Crumlin Welcomes Tentative Settlement At Longview

MUA National Secretary and ITF President Paddy Crumlin has welcomed news of a tentative settlement of the long-running dispute between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and EGT at Longview in the US state of Washington.

Washington State Governor Chris Gregoire today announced that the ILWU and EGT had reached a "tentative settlement" on pending legal issues surrounding labor disputes at EGT's grain export facility in Longview.

Mr Crumlin, who is also chair of the ITF Dockers section, said that prior to today's announcement, MUA members had been placed on standby to immediately fly to Longview to provide support where necessary.

"ILWU President Bob McEllrath is to be congratulated for standing up for the best interests of his workers in the face of enormous pressure from a co-ordinated campaign against organised labour," Mr Crumlin said.

"This dispute once again highlights the importance of dockworkers solidarity and we'll continue to fight for fair working conditions for all workers."

Mr McEllwrath said in a statement: "This is a win for the ILWU, EGT, and the Longview community.

"I want to thank Governor Gregoire for her leadership in working with both parties to find common ground.

"The ILWU has eight decades of grain export experience in the Northwest, and we look forward to the opportunity to develop a positive working relationship with EGT."

Governor Gregoire said: "I asked EGT and ILWU to come together in a good faith effort to overcome their differences.

"Both parties should be commended for their willingness to work together and compromise.

"This framework reflects considerable effort to put the interests of the Longview community and the entire Columbia River basin first.

"I am confident an agreement can be reached that will satisfy both parties and allow the new grain terminal to become fully operational."

EGT CEO Larry Clarke said: "We are pleased to announce that after a series of discussions convened by Governor Gregoire, the ILWU and EGT have reached a tentative settlement to resolve the pending legal matters between the parties and the Port of Longview.

"While the parties are still working to finalize certain conditions over the next several days, we are optimistic we can resolve the dispute and get on with the business of operating the facility.

"From the beginning, we had two core goals - to operate this 21st Century facility safely and efficiently and to ensure the entire Longview Community shares in the economic benefits this facility will provide.

"We are optimistic this process will help us reach both of these objectives."