SIU-contracted Maersk Line, Limited (MLL) knows that its crews made plenty of sacrifices in 2020, and the company recently said “thank you” in a big way.
In mid-December, MLL sent $10,000 to each of its American-flag vessels, to be used for crew welfare. Additionally, all mariners in good standing who sailed at least 120 days with MLL in 2020 will receive a holiday gift basket and note of appreciation sent to their home address. (The latter endeavor also supports local small businesses near the company’s home office in Norfolk, Virginia. MLL selected arrays of quality, non-perishable products from various companies in Virginia’s Tidewater area.)
In a communication to the fleet, MLL President and CEO Bill Woodhour noted the “extraordinary efforts of all serving onboard ships in our fleet throughout the 2020 pandemic.” He conveyed the company’s “sincere appreciation and gratitude,” and encouraged the vessel masters to consult with officers and crew members regarding how to spend the cash donations. He encouraged them to “keep in mind the funds should try to benefit those onboard now and those who will be returning, as much as possible.”
MLL Labor Relations Vice President Ed Hanley praised the crews “for keeping our vessels moving throughout the pandemic – facing unique and extremely challenging circumstances – often including extended periods away from family, quarantine, and/or restriction to ship. While the rest of the world largely adapted to social distancing and working from home, the U.S. Merchant Marine lived up to its reputation and reliably delivered the goods in 2020 including food, medicine, PPE and thousands of other supplies to people suffering around the world from the pandemic. These mariners were on the tip of the sword and helped make it happen – and we wanted to say thank you in an unexpected way.”
SIU Vice President Contracts George Tricker stated, “This is an exceptionally generous gesture by Maersk, and I applaud them for showing so much appreciation for the crews. There is no doubt that 2020 has been uniquely challenging, and there’s also no doubt that our members and their shipmates delivered. Maersk’s kindness is a great tone-setter as we head into the winter holidays.”