Commanders, Congressmen, Labor and Industry Leaders Address MTD
Some of the maritime industry’s strongest supporters recently vowed to keep fighting for the revitalization of the U.S. Merchant Marine. Their commitments were declared Sept. 5-6 at the quadrennial convention of the Maritime Trades Department (MTD), AFL-CIO, in Los Angeles.
A constitutional department of the AFLCIO, the MTD is composed of 21 international unions (including the SIU) and 21 port maritime councils in the United States and Canada representing nearly 5 million working men and women. Delegates to the convention re-elected President Michael Sacco (who also is president of the SIU), Vice President Scott Winter and Executive Secretary-Treasurer Daniel Duncan.
The convention’s theme – Maritime Transportation Delivers – “reflects our reliability aboard ship and ashore,” Sacco stated in his opening remarks. “Whether we’re delivering for our troops, or helping other nations in a humanitarian mission, or moving domestic commercial cargo between Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the mainland, the members of MTD unions live up to this slogan day after day, month after month, year after year.
“And whether it’s a case of literally delivering the goods or simply doing their jobs with precision and dedication and reliability that’s second-to-none anywhere in the world, the members of MTD unions are a great source of pride,” he continued. “They’re the backbone of America and they are the reason we meet here today and tomorrow – to figure out the best ways to continue protecting their livelihoods.”
The following guest speakers addressed the convention on Sept. 5: AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka; Rear Adm. Thomas “T.K.” Shannon, commander, U.S. Military Sealift Command; and U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.). Speaking to the delegates Sept. 6 were U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson (R-Miss.); Gen. William Fraser, commander, U.S. Transportation Command; Thomas Crowley Jr., president and CEO of Crowley Maritime Corporation; Frank Foti, president and CEO of Vigor Industrial; U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.); U.S. Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.); Acting U.S. Maritime Administrator Chip Jaenichen; and California Labor Federation Executive Secretary- Treasurer Art Pulaski.
In addition to conducting elections for officers and hearing from guest speakers, convention delegates approved several reports and adopted 18 resolutions, most of which help lay out the department’s strategies. Among other topics, the resolutions called for support of vital maritime issues including the Jones Act, the Maritime Security Program, the Food for Peace Program, domestic shipbuilding and the need for enhanced port infrastructure. Other resolutions included salutes to those serving in the armed forces and to first responders as well as calls for family-wage jobs and retirement security.
For complete coverage of the MTD convention, see pages 9-14 in the October 2013 Seafarers Log.