A Cowlitz County jury Friday found longshore union President Robert McEllrath guilty of obstructing a train during last summer's labor dispute at the EGT grain terminal.

Jurors deliberated about an hour and 40 minutes before delivering the verdict.

"I have no regrets for leading my men and women against corporate greed. What's happening in this country against the middle class is wrong, and I have no regrets," McEllrath told District Court Judge Edward Putka.

Chief Criminal Deputy Michelle Shaffer declined comment Friday.

Putka sentenced McEllrath to one day in jail and 89 days suspended, plus $543 in fines and court costs.

McEllrath, a San Francisco resident with Clark County roots, is the international president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. He was the highest-ranking dockworker among hundreds of union supporters charged in connection with the dispute between Longshore Local 21 and EGT grain terminal at the Port of Longview.

Prosecutors argued that on Sept. 7, 2011, McEllrath directed a large crowd of dockworkers and their supporters to block the arrival of a grain train at the EGT dock at the port. Obstructing a train is a misdemeanor, and a federal judge had barred the union from disrupting trains or operations at EGT.

McEllrath maintained that the longshoremen were fighting for their jobs and exercising their legal right to demonstrate.

This is his second trial on the same charge. In June, the jury failed to reach a verdict.

Editor's note (Oct. 1): A previous version of this article reported an incorrect first name for Judge Edward Putka.

(30) comments

Valley Resident
Valley Resident

If he is so proud & making such a statement, which admits guilt to the judge, why didn't he just man up, plead guilty & not cost us anymore money? Oh I know, ilwu thinks they're excempt...which they are..from morals & integrity.

PoliticalFodder
PoliticalFodder

I don't know because I do not live in Cowlitz County or in Washington State but perhaps he did it to bring attention to the fact that a foreign company made a deal and did not keep up their part. It is my understanding the EGT got all kinds of breaks tax wise and got to build their grain operations on government owned land. In return they were supposed to hire locals which would have been union members from the ILWU.

PoliticalFodder
PoliticalFodder

Personally, I consider these men and women American heroes who are standing up for American jobs & workers rights. These rights were very hard won & those of us who are aware of the history of labor in the US & how the middle class was born in the US. This knowledge allows us to see an attack on working people when we see it. Valley Resident open your eyes working people world wide are being attacked & our resources are being stolen by unscrupulous people & immoral financial instruments.

PoliticalFodder
PoliticalFodder

We in Wisconsin stand in solidarity with the ILWU. We have recently had our own victories while Scotty's hands are tied. Our county workers, city workers and our school teachers have all just had contracts ratified and passed by the appropriate government authorities. This takes many of the contracts through 2015, we're not going anywhere. Walker won one battle we will win the war. We are awaiting the arrest of Walker and his minions, it's coming, the are criminals.

amandambn
amandambn

Bob is a hero to working class people everywhere! Thank you! And thank you to all the brave men and women of the ILWU for standing up for what is theirs! You should all be proud of yourselves!

confuzed
confuzed

That would be common sense that would not apply with the union its all about the collecting and little to do with the bargining there will be no expense large enough for that group.

Lance Johnson
Lance Johnson

Was it really worth the taxpayers money to try this guy twice? And the outcome is $543 and one day in jail. Sounds like a vendetta to me.

PoliticalFodder
PoliticalFodder

Was it Cesar Chavez? Maybe it was Dorothy Day
Some will say Dr. King or Gandhi set them on their way
No matter who your mentors are it's pretty plain to see
That, if you've been to jail for justice, you're in good company

Have you been to jail for justice? I want to shake your hand
Cause sitting in and lyin' down are ways to take a stand
Have you sung a song for freedom? or marched that picket line?
Have you been to jail for justice? Then you're a friend of mine

PoliticalFodder
PoliticalFodder

Laws were made by people, and people can be wrong
Once unions were against the law, but slavery was fine
Women were denied the vote and children worked the mine
The more you study history the less you can deny it
A rotten law stays on the books til folks like us defy it

The law's supposed to serve us, and so are the police
And when the system fails, it's up to us to speak our peace
It takes eternal vigilancefor justice to prevail
So get courage from your convictions
Let them haul you off to jail!

Queen of the South
Queen of the South

Valley Resident Bob is a real hero of labor how many people would go to jail for the rights of wroking men and women to keep there UNION jobs. Get a grip don;t hate on the Longshore Worker from the ILA WE ARE ONE.

unionbredunionfed
unionbredunionfed

I bet you were just chompin at the bit to get your two cents in weren't you Valley?

Glad to know Sue Baur wasted SIX DAYS of court over one night in jail and a $500 fine. What if every case was handled like this?? What if every person charged with a misdimeanor went to court for six days? Cowlitz County would go broke....proves she had an agenda and wanted a trophy. There it is... all of one night in jail and five hundred bucks. lol

Roudyruss
Roudyruss

So he will get a 200 dollar fine and thats it while the tax payer has paid thousands for the trial. Why wasnt he charged with a felony

cakemaker2000
cakemaker2000

he should have gotten a harsher sentence. And the rest of the ILWU should have all been tossed in jail!

Valley Resident
Valley Resident

I know of more that feel this way, including ilwu families I know, than those that support this mentality. When they started messing with another union's jobs & other innocent folks (train union, truck drivers, other's working near the terminal...) they lost so much community support for their own agenda, that once had support. The community supports them so much that their signs bought in Clark county are nearly non existent in town now.

Cheney119er
Cheney119er

Because he's innocent until he's proven guilty. Some things are worth fighting for.

DW111
DW111

He's against corporate greed. His union thugs average yearly wages are more than $100,000. I really am in the wrong business. Well finally someone is held accountable for their actions, albeit it is not much more than a slap on the wrist. I wonder what would happen to me if I blocked trains, trespassed, vandalized and so forth.

GregN
GregN

I like how it's not a big deal for corporate greed to e ist if they are the ones making a profit on it! When the other union was working they were all against EGT and the "evil multi-nayional corporation" but now that hey get heir checks signed by them, everything is all good! HYPOCRITES!!!!! I say down with the "evil multi-national union!" (and so do A LOT of my fellow community members)

RC
RC

Pleeze...I have a journeymans card in my trade and worked union for years. Bloated complacency and the stench of entitlement is what you get for your money. I have gone on to medical school and established two successful businesses which I support my family on.
These unions/people that continue to extort more and miore from businesses they are too inept to create themselves (proven by the fact they are workers and not "evil" owners) should get out there and swing with the big boys. Boo Hoo!

MyBodyIsATemple
MyBodyIsATemple

why when someone stands up for what we ALL want, which is to have a good wage, safe work conitions and to stop corporate greed do we not stand behind them? i fully support the ilwu and all who want a more equalization of unreal profits by large corporations like the food companies including their shipping operations. its either stand up and take action or roll over and settle for less and less whle big corps set record detting profits. Im proud of bob.

Valley Resident
Valley Resident

They had support of nearly the entire community until they turned violent, threatening & interfering with jobs unrelated to their fight with EGT. Their right to. PEACEFUL protest turned into "you have the right to remain silent..." Which then they lost so much respect for their fight & then you add Stavas's famous tirade, and the radio interview that was a joke...they became a wart on Cowlitz co.

DevilsAdvocate
DevilsAdvocate

Justice is just a word that gets in the way when you have people on both sides with huge egos making the calls - most likely for their own agendas.

confuzed
confuzed

GregN
It is all about the collecting for the Unions they have a overhead just like the greedy corporations but the whine and play the middle class card and try and fool people.
In fact if you read into the PoliticalFodder they will play any card @ any expense to get where they are trying to get. You saw that when 701 stuck there nose into the revenue stream.You wonder where BOB would be if he was charged with a felony? How would that TWIC card play out? One more slap in the face for the country

seemlessweb
seemlessweb

I find it interesting how often anti-union posts are rambling and incoherent while union-supportive comments attempt to make arguments based on history and by appealing to positive themes of solidarity and brotherhood/sisterhood. You really have to work very hard not to see which of the two ideological perspectives is vile and poisonous. I have great faith that the American people can figure these issues out - just as they are slowly but surely figuring out this election. Bob is a champion.

ahamay13
ahamay13

It amazes me that you suggest the "Anti-Union" comments as incoherent, but at the same time don't see how comparing this current situation to the coal mines of the earily 1900's or any other "historical" example only confuses the bewilderd. The EGT situation came down to the self proclaimed dominance of one union over another. On the heels of the EGT situation was the IBEW situation at terminal 6 in Portland. You honestly believe these people have our interests at heart?

Klearcreek
Klearcreek

The tax base of every community depends on secure income earned ,and paid for by ,family wage jobs! Bob McEllrath stood up for Cowlitz County,when he exercised his 1st Amendment Righ.Ets.Just like ,Henry Ford,Bob knows that to have a stable economy 'workers have to earn enough to buy the products they produce. EGT just wanted more money to take back to ASIA,so they tried to pull a fast one on the community.

unionbredunionfed
unionbredunionfed

Take a look at how much is donated into this community every month by the ILWU. Take a look. Look around. Soak it in.....things you didn't even know existed around here are being financially supported by your local union thugs. Salvation Army, Red Cross, charity toy drives for local kids from 21 members at christmas, serve dinner at the Community House every fifth Tuesday, help setting up/tearing down the Salvation Army Christmas Center, helping the Salvation Army deliver meals... want more?

unionbredunionfed
unionbredunionfed

Donations of over $1000 a piece towards R.I.F. (Reading Is Fundamental....free books for local kids) and the Progress Center of Cowlitz County, donations towards a local little girl with a brain tumor, the Outreach Program which gives easily preparable meals to low-income children, over $1000 a piece towards both the Kelso and Western ( ? ) baseball teams to cover expenses to fly to the world series.... and this is all within the last year. Support your local thugs....they support you.

unionbredunionfed
unionbredunionfed

BTW....the ILWU/IBEW situation at T6 in Portland was not over two unions' jurisdiction, it was over the fact that ICTSI was obligated to give those jobs to Local 4 as per their contract. PMA (Pacific Maritime Association), whom ICTSI is a PART of, even told ICTSI they were in the wrong. The arbitrator rules in FAVOR of the ILWU, PMA actually AGREED with the ruling, and ICTSI went rogue, forcing PMA to denounce the actions of ICTSI. Know your facts.

unionbredunionfed
unionbredunionfed

*Local 8

unionbredunionfed
unionbredunionfed

No one? : (

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