ILWU formally backs Millennium coal project ahead of public hearings

2013-08-15T19:30:00Z 2013-09-17T21:06:23Z ILWU formally backs Millennium coal project ahead of public hearingsBy Erik Olson / The Daily News Longview Daily News
August 15, 2013 7:30 pm  • 

Millennium Bulk Terminals officials said Thursday they will hire a stevedoring company and longshore workers at their proposed coal dock west of Longview.

Also on Thursday, officials from Millennium and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union jointly announced the union’s formal support for the proposed terminal, which Millennium estimates will support 135 full-time, family wage jobs.

“We’ve worked up close with Millennium for the past two years, and we’re confident in the company’s commitment to be a high-road employer and a positive influence in our community,” the ILWU’s Longview-based Local 21 President Jake Whiteside said in a written statement.

While ILWU officials have spoken favorably of coal docks for the past few years, this latest announcement solidifies political support from labor as the first public hearings on the Millennium project are scheduled to begin next month. In April, Millennium officials announced they would hire Cowlitz County trade union members to build their $643 million terminal, which would support more than 2,000 jobs during construction.

Whiteside said he plans to bring a big contingent of union dock workers to the Sept. 17 hearing at the Cowlitz Expo Center in Longview. Cowlitz County, state and federal regulators are holding five hearings statewide to determine the scope of the environmental review of the Millennium project.

Thousands of people are expected to show up at the hearings, and environmental groups have mounted a massive campaign against West Coast coal exports.

The coal industry suffered a major blow last month when regulators announced the scope of study for the proposed Gateway Pacific coal terminal in Whatcom County. The state Department of Ecology said it will conduct a massive environmental study, including the impacts of increased train traffic and greenhouse gas emissions from coal burning in Asia.

The Millennium project is separate, but industry groups say they’re worried the proposed Longview terminal may face similar hurdles.

The 95-day comment period for scoping the Millennium project begins Friday (Aug. 16) and ends Nov. 18. Regulators will review comments online, through the mail and verbally to determine what factors should be considered for the terminal’s environmental impact statement.

Copyright 2015 Longview Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(26) Comments

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    BTSOOM - August 15, 2013 7:46 pm
    Well that's a real shocker.
  2. panzer
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    panzer - August 15, 2013 9:32 pm
    No surprise here. A few risky, filthy ILWU jobs vs. fouling the community's water, air, and health is no problem...? This is a bad deal for the port, community health and better businesses. Sorry I supported these self-serving yahoos in the port face-off last year. They just lost my respect.
  3. Diane Dick
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    Diane Dick - August 15, 2013 10:13 pm
    Many people in this community are losing their right to free speech in this community thanks to the oppressive tactics of the unions and big business. Already hearing stories about workers told to keep their mouths shuts and opinions on the coal terminal to themselves. There are businesses afraid to publicly admit they don't want coal here. When a foundation of our democratic governance is denied to any segment of a community we are all diminished.
  4. Stalding
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    Stalding - August 16, 2013 5:28 am
    Wow ! Great for the Cowlitz county area. The coal terminal will put alot of people back to work for a long time. Perhaps new business will open in the area and exsistiing businesses will be able to round out their staff and expand. Has anyone done a study on the local impact that one (1) longshore job has on the community? I'm sure it is at least 2-2.5 jobs on the economy. That would mean 135 longshore jobs times 2.5 would equal about 335 jobs on the local economy. GREAT ! BJS
  5. gimpy
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    gimpy - August 16, 2013 6:08 am
    The Millennium project should get the same study as the Bellingham facility from the agencies doing the EIS. To do a lesser review here would be a slap in the face of everyone in Southwest Washington. Our citizens deserve the same protections and we will fight for them. As for the ILWU support, this is just making it official, we've known for some time that they were on board with this sad excuse of a project. Some people can't see the misery the future holds because of the "jobs" promises.
  6. See the Light
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    See the Light - August 16, 2013 6:28 am
    Next TDN news day will have ILWU VERY formally backs Millennium - then VERY VERY formally back Millennium! How ridiculous can you get.
  7. Quit Yer Bitchen
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    Quit Yer Bitchen - August 16, 2013 6:48 am
    Build it and they will come.....
  8. Skoobie
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    Skoobie - August 16, 2013 9:20 am
    I know what you mean Diane. Back when the ILWU was picketing here at the port I heard multiple stories of business owners being strong-armed into putting "I Support The ILWU" signs in their windows. I personally know two business owners in town (wont say their names here) who ILWU members tried to bully into supporting them. One even had a ILWU plant in the establishment so when he refused to put the sign in his window the 'customer' OVERHEARD (amazingly) the conversation and threw a huge stink.
  9. Skoobie
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    Skoobie - August 16, 2013 9:22 am
    ...continued...about not supporting a business who didn't support the ILWU and stormed out. What little respect I DID have the the ILWU went out the window after all the crud they pulled during that picket.
  10. Diane Dick
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    Diane Dick - August 16, 2013 9:24 am
    How many ILWU actually own homes and live in this county? If like the Port workers maybe third, so no guarantee that money will be spent here. As for construction jobs I wouldn't be ordering a new 4X4. According to Millennium's website construction will create 1350 jobs for a total wage cost of $70 million. That averages to about $51k per job and at union wages may be a little over a half year of work. And no one can say those workers will be county residents or the money will be spent here.
  11. Diane Dick
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    Diane Dick - August 16, 2013 9:30 am
    My guess is the unnamed stevedoring company is SSA Marine, which is the same outfit behind the proposed Gateway Pacific coal terminal at Cherry Point. SSA Marine is owned 51% by Goldman Sachs. Our community will get crumbs from this project and be left to live with generations of damage.
  12. Diane Dick
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    Diane Dick - August 16, 2013 11:34 am
    The corporations know exactly what they're doing and union leadership is playing right into their hands. What better way to break up a union than cut off their grassroots community support? Union leadership has underestimated community animosity for the coal terminal and disregarded quality of life issues for their own rank and file. They could have waited to see if the terminal got approval. Now come the next contentious labor contract the corporate suits will be cashing in.
  13. gimpy
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    gimpy - August 16, 2013 3:44 pm
    Everybody just relax. Millennium is creating these headlines in a desperate attempt to distract us from the fact that by August 30th, they have to come up with $71 MILLION dollars to complete the deal on the Decker Mine. The judge said "no more extensions" so as they say in Jerry McGuire, "Show me the money!" The ILWU ought to be saying that, too, instead of giving them free publicity by signing a meaningless contract.
  14. BTSOOM
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    BTSOOM - August 16, 2013 5:00 pm
    Will the " THE ILWU SUPPORTS MILLENIUM COAL " signs now be posted next to the" I SUPPORT THE ILWU " signs. Will the same tactics be used to " influence " local business's to display them?
  15. Valley Resident
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    Valley Resident - August 16, 2013 5:48 pm
    Alot of people back to work? You mean more work for ilwu, the union that spends little in cowlitz co.
  16. DW111
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    DW111 - August 21, 2013 11:47 am
    I know, for of all of you that oppose Millennium and are worried about pollution(Diane), why don't you advocate getting rid of the biggest polluters in the county. Let's shut down Weyerhaeuser, Kapstone, NorPac, and all of the industry around here so we can have a pristine planet and save the trees, the spotted owls, and the marbled murrelet. While I don't support the past actions of the ILWU, I do support having good paying jobs, and being sensible environmental stewards. I know people that have moved to Cowblitz county because they can't get their cars through emissions checks in Clark county. So now they drive farther in cars that are not as "clean" as they can be just so they don't have to buy another car. Sounds like a lot of you(Diane)are advocating shutting down/preventing good paying jobs at the low risk of some enviro impact.
  17. Diane Dick
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    Diane Dick - August 21, 2013 1:42 pm
    DW- Am glad you support good paying jobs and being sensible environmental stewards. I do too and I don't know of anyone opposing the coal terminal who would disagree with you. If current industry can further clean up their acts they should do so. I don't think it's possible to return to pristine conditions, even if we could agree what that was. But just because some people are jerks about polluting our local environment doesn't mean we have to allow more to. Coal export is an overall negative.
  18. DW111
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    DW111 - August 21, 2013 8:16 pm
    Diane, please explain in detail how coal is an "overall negative".
  19. Diane Dick
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    Diane Dick - August 21, 2013 10:26 pm
    Monday, August 26, 6:30 pm, Cowlitz PUD, Pre-hearing Workshop. Be there, listen, learn, ask questions. Thanks for asking.
  20. DW111
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    DW111 - August 22, 2013 10:56 am
    Gotta work, just answer the question.
  21. Lenny F
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    Lenny F - August 22, 2013 2:41 pm
    As I did, and after they used us, they tossed us like an old pair of underwear. No surprise here, they are just as bad as the corporate masters, more money, more money, more money, nothing else matters but their money.
  22. Lenny F
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    Lenny F - August 22, 2013 2:45 pm
    Why would anyone WANT to move their family here, start a business here with a coal port here? *16, 8 mile trains roaring through town leaving coal dust along the way? I don't think so. I know that Coal is coming here whether we like it or not, that is why I will leave and I am sure many others will transplant their families elsewhere, Maybe they should merge the schools because with the coal port coming there will certainly be less students.
  23. Lenny F
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    Lenny F - August 22, 2013 2:47 pm
    DW I don't believe coal is sensible
  24. Lenny F
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    Lenny F - August 22, 2013 2:48 pm
  25. Diane Dick
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    Diane Dick - August 22, 2013 4:42 pm
    DW-I know you're a prolific reader of TDN and the comments so I expect you've heard most of the arguments. You also know how short the comment space is. The bad things about the coal terminal would take up several pages and one way or another will negatively affect most people who live here and in communities all the way back to the mines. The good things are maybe 120 ILWU jobs. Send someone to the meeting to pick up info or read up here on the issues-
  26. NP_Sparky
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    NP_Sparky - August 25, 2013 4:42 pm
    It doesn't mater what they are exporting at this new proposed terminal, in my mind it's more about the trains. Not fast moving dust blowing trains, but slow moving, traffic plugging trains.

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