Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber said last week that a dispute over jobs at Portland’s
container terminal has been resolved.
Work involving plugging in and unplugging refrigerated containers will now be assigned to workers represented by the
International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Locals 8 and 40. The Port of
Portland and Local 48 International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) agreed to terms to transition this work from
representation by the IBEW to workers represented by ILWU.
resolution of this key dispute, we can keep Terminal 6 a competitive,
productive and internationally attractive container terminal,” said
the governor. "This agreement should provide assurance to
container companies and businesses around Oregon that the conflict over
this work will no longer be a factor in terminal operations.”
The ILWU said, "Gov. Kitzhaber’s announcement marks a step toward the resolution of one aspect of the ongoing issues that plague ICTSI, the Philippines-based global terminal operator that began its first venture in the United States in 2010 when it leased Terminal 6 from the Port of Portland."
Leal Sundet, Local 8 Longshoreman and ILWU Coast committeeman, commented, “The men and women of the ILWU appreciate the assignment of work as required by our Master Contract with PMA (Pacific Maritime Association) member company ICTSI and the PMA member carriers such as Hanjin. But in order to normalize things at Terminal 6, it’s incumbent on ICTSI to improve labor relations and negotiate reasonably with Hanjin to secure a fair terminal-use agreement.”
In October, the port said it was told by Hanjin that it would stop its weekly container service at Terminal 6 in January.
The ILWU said, "ICTSI inherited the Port’s Terminal Use Agreement with Hanjin when it took over operations at Terminal 6. That agreement expired a year ago, and negotiations on the terms of a new agreement have stalled over ICTSI’s insistence on charging Hanjin excessive service rates and eliminating the throughput arrangements Hanjin had with the port."
The union alleged that "ICTSI’s labor management model is authoritarian and intimidation-based. The company’s systematic use of employer complaints, legal claims and NLRB charges to threaten and control workers is without parallel historically among Pacific Maritime Association member companies. Worker morale at Terminal 6 is at an all time low."
Dane Jones, ILWU Local 40 business agent, said, "I really hope that ICTSI takes to heart the initiative of the governor and the message that it needs to find a way to improve morale with its Longshore and Clerk workforce."