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Sat Jul 27, 2019, 04:09 AM

Ferry workers strike continues; State says strike 'illegal'

Commissioner Kelly Tshibaka announced in a teleconference Thursday the state was working to bring the Inlandboatman’s Union of the Pacific back to the negotiating table after IBU workers went on strike, mooring the ferries of the Alaska Marine Highway System to their piers, engines cold.

Ferry workers picketed the Auke Bay Terminal in Juneau Thursday morning after the IBU declared that negotiations with the administration had run aground. Many cars and trucks passing the picketers could be heard honking their horns as they passed, possibly in solidarity with the workers. Picketers seemed unfazed by dreary weather and disappointed with the administration’s failure to negotiate in earnest.

“One of the provisions they are striking is illegal, which means the strike is illegal and unprotected,” said Tshibaka. She said this threat had been communicated to the IBU via letter at 12.30 p.m. on July 25.

“There are different consequences for that,” Tshibaka said, mentioning that taking this affair to court would be the next level of escalation. Her claim that the strike is illegal is tied to the IBU’s request pertaining to a cost of living differential. When this was communicated to the IBU, they amended their statement to bring it within the boundaries of protected strikes, but the state refused to recognize this and still holds the position that the strike is illegal.

Read more: https://www.peninsulaclarion.com/news/ferry-workers-strike-continues-state-says-strike-illegal/

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