[DRAMA ALERT!] The AMHS IBU Sends Formal Letter as Response to Strike - P.O.W. Report

Monday, July 29, 2019

[DRAMA ALERT!] The AMHS IBU Sends Formal Letter as Response to Strike

Alaska is in a bit of a crisis...(you're welcome for stating the obvious) back in April I wrote an article [here] and in my genius I wrote:

Look people, Alaska is the Canary in the coal mine, if you think this is bad, consider yourself lucky that you live in Alaska and not Down South where the cities and states are bankrupt and filled with foreigners and typhoid outbreaks.

Alaska prides itself on 'being tough' well grow some ovaries and testicles and toughen up and learn to subsist on your own intelligence and smart decision making.

Crisis it is because the state is broke. Long story short, the reason why Alaska is the 'canary' and unique is because we can't borrow money to pay our expenses--nearly every state can. Governor Dunleavy (bless his name) was elected to cut the budget and give Alaskan children their full PFD. Apparently the Democrat party doesn't like this. Today (Monday) we shall have a vote on the Capital Budget and having a PFD. The Governor (bless his name) wants our children to receive a full $3K pfd and the Democrats do not.

Last week, in a blatant bitch slap to negotiations that are happening with the budget, the IBU (something, something AMHS union) decided to strike and among the things that they demanded are these;

1. 9% wage increase over three years

2. 9% wage increase over three years and COLA benefits for foreign workers (out of state employees).

The IBU union strike has cost this state 3,000 refunds totaling something equivalent to $1.2 million. This of course hit national news to the point that even Joe Biden [commented on the situation]. POW Report was fortunate enough to receive an email from an AMHS employee about the AMHS union formal letter to the state (the letter is in full below) and your 'umble editor was able to have a discussion with said reader.

A good discussion.

On a personal aside, I don't actually care about the AMHS strike, because it doesn't impact Prince of Wales (where I live) that much. However, it does impact 1,800 residents of Metlakatla who are VICTIMS of this strike, now stranded on an island with nowhere to go. It DOES impact the 3,000 men, women and children who are VICTIMS of a vacation to Alaska that has stranded them in this state with no cheap way to ferry home. And importantly, the strike impacts the VICTIMS of the IBU union who were forced to go on a strike that they didn't want to go on.

Your 'umble editor walked past the Ketchikan strike a few days ago and there were twelve people. 12! Only twelve that represented the 430 union members? I think not. Clearly, a minority--and a very vocal few--strong armed the majority into going along with this strike when the benefits for the union simply aren't there.

When I worked in the legislature, my boss said that the Legislature/Governors have been trying for decades to break up the AMHS unions and restructure the system to be more like the Inter-Island Ferry Authority. However, they could never do it because the unions had too much power and influence. Well now the tides have changed and because of budget cuts etc…everyone is hurting and the AMHS unions have few sympathies.

I asked my dearest AMHS employee reader a simple question,

Why should I sacrifice my $3K PFD to fund the unions in this state off my tax payer dollars when the union employees aren't willing to sacrifice $1.5K from their pay?

That's at least a compromise. If I took a pay cut (in my PFD) and the unions also agreed to take a pay cut that would be fair with me.

However, what we have instead is, I have to suffer and you get a pay raise that I haven't received in two years and most private employee workers haven't received in five years.

The problem is that the union...your union instead or realizing that WE ARE ALL STRUGGLING is asking for a 9% increase to foreigners (out of state employees) and not acknowledging that we are all struggling and perhaps a 9% increase in pay over three years is a bit too, too much to ask for.

For the sake of respecting sources, I won't say what this AMHS employee said, other than that this employee refused to make a cut of $1,500 to their wages, which is what 600,000+ Alaskans are expected to cut from their PFD to fund all these state employees. And that's the problem. 600,000 Alaskans are asked to cut their PFD's and the PFD's of their children (which should be $3,000) and yet none of these state employees from the UA administration, the Public Housing Finance Corporation, to the Inlandboatmen's Union of the Pacific will make a sacrifice.

When is enough?

Why are we asked to sacrifice our PFD income when the state employees won't sacrifice theirs?

Perhaps the governor should ask all state employees this question,

"I'll give you funding if all state employees (including the legislature) take an immediate pay cut of $1,500...that's the only fair deal...how about that as the starting line?"

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