Tuesday, October 13, 2015

ILWU Appeals NLRB Ruling

By Mark Edward Nero

The International Longshore & Warehouse Union has officially appealed a ruling by the National Labor Relations Board ordering the union and two locals to not engage in activities at a Port of Portland container terminal that violate federal labor laws.

The banned activities cited by the NLRB include engaging in slowdowns and work stoppages, and using threats and coercion to disrupt the operations of ICTSI Oregon, which operates Portland’s Terminal 6. On Oct. 1, the ILWU and locals 8 and 40 filed a petition with the US Court of Appeals asking it to review the labor board’s late-September decision, which affirms an earlier decision issued by Administrative Law Judge William Schmidt.

Portland’s labor issues are related to a jurisdiction battle between ICTSI, the ILWU and another union, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, which date back to June 2012. The two unions fought over disputed jobs involving the plugging/unplugging and monitoring of refrigerated containers at Terminal 6.

Since then, workers have walked off the job numerous times due to what the longshore union calls “multiple pay disputes and associated grievances” associated with the “mismanagement” of the terminal.

Elvis Ganda, CEO of ICTSI Oregon said ICTSI is gratified by the NLRB’s September ruling, which rejected the ILWU’s legal arguments.

“Hopefully, this decision will bring us one step closer to ending the ILWU’s orchestrated and illegal campaign to undermine the success of Terminal 6, and to convincing the shipping companies to return to the Port of Portland,” Ganda said in a statement. “A fully functioning, productive Terminal 6 is critical to the regional economy and benefits local businesses, importers, exporters, farmers and workers across various industries – including rank-and-file ILWU longshoremen who have suffered a substantial loss of work as a result of their leaderships’ actions.”