Current Edition

President’s Report

Time for Growth Earlier this year, the SIU teamed up with several other maritime unions to share our blueprint for American maritime growth with the new administration. In modern times, there have been long stretches where it felt as if the best-case scenario for our industry was simply hanging on. That is absolutely not the…

Pro-Maritime Bill Back

Pro-maritime legislation strongly backed by the SIU has been reintroduced in both the House and Senate. On March 11, U.S. Rep. John Garamendi (D-California) and U.S. Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi) and Robert Casey (D-Pennsylvania) reintroduced the Energizing American Shipbuilding Act. This bipartisan and bicameral legislation would recapitalize America’s strategic domestic shipbuilding and maritime industries by…

AFL-CIO Applauds American Rescue Plan

The AFL-CIO and its affiliates (including the SIU) are pointing out the many facets of the American Rescue Plan, signed March 11 by President Biden on his fiftieth day in office, that will benefit union members, their families and their communities. The $1.9 trillion federal legislation is designed to help the nation recover by providing…

Houston-Area Seafarers, Other Labor Volunteers Serve Community

SIU members in the Houston area recently pitched in and, along with fellow union members and community organizations, helped distribute relief aid to 3,000 local families in need. In response to the severe winter storms that devastated the Houston area, the volunteer effort provided food, water, meal kits, pillows and cups through a drive-thru distribution…

Dredge Crew Helps Rescue Family of 6

During a recent crew change in King’s Bay off the Florida coast, eagle-eyed mariners spotted a distressed family of boaters and sprang into action. One of the family members transfers from the Coast Guard cutter Sea Dragon to a sheriff’s office vessel, prior to heading back ashore. (Photo courtesy of Nassau…

House Passes H.R. 2474 – The PRO Act

After years of impediments for unions, legislation that would reform labor laws and provide workers with more power to organize is making headway in Congress. The U.S. House of Representatives on March 9 passed H.R.2474 - Protecting the Right to Organize Act of 2019. Also known as the PRO Act, the legislation is considered by…

Committee on Maritime Transportation System: Prioritize Mariners for Vaccines

The United States Committee on the Marine Transportation System (CMTS) is calling for U.S. mariners to be reclassified to Phase 1(b) when it comes to prioritizing them for COVID-19 vaccination. The committee is a federal interagency coordinating group chaired by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation. In early March, they published a “white paper” advocating for…

Notice to Seafarers Concerning Timing of Vaccines, TB Tests

The CDC recently issued guidance indicating that COVID-19 vaccines should not be delayed because of testing for TB infection. Testing for TB infection can be done before or at the same time as the COVID-19 vaccination. If it is not done at the same time, the TB test should be delayed for at least four…

SS Henry Bacon Survivor: Mariners Deserve Accolades

Aside from the obviously not-so-small detail about his miraculous survival for two-plus hours in freezing ocean water, the story of former Seafarer Dick Burbine, 95, isn’t radically different from those of his fellow World War II merchant mariners. Former Seafarer Dick Burbine, 95, is the last living survivor of the SS…

SIU-Crewed Tanker Excels During UNREP Exercise

The reliability of U.S.-flag tankers and American mariners was on display earlier this year as the SIU-crewed Maersk Peary successfully performed an underway replenishment (UNREP) exercise with the USNS Laramie off the east coast of Crete. The Laramie’s crew includes members of the SIU Government Services Division. Maersk Peary vessel master Capt. C. Fox said…