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Rail News: Labor

Portland port, union agreement temporarily solves work dispute


Earlier this week, the Port of Portland, Ore., International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and Terminal 6 operator ICTSI Oregon. Inc. reached an agreement that enables International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU)-represented workers to perform disputed tasks historically performed by IBEW-represented port employees until the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) rules on disputed work jurisdiction.

As part of the interim agreement, IBEW electricians agreed to “stand down” and avoid any disputes with the ILWU at the container facility while the work jurisdiction issue is considered by the NLRB, port officials said in a prepared statement.

Work performed by longshoremen at the port has slowed recently because of a dispute between the IBEW and ILWU as to whether electricians or longshoremen should plug and unplug refrigerated containers at Terminal 6.

“We are optimistic that this represents a positive first step in resolving the ongoing issues that have taken place at the terminal,” said Sam Ruda, the port’s chief commercial officer.

The Port of Portland’s marine terminals are served by BNSF Railway Co. and Union Pacific Railroad.

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More News from 7/6/2012