Oceanex unionized workers upset about junior hire

Josh Pennell
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A group of disgruntled Oceanex employees are demonstrating on Water Street in St. John’s today, saying senior members of Local 1953 of the Longshoreman’s Protective Union were treated unfairly.

Michael Yetman is the acting president of Local 1953.

“This is not a walkout or a wildcat strike or anything like that,” he told The Telegram Tuesday, calling it a “demonstration of membership senority.”

Yetman says there was a recent posting for foremen’s positions that were given to two junior union members, something he contends  s not right when they have members with more than 30 years’ experience on all manner of boats.

Yetman said he has heard that the two younger men who were offered the jobs have since turned them down.

“They’re after withdrawing their application — but the morality of it, right? That they overlooked us people with 30 years.”

The union is meeting with Oceanex management today at 3 p.m. Yetman says the union hopes the employer will take senority into consideration.



Organizations: Local 1953

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Recent comments

  • Lonewolf
    May 05, 2014 - 22:24

    Going from a union possession to a non union possession then seniority goes out the window. Why would any company put a person in power that the union wants in power. When the union pays the companies bills then they should have a say who runs it until then don't be so stupid.

  • Zippy
    April 30, 2014 - 08:33

    Unions have their place, however, if the younger employee is more qualified than those who have been in the union, then that person should get the job. Just because someone has worked in the same place/job for a 10-20-30 years, doesn't mean they're qualified for the position. Some people get very jealous of others in the workplace, especially when they're approach is different and motivated.

  • Two cents
    April 29, 2014 - 16:02

    In this situation, the senior men were not given an opportunity. Not even an interview. One of these senior men is fully qualified and experienced in the postion, while the junior folks are new to the union, no experience in the role, no training. This is a company tactic to cause conflict within the union. Convieniently timed just as the union and company begin negotiating the new collective agreement.

  • david
    April 29, 2014 - 14:13

    And you wonder why there aren't more companies looking to do business here, or provide more competition and services, with all this constant, nagging, hillbilly unionized workforce BS. A toxically entitled environment. Government payoffs is all that works here. And look at the wonderful Shangri La that has built!

    April 29, 2014 - 13:50

    If they were offered the job, maybe they were more qualified that the position???

    • carogers
      April 30, 2014 - 08:50

      Paula Tilbury did you read the article? Do you know this article is about Unionized companies and how they operate under seniority as does many nonunionized companies. Great time is spent updating the seniority list for one reason so no employee is jumped over by new hires. That is how seniority works. I work in a non -union business; a Hair Salon and the senior stylist workday is booked first and her day is filled before anyone else She gets the client first , and all 6 other stylist must sit back and wait when she is booked for the day, then the next senior stylist is booked and the seniority trickles down to the last hired. You cannot screw with the seniority it causes arguments and bitterness between staff. As we see here so actually read the article it is about employees with 30years dedication to the company being pushed aside for someone who have not invested near amount of time and is a junior union member.

  • Lots
    April 29, 2014 - 13:40

    Lots of jobs are decided by other than seniority. You could be there 30 years, always sick, always late, always making mistakes etc etc etc. Then you have a guy that is there 10 years, always on time, knows what he is doing etc etc. Who do you hire?? The 30 year guy because the union says so?? Who is running the company??

  • Huck
    April 29, 2014 - 11:37

    I can think of several reasons why a company may want to offer the foreman's job to a newer employee rather than a 30 year employee. One of the reasons is that they are likely more willing to work and haven't yet settled into the union entitlement life style. If the job is open to all union members, why should it be based on seniority rather than who is the best suited for the job?

    • Kris
      April 29, 2014 - 12:36

      It depends on the collective agreement. If its in the agreement that the employer has to pick based on seniority, then good reason or not, they have to go by seniority.

      April 29, 2014 - 13:51

      I totally agree!!!