JONESPORT, ME – The fledgling Maine Lobstering Union (MLU) has hit a number of significant milestones since a Vinalhaven sternman named Magnus Lane got the idea to investigate unionizing nearly two years ago.
Frustrated when prices hit rock bottom and a local dealer refused to take any more lobsters, the story goes that Lane made a call to a friend at Bath Iron Works who put him in touch with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM). Word began to spread, more lobstermen got involved, and the MLU formally organized as Local 207 of the IAM in August 2013.
Then last September, with the support of an IAM legal team, the MLU filed articles of incorporation as a statewide lobster cooperative named Maine Lobstering Union. According to MLU leaders, this means union member lobstermen can legally discuss lobster prices without being subject to the restrictions of the federal Sherman Antitrust Act, which basically prohibits price fixing…
Read the rest and much, much more in the May issue of Commercial Fisheries News.
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