Contract talks between the Port of Portland and security guards at its container terminal that began this summer will reenter mediation on Nov. 16, but a breakdown in talks could cripple the container yard, as well as two other terminals at the port, The Oregonian reported.
Bill Wyatt, the port's executive director, this week told port commissioners that a strike is possible if the talks with representatives of 25 marine security officers in International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Local 28, who work at terminals 2, 4 and 6, break down.
ICTSI Oregon has already been involved in a dispute with the ILWU regarding work performed by electricians on refrigerated containers at the terminal, and the terminal operator could end operations at Terminal 6. Should that happen, Wyatt said, it might never reopen as a container terminal.
Major importers, such as Fred Meyer, are also beginning to explore other options because of the labor problems at the port, such as shifting shipments to Puget Sound ports. In the summer, Hanjin stopped service to Portland for a time in response to the contentious environment.