Somali Pirates Vote To Unionize

Somali pirates today voted in a secret ballot to organize under a labor union agreement and enter into collective bargaining negotiations with the Somali warlords. Representatives for the pirates say the recent outbreak of on-the-job deaths left the group no choice but to organize and demand a safer workplace and higher pay. Officials in the warlord's pirating headquarters could not be reached for comment.
"We do all the work and take all the risks, but it's the fat cats back in Mogadishu that are cashing the big checks." said Timiri al-Haribiti, a skiff driver and grappling hook thrower speaking through a translator. "We just want our fair share."

Union organizers say higher pay is merely the beginning of their demands. "It's clear that we need better escape boats." said former AFL-CIO executive Martin Sweeny, who helped the pirates to organize at the urging of actor Johnny Depp. "We could use some body armor, too."

The new union, the International Brotherhood of Maritime Vessel Abductors, will structure itself as a trade union, establishing apprenticeship programs, providing journeymen for other trades and defining strict job description parameters to specialize skills. "Whether we need to secure a rope ladder, or tape up some hostages, we'll have a well trained man ready to do the job." said Sweeny.

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