Jan. 19, 2016—U.S. seaports need to consider the interests of organized labor as they move to automate jobs performed by dockworkers today, U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez said in an interview.
Perez, who toured automated operations at the Port of Hamburg over the weekend, said, as the U.S. expands its efforts to boost exports, they could learn from more advanced operations. That includes Hamburg, which he called “one of the most modern ports in the world. The whole issue of technology and automation is an important part of that discussion,” he said. In Hamburg, automated technology includes robotic cranes that organize containers into stacks and automatic vehicles that move containers around the yard.
But Perez added that Hamburg’s success has depended largely on the direct involvement of workers and labor groups throughout the automation process.
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