Offshore Shipping Online

A publication for the offshore shipping industry published by Clarkson Research

  • Offshore Intelligence Monthly
  • Menu

    OMU wins complaint against Guidry Brothers

    News // June 15, 2001
    On 31 May Curtis Wells, Regional Director of Region 15 of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), issued a complaint against Guidry Brothers Towing alleging more than 40 violations of US federal labour laws, following charges brought before the Boardby Offshore Mariners United (OMU).

    Among the violations mentioned in the complaint are the illegal firing of four pro-union captains, refusing to hire pro-union mariners, and refusing to bargain with the union.

    Additional allegations included threats of violence against union supporters, threats to blackball union supporters, illegal surveillance of union activity, threats to workers to coerce revocation of union pledge cards, calling the police in response toprotected activities by union organizers and supporters, threats to take away benefits from workers, and threats to close the company.

    Particularly important in the complaint is the NLRB's determination that Guidry Brothers' captains are not supervisors and are thus entitled to the rights and protection of the National Labor Relations Act. Specifically named in the complaint are Dicky Guidry, Ricky Guidry, Tony Guidry, Gay Guidry, Donna Simoneaux, Robert J Guidry, Shane Guidry, Ebry Dufrene, Jack Goolsby,and Glenn Allemand.

    The complaint says, in part, "The conduct [of Guidry Brothers] is so serious and substantial in character that the possibility of erasing the effects of these unfair labor practices and of conducting a fair election by the use of the traditional remediesis slight, and the employees' sentiments regarding representation, having been expressed through authorization cards would, on balance, be protected better by the issuance of a bargaining order than by traditional remedies alone."

    "A complaint issued by the NLRB is similar to a grand jury indictment," said Dave Eckstein, Field Director for OMU. "After looking at all the facts, the NLRB General Counsel has concluded that the company has, on the face of it, violated the law. We saidall along that we would prevail in this case and we did. Guidry Brothers is not above the law."

    Statistics cited by Eckstein indicate that, on average, only 35.7 per cent ofcharges filed with the NLRB result in a complaint being issued by the Board. However, once the complaint is issued, federal judges have found in favor ofthe Board's position 85 per cent of the time.

    These decisions are routinely upheld on appeal - less than 20 per cent getover-turned by appeals courts. "This is a win for the workers and we expectthat the courts will affirm this victory," added Eckstein.

    In a rare move, the NLRB has asked for an expedited hearing before a federal judge to hear the case. The formal hearing is scheduled to start July 16 in the Terrebone Parish Court House before a Federal Administrative Law Judge.

    "We are elated," said Captain Mark Cheramie, one of the fired pro-union captains, "Guidry Brothers stomped all over our rights as workers and citizensand this shows that they can't get away with it."

    All charges filed against the OMU by Guidry Brothers have either been withdrawn or dismissed by the NLRB.

    More articles from this category

    More news