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.

Company proposes biofuel refinery near — but not at — the Port of Longview

From the Columbian:

A Houston-based group of investors is again looking to develop a biofuel refinery in Cowlitz County, more than a year after their plans for oil, propane and biofuel projects were rejected by the Port of Longview. The refinery will focus on processing biofuel only, dropping earlier plans to process crude oil too. […]


ILA Stands With Brave ILWU President Who Said: 'Fighting For Good Jobs In America Shouldn't Be A Crime'

From the International Longshoremen’s Association web site:

The ILA published this photo and article in support of ILWU President Robert McEllrath, pictured here with supporters from global maritime unions.

ILWU President Bob McEllrath Convicted of Misdemeanor Offense In Longview, Washington; ILA Stands With Brave ILWU President Who Said: ‘Fighting For Good Jobs In America […]


ITF backs ILWU president

ILWU International President Robert ‘Big Bob’ McEllrath was detained on September 7, 2011 in Cowlitz County, WA, while protesting corporate greed with hundreds of ILWU members at EGT Port of Longview. Photo by ILWU Local 40 President Dawn Des Brisay.

The ITF has expressed its strong backing for Robert McEllrath, international president of the ILWU, […]


Negotiators avert longshore lockout, but union members walk out Friday after president convicted

Ken Riley, left, an International Longshoremen’s Association Vice President and President of Local 1422, came to support ILWU International President Bob McEllrath at the Cowlitz County Hall of Justice last year. On Friday, a District Court judge sentenced Pres. McEllrath to one day in jail and 89 days suspended, plus a $500 fine. Photo […]


Cowlitz County will retry ILWU president

From the Daily News:

The international president of the longshore union is back on trial in connection with last year’s labor dispute, three months after his last District Court trial ended in a hung jury.

Robert McEllrath of San Francisco, international president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, is charged with obstructing a train […]


Jurors can’t reach verdict in trial of ILWU leader

Excerpts from the Daily News:

A hung jury forced a mistrial late Friday night in the misdemeanor trial of ILWU President Robert McEllrath, accused of obstructing/delaying a train Sept. 7 at the Port of Longview.

McEllrath, the top executive in the ILWU, was accused of standing on the railroad tracks — along with several hundred […]


Judge declares mistrial in protest-related trial of ILWU Pres. McEllrath; Jury can't reach verdict after examining evidence

Pres. McEllrath is the latest in a long line of workers prosecuted by Cowlitz County for labor demonstrations last summer; Local small business owner says County law enforcement should close chapter and focus legal resources on more serious crimes

LONGVIEW, WA (June 30, 2012) — After two days of trial for a simple misdemeanor, […]


30 unions in Central Labor Council agree law enforcement has 'set a dangerous precedent' by targeting longshore workers

Unions unanimously pass resolution; download it at this link.

LONGVIEW, WA — Union delegates representing a broad swath of public and private sector workers in 30 local unions across Cowlitz and Wahkiakum Counties unanimously passed a resolution denouncing recent arrests and prosecutions of longshore workers and supporters, citing the prosecution’s failure to produce evidence and […]


Wash. longshore workers fight frame-ups for defending union

Criminal frame-up charges against Longshore workers and their supporters are still grinding through the courts here in the wake of the ILWU’s victory against EGT Development’s union-busting campaign.

More than 200 union members and supporters were arrested in the course of protests during the eight-month battle in which the cops, courts and government sided against […]


ILWU civil rights suit to include two additional county officials

Excerpts from the Daily News:

Union officials say that law enforcement officers followed many of their members home to arrest them instead of mailing citations, which is common for misdemeanors.

The union has made massive public records requests of emails from county officials related to the protests. ILWU attorneys cited an email from Rosenzweig dated […]


Cowlitz County refused longshoreman's peaceful surrender, arrested him in front of kids hours later

Jake Whiteside, in black, joined 200 ILWU Local 21 members and supporters to surrender at the Cowlitz County Hall of Justice in Kelso, September 16, 2011. Instead of arresting him peacefully, law enforcement officials ambushed him hours later in a church parking lot. Dawn Des Brisay photo.

Oregon Public Broadcasting yesterday reported that “Longshore […]


ILWU sues additional Cowlitz County officials for civil rights violations

Email messages show awareness that Prosecuting Attorney Susan Baur was overreaching her role; Chief Criminal Deputy Charlie Rosenzweig acknowledged that treatment of ILWU members was “much more affirmative” and “intentional” than standard procedure

LONGVIEW, WA (March 1, 2012) – Yesterday, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union asked the federal court for leave to add Cowlitz […]


Port of Longview won’t rescind trespassing ruling

Port of Longview commissioners on Friday rejected the longshore union’s claim that they violated the state’s open meetings act last summer when they forbade trespassing on railroad tracks where hundreds were later arrested while protesting the EGT grain terminal.

The union’s claim is an attempt to defend some of those protesters from prosecution, and union […]


Cowlitz County sheriff fined $250 for appearing in political ad

Click on the image above to watch the commercial.

Cowlitz County Sheriff Mark Nelson was fined $250 Thursday for violating state election law last fall in a television commercial opposing the privatization of liquor sales.

Nelson appeared before the state Public Disclosure Commission Thursday in Olympia. The commission unanimously voted to […]


How Occupy helped labor win on the West Coast

By Josh Eidelson at Salon.com:

ILWU members demonstrate on train tracks in September. Dawn Des Brisay photo.

Earlier this month longshore workers in Washington state reached a contract with a boss that has spent the past year fighting to keep their union out. That company, the multinational EGT, sought to run its new grain terminal […]