August 16, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Anchorage, AK – Two Alaska maritime unions are asking the state government to review the Alyeska pipeline company’s decision to replace the contractor that has escorted oil tankers and provided oil-spill response services at the port of Valdez and in Prince William Sound for the past 25 years.
Alyeska Pipeline Services Company, which is owned by BP, Conoco, and ExxonMobil, announced Aug. 8 that it would hire the Edison Chouest Offshore company to replacing Crowley Marine. About 250 Crowley Marine workers would be laid off. The deal was “negotiated behind closed doors with the goal of cutting costs and cutting corners,” Inlandboatmen’s Union President Alan Cote said in a statement. “Rather than using crews experienced in Alaska’s unforgiving maritime conditions or hiring Alaskan workers, they plan to bring Gulf Coast workers off layoff and give them the difficult task of operating in Prince William Sound,” added Don Marcus, president of the International Organization of Masters, Mates and Pilots. Crowley Marine, the unions said, has done that job “for 25 years without serious incident,” while Edison Chouest is best known in Alaska for its ill-fated attempt to tow an oil rig in the Arctic in December 2012. Read more