United Grain facility halts operation, cites harassment

State grain inspectors refuse to enter building

By The Columbian, July 23, 2014

The United Grain Co. export facility in Vancouver has stopped operating because state grain inspectors refuse to enter the facility, citing harassment from longshore union pickets, the Capital Press reported Wednesday.

 

United Grain Co. locked out the International Longshore and Warehouse Union from its Vancouver facility in February 2013 as part of a labor contract disagreement, which resulted in picketing activity at the site’s entrance. The terminal has continued to operate with company managers and non-union employees.

 

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee directed state troopers to provide an escort past the longshoremen’s picket lines in October 2013. Citing a lack of progress in labor talks between ILWU and several Northwest grain handlers, Inslee discontinued those escorts, which caused state Department of Agriculture inspectors to stop entering the United Grain facility on July 7, the Capital Press reported.

 

The newspaper was unable to reach a spokesperson for ILWU as of press time.

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