SIU Endorses Hillary Clinton

 

February 2016

 

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Candidate Details Plans to Promote U.S. Merchant Marine

 

The SIU on Jan. 6 announced its endorsement of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in her campaign to become President of the United States. That same week, the union received a letter from Secretary Clinton thanking the SIU for the endorsement and detailing her support of the U.S. Merchant Marine.

 

The full text of the union’s announcement follows. The letter from the campaign is at right.

 

Union Endorsement

 

The Seafarers International Union is proud to endorse Hillary Clinton for President of the United States. Based on many years of working with us to promote a strong U.S. Merchant Marine and to protect workers’ rights, we are confident that Secretary Clinton is the best choice to lead our nation forward.

 

Hillary Clinton has unfailingly fought for America’s working families, including during her service as United States Senator from New York and as Secretary of State. She has always been an ardent supporter of American Mariners and the U.S.‐flag maritime industry. She has long been on record as an outspoken, effective backer of the Jones Act, the Maritime Security Program, and our nation’s cargo preference laws.

 

Just as importantly, Secretary Clinton clearly values the importance, service, and historic reliability of the men and women who constitute the U.S. Merchant Marine, also known as America’s fourth arm of defense. Her acknowledgements of the U.S. Merchant Marine’s proud tradition – since the nation’s founding – of unbroken commitment to American economic and national security reflect a genuine appreciation of what we mean to America.

 

Our union traditionally does not take party affiliation into consideration when backing a candidate for office. We have friends in both major political parties, and we have always lived by the principle that we support those who support the maritime industry along with workers’ rights. In this case, party affiliation once again is not a factor at all. Secretary Clinton is unsurpassed in her strong backing of our core issues and values.

 

The Seafarers International Union looks forward to working with Secretary Clinton through the rest of the 2016 campaign season and for many years to come. She has our enthusiastic support.

 

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Letter from Clinton Campaign

 

Dear Michael:

 

Thank you, and your fellow members of the Seafarers International Union, for endorsing my candidacy for president. I have been proud to stand with and fight for working families throughout my entire career, and I am honored to have your support in this fight for the future.

 

America’s mariners have served our country since its founding, more than 200 years ago, and privately owned U.S.-flag commercial vessels with their American citizen crews have always responded quickly and effectively to answer our nation’s call. Indeed, yours is a proud tradition of commitment to service and to country, and the need for a strong, vibrant U.S.-flag Merchant Fleet crewed by well-trained, dedicated Americans remains just as important today as it has throughout our history.

 

As a United States Senator and as Secretary of State, I witnessed firsthand how vital it is for us to have a strong and vibrant U.S-Flag Merchant Marine. The Jones Act ensures that cargo delivered between our harbors and on our inland waterways is securely and safely moved by well-trained American mariners aboard U.S.-flag, U.S. built vessels. You and your members have my commitment to support the Jones Act and to fight to ensure that its application is permitted under international trade agreements. Likewise, I am proud to support the Maritime Security Program (MSP), which has, for twenty years, ensured that our military around the world has the equipment and ammunition needed when troops are deployed. Thanks to the MSP, more than 90 percent of all cargo moved to American forces in Afghanistan and Iraq came aboard U.S.-flag, U.S.-crewed vessels. As president, my administration will make sure the American mariners who sail these U.S.-flag ships – performing this vital function for our troops – continue receiving the support of this important program.

 

While serving as Secretary of State, I also saw what it meant for people in need around the world to receive food and supplies from America, delivered by Americans. Our nation’s Cargo Preference laws support a strong U.S.-flag commercial fleet. From carrying goods to those who are hurting to moving government-generated cargo, American mariners sailing aboard U.S.-flag vessels have made sure the job gets done, and you can count on me to be in your corner.

 

In this election, we’re going up against some powerful forces who are determined to turn back the clock and reverse our hard-won progress. We can’t let that happen. The Seafarers Union has always fought for decent wages, good benefits, and safe working conditions for its members. I share your commitment to improving the lives of America’s working families, and want you to know that I will have your back when I am in the White House, just as you have my back during this campaign.

 

Thank you, once again, for your endorsement. I look forward to standing with you and working with you and your members in the months and years ahead as we level the playing field, raise incomes, and forge a better, brighter future for all people. Let’s keep fighting for our shared values, and let’s win!

 

With appreciation and warm regards, I am

 

Sincerely yours,

Hillary Rodham Clinton