Saturday, September 10, 2011

Longshoremen Union Blockades Washington Port, Hold Security Guards Hostage, Dump Carloads of Grain and Clash With Police

At least 500 members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union stormed the Port of Longview, WA, smashing windows on the property while holding security guards hostage and cutting air lines rail cars in the port and dumped grain while blocking trains from entering the port.

Approximately 50 policemen responded to the scene, although no arrests were made as the Longshoremen returned to ILWU Local 21 hall.

The Longshoreman's union assault on the port facilities is the latest in a long simmering dispute between the union and the owners of the grain transloading facility in the port, EGT Development. EGT is already using contract union labor in their facilities with 25 of the 35 jobs going to members of Local 701 of the International Union of Operating Engineers based in Gladstone, OR.

On September 1, a federal judge issued an temporary restraining order against ILWU Local 21.
A federal judge in Tacoma Thursday issued a temporary restraining order against the local longshore union that may clear the way for grain deliveries to the new $200 million EGT grain terminal at the Port of Longview.

The order, which will be in effect for 10 days, prohibits union members from engaging in "unlawful ... picket line violence, threats and property damage, mass picketing and blocking of ingress and egress at the facility of EGT," U.S. District Court Judge Ronald B. Leighton wrote.

Leighton's order also restricts International Longshore and Warehouse Union members from "restraining or coercing the employees of EGT, (its subcontractor General Construction), or any other person doing business in relation to the EGT facility."
A second hearing in whether or not the restraining order was to be made permanent was supposed to be held on Thursday September 8, the same day the longshoremen stormed the port of Longview.

The day after the ILWU attacked the Longview port, a camera crew from KGW TV in Portland, OR went to the Local hall in the hopes of interviewing one of the longshoremen. What happens next is embedded in the video below and is emphatically Not Safe For Work.

Since July 11, at least 100 members of the ILWU Local 21 have been arrested around the port of Longview and attempting to block the BNSF tracks into the port. On Monday, the National Labor Relations Board filed suit against the ILWU, alleging multiple incidents of vandalism, harassment and intimidation against EGT employees. A hearing is scheduled for October 11 in Portland, OR.

No comments:

Post a Comment