From: robert irminger email@example.com
Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2006
SF workers say National Park Service must follow the law
"Alcatraz is a landmark - not a Wal-Mart"
SAN FRANCISCO UNION members will gather to protest the National Parks Service's illegal and anti-worker bidding process the day NPS' controversial new contract for the Alcatraz Ferry service is set to hit Capitol Hill. Ferry workers from the Masters, Mates and Pilots (MMP) and the Inlandboatmen's Union of the Pacific (IBU), along with members of many of the unions affiliated with the San Francisco Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, will rally at 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 1 in front of the San Francisco Ferry Building.
Last fall the NPS picked Hornblower Yachts, Inc. to take over the Alcatraz Ferry. Hornblower now operates non-union dining cruises in the San FranciscoBay , San Diego, Newport Beach and Marina del Rey. The IBU and MMP contend the Park Service flouted the law in its bidding process by failing to instruct bidders to take the Service Contract Act into account. The Act requires new companies taking over federal contracts to pay prevailing wages or pay wages and benefits at least equal to those paid by previous contractors. The members of Congress who passed the Act in 1963 wanted to ensure that the government did not encourage a "race to the bottom" by rewarding contractors who cut wages.
The Dept. of Labor has said the Act applies to the Alcatraz contract but the Park Service maintains it does not and refuses to comply. The unions have said they will challenge the NPS in court if the agency continues to ignore the law. The current operator of the Alcatraz service, Blue & Gold Fleet, has already challenged the bid in the federal Court of Claims, questioning whether Hornblower can deliver new boats, repair facilities and generate revenue as promised in its bid. Oral arguments in that case were heard Feb. 14 and a decision is expected March 3.
WHO: union members and other concerned San Francisco residents
WHEN: Wednesday, March 1 at 4 p.m.
WHERE: San Francisco Ferry Building (foot of Market Street)
IBU Bay Area
450 Harrison Street (at First Street)
San Francisco, CA 94105
Email address IBUSF@Pacbell.net
IBU National www.IBU.org