Techsea Inks New Five-Year Labor Accord

Union members at UIW-contracted and Seattle, Washington-based Techsea International are the proud beneficiaries of a new five-year collective bargaining agreement.

Initial negotiations for the accord took place in early March at the SIU/ SEATU hiring hall in Honolulu, Hawaii, the home waters of the 50-plus Techsea Observers whom the new pact covers. Members unanimously ratified the contract July 3.

Among other provisions, the new agreement provides for annual wage increases and guaranteed minimum time off between deployments, with provisions of health care coverage provided and paid for by the company.

“The members are to be congratulated for their confidence in UIW leadership and their role in seeing this (new collective bargaining agreement) through to completion,” said Joe Vincenzo, UIW business rep who also serves as SIU Port Agent in Tacoma, Washington. “Their understanding of the sometimes delicate nature of contract negotiations, the importance of bargaining in good faith rather than just presenting a onesided set of demands, and their input were invaluable to the process and its eventual outcome.”

Vincenzo sent special thanks and kudos to UIW members Karl Platzer and Steve Dysart, who went above and beyond to help him better understand the multifaceted dynamics associated with performing their jobs in the North Pacific Waters of Honolulu.

Others deserving recognition include, but are not limited to, members Harmony Liff and Jose Vasquez, Vincenzo said. “It was a pleasure working with them and I would gladly work with them again any day. I also want to thank UIW National Director Kate Hunt, Legal Counsel Stan Dubin and (administrative assistant) Brenda Flesner, respectively, for their guidance, advice and administrative support,” Vincenzo continued. “This is a contract that I was proud to recommend to the members for ratification. We have a heck of a team.… Thanks to all who were involved.”

Incorporated in 1998, Techsea International Inc. specializes in the design, development and delivery of personnel, material, equipment, services and facilities for at-sea and shorebased marine based biological monitoring and data collection programs.

The observers covered by the new contract live and work aboard U.S.- flagged commercial fishing vessels operating in the North Pacific. They sample catches for species composition, and for the incidence of salmon, halibut, and crab; they make estimates of total catch; and they collect age structures and gather biological data from target species. The National Marine Fisheries Service uses this information for the purposes of both in-season management and to establish fishing quotas for future seasons.