President's Column


December 2016


Back to Issue

We Are One Crew


Election Day hadn’t even ended when the SIU began working to promote the U.S. Merchant Marine in the next congress. Our political activities never stop and never end, whether it’s an election year or not.


SIU-backed candidates in the House and Senate fared very well on November 8, as reported in greater detail elsewhere in this edition. The results reaffirmed what we already knew: our bipartisan approach is the way to go.


Although the SIU-supported candidate didn’t win the White House, we are more than ready and willing to work with the next administration when it comes to promoting a strong American-flag maritime industry as well as workers’ rights. That would have been true no matter who won.


I can’t think of another industry that’s more in line with boosting American jobs and security than ours. The Jones Act, the Maritime Security Program and our nation’s cargo preference laws all contribute to maintaining good jobs at home and promoting national, economic and homeland security. Whether those are shipboard or shipyard jobs, America needs to keep them or we’ll be at significant risk.


Whether or not the next administration’s policies back our industry remains to be seen, but we will do everything possible to maintain and revitalize the U.S. Merchant Marine. Our policy has always been that we support those who support maritime, regardless of party.


One last word on the elections: I know that most if not all presidential contests bring out emotions, but this one seemed extreme – and it hasn’t ended two days later, as I’m writing this column. There are protests across the country, and I’m told the viciousness on social media has only gotten worse.


For the SIU, it’s time to move forward together as Americans and as the union family we’ve always been. Our job is to maintain, promote and protect the U.S. Merchant Marine and workers’ rights, no matter who’s in the House, no matter who’s in the Senate, and no matter who’s in the White House. We’ve already rolled up our sleeves and gotten to work, and that’s where our focus will remain. The elections are over. Let’s stick together and stand up for an industry that our great country simply cannot do without.


Happy Holidays


Whatever your plans for the holidays, I wish every active and retired Seafarer and your families the best of everything. If you’re sailing, thank you for your dedication, and I hope you can enjoy the holidays with your SIU brothers and sisters. If you’re on the beach, may you enjoy good times with family and friends. No matter what, please be safe. At this time of year in particular, I also always think of our women and men wearing the uniforms of our armed services. I thank all of you for your service and pray for your safe returns.


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