Court Decision Handed Down Against ILWU International President
A court in Washington state has handed down its verdict against highly respected International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) International President Robert McEllrath regarding a protest to stop a train carrying grain destined for the EGT grain terminal at the Port of Longview which was refusing to honor ILWU jurisdiction in September 2011.
The ILWU website reported that on September 28, ILWU International President Robert McEllrath was convicted of a misdemeanor offense in Longview, Washington, for “obstructing a train.”
The sentence was one day in jail and a $500 fine.
“Fighting for good jobs in America shouldn’t be a crime,” said McEllrath immediately following his arrest.
Before sentencing, McEllrath told the court he had “no regrets about leading men and women against corporate greed and helping them fight to protect middle class jobs in America.”
The three-day jury trial in Cowlitz County Court centered on a peaceful protest that took place in Longview Washington on September 7, 2011, when union members and supporters gathered to protest a train carrying grain destined for the EGT grain terminal at the Port of Longview which was refusing to honor ILWU jurisdiction.
Several months after the protest, the company agreed to settle the dispute and signed a contract with the ILWU in early February.
During the three day trial, a group of fifty supporters filled the courtroom.
Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) National Secretary Paddy Crumlin said union members across the world had stood firm with Big Bob throughout his trial.
"When Big Bob attended the MUA Quadrennial Conference earlier this year, we made it absolutely clear that we were behind him 100 per cent," said Mr Crumlin, who is also President of the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF).
"The MUA sent a delegation to Longview earlier this year in solidarity with our ILWU brothers and sisters.
"This case provides yet another reminder that unions across the world need to continue to work together to stop the war on workers."