Sheriff: Longshoremen strike in Longview costly, nerve-wracking

Sep 22, 2011

LONGVIEW, Wash. — The Cowlitz County sheriff says continuing labor strife at a Port of Longview grain terminal is straining nerves and budgets.

Sheriff Mark Nelson told The Daily News a federal court should hurry its decision on whether operators are required to hire members of the Longshore Union.

The county has already spent at least $40,000 in overtime responding to demonstrations and violence at the EGT terminal. And that was before Wednesday's demonstration when about a dozen people who attempted to block a grain train were arrested and accused of trespassing.

A federal court is expected to decide the union's role in a lease contract next spring. The sheriff says the court should recognize this is an urgent situation that can't "sit on the shelf for six to eight months."