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Ex-FMC Chair Cordero Poised to Head Port of Long Beach

Apr 14, 2017

The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners is expected to vote tomorrow (Friday, April 14) to name Mario Cordero, a former chairman and current member of the Federal Maritime Commission, as the Port of Long Beach’s new Executive Director. Cordero, a Long Beach resident and attorney, served previously as president and as a longtime member of the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners.

The decision will bring an experienced Long Beach political leader to the helm of the Port at a critical time following business losses related to last year’s Hanjin bankruptcy and concerns that Long Beach’s ambitious capital expansion plans may be causing long-term debt problems.

In choosing Cordero the Harbor Commissioners have chosen an experienced insider with a long history in Long Beach politics and port politics who is also considered pro-labor.

It was noticeable that the Port’s press release referred to Cordero as the next “Executive Director’ after his predecessor Jon Slangerup preferred referring to himself as the Port’s chief executive officer a more corporate term.

In November 2009 while a Long Beach Harbor Commissioner, Cordero spoke about himself and his immigrant background and his sympathy for truck drivers working at the Port who, before trucking de-regulation, had employee and Teamster Union status back in the 1980s, “Look who’s driving the trucks. Ultimately that is a social issue here… Let us not lose sight, who’s driving the trucks. I cannot lose sight of that because that’s where I came from. I came from an immigrant family. And I came from a hard-working labor father, a father who was a laborer… These truck drivers remind me of the strife of the immigrant… I think we need to step back and look at what the real issue is. …. And I’m certainly a product of a family that fought, fought hard, worked there and the opportunity was there. And I want that same opportunity to be given to people who are in the truck industry, the kind of industry that we had before, in the 1980s.”

Author Photo
Stas Margaronis
American Journal of Transportation
WEST COAST CORRESPONDENT

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