Brothers and Sisters,
First and foremost, we want to say thank you again to all our brothers and sisters for their incredible solidarity and focus on what is truly important, all of our futures. Unfortunately, we believe this is just the start of a tough fight. Our resilience will be tested, but we must remember what we are fighting for and how important it is for not only you and your families but for all of those who stand beside us in solidarity.
Friday was a long day, starting with more fruitless discussions at the table in the early morning. As we had a few hours before the next discussion the negotiating committee came to the shipyard and put the hammer down in the AB at 11:00 AM, followed by a tremendous rally where we all let our voices be heard loudly and effectively.
After lunch, we returned to the table, conveying to the company that they have not provided the Union with any articles and that we were waiting on them. The company stated that they would meet us back at the table at 8:00 AM Saturday. The committee said no, we are here to negotiate a contract for our members and we will return later at 8:00 PM with counter-proposals. The company caucused and said ok we will see you at 8:00 PM.
When we returned to the table at 8:00 PM the company once again didn’t have any proposals and clearly didn’t want to be there. We were prepared, showing up with one counter and a 2nd proposal. The negotiating committee explained their proposal and in typical fashion, the company gave its usual and customary response; we understand your proposal.
At this point, the lead negotiator for BIW stated he was going to send his team home, would work on any open articles, and should have something for us by 3:30 PM Saturday. The negotiating committee asked if they were refusing to bargain because we still have more work to do and we would stay all night. We suggested meeting in a few hours at 11:00 PM.
Noticeably irritated, they agreed, and now all of their dinner plans would have to be canceled, boohoo. The committees reconvened at 11:00 PM and then passed two more proposals, one of which was healthcare. We asked for information so we could effectively bargain and the company could not provide the Union a cost out of their own proposal! This is a tremendous problem!
At this point, the company passed two proposals and stated that a last best and final would be provided at 9:00 AM Saturday, not allowing the Union to counter the two proposals just passed. This is another tremendous problem! At least their incompetence is consistent. With that, we had a few choice words and departed just before midnight.
As the committee expected, the company never had intentions of coming to an agreement and the proof is in the last, best, and final proposal. This has become a take it or leave it situation. The contract proposal will be available as soon as they are printed, we will be distributing them and we will also try to upload it on our social media outlets for easy access.
The committee will be breaking down all of the contract changes starting Monday. The changes proposed by the company will be shared and explained, that way we have as much information and understanding as possible before we vote.
To be clear! Your Local S6 negotiating committee DID NOT come to an agreement on the proposed contract and the company REMAINS IN THE DARK. They have chosen not to listen and understand how to build ships from the 253 years of shipbuilding experience that sat across the table.
After all of this, we simply say…… HAMMER DOWN!!!!
These updates will continue to be posted on the Local S6 Facebook page as well.
In Solidarity, Local Lodge S6 Negotiating Committee.