Huge damages payout for terminal operator

Port of Portland ICTSI Oregon is the Port of Portland’s former container ship terminal operator. Image: Port of Portland

A terminal operator has been awarded US$93.6m in damages following a court case where union action was blamed for disrupting operations.

ICTSI Oregon, the Port of Portland’s former container ship terminal operator, was awarded the sum after a jury in a federal civil trial found the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and ILWU Local 8, the Portland chapter, engaged in work slowdowns and stoppages at times between 2012 and 2016.The jury also found those labour practices were a major factor in causing damages to ICTSI, reported Oregon Public Broadcasting.

ICTSI Oregon, Inc. issued a statement after the verdict. “We are grateful to the jury for its diligence in dealing with a very complicated case and holding the appropriate parties responsible for violations of the law that resulted in the critical impairment of operations at Oregon’s only container terminal," said Elvis Ganda, president & CEO North America at ICTSI Oregon, Inc. “The jury’s decision validates ICTSI's determination to seek justice in an unfortunate situation that impacted many local businesses, communities and the people that depended on Terminal 6 as a vital connection to international trade.”

ICTSI Oregon ran the state’s lone container ship port until March 2017, when it ended its 25-year lease with the Port of Portland early by paying US$11.45m.

The company and the union were engaged in a lengthy labour dispute that eventually led to the loss of Portland’s container ship service in May 2016.

The jury determined 55% of the award must be paid by the ILWU and 45% by the local Portland chapter.

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