Port Of Long Beach Receives $4.2M Security Grant
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency awarded the Port of Long Beach a nearly $4.2 million grant through the Port Security Grant Program, the port announced today. The funds will pay for security system maintenance, as well as physical and cyber security expansion and enhancement. The port received the third-highest amount of money through the program, behind the New York City police and fire departments. The Long Beach Police Department was also awarded a nearly $1.12 million grant from the program, while the Long Beach Fire Department received $315,000.

Local Company Responds To U.S. Labor Department Decision
Last week, the U.S Department of Labor Wages and Hour Division announced Long Beach-based California Cartage Company LLC, which is owned by National Freight Industries, must pay more than $3.57 million in back wages and benefits to employees that performed work the company’s Carson facility, which serves the San Pedro Bay ports. NFI released the following statement addressing the matter:

“NFI has a long-standing tradition of valuing the efforts of all of its employees, and that tradition now extends to those team members at the customs exam operation who provide first-class services every day. On Aug. 10, 2018, California Cartage and the U.S. Department of Labor settled claims alleging that California Cartage’s customs exam operation failed to pay certain prescribed prevailing wage and welfare rates to employees located at its Carson, California facility.

“The alleged violations occurred from November 2014 through November 2016, prior to NFI’s acquisition of the customs exam operation in October 2017. Settlement discussions accelerated following the acquisition in part because of NFI’s commitment to ensuring that its employees are compensated fairly and in compliance with all laws. All employees at the customs exam operation are now paid the required prevailing wage and welfare rates in compliance with applicable laws, and such rates are continually monitored in order to ensure compliance.

“NFI and its Cal Cartage family of companies remain committed to creating a best-in-class working environment for all of their employees throughout the United States and Canada.”

Labor Board Proposes New Joint Employer Rule
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is proposing a revision to the test used to determine if two employers are considered joint employers and both held liable under the National Labor Relations Act. Under the proposed rule, joint employers must each possess and exercise “substantial direct and immediate control over the essential terms and conditions of employment such as hiring, firing, discipline, supervision and direction.” NLRB identified contractors and subcontractors, temporary help service suppliers and users, franchisees and labor unions as those most likely to be impacted by the rule. Comments on the proposal are due by November 13 and may be submitted here.

New Hotels Limiting Occupancy Growth In California
In Los Angeles, hotel occupancy decreased more than 100 basis points over the last 12 months as nearly 3,600 rooms opened in the same time period, according to Marcus & Millichap’s California State Hospitality report addressing the second half of 2018. The report claims that this trend is likely to continue as more projects are under way or planned in the L.A. metro area. The average daily rate is expected to increase 3.3% this year to $166.46 in the L.A. area, following a 2.2% increase in 2017. Proposed regulation on short-term rentals in L.A. could have a positive impact on hotels, as the number of days individuals could rent their homes would be limited, the report notes. Hotel occupancy in California is expected to increase 10 basis points to 75.4% this year.

Logistics Company Leasing Activity Continues To Increase Throughout The Region
Leasing activity by logistics companies increased 37% from 2013 to 2017 in the Greater Los Angeles, Orange County and Inland Empire regions, with 2018 on track to “eclipse” last year’s activity, according to a report by CBRE. Some third-party logistics (3PL) companies have transformed into fourth-party logistics (4PL), which combines warehousing, distribution and transportation management to fulfill online orders. 3PL firms only handle the transportation of goods to customers. 4PL firms are currently the most active users in terms of logistic company leasing, the report notes.

City Of Carson Receives Sustainability Award
The Institute for Local Government awarded the City of Carson the 2018 Silver Beacon Award and the Spotlight Award for its sustainability efforts during the League of California Cities’ annual conference last week. Carson has achieved a 17% reduction in community-derived greenhouse gases, a 26% reduction in city agency greenhouse gases and 9% energy savings, according to a city announcement. “We are proud to provide a sustainable future for our residents and future generations in Carson and the entire region as the environment does not recognize city, county, state or country boundaries,” Carson Mayor Albert Robles stated.