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Ukraine: Support miners protesting underground

Labourstart.org News - Sun, 09/20/2020 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: IndustriALL
Categories: Labor News

Philippines: International solidarity with workers and unionists facing tyranny

Labourstart.org News - Fri, 09/18/2020 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: PSI
Categories: Labor News

Iran: Navid Afkari: How sport must respond

Labourstart.org News - Thu, 09/17/2020 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: UNI Global Union
Categories: Labor News

Global: Strong Unions Are Pivotal For Safety Of Healthcare Workers And Patients

Labourstart.org News - Thu, 09/17/2020 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Scoop
Categories: Labor News

South Africa: Union says Covid-19 opportunism is behind wage disputes in South Africa

Labourstart.org News - Wed, 09/16/2020 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: IndustriALL
Categories: Labor News

Global: A Left populist strategy for post-COVID-19

Labourstart.org News - Mon, 09/14/2020 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Opendemocracy
Categories: Labor News

Veterinary workers at CRVS ratify first private-sector union contract in the industry

ILWU - Wed, 09/09/2020 - 10:14

Rally for fair contract: National Veterinary Professionals Union Vice President Tana Greatorex speaks at a rally for CRVS workers in February of this year. Other organizations at the rally included ILWU Locals 4 and 5, the Inlandboatmen’s Union and Jobs with Justice.

Workers at Columbia River Veterinary Specialists (CRVS) in Vancouver, Washington ratified their first union contract on August 12 by an overwhelming margin of 53-1. These workers have been bargaining a contract with CRVS management for over a year, after voting to join ILWU Local 5 in February 2019. The contract is the first-ever private-sector union contract in the veterinary industry. Veterinary service is a rapidly growing, lucrative industry where workers are often faced with challenging working conditions and pay that is not commensurate with the education and skill required for the profession. In recent years, there has been massive consolidation of the industry as large companies acquire locally owned hospitals, leading to a corporate-led environment where workers’ rights and sustainable jobs for local communities too often come second to profit.

Organizing the unorganized

“This is a historic agreement that will set a new standard for wages and conditions in the veterinary industry,” said ILWU International Vice President Bobby Olvera. “I am so proud of the workers at CRVS for their grit, determination and courage. I would also like to thank the staff of the Organizing Department for their work. Organizing workers in an industry with no history of unionization is a difficult task, but also a necessary one. As the seventh guiding principle of the ILWU states; ‘To organize the unorganized must be a cardinal principle of any union worth its salt; and to accomplish this is not merely in the interest of the unorganized; it is for the benefit of the organized as well.’”

Campaign goals

Like the vast majority of first contract campaigns, this one was long and hard fought. CRVS workers began the bargaining process in February 2019. The workers had several primary goals for their first contract:

  1. Enhance worker rights beyond minimum legal (federal/state/ local) requirements;
  2. 2. Raise wages and establish a fair and transparent wage structure;
  3. Improve benefits;
  4. Secure an environment where the union would remain established and be able to improve upon the provisions won in this contract in the future.

By March 2020, like all bargaining tables, the CRVS/ILWU sessions were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, five months later, workers secured their contract.

A base to build on

The agreement was achieved through many collective actions, shows of solidarity, and productive and collaborative negotiations at the table. This is a first contract, and while not all goals were met, many were. The agreement is a marked improvement from the status quo and allows workers the opportunity to continue building the movement as they prepare for second contract negotiations in 2023.  The results of those combined efforts were:

More Workplace Rights:

  • “Just Cause” and progressive discipline standards of treatment;
  • Seniority based layoff and recall procedures;
  • Improved hospital communications such as: required all-staff meetings and establishing office hours for 1 on 1 meetings with administration to address workplace concerns;
  • Grievance Procedure to ensure contractual obligations are adhered to;

Increased Wages:

  • Increased base rate of pay for all positions;
  • Transparency on wages and wage rates;
  • Defined Differentials for additional skills/duties; • Yearly increases to the rates of pay for all positions; Better Benefits: • Increased Paid Time Off (PTO)    accrual and ability to cash out    PTO upon resignation;
  • Paid Jury Duty;
  • Bereavement for loss of a pet;
  • Improved Employee Assistance Program benefits;
  • Expanded rollover options for Continuing Education Credits;

…and a union shop where all new applicants are informed there is a union contract in place before they apply, and a structure whereby the union is able to effectively administer the contract and support workers on the job.

Setting a new standard: ILWU International President Willie Adams posted a solidarity photo on social media in support of workers at CRVS. After the vote ratification, the ILWU Titled Officers wrote a letter to the employer, congratulating them on reaching a fair agreement

Many workers whose wages have languished under corporatized veterinary medicine are now receiving their first increase in years under the agreement. Tracie Vestal, Licensed Veterinary Technician (LVT) stated: “Since I had not received any meaningful wage increase from CRVS over my five years of employment, I had the lowest hourly wage of any technician with my experience, education, and skillset. This did not reflect the unique role I served in the hospital as the sole LVT expert in laboratory diagnostics. I had considered sub-standard pay par for the course as a veterinary technician and had been debating applying my skills to human medicine/public health sectors, in order to be more financially sound. This was an agonizing consideration given my deep and abiding love and dedication This equity in pay will set CRVS apart as being a leading employer in the local veterinary community.

“I am extremely hopeful that this inaugural contract with veterinary professionals will serve as a model for everyone in this country and prove that negotiating across the employer/ employee divide benefits everyone (most importantly the patients).”

But as all union members know, the struggle is never over. ILWU Local 5 administrators are already building for the next phase of these efforts to ensure that workers are prepared to defend their gains and organize for future negotiations.

Katt Bennett, LVT, Veterinary Technician Specialist (Small Animal Internal Medicine) who was a member of the Member Action Team and instrumental in organizing every solidarity action, including picket lines and rallies, reflects on the struggle and looks to the future:

“It took CRVS over two years to accomplish this feat and this contract is only the first step toward making veterinary medicine a viable career during this time of corporate greed. It will provide veterinary workers with protections, wage equality, and establish a foothold for continued improvements in working conditions. Hopefully hospitals throughout the nation will follow suit, including veterinarians. This is a long journey, but we owe it to ourselves, our clients, and especially our patients to keep pushing for justice and fairness in our hospitals.”

Categories: Unions

Afghanistan: Government blocks trade union congress again

Labourstart.org News - Tue, 09/08/2020 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: ITUC
Categories: Labor News

Remembering our roots: Local 5 marks 20-year anniversary

ILWU - Tue, 09/08/2020 - 11:10

Forming ILWU Local 5: EXCERPTS from No Decisions About Us Without Us
By Kristin Russ

[ILWU Local 5 was chartered on August 10, 2000, after a two-year organizing and contract campaign by 400 workers at Powell’s Books in Portland, OR. The organizing effort began in 1998 when the company restructured jobs and significantly reduced raises for workers. Powell’s workers filed for a union election on March 12, 1999.  On April 22, they made history by voting to join the union and becoming the nation’s largest union bookstore. In honor of Local 5’s 20-year anniversary, we are running excerpts from, No Decisions About Us Without US.]

Workers Take Action: September 1998

Fighting for a first contract: Workers at Powell’s Books demonstrate in support of their efforts to win their first contract. ILWU Local 5 was chartered on August 10, 2000, after a two-year organizing and contract campaign by over 400 workers at Powell’s.

[Powell’s] employee, the late Marty Kruse, knew his coworkers were upset about the changes, and he decided to take action. The day the email was issued, he wandered around the Burnside store carrying a cardboard sign under his shirt. On it was scrawled: “If you’re pissed off, meet at Ringlers Annex at 11pm.” He flashed his message to fellow booksellers whom he thought might be sympathetic. In answer, about a dozen workers met covertly to discuss their options. The atmosphere that night was heavy with paranoia—even a random bar patron in a cowboy hat was seen as an informant for management. Not knowing how to take the next step, the group decided to seek guidance from representatives with the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW). One week later, these representatives met with an expanded group of employees, more representative of the broader Powell’s workforce. Once employees began talking, they realized that the wage changes were not their most important concern. Many employees found that lack of management accountability and lack of respect, as well as a loss of specialization in their jobs, were common issues of contention.

Searching and Striving for a Union

[The] new Organizing Committee worked toward a quick declaration of which union they wanted to represent them. It wasn’t long before the Committee determined that the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) was the best choice for their needs. Under the ILWU banner they were able to charter their own Local, which would be a self-governing, independent division of the larger union.  This Local would function in the same democratic, inclusive and militant tradition of the ILWU. They would no longer be isolated employees of Powell’s Books. They became ILWU Local 5.

Management began to take action to quell the support for the union among employees. By holding informational meetings and sending out letters explaining the ills a union would bring, management vied for employees’ attention. On November 12th, 1998 a letter was sent out to employees on Powell’s letterhead, attempting to dispel rumors of upcoming corporate changes and to show what the company had done for its employees. In efforts to convince employees that a union was not necessary, the corporate managers advised: “We also want to alert people to the fact that if you don’t want to be represented by a union, if you don’t think it’s the right thing for Powell’s, your rights to oppose unionization are protected by law just as much as your coworkers’ rights to support unionization are.” The corporate managers played on the anxieties and affection of its employees, stressing that the uniqueness of Powell’s would be under threat and possible ruin with a union.

Despite Management’s efforts to sway employee interests in its favor, on March 12, 1999 Local 5 had collected enough signed Union Authorization Cards to file for a union certification election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). On that rainy Friday afternoon, a rally was held outside Powell’s Burnside store in celebration of the filing. Employees held signs urging a “Fast and Fair Election”. Local 5 had one month to generate the support it needed to win the election. In another testimonial, John McMahon asked fellow Powellsians: “Should Michael Powell be left to speak for all of us, or should we have a strong voice in shaping the future of both this company and the community it serves?”

Vet Pet Care Pioneers: Pictured here are members of the Northwest Veterinary Specialists bargaining committee. NWVS workers were among the first veterinary workers who voted to unionize on the West Coast. Local 5 represents about one hundred veterinary workers at the Northwest Veterinary Services VCA, ranging from receptionists, kennel caretakers, to certified technicians.

On April 22nd, that question was answered. The ILWU was accepted as the union for Powell’s bookstore. Local 5 was official! The vote was close at 161-155. With 90% of the 350 eligible employees casting ballots, only 6 votes had determined the future of Powell’s Books and its employees.  It wasn’t a strong win, but it was a win that would take everyone into a promising, albeit tentative, future. The next nine months were spent organizing toward bargaining efforts, electing a bargaining team, and surveying employee wants and needs. On September 14th, 1999, exactly one year after Corporate’s compensation email and that first meeting of exasperated workers, the Powell’s Bargaining Team and the Local 5 Bargaining Team met across the table for the first time.

The End and The Beginning

The end of bargaining came after almost 11 months and 53 bargaining sessions, with hard feelings on both sides of the table and much conflict within the Portland community. Powell’s Burnside bookstore had become a mecca for the liberal-minded city of Portland, and the ongoing internal rift had been a source of community distress for too long. The hard-won agreement became a commitment to get back to the selling of books. Everyone was ready to move on, although some were uncertain what a unionized Powell’s would mean.

The proposed contract included more than 18% in wage increases over three years; a protection of current health care benefits; and a closed shop. The union lost in the fight for a successor rights clause; however, it was not a big loss as there was no imminent fear that Michael Powell would sell. But if, for example, a future employer should decide to contest the union, then by law a new vote for unionization would take place. Any strongly organized union should have no problem winning such a vote—yet another reason why it is in the best interest of the Local 5 and its members to maintain a good and healthy union.

Growing Seeds Bargaining Committee: Workers at the childcare chain Growing seeds in Portland voted to unionize and join Local 5 March 2020.

After a long struggle, Powell’s bookstore had defied the doubts of the retail business and completed what it set out to do—build a strong union. The vote to ratify the contract was a resounding victory at 293-37. A statement at the time from Mary Winzig, who was about to be Local 5’s first President, spoke to the fatigue of Local 5 bargainers and their satisfaction with the results: “I think we got everything we were looking for. It’s a great first contract.” Corporate Manager Ann Smith stated, “Yes, there’s relationship mending to do. But I look forward to moving on the the next chapter. It’s a good contract; it gives us a good foundation to build on.”

It took two years of fighting and rallying, multiple appeals for support from the Portland community, many ULP protests, and one powerful and united workforce to gain a precious first contract, ensuring protection of the livelihood of Powell’s employees. ‘No Decisions About Us Without Us’ had been the proclamation that reverberated throughout the aisles of Powell’s Books and had given a voice to its workers. And this new voice needed to be guarded. Setting the tone for the future of Local 5 and Powell’s, Union member Meredith Schafer stated, “The only way we get what’s in that contract is if we stay together and keep on working. The contract is not a gift—we worked for it and we’ll work to keep it.”

Afterword, The Years Since

In the years following that initial contract, Local 5 has continued to fight and continued to grow. Now with the 7th contract at Powell’s, the agreement has progressed and developed through negotiations, grievances and precedents set. The workers have continued to make gains with the most recent contract providing for over $3 in wage increases over a four-year agreement as well as maintenance of other benefits such as healthcare and PTO. The workers at Powell’s have continued to play a pivotal role in making sure Local 5 is a well-run union and continue the democratic traditions on which it was founded.

One thing has changed significantly over the years, Local 5 is no longer the “Powell’s Union” as it was initially referred to. Local 5 now represents workers from across a diverse set of industries: in foodservice is Aramark workers at the Evergreen State College in Olympia; in museums is Oregon Historical Society; in veterinary medicine is Columbia River Veterinary Specialists and Northwest Veterinary Specialists and in early learning education is Growing Seeds Learning Center. Local 5 is on the move and continues to embrace those workers who are taking a stand in their workplace and demanding better wages, benefits and working conditions. It’s a tradition 20 years in the making and one the Local looks forward to maintaining for another 20 years and beyond. Forward Ever – Backward Never!


Categories: Unions

SFVS workers strike to protest illegal actions by their employer, VCA-Mars

ILWU - Tue, 09/08/2020 - 10:37

Workers at San Francisco Veterinary Specialists (SFVS), walked-off the job on July 30 to protest federal labor law violations by their employer, VCA-Mars.  The “Unfair Labor Practices” strike was triggered by a new charge that the ILWU filed against the company and by a new complaint issued by the Federal Government, alleging the hospital committed a host of federal labor law violations.

Solidarity and social distancing

Workers held a small rally outside of the hospital in San Francisco’s Mission District following proper COVID safety protocols, while community supporters and clients listened to the rally speakers over Zoom and participated in a car caravan that circled the hospital.  In 2018, workers at SFVS voted by a 3-to-1 margin to form a union and affiliate with ILWU Local 6. Since that time, they have been trying to negotiate their first contract. Meanwhile, the company has hired anti-union consultants and lawyers to avoid reaching an agreement. The company refused to meet more than one day per month for bargaining until recently, when they finally agreed to meet twice per month to settle a NLRB complaint for bargaining in bad faith in violation of federal law. Standing with Katy

During the strike, workers, community members, and clients also rallied in support of Katy Bradley, an outspoken union supporter, bargaining committee member, and advocate for better patient care who was fired by VCA-Mars hours after the employer was notified that charges were being filed against them for violating federal law. Bradley has been an exemplary employee at SFVS for nearly eight years where she worked as a lead veterinary technician.  “VCA-Mars can lock me out but they can’t keep me from bargaining for a fair contract,” Bradley said during an emotional speech. “We’ve been trying to reach an agreement for 27 months to improve this hospital as well as the pet-care industry. We want a fair contract that mutually benefits the hospital and the employees that work here. We want to improve the staffing ratios so that we can continue to provide the best patient care possible. Despite how reasonable our asks are, VCA-Mars continues to stall bargaining and deny that they can hear our calls.” The big business of vet care

The veterinary care industry is a lucrative, multi-billion-dollar business built on the backs of a workforce that is underpaid for their high level of skill and education. In 2017, the Mars Corporation quietly purchased SFVS, along with hundreds of other animal hospitals and clinics, for $9.1 billion. Mars is a privately-held company famous for their M&M candies. Mars now controls a large share of America’s animal care industry, along with ownership of IAM’s and Pedigree brand pet foods, and other animal-linked assets. Mars has come under fire in recent months by civil rights activists for the negative racial stereo depicted in the packaging of their Uncle Ben’s brand rice products. The company has also been criticized by human rights activists for using slave labor in the production of their cocoa products.

“The ILWU is proud to stand behind Katy and all of the workers at SFVS who are fighting VCA-Mars to improve patient care and reach a fair contract. VCA-Mars is not the first billion-dollar corporation the ILWU has faced. We won those battles and will win this one too,” said ILWU International President Willie Adams.

Support from elected officials

The action drew statements of support from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and San Francisco Supervisors Hillary Ronen and Dean Preston.

“Recent developments represent a troubling deterioration of labor negotiations. This week, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ordered VCA-SFVS to respond to charges of retaliation and termination based on employees’ protected union activity and refusal to bargain in good faith. And last week, ILWU filed an Unfair Labor Practice complaint and 10-J Injunction for the termination of Katy Bradley, a union supporter who rose through the ranks at VCASFVS to her role as lead veterinary technician,” Speaker Pelosi wrote in a letter to the employer.

Supervisor Ronen stated in her letter to the company: “When a company knowingly attacks workers or undermines worker support, that company attacks our community. As the community–elected representative of the city’s 9th District I request that you reinstate Katy Bradley, cease all anti-union activity and you return to good faith bargaining. A quick resolution that is mutually beneficial to all parties is what our community grows and thrives on.”

District 5 Supervisor Dean Preston wrote in a letter the employer, “I have closely followed the multi-year effort of the VCA union. I have been impressed by how committed and serious these professionals are, diligently trying to improve their place of employment for the benefit of workers and patients. Naturally, we expect their employer at VCA – Mars Corporation – not to undermine workers.   “Like most, until I became familiar with the VCA workers’ union, I was unaware of the size and nature of Mars’ investment and growth in the pet care industry. I would hope that a multi-billion dollar company would be thoughtful in disciplinary action towards an employee, particularly during a pandemic and during contract negotiation. I am concerned not only by the report of the termination of Ms. Bradley, but also reports of zero cost of living adjustments, raises or any proactive policy in support of the workers at SFVS during this health crisis, as well as a reduction of hours for support staff and increased patient load on reduced staff.”

The strike, which lasted less than an hour, is an “unfair labor practice” strike, because it responds directly to illegal conduct by the employer, rather than concerns about working standards, such as high-turnover, short-staffing and patient care, problems that have also plagued SFVS.

Liz Hughston from the National Veterinary Professionals Union, called into the rally via Zoom and spoke about the central role Katy has played in the effort to unionize the veterinary industry. “Katy is the reason that unionization in the veterinary industry is as far along as it is,” said Hughston. “Katy started this mission at SFVS. She is the one who connected the veterinary industry with the ILWU and without her we would not be fighting for the rights of veterinary workers to the extent we are today.”

SFVS worker David Lesseps closed the rally out, saying that workers will outlast the company’s efforts to undermine the union. “We have been targeted. We have been threatened. They have tried to wear us down but we are not tired, we are not stopping,” he said.


Categories: Unions

Explosion at the Port of Beirut puts spotlight on lax maritime regulations

ILWU - Tue, 09/08/2020 - 10:21

Aftermath: The warehouse blast decimated the Port of Beirut and killed scores of port and maritime workers.

On August 4, two devastating explosions occurred at the Port of Beirut, the capital of Lebanon. The second explosion, caused by the ignition of 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate, leveled the port and killed at least 177 people, including seafarers, longshore and other port workers. The blast left an estimated 300,000 people homeless and caused billions of dollars in damage throughout the city. The ammonium nitrate had been confiscated by the Lebanese government from the abandoned ship, the MV Rhosus, and then stored at the port for six years without safety measures.

 ILWU statement

The day after the explosion, ILWU International President Willie Adams released the following statement: “International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) workers on the West Coast of the United States and Canada grieve the tremendous losses that Beirut is suffering following an explosion of stored material at a port warehouse. While the chaos of the explosion has yet to reveal the full scope of human loss, we are heartbroken to learn that longshore workers lost their lives when their worksite became ground zero for the catastrophic explosion. The city of Beirut and thousands of families will never be the same.

“Reports that the Lebanese government has put port authorities under house arrest while investigating the dubious storage of these explosive materials on the docks since 2014, and the likelihood that these deaths were preventable, are deeply disturbing but not surprising developments to those of us who work on the waterfront. Employers, port authorities and government agencies should always hold safety paramount on the waterfront – but, left unchecked, complacency and profit motive too often put workers’ lives at risk. The shocking images we are seeing in the news illustrate why dockworker unions fight for safety on the docks and the safe movement of cargo: to protect our lives and communities.

The ILWU is closely monitoring the developments at the Port of Beirut, and we will determine the best way to assist when the facts become clearer. On behalf of my fellow Titled Officers, the Coast Committeemen and the rank and file membership, I extend our profound condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of the dockworkers and the people of Beirut.“

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) also issued a statement: “On behalf of the ITF and our 700 affiliates from around the world, we send our sincerest condolences and sympathies to all of those impacted by these terrible explosions. The ITF and our affiliates stand in solidarity with all of you, your members, colleagues, families and the people of Lebanon at this incredibly sad time,” they wrote. “We mourn this terrible tragedy alongside you and express our deep condolences to families who have lost their loved ones and wish the injured a quick recovery.’

ITF affiliated unions in Lebanon include the General Confederation of Drivers and Transport Workers in Lebanon (GCDTW), the Union of Beirut Port Employees (UBPE), the Syndicate of Middle East Airlines and Affiliate Companies (MEA), the Lebanese Cabin Crew Association (LCCA) and the Lebanese Seaman’s Syndicate (LSS).

 Profits over people

Protests erupted in the aftermath of the explosion that resulted in the resignation of Lebanese government officials including the Prime Minister. But the gross negligence of the government is only part of the story.  In an opinion piece published in The Guardian, Laleh Khalili, Professor of International Politics at Queen Mary University of London, argues that the roots of the catastrophic explosion run “to a network of maritime capital and legal chicanery that is designed to protect businesses at any cost.” At the heart of this “network of legal chicanery” is the “flag of convenience” (FoC) practice that prioritizes the profits of shipping companies over the health and safety of seafarers and port workers, Khalili argues.

Flag of convenience

The FoC practice allows shipping companies to register a ship in a country other than that of the ship’s owners to avoid oversight, regulations, and accountability. Such ships are registered to (and fly the flags of) countries with the weakest labor, environmental, and health and safety regulations.

 The beginning of the tragedy

In her article, Khalili begins the story of the Beirut Port explosion in 2013, when the Russian-owned MV Rhosus, registered to a company in Bulgaria and flagged in Moldova, set sail from Georgia to Mozambique with a cargo of ammonium nitrate. The 30-year old vessel had a hole in its hull requiring water to be pumped out to stop it from sinking. It was operated by a crew of eight Ukrainians and two Russians who were unaware that the previous crew had left the ship in protest of the non-payment of their wages by the ship’s owner.

The Rhosus stopped in Beirut to earn extra cash by picking up additional cargo of heavy machinery. Inspectors were alerted when the ship’s decks buckled under the weight. It was declared “unseaworthy” and Lebanese officials impounded the vessel for failure to pay charges including port fees. The owner filed for bankruptcy, abandoning the ship, its cargo, and its crew in the Port of Beirut.  Port authorities refused to allow four of the seafarers off the ship without a replacement crew.

The captain and remaining crew were trapped aboard the ship—with its 2,750 tons of explosive cargo—for almost a year with no wages, no access to electronic communications, and with dwindling food and fuel provisions, until a Lebanese court intervened and ordered them to be released.  The cargo of ammonium nitrate was confiscated and stored in a warehouse at the port–where it remained until it exploded on August 4.  “Flags of convenience are essentially an offshoring tool intended to protect capital, allowing unsafe ships to sail with crews who are vulnerable to the depredations of unscrupulous employers. Even the wealthiest shipping companies in the world, with headquarters in Europe and east Asia, flag their ships to open registries to save on wages, taxes and insurance,” Khalili concluded.

“The removal of these offshoring provisions, eliminating flags of convenience, and an overhaul of the arbitration mechanisms that so often disadvantage seafarers and less powerful states are only the first steps towards addressing the malfeasance that created [the August 4] tragedy. As the dust settles in Beirut, there is a great deal of work to be done.”

The ITF says that until there is a “genuine link between the flag a ship flies and the nationality or residence of its owners,” abuses will continue.”

Categories: Unions

ILWU Legislative Director Lindsay McLaughlin retires

ILWU - Tue, 09/08/2020 - 10:12

Screenshot of C-Span broadcast of ILWU Legislative Director Lindsay McLaughlin speaking before Congress.

ILWU Legislative Director Lindsay McLaughlin retired on August 14 after serving the union for over 30 years.  Lindsay’s many contributions to the ILWU and his work with the Legislative Action Committee have left a lasting imprint on the union and membership.   During his tenure as Legislative Director, Lindsay successfully navigated many rounds of contract negotiations, worked diligently to protect our health care and retirement benefits, advocated for investments on the waterfront, defended the Jones Act, and ensured the wellbeing of future ILWU members for years to come.

At the July 17 International Executive Board meeting held over Zoom, IEB members thanked Lindsay for his decades of work.  “I’ve known Lindsay for almost 30 years. This organization owes you a debt of gratitude,” said ILWU International President Willie Adams.  “Thank you for all the years of service. You’ve been a true warrior.”  “One thing you’ve demonstrated was never to be intimidated by these politicians—they work for us,” said Executive Board member Dan McKisson. “You’ve always done a great job for us and I really appreciate it.” Lindsay recalled how he actively pursued a job with the ILWU.

“When the job came open, the first thing I did was read a biography of Harry Bridges and that got me very excited about the ILWU. I wanted the job very badly because I knew this was union with principles,” he said. “I got so hyped-up, I even grew a long mustache so I could look older. I was 27 years old at the time and I thought the union might want someone with more experience.” Lindsay thanked the Titled Officers and Executive Board members for the opportunity to serve the ILWU membership for 30 years. “I may be retiring but I will never leave the ILWU. If the union needs anything from me, I will be there,” he said. Lobbyist Kyle Mulhall, who has

worked with the ILWU Legislative Office since 2015, will be handling the transition of duties for the ILWU Legislative Office.  We wish Lindsay all the best in his retirement and thank him for his many years of service to the union.

Categories: Unions

Vietnam: A new chapter in labour organizing

Labourstart.org News - Mon, 09/07/2020 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: China Labour Bulletin
Categories: Labor News

Ukraine: 393 mineworkers launch underground protest

Labourstart.org News - Mon, 09/07/2020 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: KVPU
Categories: Labor News

Algeria: IUF affiliates join call to UN to end rights abuses and support democracy

Labourstart.org News - Sun, 09/06/2020 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: IUF
Categories: Labor News

Global: World Day for Decent Work: A New Social Contract for Recovery and Resilience

Labourstart.org News - Thu, 09/03/2020 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: ITUC
Categories: Labor News

UK: Amazon withdraws job adverts for union 'spies'

Labourstart.org News - Wed, 09/02/2020 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: BBC
Categories: Labor News


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