Saturday, July 27, 2019

US Federal Mediator called in to try to resolve AMHS strike

The Alaska Marine Highway Vessel Malaspina during a previous port call
Mediation is under this weekend to try and settle a strike, allowing for
all of the AMHS vessels to return to service

Travellers of the Alaska Marine Highway System will be awaiting word this evening as to whether talks held on Saturday with the assistance of a mediator have provided for enough common ground to get the ships moving again.

There had been little in the way of discussion since the AMHS vessels were tied up in port following strike action by the Inlandboatman's Union on Wednesday evening, with only ongoing Service Notices advising that all vessels are remaining in port the only guidance for those trapped in their transits along the Alaska coast and on into Prince Rupert.

Up until today, the State of Alaska had listed off a string of messages, mainly directed towards the union advising of the consequences of the strike action.

July 26 -- State Reminds IBU Members about pending loss of Free Health Coverage
July 24 -- State warns Inlandboatman's Union its decision to Strike is Illegal, Unprotected
July 23 -- State of Alaska, Inlandboatman's Union at Impasse after multiple rejected contract offers

In response to the Alaska Government's correspondences, the Inlandboatmen's Union drafter their own reply which took issue with the State's interpretation of events.

According to the Anchorage Daily News, the state and union will be meeting through the weekend with the federal mediator, to try to get negotiations back on track and the vessels back on the water.

Saturday marked Day Number four of the labour dispute that has disrupted the lives of Alaskans and visitors alike. You can review some of our past notes on the dispute from our archive page.

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