Port Container Terminal Dispute Dragsby Joseph Gallivan
Portland Tribune, April 15, 2015
And as for finding a new terminal operator, Wyatt said: "Let's be honest, if ICTSI is unable to succeed in Terminal 6,
no one, and I mean no one, would be foolish enough to come to Portland and enter the container business."
Boss Bill Wyatt mentions unmentionable, moves quickly on.
The Executive Director of the Port of Portland Bill Wyatt acknowledged the elephant in the room, Wednesday, at the Port's grand Gateway to the Globe lunch.
But he held back from proposing any new action to get rid of it.
Wyatt took a break in the positive video montages and jokes about the airport carpet to mention the embarrassing industrial dispute that has seen almost 100 per cent of the Terminal 6 container business dry up this year.
"I'm just going to say it plainly: It's hopelessly naive," he said, referring to the idea that the Port could go back to running Terminal 6. This is what some have suggested if ICTSI Oregon, the terminal's private operator, should buy out the 22 years remaining on its lease and leave.
And as for finding a new terminal operator, Wyatt said: "Let's be honest, if ICTSI is unable to succeed in Terminal 6, no one, and I mean no one, would be foolish enough to come to Portland and enter the container business."
Because of a labor-management dispute between the Local 8 of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and ICTSI Oregon, the terminal's private operator, both Hanjin and Hapag-Lloyd have turned their backs on Portland this year.
Wyatt said it took two years of searching the globe with the help of bankers from Morgan Stanley to find anyone to take on the financial risk of running the container terminal. After all that, he reminded everyone, ICTSI Oregon was the lone proposer.
Wyatt reiterated it will take assurances by both management and unions restore confidence in this part of the port. He said the port would, in time, attract new container companies. The message was that ICTSI Oregon is the best bet and is here for the foreseeable. He called for both sides to negotiate and to end the "finger pointing" and the go-slow that has existed since certain electrical jobs were given to a union than the ILWU.
Wednesday's keynote speaker was Jerry Shoenle, director of emerging market services for the Ford Motor Company. Resurgent Ford has plenty of business to spread around. It ships from ten major US ports, including Jacksonville Florida and Baltimore, Maryland.
Shoenle praised the port as a great place to ship Ford Mustangs to Korea and China. Cars ship in a roll on, roll off format, not in containers. They need large, empty lots where they can wait for ships -- something which is not affordable at busier west coasts ports such as Long Beach, California.
As if to prove the port authorities are not anti-organized labor, they honored a union guy with the 2014 Compass Award. John C. Mohlis, Executive Secretary of the Oregon Building and Construction Trades Council, was praised for his work with the Trades Council, an umbrella organization for approximately 30,000 union construction workers in Oregon.
On stage, Mohlis confessed his complete surprise at receiving the award.
Port Extends Ocean Carrier Subsidies by Mateusz Perkowski, Capital Press, 12/10/14
Idaho Needs and Can Maintain Both Its Dams and Fish by David Doeringsfeld, Lewiston Tribune, 3/15/15
Lewiston Container Shipping Fact Sheet, 1997, by Port of Lewiston
Portland Container Shipping Fact Sheet, 2002, by Port of Portland
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