Death, taxes and the annual Thanksgiving feast at the SIU hall in Oakland, California?
They’re all sure things, though, fortunately, the union’s yearly gathering has nothing else in common with the other happenings on that list. Most recently, the SIU on Nov. 22 (two days before the holiday) welcomed approximately 200 guests to its Thanksgiving event. Remarkably, it was the twenty-sixth straight year for the popular celebration.
Guests included four U.S. congressmen; members of (respectively) the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army and U.S. Coast Guard; union members and their families; shipping company executives; officials from maritime and building-trades unions; local business representatives and more.
The typically outstanding menu featured traditional Thanksgiving fare. While there wasn’t an official theme, speakers emphasized support for the U.S. Merchant Marine and for all of America’s working families. They also stressed the importance of cooperation in an uncertain political climate.
“Even though this was our twenty-sixth year, people remain very enthusiastic about this event, which is known locally as the start of the holiday season,” said SIU Assistant Vice President Nick Celona. “Everyone seemed to have a good time.”
Congressional representatives in attendance included John Garamendi, Jerry McNerney, Mark DeSaulnier and Eric Swalwell, all of California.
Editor’s note: Special thanks to Charles Farruggia for providing photos of the event.