The action against members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union follows a lockout already under way at the Port of Vancouver by United Grain. The number of workers impacted by the lockout was not available.
Columbia Grain issued a statement early Saturday accusing workers of engaging in what it called “inside game tactics” – including slowdowns, work-to-rule, and demands for repeated inspections of the same equipment – “all designed to negatively impact Columbia Grain’s operations.”
Bruce Holte, president of ILWU Local 8, said Columbia hired replacement workers last fall, when talks were in early stages, showing that the company never intended to reach agreement.
“Unfortunately, Marubeni-Columbia Grain has done what it’s wanted to do all along, and locked out local workers who have made this company profitable for decades,” said Holte, who is also a Port of Portland commissioner. “Rather than reach a fair agreement, the company has hired an out-of-state strikebreaking firm, attorneys and a publicist to make allegations against local workers who simply want to do our jobs and support our community.”