Gov. Gregoire announces tentative settlement between EGT and ILWU
Longshore & Shipping News
From: Gov. Chris Gregoire’s office
For Immediate Release: January 23, 2012
Olympia, Washington State – Gov. Christine Gregoire today announced that the Export Grain Terminal (EGT) and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) reached a tentative settlement on pending legal issues surrounding labor disputes at EGT’s grain export facility in Longview.
“I asked EGT and ILWU to come together in a good faith effort to overcome their differences,”
“Both parties should be commended for their willingness to work together and compromise. This framework reflects considerable effort to put the interests of the Longview community and the entire Columbia River basin first. I am confident an agreement can be reached that will satisfy both parties and allow the new grain terminal to become fully operational.”
“We are pleased to announce that after a series of discussions convened by Governor Gregoire, the ILWU and EGT have reached a tentative settlement to resolve the pending legal matters between the parties and the Port of Longview,”
said EGT CEO Larry Clarke.
“While the parties are still working to finalize certain conditions over the next several days, we are optimistic we can resolve the dispute and get on with the business of operating the facility. From the beginning, we had two core goals – to operate this 21st Century facility safely and efficiently and to ensure the entire Longview Community shares in the economic benefits this facility will provide. We are optimistic this process will help us reach both of these objectives.”
“This is a win for the ILWU, EGT, and the Longview community,”
said ILWU President Robert McEllrath.
“I want to thank Governor Gregoire for her leadership in working with both parties to find common ground. The ILWU has eight decades of grain export experience in the Northwest, and we look forward to the opportunity to develop a positive working relationship with EGT.”
Source: Longshore & Shipping News
URGENT UPDATE Thu Jan 26: According to Longview Caravan, “Scab’s contract has officially been terminated. Pickets have been taken down. There is still NO contract! NO real answers! No backing down!”
UPDATE Fri Jan 27: The Port of Longview approved a settlement agreement with EGT and the ILWU settling unresolved legal issues between the parties. The settlement was approved by a unanimous vote of the ILWU membership. For details, see Longshore and Shipping News.
Longshore workers name Occupy Movement as crucial in settlement with EGT
Coordinated action by West Coast Occupys proves effective as ILWU Local 21 ratifies contract
Occupy the EGT
For Immediate Release: February 11, 2012
Longview, WA – On Friday [Feb 10th], members of the ILWU and the labor community named the Occupy Movement as key to the settlement reached Thursday between ILWU Local 21 and the Export Grain Terminal (EGT). The contract finally provides for the use of ILWU labor in the grain terminal at the Port of Longview.
After staging the December 12 port shutdowns in solidarity with Local 21, the West Coast Occupy Movement planned coordinated action together with labor allies for a land and water blockade of the EGT ship in Longview, should it attempt to use scab labor to load. Occupys in states where EGT’s parent company Bunge has its growth and operations were also planning actions against the company on the day of the arrival of the ship.
“This is a victory for Occupy in their involvement in forcing negotiations. Make no mistake – the solidarity and organization between the Occupy Movement and the Longshoremen won this contract,”
said Jack Mulcahy, ILWU officer with Local 8.
“The mobilization of the Occupy Movement across the country, particularly in Oakland, Portland, Seattle, and Longview were a critical element in bringing EGT to the bargaining table and forcing a settlement with ILWU local 21.”
“West Coast Occupys had already demonstrated their ability to stage such a blockade by shutting down ports along the West Coast on December 12th, as well as the Port of Oakland on November 2nd,”
said Anthony Leviege, ILWU Local 10 in Oakland. The Occupy Movement shut down ports in order to express solidarity with port truckers and Local 21, as well as responding to a nationally-coordinated eviction campaign against Occupy.
Negotiations progressed to the point where Longshore workers began loading the merchant vessel Full Sources on Tuesday.
“When any company ruptures jurisdiction it is a threat to the entire union. The union jobs wouldn’t be back in Longview if it weren’t for Occupy. It’s a win for the entire class of workers in the Occupy Movement in demonstrating their organizational skills,” said Leviege.
“It is clear that the port shutdowns on November 2nd and December 12th, and the impending mobilization in Longview, is what made EGT come to the table. When Governor Gregoire intervened a year ago nothing was settled – non-ILWU workers were still working in the port. It wasn’t until rank and file and Occupy planned a mass convergence to blockade the ship that EGT suddenly had the impetus to negotiate.”
said Clarence Thomas, an officer of ILWU Local 10.
“Labor can no longer win victories against the employers without the community. It must include a broad-based Movement. The strategy and tactics employed by the occupy Movement in conjunction with rank and file ILWU members confirm that the past militant traditions of the ILWU are still effective against the employers today.”
EGT itself made evident the company’s concern about Occupy’s role in the conflict in the January 27 settlement agreement:
“The ILWU Entities shall issue a written notice to The Daily News and the general public, including the Occupy Movement, informing them of this settlement and urging them to cease and desist from any actions[…].”
“The Occupy Movement and rank-and-file unionists both within and outside of our ranks have forced the company to settle, but this is not over,”
says Jess Kincaid of Occupy Portland.
“Occupy doesn’t sign contracts. We have not entered into any agreements with EGT, nor do we intend to do so. EGT and its parent company Bunge bribe the government for military escorts, use slave labor in Brazil and systematically avoid contributing anything to our social safety net in the US or abroad. There is no ethic here beyond putting money back in the pocket of the 1% at the cost of working people and the sustainability of the earth.”
“It was the brave action of members of Local 21 blocking the train tracks this past summer that inspired the solidarity of the Occupy Movement up and down the West Coast and around the country. It was not until Occupy joined together with Local 21 and its labor allies that the company returned to the table. Governor Gregoire did nothing but let EGT raid Longshore Jurisdiction until Occupy responded to the call for support,”
said Paul Nipper of Occupy Longview.
Source: Occupy the EGT
– Occupy Oakland Plans Monday Jan 23rd Support of Dock Workers Against Union-Busting Coast Guard
– Occupy Oakland Throng Closes Down Port, Disrupts Dowtown Transit
– Longshore Union Protests ‘Police Brutality’ as President Surrenders
– Longshore Workers Dump Scab Grain to Protect Jobs
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