By Sarah Gonzalez, Director of Communications and Digital Media
An export terminal in Portland, Ore., claims its union workers participated in a racketeering scheme by falsifying time sheets for more than four years.
In a lawsuit filed Dec. 17 in the District Court of Oregon, Columbia Export Terminal claims union-represented workers employed to load grain for international shipping at the Port of Portland’s Terminal 5 inflated their time cards, resulting in overpayments of more than $5 million.
“Defendants’ overbilling scheme involved a high level of coordination in terms of who would show up for work and when they would show up for work, who would not show up for work and when they would not show up for work, and what false time would nevertheless be included on time sheets,” the lawsuit states. “This scheme was participated in by each Defendant routinely over a period of years in a highly systematic and coordinated fashion.”
Each if the 152 individuals named in the lawsuit is a member of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 8 or Local 92. The terminal also is suing the ILWU, which allegedly “organized and orchestrated the scheme to submit falsified time sheets.”
The terminal is seeking damages totaling more than $15 million.