Last week, National Labor Relations Board regional director Ronald Hooks filed a motion in federal court asking the judge to find the International Longshore and Warehouse Union in contempt for continuing an unlawful work slowdown at the Port of Portland. The motion contends that the union has repeatedly ignored a 2012 court order directing the ILWU to end the work slowdowns at Terminal 6. The motion also argues that the judge should fine the ILWU $25,000, as well as continuing fines until the slowdown stops.
The ILWU has been at odds with ICTSI Oregon, the terminal operator for the Port of Portland, since 2010. The major dispute involves whether members of the electrical workers union or the longshoremen will be assigned the task of plugging and unpluggin power cords on “reefers.” The ILWU was given the work last December, but productivity levels have declined markedly. ILWU workers have reportedly showed up late for work, operated cranes slowly, and walked off the job.
A hearing with the judge will take place soon. We will be watching this story closely, so stay tuned.