20 CFR § 655.610 - Automated vessel exception to prohibition on utilization of alien crewmember(s) to perform longshore activity(ies) at a U.S. port.

§ 655.610 Automated vessel exception to prohibition on utilization of alien crewmember(s) to perform longshore activity(ies) at a U.S. port.

(a) The Act establishes a rebuttable presumption that the prevailing practice in U.S. ports is for automated vessels (i.e., vessels equipped with automated self- unloading conveyor belts or vacuum-actuated systems) to use alien crewmembers to perform longshore activity(ies) through the use of the self-unloading equipment. An employer claiming the automated vessel exception does not have the burden of establishing eligibility for the exception.

(b) In the event of a complaint asserting that an employer claiming the automated vessel exception is not eligible for such exception, the Administrator shall determine whether the preponderance of the evidence submitted by any interested party shows that:

(1) It is not the prevailing practice at the U.S. port to use alien crewmember(s) to perform the longshore activity(ies) through the use of the self-unloading equipment; or

(2) The employer is using alien crewmembers to perform longshore activity(ies) -

(i) During a strike or lockout in the course of a labor dispute at the U.S. port; and/or

(ii) With intent or design to influence an election of a bargaining representative for workers at the U.S. port.

(c) In making the prevailing practice determination required by paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the Administrator shall determine whether, in the 12-month period preceding the date of the Administrator's receipt of the complaint, one of the following conditions existed:

(1) Over fifty percent of the automated vessels docking at the port used alien crewmembers for the activity (for purposes of this paragraph (c)(1) of this section, a vessel shall be counted each time it docks at the particular port); or

(2) Alien crewmembers made up over fifty percent of the workers who performed the activity with respect to such automated vessels.

(d) An interested party, complaining that the automated vessel exception is not applicable to a particular employer, shall provide to the Administrator evidence such as:

(1) A written summary of a survey of the experience of masters of automated vessels which entered the local port in the previous year, describing the practice in the port as to the use of alien crewmembers;

(2) A letter, affidavit, or other written statement from an appropriate local port authority regarding the use of alien crewmembers to perform the longshore activity at the port in the previous year;

(3) Written statements from collective bargaining representatives and/or shipping agents with direct knowledge of practices regarding the use of alien crewmembers at the port in the previous year.