Current Edition

President’s Column

America’s Shipyards The state of American shipbuilding is a noteworthy example of the effects of government policy. While we in the SIU remain justifiably proud of the outstanding work performed by union shipyard employees, the worldwide shipbuilding statistics are sobering. Only onethird of a percent of the world’s ships carry the “Made in the USA”…

Administrator Reports More Progress with CHS

The union and the Seafarers Plans are continuing to work with Comprehensive Health Services (CHS) to identify and implement improvements in services for SIU members. In mid-November, the union and Seafarers Plans hosted a meeting at SIU headquarters that included the CHS CEO and their program manager for the Seafarers Health and Benefit Plan. Attendees…

Van Ovost Backs Jones Act, U.S. Mariners

The commanding officer of the U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM) recently voiced her strong backing of the U.S. Merchant Marine and the laws and programs that keep it afloat. Gen. Jacqueline D. Van Ovost (USAF) addressed more than 600 attendees Dec. 3 in New York during the annual Admiral of the Ocean Sea event, sponsored by…

SIU’s Heindel Honored with AOTOS Award

On a night when much of the spotlight focused on him, SIU Secretary-Treasurer David Heindel mainly wanted to talk about others. Heindel on Dec. 3 received the Admiral of the Ocean Sea (AOTOS) Award in New York, a prestigious honor presented each year by the United Seamen’s Service (USS). This year’s honorees also included Bill…

Union Ramps Up Recruiting in ‘Last Frontier’

It’s nothing new for the SIU to help make Alaskans aware of maritime career opportunities, but the union in recent months has increased its outreach in the Last Frontier. Alaska-based SIU Port Agent Nick Marrone II has spearheaded a broad outreach for prospective applicants to the apprentice program at the union’s affiliated school in Piney…

Members Ratify 5-Year Contract With Virginia Pilot Association

SIU members at Virginia Pilot Association late last year secured a new five-year contract that increases wages and improves benefits. Pictured from left are Seafarers Randy Grinnan and John Cameron, SIU Port Agent DeCarlo Harris and Seafarers Gage Harper, Tyler Elswick, Oliver Meyer, Joel Otroba and Will Henson. The agreement covers 24 Seafarers who work…

SIU CIVMARS Help Rescue 2 in Gulf of Oman

CIVMARS from the SIU Government Services Division helped rescue two fishermen who’d been stuck at sea for more than a week. On Nov. 27, the USNS Charles Drew was involved in a rescue in the Gulf of Oman. The dry cargo ship received word of a distress call at 10 a.m. local time from Combined…

Oakland Thanksgiving Event Resumes

Pictured from left in photo at immediate left are U.S. Rep. Jerry McNerney (D-California), SIU VP Nick Marrone, U.S. Rep. John Garamendi (D-California), SIU VP Nicholas Celona and U.S. Rep. Jim Panetta (D-California). In photo above, U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-California) addresses the crowd. Some of the details were different, for precautionary reasons – but…

Organized Labor Applauds Passage Of Infrastructure Bill

Leaders of the AFL-CIO and affiliate unions, including the SIU, hailed congressional passage of the five-year $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, which President Joe Biden signed on Nov. 15. SIU Executive Vice President Augie Tellez was an invited guest at the outdoor signing ceremony. “The Seafarers International Union enthusiastically applauds President Biden and Congress for enactment…

Maritime Briefs

DOT, MARAD Release Report on Academy The U.S. Department of Transportation and the Maritime Administration (MARAD) on Nov. 24 released a new report titled, “Organizational Assessment of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA): A Path Forward” and an accompanying Implementation Plan prepared by the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA). “USMMA students are remarkable leaders…

SIU’s Year in review: 2021

Outside of the SIU, the year 2021 could easily be confused for 2020. The world was still dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, including a number of variants which evolved and threatened even the vaccinated population. By December 2021, more than 48 million cases of COVID-19 were reported in the United States alone. At the same…