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Northwest grain terminal companies extend lockout deadline, blast longshore union

Representatives of Northwest grain terminals that export half the nation’s wheat issued a statement Thursday blasting the longshore union and extending their final contract offer until Dec. 8.

Pacific Northwest Grain Handlers Association negotiators accused aunion spokesperson of using inflammatory language to misrepresent terms of the offer, which initially expired Wednesday.

The group of four employers said in the statement that the offer was more favorable to the International Longshore and Warehouse Union in many respects than a contract signed by a union local this year at a competing grain terminal in Longview, Wash. They said the proposed contract would boost total longshore wages and benefits to $64.75 an hour at their six terminals in Portland, Vancouver and the Puget Sound.

Union leaders could call a strike at any time; or grain terminals could lock out longshoremen after the employers’ extension expires at 5 p.m. Dec. 8.

From the Oregonian

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