Here is the Administrative Law Judge’s Decision regarding the jurisdiction of the 25 mechanics jobs in dispute.
Author: Jim Tessier
Coastwise Rules for Registration and Deregistration of Longshoremen and Clerks
ILWU Local 13 President Ramon Ponce de Leon’s Cement Dock Shape-up.
The ILWU was founded in 1934 to bring an end to the Employer’s preferential hiring practice known as; the shape-up. In 2018 Local 13 started running their own shape-up out of the Office’s of the President and the Labor Relations Committee Representative.
Eric Aldape, has been a dues paying member in good standing of ILWU Local 13 for the last 20+ years and, while he has been deregistered and therefore not eligible to work for PMA companies, he is eligible to work for non-PMA ILWU operations like the Metro Cement dock in the Port of Los Angeles.
Local 13 has a history of referring deregistered members in good standing, and registered members on no-dispatch under their Pacific Coast Longshore Contract Document, to work at non-PMA operations like the Kaiser steel dock and the Metro Cement dock.
On June 10, 2019, Eric wrote to Local 13’s Executive Board about the shape-up related to jobs being referred to a non-PMA cement operation run by Metropolitan Stevedoring.
Eric attended several Local 13 Executive Board meetings where the officers acted like they all knew nothing about the non-PMA cement operation, said they were not sure Local 13 had the jurisdiction, then held the matter over to look into it. The Union refused to responded to Eric’s letters, and continued to refer non-members to the Cement dock.
The NLRB was provided payroll records showing a registered member on no dispatch to PMA Employers working at the non-PMA Cement dock, and a Complaint letter from PMA which was tabled by Metro’s Rob Waterman. Rob Waterman is who negotiated and administered the exclusive hiring hall agreement at the Cement dock.
Eric Aldape and others informed an NLRB Agent that non-member superintendents; were referred to work at the non-PMA cement dock, and that Labor Relations Committee Representative, Mike Dimon, referred a deregistered non-member B-man to start working at the Cement dock on October 1, 2019.
Region 21 was provided with the names of all the workers referred to the Cement dock. The first 2 referred by Mark Mendoza both described their referrals in detail including the names and background on every person referred by Local 13, and both made it clear that the only way to get the job is to be referred by Local 13.
Eric also informed the NLRB Agent that for the last 3 weeks of September only 1 Local 13 member had been working at the Metro non-PMA Cement dock, which means there was at least 1 job open while Local 13 was stalling Eric’s request to go to work.
Local 13 has referred; deregistered members in good standing, registered members on no-dispatch to PMA, non-member superintendents who lost their jobs, and a deregistered non-member B-man, to the non-PMA Metro Cement dock with no lists or documented referral procedure. That is a shape-up.
Eric pays dues, is a ILWU member in good standing, and has rights. He has the right to vote and he has the right to be referred ahead of non-members. He has the right go to work at non-PMA jobs that are referred under an ILWU exclusive hiring hall agreement.
According to Side Letter 3 dated March 16, 2018; Local 13 agreed to continue operating under the Agreement Between Pacific Warehouse Company and ILWU, Local No. 13 executed on April 7, 1998, including supplementary Side Letters No. 1 and No. 2.
Region 21 investigated the charge, and found Local 13 has a valid exclusive hiring hall Agreement covering referral of members of Local 13 to the Metro Cement dock.
Region 21 found that Local 13 did refer the first worker employed under the exclusive hiring hall agreement; without the required hiring hall list, and without any objective criteria for referral.
The Board has consistently held that;
“when an employer vacillates in offering a rational and consistent account of its actions, an inference may be drawn that the real reason for the conduct is not among those asserted.” Aluminum Technical Extrusions, 274 NLRB 1414, 1418 (1985).
The same holds true for Labor Organizations.
Local 13’s Officers have been lying to Eric since the June 2019 Executive Board Meeting, when they denied they were referring workers for the cement jobs and told Eric they didn’t think they had jurisdiction.
Local 13 lied to Region 21 saying did not refer any of the workers, and claiming they had never implemented the agreement. They then told the Agent investigating they had a letter eliminating the exclusive hiring hall agreement, but never produced the letter.
On May 15th after being told that Local 13 had provided a copy of the letter allegedly amending the exclusive hiring hall agreement Eric faxed a memo to Local 13 Secretary/Treasurer Mark Williams requesting a copy. He has received no response.
Local 13 refused to provide any workers with the letter alleged to have amended the exclusive hiring hall agreement. They refused to provide it to Eric, they refused to provide it to the Executive Board at both meetings where they discussed the proposed settlement, and they failed to provide it to the workers.
At the first Executive Board Meeting that Eric attended, President Ray Familathe was asked if he told the NLRB that the Local was giving up the exclusive hiring hall agreement at the Cement dock, and he said no he was not going to make any changes.
By refusing to provide the Eric and the rest of the workers with the information he requested which is relevant and necessary to the Union’s performance of its duties as collective-bargaining representative Local 13 has engaged in an unfair labor practice within the meaning of the Act.
The Region found that the first employee was referred to the Cement dock job, by the Union, under a valid exclusive hiring hall agreement, and that the Union failed to maintain a list of qualified persons, based on objective criteria, mandated to be referred in the order which they signed the list.
ILWU Local 13 is under the impression that being de-registered automatically takes away Union membership. Not so, and Eric provided his stamped dues book which states he is a member of Local 13.
Local 13’s refusal to refer member Eric Aldape is directly driven by animus they have against him, which was demonstrated at the May 21, 2020, Executive Board meeting when Mondo Porras made a motion to have Eric read out of the Union.
Secretary/Treasurer, Mark Williams informed Mondo that was not possible to read Eric out of the Union because Eric is a dues paying member in good standing. Mondo then said he did not understand why Eric would continue to pay his dues.
According to the NLRB webpage titled Hiring Halls;
“Unions that operate hiring halls must notify workers how the referral system works (and of any changes in that system) and maintain non-discriminatory standards and procedures in making job referrals from the hiring hall.”
Because Eric applied for and was denied referral to the Cement dock operation, back pay is in order. But for the Union’s unlawful discriminatory referral system Eric would have been employed at the Cement dock.
The Board held in the May 19, 2020, Decision and Order in Sheffield Barbers, LLC and Nellis Barbers Association and Un Chong Thrower. Cases 28‒CA‒199308, 28‒CA‒210447, and 28‒CA‒209734;
“Having concluded that the Respondent is for the unlawful discharge of employee Un Chong Thrower, the Respondent must offer her immediate reinstatement to her former job, or if that job no longer exists, to a substantially equivalent position, without prejudice to her seniority or any other rights and privileges previously enjoyed. I also order that Respondent make Un Chong Thrower whole, with interest, for any loss of earnings and other benefits that she may have suffered as a result of the discrimination against her. Backpay shall be computed in accordance with F. W. Woolworth Co., 90 NLRB 289 (1950), with at the rate prescribed in New Horizons, 283 NLRB 1173 (1987), compounded daily as prescribed in Kentucky River Medical Center, 356 NLRB 6 (2010).”
Region 21, having found that Local 13 has engaged in certain unfair labor practices, should have ordered it to cease and desist therefrom and to take certain affirmative actions designed to effectuate the policies of the Act.
Local 13 violated the Act by failing to run a proper exclusive hiring hall and should be ordered to re-dispatch all 3 jobs and to make Eric Aldape whole for any loss of earnings and other benefits suffered as a result of the discrimination against him. Re-dispatching jobs dispatched in error is common practice.
Eric did not waive back pay as claimed by Local 13, in fact according to Andrea Cook, the attorney that drafted the document provided to the Region by Local 13, this case is specifically exempted from the waiver.
Local 13’s Officers have been running a shape-up under the guise of a dispatch hall, out of the Local President’s office, referring non-members while refusing to offer the jobs to dues paying members in good standing, like Eric Aldape.
Every employee working at the Cement dock, that was referred under the unlawful practice of the Union, needs to be called back to the dispatch hall and referred under a lawful system which includes; a list of those eligible for referral based on objective criteria, and a documented referral system which is made available to all workers.
Region 21 found that Local 13 referred the first worker under an exclusive hiring hall agreement without a hiring hall list, where the Union kept no records, and without any objective criteria for referrals.
Region 21 said the employer was contacted but refused to provide any information on how the other employees we identified were hired, and it was up to us to show they were referred by Local 13. The fact that the Employer did not claim to have hired them without calling the Union, proves they did call the Union.
According to the Judge’s Decision in APEX LINEN SERVICE, INC. vs INTERNATIONAL UNION OF OPERATING ENGINEERS, LOCAL 501, AFL-CIO Cases 28-CA-216351 28-CA-218085 28-CA-222251 28-CA-225805 28-CA-226407 28-CA-226917 28-CA-226924 28-CA-226939 28-CA-227970 28-CA-227973 28-CA-233003:
“Accordingly, having presented a prima facie case of discrimination, the burden of persuasion shifts to Respondent to show that it would have taken the same actions even in the absence of employee protected activity. Apex has not met its burden.”
We presented a prima facie case, based on the Region finding merit to our charge, accordingly the burden should shift to the Union to show the rest of the workers we identified were not referred in further violation of the ACT.
Do you really believe that an Employer is going to sign an exclusive hiring hall agreement with the Longshoremen’s Union, then just blow it off and hire off the street?
Local 13 is running an illegal shape-up and trying to lie their way out of being held accountable for their unlawful exclusive hiring hall violations.
Ramon thinks he can lie to the NLRB, lie to his membership, and continue to get away with running the Cement dock shape-up out of the Union offices.
Ask Ramon, or any Executive Board member, what is happening with the NLRB and the exclusive hiring hall agreement with the Metro Cement dock.
This is a case book example of: An injury to one is an injury to all.
Ramon Ponce de Leon is a disgrace to the ILWU, Local 13, and Unionism in general.
Tell him, and the Executive Board, to knock it off and put Eric to work.
Tired of being bullied by the ILWU? Worker or Company? We can help. Just ask us.
If you are a longshore worker, or a company who deals with the ILWU, and you are getting bullied and pushed around by the thugs currently running the Union, give us a call.
We have a proven history of successfully pushing back against the corrupt thugs running the ILWU.
B-men pay a lower collective bargaining fee because of NLRB charges we filed.
Hiring hall users can now get unredacted JPLRC Minutes, so workers can check for themselves to see how they are being treated compared to other similarly situated employees, because of NLRB charges we filed.
If you are tired of being lied to and/or ignored by the ILWU, give us a call.
We can help.
Reach out to us at [email protected].
We will respond.
Big Baby McEllrath’s legacy: A 93.6 million dollar Judgment that might bankrupt the ILWU.
Big Baby enabled Leal Sundet, x-PMA employee and Coast Committeeman from Local 8 in Portland, Oregon, and his gangster style tactics related to the ILWU ‘s jurisdictional dispute over 2 jobs.
According to the article, the 2 week trial was about damages related to the behavior of the Union.
Both Local 8 and the International had already been found guilty of unlawful thuggery, a Decision they Appealed and lost.
The Union brought in a team of 7 of high-powered attorneys who attempted to re-litigate the case the Union lost on Appeal.
One observer estimated the Union was spending in the neighborhood of $70,000 a day on their lawyers who wear the big underwear, while their regular lawyers, also on the payroll, sat in the bleachers.
The Union tried to blame everything that happened on Elvis Ganda and the way he and his ICTSI people treated the Local 8 longshoremen.
When pressed for specifics the Union was unable to describe incidents where management was abusive toward the workers, outside of 1 story about a ILWU clerk who worked next door to T-6, who had been allowed to drive her car thru T-6 to come and go was told she would have to use her own companies gate after ITCSI took over T-6.
Oh, the horror.
At one point Leal Sundet took the stand to explain the Union’s claim that Elvis and his people were verbally abusive toward their longshore workers.
When the ICTSI lawyer claimed that Leal himself had verbally abused Elvis, Leal responded by denying the claim. At which point the lawyer pulled out transcripts from Leal’s deposition and read him his own threatening words.
The jury obviously did not buy any of the Union’s fairytale because they gave Elvis pretty much everything he was asking for.
All of a sudden there is a lot of concern on the part of the Union.
Members are openly claiming they are not going to pay.
There is talk of declaring bankruptcy, although I’m not sure how that would work when they have a guaranteed income stream, PMA pays 85% of their dispatch hall expenses, and they have virtually no liabilities outside the money they donate to politicians.
There is a special 1 topic caucus later this month, just to deal with the verdict.
Southern California has called an emergency Area Meeting for all Locals, longshore, clerk and foremen.
Big Baby collected money from every Local on the West Coast while he made his fair well tour, maybe he should give it back to help pay for his actions.
The Union asked the Judge to delay the Judgement for 2 weeks, allowing for each side to submit briefs.
The Union is expected to play the “we are to big to fail” card in hopes of getting the Judge to reduce the damages the Jury awarded.
There are some in the legal community that feel that unions are entitled to and should get special treatment.
I sure hope the Judge is not one of them.
Big Baby is a stupid bully. He and his lackeys should be held accountable.
Let them declare bankruptcy and have their collective bargaining agreements declared voided, and watch the feeding frenzy of those willing to fill the void.
They should take Big Baby’s name off the golf tournament, and put it on the; Take Your Money and Drinking Contest.
This is starting to get interesting.
DO NOT USE the ILWU/PMA Contract Section 13.2 discrimination procedure. It is optional, and run by incompetent corrupt Arbitrators.
Do not use Section 13 of the PCLCD or the Green Book to file claims of discrimination.
Contact us, or get a lawyer and have them contact us, if you want to win.
The Section 13 procedure is just there to protect the Union and PMA, not you.
It is a totally rigged procedure run by incompetent corrupt Arbitrators.
According to Section 17 of the PCLCD, and the Green Book, the Contract grievance procedure must be exhausted before pursuing any other remedy.
While under oath, during depositions, experts from both PMA and the Union stated that everyone knows that they Contract grievance procedure is optional and voluntary, and that everyone knows they free to go to the outside at any time.
Well, the same principle holds for confidentiality.
The PCLCD and the Green Book both claim the grievance procedure is confidential, but they know that it is not.
There is no confidentiality in the workplace, outside of the Companies proprietary business secrets.
Everyone knows that, right PMA and ILWU?
What is happening with Eric Aldape?
If you are interested in finding what is happening with Eric Aldape, the Local 13 member who was deregistered because of his political fliers, you should go to the Membership Meeting this Thursday, October 3rd.
Here is the flier that he put out inviting members to come to the Meeting and help him get back to work:
Ask Ray why he has been refusing to help a member?
Yesterday, Mike Dimon sent a non-member deregistered B-man to start working at the non-PMA cement dock, but he refuses to send Eric.
For the last 3 weeks there has been an unfilled job at the non-PMA cement dock. Ray knew the whole time he has been saying he needs to look into it.
When the membership gets all the information, they WILL do the right thing.
Time to do the right thing Ray?
The ILWU/PMA contract grievance procedure is a fraud being run by ILWU conmen Frank Ponce de Leon, Cam Williams, Bobby Olvera Jr., and their PMA puppets.
Corrupt Union Officials have weaponized the PCLCD grievance procedure and are using it to get rid of members they want out of their “Social Club.”
Frank Ponce de Leon, Cam Williams, Bobby Olvera Jr., and their corrupt friends on the Local JPLRCs have refused to process grievances like the one against paying the Steady Crane drivers $55/day off the books; have faked JPLRC Meetings; have gone after members that threaten their power using a Trail Committee to fix it so they can’t run for Office for 13 years; have gone after members by getting them time off work for talking about discrimination grievances at Executive Board Meetings; and have allowed a member to be deregistered because of political cartoons; all while processing a Union Complaint from Ramon Ponce de Leon and agreeing to increase the guaranteed pay for steady crane drivers to $1,000 for the 2 days per week they get paid to stay home, without opening the contract or ratifying the Agreement; and burying the Employer Complaint filed against, Chris Viramontes, the past local 13 President who admitted he invested $130,000 to help start the Port Medical fraud.
This is the same Chris Viramontes who claimed to have nothing to do with Port Medical in his original 13.2 Complaint filed in 2012, and in his retaliation Complaint which resulted in the deregistration of Eric Aldape in 2017.
There was a day when PMA would not have allowed these corrupt Union Officers to do what they are doing. I know this because I worked for PMA for 9 years, back when it was run by men who had honor and compassion.
The current PMA leadership is the epitome of Union dominated wimps.
The entire Grievance Procedure of the PCLCD is being used to protect the corrupt activities of the Union and PMA, mostly by simply refusing to process Complaints or requests for 6 months so the individuals will be time barred from any legal action.
In some cases the Union and PMA have fabricated meeting Minutes which they never provided to the member, then they argued he had no right to litigate because he failed to appeal the JPLRC Decision they admitted they failed to provide.
Quite a few members, B-men, and casuals reach out to me for help.
It is my belief that given the level of corruption in-house, the only option to address discrimination complaints, registration complaints, training complaints, or any other JPLRC Decision is to go to the outside and get a good lawyer.
A good lawyer like Dan Stevens of Stevens & McMillan.
Watch the Ruth Bader Ginsberg movie if you want to know what it will take to get what you have a right to have.
Tell Dan you got his number here, 12 referrals and I get a free 6 inch Subway.
It is time to stop these corrupt conmen from ruining the ILWU.
Pathetic liars like Justin Hirsch and his scumbag lawyer, Rob Lavitt, show why the ILWU is corrupt and failing the honest working longshoremen they claim to represent.
Check out the bold faced lie in the letter Justin wrote to deny a member’s request for Seattle JPLRC Minutes.
JPLRC Minutes DO NOT contain any confidential information, and DO NOT require substantial time and resources to review. That is a bold faced lie.
There is no burden in giving a member a copy of the JPLRC Minutes. They are provided by PMA and all that is needed is for a secretary to open a file cabinet and pull out a copy.
These are the same JPLRC Minutes that PMA distributes to all their member companies.
Justin Hirsch and Little Richie Austin are claiming that the PMA is distributing longshore workers confidential information to their member companies, and that is OK with the Union, they just don’t want other longshoremen to get access to this alleged confidential information.
Really? What confidential information is Justin talking about?
Someone should ask Justin and Rich what confidential information they are allowing PMA to distribute to their members.
Denying members information is a direct violation of the Union’s promise to give all the information to the membership, so they can do the right thing.
Justin is just a pathetic little liar, who will be on the hot seat when he gets called to testify at the NLRB Hearing scheduled for October 15, 2019.
Also on the hot seat will be Local 19’s scumbag lawyer, Rob Lavitt.
Lying Rob filed the following legal document with the NLRB claiming Karey has no legal right to unredacted JPLRC Minutes.
This is the same Rob Lavitt that signed the following NLRB Settlement Agreement stating that employees have a legal right to unredacted JPLRC Minutes.
So, longshoremen in Local 23 have a legal right to unredacted JPLRC Minutes, but Karey from Local 19 has no legal right to unredacted JPLRC Minutes?
That in a nutshell is why Unions are failing.
Liars should not prosper, and liars in Unions are no exception.
Does anyone really think that scumbag Rob will let me ask Justin to explain his lies during the Hearing on October 15th?
I predict the liars will settle, and the Settlement will contain a non admission of guilt clause, because that is what scumbag lawyers do.
What do you think?
An ILWU Labor Day story every worker should read.
A lone, longshore worker, Eric Aldape, lifelong dues paying member in good standing of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Local 13, opposed the Union and Pacific Maritime Association in Federal Court on Friday, August 30, 2019.
Aldape’s, lawyer argued that a provision of the collective bargaining agreement was an illegal sham which allowed the 89 member companies of PMA and the Union to avoid liability for violation of the civil rights of waterfront workers.
PMA and the Union argued that Section 13.2, bargained for and agreed upon by the Union and PMA for more than 15 years, is a “speedy” resolution of discrimination claims.
PMA and the ILWU both claim everything that happened was in accordance with a collective bargaining agreement ratified by both parties. They just forgot that the last paragraph of the July 1, 2014, LOU Regarding Proper Application of Section 13 states; intra-union political disputes are not covered by Section 13.1, and that all Eric’s fliers were political fliers.
Aldape’s lawyer countered that it was a kangaroo court procedure that must be complied with within days of any “discriminatory” event and robs workers of their statutory rights under state and federal law without the benefit of advising workers of the rights they are giving up.
Importantly, for victims of harassment and discrimination, there is no actual remedy, except for the discipline of the “accused.”
The lawyer for Aldape argued that even if the arbitration provision contained a warning, it cannot be saved from its illegal nature because of the way in which civil rights issues are resolved, without the benefit of lawyers, without sufficient time to gather witnesses, and before an “arbitrator” who is another longshore worker and has no other qualification.
The Judge asked PMA; How does a ILWU longshoreman, appointed as Arbitrator, accused of bias, rule himself not biased w/o a hearing, then terminate the employment of a longshoreman he admitted he threatened to kill? PMA had no answer.
Mr. Aldape was the “accused” in 15 such arbitrations over nine years. Section 13.2 was weaponized by union officials against Mr. Aldape for the publication of political flyers and cartoons which lampooned union officers and those running for office, accusing them of fraud, graft and corruption. Mr. Aldape was punished for his dissidence with nearly three years of time off and ultimately, his termination.
Mr. Aldape’s lawyer argued that the procedure was unlawful as applied to Mr. Aldape by punishing him for his outspoken and protected right to criticize union officers.
Provisions of Federal law provide protection for workers who exercise their right to freedom of speech in the workplace.
The Honorable, Andrew Birrotte, took the matter under submission and is expected to rule late next week.
The outcome will impact 22,000 longshore workers in every working Port on the West Coast, from San Diego to Bellingham.
Below are the Documents submitted to the Court prior to the Hearing: