A new, $200 million grain terminal in Longview, Washington is the center of "the most intense labor event that I can remember" (Cowlitz County Sheriff Mark Nelson).
International conglomerate EGT development is digging in, suing the Port of Longview in an effort to exempt their newly constructed grain facility from the ILWU Local 21 contract for all longshore work on Port property.
Last Monday, about 100 dock workers and union leaders were arrested after tearing down a chain-link fence and swarming the EFT grain facility. Three days later, hundreds blocked a train from delivering grain to the facility. Burlington Northern Sante Fe has halted train traffic to the terminal.
ILWU 21 President Dan Coffman said to Longview's Daily News: “We’re all together. We’re all going to jail as a union.”
Taxpayers, of course, subsidized the grain terminal. Why? to create good jobs in a county where unemployment is hovering around 13%. Not only is EGT attempting an end around on the union, it is not even using local labor, importing most of its workers from out of state low-wage communities. That's right. 13% unemployment, and they are importing workers.