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Longshoremen ratify agreement, resume work at key northwest export terminals

Excerpts from Agri-Pulse:

“This new collective bargaining agreement is welcome news for the workers and the three grain facilities that are part of the Northwest Grain Agreement. It is also great news for Washington’s internationally acclaimed grain industry,” said Washington Governor Jay Inslee in a statement.

“I am grateful that the lockout’s disruption to the marketplace was kept to a minimum and that for most of those 18 months state grain inspections continued. I understand that both sides compromised in this new agreement and I want to thank them for going back to the table to negotiate in good faith and find an agreement to bring stability to our grain export industry and allow terminal operators to remain competitive.”

Negotiations for the new agreement began in August of 2012, involved 70 separate sessions, and included lockouts at Portland’s Columbia Grain and Vancouver’s United Grain facilities. At times, USDA discontinued grain inspections because of what the agency described as security concerns, essentially shutting down outbound shipments.

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