The hours are unpredictable. The work can be hard and scarce.
Nevertheless, thousands are expected to enter the local longshoremen
union’s first drawing in seven years for 81 “unidentified casual” jobs
to be held next month.
It typically takes years for a job lottery winner to become a
full-fledged member of the Longview-based International Longshore and
Warehouse Union Local 21. But for those who persevere, it’s one of the
most generously paid union jobs in the country.
“It’s a foot in the door in one of the best industries in the world,”
ILWU 21 President Billy Roberts told The Daily News on Thursday. “But
it takes a lot of work and dedication to advance in it.”
An ad for the position posted in The Daily News on Tuesday had
generated more than 5,800 online hits by Friday afternoon — the last day
to submit a public card for the drawing.
“We’ve determined that the most equal way for everyone to advance is
by hours, so we take individuals with the most work experience and
advance them as quick as we can,” Roberts said.