PortandTerminal.com, July 17, 2020
“Exactly the type of initiative that is urgently needed now to control the spread of COVID-19 amongst America’s essential workers.“
LOS ANGELES – Port of Los Angeles began mass COVID-19 testing of its longshore workforce at the ILWU hiring hall in Wilmington.
The move comes after a reported spike in infections amongst longshore workers at the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Long Beach.
“ILWU locals 13, 63 and 94 that work here at the Port of LA and Long Beach, we had a concern that we were seeing a spike of with COVID-19 positives with our members. And the concern was with our members being essential workers, we didn’t want to affect the flow of cargo from the ports”Mike Podue, President ILWU 63
PortandTerminal.com has been informed by a source at the port that there have been at least 11 positive infections amongst the mechanics at Long Beach Container Terminal (LBCT) alone. There are also reports of the virus spreading to port security workers.
“I see a lot of them not wearing masks so that’s why it’s probably spreading through their ranks” – Longshore worker at Port of Los Angeles
Testing was offered to 500 ILWU union members and administered on a drive-through basis. Results are not yet available but are anxiously awaited as they will signal how widely the virus has spread amongst longshore workers at two of America’s largest ports.
This positive initiative from Los Angeles comes on the same day that America reported a record 77,000 new COVID-19 infections nationally. Almost 3.6 million Americans have now been infected with COVID-19 as the nation’s death toll approaches 140,000.
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