Protest… 8 September 2011Posted by marisacat in 2012 Re Election, California / Pacific Coast, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter.
A Cowlitz County sheriff’s deputy grabs one of hundreds of longshoremen trying to block a grain train bound for an export facility in Longview, Wash. [Don Ryan / Associated Press]
From LAT report:
Hundreds of angry longshoremen stormed through a grain shipping terminal in Longview, Wash., early Thursday and held security guards at bay while descending on a disputed train full of grain, cutting brake lines and dumping cargo.
The predawn labor protests came after a clash with police Wednesday in which hundreds of longshoremen blocked railroad tracks near Vancouver, Wash., to prevent grain cargo from reaching an export terminal 45 miles farther west. In that protest, they far outnumbered officers, pelting police with rocks and spraying them with pepper spray, police said.
There have been no serious injuries, but 19 protesters were arrested on charges of trespassing during the initial protests Wednesday.
Police were not present during Thursday’s predawn action at the terminal, but they said six security guards were held inside a guard shack while protesters attacked the train, broke windows in the shack and pushed a private security vehicle into a ditch.
The eruptions cap a simmering summer of labor unrest at the new $200-million grain-shipping facility in southern Washington state, newly opened by Bunge North America subsidiary EGT, the first major grain export terminal built in the U.S. in the last two decades.
The ILWU has insisted it has the right to work at the facility, but EGT has hired a contractor, General Construction of Federal Way, Wash., which is employing members of another labor union.
The National Labor Relations Board intervened in late August, seeking a court order to end “violent and aggressive” labor actions, which it said included destroying EGT property and harassing and threatening employees of EGT and General Construction.
In one case, the labor board alleged, a protester dropped a trash bag full of manure from an airplane near an EGT building.
Of course I hope it spreads beyond an intra-mural union conflict…
At issue, so the report says, is the Longshoremen were being asked to work 12 hour days, with no overtime..