The ports of Seattle and Tacoma said they resumed normal operations on Friday, following a one-day wildcat strike Thursday by workers sympathetic with International Longshore and Warehouse Union demands that they should be employed at a new grain terminal in the Port of Longview in Washington.
Protesters vandalized the EGT terminal early Thursday morning, breaking windows and dumping grain from rail cars. There were wildcat strikes at several ports and terminals in the Pacific Northwest on Sept. 7-8.
EGT, a joint venture of Japan-based Itochu Corp, South Korea’s STX Pan Ocean and St. Louis-based Bunge North America, has built a $200 million grain terminal in Longview.
The National Labor Relations Board obtained a preliminary injunction from a federal judge to stop acts of picketing misconduct by two union locals at the Port of Longview, that have prevented a grain processing facility from operating since it attempted to open in July.
NLRB said the injunction was based on allegations that ILWU Locals 21 and 4 engaged in picketing accompanied by violence and property damage and thereby interfered with the ability of trains to deliver grain intended to be processed and shipped from the terminal. The NLRB said more than 100 arrests have been made in relation to the picketing.
Judge Ronald B. Leighton of the Western District of Washington issued the preliminary injunction against both ILWU Locals late Thursday, responding to a request filed by Richard L. Ahearn, regional director of NLRB’s Region 19 in Seattle. He scheduled a contempt hearing for Sept. 15.
The NLRB on Aug. 29 also issued a complaint against the union locals alleging their acts violated federal labor law. A hearing is scheduled on that complaint before an Administrative Law Judge for Oct. 11.
An article posted on an ILWU site said the order preserved the union’s right to peacefully picket.
In a letter to his members, ILWU President Robert McEllrath said the EGT terminal had in May represented to union officials that it would employ members of ILWU Local 21, but then in July transferred the longshore facility work to a subcontractor, General Construction, which signed a contract with Local 701 of the Operating Engineers.