Union workers who handle cargo at grain export terminals in Vancouver and other Northwest ports have voted overwhelmingly to ratify a new collective bargaining agreement with several multinational grain companies, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union said Tuesday. The tally was 88.4 percent in favor,
with 1,475 in favor and 193 opposed.
In a statement issued Tuesday, Gov. Jay Inslee said the agreement is “welcome news for the workers and the three grain facilities” and that it’s also “great news for Washington’s internationally acclaimed grain industry.”
Jennifer Sargent, spokeswoman for the Longshore union, said in an email to The Columbian that “both sides compromised, and the agreement reflects that.” She said the new contract “is significantly different” from the Export Grain Terminal contract in Longview.
“The EGT contract was a first contract, and this one is reflective of its maturity,” she said. She added, “By terms of the EGT contract, the wage increases in this contract are automatically applied there.”