(Portland, OR) — Governor Kitzhaber today announced that the longstanding work assignment conflict over “refrigerated container” work at Terminal 6 has been resolved. Work to plug and unplug refrigerated ships at Portland’s container Terminal will now be assigned to workers represented by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.
The Port of Portland and IBEW 48 agreed to terms to transition this work from representation by IBEW 48 to workers represented by ILWU. ILWU workers will perform the work of plugging and unplugging “reefer” ships as soon as the Port is able to contract with an ILWU employer for the work. This represents a key step forward at Terminal 6.
“With the resolution of this key dispute, we can keep Terminal 6 a competitive, productive, and internationally attractive container terminal,” said Governor Kitzhaber. “This agreement should provide assurance to container companies and businesses around Oregon that the conflict over this work will no longer be a factor in terminal operations.”
As part of the agreement, the Port of Portland ensures that no IBEW 48 members will lose work as a result, and that they will be assigned other Port-related duties. In addition, the Port of Portland ensures future Port-owned facilities will be serviced by IBEW 48, and the Port and IBEW 48 will enter into a new, innovative apprenticeship arrangement to address the Port’s long-term needs for skilled electricians. The Port currently employs approximately 60 electricians who are IBEW 48 members, many of whom are approaching retirement age.
The Port of Portland will also provide weekly reports to the Governor’s Office on Terminal 6 productivity. The Governor and his staff will review these reports on a weekly basis and intervene as necessary to maintain and improve Terminal 6 productivity.
Today’s announcement does not impact or address the ongoing legal disputes between ILWU, ICTSI Oregon, Inc., Pacific Maritime Association, and the Port of Portland. This agreement settles the work assignment conflict on a go-forward basis only.
“I appreciate the work of IBEW 48 and the Port of Portland to take difficult steps forward in support of our broader state economy,” said Governor Kitzhaber. “I especially want to thank the IBEW 48 members at T6 for their hard work and dedication during this long, challenging situation.”
“On behalf of the Port and the larger community of shippers and others who are concerned about the future of Terminal 6 and the vital role it plays in our regional economy, I want to thank the Governor for his leadership on this issue – it has been pivotal,” said Bill Wyatt, Executive Director of the Port of Portland. “This doesn’t end all aspects of this dispute, but hopefully it is the beginning of the end.”
Amy Wojcicki, 503-689-5324