Grain on the Tracks in West Coast Port Protest
Hundreds of West Coast longshore workers shut down port facilities in Longview, in southwest Washington, when a multi-company group called EGT Development violated a port contract by using workers who are not longshore union members. About 10,000 tons of grain were dumped out onto railroad tracks during the September 1 protest, and 19 people were arrested.
In other protests at the port over the summer, members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) blocked railroad tracks and occupied the port’s rail terminal. More than 100 union members have been arrested in the hard-fought campaign, which the union says is a battle to stop non-union operations from gaining a foothold in West Coast ports.
CSEA Members Ratify Contract by 60% to 40%
Members of the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA), the largest union of New York State employees, ratified a contract that included significant concessions on pay and benefits. In results announced in mid-August, members approved the agreement by a margin of roughly 60% to 40%. A little less than half of CSEA’s 66,000 members took part in the mail ballot.
The new agreement includes no wage increases for the first three years, and a 2% increase in the fourth and fifth years of the five-year deal. Nine unpaid furlough days will also be imposed, four of which will later be paid back.
Gov. Cuomo had threatened layoffs of nearly 10,000 workers if concessions were not approved.