Port Terminal Operator takes Victory Lap after
by Andy Giegerich
The group that operates the Port of Portland's lone container terminal is claiming victory after a federal board upheld a ruling calling for unions to operate more efficiently.
ICTSI Oregon, the company contracted by the port to run its Terminal 6 container operation, on Wednesday said the National Labor Relations Board upheld an administrative judge's ruling that ordered the International Longshore and Warehouse Union "to cease and desist from a variety of activities at Terminal 6 in Portland that violate federal labor laws."
ICTSI and ILWU had disputed whether the latter group had purposely engaged in slowdowns and work stoppages.
Specifically, the NLRB, in August 2013, ordered ILWU to "cease and desist from inducing and encouraging employees of ICTSI Oregon Inc. to withhold their services, engage in slowdowns and work stoppages, or interfere with the lawful and proper work assignments of other employee groups that perform services" at Terminal 6.
Elvis Ganda, ICTSI Oregon's CEO, called ILWU's campaign "orchestrated and illegal" in a release.
"A fully functioning, productive Terminal 6 is critical to the regional economy and benefits local businesses, importers, exporters, farmers and workers across various industries -- including rank-and-file ILWU longshoremen who have suffered a substantial loss of work as a result of their leaderships' action," he said.
An ILWU spokeswoman didn't immediately respond to a request for comments.
An efficient and productive T6 is seen as a necessity before port and ICTSI officials can make progress in attracting new container shipping services to Portland.
The ongoing labor strife at T6 is a major reason why the terminal's two biggest carriers -- South Korean-based Hanjin Shipping and Germany-based Hapag-Lloyd -- earlier this spring announced they would cease scheduling vessels to call upon T6. Hanjin alone accounted for nearly 80 percent of T6's total container volume last year.
In July, T6 received a call from an ocean-going ship for the first time since April when a vessel operated by Puyallup, Washington-based Westwood Shipping Lines arrived in Portland.
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