Washington Port Opens After Union Strike Resolution, Montana Farmer’s Releived
For the past two years a union strike has been threatening to shut down the Port of Vancouver which ships Montana grain out to foreign Countries. Last Month the Governor of Washington removed police escorts for state grain inspectors and effectively stopped grain shipments.
“His pulling those safety police escorts essentially stopped the loading of ships at United Grain because the Washington inspectors then no longer felt safe crossing the pickup line,” Montana Grain Growers Association Spokeswoman Lola Raska. “So an agreement was reached late last night and discussions are going on now about returning those inspectors immediately.”
While the grain inspectors were stalled, Montana farmers were taking an economic hit.
“They are currently piling grain on the ground at some of their facilities,” Raska said. “There’s a very large pile of grain on the ground at Conrad. If their port did not open, that grain might sit there for quite a while waiting for that situation to be resolved. That grain could lose quality and cause some losses for our growers.”
Raske says many Montana grain customers were expressing concern over the delays and that the country of Taiwan even cancelled its order due to issues at the Port of Vancouver.