• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • In Labor Dispute, 500 Union Members Storm Port, Take Six Hostages

    Incidents of union violence rarely reach the level they did in Seattle, WA, Thursday morning. Upset the Port of Longview had hired contractors from a different union, 500 members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, brandishing baseball bats and crowbars, stormed the port and held six security guards hostage.

    [Longview police chief Jim] Duscha said tensions between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and EGT Terminal have run hot for the past few months after contract negotiations broke down.

    The ILWU 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.

    Thursday’s violence was first reported by Kelso radio station KLOG.

    “We’re not surprised,” Duscha said. “A lot of the protesters were telling us this in only the start.”

    One police sergeant was threatened with baseball bats and retreated, Duscha said. “One officer with hundreds of Longshoremen? He used the better part of discretion.”

    The train was the first grain shipment to arrive at Longview. It arrived Wednesday night after police arrested 19 demonstrators who tried to block the tracks. They were led by ILWU International President Robert McEllrath, who said they would return.

    The blockade appeared to defy a federal restraining order issued last week against the union after it was accused of assaults and death threats.

    Longshoremen elsewhere in the state walked out in a show of solidarity with the Longview mob. One worker had a telling complaint:

    “They want to phase out longshoremen,” said Steve Ritchie of the International Longshore & Warehouse Union in Everett. “They want to make everything automatic.”

    Posted in Scribe [slideshow_deploy]

    10 Responses to In Labor Dispute, 500 Union Members Storm Port, Take Six Hostages

    1. I guess this is Obama's army at work.

    2. Steve Vaughn says:

      Maybe it is time to declare International Longshore and Warehouse Union a terrorist group and get Homeland Security involved.

    3. nunya says:

      Yup sure is. God forbid these people charter their union to train them further into some of these automation processes and controllers. Nope, that would take away their grip of power.

      This act was criminal. If these thugs can act like mobsters and commit federal crimes and get away with it, then I guess the gloves are off and I can do what I want also.

      Obama, change you can believe in!

    4. monst0r says:

      And yet no one was charged with false imprisonment or kidnapping. Someone should start corruption proceedings against the DA there, this is a shocking abuse of legal authority.

    5. JTSR says:

      Funny, I didn't see anything about this on mainstream media????

    6. pma says:

      They didn't mention that the brake lines were slashed, and the grains were dumped. The police were pelted with rocks…………………..

    7. Dave M says:

      they can do what the hell they want under the law. When you bring violence to the table everything changes and it becomes a law issue. Your wasting your time and your basically becoming a criminal.

    8. mogar says:

      I hope arrests will be forthcoming. If I threatened an officer of the law with a deadly weapon I would expect to be prosecuted for it. Can't wait to see how that won't happen here.

    9. Henry Miller says:

      “They want to phase out longshoremen,” said Steve Ritchie of the International Longshore & Warehouse Union in Everett. “They want to make everything automatic.”

      And a hundred years ago they wanted to phase out buggy-whip makers.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.