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American President Lines, Ltd. v. Int'l Longshore & Warehouse Union

United States District Court, D. Alaska

February 18, 2014

AMERICAN PRESIDENT LINES, LTD., Plaintiff,
v.
INTERNATIONAL LONGSHORE AND WAREHOUSE UNION, ALASKA LONGSHORE DIVISION, UNIT 60, Defendant

Page 1038

For American President Lines, Ltd., Plaintiff: Douglas S. Parker, LEAD ATTORNEY, Littler Mendelson, P.C. (OR), Portland, OR; Philip L. Ross, Littler Mendelson (CA), San Francisco, CA; Sean Halloran, Littler Mendelson, PC, Anchorage, AK.

For International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Alaska Longshore Division, Unit 60, Defendant: Raymond E. Goad, Jr., LEAD ATTORNEY, Jermain Dunnagan & Owens, Anchorage, AK; Eleanor I. Morton, Emily M. Maglio, Robert S. Remar, PRO HAC VICE, Leonard Carder, LLP, San Francisco, CA.

OPINION

JOHN W. SEDWICK, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

Page 1039

ORDER AND OPINION

[Re: Motion at docket 88]

I. MOTION PRESENTED

At docket 88, defendant International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Alaska Longshore Division, Unit 60 (" Defendant" or " ILWU" ) moves pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 for summary judgment. Plaintiff American President Lines, Ltd. (" Plaintiff" or " APL" ) opposes the motion at docket 94. Defendant's reply is at docket 100. Neither party requested oral argument, and it would not be of assistance to the court.

Page 1040

II. BACKGROUND

APL operates marine terminals in Alaska and ocean-going vessels that transport cargo. APL's primary port is in Dutch Harbor. APL is part of a multi-employer bargaining unit known as the Alaska Maritime Employers Association (" AMEA" ). The only other current member of the AMEA is Horizon Lines. Prior to 2003, North Star Terminal and Stevedore Company (" North Star" ) and Southeast Stevedoring Company (" SES" ) were also part of the AMEA.

The ILWU is a labor union that represents all longshore workers in specified Alaska ports, including the Port of Seward. Unit 60 is a constituent unit of the ILWU that represents longshoremen in the port of Seward.

The AMEA and the ILWU are parties to a collective bargaining agreement known as the All-Alaska Longshore Agreement (" AALA" ). North Star and SES are also parties to the AALA: prior to 2003 they were parties through their affiliation with AMEA and after 2003 they were individual signatory employers.

The AALA covers " [a]ll movement of cargo on vessels, or loading to and discharging fro vessels of any type and on docks or to and from railroad cars." [1] Seward is identified in the agreement as an " ILWU Port." The agreement also contains a work preservation provision, which states that the employer, which includes the AMEA and the individual signatory employers, " hereby assures [the ILWU] that it will use its best efforts to act in good faith in preserving as much as possible all of the work covered by [the AALA] for the registered work force." [2]

APL's large vessels cannot access many of Alaska's smaller ports, including the port in Seward. As a result, APL enters into connecting carrier agreements (" CCA" ) with barge operators to move APL's export product from these smaller ports to Dutch Harbor. APL has a CCA with Samson Tug and Barge (" Samson" ), pursuant to which Samson uses its barges to transport APL's shipping containers between Dutch Harbor and Seward. At Dutch Harbor, APL uses ILWU labor to load its empty containers onto Samson's barges. Once in Seward, Samson employees unload the empty containers on the docks for APL customers to fill with their export products, and then Samson employees reload filled containers on the barges to be transported back to Dutch Harbor. ILWU employees unload the containers from Samson's barges once they are back in Dutch Harbor.

Samson is not a member of AMEA, nor is it an individual party to the AALA. It does not employ ILWU labor in Seward but, rather, has its own workforce there. Its employees are represented by the Marine Engineers' Beneficial Association (" MEBA" ) union. For some period of time prior to 2003, before it had its own workforce in Seward, Samson used North Star as a contractor to perform cargo handling in Seward. North Star, at that time a member of the AMEA and at all times a party to the AALA, used ILWU labor for that work. APL has never had any cargo-handling operations or ...


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