Pacific Northwest Labor Tensions Continue as Harvest Season Approaches
Date Posted: September 5, 2013
This article is reprinted from the USDA's Sept. 5 Grain Transportation Report.
As the U.S. Midwest grain harvest approaches, exporters are closely watching the labor tensions that continue in Seattle and Vancouver, WA, and Portland, OR.
The Columbia Grain elevator in Portland and the United Grain elevator in Vancouver remain locked out to International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) members.
Union representatives have been picketing these terminals since the lockouts began earlier this year.
Additionally, ILWU workers in Seattle are protesting tunnel construction taking place near Terminal 46 where they claim jurisdiction over four jobs facilitating debris removal via barge.
Last week an administrative law judge with the National Labor Relations Board came to a decision over two electrical jobs at the Port of Portland where the ILWU claimed jurisdiction over the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).
The judge ruled in favor of the IBEW.
Ongoing protests make the ports vulnerable to periodic shutdowns and slowdowns.
For more information, call Surajudeen (Deen) Olowolayemo, USDA, at 202-694-3050.