The Port of Portland is facing a potential strike by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union on November 25th. Negotiations with the union handling grain operations at six terminals and with security officers are creating a “perfect storm” of labor disruption.
Officials are concerned cargo ships will begin bypassing the port in anticipation of the strike.
The simultaneous actions are the most extreme developments in months of labor turmoil at the Port, where yet another dispute involving the same union led ships to bypass Portland last summer, clogging cargo and slowing Oregon’s economy. Closure of the three Port terminals, let alone a crisis at the grain elevators, would wreak far greater economic havoc and could cause container shipping lines to pull out for good.
UPDATE: The strike was averted by last minute negotiations assuring the union that security guards could continue in their current positions.