Union Members Host Pro-Jones Act Demonstration

Union Members Host Pro-Jones Act Demonstration

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 17, 2018
Contact: Jennifer Blatus, 914-755-1954 // Jennifer@TheAdvanceGroup.com
Union Members Host Pro-Jones Act Demonstration
Fight for American Jobs and National Security via The Jones Act
Washington D.C. – Today, Jimmy Hart, President of The Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO , Dan Duncan, Secretary-Treasurer of The Maritime Trades Department, AFL-CIO , and their members joined together to call on members of Congress to renew their support of The Jones Act.
With the Capital building setting the stage, members of both organizations pointed to the benefits of the language included in the Merchant Marine Act of 1920. The Jones Act regulates maritime commerce in the United States by requiring goods shipped between U.S. ports to be transported on ships that are built, owned, flagged, and operated by U.S. citizens or permanent residents. The law contributes nearly $100 billion annually to the national economy.

Caption: Jimmy Hart, President of The Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO, calls on member of Congress to renew their support of The Jones Act.

Union members in attendance shared the same bottom line: The Jones Act is necessary to protect 500,000 good-paying American jobs and the country’s national security.
“There has been a wave of misinformation told about The Jones Act. The elimination of this important law would be detrimental to the American economy and the safety of its residents. Keeping shipyards busy is vital to protecting the highly skilled labor jobs held by metal trades workers and encourages investments in the infrastructure needed to build and maintain military vessels used for national defense. We cannot fail these working families who depend on us to make sure their quality of life remains intact,”saidJimmy Hart, President of The Metal Trades Department.
“Our industry and our members will never stop promoting the truth: The Jones Act keeps our country strong by supporting good paying jobs on both land and sea. The Act is an essential component of protecting our nation’s national security. Flawed accusations have been used as a foundation to call for the weakening or elimination of the law. There is ample supply of Jones Act qualified vessels to reach every U.S. port. This is a critical maritime law that promotes industrial investment and skilled training that helps to support our national economy and defense,” saidDan W. Duncan, Secretary-Treasurer of The Maritime Trades Department.

Caption: Union members stand together to support the same bottom line: The Jones Act Protects 500,00 American Jobs and our National Defense.

“My sector commands American built, owned, operated, and crewed dredging vessels. My dredging companies spend billions of dollars in the United States recapitalizing their fleets in U.S. shipyards and purchasing U.S. equipment. And they employ and provide benefits for thousands of hard working American families,” said William P. Doyle, CEO & Executive Director of the Dredging Contractors of America. “Dredging companies, shipbuilders and their mariners are true patriots.”
The Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO was founded in June 1908 and has a membership of 5 million in 14 AFL-CIO unions.
The Maritime Trades Department was created in 1946 and is composed of 22 International affiliated unions.
LA Times Article Chronicles Hanford Workers Repeated Exposure to Plutonium

LA Times Article Chronicles Hanford Workers Repeated Exposure to Plutonium

An April 16, 2018 article in the LA Times, “Blowing in the wind: Plutonium at former nuclear weapons site,” chronicles the nuclear facility’s continued problems with contamination events.

The article’s author Ralph Vartabedian, spoke with Tom Carpenter, executive director of the watchdog group Hanford Challenge, who he says, “asserts that the demolition project used too many unskilled workers, attempted to do the work too fast and failed to adopt known safety measures that would have helped contain the contamination.”

“They took shortcuts and stupid risks,” Carpenter said. “They gambled and lost.”

Vartebedian also spoke with several employees who were exposed and face uncertain futures.

Read the full article here >

Happy Easter to all and may God Bless America and its working families!

Happy Easter to all and may God Bless America and its working families!

Across our nation, throughout North America and in some instances stations around the world, Metal Trades workers of Christian faith will gather with family and friends to celebrate Easter Sunday. It is a time of great joy and reflection. While the religious significance of Easter and the resurrection is not lost to me, nor is the fact that this day signals the beginning of spring, which after a long winter offers the spirit of hope and revitalization to all.
Today I join all workers in celebrating this day and heeding the Easter message. In the spirit of renewal, I look forward to our continued work together in making our union even stronger.
If you are among the union ranks, this is a good time to reflect upon what being a trade unionist means to you. I believe that those who mislead workers by making unions about what is unacceptable and intolerable to society are wrong and must be strongly refuted. Not only do I think that intentional mischaracterizations of our union and mission diminish the positive effect that our work achieves on behalf of workers but serves as the means to deprive all workers of the dignity and respect that they have earned and deserve in the work place.
Trade unionism is under assault in America. Intolerance for workers rights and protections are maligned as much or more today than any other aspect of American life. We can no longer allow detractors of unions to dissuade workers from becoming part of our mission which is to protect the fabric of our communities, promote fairness in the workplace and make all dreams possible for workers.
When or wherever intolerance is demonstrated, whether it is against our unions, gays, people of color or anyone who disagrees with you, we must as trade unionists step up and join together to resist such efforts by demonstrating to the world what we believe in, by how we act.
We all have failed or fallen short at one time or another, but the point of this message is that in the spirit of the season we all deserve and get a fresh start. It’s time for all of us to try and do better. I am renewing my efforts as we speak, won’t you join me?
On behalf of the officers, staff, and councils of the Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO, we wish you and your families a healthy, happy and reflective Easter Sunday. May the lord bless and keep safe the men and women of the armed forces who together with our nation’s first responders truly insure the freedoms that we hold near and dear in our hearts.
Happy Easter to all and may God bless America and its working families!

Holman Rule Alert—House GOP Tries to Renew ‘Holman Rule’ Targeting Federal Pay

By Kellie Mejdrich, CQ

March 19, 2018 – 10:01 p.m.

House Republican leaders have proposed extending a rule that allows cuts to individual federal employees’ salaries as part of a measure approved late Monday night setting up floor procedure for two unrelated bills.

Tucked into a floor rule (H Res 787) that tees up consideration for two unrelated bills (HR 4566HR 5247) relating to financial services and health policy is a provision that extends the “Holman rule.” The Holman rule is a standing order provided in the House rules adopted in January 2017 (H Res 5). Previously, the Holman rule was in order through the first session of the 115th Congress, and the new rule introduced Monday would extend it through the second session.

The Holman rule, created in 1876 by Rep. William S. Holman, D-Ind., allows floor amendments on appropriations bills to target individual salaries or workforce levels. The rule essentially permits floor amendments that “retrench” expenditures — in other words, cut spending — using legislative language that was not previously authorized. The cuts could reduce federal salaries, compensation from the Treasury and amounts of money in individual spending bills.

The House in July considered a Holman rule amendment as part of the Republican-written omnibus measure (HR 3219). Proposed by Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Va., the amendment would have cut a certain division of the Congressional Budget Office. It was rejected by a vote of 116-309 on July 26.

House Republicans’ decision to reinstate the rule now for the second session of the 115th Congress may signal a willingness by leadership to give rank-and-file members broader latitude to force cuts in spending bills.

But that type of procedure can be difficult for the House majority to manage because it can be used as a dilatory procedure by the minority. As House Rules Chairman Pete Sessions, R-Texas, recalled in January 2017: “Certainly, I mean, if you go back and look how it was used  . . .  what term would you put to it, ‘abused?’ Or ‘utilized?’”

Most of the provisions that are known as the Holman rule were removed from the standing rules in 1983. House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Chairman Tom Cole, R-Okla., spoke out against reinstating the rule in April 2016 during a Rules Committee hearing.

Cole said the proposal “would significantly expand what amendments could be offered on appropriations bills” and “would diminish the roles of the authorizing committees, make them less central to the legislative process and at the same time make it harder to pass appropriations bills.”

Cole said reinstating the rule “would involve appropriations bills in more controversies and increase the number of amendments to appropriations bills, which has already exploded in recent years.”

He noted at the hearing that during the last year in which the Holman rule was in effect, 59 floor amendments had been offered to 10 appropriations bills brought to the floor. In 2015, 456 amendments were proposed on just seven bills.

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