Several grain terminals in the Pacific Northwest trying to negotiate a new contract with workers said Monday evening that they were rejecting the most recent offer from the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.
Monday evening, the public relations firm that has been representing the Pacific Northwest Grain Handlers, a group of four companies that operate export grain terminals on the Columbia River and Puget Sound, issued a statement that said “Columbia Grain, Louis Dreyfus Commodities and United Grain notified the union today that they were rejecting the union's most recent offer. Given that, these companies understand that the union will present the employers' last, best and final contract proposal to its membership for a vote on December 21 and 22.”
“These companies carefully considered the union's offer and concluded that it did not meet their needs because it would continue to leave them at a competitive disadvantage to EGT and KEC.” EGT (Export Grain Terminal) in Longview, Wash., and KEC (Kalama Export Co.) are covered by separate ILWU contracts.
The statement from the export terminals did not include a mention of TEMCO, a joint venture between Cargill and CHS which operates three terminals in Tacoma and Kalama, Wash., and Portland, Ore., and had been negotiating with the other three companies.
The Portland Oregonian
newspaper reported Monday that Cargill had “defected” from the other owners
also said the ILWU negotiating team was recommending that members vote against the grain handler’s offer.
ILWU members have been working without a contract since Sept. 29, while continuing negotiations with employers with the assistance of mediators from the U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.
said about a quarter of U.S. grain exports leave terminals on the Columbia River or Puget Sound
. - Chris Dupin