MTD Backs Affiliates in Knocking MarAd Report (11/10)

 

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The Maritime Trades Department, AFL-CIO, has posted the following statement. To access the statement on the MTD website, click HERE.

 

A related post from earlier this week (a joint statement from the SIU, AMO, MEBA and MM&P) is available by clicking HERE

 

MTD Questions MarAd’s Acceptance of Flawed Study

 

The Maritime Trades Department, AFL-CIO stands with our affiliate maritime unions in questioning the U.S. Maritime Administration’s acceptance and release of a flawed and inadequate report on American-flag shipping.

 

The Congressionally requested report was supposed to provide the White House and Capitol Hill with information and ideas on how to promote U.S.-flag commercial shipping. Instead, it restated the obvious – that U.S.-flag shipping is more expensive than Flag of Convenience shipping in the international market. On top of that, it suggested consideration of reduced crew sizes, diminished benefits, weakened work rules and even replacing taxpaying U.S. citizen mariners with low-wage foreign crews AND eliminating the Jones Act. We find it quite odd that MarAd would release a flawed report suggesting a second register while at the same time the United States is seriously considering the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Those conducting the research failed to contact a single maritime union, relying solely on shipping company representatives for their information about mariner contracts and benefits. The MTD welcomes the rejection of such ridiculous notions by U.S.-flag carriers within the study.

 

MarAd – the very agency within the U.S. Government created to promote the U.S.-flag merchant marine – never should have released, let alone accepted, a report that did not even attempt to cover the subject for which it was assigned. By doing such, MarAd shows it is out of touch with its own mission statement and with the Obama Administration’s charge to maintain and create good American jobs.

 

The MTD finds it hard to believe that the agency of the federal government mandated to promote U.S.-flag shipping and its mariners can be so disconnected as to not know that its own sponsored report fails to meet its original objectives and then proves it does not even understand its own roles and missions

 

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