Longtime Labor Relations Advocate Murphy Dies (7/17)


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The SIU is saddened to learn of the recent passing of Thomas Murphy of Crowley Maritime, who served the industry for 60 years. Murphy died July 13 at age 75, just days before his birthday.


Murphy spent his whole career with Crowley Maritime and its subsidiary Marine Transport Lines (MTL). The son of a New York shipyard worker, he started working in the maritime industry at age 16. He served in the U.S. Army beginning at age 19 but returned to maritime after completing his military years and never left the industry.


SIU Executive Vice President Augie Tellez said, “Although the majority of his career was spent working with MEBA and the NMU, I got to know and work with Tom when Crowley acquired MTL. We developed a strong relationship built on mutual respect, understanding and trust.  He was a great family man and a devoted husband to his wife, Judy.  He was a good Joe.  I will miss my friend and his sharp Irish wit. My heartfelt condolences go out to Judy and all the Murphy clan.”


SIU Secretary-Treasurer David Heindel stated, “Tom was a great guy and someone I came to respect as a colleague, and someone that was a joy to be around. I considered him a trusted friend.  Tom was old school but not out of touch. He was revered by some and relied upon by his colleagues. He will be missed and in my prayers.”


Earlier this year, Murphy was a co-honoree with Tellez at an annual Seafarers and International House event in New York. During his address to the crowd, Murphy noted that he sailed on several Marine Transport Lines ships in order to hone his skills as the company prepared him to work in labor relations.


“It was my intention to do more than just observe,” Murphy said. “I worked with the crew and, in short order, found out what it was like to handle mooring lines, hook up runarounds to the cargo manifolds, crawl through cofferdams, set up wind chutes, stand watch on the bridge as well as in the engine room. In the evenings, I would record in a log what I had observed during the day. At first, the ship’s personnel viewed me with some skepticism, but, in due course, they accepted me as a shipmate. It was helpful to me.”


Ed Hanley, vice president of labor relations for Maersk Line, Limited, stated, “Tom was a man of great integrity who was doubly blessed with extra rations of brains and backbone. He dedicated his entire professional life to the U.S. Merchant Marine.”



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