The National Labor Relations Board has awarded a pair of disputed jobs at the Port of Portland to union electricians, setting the table for renewed tension at the North Portland container terminal.
In a ruling released Monday afternoon, the NLRB rejected arguments from the International Longshore and Warehouse Union that its workers should perform the task of plugging and unplugging refrigerated cargo containers known as reefers.
“We note that the factor of employer preference, although not itself determinative, is entitled to substantial weight,” the NLRB ruling states.
Leal Sundet, an ILWU coast committeeman, said in a statement late Monday the decision was not a surprise because the process is “far from fair.”
“No matter how much public money the Port throws at ICTSI and the carriers, the ILWU/PMA labor agreement that governs all West Coast employers clearly says that Hanjin and Hapag-Lloyd must assign this work to ILWU-represented longshoremen,” said Sundet, who was referring to $4.7 million the Port of Portland recently agreed to pay ICTSI to help defray losses caused by the labor strife.