ILWU Longview Protest Enters Third Week

ILWU Longview Protest Enters Third Week

An International Longshore and Warehouse Union protest at the Port of Longview, Wash., entered its third week on Friday, with picketers demonstrating in front of the EGT grain export terminal over the company’s contract with another union.

The port authority designated a specific area for the picketers and limited the number of demonstrators, and the union is abiding by the restrictions, said Ken O’Hollaren, the port’s executive director.

The ILWU, which represents longshoremen at West Coast ports, resists any attempt to infringe upon its jurisdiction. The union was negotiating a contract with EGT, which expects to open the grain terminal this year, but the talks broke down.

EGT announced last week it had reached an agreement with the International Union of Operating Engineers to man the facility.

The port supports the ILWU and has filed a lawsuit in federal court in Tacoma seeking a summary judgment recognizing the port’s working agreement with the ILWU. That case is expected to be heard in September.

BNSF Railway last week attempted to send a train carrying grain to the EGT facility for a test run, but BNSF diverted the train to another port because of the ILWU picketers. BNSF has not attempted to send another train to the facility, O’Hollaren said.

Contact Bill Mongelluzzo at bmongelluzzo@joc.com.