Brad Clark, president of the ILWU Local No. 4 in Vancouver — which has 203 longshore workers — said “our interest is to continue to go to work.”
He said the union has requested additional dates for further negotiations and that “our intention has been to get an agreement.”
However, he said, the grain terminal owners are pushing for too many concessions from the union, noting the owners are proposing 757 changes to the contract compared with the 17 proffered by the longshore workers.
Clark said the 80-year-old contract is “mature,” and that the terminal owners are pressing to reduce it to an “infant agreement.”
Terminal operators have prepared for a lockout or strike, including bringing in security personnel. Gettier, a Wilmington, Del., company whose services include protection of replacement workers and videotaping picket line activities, has visited the premises of United Grain Corp. and other sites, sources have confirmed to The Columbian.