Led by ILWU International President Robert McEllrath, the union longshoremen defied a federal restraining order, a result of accusations of assaults and death threats.
International Longshore and Warehouse Union International President Robert McEllrath is grabbed by police (AP Photo/Don Ryan)
LONGVIEW, Wash. (AP) — Hundreds of Longshoremen stormed the Port of Longview early Thursday, overpowered and held security guards, damaged railroad cars, and dumped grain that is the center of a labor dispute, said Longview Police Chief Jim Duscha.
Six guards were held hostage for a couple of hours after 500 or more Longshoremen broke down gates about 4:30 a.m. and smashed windows in the guard shack, he said.
No one was hurt, and nobody has been arrested. Most of the protesters returned to their union hall after cutting brake lines and spilling grain from car at the EGT terminal, Duscha said.
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union believes it has the right to work at the facility, but the company has hired a contractor that’s staffing a workforce of other union laborers.
Police from several agencies in southwest Washington, the Washington State Patrol and Burlington Northern Santa Fe responded to the violence to secure the scene that followed a demonstration Wednesday.
“We’re not surprised,” Duscha said. “A lot of the protesters were telling us this is only the start.”
One sergeant was threatened with baseball bats and retreated, Duscha said. “One officer with hundreds of Longshoremen? He used the better part of discretion.”
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Photo slideshow at KOMO News Seattle.
Update: Linked by Stable Hand [thanks!] at Jawa who found this gem:
ILWU International President Robert McEllrath and Barack Obama circa 2008
“Robert “Big Bob ” McEllrath and our next President Barack Obama” –ILWU MySpace
And this photo of a bat wielding ILWU thug:
Michelle Malkinhas this reminder:
Keep in mind: The union-promoted “Day of Rage” is coming up on September 17.
BTW the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) is an AFL-CIO (ran by closerthanthis Obama pal Richard Trumpka) union.
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks next to AFL-CIO President Richard Trumpka (R) in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, August 31, 2011
Edit: AFL-CIO’s Trumpka (as seen in the above photo) was invited to Obama’s ‘jobs speech’ as a special guest.
Details, details…baseball bats, crowbars, eggs and manure …oh my!
At least 500 longshoremen stormed the Port of Longview about 4:30 a.m. and broke out windows in the guard shack, according to Longview Police Chief Jim Duscha. As longshoremen wielding baseball bats and crowbars held six guards hostage, others cut brake lines on box cars and dumped grain, according to Duscha.
Fifty police officers from Kelso, Longview, Cowlitz County, the Washington State Patrol, Woodland, Kalama and the Burlington Northern Railroad responded to the scene. No one was injured, and there were no arrests Thursday morning, Duscha said.
The union is to appear Thursday afternoon before U.S. District Judge Ronald B. Leighton in Tacoma for a hearing on a petition filed eight days ago by Richard Ahearn, the regional director of the National Labor Relations Board. It alleges ILWU Locals 4 and 21 had targeted EGT officials, workers and contractors with increasingly violent unfair labor practices.
In one instance, Ahearn alleges union workers bombed the EGT terminal with a bag of manure from an airplane. It had signs attached saying “scabby 701,” a reference to another local that was doing work on terminal construction.
Ahearn alleges the Longshoremen have “induced or encouraged individuals employed by EGT and other persons … to refuse to handle or work on goods and/or refuse to perform services, and has threated, coerced, or restrained” the company and others, intending to force the company to employ its workers. The union has also been involved in a labor dispute with EGT’s contractor, General Construction, according to the documents.
Already, Ahearn said, the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway has refused to deliver cargo to the EGT terminal because the union has refused to give assurances that it will not block the tracks.
The ILWU locals have been picketing the EGT grain terminal since July, according to the petition, which said that union workers have spit on, threatened and “verbally assaulted” EGT officials, blocked entrances, thrown eggs and knocked down signs at the terminal. In one instance, a shop steward for another local working at the terminal was assaulted and followed onto the freeway. [...]