The Oregon AFL-CIO executive board has voted to pass a resolution that supports International Longshore and Warehouse Union workers at the Port of Portland after they were locked out by Marabeni-Columbia Grain.
The resolution stated:
“The Oregon AFL-CIO executive board supports the ILWU in its struggle to secure a fair contract with Marubeni-Columbia Grain and Louis Dreyfus Commodities, and calls for Marubeni-Columbia Grain to immediately cease its lockout of ILWU Local 8. It further calls on its affiliate unions to take all necessary actions to support the ILWU in its struggle with the grain conglomerates.”
Japan-based Marubeni-Columbia Grain and the Netherlands-based Louis Dreyfus Commodities are two of the four employers comprising the Pacific Northwest Grain Handlers’ Association. Both companies own grain elevators in Portland.
A third company that owns an elevator in Portland is U.S.-based TEMCO, which ratified a new contract with the ILWU in March and is currently operating with longshore workers.
“The ILWU has a long history of backing up other unions in their struggles,” said Leal Sundet, ILWU coast committeeman, in a written statement. “That they are now backing us up as we’re under attack by Marubeni is a good thing, and we look forward to getting our hardworking members back to work with a fair agreement that respects the many decades of service and profits we’ve provides to these companies.”