The SIU joined with all of American maritime labor in mourning the passing of retired Congressman Steve LaTourette, 62, who lost his battle with pancreatic cancer on Aug. 3.
The 18-year representative from northeastern Ohio was a solid supporter of the Jones Act, Maritime Security Program and cargo preference. He was a leading voice within the House Appropriations Committee on behalf of maritime labor.
First elected in 1994, the Republican was respected by members from both political parties because of his ability to work with others for the causes in which he believed.
During his tenure, he served as co-chair of the Republican Labor Caucus and later as chair of the Republican Main Street Partnership. LaTourette was one of the strongest supporters for working families in his party. During the financial crisis of 2008- 09, he supported legislation extending unemployment benefits. He also fought for health and social services issues.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer quoted LaTourette when he announced his retirement from Congress in 2012: “For a long time now, words like compromise have been considered to be dirty words. I’ve always believed … that the art of being a legislator is finding common ground.”
The membership and officials of the SIU will miss LaTourette’s leadership and concern for all working men and women.
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