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President’s Column

Whether you’re reading this column online or in print, you know that the entire labor movement is mourning the unexpected passing of our friend and leader, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. As someone who worked with and knew Rich since the 1970s, I want each of you to know that all of the tributes written and…

Newest Replenishment Oiler Christened

The newest ship to enter the Military Sealift Command (MSC) fleet was christened at General Dynamics NASSCO – a union shipyard – on July 17. The fleet replenishment oiler USNS John Lewis, which will carry CIVMARS from the SIU Government Services Division as part of its crew, was celebrated in a ceremony attended by family…

Arbitrator’s Ruling Mandates Vaccinations

An arbitrator on July 30 ruled in favor of the American Maritime Association’s (AMA) insistence that they can require all mariners sailing aboard the companies’ respective vessels be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The SIU challenged the AMA’s mandate by demanding expedited arbitration, primarily because they unilaterally imposed it rather than bargain over its effects with…

Celona Appointed as SIU VP Gov’t Services

The union’s executive board has announced the appointments of two longtime officials to new positions following the recent retirement of SIU Vice President Government Services Kate Hunt (see story, page 6). Nicholas Celona succeeds Hunt as vice president, while Amancio Crespo fills Celona’s former spot as an assistant vice president. Both Celona and Crespo are…

SIU Mourns Loss of Richard Trumka

Somehow, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka managed to be simultaneously larger-than- life and eminently approachable. Likely due to the former quality, the initial reaction among SIU officials and staff to unofficial news of Trumka’s death on Aug. 5 primarily consisted of disbelief. Trumka’s high-energy personality and regular appearances on television (promoting workers’ rights) as recently as…

Groundbreaking SIU VP Hunt Retires, Caps Dedicated Career

The maritime industry proved a natural fit for Kathleen “Kate” Hunt, but that doesn’t mean her career was easy. She played pioneering roles along the way, including service as the first female patrolman for the National Maritime Union (NMU) and the first female member of the SIU executive board. She weathered a rocky stretch (not…

Crowley Wins Vessel Acquisition Management Pact

A recent contract award should mean ongoing job security for SIU members. In late July, SIU-contracted Crowley Maritime announced that it had received a “multi-year, $638 million contract for vessel acquisition management by the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD).” The company will assist the agency “in the enhancement of the Ready Reserve Force (RRF), helping reduce…

Mississippi Legislature Backs Jones Act

Mississippi’s State House and State Senate recently adopted pro-Jones Act resolutions. The statements are basically identical and read as follows: WHEREAS, Mississippi’s access to over 1,000 miles of the Mississippi River, Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, and the Tennessee- Tombigbee Waterway makes it a critical hub in the nation’s transportation system; and WHEREAS, the current global pandemic…

Defense expert Cites Urgent Need To Revitalize U.S. Shipbuilding

The situation isn’t hopeless, but the United States had better get moving if it wants to reclaim its status as a leading shipbuilder. That’s the conclusion reached by Loren Thompson, a highly regarded national defense expert who runs the non-profit Lexington Institute. Thompson’s commentary appeared on the Forbes website in late July. He began with…

Former Gridiron Standout Grateful For Opportunities Found with SIU

Paying attention to detail and following directions to the letter more often than not proves to be a winning formula. Perhaps no one knows this better than QE3 Raibonne Charles, who some five and one-half years ago was provided a set of instructions which, if followed, could change his life while cementing his future with…