West Coast ports resolve strikes

| November 27, 2012
The Port of Oakland is the fourth largest container port in the country.

Oregon’s Port of Portland narrowly averted a strike Saturday after reaching agreement with its security officers and California’s Port of Oakland resumed operations Nov. 20 after a service worker strike the previous day.

Portland port officials announced a tentative contract agreement with its 25-member marine terminal security force 12 hours before a strike that would have shut down the port’s marine terminals 2, 4 and 6.

Port Executive Director Bill Wyatt said the next step is for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 28 to vote on the agreement. If ratified, port commissioners formally will review the new contract for approval, which he described “not only fair but generous.”

The union said the dispute had been over possible outsourcing of security jobs. Gov. John Kitzhaber’s office and a state conciliator became involved in negotiations Saturday, Nov. 24.

On Nov. 20, Oakland port representatives and Service Employees International Union Local 1021 agreed to return contract resolution. A strike by the union of electricians, security, maintenance and custodial workers resulted in the closing of all terminals and truckers unable to pick up loads.

SEIU said the strike was to protest what it alleges are unfair labor practices. Port officials and the union have fact-finding hearings set for Nov. 30 and Dec. 3.