The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the federal agency tasked with prosecuting unfair labor practices, has issued a complaint against The Pasha Group and certain of its subsidiaries for labor violations associated with two new containerships being built at Keppel AmFELS in Brownsville, Texas, the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots (MM&P) revealed on Monday.
The complaint follows a charge filed by the union alleging that Pasha violated the National Labor Relations Act and its collective bargaining agreement requiring that Pasha bargain in good faith with MM&P and provide it with documents to review before vessel construction begins so that the union can confirm that the vessels are in compliance with agreed living standards.
A subsequent investigation by NLRB determined that MM&P requested information that “is necessary for, and relevant to, the Union’s performance of its duties.” The NLRB complaint alleges that Pasha, both orally and in writing, failed and refused to furnish the Union with the information requested. The union says NLRB is seeking an order to compel Pasha to turn over the documents and to bargain in good faith with MM&P.
The two vessels in question were ordered by Honolulu-based Pasha Hawaii in May. The LNG-fuelled, 2,525 TEU containerships will operate in the Jones Act market upon delivery in Q1 and Q3 of 2020.
The NLRB will now take the case against the company for prosecution before an administrative law judge.
“We are pleased with the NLRB’s decision to prosecute Pasha,” said MM&P President Captain Donald Marcus. “We will not hesitate to take any and all legal action necessary to vindicate the hard-fought contractual rights of MM&P members.”
“Employers who refuse to honor contractual obligations and federally protected rights must be held accountable,” said MM&P Vice President-Pacific Ports J. Lars Turner. “The NLRB’s decision is critical to ending Pasha’s refusal to bargain in good faith. We look forward to returning to the negotiating table in December to discuss proposals reflecting the tremendous skill and professionalism MM&P Licensed Deck Officers bring to the Pasha vessels.”
The MM&P represents about 6,000 members made up of qualified and highly-trained professional mariners including Licensed Deck Officers on U.S.-flag commercial vessels and civilian-crewed government ships, licensed and unlicensed mariners who work on dredges, state pilots, marine engineers, unlicensed seafarers, and maritime industry shore side clerical and service workers.