By Robert Rice
July 07, 2008
What about the provision to take away 1 week of vacation per year? How about the loss of all sick leave which presently is 13.85 hours per month? Then there is the end of guaranteed wages till the end of voyage, which is a guarantee all U.S. merchant marine sailors have been granted since 1920. What about no longer having the ferry workers do much of the maintenance work while the ferry's are in the yard during lay-up? These ferry jobs are seasonal for over 1/2 the employees and the winter maintenance work allows the Alaska Marine Highway workers the means to survive the winters. Without these workers we would not have enough crew to legally man our ships during the summer, so the system will slowly die. How about the fact we worked last year with a 0% raise?
This is the rest of the story. If accepted, this proposal from the Palin administration will be the beginning of the end of our Marine Highway System, that has very well served all of the people of this state for over 40 years.
Received July 02, 2008 - Published July 07, 2008
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