Philly Shipyard Begins Work on Dry Docking Contract for MARAD Ship

Philly Shipyard Begins Work on Dry Docking Contract for MARAD Ship

The Metal Trades Department is proud to join with the Philly Shipyard in announcing the Philly Shipyard has been selected for the Antares repair.  The SS Antares is an Algol class vehicle cargo ship, owned by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) and managed by TOTE Services. The SS Antares undergoes routine repair and maintenance during its scheduled dry docking every five years.

Work on the SS Antares is expected to last approximately two months.  Philly Shipyard’s objective is to win similar repair and maintenance contracts going forward in order to continuously utilize its drydocks as part of its plan to reconstitute its workforce.

“This is the first step in restoring the Philly Shipyard to its prominence,” said Metal Trades Department President James Hart. “We are pleased that this contract will allow the yard to recall some of our vital Philadelphia Metal Trades workforce and will continue to work with the yard to pursue additional opportunities.”

President Hart to Congress: Pursue Legislative Remedies to Block & Reverse Destructive Executive Orders

On July 16, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit overturned, on jurisdictional grounds, a lower court ruling blocking the implementation of three controversial Trump Workforce Executive Orders taking aim at federal employee unions.

In a letter to Congress, Metal Trades Department President James Hart asked Senators and Representatives to take legislative action to block and reverse these destructive Executive Orders.

See the text of the full letter below:

Dear House / Senate Member


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit overturned, on jurisdictional grounds, a lower court ruling blocking the implementation of three controversial Trump Workforce Executive Orders taking aim at federal employee unions.


In its ruling issued on July 16, 2019, the three-judge panel stated in overruling the lower court decision that the suit lacked judicial jurisdiction and that federal employees and their representatives can only seek relief from the court after going through the administrative process, namely the Federal Labor Relations Authority. This decision condemns the federal workforce to a fate dictating that workers must sit back and watch their rights being trampled upon by overzealous agency management personnel, as unions are now forced to address contract and statute violations by filing Unfair Labor Practice charges with the FLRA, an agency filled with partisan appointees, devoid of a general counsel, and plagued with huge case backlogs.


The appeals court overturned an August 2018-decision from the District of Columbia federal district court, which invalidated nine key provisions of the President’s three Federal Workforce Executive Orders, 13836, 13837 and 13838, that conflicted with the original intent of Congress when passing the Civil Service Reform Act and Federal Labor-Management Relations Statute in 1978.


Those provisions include:


  • The imposition of a 25% cap on the use of official time,
  • The prohibition against employees’ right to petition and communicate with Congress,
  • The ban on the use of official time by union representatives to prepare and present grievances,
  • The one hour per bargaining unit employee formula to be applied to set an aggregate cap on the use of official time,
  • The limitations placed on unions’ use of agency facilities, such as office space and computers,
  • The exclusion of challenges to performance ratings and incentive pay from the scope of the negotiated grievance procedure,
  • The limitation of performance improvement periods to 30 days, with agencies alone having the discretion to apply longer periods,
  • The direction to agencies to press for the exclusion of removals from the scope of the negotiated grievance procedure, and
  • The prohibition against bargaining over “permissive” subjects.

The Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO, and its 17 International Union Affiliates seeks your support in pursuing legislative remedies to block and reverse these destructive executive orders. The days of disrespecting the federal workforce by this Administration must come to an end.



Jimmy Hart


Happy Independence Day

Happy Independence Day

A message from MTD President Hart

America sets aside July 4th for a national celebration of the experiment started 243 years ago this day by the patriots at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.

It was an act of courage for our Founding Fathers to declare their independence from Great Britain, but it was an act of vision and foresight as well.

They created a durable democracy, boasting the possibility of broader liberties and greater opportunities for each succeeding generation, encouraging people all across the world to demand from their governments the same freedoms and possibilities that Americans enjoy.

As Americans and union members, we cannot fail in our responsibility to never forget, promote and strive to achieve the mission of truth and justice demanded of us by our founding fathers in the Declaration of Independence …. “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by the Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”

On behalf of the officers, affiliates and staff of the Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO, we wish you and your families the very best for a healthy, happy and safe Independence Day holiday. May God bless you, the Labor Movement and all workers. God bless America!

Honoring All Who Served

Honoring All Who Served

As we go through the process of living our daily lives, it is easy to forget all those men and women that came before us and died in defense of our Freedoms.

As Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them.” This Memorial Day, and every day, let us not forget the brave men and women who have selflessly sacrificed for our freedoms. Let us honor them in prayer and deed.

America’s Metal Trades Unions and members are ever mindful of the great many blessings we enjoy, granted us by the ultimate sacrifice of so many of the courageous, heroic men and women of our American Military.

On behalf of the officers and staff of the Metal Trades Department, I wish you and your loved ones a reflective and safe Memorial Day holiday weekend.

God Bless America!

In Solidarity,
James Hart, President
Metal Trades Department

FWA Calls on Congress to Support ALJ Competitive Service Act

In a letter to Representatives Cummings, Neal, Davis and Fitzpatrick, the Federal Workers Alliance — of which the Metal Trades Department is a member — expressed its support for the ALJ Competitive Service Restoration Act. The legislation was introduced in response to President Trump’s Executive Order 13843 that removes federal Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) from the competitive service to excepted service.

The FWA, which collectively represents 300,000 federal workers, explains that the EO “allows political appointees at agencies throughout the federal government to pick and choose inexperienced political friends to serve as ALJs who could move forward the partisan agenda of whoever may be occupying the White House.”

Outlining the dangers of not addressing the EO, the FWA went on to ask all House members to support the legislation.

Members of the Metal Trades Union Rally in DC & Meet with Members of Congress on Issues Impacting Their Membership

Members of the Metal Trades Union Rally in DC & Meet with Members of Congress on Issues Impacting Their Membership

News from the Metal Trades Department
Tuesday, April 9, 2019
Contact: Tom Musich, 201.315.2295 /


Key focus areas include protecting the Jones Act, awarding federal contracts to the Philly Shipyard amid layoffs, and securing back pay for those impacted by the government shutdown


Washington, D.C. – President Jimmy Hart and members of the Metal Trades Union, AFL-CIO from across the country rallied at the United States Capitol to urge Congress to stand in support of the Metal Trades Union membership across a range of key issues, including the Jones Act, the Philly Shipyard layoffs, and back pay for the government shutdown. Following the rally, members met individually with Members of Congress to discuss the issues and how they affect their work.

“The Jones Act has always been one of our most important issues because it keeps our ports secure and Americans at work. With the US shipbuilding industry constantly under attack from foreign manufacturers, Members of Congress need to know just how important the Jones act is to our economy. We’re also here to ensure that the Philly Shipyard remains a priority following last year’s layoffs and to ensure that our members who missed payments because of the January shutdown are paid,” said Jimmy Hart, President, Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO.

The Jones Act requires that cargo shipped between two points in U.S. waters be transported on American vessels crewed by American workers. It supports 650,000 American jobs across the United States.

The Philly Shipyards decreased its workforce from 1,200 workers to about 400 in 2018. Dozens of Congress Members have already lobbied the Department of Transportation to grant the shipyard a contract.

With members traveling from across the country to attend, the Metal Trades Department is hoping to connect with lawmakers and ensure that the key issues impacting their membership are a priority to those serving in Washington.

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.