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The articles excerpted on this site report on the state of the industry as seen by mainstream media, and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the officers of the ILWU Coast Longshore Division.

Kalama Export dockworkers rally for better benefits

ILWU Local 21 members were joined by longshoremen from West Coast ports at KEX. Photo by JJ Burkey, ILWU Local 21 member

ILWU Local 21 members were joined by longshoremen from West Coast ports at KEX. Photo by JJ Burkey, ILWU Local 21 member

Excerpts from The Daily News:

Wearing orange shirts with slogans calling for “equal benefits,” about 300 longshoremen marched at the Port of Kalama Wednesday to draw attention to stalled labor talks between the Kalama Export Company and International Longshoremen and Warehouse Union Local 21.

Local 21 represents 46 longshoremen at Kalama Export, one of two grain export terminals at the Port of Kalama. Kalama Export is owned by Pacificor, a joint venture between Archer Daniels Midland, Marubeni (aka Gavilon) and Mitsubishi. Pacificor also owns the Columbia Export Terminal in Portland. Pacificor does offer those benefits to its Portland grainhandlers.

“It’s not right that the same employer has one standard for its workers in Portland but another for its workers in Kalama,” ILWU Local 21 President Billy Roberts said in a prepared statement.

“The work is the same, the hazards are the same and the need for family health benefits and retirement security are the same. But the employer has refused, for three years at the negotiating table, to meet the industry standard on benefits. KEX (Kalama Export Company) needs to meet the same standard for its grainhandlers in Kalama as it already does for its grainhandlers in Portland,” Roberts said.

More at The Daily News

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