Current Edition

President’s Column

Answering the Call Congratulations to SIU members and to all of our union’s port personnel for the incredible job you did last month in filling a large number of jobs in less than 24 hours, in response to a handful of no-notice vessel activations. Our industry, like so many others, is currently weathering a manpower…

DHS Secretary Backs Jones Act

DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas recently underscored his support of America’s freight cabotage law. During an April 27 hearing of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security, the secretary answered a question from U.S. Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-Mississippi) about the Jones Act. Palazzo noted that during his time…

World War II Merchant Mariners Honored With Congressional Gold Medal in D.C.

(Photo courtesy DOD) The SIU on May 18 joined in celebrating long-overdue recognition for U.S. Merchant Mariners of World War II as they received the Congressional Gold Medal in the Capitol Building. Ten members of the American Merchant Marine Veterans (AMMV) participated in the one-hour ceremony, which featured remarks from members of congress, the administration,…

Rear Adm. Phillips Takes Leadership At U.S. Maritime Administration

Ann Phillips testifies at a Senate hearing in late December 2021 (Sipa USA/Alamy) Ann Phillips is the new head of the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD), following her confirmation by the Senate on May 10. Phillips retired as a rear admiral after serving nearly 31 years on active duty with the U.S. Navy. “We look forward…

USA Maritime: Keep ‘Ship American’ Rules

The coalition USA Maritime, to which the SIU is affiliated, has expressed strong opposition to a misguided attempt to turn over the transportation of U.S.-government financed cargoes to foreign-flag, foreigncrewed shipping interests. Such a move would, according to USA maritime, severely weaken the U.S.-Flag Merchant Marine, cost thousands of American maritime workers their jobs, and…

Penn Maritime Crews Approve 3-Year Pact

SIU members employed by Penn Maritime recently ratified a three-year contract that features significant gains. The new agreement, approved in mid-April and covering approximately 250 Seafarers, calls for annual wage increases; boosts contributions to the Seafarers Money Purchase Pension Plan (SMPPP); raises the food allowance; and provides medical coverage for all members through the Seafarers…

Seafarers Ratify New Contract At VanEnkevort Tug and Barge

A new six-year agreement is in place for Seafarers employed at VanEnkevort Tug & Barge, Inc. (VTB). Members overwhelmingly ratified the pact through a combination of shipboard and remote voting in April. The contract took effect April 1 and lasts through March 2028. It calls for annual wage increases for the first three years and…

VP Emphasizes ‘Historic Commitment To Worker Organizing and Empowerment’

The Biden administration will continue working to be known not merely as pro-worker, but as the most pro-union administration in U.S. history. Vice President Kamala Harris delivered that message April 12 during a gathering at a Sheet Metal Workers facility in Philadelphia. Attendees included U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh; U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania);…

New Service Offers Convenient Method to Show Vaccination Status

The SIU has partnered with WellCheck to bring members a new way of keeping proof of COVID-19 vaccination at the ready, on mobile devices. By using the WellCheck app, SIU members can upload their vaccine cards using their smartphone, where the information listed will be verified by state medical databases. Once verified, the information can…

Important News Notices, Maritime Notes for All Seafarers

Renewing Tanker Asst. Endorsements: What Seafarers Should Know In an effort to assist in combatting the delays at the National Maritime Center (NMC) for renewing Merchant Mariner Credentials (MMC), the Vocational Office of the Paul Hall Center for Maritime Training and Education has identified a frequent issue that causes applications to be delayed. If a…

Seafarers-Crewed Ocean Giant Finishes Operation Deep Freeze

Bosun Richard Hamilton did his homework before sailing to Antarctica for the first time, but reading about Operation Deep Freeze (ODF) definitely isn’t the same as helping run it. “I knew what to expect but, being from Florida, I didn’t know much about winter clothing,” Hamilton said. “The only ice I know about goes in…