Former ILWU president jailed

Clark arrested for allegedly trespassing at port grain terminal

By Gordon Oliver, Columbian business editor

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Brad Clark, former president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 4, was arrested Friday on suspicion of trespassing outside the United Grain terminal at the Port of Vancouver. The ILWU has picketed the terminal since the union was locked out on Feb. 27 as part of a larger dispute between the union and grain terminal operators in Washington and Oregon.

Clark, 48, was booked in the Clark County Jail at 10:35 a.m. and later released. Bail was set at $325. A court appearance was scheduled for Tuesday.

Jennifer Sargent, spokeswoman for the ILWU, said by email that she was out of town and had no additional information about the arrest.

The longshore union has been at odds with United Grain and two other Northwest terminal operators -- Columbia Grain and LD Commodities -- that are part of the Pacific Northwest Grain Handlers Association and that operate a total of four grain-export terminals in Vancouver, Portland and Seattle.

Initially, another grain terminal operator, Temco, negotiated with the ILWU as a member of the Grain Handlers Association. But Temco, a U.S.-based operator of grain export facilities in Portland, Tacoma and Kalama, broke away from the group to negotiate directly with union dockworkers.

An earlier contract between the grain handlers and the ILWU expired at the end of September. Months of negotiations on a new contract failed to reach an agreement. The contract dispute intensified Feb. 27, when United Grain locked out 44 dockworkers at the Port of Vancouver after it alleged a union official sabotaged equipment.

The union has denied wrongdoing, and the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney hasn't yet decided whether to file criminal charges.

In May, Columbia Grain imposed a lockout at its terminal in Portland. The union says that lockout cut 50 to 75 workers out of their jobs.

Temco -- a joint venture between Cargill Inc. and CHS Inc. -- has signed a temporary contract with the ILWU.