(15) comments Back to story

Don Schlessinger

Tourists- The gods our city fathers pray to need VIP parking. Make it happen!

Bailey Jones

You can't expect rich people to take a shuttle when they come to cruise once or twice a year - they deserve so much better than that. Let the workers walk several blocks every single day in all kinds of weather. That's what working people deserve.

Ellen Morrison

Well, despite the quote above, right here on the island, many workers DO walk long distances to get to work - UTMB workers. In line with every university I’ve been at, UTMB charges for employee parking. Many people cannot afford the fairly steep charge and park as close as they can (close to downtown, in Fish Village, anywhere they can find that is free) and walk to work. They often walk many more than 5 blocks.

Up until last year, there was a free parking lot and shuttle, but that has become paid parking.

Bailey Jones

Yeah, I remember those days. I rode a bike, except when it snowed (not here, obviously) when I walked the couple of miles to get to class.

Bill Cochrane

The Port is finally being run like a business, and their employees are upset because they may not be able to park close? And the reasons are - it’s inconvenient? Just like the traffic for everyone using Harborside? More expensive? What are they paying to park now? Flooding? Seriously? Torres says “if this happens, our guys are not going to go to work”. Fine, the Port should hire non-union workers. The most ridiculous statement (and there are a few) is “People should care because no where else in the world do people have to walk five blocks to work”. Only in Galveston.

Miceal O'Laochdha

Take a moment to consider the effect of your suggestion to hire non-union workers. No union in America has a more hard-earned tradition than the Longshoremen's unions. Anybody left in this country remember Harry Bridges?. Those scabs you suggest hiring in this union port will result in a rock-solid picket line at the port; and the effect on passenger ships will be vastly more disruptive than cargo vessels. An excellent way to speed up the dreaded day that the cruise lines move to another port. It would also sour relations between Longshoremen and the Port and City Police, as well. This outcome in order to squeeze a few more pennies out of the parking game. This is why maritime workers have unions. Those UTMB people taking up the street parking in Fish Village might want to consider forming one.

Bill Cochrane

Miceal, you missed the point about hiring non-union workers. If the union workers refuse to go to work the port would have no choice but hire non-union. Torres didn't say they would strike, He said "If this happens, our guys are not going to go to work.", and that is their right.

Bailey Jones

In other words, workers should not expect their employers to put them ahead of corporate profits. The purpose of a corporation is to make money for the stockholders, not create desirable employment.

Miceal O'Laochdha

Bill, I think perhaps your knowledge of work actions and picket lines may need a little expansion.

Charlotte O'rourke

Confusing title because this doesn’t impact workers hired/fired by the port. It impacts the workers for the cruise customers or its agents. If the goal is to run like a business, the actual port workers could also walk a distance to work, be charged for parking and their old parking spots used to double the port cruise parking revenues.

Though I do understand the desire for increased profits, it sounds like the port will continue to give their own port employees increased benefits (severance pay, signing bonuses, relocation expenses, 2% net incentive bonuses, etc, while asking customers to cut benefits to their workers to pay for the port’s ever increasing employee perks.

Miceal O'Laochdha

I think you are right Charlotte. I just presumed everyone understood that the "workers at the port" under discussion in this story were Longshoremen and Stevedores, not employees of the POG. Considering who the story is quoting, I would have thought that was obvious but; I forget a lot of residents (not just City Officials and Appointees) just don’t understand how the waterfront works. There are a lot of workers on the docks who are not employees of the Port of Galveston, and maybe that is not obvious to the general public.

Charlotte O'rourke

I think the walking reference is referring to cruise workers (not other types of workers). The cruise workers come early and at varying times for different shifts and hire times.

Due to cruise timing issues and potential delays of the ship, Cruise contracts with ports require employee parking close to the terminals or have reliable mechanisms (like busing) for addressing these cruise customers needs.

The Galveston cruise contract calls for worker parking within a specified number of feet from the terminals.

This issue was discussed at the September port meeting as well as the October meeting. However, in the meetings, the board was not told the issues are contractual in nature and a customer requirement. And the majority of the board seemed confused as to why the change was an issue. They kept calling it an operational issue and premature for board discussion when it is land use and contractual first (policy). The board wasn’t early to the discussions, but in my opinion, very late to the discussion party.

It’s a bummer that workers in any profession are required to pay for parking. The salary is really reduced by paying these monthly parking fees.

UTMB used to have their police department provide employees escort after daylight hours to campus buildings and to parking lots. Do you know if UTMB still provides this service or was it changed as well?

John Bufton

Well I guess Mr. Torres is not a world traveler, and even on this island people still walk more than a few blocks, even miles. how could somebody say " no where else in the world do people have to walk five blocks to get to work" People really need to engage brain before saying such rubbish.

Ron Shelby

“Port officials said Nelson’s criticisms were premature...”. It’s better to speak up early about your concerns before it gets too far down the line. In fact, good management would already have all stakeholders involved in long range planning processes.

Jason Hayes

I have parking I can lease them.

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