Grain News

Status of Labor Negotiations For Pacific Northwest Export Grain Elevators

Date Posted: December 6, 2012

This article is reprinted from the USDA's Dec. 6 Grain Transportation Report.

The Pacific Northwest Grain Handlers Association (PNGHA) which represents the employers of 6 export grain terminals in Washington and Oregon and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) continue negotiations for a new labor contract.

On November 19, the PNGHA provided its so-called “best and final offer” to the ILWU with a cutoff date of November 28.

The Union requested to continue negotiations until December 21, but the employers extended the deadline until 5pm on December 8.

If an agreement is not reached, the employers could lock out the ILWU.

A labor disruption at the six elevators would have serious implications for corn, wheat, and soybean exports, which pass through the Pacific Northwest to Asian markets.

However, a lockout would not cause a total shutdown in PNW grain exports, as three other elevators in the area that are not part of this dispute would continue to operate.

The elevators currently in negotiation represent more than 60 percent of the storage and loading capacity in the region.

For more information, call Surajudeen (Deen) Olowolayemo, USDA, at 202-694-3050.

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