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The January general membership meetings have been cancelled for Anchorage and Fairbanks.
Written by: Brad Brown, Safety/Security/Environmental Compliance Manager at Horizon Lines of Alaska
Anchorage Hostler drivers are members of Alaska Teamsters Union Local 959 and have played a major role in movement of containers in the Horizon Lines' yard for decades. Recently the group achieved a remarkable milestone for reach a total of more than 5 years since their last "Recordable Lost-Time Injury".
Hostlers have one of the most difficult jobs during the long winter months requiring constant vigilance towards safety. In their daily jobs they regularly: climb off and on their tractors to affix air and electrical connections; crawl under chassis’ to hammer on brakes to free frozen drums or linings; and, maintain control of units during very slippery winter conditions.
To service the vessel Hostlers are divided into three groups of drivers referred as a gang, with each gang composed of five drivers. Each gang works one of the three Gantry cranes moving containers from the vessel to designated spots in the yard for customer pickup and eventually returning them to redistribution to customers for goods export.
In addition to vessel operations, individual Hostlers may be assigned to work with TAG (who performs random container inspections) or move containers to the nearby rail yard for transport on the Alaska Railroad. Drivers are also responsible for reworking displaced cargo in containers or for loads that have shifted in shipment and for reducing cargo weight on flats to comply with legal load limitations on Alaska roadways.
How have they done? Well, their last recordable lost-time injury was September 15, 2009, and last reportable injury with no lost time was on December 26, 2011! What an accomplishment!
Congratulations to all for this amazing feat under tough Alaska conditions.
If anybody thought last winter's North Slope season was busy wait till this winter. The 2015 winter North Slope season list of jobs is getting bigger and bigger. As of November 12, 2014, below are the jobs that have been announced: