ILWU Local 21Longview vice president Mike Fuqua cited by US Coast Guard for May 7 picket of scab ship from Vancouver, WA

ILWU Local 21Longview vice president Mike Fuqua cited by US Coast Guard for picketing scab ship from Vancouver, Washington
ILWU Local 21Longview vice president Mike Fuqua cited by US Coast Guard for May 7 incident

June 09, 2013 8:30 pm  •  By Barbara LaBoe / The Daily News
Pro-union protesters set up river picket at Port of Kalama

Nine boats carrying longshore union supporters blocked a grain ship at the Port of Kalama on Tuesday morning, causing the Coast Guard to board… Read more

A local longshore leader was the boater the Coast Guard cited for getting too close to a grain ship during a protest near Kalama in May, though it’s still unclear what his fine or punishment would be if he was found of wrongdoing.

The Coast Guard released Michael D. Fuqua’s name this week after The Daily News filed a Freedom of Information Act request. Fuqua is vice president of the Longview-based Local 21 of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.

The boarding report lists Fuqua’s name and boat information and states he violated a special 200-yard safety zone that had been established for all grain ships in the Columbia River. The fine for such an offense is up to $32,000, though officials said it’s rare for the full amount to be assessed.

Fuqua was cited during an ILWU protest on May 7. Union members said they were protesting that the grain ship “Mary H” was loaded with non-union labor in Vancouver before heading to Kalama for more grain. It’s part of an ongoing dispute between the ILWU and United Grain, which has locked out ILWU workers in Vancouver.

Most of the nine boats dispersed once the Coast Guard arrived, but the one driven by Fuqua violated the safety perimeter three times and thus was boarded and cited, Coast Guard officials said.

Boaters issued such citations also get information about their specific fine amount. They then can: pay the fine; set up a payment plan; submit evidence in lieu of a hearing; or request a hearing, according to the Coast Guard Hearing Officer’s website.

Coast Guard officials in the Virginia Hearing Officer headquarters Friday said Fuqua was not yet in their system and thus they had no information abut the fine amount or what is happening with the case. Officials in the Portland office also didn’t have immediate information about the status of Fuqua’s case.

Calls left for Fuqua at the union hall and with ILWU officials were not returned.