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.

Maritime unions cry foul on grain companies; say unqualified, nonunion tugboat creates dangers

According to The Columbian: ”Don Marcus, international president of Masters, Mates & Pilots, said a boat operated by Kadoke Marine has been involved in several questionable incidents. They include an Aug. 20 incident in which the boat collided with ‘a stationary object,’ Marcus said, near United Grain’s facility, causing damage. In another incident, on [...]


Loaded grain barge set adrift at night on Columbia River, causing Coast Guard and media to point fingers

Excerpts from The Oregonian:

A Tidewater employee said ratchets used to hold the barge in place appeared to have been intentionally loosened, according to a Coast Guard news release. A longshore union spokeswoman said the union had nothing to do with it.

“Intentionally causing damage to a vessel or its cargo is a crime punishable [...]


Coast Guard detains grain ship at Port of Longview over safety concerns

From the August 2 Daily News:

An incinerator on the Japan-bound Great Success ‘posed a significant fire hazard,’ and inspectors found a fire door that could not be opened from the inside, leaving crew members with no way to exit the room in the event of a fire.

The Coast Guard has detained a [...]


Pacific NW Grain Dockworkers Lockout Dispute Escalates as Coast Guard Restricts Protests

From the Handy Shipping Guide:

”We see this over and over again –- domestic security organisations such as the Coast Guard, which is funded by taxpayer dollars, used to protect foreign companies to the detriment of the American worker.” — Leal Sundet, ILWU Coast Committeeman

Our earlier stories make it plain that, as an official [...]


Proposed USCG rule would misuse taxpayer funds and trample speech rights

A proposed rule for the U.S. Coast Guard would misuse taxpayer resources to provide private security for foreign grain conglomerates and trample American workers’ speech rights on Columbia River

Note: Download the ILWU’s comments on the proposed rule here

PORTLAND, OR (July 15, 2013) – The United States Coast Guard has proposed a so-called “temporary [...]


Rep. Hanabusa: Further Review Needed of Terminal Security Program

U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, D-HI

U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01) is asking the U.S. Coast Guard to hold off on proceeding with a proposed rule mandating the use of electronic card readers to access vessels and port facilities, until the card readers are thoroughly reviewed and tested.

“The Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program has [...]


Coast Guard issues citation in longshore protest

The U.S. Coast Guard has cited the owner of a protest boat that violated a 200-yard safety zone at the Port of Kalama, Wash.

Protest boats have taken to the Columbia River because of a contract dispute between grain terminal operators and the International Longshore & Warehouse Union. The owners of grain terminals in Vancouver, [...]


Pro-union protesters set up river picket at Port of Kalama

Nine boats with longshore union supporters tried to block a grain ship at the Port of Kalama on Tuesday morning, causing the Coast Guard to board one boat and issue warnings to all the others.

The incident is a spillover of a Vancouver dispute between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and United Grain. Protesters [...]


Port of NY/NJ resumes operations in Sandy’s wake

Longshoremen began unloading a variety of cargo Sunday morning at the Maher and APM container terminals along Newark Bay in Elizabeth, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said. Several ships were expected at the two terminals today, said the Port Authority.

Jim McNamara, a spokesman for the ILA, said it wasn’t just [...]


Northwest grain terminal managers prepare for epic showdown with longshoremen

Excerpts from the Oregonian:

With a contract expiring in five days, managers of Northwest grain terminals are preparing for a showdown with longshoremen that could far eclipse this summer’s turmoil at the Port of Portland.

Half of the nation’s wheat exports flow through Portland and Puget Sound ports. To keep shipments moving, managers [...]


ADM, Cargill Shut Grain Elevators in Louisiana

Tropical Storm Isaac

Major grain-trading companies shut down grain elevators in Louisiana to take precautions as Tropical Storm Isaac advanced toward the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) closed four elevators and its port operations in New Orleans, and rival Cargill Inc. said it was working on closing two elevators near the city.



REAL ID and TWIC: Two Systems-Both In Trouble

From the Emergency Management blog:

REAL ID and The Transportation Worker Identification Card (TWIC) are two examples of how the Federal government is trying to develop standards for identification cards.

The “troubled” TWIC card program, like REAL ID, has been delayed time and again. Now the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) is providing a modification [...]


Proposed Columbia River Crossing bridge is too low for some marine cargo

The current I-5 bridge offers 178 feet of vertical clearance when the lift span is raised. That puts the existing bridges in the same league with the Astoria-Megler Bridge (193 feet,) the Longview, Wash. span (187 feet,) and the Glenn Jackson I-205 bridge (144 feet.) The proposed Columbia River Crossing, designed to replace the [...]


Blast Cripples MSC Container Ship Off Puerto Rico

Coast Guard rescue crews respond to the distressed container-ship MSC Idil.

A sudden blast aboard an MSC containership off the coast of Puerto Rico forced crew to spring into action to stem the influx of water and stabilize the vessel, avoiding any injury and pollution.

The U.S. Coast Guard says the explosion occurred late [...]


TWIC electronic readers still years away

Use of electronic readers to verify valid Transportation Worker Identification Credentials at ports is more than 2 years away, Coast Guard Rear Adm. Paul Zukunft said March 26.

Zukunft, who spoke at a joint hearing of the House Transportation and Infrastructure and House Oversight and Government Reform committees, said the Homeland Security Department is working [...]