The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a district judge’s order that two locals of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union pay damages to the National Labor Relations Board and an employer in connection with union picketing that turned violent at the Port of Longview, Wash., Metropolitan News-Enterprise reports.
However, the panel reversed a portion of the order that would have required the union to also pay damages to a railroad whose operations were disrupted, and to four law enforcement agencies whose officers were called out to remove protesters from train tracks, cutting $50,000 from the amount requested by the NLRB.
The NLRB sued two locals of the ILWU in 2011, charging unfair labor practices. The agency claimed the union was engaged in harassment and assault of employees and contractors of Export Grain Terminal and others, including the issuance of death threats to those who crossed picket lines, blocking of railway cars to prevent deliveries and dropping nails on the road leading to the company’s facility in Longview. U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton of the Western District of Washington subsequently ordered the union to pay $250,000 in damages.
The labor dispute, which was settled in January 2012, stemmed from EGT’s operation of a grain terminal on land it leased from the port. The ILWU claimed the operation of the facility by workers whom it did not represent violated its collective bargaining agreement with the port. EGT denied being bound by that agreement.