Getting Your First Contract
After you become ILWU members, a very important meeting will be held. You will be asked to nominate co-workers to serve as your negotiating committee.
You will also be asked to help draft contract proposals to submit to the company. You will be given examples of what the ILWU believes is the best possible contract language (called “model” language), and also examples of ILWU – negotiated contracts in the same industry. There are some sections of your contract that will be the same or very similar to other contracts in your industry. But there will also be many sections that are specific to your company and to your needs, and the needs of your fellow workers.
It is very important for workers from all departments to be involved in putting together the proposals for your first contract, so that the best possible contract for all workers can be negotiated.
If the ILWU and your employer can’t agree during negotiations, the Hawaii Labor Relations Act (HLRA) gives the HLRB the power to set up an expert panel to settle your first union contract.