Friday, January 23, 2009
Better jobs and greener ports go hand in hand
Living in a neighborhood that contains one of the last working ports in NYC raises a lot of issues, including truck traffic, pollution, and public access to the waterfront. However, people often overlook the positives of ports when talking about this, such as the fact that the ports employ many more people than any other business in the neighborhood and bring in so many of the goods that we consume. This is good for us and the rest of the city!
That being said, one of the best things we can do for both the community and port workers (pretty much a best of both worlds) is to urge our elected officials to pass regulation in the port industry that requires that port workers be treated as full time employees, rather than independent contractors, so that they can receive better pay and have higher incentives to drive cleaner, more environmentally friendly trucks.
An article in yesterday's Daily News by Jerrold Nadler and Andrea Batista Schlesinger explains this much better than I ever could, and I strongly urge everyone to read it. I also suggest that people look into work that the Drum Major Institute, which Andrea Batista Schlesinger is the Director of, has done on this topic.
While some comments at the end of the recent CB6 meeting regarding the fate of Atlantic Basin made one think that community residents and the port are at odds with each other, policy suggestions like this make me truly believe that things can be done in a way that works for all stakeholders involved