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Tentative Agreement Announced In Northwest Grain Terminal Dispute

Grain export companies and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union say they’ve reached a tentative labor agreement that could end a lockout at Portland and Vancouver ports. 

The agreement, which was reached just before midnight, was announced by a federal mediator.

“Well, obviously we’re grateful that an agreement has been found,” said Pat McCormick, a spokesperson for United Grain in Vancouver as well as Columbia Grain and Louis-Dreyfus Commodities in Portland. “Hopefully this means that soon we’ll be able to return to normal operations in all our facilities.”

Since July, the United Grain terminal in Vancouver has only made a few shipments because Washington state grain inspectors stopped crossing a picket line set up at the port by the union.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee issued a statement that said, “United Grain Company has been notified that state grain inspectors will resume inspections immediately."

In Portland, there was no interruption of grain inspections.

The contract now goes to union members for a vote.