Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Portland Security Contract Ratified

The Port of Portland Commission has unanimously approved a four-year collective bargaining agreement between the port and the marine security officers of International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 28, officially bringing an end to the possibility of a strike.

Local 28 represents 25 officers who work at marine terminals 2, 4 and 6; it reached a tentative agreement with the port just hours before a strike deadline in late November, and then ratified the agreement Dec. 4.

It was over a year and a half ago that the port and the union entered into collective bargaining to replace the agreement that was to expire on June 30, 2011. After holding 10 bargaining sessions between June 2011 and March 2012, and three mediation sessions between May and October of 2012, the parties reached impasse and submitted their final offers in late October.

A tentative agreement was reached on the evening of Nov. 24, during a six-hour mediation session led by State Conciliator Bob Nightingale.

“The goal throughout the negotiations was to ensure a fair contract for our workers and minimize impacts to our customers,” Port of Portland Executive Director Bill Wyatt said in a prepared statement.
The new contract covers wages, benefits and working conditions and prevents the outsourcing of jobs at two of the port’s three marine terminals, according to the union. Although it covers four years, the contract’s retroactive to the end of the previous pact, meaning it expires at the end of June 2015.

A separate federal mediation process involving negotiations between the ILWU and the Pacific Northwest Grain Handlers Association is also ongoing. One of the six association members is a tenant at Terminal 5, but the port is not involved in those negotiations.