At the NLRB's request, a federal judge has granted a Preliminary Injunction to stop acts of picketing misconduct by two union locals at the Port of Longview, Washington, that have prevented a grain processing facility from operating since it attempted to open in July 2011.
The injunction was based on allegations that Locals 21 and 4 of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union engaged in picketing accompanied by violence and property damage and thereby interfered with the ability of trains to deliver grain intended to be processed and shipped from the $200 million facility, built and operated by EGT, LLC. More than 100 arrests have been made in relation to the picketing.
Judge Ronald B. Leighton of the Western District of Washington issued the Preliminary Injunction against both ILWU Locals late Thursday, responding to a request filed by Richard L. Ahearn, Regional Director of Region 19 in Seattle. Judge Leighton had issued a Temporary Restraining Order the previous week, and has scheduled a contempt hearing for Sept. 15.
Also, on Aug. 29, the region issued a complaint against the union locals alleging that their acts violated federal labor law. A hearing is scheduled on that complaint before an Administrative Law Judge on Oct. 11.
Acknowledging the severity of this conduct and the need for restraint, Judge Leighton tailored his Injunction so that EGT could receive deliveries and begin operations, the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway could deliver grain, and employees could proceed without being threatened or mistreated. The injunction will run until the National Labor Relations Board issues its final order in the administrative proceeding.
Helena Fiorianti of the NLRB’s Portland Sub-Regional Office investigated the unfair labor practice charges filed by EGT; John Fawley and Dan Sanders of the Seattle Regional Office represented the NLRB in the hearing before Judge Leighton.