Longshoremen Dispute Shuts Down
PORTLAND, OR - A labor dispute forced the shutdown of container Terminal 6 at the Port of Portland on Thursday.
The terminal gate is unable to process the waiting trucks, and drivers were forced to either wait or turn away. As of noon, there was still a small line of trucks waiting at the gate.
The longshoremen are not picketing at this point. The dispute involves the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).
Port officials said the IBEW has been under contract for a lengthy period of time and handles electrical work at the port, but the ILWU, which unloads and loads the trucks and handles the cranes, wants to obtain the port's electrical contract work.
The ILWU describes it as "an internal dispute between Philippines-based port management company ICTSI and the ILWU over ICTSI's refusal to comply with an arbitrator's order." An ILWU spokesman said the port continues try to "interject itself in the operation of the terminal."
Port of Portland spokesman Josh Thomas said the ILWU workers' tactics brought the terminal to an operational halt, and that the results will be costly - more than 1,000 businesses count on the port to handle their goods every day.
But an ILWU spokeswoman said no one walked off the job, and that the port "interjected itself and turned the trucks away."
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