ILWU Members Say They'll Work Despite No New Contract

Dec 27, 2012

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union has decided to show up for work Thursday, despite grain terminal owners sticking fast to their last contract offer — which workers rejected. OPB's Kristian Foden-Vencil reports.

United Grain, Columbia Grain and Louis Dreyfuss notified the ILWU that owners would be implementing the terms of their final offer, 6 o'clock Thursday morning.

In a statement, grain owners spokesman Pat McCormick stressed that union members are welcome on the job, and that there's no lock out.

The ILWU issued its own statement in response, saying members will continue working, despite what it calls the "substandard provisions of the final offer".

Spokeswoman Jennifer Sargent said the union is disappointed owners won't continue to negotiate what she calls 'a fair agreement.'

Grain terminal owners issued a statement Monday saying the impasse is not about wages or benefits. They argue that the union has granted two competing terminals conditions favorable to the owners, such as allowing fewer workers to load ships.

Copyright 2012 Northwest Public Radio