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EGT Arrests

Posted on 26th July 2011 at 07:59

Local law enforcement agencies say that they’re becoming concerned about an escalation of violence as members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union continue to picket the EGT Grain Terminal at the Port of Longview. Seven arrests were reported yesterday morning, occurring as the Sheriff’s Office worked to maintain access to the facility. Deputies were joined by Longview Police, Kelso Police and State Troopers in responding to East Mill Road at about 7:20 yesterday morning. Chief Criminal Deputy Charlie Rosenzweig says that ILWU picketers were attempting to block cars from entering the facility. They eventually had those workers stage at a separate location, then they were escorted onto the property. Adam Robert Woon, 24, of Longview was arrested on a felony harrassment charge, after he allegedly yelled a death threat at one of the cars entering the property. He’s currently being held without bail at the Cowlitz County Jail. Five other picketers were arrested for disorderly conduct, and one was arrested for trespassing. This group broke up shortly after 10 am, then law enforcement returned around 2:30 pm, to monitor the site as the workers left EGT. A presence was also maintained overnight, monitoring the scene. Rosenzweig says “the protestors are substantially more aggressive in both threats and actions.” He says that aggression is also being turned toward the law enforcement officers who are responding to the scene. Both the ILWU and EGT are blaming each other for the escalation of tension. One union official said that “they’re not looking for trouble,” and they say that the situation could be resolved if EGT lived up to the contract they signed with the Port of Longview, and hire Longshoremen to operate their facility. An EGT spokesperson says that the escalating violence and intimidation cannot be tolerated, saying that the actions are harmful to the local area and the economy. The ILWU is demanding that EGT comply with a contract signed with the Port of Longview, requiring that Longshoremen be used to operate their facility. EGT is suing in Federal court, claiming that they are not bound by that agreement. A trial is scheduled for some time next year.