Union has made Port of Baltimore great [Letter]

March 08, 2014

I felt compelled to respond to the misleading and inaccurate statements in Anita Heygster's recent letter regarding the Port of Baltimore ("Port union is hurting its members," March 4).

The decision to close the terminal on holidays is a management decision, not one made by the union. We have worked and will continue to work those holidays if the terminal is open.

Seagirt Marine terminal does not shut down for lunch, as you stated. We work on a rotating schedule to make sure the terminal is open to process trucks.

As for the lines on Broening Highway, this has happened at times due to the abnormal weather conditions we endured this winter and to pace the processing of trucks to allow safe working conditions inside the terminal.

It seems Ms. Heygster is not aware that Seagirt terminal processes on average 2,600 truck moves daily. I can't think of any other East Coast port that does that.

Nor are most ports open seven days a week and holidays as she suggests. Again, it is a management decision when to allow terminal operations.

Other ports do get a lunch break but they are staggered like ours.

If people find it surprising that many shipping companies come to Baltimore, let me point out a few things:

Seagirt Marine Terminal ship operations handles approximately 35 moves per hour during ship operations. This ranks as one of the best, if not the best, ship production of any East Coast port.

Moreover, if we are doing such a bad job, why is it that Evergreen container lines just announced a new service that will call on only two U.S. ports, and Baltimore is one of them?

Tony Oleszczuk, Bel Air

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