Adding to an already packed year of contract negotiations, two more agreements were recently ratified by the membership – with Crowley Towing and Transportation and with G&H Towing, respectively. Each contract is for three years.
The Crowley pact covers approximately 160 Seafarers. It took effect July 1, and was ratified by an overwhelming majority of the members.
Highlights include yearly wage increases, as well as increased pension contributions, vacation benefit increases and various area-specific gains. In addition, medical benefits were maintained at the Core Plus level.
Representing the SIU on the negotiating committee were Assistant Vice President Mike Russo and rank-and-file delegates Ward Davis, Norman Skipper, Craig Perry, Peter de Maria and Ronald Boatwright. Negotiations took place via video conference calls in order to meet safety requirements.
Meanwhile, members also voted in favor of the G&H contract by a large majority. The agreement covers roughly 340 Seafarers; it took effect Oct. 1.
The new contract maintains all benefits at their existing levels, and expands parental paid leave to include adopted children. Negotiations took place in-person in Houston (with strong safety protocols in place), while voting took place on the tugs.
Serving on the union negotiating committee were Russo, Port Agent Joe Zavala and Patrolman J.B. Niday, as well as delegates Jason Curtiss, Mark Kazin, Stephen Prendergast, Aaron Reed and Christopher Wootton.
“Both sets of delegates did an outstanding job sticking together and fighting for everyone to get a raise,” said Russo. “They all worked hard and it shows in the final results, which are good contracts both for the members and for the companies.”