A recent poll by PwC Consultants provides interesting data about those who shop on Black Friday. In 2015, the poll found that 59% of those responding stated that they would be going out to shop on Black Friday. In contrast, a poll this year finds that only 35% will be out shopping. These numbers represent an explosive increase in Black Friday online shopping.
With the ever-growing global marketplace fueled by the internet, those involved in the shipping business become more important than they ever were. Any sort of glitch within the supply chain of participants on the global shipping lines creates huge issues. In Washington, the West Coast Longshoremen are tasked with the operation of ports in Washington, which imports many goods along the global shipping line. Any disruption with the longshoremen would create havoc.
In 2002, there were heated negotiations between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the Pacific Maritime Association with respect to a new contract between the parties. At the time, it was a negotiation with a union representing 29 west coast ports that process cargo. One of those ports, the Port of Seattle, saw 1.3 million containers of cargo shipped in 2001.
Since then, the volume of those ports have grown exponentially. In August of this year, the two sides hammered out a new agreement that keeps labor peace until the year 2022. These negotiations started in 2015. Understanding the stakes, then-President Barrack Obama sent then-Labor Secretary Thomas Perez to help with the negotiations between the two sides.
Bill of Rights
The nature of these negotiations can be contentious and, as mentioned, have high stakes. Because the union represents a significant number of employees, the Congressional safeguards were created to watch out for union members as a whole. Congress created the Labor Management and Disclosure Act so individual union members will have rights that should not be overlooked by union bargaining and activity.
The union member bill of rights include:
- To nominate candidates for union office;
- To vote in union elections and referendums;
- To attend and participate in membership meetings;
- To meet with other members to express any view, arguments, or opinions;
- To express at meetings the member’s views on candidates for union office and business that is properly presented at the meetings;
- To have local union dues, initiation fees, and other assessments only increased by secret ballot after reasonable notice of the intention to vote on the question;
- To have dues, initiation fees, or assessments set only by secret ballot of all members, majority vote of the delegates at a regular convention or, with proper notice, special convention, or by a majority vote of the executive board pursuant to the express authority contained in the constitution and bylaws of the union (any such action will only have effect until the next regular convention of the union);
- To bring a lawsuit or administrative proceeding, regardless of whether against a union or its officers, or to appear as a witness;
- To communicate with legislators;
- To not be disciplined, fined, suspended, or expelled (except for nonpayment of dues), unless first served with a written list of the specific charges, given time to prepare a defense, and afforded a full and fair hearing;
- To have the right to request and receive a copy of a collective bargaining agreement if the member’s rights are affected by the collective bargaining agreement.
Need a labor and employment attorney? Contact the HKM law firm, Washington state labor an employment law attorneys.