IBU bosses turn down State’s offer to allow workers to work

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The State of Alaska labor negotiators offered the Inland Boatmen’s Union a deal that would allow workers to go back to work, without disciplinary action for striking, while contract negotiations continue.

On Aug. 1, members of the Inland Boatmen’s Union will lose their health insurance benefits and they’ll also be heading into more weeks without pay.

But according to Department of Administration Commissioner Kelly Tshibaka, the IBU bosses said “no deal.” The workers will have to stand on the picket line, while the Alaska Marine Highway System vessels are tied up.

According to comments being made to news reporters, the rank and file members of the IBU want to go back to work. But as of Wednesday, the ferries are idle for the eighth day since the strike began on July 24.

What the union is asking for is more of every Alaskan’s diminished Permanent Fund dividend, which is has already been cut in half by the Legislature.

The union is also demanding the State of Alaska give it an exemption to the Janus ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court, which affirmed that workers have a right to join or not join a union. Their rights are protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Such an exemption would illegally force worker to become members of the union and force the State to be responsible for collecting the dues for the union.