Just before midnight Monday evening, the International Longshore Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Northwest Grain Handlers Association reached a tentative labor agreement regarding grain operations at seven terminals in the Pacific Northwest, according to the most recent USDA Grain Transportation Report.
The tentative agreement is subject to ratification from the local ILWU membership. The latest round of bargaining started in July after operations halted at the United Grain Corporation terminal at the Port of Vancouver, Wash. On July 7, Governor Jay Inslee removed police escorts for grain inspectors into the facility. Grain inspectors did not feel safe without the escorts, halting inspections, and essentially shutting down all grain operations at the terminal. After the announcement of a tentative agreement, grain inspections resumed at the United Grain terminal on Tuesday, according to the USDA. Negotiations have been under the auspices of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS).
During the week ending August 9 barge grain movements totaled 759,052 tons, 2.5% lower than the previous week but 77.5% higher than the same period last year, according to the Grain Transportation Report.
During the week ending August 9, 501 grain barges moved down river, up 2.5% from last week; 403 grain barges were
unloaded in New Orleans, up 1.3% from the previous week, according to the USDA.