KETCHIKAN (AP) -- A planned election on whether workers at Alaska Ship and Dry Dock should unionize has been postponed.
The National Labor Relations Board stopped the July 26 election after Piledrivers and Divers Local 2520 filed allegations of unfair labor practices against the shipyard and asked that the vote be delayed, said Jim Strassburg, a union organizer.
''They are tampering with the election and they are trying to sway the vote,'' Strassburg told the Ketchikan Daily News. ''So we are stopping the election for the time being until the NLRB can address these unfair practices.''
The union and shipyard each compile a list of people they believe are eligible to vote in the election. Strassburg claims the company left about 75 names off its list of workers who should be eligible to vote in the election, and has unfairly fired union organizers.
Doug Ward, director of shipyard development for Alaska Ship, said the union's list of workers is flawed.
''A lot of the people on that list haven't worked for the shipyard for a long time or are temporary employees,'' he said.
Ward has said that rejecting the union would be best for the employees and the long-term future of the shipyard, which the company has operated since 1994.
''We will follow the letter of the law in this issue,'' Ward said Friday. ''My personal opinion is that our work force does not want to be unionized.... But I think that this election ought to go ahead and find out what our workers really want. And if what they really want is a union then we will proceed with the process of that.''
About 100 workers are currently employed at the shipyard, Ward said.
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