New York and New Jersey the authority to control the size of the longshore workforce without the artificial constraints of an administrative agency ill-suited for making market-driven commercial decisions.
Statistics from the PANYNJ illustrate that the cargo business at New York's ports is growing and port employers require the flexibility to hire the workforce necessary to remain competitive in the global shipping industry.
In 2007, the Port of New York and New Jersey set a new cargo record, handling some 5.3 million loaded and unloaded 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs). The Port of New York and New Jersey is planning $2 billion in seaport investments over the next 10 years so that the Port is better equipped to handle projected growth. Loaded containerized cargo volumes in the Port of New York and New Jersey rose 7.6 percent in 2007 to a new record high, led by continued growth in trade with the Far East and Southeast Asia. The dollar value of all cargo moved through the port in 2007 exceeded $166 billion.
With the projected growth in trade and seaport investments over the next 10 years, New York should follow the lead of New Jersey State Legislators who overwhelmingly passed the required companion legislation (A.3123/S.2018). On September 10, 2007, New Jersey Governor Jon S. Corzine concurred with the foresight and wisdom of the NJ Legislature and signed (A.3123/S.2018) into law (P.L.2007, c.167).
In addition, with passage of New York's companion legislation S.182/A.3593, the Waterfront Commission will continue to ensure that the candidates entering the workforce possess the character necessary to enjoy a productive career in the highly competitive global shipping industry.
Accordingly, The Business Council supports the passage and enactment into law of Senate bill 182 and Assembly bill 3593.