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January 20 2020

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Spotlight 6 The Journal of Commerce | Januar y 20 2020 ILWU fights landmark jury award The fate of a $93.6 million jury award against the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) and its Local 8 chapter in Portland, Oregon, will become clearer Feb. 14. That's when US District Court Judge Michael Simon is set to hear oral arguments on the union's post-trial motion to dismiss the award for almost four years of work slowdowns, or at least reduce it. The unprecedented award was rendered on Nov. 5 aer a two-week trial; Simon delayed filing the award to give the ILWU time to appeal. The union says the penalty threatens to bankrupt it. The case involves work slowdowns in a jurisdictional dispute from Aug. 4, 2013, to March 31, 2017, between ICTSI Oregon, the former operator of Portland's only container terminal, and ILWU Local 8. At stake were two work tasks of plugging in, monitoring, and unplugging refrigerated containers at the port. As a result of the years of labor disruptions and work slowdowns, Oregon's only container port has been without a regularly scheduled liner service since 2017. SM Line announced late last year it would begin providing liner service to Portland this month. The ILWU on Jan. 3 filed a 59-page motion asking Simon to dismiss the $93.6 million award, charging that the jury "misunderstood the law, the facts and economic reality." If the award is not dismissed, the ILWU asked that the amount be reduced to $3.9 million, based upon the testimony of the union's expert witnesses who testified at the trial. The ILWU and ICTSI called expert witnesses during the trial to assess the costs to the terminal operator from the job actions, and the expert witnesses calculated significantly different amounts. The ILWU wasn't available for further comment. A spokesman for ICTSI said its written response to the union's post-trial motion is due on Jan. 17. Simon, in Portland, is expected to issue his final ruling shortly aer he hears arguments from both sides on Feb. 14, and either party will be able to appeal the decision to the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. In its post-trial motion Friday, the ILWU argued that ICTSI did not present enough evidence to prove that Local 8's job actions constituted unlawful secondary actions. The motion argued that ICTSI failed to demonstrate its main contention, which was that through job slowdowns, Local 8 was attempting to coerce ICTSI to pressure the Port of Portland to give the ILWU jurisdiction over the disputed work tasks. Those jobs historically had been performed by members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. USMCA to speed customs The new free trade agreement between the United States, Mexico, and Canada promises greater efficiencies for shippers moving goods between Mexico and the US — at least on paper. The proof will be in follow-up investment needed to improve actual transportation infrastructure and facilitate trade at the US–Mexico border. It may become easier to process goods through customs under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), but actual transportation is another matter. Without investment in facilities and labor to accommodate expanding US–Mexico trade at or near the Mexican border, shipments will continue to face costly transportation delays in times of peak demand and disruption at the border itself. That's simply a result of moving increasingly high volumes of goods through existing crossings at a US–Mexico border vulnerable The Journal of Commerce Executive Editor, The Journal of Commerce and JOC Events: Chris Brooks 609 649 2181, Executive Editor, The Journal of Commerce and Mark Szakonyi 202 872 1234, Managing Editor: Benjamin Meyer 916 716 6272, Associate Managing Editor: Kevin Saville, 212 488 4282, Senior Editors: William B. Cassidy Trucking and Domestic Transportation 202 872 1228, Bill Mongelluzzo, West Coast 562 428 5999, Hugh Morley, Northeast, Mexico 646 679 3475, Eric Johnson, Technology 213 444 9326, Janet Nodar, Breakbulk and Heavy Li 251 473 2742, Greg Knowler, Europe +44 7976798770, Turloch Mooney, Global Ports +852 9011 9109, Associate Editor: Ari Ashe, Southeast Ports, Intermodal Rail 202 548 7895, Data Analyst: Marcin Lejk +44 587416270, Shipper Engagement Manager: Dustin Braden 646 679 3450, Senior Editor, Special Projects: Alessandra Gregory Barrett, 860 248 5238 Associate Editor, Special Projects: Emily DeVoti, Senior Designer: Sue Abt, Designer: Bryan Boyd, 908 910 7849, Publisher: Tony Stein, 770 295 8809, Sales: Cindy Cronin, Senior Strategic Account Manager Southeast, Gulf, Canada sales, 954 260 6061 Jean Gibbons, Senior Sales Executive West Coast, Midwest sales, 706 469 7160 John Knowles, Senior Sales Executive Europe sales, +44 7779974677 Allyson Marek, Senior Sales Executive Northeast sales, 862 754 8012 Alex Remstein, Associate Sales Specialist Reprints/Classifieds/Copyrights, 646 679 3418 Mehdi Smaili, Senior Sales Executive, Asia sales, +44 7581406491 For Magazine Subscription Customer Service: 450 West 33rd St., 5th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10001 800 952 3839 Vice President, Maritime & Trade, IHS Markit, Peter Tirschwell Executive Director, Media & Events, Maritime & Trade, IHS Markit, Amy Middlebrook Manager, Production, Carmen Verenna Product Manager, JOC, Jesse Case ©2020 The Journal of Commerce — All Rights Reserved For more information, visit our website, Port of Portland

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