Disclaimer

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.

LA, Long Beach bring recovery plan to legislators, shippers

From the Journal of Commerce:

Port leaders — including Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka, Port of Long Beach Chief Executive Jon Slangerup and Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners President Doug Drummond — also stressed that they were taking responsibility for the months of congestion that brought terminals to near gridlock and [...]

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Port of Longview commissioners reject Haven Energy lease on 3-0 vote

Port of Longview commissioners unanimously rejected the proposed Haven Energy propane export terminal Tuesday morning, voicing concerns about the safety and the true economic impact of the $300 million project.

The vote came after 90 minutes of testimony featuring a primarily negative response from the crowd of nearly 200 people. More than 20 people spoke [...]

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For Oregon, 4 oil train accidents in 3 weeks a reminder ‘this issue is not going away’

Longshore workers in the Pacific Northwest are educating their communities on the risks posed by energy trains — including safety issues and rail congestion that chokes off other cargo. Several recent explosions are driving the point home. From the Oregonian:

The accidents came in rapid succession.

In July 2013, an oil [...]

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Thousands of railroad crossings never inspected

Rail congestion isn’t the only threat posed by the proposed increase in oil trains. Good reporting on thousands of dangerous rail crossings from KING 5 News in Seattle:

In 2011, an accident at a private crossing in Kelso killed three people. The crossing was owned by the railroad itself and did not have any [...]

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CN Rail, Unifor reach tentative late-night deal to avoid lockout

Unifor says it has reached a tentative contract settlement with Canadian National Railway to avoid a lockout of 4,800 workers.

The Montreal-based railway had said it planned to lock out workers represented by Unifor unless the union agreed to binding arbitration to settle contract differences. However, Unifor president Jerry Dias had firmly rejected binding arbitration.

[...]

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CSX train hauling crude oil derails in West Virginia, explodes in huge fireball

All but two of the 109 cars being hauled were tanker cars, officials said. One person was treated for potential inhalation issues, but no other injuries were reported, according to a statement from CSX, the train company.

Fires burned for hours after a train carrying more than 100 tankers of crude oil derailed in a [...]

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CP Rail strike ends as workers agree to arbitration

A strike at Canadian Pacific came to a sudden end Monday after rail workers, facing the prospect of back-to-work legislation, agreed to end the stoppage and send the labour dispute to arbitration.

A key issue was fatigue for rail workers, and the union is hoping arbitration can bring about a better system to manage the [...]

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3,000 locomotive engineers and conductors begin strike in Canada

In an article titled ‘CP engineers on strike after talks fail,’ the Journal of Commerce reports:

A Teamsters union representing more than 3,000 Canadian Pacific Railway locomotive engineers and conductors walked off the job after failing to reach an agreement by the midnight deadline on Feb. 14.

Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) members went on [...]

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ILWU Local 21 says propane exports ‘not a good fit’ for Longview

Excerpts from a Daily News article titled ”JH Kelly in line for Haven’s propane terminal contract”:

Despite local trade labor’s support, ILWU Local 21 expressed concerns about the nature of the permanent jobs, rail congestion and the safety and location of the terminal.

“We have concerns about an upstart company storing (millions of gallons) of [...]

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CP receives notice of Teamsters Canada Rail Conferences’ intent to strike

From Canadian Pacific’s web site:

​​​​​​​​Despite Canadian Pacific’s best efforts to reach an agreement with Teamsters Canada Rail Conference-Running Trades (TCRC), the union has provided official notice of its intent to strike the company in the event there is not a negotiated settlement. This group represents more than 3,000 active locomotive engineers and conductors at [...]

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Farmer takes office as IANA chair

Katie Farmer, group vice president of consumer products at BNSF Railway, has taken office as the first woman to chair the Intermodal Association of North America’s board of directors.

Farmer succeeded Phil Shook, director of intermodal at C.H. Robinson, who remains on the board.

Trucker Kevin Lhotak, president of Reliable Transportation Specialists, Inc., was named [...]

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ILWU Local 8 opposes propane proposal; says jobs promise is ‘simply false’

On behalf of 500 Longshore workers in Portland, ILWU Local 8 President Mike Stanton announces the union’s opposition to a propane terminal proposal for the Port of Portland.

A proposal to build a $500 million propane export terminal in Portland is being pushed through by the largest pipeline company in the Canadian tar sands region, [...]

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US shippers pull back on intermodal for first time since 2010, survey finds

U.S. intermodal shippers surveyed by an investment research firm pulled more freight off intermodal trains and put it back on trucks during the third quarter than vice-versa, the first time the survey tracked intermodal conversion losing ground since 2010.

Shippers said they expect to further decelerate their conversion of loads to rail, but survey results [...]

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Groups' suit makes new claims against Vancouver port

Excerpts from The Columbian:

Opponents of oil by rail point to disasters like the explosion of several rail cars carrying crude oil in Lac Megantic, Quebec, in 2013. Forty-two people were confirmed dead, and five were missing and presumed dead.

Three environmental groups that accuse the Port of Vancouver of violating Washington’s open public meetings [...]

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Powder keg at the ports

In an editorial earlier this month, the Journal of Commerce outlined the numerous factors of congestion at West Coast and global ports. Excerpts:

For some, one-time factors such as the Manila truck restrictions and West Coast longshore negotiations can be dismissed as events that create short-term disruption, but, in fact, those two examples only served [...]

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