SIU Boatmen Ratify Allied Contract

 

February 2012

 

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SIU members employed by Allied Transportation Co. recently ratified a new three-year contract that boosts wages and maintains medical benefits. The agreement, approved in late December by a strong majority, also includes an increase in the food allowance aboard Allied vessels.

 

More than 100 Seafarers work at Norfolk, Va.-based Allied, sailing aboard boats on the East and Gulf coasts. They transport chemical products aboard articulated tug-barge units and other vessels.

 

SIU Norfolk Port Agent Georg Kenny, who led the union’s negotiating team, said both sides deserve credit for reaching a fair contract.

 

“The negotiations went well, and I think we ended up with something that’s good for both the membership and the company,” Kenny stated. “The members at Allied do a great job, and at the same time, Allied, in my opinion, is one of the best companies out there. I think all of that is reflected in this new contract.”

 

He added special thanks to company officials Jeff Parker, Wanda Leach and Meredith Law for all the logistical support they provided during negotiations.

 

Capt. Steve Lewis served on the SIU bargaining committee, and he described the experience as worthwhile.

 

“The whole thing was positive, in my opinion,” Lewis said. “You always have give and take, but the way I see it, it’s a positive contract. Everybody benefited, and it was very important that we maintained our medical coverage at Core Plus (the top level available under the Seafarers Health and Benefits Plan).”

 

Lewis has sailed with Allied for nearly 14 years, and this marked the first time he has been involved in contract negotiations.

 

“I’d be willing to do it again and I’d recommend that others do the same, whether they’re elected or they want to sit in as volunteers. It was a good experience,” he added.

 

The previous contract with Allied was set to expire in August 2010, but was extended by a year. It subsequently was extended through the end of 2011 as negotiations continued.

 

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