Kathleen “Kate” Hunt last month was appointed by the SIU’s executive board as vice president of the SIU’s Government Services Division. She succeeds former SIU Vice President Kermett Mangram who retired from the post effective August 31.
Hunt assumes her new duties after serving as National Director of the SIU-affiliated United Industrial Workers (UIW), a position she had held since August 2016. In that capacity, she oversaw the operations of dozens of UIW shops in the continental United States, Alaska and the United States Virgin Islands.
Hunt began her maritime career as an AB working on ferries in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in 1976. In 1980, she became the first female patrolman for the National Maritime Union (NMU), and thereafter spent many years as an NMU official.
Following the SIU/NMU merger in 2001, Hunt was assigned to be a representative for the SIU’s Government Services Division. Among other duties, she worked with the SIU crews aboard Military Sealift Command ships, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration research vessels and other government-owned ocean-going platforms.
During that same period, Hunt also worked as a business representative for the SIUaffiliated Seafarers Entertainment and Allied Trades Union (SEATU). Based at the union’s New York-area office, she addressed and met the needs of SEATU members employed at worksites in the Northeast.
The SIU represents thousands of American workers aboard U.S.-flagged vessels in both the private and public sectors. One of its most important membership groups consists of mariners who are employed by the federal government aboard Military Sealift Command, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other government service ships.
On a daily basis, SIU Government Services Division representatives advocate for Civilian Mariners in discipline cases, loss of security clearances, workman’s compensation matters, fitness for duty issues, retirement questions and other concerns that have real, tangible effects on the day-to-day lives of federal mariners.