On November 11 we celebrate Veteran’s Day, a day to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country and willingness to sacrifice for the common good.
As President of the Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO, I am committed to ensuring that the Department, with the support of our affiliated unions, work to provide increased opportunities in the trades for the brave men and women who have served in our nation’s armed services. As well, I am committed to fighting for the rights and benefits we owe our service men and women.
Labor has long supported veterans, many of our Metal Trades Council members are veterans. Often, the work we do supports the military’s mission, and that makes us proud. As we celebrate Veteran’s Day today, we pray that our current service men and women return home safely, and we pray for the souls who did not.
May God bless our veterans and all Americans.
Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO
The Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO, held its Annual Conference in Las Vegas on October 11-12. After the business of the Conference wrapped up on Wednesday, Oct. 11, attendees, officers, and staff joined together to pay their respects to the victims of the Las Vegas shooting last month. The group went to the site of the memorial, leaving a wreath among the other items that have been left to honor the victims. #VegasStrong
On this Labor Day weekend, I would like to take a moment to remember those men, women and children in Texas who lost their lives in Hurricane Harvey. This terrible storm affected many union members, whether they be workers whose homes were damaged or lost in the storm, or first responders who worked tirelessly to help those in need. Many of our own members faced unimaginable hardships over the past week experiencing the devastation first hand. Please join with me in praying for all the residents of Texas, and if you can, consider donating to the relief fund established by the Texas AFL-CIO.
For many, Labor Day is the last official day of summer vacation. And, many folks don’t even know the origins of Labor Day, but union member do. We know that the men and women who fought fiercely for the rights of workers in the 19th Century, built the labor movement, and forged a path that has given us the opportunities we have today. We know that their sacrifices and bravery gave us the weekend, ensured us a voice on the job, and secured our right to collectively bargain with our employers. So, I encourage you to also take time this weekend to remember those whose hard work and sacrifice brought us our union voices.
The last several years have been rough for the labor movement. We have seen attacks to our wages, benefits and pensions. Calls for national right-to-work, and successful passage of state and local level right-to-work ordinances. With the new Administration, we can only assume that our battle has just begun. We face a GOP majority in charge at the National Labor Relations Board. OSHA, the agency tasked with making sure you are safe at work, no longer cares to record on-the-job injuries and deaths, they would rather cow-tow to corporations. Labor indeed is in a fight for its life. We, like those that came before us, must stand with our union brothers and sisters and redouble our efforts to rebuild and reaffirm our place at the table. Like Texas, the labor movement is strong, and resilient, and will whether its storms of attack, but it is up to you to get involved.
May God bless you all, and have a safe and happy Labor Day.
The Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO sent the following letter to Senators Baldwin, Gillibrand, Schumer, Duckworth, Durbin, Klobuchar, Franken, Donnelly, Brown, Casey, Stabenow, and Peters urging them to enact the Commercial Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (CVIDA).
|July 19, 2017
The Honorable Tammy Baldwin
Dear Senator Baldwin:
There is no issue more critical for the Great Lakes shipping industry today than enactment of the Commercial Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (CVIDA). The current patchwork of vessel discharge laws and regulations undermines efforts to protect Great Lakes waterways. We understand that CVIDA has been incorporated into the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2017, S. 1129, and that this legislation could be considered in the U.S. Senate soon.We also understand that you are working diligently to craft CVIDA text that protects the Great Lakes without overwhelming the American shipping industry and the critically important supply chain that it supports. As you know, the Great Lakes U.S.-flag maritime industry is crucial to the region’s steel production, manufacturing, energy, construction, and agriculture industries and the hundreds of thousands of jobs in those industries.
CVIDA is critical to the U.S.-flag fleet because it recognizes the necessity to treat commercial vessels that stay in the Great Lakes (“lakers”) differently than vessels that enter the Great Lakes from the ocean. Any provision in CVIDA that potentially eliminates the laker exemption in the future needs to explicitly weigh the economic impacts of such a decision on the industries and employees that depend on the lakers against the most probable (not just any possible) environmental benefits.
We understand that the Lake Carriers’ Association recently forwarded language for your consideration in an effort to respond to concerns raised by environmental groups and state government officials. This is a good faith effort to work out a compromise. We urge you in the strongest possible terms to accept this proposal and to enact CVIDA.
From the Kitsap Sun
BREMERTON — The defense budget passed Friday by the U.S. House of Representatives includes help for local shipyard workers and veterans.
U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, secured an extension of overtime pay for Puget Sound Naval Shipyard workers who conduct nuclear maintenance on the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan in Yokosuka, Japan. Payments would continue through Sept. 30, 2019.