Because the ILWU has chosen to keep what they are doing a secret from their membership, including their caucus delegates, the workers have been forced to get their information from their Employers, and the self-proclaimed rumor captains.
There are members who are using the situation to whip up the rank and file because they are running for office in a few weeks, and they know if they put on a good show they are all but guaranteed re-election.
Dean mcGrath, Local 23 President, has broken from the pact not to talk to the press and done several interviews.
Looks like Dean likes the $167,000 that he is getting paid, and has decided to jump in to help the negotiators and make himself look good to his membership. He is acting like he has aspirations for higher offices in the Union, based on who he is hanging with and what he is saying.
Bobby Olvera Jr., Local 13 President, has been going to the dispatch hall to whip up the troops and make himself look good to his membership. He is up for re-relction in March 2015.
Bobby is telling the rank and file that PMA is acting badly, disrespecting their negotiators, and that PMA walked away from the table and is refusing to bargain.
So far, rumors being spread on the docks include:
PMA demanding that members pay 20% of the cost of the medical benefits.
Employers demanding manning reductions.
No pay increase being offered.
Employers demanding elimination of some safety rules.
It is interesting that the members accept what ever they are told as the truth and all say they are ready to strike, but not one can say what their strike issue is.
Seems to me that the ILWU at least owes it to their members to explain what the issues are and adhere to their own founding principle to give the members all the information and they will do the right thing.
This mornings rumor is that next week the Employers are going to only order 1 gang per ship.
If that is the case, at least PMA will no longer be able to blame the ILWU for the slowdown.
Happy New Year to both sides, now git er done.