Update on Liberty Lockout: Management and Officers Walking Off

Here it is, fresh off the MEBA Website: http://www.d1meba.org/10-02-11_Update_on_Liberty_Lockout_Management_and_Officers_Walking_Off.pdf

October 2, 2011

Update on Liberty Lockout: Management and Officers Walking Off

It has not taken long for the actual facts to get out. American Maritime Officers (AMO) President Tom Bethel has misled his membership and they are not pleased. M.E.B.A. appreciates the support of all mariners in the United States Merchant Marine and the labor leaders from around the country.

Bethel has told his membership that that they are doing nothing wrong if they take the jobs on the Liberty ships. In fact, he is even claiming that M.E.B.A. should not be picketing Liberty Maritime Corporation because the M.E.B.A. collective bargaining agreement had expired and M.E.B.A. members were locked out. The fact is that AMO’s collective bargaining agreement with American Steamship Company (ASC) expired this summer at midnight on July 31, 2011 without the parties reaching an agreement. ASC owns and operates 17 ships. On August 1, 2011, AMO went on strike. The M.E.B.A. and all other maritime labor unions did not interfere in the labor dispute between AMO and ASC.

Late Friday afternoon in the Port of Galveston, Texas, a Liberty Maritime Corporation management official walked off the vessel and drove over to the information booth that M.E.B.A. had begun setting up. This person said: “I just spoke with Liberty in New York, and told them I am not going to be part of this – I respect what you folks have to do, good luck.”

On Saturday evening, two U.S. mariners walked off the vessel in Galveston, Texas with their sea bags packed and draped over their shoulders. They had not even been on the vessel for 24 hours yet and obviously they had had enough. This morning, another U.S. mariner walked off the vessel with his sea bag packed and draped over his shoulder. He exited the gate with a nod to the picketers and off he went.

Stand in support with me and maritime labor. Call your friends in the AMO and ask them to do the right thing. In fact, call Tom Bethel on his cell phone and tell him what you think: (202) 251-0349.

In unity and friendship,
Mike Jewell
M.E.B.A. President

Without a doubt those union brothers and sisters are doing the right thing, KUDOS to the AMO Members and the Liberty Manager who walked. I salute you