Pelosi and Newsom intervene
in Alcatraz ferry dispute
By Brent Begin, Bay City News Service
September 25, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - A labor dispute between the new
Alcatraz ferry operators and labor unions boiled over this morning
at a Pier 31 1/2 protest, but tempers have since cooled with the
help of two local officials.
U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, and Mayor Gavin Newsom
made a joint announcement this evening that union leaders have
agreed to hold off on protesting against non-union ferry operator
Hornblower Yachts, Inc. at least until Saturday night.
According to Marina Secchitano, regional director of the Inlandboatmen's
Union of the Pacific, at least 45 ferry workers lost their jobs
when Hornblower took over Alcatraz service this morning from previous
operators Blue and Gold Fleet.
Many of those workers, along with members of the Masters, Mates
and Pilots Union and other groups, rallied today, as tourists
walked by, to resume labor talks with Hornblower, Secchitano said.
According to Newsom's office, however, the protests will stop
at least for a week as all involved parties meet together in a
series of talks this week.
Secchitano called it good news for the union. "Hopefully
they'll shepherd us through this," she said.
Representatives from both Newsom and Pelosi's office are expected
to mediate the talks all week.
"We are grateful to both parties for their willingness to
come to the table and urge them to continue this process,"
Pelosi and Newsom announced today in a written statement.
"We are committed to assisting the parties in any way possible
to successfully reach an agreement that would ensure representation
for the workers, provide for excellent service to Alcatraz visitors,
and enhance commerce while preserving peace on the waterfront."
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