Online subscriber? Please Log In
  

Need Help? | Forgot Your Password?

Portland grain terminal locks out union workers

May 4, 2013


By The Associated Press

PORTLAND — The operator of a Columbia River grain terminal locked out union dock workers Saturday amid an escalating labor dispute.

The lockout at Columbia Grain Inc., which operates at the Port of Portland's Terminal 5, is the second at a Pacific Northwest grain terminal this year following a lockout in march at United Grain Corp., in Vancouver, Wash.

In a statement Saturday, Columbia Grain said bargaining has stalled with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. The company said union members have slowed their work, demanded repeated inspections of the same equipment and used other tactics to interfere with terminal operations.

“The decision was not made lightly,” the company said.

Two dozen picketers protested outside the terminal Saturday morning, the Oregonian reported. Portland police officers and private security stood by, and one demonstrator chased off a news photographer.

Company managers and temporary workers were loading grain into the Yu Hong, an 82,000-ton Panama-flagged bulk carrier.

Columbia Grain is owned by Marubeni, a Japanese company.

The dockworkers union condemned the lockout, saying managers hired replacement workers last fall, when talks were in early stages, showing that they never intended to reach agreement.

“Unfortunately, Marubeni-Columbia Grain has done what it's wanted to do all along, and locked out local workers who have made this company profitable for decades,” Bruce Holte, president of ILWU Local 8, said in a statement.

Members of the Pacific Northwest Grain Handlers Association have been trying to get the dockworkers’ union to agree to employer-friendly working conditions equivalent to those at Export Grain Terminal in Longview, Wash.

___

Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com

Would you like to comment on this article?

Only online subscribers may comment on articles. Click here to see how you can subscribe.
Already a subscriber, please

Note: Some articles do not accept comments at all.

© 1999- News-Register Publishing | © The Associated Press
The News-Register and NewsRegister.com are owned and operated by News-Register Publishing Co., P.O. Box 727, McMinnville, OR 97128.
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Web design & powered by LVSYS