Grain terminal companies extend offer deadline

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PORTLAND (AP) — Pacific Northwest grain terminal companies have given the longshore union extra time to accept what they say is their best and final offer.

The owners of a half-dozen terminals along the Columbia River and on Puget Sound extended the deadline to Dec. 8. The longshoremen had been asked to accept the deal by midnight Wednesday, but that deadline came and went without a lockout.

The Grain Handlers Association, in a statement Thursday, reiterated its need for workplace rules that are similar to what longshoremen agreed to at a competing grain terminal in Longview, Wash.

The owners say the rules will ensure that workers provide “a full day’s work for a full day’s pay” and do not engage in illegal work stoppages.

In exchange for rules that are more advantageous for them, the companies said they offered an increased wage-and-benefit package that will pay longshoremen who work at their grain elevators more money than those who work in Longview.

The companies put the package at $64.75 an hour.

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