Former dockworker, ILWU executive appointed to Harbor Commission

The mayor appointed the international vice president of the union that represents dockworkers to the Harbor Commission, a powerful body that oversees operations and a $677 million budget at the Port of Long Beach.

Bobby Olvera Jr., a fifth-generation dock worker and executive for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, will fill the remaining term of Lou Anne Bynum, who resigned in March after being appointed interim superintendent-president of Long Beach City College.

He will serve the remainder Bynum’s term through June 2021, and then would be eligible for two, six year terms.

“Bobby knows first-hand what it’s like to work on the docks and to serve as a leader, so we know he will hit the ground running,” Long Beach Harbor Commission President Bonnie Lowenthal said in a statement.

A Marine Corps veteran, Olvera has served in a variety of leadership roles within ILWU Local 13 in Southern California, the largest ILWU local on the West Coast that includes the ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles. He was elected ILWU International Vice President in 2018.

Olvera said in a statement that he looks forward to serving on the board, acknowledging this will be a time of challenges.

The port and other government agencies are grappling with the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. The Port handles about $170 billion in trade annually and supports more than 575,000 Southern California jobs.

The news of Olvera’s appointment comes after the city announced that Commissioner Tracy Egoscue would not seek reappointment after serving on the commission for six years. Her term expires this month.

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