A lot has happened in the last seven months. Our union has a new president, Marina Secchitano and our local has a new Regional Director, Trina Arnold. They along with all union members are preparing for the Janus decision, fighting back against managers who are acting like the COLD cops and preparing for further negotiations with the state June 26-27.
COLD is the cost-of-living-differential. The state is trying to balance the budget in part by depriving Alaska residents of COLD money.
The Janus case in now being considered by the Supreme Court of the United States. If the court rules against unions, it will allow non-union members to receive the same pay and benefits union members receive without having to pay for the cost of negotiations. What these non-union people fail to grasp is that without the union, their pay and benefits would go down and their working conditions and work rules would always favor the employer.
Looking ahead to negotiations with the Sate of Alaska, we are still awaiting counter offers from the State regarding pay and benefits. The Union is aware of the State’s financial situation and we aren’t asking for huge pay increases. That said, we aren’t going to agree to lose the benefits for which we fought so hard. IBU members can help by calling your state representatives and ask that we be treated fairly.
The union is asking each of you to sign a card showing your commitment to the union. We are sending teams to all the ships with the cards. It’s important that you know who your ship and department representatives are. Remember, you are entitled to have a union representative present if a manager wants to talk to you about an issue that could lead to a disciplinary action. Your ship and department Reps are also your first source of information when you have questions regarding pay and work rule issues.
We take our contracts seriously and we need you to notify your union representative on the ship whenever you see the state trying to violate the contract.
ILWU Convention Report
The Alaska Region sent three delegates, Trina Arnold, Earling Walli and Robb Arnold to the ILWU convention in Portland, OR, June 4-8. ILWU president Robert McEllrath is stepping down after three terms. Members in good standing will soon be receiving ballots so they can vote for a new president.
The convention delegates can give you information on the various candidates. Please remember to vote. It’s not only your right as a member in good standing, but also your responsibility to cast a ballot for the person you think is best equipped to lead our union into the future.
During the four days of the convention we heard from members from all over the Pacific Rim. We heard about and voted on resolutions from delegates including an IBU resolution opposing the privatization of the Alaska Marine Highway System and another IBU resolution opposing the anti-union threat posed by Edison Chouest.
The next IBU convention is scheduled for early November in Seattle and will include a celebration of the 100-year anniversary of the the founding of the IBU.
Your continued support is crucial as we move forward and prepare for the Janus decision. “An injury to one is an injury to all”, is our mantra, and “United we stand, divided we fall”, is the second line we need to say every day.
Please sign the cards and recommit to our Union!
Ibu Alaska Region