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.

Tentative agreement reached in NW grain terminal dispute

From The Columbian:

A bitter two-year labor dispute that engulfed everyone from Vancouver police and Washington’s governor to state and federal agriculture officials may have ended, as the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and Northwest grain terminal operators have reached a tentative contract agreement.

In an email to The Columbian Tuesday, Jennifer Sargent, spokeswoman for [...]


FMCS Statement on Tentative Agreement Between the ILWU and Pacific Northwest Grain Handlers

From the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service:

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Scot L. Beckenbaugh, Acting Director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS), issued the following statement today on a tentative agreement reached just prior to midnight (PST) last evening between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and Pacific Northwest Grain Companies.

“After engaging [...]


Port of Seattle, Eagle Marine agree to make Terminal 5 big ship ready

Under the proposal, EMS would shift its operations to Terminal 18, allowing EMS to preserve container volume and ship calls.

The Port of Seattle and Eagle Marine Services (EMS), operator of Terminal 5, have announced a proposal to relocate its cargo and breakbulk activities to another terminal so that the port can modernize Terminal 5 [...]


Both sides in grain dispute call negotiations ‘fruitful’

From today’s Columbian:

Longshore workers have made the Pacific Northwest one of the most productive grain export regions in the world. Photo shows Mitsui-United Grain Corp. in Vancouver, WA.

Union dockworkers and grain-terminal owners in the Northwest, including United Grain Corp. at the Port of Vancouver, who’ve sparred for more than a year over terms [...]


More delays before ‘Bertha’ can resume digging waterfront tunnel

Boring at Seattle’s $2 billion tunnel project has been delayed again until next week.

Officials with contractor Seattle Tunnel Partners said Friday that the boring machine is going through more tests before it can be restarted. They say some of the early material that the machine was tunneling through apparently had a chance to solidify [...]


Longshore union takes message on the road

From the Capital Press:

Several representatives of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union have recently gone on “road trips” to rural communities in Washington and Montana to protest the grain handlers’ actions and try to win favor with farmers.

Along the way, they’ve picketed grain elevators owned by Columbia Grain, United Grain and Louis Dreyfus.



Pickets gone, but Bertha isn’t moving yet

Excerpts from the Seattle Times:

Despite a halt to the longshore union’s picketing Tuesday, tunnel-boring machine Bertha needs a few days before it can restart.

One might expect drilling to begin immediately, given that Seattle Tunnel Partners (STP) had four weeks of delay to prepare. But it’s not that simple, contractor and state officials say.



Tunnel-digger Bertha heading back to work; ILWU will continue to fight for jobs

ILWU Local 19 pickets Seattle Tunnel Partners’ failure to abide by their written agreement to hire longshore workers for tunnel-related waterfront jobs. KREM photo.

Excerpts from the Seattle Times:

While protest signs have been removed, and the massive drill Bertha can resume its 14-month dig from Sodo to South Lake Union, the longshore [...]


Tunnel project mismanagement behind Seattle labor dispute

Mismanagement of Seattle’s “Big Bertha” Tunnel Project is responsible for the current labor problems with the Seattle Tunnel Partners (STP), contends representatives from the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 19.

The union cites problems at the top management levels of STP relating to the Deep Bore Tunnel “Project Labor Agreement” (PLA), and problems [...]


Carpenters, NCA file complaints against Longshoremen over tunnel project

From KIRO News:

The Longshoremen’s Union has been picketing the Seattle tunnel project site since Tuesday, claiming it was promised four jobs removing dirt from the boring machine. The pickets have kept the building trades union workers, who have the contract for removing the dirt, from accessing the site.

Those unions, the Pacific [...]


Seaport labor dispute threatens Montana wheat shipments

Montana wheat farmers are among those who have relied on the continual service provided by experienced longshore workers to export grain since 1934.

From the Billings Gazette:

In a rare move, longshoremen from the Pacific Northwest are traveling across Montana cautioning wheat farmers about possible trouble shipping grain from the state overseas.

Montana wheat [...]


Seattle longshore workers to fight for waterfront jobs

From an article called “Longshore union demands jobs loading tunnel dirt” in the Seattle Times:

”Just like ILWU doesn’t go up there and build skyscrapers, nor should operating engineers go and do longshore work.” — Cam Williams, President, ILWU Local 19

Longshoremen are mulling their options to resist what they consider a take-away of [...]


Las empresas graneleras extranjeras continúan con los cierres patronales, los trabajadores portuarios se mantienen firmes

[NOTE: This is a Spanish translation of our grain update in the May Dispatcher. Read the English original at http://www.longshoreshippingnews.com/?p=12592.]

Cierre patronal: Los miembros del Local 4 en la línea de piquete después de que Mitsui-United Grain bloqueara su entrada en Vancouver, WA. Foto de Jared Moultrie, muellero de ILWU Local 4.

Los estibadores [...]


Longshore union: NBA vote against Seattle a chance to ‘take a deep breath’

While NBA fans were disappointed after Wednesday’s decision by the league to reject a plan to move the Sacramento Kings to Seattle, not everyone in the Emerald City was that upset.

Freight industry leaders have been fighting plans to build a basketball arena in Seattle’s Sodo area. And the local longshore union has legal action [...]


Opinion: Yes to NBA, but keep Sodo vital

ILWU Local 19 has been fighting to keep the area around the Port of Seattle industry-based rather than congested by non-shipping interests. A recent editorial by the Seattle Times’ Danny Westneat backed up their case:

I support bringing back the NBA. But the idea of turning surrounding blocks, especially to the south or west where [...]