At the December 12 meeting, Port of Portland commissioners unanimously approved a four-year collective bargaining agreement between the Port and the marine security officers of International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), Local 28. These officers work at marine terminals 2, 4 and 6.
Reaching an agreement before the strike deadline in late November averted potential disruptions to the Port’s marine terminals. The agreement also resolved the last open contract of the Port’s eight bargaining units.
“We are very pleased that an agreement was reached and feel our contract proposal was not only fair but generous,” said Bill Wyatt, executive director for the Port of Portland. “The goal throughout the negotiations was to ensure a fair contract for our workers and minimize impacts to our customers.”
Over a year ago, the Port and the union entered into collective bargaining to replace the agreement scheduled to expire on June 30, 2011. After holding 10 bargaining sessions between June 2011 and March 2012, and three mediation sessions between May and October of 2012, the parties reached impasse and submitted Final Offers in late October.
Tentative agreement was reached on the evening of Saturday, November 24, during a six hour mediation session led by State Conciliator Bob Nightingale. The 25-member security force for three of the Port’s public marine terminals then ratified the agreement on December 4, which left it to Port Commissioners for final, formal approval.
A separate federal mediation process involving negotiations between the ILWU and the Pacific Northwest Grain Handlers Association is also ongoing. One of the six association members is a tenant at Terminal 5, but the Port has no involvement with those negotiations.