The International Longshore and Warehouse Union reached a tentative agreement late Wednesday with grain elevator operators in the Pacific Northwest, a pact that would isolate grain handler EGT in its bid to use non-ILWU labor.
The EGT effort at Longview, Wash., led to ugly protests last week that shut down operations at the ports of Seattle and Tacoma as ILWU workers walked of their jobs to take part in the anti-EGT actions.
The new agreement announced by the ILWU and the Pacific Northwest Grain Elevator Operators does not directly affect the EGT dispute. But the pact with operators at terminals in Seattle, Tacoma, Vancouver, Wash., and Portland, Ore., would leave EGT and its facility about 50 miles north of Portland as the only site in the region trying to turn away from the union.
The ILWU launched a large protest against the EGT action last week, sending dozens of members to the grain terminal, where they charged through barricades, stopped a BNSF train and damaged property. Police arrested several of the protestors and led ILWU President Bob McEllrath away from the scene.
According to the joint announcement from the ILWU and the grain elevator operators, the new pact covers six sites owned or operated by Cargill, Columbia Grain, Louis Dreyfus Commodities, CLD Pacific Grain and United Grain.
The agreement is subject to ratification by the 4,000 members of the ILWU.