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Port of Portland intervenes in T6 labor dispute

Port of Portland Terminal 6

Port of Portland Terminal 6

The Port of Portland on Friday said it filed a complaint with federal labor authorities over a union dispute that it says has put its key Terminal 6 container terminal in a near-shutdown situation.

The port filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board National Labor Relations Board saying an action by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Local 8, has “significantly impacted container operations at Terminal 6 causing costly delays for area shippers and truckers.”

A 25-year lease of T6 issued by the port in 2010 to Philippines-based terminal operator ICTSI included language indicating that the work would stay with the IBEW.

But the ILWU contends that once the port was privatized to ICTSI, the T6 fell within an existing collective-bargaining pact with the Pacific Maritime Association, a trade group that represents shippers and terminal operators including ICTSI. As a member of the Pacific Maritime Association, the ILWU says ICTSI isn’t bound by any other labor agreements.

“Two years ago, the Port of Portland entered into an agreement with Philippines-based ICTSI in which the port surrendered control over operations at Terminal 6, and now the port needs to step aside and respect ICTSI’s contractual obligations to the ILWU and allow longshoremen to do their jobs,” ILWU Coast Committeeman Leal Sundet said in a prepared statement.

The NLRB has already held one hearing to determine which union should win the work. The ILWU said an independent arbitrator on Monday ruled in its favor.

The port said it expects an NLRB determination in the next few days.

Excerpted from the Portland Business Journal

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