After a year of sometimes-violent demonstrations with multiple arrests at the Port of Longview, Wash., the EGT terminal and Longshore union jointly announced Monday they're working together for the first time for the grain ship Full Sources arriving this afternoon.
The 738-foot cargo ship, under a Hong Kong flag, will carry wheat grown in Washington to Korea.
The U.S. Coast Guard dispatched several vessels to patrol the waterways while the ship makes its way from Port of Astoria, where it's been anchored since Monday, to Longview this afternoon.
"A Coast Guard cutter and several Coast Guard station vessels are in the Columbia River this morning conducting a recreational maritime domain awareness patrol," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Nate Littlejohn. "It's basically the Coast Guard's way of making sure boaters are in the safe part of the river."
Littlejohn said recreational vessels blocking commercial ship traffic on the Columbia River is a common problem, expecially during fishing season.
The Coast Guard conducts Operation Make Way to educate boaters to stay out of the way of large vessels in the Columbia's narrow shipping channel. The larger ships cannot turn quickly and risk running aground if they leave the channel.
In Longview, EGT Chief Executive Officer Larry Clarke says EGT is "open for business."
International Longshore and Warehouse Union International President Robert McEllrath says, "The men and women of the ILWU are pleased to bring their many decades of grain handling experience to work at EGT."
EGT and the union say they expect their partnership at the $200 million terminal will last many years.
The Longshore union had been aggressively protesting the terminal's plan to use workers from a different union.