Seafood workers vote to decertify union

Posted: Thursday, August 09, 2001

SITKA (AP) -- Just one month after ratifying a union contract with Sitka Sound Seafoods, workers there voted overwhelmingly to leave the union.

The vote was 89-9 against being represented by the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 200, the National Labor Relations Board said.

Some of the 135 workers eligible to vote said they were dissatisfied with their union representation and the 1.5 percent union dues deducted from their paychecks.

''We didn't want money taken out of our paychecks for nothing,'' said Derek Edwards, 19. The plant has a seasonal workforce of 200 people.

Workers first petitioned the NLRB on June 22 calling for the election. It was held on Tuesday. The union has seven days to appeal the results.

Paul Bigman, with the ILWU Seattle office, would not comment on the results.

The union, which was certified in Sitka in 1998, had negotiated a contract for workers at the plant in early July, company officials said. Local 200 represents most unionized waterfront-based labor forces in Alaska outside of Anchorage and Valdez.

Joe Davis, attorney for Sitka Sound Seafoods and parent company Northern Pacific Processors Inc., said the voting results show employees were happy with the company.

''We've done a lot of good things. I think the employees understand that,'' Davis said.

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