Follow us:

Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

August 26, 2014 at 10:48 AM

Port of Vancouver’s 18-month labor fight is officially over

After an 18-month lockout, picket lines around the Port of Vancouver and a political tussle over whether the government should help run the picket lines to inspect grain, longshore workers will head back to work on Wednesday.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) ratified a new union contract with United Grain Corp. (UGC),  according to a press statement by the union. The new contract, which will run through May 2018, included changes to work rules and increases wages.

The agreement ends a contentious standoff that drew in state legislators and the governor’s office over whether the state Highway Patrol should escort grain inspectors past the picket lines so non-union workers could load boats.

“Bargaining was difficult, but in the end, both sides compromised significantly from their original positions, resulting in a workable collective bargaining agreement that preserves the work of the ILWU-represented workforce and fosters stability for the export grain industry,” Jennifer Sargent, spokeswoman for the union, said in the statement.

UGC had sought changes in work rules to make the contract more competitive against similar contracts in the industry, company spokesman Pat McCormick said last month.

Since the tentative agreement was reached on Aug. 11, grain inspectors were able to get back into the port, which has allowed the approximately 17 million bushels of grain scheduled to move in August to get onto ships.

“Shipments have been moving normally,” McCormick said this morning.

Comments | More in Politics Northwest | Topics: agriculture, labor support, united grain corporation

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►