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Jul-17-2011 00:43printcomments

Striking Longshoremen Block Mile Long Train, Protesting Scab Labor

“EGT would like to be the Walmart of the grain business and force everyone else into their agenda,” - Scott Mason, president of Tacoma-based ILWU Local 23.

ILWU International Vice President Ray Familathe
Left, ILWU VP Ray Familathe leads 1,200 longshore workers and union allies 3 June outside the Portland corporate office of grain company EGT Development. Photo: Northwest Labor Press

(LONGVIEW, Wash.) - On July 14, hundreds of ILWU (International Longshore and Warehouse Union)members blocked a mile long Bulington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) grain train from entering the new terminal at Longview, which transnational EGT wants to operate with scab labor. On July 11, about 100 union members were arrested by Longview police for a similar action.

This time, BNSF rerouted the train to Vancouver and suspended the delivery to EGT (which estimates it can save $1M with scabs).

Longview ILWU Local 21 demands a union contract for a new grain terminal set to open this summer at the Port of Longview.
More than 1,200 longshore workers and their union allies rallied June 3 outside the downtown Portland corporate office of grain company EGT Development. Protesters traveled from as far away as Los Angeles to support Longview-based ILWU Local 21 in its quest for a union contract at a new grain terminal set to open this summer at the Port of Longview.

EGT is a joint venture of St. Louis-based Bunge North America, Japan-based Itochu Corp. and Korean shipper STX Pan Ocean. The company leased property from the Port to build a $200 million state-of-the-art grain elevator on the Columbia River.

EGT imported nonunion construction workers from out-of-state to do most of the work. It now wants to operate the facility with nonunion, out-of-state labor.

Members of ILWU are employed at port grain export terminals coastwise under the Northwest Grainhandlers Agreement, which is set to expire later this year. The union believes if EGT is operating without a contract it will reverberate in upcoming negotiations.

“EGT would like to be the Walmart of the grain business and force everyone else into their agenda,” said Scott Mason, president of Tacoma-based ILWU Local 23.

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jimmy September 8, 2011 1:53 pm (Pacific time)

Had to go search for this article... the thugs are at it again in Longview.

Editor: Deep breath now Jimmy, and give me a buzz when you have a second eh?

Jimmy July 18, 2011 11:04 pm (Pacific time)

Giving the keys to just anyone I see. You really need to understand what you are writing about. I have had FIRST HAND experience dealing with the ILWU, not just through their press releases. DJ, have you ever had to pay over $100/hr per man for an 11 man gang to work a hatch on a cargo ship only to watch 8 of them stay in the smoke shack? No you say?? I really hate ignorance more than people, but for the record there are about 20 people on the face of the planet that I don't hate, and I'm grateful to count your boss and family among them. Oh, and Bush's tax cut is nuttin compared to Obama buying me a new car and house, oh wait...

Tim King: Thought you'd like that little Bushism, nobody doubts what you are saying, unions are far from perfect, but you know how much better it was for me as a TV news shooter in Portland over Vegas, the only union market I ever worked in was PDX.  Those guys with IATSE were straight up, so my overall thought is not to defend particulars, but to state that we can't overvalue the American worker, and I know we agree on that.  You would love DJ, it's all good.  The digging question, is, what were you doing with your second hand that day on the ship? (LOL) 

Jimmy July 18, 2011 2:33 pm (Pacific time)

Hedge Fund Managers... Huh??? I thought we were talking about the quazi-criminal I.L.W.U. and your tacit approval of their off the chart pay scale.
Since you appear to not have anything other than their press release to go by, I suggest you head over to a nearby port and watch 3/4 of the laughable "backbone of American hope" sit on their collective asses and get a paycheck that most americans can only dream of.

DJ: It's pretty clear from your comments that you hate people--except, perhaps, the rich.

Tim King: OK guys, here it is; Jim is a close friend, part of the operation here, as DJ is.  Jimmy and I have plenty of arguments, all good nature stuff, I recall Jim when you were quite a 'W' fan and thinking that his tax cut was incredible, was it $200 again?  Anyway, this is a story I put up, I believe in unions and generally have only disdain for greedy shareholders.  The people holding the cards need their 2012 Cadillac and Lincoln gas guzzlers and all that, and I know it takes a lot to send your kids to the best colleges, etc.  That however perpetuates the problems of greed.

Jimmy, I didn't know that was you on the first comment, but things spin out quickly from negativity, and I am the king of negativity right?.  You know the schedule I keep here, had the other side reached us first that part might have gone up first, but the truth is that the union reached out and it is interesting, but let's not think the world divides over people seeking a better life for their kids, (not the Purdue education  - more like food on the table and a roof over their heads)  I love you both!   

James Lewis July 18, 2011 10:55 am (Pacific time)

Been fortunate in my life to see many ports operate worldwide and I've see workers doing an honest days work for an honest days pay. After you've had to work with these overpaid, underworked excuse for "labor" you might understand my point but from your bunker in Salem, I question your knowledge in this subject. Where else do 10 people get paid to stand around to do the work that only requires three people? All at wages that make you realize why America has lost it's competetive edge.

DJ: Interesting take. What's your conclusion on hedge fund managers who make billions of dollars per year? How hard do you think they work compared to a stevedore or factory worker? Or the CEOs of the major corporations?  In 1970 the average CEO made about 30  times more than the average worker. By 2006, the ratio was 340 to 1. In 1970, the top 100 CEOs made 45 times as much as the average worker. By 2006 that had escalated to 1,723 to 1. Are these people doing an "honest day's work for an honest day's pay"?.

How's that for a juxtaposition, James? 

Jimmy July 17, 2011 9:53 am (Pacific time)

My experience is that these borderline criminals couldn't get or keep a real job if it didn't get handed to them on a silver platter. I hope they all get to see what real working people have to do in order to feed their family.

Editor: You should use your full name when making a statement like that, of course a man like you wouldn't do that now would you?  These employees are the backbone of American hope, that whole BS scab mentality is what has ruined this place, why don't you outsource that?

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