Oregon and Washington Longshoremen Bosses Cited for Picketing


International Longshore and Warehouse Union bosses continue to ignore safety and flaunt court orders to cease picketing grain barges on the Columbia and Snake Rivers, threatening barge workers who only want to do their jobs.  Mateusz Perkowski has the story in the Capital Press Online.


Mateusz Perkowski/Capital Press Barges owned by Tidewater Barge Lines are moored on the Columbia River near Hayden Island in Portland, Ore. – See more at: http://www.capitalpress.com/article/20131101/ARTICLE/131109990#sthash.FBIZ1ZOh.dpuf

 A federal judge has sanctioned the longshoremen’s union for ignoring an order to stop picketing grain barges on the Columbia and Snake Rivers. The International Longshore and Warehouse Union has been cited for contempt of court.

The longshoremen’s union has been cited for contempt of court for ignoring a ruling to stop picketing grain barges.

On Oct. 31, a federal judge found that there is “clear and convincing evidence” that the International Longshore and Warehouse Union breached an earlier injunction.

U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken had previously ordered ILWU to stop interfering with Tidewater Barge Lines because it’s a neutral party in the union’s labor dispute with grain exporters.

The National Labor Relations Board recently complained to the judge that longshoremen have paid the injunction no heed.

The longshoremen’s union has been in a dispute with several grain handlers since last year, when a labor contract between the parties expired.

Earlier this year, longshoremen were locked out of export facilities in Portland, Ore., and Vancouver, Wash., which prompted them to picket the sites.

Picketers have shouted and cursed at the tug boats and demanded that they turn around, confronting them with six or seven picket boats — up from two or three picket boats before the injunction, the agency said.

“This confrontational unlawful picketing and coercive conduct shows no sign of abatement,” an NLRB court document said. “In fact, respondents appear to have become emboldened by the court’s order, rather than chastened by it.”

The NLRB asked Aiken to hold the longshoremen’s union in contempt of court, which could involve hefty fines against the ILWU.