ILWU West Coast Rank And Filers Call For No Vote On Contract
|4 Reasons to Vote "No" –
Send the Contract Back
FOR MEMBER TO make an informed decision on this tentative contract,
information is needed in a timely manner. This hasn't happened.
Although the official ballot says The Dispatcher contract supplement
was printed on July 28, 2008, it wasn't available until August 25 at
the earliest. Most members hadn't received a copy until the day of
their membership meetings. At the Portland meeting, members were
angry because there wasn't enough time to ask Caucus delegates
questions about the proposed contract. We need time to thoroughly
read, discuss and ask questions. That's key to union democracy.
PMA's 6 year proposed deal-- 2.5% wage increases way below the real
14% inflation with no cost of living adjustment (COLA)-- is a PAY
CUT! Maintaining benefits is important, but so is keeping our
standard of living, as inflation continues to skyrocket. Oakland
economist John Williams, (www.shadowstats. com) who's quoted in the
Financial Times and New York Times, says without a COLA our "current
earnings … would be decimated in terms of purchasing power". At the
end of 6 years we'll be so far down we won't know which way is up!
New RUSHED grievance procedures Sections 17.2611 and 17.631 (see pg.
9 of The Dispatcher supplement) demanded by PMA will expedite
grievances over Section 11.1 "work stoppages", despite the jointly-
signed letter. PMA will say it's not a "bona fide" picket line or
that we're "gimmicking" health and safety or onerous beefs.
Longshoremen' s power has always been at the point of production-- on
the docks and ships. This change enables PMA to hammer us. If we work
safe because of too many accidents or challenge the unfair use of
robotics, PMA can go to CLRC within 24 hours and then Coast
Arbitrator within 24 hours, citing us with an "illegal work
stoppage". It'll be more difficult to organize solidarity actions
like our successful May Day antiwar shutdown, the historic 10-day
anti-apartheid action in 1984 in San Francisco, the 4-day solidarity
action with the Liverpool dockers in 1997 or the 1998 action in LA/LB
in solidarity with the wharfies in Australia. ILWU's proud history of
solidarity actions will become a thing of the past.
The longshore industry is more dangerous than firefighting. We've had
18 deaths on the docks since the last contract. Yet, PMA walked out
of Safety Negotiations without hearing ½ of our union's demands! Send
them back to finish resolving safety concerns or it makes a mockery
of negotiations and shows employers' disreguard for longshore
Pensioners' and widows' pension increase of $1-$4 a month per
qualifying year of service does not keep up with inflation. These
oldtimers won the pension and medical benefits we enjoy today. Their
benefits need to be maintained too. As one surviving spouse
said, "Please don't leave us as we get more elderly and need more, to
have to beg in the streets."
VOTE NO! SEND THE CONTRACT BACK TO BE RENEGOTIATED!
Jack Mulcahy (#82013 Portland Local 8), Kennard Wilson (#9171 SF
Local 10), Steve Barlow (#8301 SF Local 34), W. Speer (#56578 Seattle
Local 19), Michael O'Sullivan (#8985 SF Local 10), Keith Hamilton
(#9627 SF Local 10), Russ Miyashiro (#13474 SF Local 34), Peter Parks
(#82068 Portland Local 8), Marcus Holder (#101135 SF Local 10), Larry
Harris (#101153 SF Local 10), Bill Ross (#9078 SF Local 34), David
Bell (#101356 SF Local 10), Frank Riley (#13458 SF Local 34), Ed
Ferris (#9344 SF Local 10), Jack Heyman (#8780 SF Local 10)
[View the list]