Not an exaggeration — union thugs took guards hostage at a port in Washington. The face of union activism.
Work is at a standstill at the ports in Seattle and Everett as a labor dispute that started Thursday morning turned violent.
At least 500 longshoremen stormed the Port of Longview about 4:30 a.m., broke out windows in the guard shack and — as longshoremen wielding baseball bats and crowbars held six guards hostage — others cut brakelines on box cars and dumped grain, according to Longview Police Chief Jim Duscha.
No one was injured and there were no arrests, Duscha said. Fifty police officers from Kelso, Longview, Cowlitz County, the Washington State Patrol and Burlington Northern Railroad responded to the scene.
Duscha said tensions between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and EGT Terminal have run hot for the past few months after contract negotiations broke down.
The ILWU believes it has the right to work at the facility, but the company has hired a contractor that’s staffing a workforce of other union laborers.
No one has been arrested? Why, because they’re union members? Are violence, kidnapping, trespassing, and vandalism somehow legal if union members are responsible?
What’s more, the police chief says union members have told him “this in only the start”. And a police officer was directly threatened by a bat-wielding thug.
So now they’re threatening law enforcement.
But hey, at least their union doesn’t approve, right? Actually, the thugs who blocked the tracks were lead by ILWU International President Robert McEllrath, who promised they’d return.
And get this, it’s all in violation of a federal restraining order against the union. Yeah. The union has a history of violence and death threats, so a federal restraining order was issued last week.
Violation of a federal restraining order. Threats against law enforcement. Kidnapping. Vandalism. Trespassing.
Update: Arrests were apparently finally made. Although, really? Second-degree trespassing?
Nineteen union protesters were arrested and cited for second-degree trespassing, a misdemeanor. Three were arrested when a scuffle broke out with police, and 16 more were arrested when they refused to leave the tracks when the train started up again, Cowlitz County Sheriff Mark Nelson said. Deputies say they are also investigating alleged vandalism to the train after it stopped. The names of the arrested were not immediately available Wednesday night.
“It was a very, very ugly situation,” Nelson said, adding that he fears the conflict could escalate.
Police said a throng of protesters pushed against them, forcing them to beat them away with clubs and pepper spray. Union officials say they worried police were going to arrest Robert McEllrath, president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, for trespassing, so they moved to protect him. McEllrath was not arrested.
Well, this is exactly what union boss Jimmy Hoffa Jr. called for in his Obama rally speech the other day. A union-member army to “take out” those who stand in the unions’ way. I guess you start “small” with employers who don’t like violent unions.
Remember, when unions talk about “fighting” or “taking out” opponents…that’s not a figure of speech. They mean it. They’ll destroy your property, hold your employees hostage, violate federal restraining orders…anything to get their way.