Current Edition

President’s Column

Power of Solidarity Both during the recent government shutdown and throughout the teachers’ strike in Los Angeles, union members showed the enduring power of collective action and solidarity. Grassroots mobilization, standing up for the truth, and having each other’s backs led to positive outcomes in both cases. Community outreach across the country also proved very…

SIU, MTD Support Furloughed Workers

Unions were undeterred during a 35-day federal government shutdown that ended in late January. During that unprecedented closure,…

Ocean Ships Inc. Awarded ESD Contract

Seafarers will continue sailing aboard two expeditionary transfer dock (ESD) vessels, following a recent announcement by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD). The DOD on Jan. 25 reported that SIU-contracted Ocean Shipholdings, Inc. has been selected to continue operating the USNS Montford Point and the USNS John Glenn for up to five-and-a-half years. Ocean Shipholdings…

U.S.-Flag Great Lakes Fleet Finishes 2018 on Strong Note

U.S.-flag Great Lakes freighters, many of them featuring SIU crews, carried 8.5 million tons of cargo in December, an increase of 17.5 percent compared to a year ago, the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA) reported. Driving the surge was a 16-percent increase in iron ore cargoes. Limestone and coal cargoes also registered increases, 31 and 19.5…

Union Membership Remains Fairly Steady During 2018

The yearly report on union membership from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showed very little change in 2018. According to the agency’s report, issued Jan. 18, membership declined slightly from 2017 to 2018, to a total number of 14.744 million. That’s a decrease of 73,000; union density in 2018 was 10.5 percent. The…

PHC Unveils Cutting-Edge Reefer Course

The Seafarers-affiliated Paul Hall Center for Maritime Training and Education (PHC) is offering a new course in Advanced Reefer Container Maintenance (ARCM), which replaces the previous course. Mike Fay, a longtime mariner and electrician, was instrumental in the development of the new course and curriculum.…

Hands-on Training Remains Piney Point Staple

The SIU-affiliated Paul Hall Center (PHC) for Maritime Training and Education serves as a gateway to rewarding careers for experienced mariners and entry-level students alike. A state-of-the-art vocational school located in Piney Point, Maryland, the PHC opened as a bare-bones facility in 1967. Since that time, the maritime training and education hub has enjoyed more…

IMB Issues Annual Piracy Report, Uptick In Incidents Noted

The International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has released their annual Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships report, in which the bureau notes that 2018 saw an uptick in incidents from previous years. In a departure from the recent trend, the center of the increased pirate activity was African nations, not South East…