Archive for the ‘chaos’ Category

BTC Op/Ed Commentary[brief]:

Dear distinguished members of the Trilateral Commission,

Have your populist translators on Speed Dial for this official statement. We now defer to the language of Union-American, an indigenous dialect, words directed towards the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative and the Transport Worker Identity Credential.

F**k the WHTI/TWIC credential!! You want transport service??!! You’re gonna get it without a *!$d%mn biometrified port network identity card. CAN YOU SPELL A-F-L-C-I-O??!!

[Followed by flying styrofoam cup filled with scalding hot coffee aimed at nearest bureacrat enforcer.]

(Ahem.) We now defer to commerce parties affected by your reprehensible policy.

“It’s just chaos down there,” said Dick Schroeder, owner of Bay Harbor Transport, who had several truck drivers denied entry to the port complex. “This is just ridiculous.”

TWIC Rule Trips Port Workers
Source: Daily Breeze
Publication date: 2009-04-15

The U.S. Coast Guard on Tuesday turned away more than 250 local port workers who did not have a new biometric security card.

The ID cards were required for entry to the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach for the first time, as the federal government tightens security at the nation’s largest port complex.

Most of the 67,000 longshore workers and truck drivers who must carry the Transportation Worker Identification Credential – or TWIC – had already obtained it by the deadline. For them, the first day of the new program went relatively smoothly.

But for those who have yet to pick up the cards, or have not yet passed an exhaustive background check, it was a day of frustration.

“It’s just chaos down there,” said Dick Schroeder, owner of Bay Harbor Transport, who had several truck drivers denied entry to the port complex. “This is just ridiculous.”

Most of those who were turned away were truck drivers. Anthony Turner, a Coast Guard spokesman, said 200 trucks were denied access to the ports Tuesday.

Another 67 workers – longshore workers and others must carry the TWIC card – also were turned away.

Chris Viramontes, secretary-treasurer of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, the union hall after they were turned away.

But, overall, he said the implementation went smoothly, thanks to months and years of

preparation.

“For the most part it’s gone good because we have good cooperation with the Coast Guard,” Viramontes said.

The card is designed for anyone visiting “restricted” areas of marine terminals, commercial ships, boats and other harbor facilities. Restricted areas include engine rooms, control rooms, wharves, rail yards, piers, warehouses, terminal storage areas and many cargo-handling zones.

Most of those who are still waiting for completion of their background checks are immigrants, Viramontes said. In those cases, federal officials have to review birth records that are located in the workers’ native countries. That has resulted in significant delays.

Gerhard Silvestri, 63, was born in Germany and came to this country when he was 2. He has been driving trucks in and out of the port for 25 years. He said he still has not received his TWIC card, and has not been given an explanation.

“I’ve been here since 1947. It’s not like I fell off the banana boat,” Silvestri said. “It’s not fair. All they have to do is extend it another 30 days. It’s all bureaucratic b.s.”

Schroeder said that some drivers tried to get into the port complex with an e-mail showing they had passed their background check, but were turned away.

The Coast Guard had announced it would accept such e-mails until May 13. But in practice, it appeared that the process was more complicated, and approval was not automatically granted.

Some trucking companies had their drivers with TWIC cards come down to the port in their personal vehicles and take over for drivers without the credential who had been pulled out of the line.

As of Monday, 7,000 workers who had been approved for TWIC cards still had not picked them up from an activation center at the Queen Mary.

“With all those thousands of hours of outreach, it’s like ‘Cool Hand Luke,”‘ said Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Dennis Miller. “You try and you try and there’s some people you just can’t reach.”

gene.maddaus@dailybreeze.com

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