The presidents of six American maritime unions, including SIU President Michael Sacco, have sent the following letter to President Biden. For a PDF copy of the letter, click HERE.
Dear Mr. President:
On behalf of the undersigned American maritime labor organizations, we offer our strong support for the actions you are taking to combat the horrific and unjustified attack by Russia against Ukraine. This unprovoked attack not only threatens the right of freedom loving people in Ukraine to continue to live in a democracy but poses the most serious threat to our friends and allies in Europe since World War II.
Our unions and the licensed and unlicensed American merchant mariners we represent have never turned away from the challenges that must be faced to preserve the democratic way of life at home and overseas. As they did during World War II and in every conflict and international emergency before and since, the men and women of the United States-flag merchant marine stand ready to do what we can to support the strongest possible economic responses necessary to bring this conflict to a quick and successful conclusion. To this end, we strongly endorse your decision to end all oil and natural gas imports from Russia as well as the imposition of additional rigorous trade sanctions against Russia as deemed appropriate.
We understand and appreciate that these actions will likely have a negative economic impact on many of our fellow citizens and many of our members who are still struggling to recover from the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic. However, the men and women of the United States-flag merchant marine also understand that such a sacrifice is once again necessary in order for our country to provide the leadership the rest of the free world has come to expect and rely upon.
As our nation’s fourth arm of defense, the United States-flag merchant marine and its cadre of American merchant mariners have a unique role and proud tradition of service to our country in time of war or other emergency. We again stand ready to work with you and your Administration to provide the support and service our country needs.
David Connolly, President, Sailors Union of the Pacific
Paul Doell, President, American Maritime Officers
Don Marcus, President, International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots
Anthony Poplawski, President, Marine Firemen’s Union
Michael Sacco, President, Seafarers International Union
Adam Vokac, President, Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association
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