Longshore union sues Port of Portland over payment

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PORTLAND — The International Longshore and Warehouse Union filed a federal lawsuit Thursday over money the Port of Portland recently agreed to pay to its terminal operator to help cover losses caused by the work slowdowns and cargo diversions that highlighted this summer's labor strife.

The suit names the port and its executive director, Bill Wyatt. It seeks an injunction against the $4.7 million payment to ICTSI Oregon Inc., which operates the Port's container terminal.

The suit contends it is illegal for a public agency such as the Port of Portland to help one side or the other in a public sector labor dispute.

The ILWU and the terminal operator have been in a dispute over whether Longshoremen or union electricians should perform the work of plugging and unplugging refrigerated shipping containers. The terminal operator, citing the terms of its 25-year lease with the port, said the electricians should have the work.

The National Labor Relations Board ruled in favor of the electricians Monday, but the ILWU has said the fight is not finished.

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