Investigator accuses longshore official of pouring sand in gears

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Tuesday, March 05, 2013

An investigator for the Vancouver, Wash. United Grain terminal accuses a longshore union official of pouring sand into a gearbox as sabotage.

Former federal investigator Norman Transeth Jr. accused Todd Walker, a Local 4 union official and negotiator, of vandalism costing the company more than $91,000, according to a confidential report obtained by The Oregonian Monday from the Vancouver Police Department. Walker did not return phone calls for comment on the accusations, which were termed groundless by Jennifer Sargent, a spokeswoman for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.

United Grain managers cited the alleged act of sabotage -- and another one, in which Walker is accused of sticking a pipe into a conveyer belt the same day -- when they locked out longshore workers Wednesday from the plant. Dockworkers have picketed United Grain since then as company managers and non-union workers operate the export terminal.

Read more at OregonLive.com.

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