Port of Portland Dispute: Judge Orders
by Richard Read
U.S. District Judge Michael Simon found at a hearing Tuesday morning that longshoremen at the Port of Portland's Terminal 6 are engaging in an illegal slowdown. He granted a 10-day restraining order, effectively ordering them to stop.
Separately, the Port and other parties in the dispute announced at the hearing that they'll let longshoremen continue to hold two disputed jobs at Terminal 6 while a separate National Labor Relations Board proceeding advances.
Also at the hearing, former Gov. Ted Kulongoski told Simon that the parties could not reach a final agreement on the jobs. Simon had appointed Kulongoski "special master" to try to resolve the situation and called the parties to a hearing Tuesday morning. Simon thanked the former governor for his "energy, patience and creativity" during long negotiation sessions that often went past midnight.
The dispute centers on the equivalent of two jobs at Terminal 6, Oregon's biggest international cargo hub, where shipping containers are loaded and unloaded from large oceangoing vessels. For almost four decades, members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers have performed the work, which consists of plugging, unplugging and monitoring refrigerated containers known as reefers.
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