Longtime SIU Rep Jack Sheehan Retires

July 2011

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After 47 years of service to the SIU, its members, and the port of New York, Jack Sheehan announced his retirement this June. Sheehan served the SIU in various capacities over nearly five decades, most recently as patrolman for the Brooklyn hall.


“I have known Jack all my working career and I’ve never met a more dedicated individual to this membership,” said SIU Vice President Atlantic Coast Joseph Soresi. “I wish him the best in his future endeavors.”


Sheehan was hired in 1964 as a claims supervisor in New York. In 1980, he transferred to the manpower office, also in the New York hall. Two years later, he served as a representative for the Seafarers Health and Benefits Plan (then named the Seafarers Welfare Plan). He became a union representative in 1985.

In 1991, Sheehan was called upon to serve as the SIU safety director in New York, a position he filled for nearly 17 years. During his many years of service, Sheehan has seen the industry evolve and has assisted multiple generations of Seafarers with their needs. Sheehan’s contributions and unwavering devotion to his union and its members has made a lasting impact on the union’s leadership and rank-and-file members alike.

Port Agent Robert Selzer, himself an SIU member and employee for 47 years, spent most of his career working alongside Sheehan in the Brooklyn hall.

“I worked with Jack Sheehan for the past 47 years,” said Selzer. “Not only was he my colleague, but he was a friend as well. Jack is a person of integrity and ability in his work.” Selzer, too, commends Sheehan for his devotion to the union and his hard work on behalf of the members. “I always notice and admired the fact that Jack truly cared about the members he represented,” Selzer continued. “I wish him a happy retirement.”

SIU Government Services Division Representative Kate Hunt expressed similar sentiments.

“Jack was a pleasure to work with every day,” Hunt said. “He’s a real gentleman and is very well-respected by the SIU membership. He will be greatly missed in the Port of New York. He’s a good Irishman and a great shipmate.”

When asked to reflect on nearly five decades of working for the union, Sheehan remained true to his reputation as an SIU devotee through-and-through.

“It was my pleasure to work at the SIU and with the membership,” said Sheehan. “Through the years I met some really great people. I will miss all of them.”


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