Pasha and MM&P in Contract Dispute Over Newbuilds
The International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots (MM&P) announced Tuesday that the U.S. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has filed a complaint and notice of hearing against The Pasha Group for an alleged labor contract violation.
The dispute centers on two LNG-fueled, Jones Act containerships that are under construction for Pasha at the Keppel AmFELS shipyard in Texas. Pasha's contract with MM&P contains a clause that gives MM&P the right to review vessel plans before construction begins, allowing the union to determine whether the new ships will comply with the living area standards set out in its collective bargaining agreement (CBA). NRLB Region 20 found that despite the union's requests, Pasha did not provide the documents as required by the CBA.
"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."
Pasha was required to respond to NRLB's complaint by mid-November, and a hearing date has been set for January 30 at an administrative court in San Francisco.
"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." MM&P will be returning to the negotiating table with the container line this month.
Pasha signed with Keppel AmFELS for the new sub-Panamax ships in August, and construction is under way to meet delivery dates in 2020. They will each have a capacity of 2,500 TEU and a service speed of 23 knots, and Pasha says that their hulls will be among the most hydrodynamically efficient in the world. Both ships will be deployed on the California-Hawaii trade lane, where they will compete with newbuilds recently ordered by TOTE and Matson.