Keep Avondale Open

Reprinted from


  A Tulane University report outlines more reasons to keep open the Avondale Shipyard, which is scheduled to close in 2013. Save Avondale, Save New Orleans, Save America, is the latest report from the Avondale Research Project, a group of academic researchers from the University of New Orleans, Southern University at New Orleans and Loyola and Tulane universities, along with shipyard workers and community leaders — all examining the social and economic consequences of the shipyard’s planned closure.

A November 2011 report outlined the economic dangers of the closure, estimating job losses will affect not only the shipyard’s immediate community but also the New Orleans metro area — beginning this year. That report predicted bleak prospects for shipyard workers seeking comparable manufacturing jobs in the southeast.

The latest report, authored by Tulane political science professor Aaron Schneider, notes those same job-loss conclusions and focuses on the Avondale community’s civic engagement. Schneider says Avondale workers are more likely to join neighborhood groups and follow current events, according to results of surveys in which 84 shipyard workers were interviewed.

It’s a micro-focused research project, studying a community’s basic economy (how many times each week its members eat at a restaurant, how much they contribute to their local church, etc.) and how it communicates. Among its findings, the survey noted that 86 percent of workers discuss politics weekly.

“The workers themselves are clear on where their civic activism comes from — the struggle and victory of securing union representation in the workplace,” the report concludes. “That struggle was difficult, and it taught workers to intertwine their civic future with that of the community.”

In October 2011, Gov. Bobby Jindal announced the state would provide a $214 million package of incentives to protect the shipyard’s jobs — as long as shipyard owner Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) can find a business partner to keep operations going. The shipyard currently is building two Navy vessels that are expected to be completed next year. If HII doesn’t secure a partner, the yard will close. — Alex Woodward

Good Jobs Make for Stronger Communities

A Statement from Metal Trades Department President Ron Ault regarding the release of Prof. Aaron Schneider’s White Paper: “Save Avondale, Save New Orleans, Save America”

For Immediate Release—Jan 12, 2012

Contact: Ron Ault (202) 508-3705

Washington, D.C—Ron Ault, President of the Metal Trades Department of the AFL-CIO released the following statement:

The results of Professor Aaron Schneider’s study are not surprising, but they are compelling. As the labor movement has argued for generations, good jobs make for stronger, healthier communities and ultimately a stronger nation.

We are indebted to the Avondale Research Project, and the universities—Tulane, Loyola, UNO and SUNO—Prof Schneider and the researchers who created this paper for the documentation that they have collected to prove the connection.

In the long view, Avondale is important to America down to the granular level because in thousands of cities and villages across America the same stresses have played out. Avondale is only different because it is possible in New Orleans to prevent catastrophe, rather than lament a lost opportunity.

The Metal Trades Department recognizes that we are also fortunate to have a united front in New Orleans that includes the workers and their neighbors, business and community leaders, the clergy, academics and elected officials.

We intend to continue to work toward the goal of keeping Avondale open, building ships and contributing to the wellbeing of the entire region. Failure is not an option.


The Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO is sad to report the passing of Bremerton Naval Shipyard representative Patrick Abbott.

Pat was a pipe fitter who started his career at Bremerton in 1982 and a vice president of the Bremerton Metal Trades Council.

“Pat reflected the standard of excellence that is characteristic of the Bremerton Council. Our prayers and condolences go out to his family,” said Metal Trades Department President Ron Ault. Similarly, Bremerton Commander Capt. Mark Whitney paid tribute to Pat. “He was a strong advocate for the workforce and a great partner to work with on the issues,” Capt. Whitney said.

The graveside services for Patrick Abbott will be held at the Valley View Memorial Park in Soap Lake Washington on Friday January 13th at 1:00 pm.  The location of the event is, 20174 Road A NE, Soap Lake, WA 98851 the  phone number (509) 754-4150.

Driving direction to the graveside from Bremerton are:

Depart WA-304 / Burwell St toward Pacific Ave

Turn left onto Pacific Ave, and then immediately turn left onto 4TH St.

Turn left onto Park Ave, and then immediately turn right onto WA-304 / Burwell St

Turn left to stay on WA-304 / N Callow Ave

Keep straight to stay on WA-304 South / S Charleston Blvd

Take ramp left for WA-3 South toward Shelton

Keep straight onto WA-16 East

Pass 76 in 0.1 mi

Take ramp for I-5 North toward Seattle

Take ramp right for WA-18 East

Take ramp right for I-90 East toward Spokane

At exit 151, take ramp right toward Ephrata / Soap Lake

Keep straight onto WA-281

Turn right onto WA-283 / State Route 283 N / WA-283 N

Keep straight onto WA-28

Pass Safeway in 4.7 mi

Turn left onto High Hill Rd / Road a NE

Arrive at 20174 Road A NE, Soap Lake, WA 98851

There will be a wake and memorial event at the Bremerton Eagles, Aerie 192 located in downtown Bremerton at 205 6th Street, on Thursday, January 12th at 4:30 until closing. This is a potluck event:  a celebration of Patrick’s life and everyone is encouraged to come and share you remembrances on Patrick’s life.

MTD Welcomes New General Representative

Metal Trades Department President Ron Ault welcomes newly-appointed Metal Trades Representative John Barry to his first day on the job January 3rd as the Metal Trades Representative, replacing Jim Seidl, who retired effective December 31st. Barry comes to the Department from the International Union of Operating Engineers where he was responsible for national level collective bargaining, organizing and training. In that capacity, he developed training curriculum for IUOE local union staff. He also served as assistant director for the IUOE’s Stationary Affairs Department for the past eight years. John is a 28-year member of IUOE’s Washington, D.C. Local 99 where completed his apprenticeship to become a licensed stationary engineer, moving through the ranks to become a chief engineer. John was an apprenticeship instructor for Local 99 for three years and served on the local’s executive board  and as business manager.

John holds an undergraduate degree from the National Labor College and earned a Masters Degree from the University of Massachusetts.

Jim Seidl who retired December 31st. Seidl joined the Metal Trades staff in 2005 after more than 40 years in various capacities with the International Association of Machinists—including a stint as Director of the IAM’s Government Employees’ Department.

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