Message to SIU Crews About MTD Changes (7/19)


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You may have read or heard about some recent changes at the AFL-CIO’s Maritime Trades Department, which is led by SIU President Michael Sacco. Specifically, the ILA and the MEBA have left the MTD and formed a much smaller splinter group (the Maritime Labor Alliance) that isn’t affiliated with the AFL-CIO. (The MM&P is an ILA affiliate, so it never was a direct MTD member organization.)


On behalf of both the SIU and the MTD, we regret their departure. We are encouraged, though, by communications at the regional and local levels that clearly indicate the continuation of the many outstanding working relationships – and friendships – that have been developed over the decades, whether aboard ship, on the docks, through area labor federations or state labor organizations. We can disagree about things and still work together.


The MTD now has 21 affiliate unions with a collective membership of around 5 million. Through its national organization and regional port councils, it will continue to serve as the leading voice of American maritime labor. The departures of two unions, while not inconsequential, frankly won’t affect MTD operations all that much.


The news release about the disaffiliations refers to raiding and jurisdictional infringement. We know for a fact that no raiding has taken place (note that no charges were ever even filed at the AFL-CIO alleging a raid by the SIU or any of its affiliates). Put another way, any organization that repeatedly fails to engage in organizing non-union workers shouldn’t blame another one for giving workers union representation. It’s also important to note that the other union who disaffiliated from the MTD remains under AFL-CIO sanctions for raiding the SIUNA-affiliated AMO.


The MTD will continue to effectively promote our industry and protect your jobs, as has been the case since its founding in 1946.




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