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Ferry Service to Angoon and Pelican Secure
Agreement reached with ferry unions to allow continued contract service


August 06, 2004

Southeast Alaska - The State of Alaska has reached an agreement with the Marine Engineers' Beneficial Association and the Masters, Mates, and Pilots union that will allow continued ferry service without additional cost to the communities of Angoon and Pelican.

"The agreement reached allows us to continue our present service and puts in place a framework for the parties to negotiate a remedy in accordance with the arbitrator's order," said Department of Administration Commissioner Ray Matiashowski. "We are pleased that the unions were sensitive to the needs of these communities and were willing to work with us to get a resolution."

An arbitrator had ruled on August 2 that the state violated labor union agreements when it contracted with Alaska Catamarans for service after the M/V LeConte was grounded on a reef. The ruling jeopardized service for the communities of Angoon and Pelican until the LeConte resumes service, expected October 1.

The arbitrator determined that existing labor agreements with MEBA and MM&P require all vessels providing state service to all ports, including the five served by the LeConte ­ Hoonah, Angoon, Tenakee Springs, Pelican, and Kake ­ must operate under the union contracts. Currently, the M/V Taku is able to call at Hoonah, Tenakee, and Kake, but not Angoon and Pelican.

"MEBA understands that the Alaska Marine Highway System has become a vital part of village culture. We are committed to our friends and relatives in these communities," said Ben Goldrich, MEBA representative.

"We are very happy that our friends in these towns will not be inconvenienced with a break in service by the Alaska Marine Highway System," said Captain Don Kubley, governmental liaison for MM&P. "We appreciate the Governor's awareness and sensitivity to how vital these runs are to the commerce and social structure in rural Southeast and his strong support for the AMHS."

The parties agreed not to discuss the specific terms of the agreement.


Source of News Release:

Alaska Department of Administration
Web Site



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