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Grinberg: City of Los Angeles Moves to Limit Port Automation

  • State: California

Come on, let’s get real. For at least 85% of you, today is Monday because who in their right mind would come in on Friday, July 5, right? So, you did the sane thing and took a four-day weekend. What better way to celebrate Independence Day than to exercise a bit of freedom and take the day off?

Gregory Grinberg

Gregory Grinberg

I remain diligently at my post, cranking out the work product and seeing about getting those claims denied.

Often enough, I have talked about the effect of automation. What is seldom discussed, however, is the response to automation by the current jobholders. What do the candle-makers do when some guy shows up slinging light bulbs?

Well, Los Angeles is showing us just what can happen when you threaten to make someone’s job obsolete.

A couple of weeks ago, the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners voted 3-2 to allow Maersk, a logistics company, to introduce driverless electric cargo handlers inside its facility. The Los Angeles City Council voted to overrule the permit grant to Maersk, presumably under pressure from dock workers and the related union representatives.

So, of course, Los Angeles offers the answer to jobs lost from automation: stagnation.  The result will naturally be for other ports, ones that allow 24-hour automated processing, to be far more attractive and collect the port fees associated thereto.

But the fact remains that this is the resistance that can be expected to movements toward automation — emotional, irrational and, ultimately, futile. The robots will carry us, kicking and screaming, into the future.

Assuming we can avoid a dystopia like that presented in "The Matrix," we can all look forward to a future where a four-day weekend is the norm, because while we are camping, grilling and enjoying a more relaxed life, the robots are working 24/7.

Gregory Grinberg is a workers' compensation defense attorney at the Law Office of Gregory Grinberg, based in the San Francisco Bay Area. This post is reprinted with permission from Grinberg's WCDefenseCA blog.

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John Waters Jul 8, 2019 a 10:07 am PDT

Ask the San Francisco Longshoreman, if you can still find one. Back in the sixties the Longshoreman fought vehemently against the automation of the Port of San Francisco. They won as they were a very strong union. So what happened, all the shipping went to the Port of Oakland, and the rest is history. However the Embarcadero did get Pier 39!

J. Waters, Jr.

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