By Erik Olson, February 27, 2013, Longview Daily News
Union dock workers announced Wednesday they have reached agreement on a new five-year contract with the owners of a Port of Kalama grain terminal.
Neither the International Longshore and Warehouse Union or Temco, a joint venture between grain and energy companies Cargill Inc. and CHS Inc., would discuss the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, which also includes Temco terminals in Portland and Tacoma.
During negotiations, union longshoremen have continued to work at Temco under the terms of a previous contract which expired in September of 2012. The Kalama terminal was originally not part of the negotiations, but was brought into play after Temco officials decided to seek their own union agreement independent of any talks being conducted by other Pacific Northwest terminal operators.
The announcement of the contract agreement comes on the same day that United Grain Corporation is locking out the ILWU at its Port of Vancouver grain terminal, alleging that a union officer had vandalized the facility.
The negotiations have centered around the ILWU’s contract with the EGT grain terminal at the Port of Longview, which was signed a year ago following a six-month labor dispute. Grain companies have said they are seeking an agreement similar to EGT’s and the one the union has in place at Kalama Export, the Port of Kalama’s largest grain terminal.