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Longshoremen Strike
Shuts Down Seattle Port

by Liz Jones
KUOW, September 8, 2011

(Don Ryan/Associated Press) Longshoremen in Longview, Wash., faced off with police in a rare showing of union militancy. Loads and loads of cargo sat unmoved at the Port of Seattle Thursday due to a worker strike. Members of the longshoreman's union failed to show up for work, apparently in connection with a heated labor dispute in Longview, Washington. There, the longshoreman's union stormed the port this morning (Thursday) in a violent protest against some hiring practices.

The activity in Longview led to work stoppages at ports in Tacoma, Everett and Seattle, as KUOW's Liz Jones reports.


I'm here at the Port of Seattle and except for some passing traffic, things are pretty quiet. The huge machines that typically unload cargo from boats and rail cars have come to a standstill.

Longshoremen workers decided not to come into work today and that's brought activity here to a halt. I stopped in at the longshoreman union hall nearby and talked to a few workers. Nobody wanted to go on tape, but they do tell me they'll be back at work Friday. However, I did spot some picket signs in the hallway.

I also stopped by the Burlington Northern Santa Fe facility at the port and, same story, nobody there wanted to talk on tape. But they do tell me a typical day for them is moving several hundred loads of cargo. And today, it's just a small fraction of that.

They also say on a typical day, rows of semi trucks are backed up here, a dozen or so deep. But right now, it's pretty empty.

From the Port of Seattle, I'm Liz Jones, KUOW News

Liz Jones
Longshoremen Strike Shuts Down Seattle Port
KUOW, September 8, 2011

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