Visiting Local 10
I was told that I shouldn’t wear a suit into the Union Hall, because the I.L.W.U. members would think that I was a PMA person. So I didn’t wear a suit. I walked in wearing jeans and looking casual.
Of course, it didn’t matter. I didn’t get 10 steps inside the Hall before I was asked, “Who are you?” Which was quickly followed by, “What are you doing here?” I could tell by the way that they were looking at me that they thought I was with the PMA. And if not with the PMA, a cop. I wouldn't call it a particularly warm greeting at this point.
I replied, “My name is Bill Turley and I am a Maritime Lawyer that represents Longshoreman.” I took two more steps before I was asked again, by a different member, “Who are you?” I explained that I had actually been invited to the Hall.
Within a few more steps, the Dispatcher was questioning what I was doing in the Hall. Of course, it was hard to understand what was being said over the loudspeaker, because it sounded like the Jack in the Box speaker, you couldn't hear a thing.
Within minutes of being yelled at over the loudspeaker, I was introduced to many regular members and people started to realize who I was. And people actually smiled and were really nice to me.
I went to Local 10 to learn more about you. I wanted to learn more about the dispatch process and how Local 10 operates.
I realize most Longshore lawyers probably don't actually come down to the Hall. Most Longshore lawyers sit in their office and expect Longshoreman to come to them. I'm sure they are very busy men and women who wouldn't dream of taking the time to make such a trip.
Unfortunately, I am not one of those men or women.
Questions About Local 10 and the PMA
I will also be the first to tell you that there are some things about Local 10 that I don’t understand. For example, why is the PMA allowed into Local 10? I just don’t get it. Are Longshoreman allowed into the PMA to watch them? You would think that if the PMA is allowed into Local 10 , then Local 10 members should be allowed to watch and monitor what happens at the PMA.
I also realize that I just hear about the I.L.W.U - PMA arbitration system second hand. But, is the deck stacked against Local 10 on all really important issues with the PMA? It is sort of like watching a football game and the referees are wearing the jersey of the opposing team and are on opposing team’s payroll.
I could be wrong making the assumptions and asking these kind of questions. And if I am, I would like to be corrected as soon as possible.
Please feel free to contact me ad correct me. Tell me how it really is.