All existing labor contracts would have to be honored until they end. So there would be no immediate increase or decrease in wages and benefits.
The best contracts (MMP/MEBA?) would become the benchmark for all new labor negotiations. The Guild I envision would have a near monopoly on deepsea labor, and a significant and growing number of the pilots and tugboats. While the Guild would not be as powerful as the Longshormen, it would be a close second. It would never have to accept pay cuts. Period.
As AMO contracts expire, on new contracts, the Guild wages and benefits would increase to MMP/MEBA levels. With one unified union, a shipping company’s only other choice would be to attempt go non-union. If that were cheap and easy, the companies would have already done it. If it were easy to break a union with a near monopoly, the longshoremen would be in a hundred pieces.
The more difficult issues would be fairness and mobility among members. How do officers sail unlicensed if they need to when shipping is slow? With what seniority or priority. How do unlicensed guys get licensed and move up? With what seniority and priority? Can the guys waiting in the Hall work on tugs while they wait for a deepsea ship. Can the guys on the tugs sail deepsea? Those are all things that need to be worked out fairly for everyone in order to have a healthy growing union. No easy answers.