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Maritime, dockworker unions criticize Liberty Marine’s labor switch

Note: Read the full Maritime Labor Alliance release about this jurisdictional violation here

From American Shipper:

A collective of ship and dockworkers unions are protesting a decision by Liberty Maritime to employ deck and engineering officers from another union to operate its newest U.S.-flag ship, rather than those members of its longtime union, the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA).

For the past 30 years, Liberty has used MEBA to provide deck and engineering officers for its U.S.-flag vessels. However, the company in 2011 moved five U.S.-flag vessels to another union, notably the American Maritime Officers (AMO). On Dec. 2, 2015, an arbitrator issued a supplemental award for damages to MEBA based on Liberty’s alleged 2011 breach of contract related to five U.S.-flag vessels.

The Maritime Labor Alliance, consisting of MEBA, American Radio Association, Inland Boatmen’s Union, International Longshoremen’s Association, International Longshore and Warehouse Union and International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots, said in a statement Wednesday they “consider this shopping of labor unions while a legitimate and longstanding collective bargaining agreement is in effect an affront to all true labor unions.”

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