Longshore workers are taking to the water to confront scabs in the Portland and Vancouver grain terminal lockouts.
The Coast Guard acts as referee, protecting the flow of trade, the rights of the protesters and the safety of all. Last week's standoff ended peacefully, punctuated however by the odor of fish heads dumped into a pilots' launch.
The lockouts by United Grain Corp. in Vancouver and Columbia Grain Inc. in Portland have dragged on for weeks and show no signs of subsiding. Company managers say that union perks, featherbedding and slowdowns cost millions of dollars a year, threatening their survival. International Longshore and Warehouse Union leaders accuse Japanese conglomerates that own United Grain and Columbia of trying to squeeze Northwest workers.
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