Thursday, September 08, 2011

Union Rent-a-Thugs Descend on Southwest Washington

AP photo by Don Ryan
Ports up and down the Columbia River appear under siege by bused in thugs of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union as union goons escalate their dispute with the EGT Company at the Port of Cowlitz in Longview, Washington.

Union thuggery breaking out in Southwest Washington has attracted national news media as the Wall Street journal, the Associated Press and Fox News are covering the union goons storming the port, breaking down gates, to smashing glass to overpower security guards they held hostage for a few hours in the wee hours of the morning, Thursday September 8, 2011. From there, bussed in thugs rolled out train cars, cut brake lines and dumped food grain on the ground.

This is an escalation from Wednesday where hundreds of goons first stopped and blocked the train as it came through Vancouver Washington. Once it continued on, other goons blocked the train at Cowlitz County, tangled with the Police and vandalized the train. 19 union goons were arrested.

In a statement issued by Cowlitz County Sheriff Mark Nelson and published by the Columbian we read, “This was not like the peaceful protests we’ve seen in the past. The protesters today were loud, aggressive and assaulted my officers,” said Sheriff Nelson.

“We've danced this dance before. When our officers went in to make peaceful, lawful trespass arrests, they were rushed by a mob of hundreds of protesters who were resistive and throwing things at the officers,” he added.

It is now being reported that as the goons left Thursday morning they waved baseball bats and crowbars at the Police telling them they would “get theirs.”

This outrageous conduct on the part of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union falls on the heels of another outrageous comment made Sunday by Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa Jr., “President Obama, this is your army. We are ready to march. Let's take these sons of bitches out and give America back to an America where we belong.”

A timeline published by the Longview Daily News shows the escalation as the union doesn’t get their way during this dire economic downturn we continue to face.

An August OPB article cites Dan Coffman president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 21, “I look at it as they’re trying to bust a union. Everybody knows the ILW is one of the strongest unions in the United States, and I believe the attacks on.”

Negotiations between recently opened EGT and the union broke down earlier and EGT hired union workers from another union to operate the facility, angering the ILW, who feel they have exclusive right to work the port.

The federal judge handling the court case determining terms of a contract the union has with the port and the ILW had previously issued a restraining order against the union over their escalating violent acts.

The National Labor Relations Board has condemned the conduct of the ILW, writing in their complaint, “A longshore union has used death threats and physical assaults during protests at a new grain terminal at the Port of Longview” and “the International Longshore and Warehouse Union have used unfair labor practices. The board wants the union to write a formal letter saying that it will not block rail shipments to the facility managed by EGT.”

EGT head, Larry Clarke countered union allegation pointing out the union was demanding an outrageous $20 per man hour to be contributed to the union pension fund. Clarke said, “That is a significant figure. EGT did not create the multi-billion dollar shortfall in the ILW’s pension, and should not be responsible for filling that funding gap.”

Clarke added, “We believe the ILW’s illegal campaign of threats and violence is hurting the local economy.”

Both Clark and Cowlitz County’s have seen double digit unemployment for over 2 years now.

It is also being said today that wildcat strikes at other west coast ports seem to be breaking out. A spokesman from the ILW headquarters in San Francisco claims to not know anything about any such wildcat strikes, adding they must be doing it on their own initiative.

As our economy continues to struggle along, mired in high unemployment and closing businesses, union thuggery instead of sharing in the sacrifice with the rest of us is unacceptable.

As I recently noted, unions have a long history of such violent acts to force their way into private companies and now, public employment as well.

Such strong-arm tactics have raised our labor costs so high; many companies shut down operations and move to another country in order to remain profitable.

There is a plethora of evidence indicating the Unions destroyed the U.S. Auto Industry and is a major contributor in the decay of Detroit, Michigan.

And now, it seems they wish to destroy what few new jobs might come into Southwest Washington by their greedy, thuggish tactics.

Earlier on, the ILW president cried about “union busting.”

Given the escalating violence, mayhem and vandalism at the unions’ hands, maybe they should be busted and imprisoned.

Governor Gregoire, where is the National Guard? Will people have to be murdered by these union thugs before any action is taken?

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