* TEMCO, ILWU agree to 5-year deal, to be signed March 9
* Contract covers 3 PNW terminals in Oregon and Washington
Feb 27 TEMCO, a joint venture of U.S.
agribusinesses Cargill and CHS Inc, and a dock workers union at
export terminals in the Pacific Northwest said on Wednesday they
have agreed to a five-year union contract to be signed and
implemented on March 9.
Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union
(ILWU) voted to ratify the deal, which covers three of nine
grain export facilities in the PNW. The three, all operated by
TEMCO, are in Portland, Oregon, and in Tacoma and Kalama in
The contract is subject to modification pending any final
contract agreement between the ILWU and the Pacific Northwest
Grain Elevator Operators, a coalition of PNW grain handlers that
includes TEMCO as well as United Grain Corp, Louis Dreyfus and
The two parties have been in stalemate for months over
work-rule changes sought by the companies to improve efficiency
but opposed by the ILWU as onerous give-backs designed to break
the union. TEMCO peeled away from the coalition to negotiate an
agreement with the union but remains part of the group.
Elevators in the PNW ship nearly half of U.S. wheat exports
and a quarter of other grain and oilseed exports every year. The
PNW is the most direct outlet for U.S. shipments to major
markets in Asia.
In other news, United Grain Corp on Wednesday locked out
ILWU workers from its Port of Vancouver grain terminal after
finding evidence that a union leader deliberately sabotaged
equipment. UGC plans to operate the terminal with management
personnel and replacement workers.