According to yesterday’s JOC Article, the ILWU demand to be able to unilaterally fire Arbitrators, is 1 of 6 remaining issues on the table at the negotiations in San Francisco.
This demand by the Union is a smoke screen that they are using to force the PMA to lock out the Union.
According to members that are talking to me, the Union is telling them that it is PMA that is trying to get rid of Southern California Area Arbitrator David “Judge Roy Bean” Miller, an ILWU member and the Union pick.
The union is doing the same thing they do with training and registration. They claim it is PMA that refuses to train, and it is PMA that refuses to register, when the entire time it is the Union telling PMA they do not want to train or register, unless it is under their terms and only includes their guys.
The Union was OK with Miller when he was doing their bidding when they went after Eric Aldape using the Section 13.2 Discrimination procedures to get him 2 years off work, because they did not like his election cartoons.
PMA tried, but not real hard, to protect Eric and went so far as to write a letter claiming that Eric the union charges were not valid grievances. Eric – PMA letter 11-27-12
PMA also tried to prevent the Union from putting Eric on no-dispatch. Eric – PMA’s 11-30-12 letter
Ultimately, Judge Roy Bean Miller, after being asked by the Union, placed Eric on no-dispatch for the first year off in his 2 year saga.
(If you are interested, the entire story is available here https://longshore-labor-relations.com/?p=4)
This all happened under the language agreed to in 2008 removing Judge Roy Bean Miller, and the other Industry Arbitrators from the Section 13.2 procedure and replacing them with “neutral professionals.” MOU 7-1-08 – page 12.
PMA is protecting Judge Roy Bean Miller from the ILWU, in the same way they tried to protect Eric Aldape from Local 13, only this time PMA is not going to roll over. Pyrrhic war | JOC.com
Judge Roy Bean Miller was the Union’s choice for Arbitrator. He was put into the job by Ramon Ponce de Leon and his cousin Frank. Miller is a clerk who Local 63 did not pick so he came to Local 13, Chuck Brady was the choice of Local 13 yet somehow Miller ended up the Unions pick and the PMA agreed, which is why he is in his job today.
There are 4 Area Arbitrators, 2 are PMA picks and 2 are ILWU picks, but both parties must agree to the others pick and they can only be removed when both parties agree to remove them. This practice has worked nicely for over 50 years.
Now all of a sudden, with no explanation, the Union wants to be able to unilaterally fire any of the Arbitrators and they are refusing to agree to a contract until their idiotic demand is met. Was this a Union resolution? Don’t think so.
This weird demand has nothing to do with the hours, wages, or working conditions of longshoremen, yet the Union is willing to get their members locked out over their desire to fire Arbitrators who rule against them.
Looks like they want to get locked out.
Here are some other reasons it looks like the ILWU wants to get locked out.
On Friday January 30th, before the Superbowl, all the PMA top managers went to Local 13 to meet with Bobby to discuss the dispatching of crane drivers. They had placed orders for night work that night in hopes that Bobby would agree to resume dispatching crane drivers in the same way they had been doing for years.
Bobby apparently refused to resume dispatching the qualified crane drivers, because PMA left angry and canceled the night orders. Rumors of a settlement before the Superbowl went out the window.
On Wednesday February 4th, PMA released their “all in” offer video, and again requested the ILWU to return “normal operations.” PMA-all-in-offer-press-release-2.4.15
Clearly a sign that negotiations are not going well when PMA goes public with details in an attempt to reach out to longshoremen, as the Union refuses to discuss any details with their membership.
On Thursday February 5th, Local 13 (the largest ILWU Local with 6800 members) has a Union meeting. At the meeting were the International Vice-President Ray Familathe, Coast Committeeman Ray Ortiz Jr., and Local 13 Negotiator Frank Ponce de Leon. The Union refused to discuss anything related to negotiations and just told the membership to hang in there. When asked what the sticking points were, the Union told members they were not going to discuss details.
Also on Thursday February 5th, Big Bob responded to PMA’s “all in” video and press release, by attacking PMA CEO Jim McKenna’s salary. ILWU_release_2_5_15
Looks to me like the ILWU does not want to settle. They want PMA to lock them out, then the Government to force them back to work and to the negotiating table, where they will accept the same deal they were offered before the lockout.
The ILWU leadership wants to be able to blame PMA and the Government for forcing them to accept the “shit sandwich” (ILWU’s own description) deal they end up with.
The ILWU leadership is doing their membership and their Employers a disservice by refusing to do their jobs, and explain the PMA offer and why they do not like it.
They are creating a whole new generation of workers who have animus toward their employer, especially when Bobby O gets on the mic, throws his middle finger in the air, with his son at his side, and screams “fuck PMA,” while leading the ILWU parade.
Time to knock it off and do your jobs, ILWU leadership.
Stop trying to get locked out and negotiate a contract.