Some business leaders worry Panama Canal expansion could threaten jobs in Valley, region
A number of projects are under way to further improve operations at the ports, including terminal upgrades, modernizing of infrastructure and deepening of the port channel, which should be completed in two years.
Peter Peyton, president of the Marine Clerks, International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Local 63, agreed that Southern California’s ports and surrounding infrastructure have a lot going for them.
But Peyton – whose union represents some 50,000 workers along the West Coast, including Canada and Hawaii – is also concerned that market share could be lost.
Peyton said the Panama Canal expansion opens up new opportunities for ports in Houston, Savannah, Ga., and Charleston, S.C.
“The tall blade of grass is the first one cut,” he said. “We’re concerned not only for regular jobs, but for indirect jobs and the tax base that this activity creates for cities.”