Judge to assess contempt claim against longshore union

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TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — A federal judge is holding a hearing to decide whether a union should be held in contempt for their protests at the Port of Longview.

Judge Ronald Leighton will hold a hearing Thursday in Tacoma. Federal officials argue in court documents that the local branches of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union should be held in contempt for violating the judge's restraining order.

Leighton has issued a preliminary injunction to restrict union activity, saying there was no defense for the aggressive tactics used in recent days. The protesters twice blocked a grain shipment on railroad tracks, and police say they stormed a grain terminal last week, overwhelming guards and damaging property.

Lawyers for the union say there has been a passionate response from workers fighting for their jobs.