The Columbia River Region of the Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific
Issue 5 February 2017
It would be an understatement to say our political climate is changing. We have just completed what is likely the most radical transference of power in our lifetimes. A dramatic shift in policy with regard to issues from trade to immigration is underway. The Secretary of Labor oversees the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) the new administrations appointment of fast food CEO (Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s) Andrew Puzder is concerning. We rely on the Labor Board to enforce the laws that Unions need to exist and operate. Given his resume and past statements, it is highly unlikely that he will be supportive of workers’ rights in their workplaces.
Organized labor has always had enemies; it is our suspicion that these changes will likely embolden them. In Washington State several right to work bills have been introduced in advance of the legislative session. An effective method of union busting is to limit a union’s ability to draw capitol from its members. You may have heard the term “free rider” this is where a member under Right-to-Work Legislation chooses to remain a member but to not pay monthly dues. I am sure you can imagine it is awfully hard to fund arbitration and prevent degradation of contract language with no resource.
The IBU is a member-centric democratic institution focused on improving its member’s livelihoods. We have promoted safety, job security, good health insurance, retirement and family wage jobs for 100 years and we have no intention of stopping.
Q: When are the next general membership meetings?
A: February 21st and March 21st @ 1615 Please try to attend!
“darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
Foss Southern california
Southern California Foss Negotiations have been tumultuous; IBU members held a 48 hour Unfair Labor Practices Strike. We hope for a fair resolution.
By Brian Dodge
Happy New Year to all of you and your families, hope all is well.
So here we are in 2017; we have all seen the changes in the industry we love and strive to retain. I started working on the river in 1988. Back then, most of the companies were family-run operations. Any mariner could walk in and talk to Ray Hickey at Tidewater or Pete Brix at Knappton (now Foss).
Things do change though, and so did our industry. With many factors playing a role such as the cost of equipment and with that those private owners gave way to investor groups. Profits became more important than people and relationships. In the past these things had been interdependent, a hand-shake and promise were as good as a 700-page contract.
These investor groups have resources that are far in excess of what the private owners had. Their motivation to reach a fair deal quickly is greatly diminished. It is apparently more profitable to bully your employees and try to force concessions than it is to reach a fair compromise as had generally been the case in the past. They have more money to wait us out and often leave people to negotiate that have little or no ability to make decisions or agree to terms.
Unfortunately this means going forward we can expect longer, more expensive, and contentious negotiations. Our work is cut out for us!
In the News
Trans Pacific Partnership
President Trump as one of his first orders of business last week signed an executive order signaling the United States intent to withdraw from negotiations on the trade deal. This is a win for workers. This corporate-penned trade deal would have further decimated American Industry and exploited many in communist nations abroad.
Union Leaders Meet with Trump
Leaders from the North America Building Trades Unions were invited to the White House to discuss President Trump’s plans for infrastructure investment. Following the meeting they addressed the press stating they were impressed with his vision of infrastructure investment and were thankful for the opportunity to be invited to be part of the discussion (This group had endorsed Hillary Clinton for President)
GOOD AND WELFARE
Deaths (September 2016-Present) Lee Anderson,
Donations: (September 2016-Present) ILWU Ladies Auxiliary E-Board Meeting $100, ILWU Auxiliary Christmas Party $200.00, ILWU Toy Drive $500.00, and The Washington Labor archives $150.00.
(Pictured left: bikes and toys for ILWU Local 8 Toy Drive)