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Originally published Monday, March 4, 2013 at 9:35 PM

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Grain terminal sues union official in dispute

A Pacific Northwest grain terminal that locked out its union workers last week has sued a union official it accuses of damaging company equipment. The union representing the longshore workers quickly condemned the lawsuit.

The Associated Press

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VANCOUVER, Wash. —

A Pacific Northwest grain terminal that locked out its union workers last week has sued a union official it accuses of damaging company equipment. The union representing the longshore workers quickly condemned the lawsuit.

In a filing Feb. 28 in Superior Court, United Grain Corp. accuses Todd Walker of Vancouver of causing more than $300,000 in damage.

The Columbian says (http://is.gd/lIECUR) the lawsuit contends that last Dec. 22, Walker tried to halt production by throwing a pipe into a conveyer and damaged a gear box by pouring sand into it.

International Longshore & Warehouse Union spokeswoman Jennifer Sargent says the company is, in her words, "publicizing unproven accusations against a single worker in order to cover for its own illegal lockout of an entire workforce." She says the union is confident the accusations will prove groundless.

Walker was not immediately reachable for comment. Sargent said Monday night he was not available for interviews.

Vancouver police spokeswoman Kim Kapp says an independent police investigation of the accusations continues.

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Information from: The Columbian, http://www.columbian.com

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