Current Edition

President’s Column

Congratulations to the U.S. Merchant Marine of World War II on the recent passage of federal legislation that awards a Congressional Gold Medal in recognition of their heroism. The SIU proudly and actively supported this bill, which was years in the making, just as we worked for decades to ultimately help secure veterans’ status for…

State Government Orders Address Change for Seafarers Headquarters

The union and Seafarers Plans are not relocating their headquarters operations – but they’re getting a new address, effective April 20, 2020. Because of a government-ordered change, the new address is: 5201 Capital Gateway Drive Camp Springs, Maryland 20746 The old address (since 1982, when the SIU relocated from New York) was 5201 Auth Way,…

Acting DHS Secretary Backs Jones Act

Acting Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Chad Wolf recently expressed his backing of America’s freight cabotage law, the Jones Act. His remarks came Feb. 26 during a hearing of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security. The hearing’s main subject was the Fiscal 2021 budget request for the DHS. U.S. Rep.…

Puerto Rico Relief Efforts Continue

The SIU hasn’t let up in its efforts to provide relief supplies to Puerto Rico residents recovering from a series of earthquakes. Pictured aboard the El Coqui en route to Puerto Rico are (from left) Recertified Steward Juan Vallejo, Crowley Maritime Chairman/CEO Tom Crowley, Christine Crowley (Tom's wife and a member…

Study Stresses Value of Jones Act, Maritime Industrial Base

The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) recently released a new study detailing the benefits of the American maritime industry to national security, titled “Strengthening the U.S. Defense Maritime Industrial Base.” As a first-time review of the impact of the U.S. domestic maritime industry to national security, this historic report found that the domestic…

Seafarers Mourn Passing of Frank Pecquex

Frank Pecquex, retired executive secretary- treasurer of the Maritime Trades Department (MTD) and former SIU legislative director, passed away Feb. 15 in northern Virginia, following a decadeslong battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was 75 years old. “Frank was…

Former Congressman Defends U.S. Shipbuilding

Former U.S. Congressman Ernest Istook, a staunch defender of the maritime industry, recently penned an editorial in which he advocated for the importance of domestic shipbuilding and the U.S.-flag fleet. Istook, a Republican from Oklahoma, began by writing, “Three fleets of ships are vital to America’s national and economic security. The first fleet is the…

SIU Members Undertake ‘Labor of Love’

SIU members in Hawaii continued the union’s long tradition of helping out in the community by assisting with the “Labor of Love” project to benefit a local elementary school. On Jan. 25, SIU personnel were among the hundreds of volunteers from unions and other groups that pitched in to help complete the project, hosted by…

SHBP Offers Tobacco Cessation Benefits

The advantages of quitting smoking are well known, but quitting is difficult. If you are thinking of quitting, the Seafarers Health and Benefits Plan (SHBP) has a benefit to help you. The Plan offers tobacco cessation benefits, in partnership with CIGNA, to assist you in your effort to stop smoking or using other tobacco products.…

Seafarers Deliver In ‘Deep Freeze’

Seafarers continue to answer the call from McMurdo Station in Antarctica every year, and Operation Deep Freeze 2020 proved to be no exception. Three SIU-crewed ships made the annual journey, aided by the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Polar Star. The first vessel to arrive was the containership MV Ocean Giant, operated by Waterman Steamship, carrying…