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Federal judge orders ILWU to stop filing grievances or lawsuits over disputed work

A district court judge has ordered the International Longshore and Warehouse Union to stop processing grievances and filing lawsuits regarding its dispute with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers over the work of plugging in, unplugging and monitoring refrigerated shipping containers at the Port of Portland.

Both unions claim the work, citing various contracts and collective bargaining agreements. In August 2012, the National Labor Relations Board issued a decision concluding that the employees represented by the IBEW are entitled to the work. Despite that ruling, the ILWU and two of its locals have continued to file and process grievances against carriers at the port, seeking lost wages for work assigned to the IBEW. The ILWU also filed a claim in the dispute in federal court under the Labor-Management Relations Act.

In granting the petition for injunctive relief from the NLRB's Regional Office in Seattle late Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Michael H. Simon found that, by filing grievances and seeking enforcement of subsequent awards despite the Board's decision, the ILWU had the unlawful secondary object of pressuring shipping carriers to cease doing business with the Port of Portland. He enjoined the union from filing, processing, maintaining, prosecuting, or threatening grievances or new lawsuits in the matter.

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