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State Port director disputes union numbers on jobs

GULFPORT — The state port has responded to complaints its job numbers appear inflated.

New executive director Jonathan Daniels said the port employs the equivalent of 103 full-time longshoremen, not the 388 union workers the port previously publicized.

Daniels said the new number came from the local International Longshoremen Association. He said the union also provided the higher figure.

Daniels said he is confident the lower figure, which will be used going forward, is accurate. The number is important because the port must track job retention and creation as a condition of federal disaster-relief funding for West Pier expansion and restoration.

The Sun Herald reports the port received $600 million in Community Development Block Grant money with the stipulation that 1,200 full-time jobs would be created.

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