Thursday, September 08, 2011

**UPDATED** HOSTAGE TAKING OF GUARDS BY UNION THUGS***Renta-Thugs & Longview Longshoreman Get Violent With Cops. Situation "Too Dangerous" for Cops.

WOULD YOU HIRE THIS MAN? Photo Credit Don Ryan, AP
UPDATE FROM KOIN:
Hundreds of Longshoremen stormed the Port of Longview early Thursday, overpowered and held security guards, damaged railroad cars, and dumped grain that is the center of a labor dispute, said Longview Police Chief Jim Duscha.

Six guards were held hostage for a couple of hours after 500 or more Longshoremen broke down gates about 4:30 a.m. and smashed windows in the guard shack, he said.

No one was hurt, and nobody has been arrested. Most of the protesters returned to their union hall after cutting brake lines and spilling grain from car at the EGT terminal, Duscha said.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union believes it has the right to work at the facility, but the company has hired a contractor that's staffing a workforce of other union laborers.

PREVIOUS POST WITH BACKGROUNDER IS BELOW:


See that guy with the Cowlitz County Sheriff's Deputy's hand at his neck? See him?

Would you want that guy working for you?

In a violent confrontation with cops, 19 of these guys were arrested yesterday while trying to block a train from going to a local company.

Four hundred protesters arrayed themselves along the tracks to stop the train from bringing in a load of grain. 

EGT and two locals of the Longview Longshoreman's union, ILWU, have been in a legal battle for months over the company choosing ANOTHER UNION to do their work loading and unloading rail cars bringing grain to the Port.

That's right: this legal battle in which a judge recently enjoined the Longshoreman from blocking trains to EGT is over the company hiring ANOTHER UNION to do the



work. They're trying to kill off the other union with EGT being collateral damage. It's insanity. Even though a federal judge recently enjoined them from blocking the freight to EGT, they came anyway and brought in reinforcements. 400 protesters, 40 cops.

From the Wall Street Journal here:
EGT says it sought an accommodation with the union during the construction phase of the terminal, but that talks foundered over a demand by the union for a surcharge to fund its pension plan and other obstacles. The company currently uses workers affiliated with local 701 of the Operating Engineers union, but does not have a collective bargaining agreement with the local, which is employed by an EGT subcontractor.
All summer long the Longshoreman's union has kept vigil and prevented grain shipments from entering the Port. From the WSJ:
In July, the ILWU blocked a previous train that was trying to deliver cargo to the new facility. Nearly 100 protesters, including some local ILWU leaders, were arrested after pickets tore through fencing at the facility to stop a Burlington Northern train. Union members also maintained a 24-hour vigil at the facility through the summer.
 Even the Obama NLRB thought the Longshoremen were out of line:

Those actions led the National Labor Relations Board to launch a formal complaint against ILWU locals 21 and 4, accusing union members of illegally blocking shipments to the new grain terminal and intimidating workers at the facility.


Yesterday afternoon the battle came to a head. After the clash with cops--some in riot gear--Cowlitz County Sheriff dashed off an angry letter (H/T The Columbian):

"We've danced this dance before. When our officers went in to make peaceful, lawful trespass arrests, they were rushed by a mob of hundreds of protesters who were resistive and throwing things at the officers" Nelson said.
"I have been meeting with local union leadership and business representatives for two months now. I was always assured that things would not get violent towards our police officers. I guess the protesters from out of town didn't get that message." Nelson said.
It was nothing short of a melee. From the Longview Daily News (here):

Nineteen union protesters were arrested and cited for second-degree trespassing, a misdemeanor. Three were arrested when a scuffle broke out with police, and 16 more were arrested when they refused to leave the tracks when the train started up again, Cowlitz County Sheriff Mark Nelson said. Deputies say they are also investigating alleged vandalism to the train after it stopped. The names of the arrested were not immediately available Wednesday night.
Photo Credit Don Ryan, AP
But even though the Sheriff got an assist from other law enforcement agencies the situation got too violent AND EVEN THE COPS HAD TO WITHDRAW. In his angry letter, Sheriff Nelson said the situation was even too dangerous for the guys with guns:





"Approximately 40 officers from the Sheriff's Office, Longview Police, Kelso Police, Washington State Patrol responded to a gathering of nearly 400 people at the rail entrance to Port of Longview Property. Where they were blocking railroad tracks."
"Deputies were attempting to address the group through public address announcements, telling the protesters that they were trespassing and had to leave. The announcements were shouted down by the protesting crowd. Three trespassers were arrested at that time before it became too dangerous for officer and they withdrew."

The union says EGT is contractually bound to hire the Longshoremen:
“The issue is that EGT is failing to honor its lease agreement to hire union longshore workers,” spokeswoman Jennifer Sargent said.
When I talk about this on the program today we hope to again bring in Rich Menenghelo of Fisher and Philips to answer this question. Check it out in the 11am hour and into the noon hour on the program today. If you miss it, check out the Taft Cast here.

Statement from Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office
"This was not like the peaceful protests we've seen in the past. The protesters today were loud, aggressive and assaulted my officers." Said Cowlitz County Sheriff Mark Nelson.
"We've danced this dance before. When our officers went in to make peaceful, lawful trespass arrests, they were rushed by a mob of hundreds of protesters who were resistive and throwing things at the officers" Nelson said.
"I have been meeting with local union leadership and business representatives for two months now. I was always assured that things would not get violent towards our police officers. I guess the protesters from out of town didn't get that message." Nelson said.
"I'm very concerned about our local folks, and have been since this thing started. There are people outside of our community that are pulling the strings here, and our neighbors are the ones getting hurt."
"The courts have tried to step in and give direction to these parties. Disregarding the law is not something any of us in this community can tolerate."
"The goal of law enforcement has not, and is not to move a train. We're cops, not engineers or conductors. Our goal is to enforce the law and arrest those who break the law; which in this case is trespass."
"Approximately 40 officers from the Sheriff's Office, Longview Police, Kelso Police, Washington State Patrol responded to a gathering of nearly 400 people at the rail entrance to Port of Longview Property. Where they were blocking railroad tracks."
"Deputies were attempting to address the group through public address announcements, telling the protesters that they were trespassing and had to leave. The announcements were shouted down by the protesting crowd. Three trespassers were arrested at that time before it became too dangerous for officer and they withdrew."
Later in the evening law enforcement made an additional 16 arrests for trespass.
At this time, deputies are investigating vandalism that occurred to the train after it was stopped by the protesters.


2 comments:

  1. One gang of union thugs protesting another gang of union thugs. Is this a great country, or what? And now the NLRB is getting into the act. Before this is over, we will probably see the SEIU thugs unloading rail cars at the terminals in Vancouver and Longview. On second thought, we may not. The SEIU thugs only get their hands dirty beating up innocent people, not in doing honest and real productive work.

    ReplyDelete
  2. One point not getting much mention in talks breaking down between EGT and the goons, the union was demanding an outrageous $20 per man hour to be contributed to the union pension fund. EGT head Larry Clarke said, “That is a significant figure. EGT did not create the multi-billion dollar shortfall in the ILW’s pension, and should not be responsible for filling that funding gap.”

    August OPB

    ReplyDelete