Who Are We?
We are longshore workers who work out of our union hall in Portland, Oregon. Basically we are stevedores, loading and discharging ships, but we do much more. We are dispatched to waterfront terminals 2 and 6 in the Portland area to operate huge cranes loading 20,40 and 45 foot containers. We drive the trucks, toploaders and forklifts that move containers around on the docks. As mechanics we maintain all the equipment we use. We make sure there are proper cones that secure the containers to each other and to the deck, and we lash the container piles to the decks of ships. We might get a job making sure the containers go to the right position on the ship or on the dock. We can also get jobs instructing other longshore workers what to do.
But that's not all! We also load or unload autos at terminals 4 and 6, bulk dry chemicals (potash and soda ash) at terminals 4 and 5, wheat at three grain elevators, steel slabs at terminal 6, lumber & steel rails at terminal 2, -- whatever comes to the public marine terminals and to many of the private docks in the Portland area.
Longshore work is important to the economy not only of the greater Portland metropolitan area, but also to all of Oregon and many surrounding states. Imports are shipped out by rail and truck to many areas of the US. Exports such as wheat come from eastern Oregon and further up the Columbia River and are shipped to the Far East.
Bruce Holte, who has held the offices of President and Secretary of ILWU Local 8, was appointed to the Port of Portland Commission by Governor Ted Kulongoski. He was seated on March 1, 2007.
Bruce began his longshore career in 1988. He has served on the Executive Board, the Education Committee and the Coast Registration Committee. He has been a caucus delegate three times, served on the Oregon AFL-CIO COPE Board and been Secretary-Treasurer of the Oregon Area District Council. Bruce also serves on the City of Canby Planning Commission.
An article on Bruce and his appointment is posted on the International's website at http://www.ilwu.org/longshore/holte_commish.cfm.
To view an article on Bruce's appointment posted on the Port of Portland's website, go to Port link.
Watch me do this with my eyes closed!
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Copyright 2007, ILWU Local 8