PAUL STREET, et al.,
Case No. C94-253R
ALASKA LABORERS-EMPLOYER PENSION TRUST, et al.,
Judge Barbara Jacobs RothsteinDefendants.
The undersigned, one of the class members herein (hereafter "Objector"),
hereby submits his objection to the proposed settlement which
is scheduled to be considered for approval before this Court on
June 12, 1998, and states as follows:
I understand that Plaintiffs' counsel and the Defendants have
agreed to settle this class action pension case under the following
a. A five-year break-in-service provision will be put in place
retroactive to 1974;
b. the reciprocity provisions will be liberalized;
c. all laborer service, no matter when forfeited, will be reinstated
if an individual accrues 250 hours either in the Alaska Plan or
in a reciprocal plan by June 30, 2001; and
d. The defendants will pay whatever costs, attorneys' fees and
class compensation as ordered by the Court.
This cause was commenced after it became clear that many union
and non-union members would never meet the 250 hour requirement
without incurring further breaks-in-service. This was true even
when I was an "A List" member of the union and actively
sought work everyday. While I am still a member of the subject
union, I am currently employed by the Fairbanks North Star Borough
as a city bus driver and participate in a state pension plan which
is separate and entirely distinct from the subject pension plan.
The proposed settlement requiring me to put in additional time
to qualify for a claim benefit of partial termination, is virtually
worthless for me, other union members in my position and for nonunion
In order for me to put in the additional requisite time under
this settlement, I would have to quit my current position that
I have held for nearly four year and stand in line at the union
hall, with a dim prospect for a work assignment which, at best,
may come years down the road as a member at the bottom of the
"A List". Not having worked out of the hiring hall
for many years excludes my options for acquiring a "rehire".
The chance that a non-union member will ever meet the 250 hour
requirement under this settlement is even less likely, if not
There is a lack of union assigned work and any work that becomes
available goes to current union members who are either being re-hired
to positions that they once held (up to five years before the
re-hiring) or to other members at the top of the "A List"
. On the other hand, members at the bottom of the "A List"
and newly rejoined members who are automatically placed at the
bottom of the "C List" have almost no hope of ever receiving
work ,much less continuous service to meet the 250 hour requirement.
The Alaska Laborers Union hierarchy operates in a political manner
that makes it nearly impossible for outsiders like me and others
to get work to meet the 250 hour requirement. In addition, it
is pointless for non-union members to rejoin the union if there
is no real potential to obtain work.
The proposed settlement only benefits those class members who
are still members of the union at the top of the "A List",
those who are already vested and have forfeited pipeline hours.
It provides no benefit to class members like myself and those
other class members who are no longer members of the union. As
such, the settlement is unfair because it fails to provide real
relief to myself and the other class members who are not at the
top of the "A List" or are non-union members.
A conflict of interest exists within the class. Some class members
have an interest in the approval of the settlement because it
is beneficial to them while the interests of the remainder of
the class will be sacrificed. The request for approval of the
settlement should be denied with respect to persons who are union
members that are not at the top of the "A List, not eligible
for "rehires" and for any nonunion member. I request
that separate sub-classes be certified so as to properly represent
all of the different interests in this case and to continue to
litigate their respective class claims. I would be willing to
be the class representative of one of these sub-classes. Accordingly,
I ask that the settlement be rejected.
Alternatively, due to the fact that I have recently brought this
matter to the attention of counsel, I request a short continuance
of this hearing for 6o days in order to have the counsel I spoke
with or other counsel submit a more complete objection.
WHEREFORE, the undersigned, respectfully requests this Court to
deny approval of the settlement or in the alternative to grant
Objector a short continuance of the hearing on the approval of
Name: CHRIS WHITE___________________
Address: PO BOX 72938_________________
FAIRBANKS, ALASKA 99707_____________
Phone: (907) 456-2543___________________