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Published August 12, 2014, 01:14 PM

Grain inspections to resume at Port of Vancouver

A tentative agreement has been reached in a long running labor dispute between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and Pacific Northwest Grain Cos.

By: Agweek staff report,

GREAT FALLS, Mont. — A tentative agreement has been reached in a long running labor dispute between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and Pacific Northwest Grain Cos. The agreement is expected to clear the way for federal grain inspection service to resume at the United Grain Corporation export terminal at the Port of Vancouver.

In early July, police escorts were removed for Washington state grain inspectors who provided the federal grain inspection service required for all grain shipped for export and who had been crossing a picket line to enter the UGC facility. This action effectively shut down one of the largest grain export terminals in the Pacific Northwest and caused a negative ripple effect further down the supply chain, including to Montana grain producers during their busy harvest and delivery season.

“Shutting down a major PNW export terminal that directly sources grain from Montana growers is unacceptable,” says Montana Grain Growers Association President Matt Flikkema.

“Montana farmers should not be stuck in the middle of a dispute taking place in another state,” says Rep. Steve Daines, R-Mont. “Not only will their ability to sell grain from this year’s harvest be affected, but our reputation among trading partners as a reliable source of high-quality grain could be damaged.”

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