Federal judge issues a temporary restraining order against ILWU

Sep 02, 2011, Longview, WA — Yesterday, a federal court judge, the Honorable Ronald B. Leighton, issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) against Washington-state based Locals 21 and 4 of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) for their illegal, violent activity at the port of Longview. This TRO was based on the findings made by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in the complaint they filed on Monday alleging unfair labor practices by the ILWU.

The order issued yesterday enjoins and restrains the ILWU Locals 21 and 4, as well as anyone acting in concert from:

“Engaging with an unlawful object, inter alia, in picket line violence, threats and property damage, mass picketing and blocking of ingress and egress at the facility of EGT, LLC, located in Longview, Washington, in furtherance of Respondent Locals 21 and 4’s dispute regarding work performed at or related to the EGT facility;

“In any other manner, or by any other means furthering their unlawful object by restraining or coercing the employees of EGT, General (Construction), or any other person doing business in relation to the EGT facility in the exercise of their rights guaranteed under Section 7 of the Act (the National Labor Relations Act).”

Violators will be held in contempt of court and Judge Leighton indicated that he will take stronger action against any future violations.

EGT CEO Larry Clarke issued the following statement in response to the restraining order: “We are pleased with the court's decision to grant a restraining order against the ILWU's escalating campaign of illegal activity at the Port of Longview. This ruling is an important step to bolster the ongoing efforts of local law enforcement officials to ensure the safety and security of EGT employees and contractors at the Longview terminal. EGT is eager to get the terminal up and running safely and efficiently so that we can provide family-wage jobs to local workers and economic benefits to the surrounding community.”

In making his ruling, Judge Leighton made it explicitly clear that the ILWU shall not prevent trains from entering or exiting the facility.

Despite this ruling, the ILWU refused to close the door on future train blockades. ILWU Local 21 President Dan Coffman was referenced indicating he ‘did not know’ if union members would seek to block another incoming train in a news article reporting on the restraining order.

Clarke continued: “We are stunned that the ILWU responded by indicating they were unwilling to commit to a ruling issued by a federal court judge. The law is clear in this matter and the ILWU needs to respect Judge Leighton's order enforcing the law of the land.”

Read the full version of the Temporary Restraining Order.

EGT ships North American farm products to export markets around the globe from its export terminal in Longview, Washington.