It is sad to see that the once mighty ILWU has to stoop to lies, deception and bluff, in order to get their membership to ratify the latest Grain Handlers Agreement.
Roger Boespflug, Local 23 Lead Grain Negotiator & Labor Relations Representative, and Local 23 President, Dean McGrath, have chosen the low road and decided to lie, deceive and bluff their membership into ratifying a contract that they are not even signatory to.
It seems that the ILWU Officers in general have adopted the age old tactics of the employer, rather than embracing the ways of their founder and genius negotiator, Harry Bridges.
Harry Bridges stood for honesty, truthfulness, and transparency. He did everything in the open and believed that if the rank-and-file got all the information that they would nearly always do the right thing. It was not the easy way, but it was the right way, and the proof is in the success he had.
The current ILWU Officers, to a man, have decided the take the easy way out, and to lie, deceive and keep everything a secret. They refuse to provide members with minutes from their Executive Board meetings, their Membership meetings, and their Labor Relations Committee meetings.
Apparently the ILWU can do anything they want as it relates to the ratification vote. If they want to allow Local 23 to vote on Local 19’s contract in order to get the votes to ratify, it is ok. It is their club and they can do as they please.
Pity that they are such pathetic negotiators that they need to use electioneering and deception, rather that honesty and persuasion, to get their agreement approved by the rank-and-fie.
When I was first learning the art of negotiation I came across a book that changed my life. A little book titled; Winning with Deception and Bluff by Sydney C. Schweitzer, opened my eyes to the cons, scams and lies that could and would be used against me during negotiations and taught me how to deal with them and the people that would use them.
Seems to me that the ILWU has adopted that book as their play book, rather than following the teachings of Harry Bridges.
Too bad, so sad.