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.

Standoff at grain terminals: ILWU at work, but without contract

From the Northwest Labor Press:

The talks ended Dec. 12 with no agreement, and ILWU reported that members voted to reject PNGHA’s final offer Dec. 21 and 22 by 93.8 percent. At that point, three PNGHA employers announced they would impose their terms: Louis Dreyfus Commodities, a Dutch company that owns grain elevators in Seattle […]


Northwest longshoremen cave in to grain terminal owners? Not so fast.

Excerpts from the Oregonian:

The longshore union appeared to cave in Wednesday, agreeing members would begin working at Northwest grain terminals Thursday on terms they just resoundingly rejected.

But labor lawyers say the International Longshore and Warehouse Union is actually playing it smart. If longshoremen called a strike now, refusing to accede to terms they […]


Media says 'scores of strikebreakers ready to replace longshoremen in case of lockout'

In an article called ‘Northwest grain terminal lockout would pit longshoremen against strikebreakers they call scabs,’ the Oregonian writes:

Scores of out-of-state strikebreakers wait on high alert in Northwest hotel rooms, ready to replace longshoremen in case of a lockout at grain terminals.

Three fully crewed, non-union tugboats protected by armed guards stand by, prepared […]


Grain terminal operators give union until Dec. 24 to accept, reject offer

The Columbian today published an informative article by reporter Aaron Corvin. A link to the full article follows.

The union negotiating team is unanimously recommending that members of longshore union locals — which include ILWU Local No. 4 in Vancouver, home to 203 longshore workers — vote “no,’ according to a statement issued by Leal […]


Companies in the grain talks

The Oregonian published the following information on the multinational owners of the grain terminals in the Pacific Northwest, which are currently in collective bargaining negotiations with ILWU Locals 4, 8, 19 and 23:

Four companies in the Pacific Northwest Grain Handlers Association operate under a single collective bargaining agreement with the dockworkers’ union. Longshoremen have […]


Northwest wheat sales waver on uncertainty as last-ditch longshore talks recess

Egyptian grain buyers, squeezed by droughts in Russia and Australia, bought 165,000 tons of wheat this month from a far-flung source, the Pacific Northwest.

The sellers included Cargill Inc. and Louis Dreyfus Commodities, two of the multinational goliaths involved in contract talks with longshore union leaders as a potential lockout looms at grain terminals in […]


Talks resume between grain handlers, longshore union

Excerpts from the Capital Press:

The longshoremen’s union previously said it preferred to continue talks and did not want to strike.

The Pacific Northwest Grain Handlers Association, which represents the six terminals in Seattle, Tacoma and Vancouver, Wash., and Portland, Ore., said the facilities are “in full operation and have no present plans for a […]


Grain labor dispute to go back to mediation

The labor dispute between the Pacific Northwest Grain Handlers Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union is headed back to mediation this week, following the passing of a 5 p.m. Saturday deadline set by grain terminal operators without a new labor contract.

The grain handlers’ association released the following statement through its spokesman, Pat […]


Merkley and McDermott lead Oregon and Washington Congressional Members in Calling for Resolution of Port Dispute

Joint news release from Sen. Merkeley and Congressman Jim McDermott:

WASHINGTON, DC – Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley and Washington Congressman Jim McDermott today were joined by ten of their colleagues from Oregon and Washington to call for continuing negotiations and a fair and amicable settlement between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the […]


Northwest lawmakers urge more grain terminal labor talks

Union dock workers and grain terminal owners both say they don’t want any kind of work stoppage that would disrupt Northwest grain exports.

But as of late Friday, there was no contract, and no new negotiations scheduled.

The Pacific Northwest Grain Handlers Association, representing the owners of a half-dozen terminals in Oregon and Washington, set […]


Grain Terminal Labor Dispute Could Disrupt NW Farmers

From Northwest Public Radio:

A possible strike or lock out at Northwest grain terminals would have a profound effect on U.S. wheat exports.

Longshoremen in Portland have been in tense labor negotiations that could affect six grain terminals in Portland, Vancouver and Puget Sound. Those talks have stalled for the moment.

Northwest ports make […]


With Port strike averted, labor focus shifts to grain

Excerpts from the Portland Business Journal:

Last Monday, the grain shippers presented what its calling its “last, best and final offer to the union,” said spokesman Pat McCormick. That offer expires at midnight Wednesday.

“The ILWU has bargained in good faith and offered several proposals designed to meet the employers’ needs,” Leal Sundet of the […]


Union has bargained in good faith with profitable multinational grain corporations

PORTLAND, OR (November 19, 2012) – After nearly three months of negotiations,the multinational grain corporations operating in the Columbia River and Puget Sound have given local workers a final offer that demands deep concessions from workers, even though the companies have been successful under the current agreement and impasse has not been reached in negotiations. […]


Update on Labor Negotiations Between the Pacific Northwest Grain Handlers and ILWU Locals 4, 8, 19 & 23

The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service issued this news release Friday evening:

At the request of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS), the parties have agreed to continue negotiations under our auspices. Due to the sensitivity of this high profile dispute and consistent with the Agency’s longstanding practice, we will not disclose either the […]


Consumers, farmers squeezed as grain giants tighten grip

Japan-based Marubeni, owner of Columbia Grain in Portland and across the U.S., is an example of the growing power of a small number of grain traders. Many say this consolidation is nearing a monopoly and is detrimental to farmers and consumers. Marubeni/Columbia Grain is part to the Northwest Grainhandlers’ Agreement with ILWU Locals 4, […]