Union dock workers walked off the job at West Coast ports Friday to protest the misdemeanor conviction of longshore union president Bob McEllrath by a Cowlitz County jury.
Union officials could not confirm Saturday whether dock workers walked off the job at the Port of Kalama or the Port of Longview on Friday or Saturday. According to The Oregonian, dock workers left work at the Port of Portland’s container Terminal 6 and possibly other West Coast ports.
McEllrath, who is based in San Francisco, was arrested Sept. 7 in Longview and accused of leading hundreds of union supporters in blocking a grain train headed into the EGT grain terminal at the Port of Longview. On Friday, a jury found him guilty and sentenced him to one day in jail and $543 in fines and court fees.
The walkout occurred just as longshoremen and grain handlers in Portland, Vancouver, Seattle and Tacoma agreed to continue talks on a new labor agreement that expires today. The two grain terminals at the Port of Kalama and the EGT terminal at the Port of Longview are not included in the contract talks.