A federal court judge in Tacoma Thursday found the International Longshore and Warehouse Union in contempt of court for vandalizing the new EGT grain export terminal in Longview, Wash., during the union’s protest at the terminal last week.
The union also vandalized a BNSF train carrying grain to the facility.
Judge Richard Leighton said he will fine the union when the extent of the damage is determined.
The ILWU is attempting to prevent EGT from opening without the use of ILWU labor. EGT, an international joint venture company led by agriculture business giant Bunge, has contracted with a firm that uses workers represented by the Operating Engineers union.
ILWU members, who walked of jobs at the ports of Seattle and Tacoma, shutting operations, stormed the grain terminal on Sept. 8, dumped grain from BNSF cars and allegedly threatened security guards at the facility.
EGT apparently still intends to open the grain export terminal without the use of ILWU labor.
In an interview Thursday in Seattle before he addressed the annual convention of the American Association of Port Authorities, BNSF Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Matthew Rose said the railroad will protect the safety of its employees and assets but intends to serve its customer, EGT.
Also on Thursday, the ILWU announced it had reached a tentative contract agreement with the other half-dozen grain terminals in the Pacific Northwest. The contract will become official when it is ratified by the membership. EGT will then be the only grain terminal operator on the West Coast that does not use ILWU labor.
Contact Bill Mongelluzzo at firstname.lastname@example.org