Portland longshoremen will not give up.
Thwarted by the National Labor Relations Board in their quest for two waterfront jobs, the dockworkers’ union is changing tactics, pressuring shipping lines to give them the work or face claims for lost wages.
If that happens, Hanjin Shipping Co., for one, plans to hand on legal bills and any fines from the longshoreman to ICTSI Oregon Inc., the Port of Portland’s terminal operator.
Not so fast, ICTSI says. On Friday, the terminal operator filed a fresh unfair-labor-practices charge with the federal board, accusing longshoremen of trying to coerce ICTSI and the shipping lines.
On Wednesday, longshore union coast committeemen Leal Sundet and Ray Ortiz Jr. wrote to Hanjin Shipping, repeating the union’s contention that assignment of the jobs to workers other than longshoremen violated the West Coast collective bargaining agreement between the union and the Pacific Maritime Association.
The longshore officials said they understood the maritime association’s board of directors was considering expelling ICTSI from the association. An association lawyer could not be reached for comment.
Effective Wednesday, Sundet and Ortiz wrote, longshore union locals would prosecute lost-work grievances against Hanjin for each refrigerated container, or reefer, not worked by longshoremen.
Mike Radak, a Hanjin manager in New Jersey, then e-mailed the Port and ICTSI, demanding they give longshoremen the reefer work.
On all sides, legal bills for the proceedings continue spiraling.