Hundreds of port workers stood on railroad tracks today at 4pm, blocking a train carrying grain to a foreign-owned loading facility in Longview, Washington. Workers took action to protest the failure by big grain companies to honor agreements with the local community to provide good jobs in Longview.
“Everyone came to the tracks on their own free will to stand up for justice and protect good jobs in this community, said ILWU President Bob McEllrath, who stood with the volunteers on Wednesday afternoon. “It shouldn’t be a crime to fight for good jobs in America.”
Police in riot gear charged the group of peaceful protesters, which included women and children, injuring several in the process. When volunteers stood their ground, police retreated and the train was backed-off. As of 6pm, it was unclear if the BNSF Railroad would continue to attempt another delivery or stand down.
The controversial grain terminal is owned and operated by EGT – a consortium of companies that includes North America, South Korea-based STX Pan Ocean and Japan-based Itochu Corporation.
Bunge reported profits of $2.5 billion dollars last year and operates in 30 countries.