A Statement from Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO President James Hart on the Importance of Investing in U.S. Shipbuilding

A Statement from Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO President James Hart on the Importance of Investing in U.S. Shipbuilding

Want to Make America Great Again? Invest in American Shipbuilding.

The time to Act is now. It’s time to SAVE THE PHILLY SHIPYARD. It’s time to revitalize the American shipbuilding industry, build the TANKERS needed to transport the energy we harvest throughout the United States and the world. It’s time for the United States to re-enter the recreation and cruise ship industry and most importantly it’s vital that we ensure that America has a merchant fleet capable of building a steel bridge to deliver American fighting men and women the equipment necessary to counter foreign aggression anywhere in the world.

I am sick and tired of American ship builders being forced to fend for themselves while their foreign competition soaks up billions of dollars in government support payments and subsidies.

I’m sick and tired of the American Maritime worker and their families taking in on the chin, losing their pensions and healthcare all in the name of irresponsible corporate greed and government policies. It’s long past time for the President to take the steadfast advice of his top economic and trade advisors at Commerce and Transportation and begin to reinvest in the Jones Act Shipbuilding Industry that is so vital to our nation’s national security.

Our merchant fleet is virtually depleted. Heavily subsidized foreign flagged vessels are feasting at the expense of the American worker and consumer, our manufacturing infrastructure is virtually decimated to the point that even though our cities and states face daunting new infrastructure rebuilds throughout the nation, we are forced to turn to foreign nations to meet our fabrication and material needs.

Ronald Reagan was wrong in eliminating government subsidies to American shipbuilding, and President Trump needs to correct that inequity or at the very least level the playing field and not allow any foreign vessel that receives government subsidies to load or unload at US ports.

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The Metal Trades Department is a trade department of the AFL-CIO. It was chartered in 1908 to coordinate negotiating, organizing and legislative efforts of affiliated metalworking and related crafts and trade unions. Seventeen national and international unions are affiliated with the MTD today. More than 100,000 workers in private industry and federal establishments work under contracts negotiated by MTD Councils. Workers retain membership in their own trade unions.

Impacted by the 2019 Federal Government shutdown? You may be eligible for financial assistance through the Union Plus Furlough Grant Program

Impacted by the 2019 Federal Government shutdown? You may be eligible for financial assistance through the Union Plus Furlough Grant Program

Special Update: If you are a union member who participates in certain Union Plus programs and have been impacted by the 2019 Federal Government shutdown, you may be eligible for financial assistance through the Union Plus Furlough Grant Program.[1]

Union Plus Credit Card:

  • $300 Furlough Grant For eligible Union Plus Credit Cardholders[ii] who are furloughed or excepted due to the federal government shutdown.
    • Must be a Union Plus Credit Cardholder for at least 3 months and in good standing on the date the federal shutdown began.
    • Apply for a one-time grant at //unionplus.org/hardship.
  • Capital One’s customer assistance program offers a number of options that could help customers whose income is disrupted as a result of the federal government shutdown and can help provide personalized assistance to those in need. For help, cardholders should contact: 1-800-622-2580.

Union Plus Mortgage:

  • Mortgage Assistance Loan & $300 Grant: for eligible Union Plus mortgage holders who are out of work or asked to work without pay due to an involuntary furlough that lasts for at least 15 consecutive calendar days.
  • Must be a Union Plus Mortgage holder for at least 12 months and in good standing at time of the qualifying event.
  • Your income must be reduced by an amount equal to at least 50% of the monthly mortgage payment.
  • Interest-free loan to cover up to 6 months of mortgage payments and a $300 grant paid directly to the member
  • Apply for grant at unionplus.org/hardship
  • Wells Fargo is offering assistance on case-by-case basis: members may qualify for forbearance or other payment assistance programs based on their individual circumstances. For help, members should contact: 1-888-818-9147 Monday through Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Central Time Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Central Time

Credit Counseling:

  • Money Management International offers a FREE consumer credit counseling session, budget analysis, and money management advice to members. Call 1-877-833-1745
  • Webinar: When the Income Decreases but the Bills Don’t: Financial Help During and After Furlough

Union Plus Life and Accident Insurance:

  • Policyholders qualify for a payment grace period. Call 1-800-393-0864.

Union Plus Personal Loan:

  • First National Bank of Omaha is offering assistance on a case-by-case basis: members may qualify for fee waivers or other payment assistance programs based on their individual circumstances. For help, members should contact 1-888-283-5228 Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Central Time and Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Central Time.

Union Plus Auto & Home Insurance

  • For those not receiving a paycheck from the federal government as a result of the current shutdown, MetLife Auto & Home may grant a one-time, 30-day grace period on your payment of premium on a MetLife Auto & Home policy. Members must request this one-time allowance by calling 1-800-GET-MET8.  Certain restrictions apply, and premium remains due after delay expires

Union Plus Life and Accident Insurance

  • The Hartford will offer qualified policyholders a payment grace period. For additional information, call 1-800-393-0864.

[1] Certain restrictions, limitations and qualifications apply to these grants. Additional information and eligibility criteria can be obtained at https://www.unionplus.org/hardship-help/hardship-help-financial-assistance.

[ii] The Union Plus Credit Cards are issued by Capital One, N.A. pursuant to a license from Mastercard International Incorporated.

Season’s Greetings from President Hart

Season’s Greetings from President Hart

It’s the holiday season – a magical time that reminds us to embrace the warmth and love of our friends, our families and our world. And I am always reminded by the profusion of well wishes I receive, how lucky I am. I am lucky to have wonderful friends and family, and I feel very lucky to be the leader of the Metal Trades.

So, while I celebrate the abundance of the season, I also take time to reflect on those who are struggling, economically and emotionally. I remind everyone, there is hope, there is always hope. We can do better, we can be better, and we will be better.

As Metal Trades members, we never shy away from tough times or tough fights. The lessons of the past and the dedication and commitment of generations of metal trades workers have taught us that there are no limits to what we can achieve when we work together. We had a lot of challenges over this last year and but because of your support and dedication, we have achieved a lot of success.

I know we can replicate our success next year, in an even bigger way. I’m committed to facing our problems head on, and I ask that you join me in that commitment. We’re union – the embodiment of solidarity –dedicated to making lives better for all our union brothers and sisters and for all working men and women and their families.

This holiday season would not be the same without you. I wish you and your family happiness and prosperity now and all year through. On behalf of the staff and the affiliated International and National Unions of the Metal Trades Department, I wish all a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah and Kwanza. It is our most humble wish that you and your family, friends and loved ones enjoy and reap the joy of a healthy, happy and prosperous 2019.

May God bless and always look out and protect working folks …. God Bless America and Canada!



The midterm elections are over.

No more robo calls, no more appeals to “Go Vote!” No more social media photos of wristbands and stickers proving “I VOTED!”
It’s over!

There are winners and losers and depending upon who you cast your vote for, you may feel like one or the other.

Elections are contests over the most important questions. Many metal trades workers are appreciative of the President’s economic and national defense agenda, many others are disturbed by the tone and direction of our country under the current occupant at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. In fact, the first two years of President Trump’s presidency was truly a stress test on democracy.

Election day and early voting turnout was amazing and union workers were clearly energized. Some knocked on doors, others manned phone banks, more importantly, we voted in big numbers!

However, winning is not enough. It’s results that count. If we don’t rebuild the infrastructure, if we don’t reform health care, if we don’t protect pensions, if we don’t protect collective bargaining all our efforts are for naught.

It’s time for all Americans to join together and do what’s best for working families.

Thank you for your continued friendship and support.



From our family to yours, we wish you a happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday