Coalition Chronicle Highlights MTD’s Role in Saving Philly Shipyard

Coalition Chronicle Highlights MTD’s Role in Saving Philly Shipyard

In the April 2020, special edition of the Coalition Chronicle — Report to the National Industrial Base Workforce Coalition — Metal Trades Department President Jimmy Hart’s work on behalf of his members at the Philly Shipyard are spotlighted.

The article explains that in 2019, at a Coalition meeting to address U.S. Shipyards and workforce readiness, Hart spoke about the potential closure of the Philly Shipyard. Noting that the yard was once a Navy Shipyard that had been converted to construct commercial ships, Hart explained that a recent contract to build four Jones Act ships that were to deliver cargo to Hawaii had been cancelled and that that cancellation would result in the closing of the yard.

The article goes on to highlight Hart’s continued efforts and meetings with the Navy, members of Congress from the surrounding geographic region, and members of the administration including Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, Dr. Peter Navarro, to press for action at the Yard. Spotlighting a September 2019, meeting between Hart, Dr. Navarro and the Secretary of the Navy, the Chronicle explains that the delegation toured the shipyard and Dr. Navarro left promising to do everything in his power to keep the yard open.

On April 8, 2020, the Maritime Administration announced that the Philadelphia Shipyard had been selected to build the new National Security Multi-Mission Vessel.

See excerpts from the Coalition Chronicle article below:

Since the founding of the National Industrial Base Workforce Coalition, it has brought together union presidents and senior officials in the administration of both parties. Most recently, Coalition members met with senior policymakers at the Department of Defense in late 2019. Navy officials expressed two concerns – first, to keep shipyards open and also to increase the number of skilled craftsmen and women.

During that meeting, AFL-CIO Metal Trades Department President Jimmy Hart expressed a major concern about the potential closing of the Philadelphia Shipyard. The yard was once a Navy shipyard that had been converted to constructing commercial ships. It was getting back on its feet building container ships and had a contract to build four Jones Act ships that were to deliver cargo to Hawaii. After the first two were under construction, the state of Hawaii notified the ship builder that there would be no port facility to accommodate the new ship. The ship builder, who had placed the order for those ships on the guarantee that there would be portage facilities available to deliver cargo to Hawaii, had no choice but to cancel the order, resulting in the closing of the yard. After the DoD meeting ended, President Hart maintained contact with senior officials in the Navy, reminding them that they would lose both that shipyard and hundreds of skilled builders.

Members of Congress from the surrounding geographic region understood the potential economic fallout, and appealed to the White House. Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, Peter Navarro, became involved because of his understanding of the trade and jobs issues.

In September of 2019, both Navarro and the Secretary of the Navy met with Jimmy Hart for a tour of the Philadelphia shipyard. Navarro clearly understood the importance of keeping the yard open, as it would preserve the jobs of skilled craftsmen and women. He assured Hart that he would do everything in his power to keep the yard open.

On April 8, 2020, the Maritime Administration announced that the Philadelphia Shipyard has been selected to build the new National Security Multi-Mission Vessel. The promise has been kept.

Coalition Chronicle Special Edition April 2020

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The National Industrial Base Workforce Coalition is a multi-state, multi-union, multi-company, and multi-industry organization of workers in 25 states. It includes scientists, engineers, technicians, and the entire range of the touch-labor workforce. Its members represent union locals and employee associations in the prime, subcontractor and supplier base in the defense and aerospace industries. Coalition members design, engineer and build everything from satellites to submarines, and everything in between.

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
IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 9, 2019
Contact: Tom Musich, 201.315.2295 /thomas@theadvancegroup.com

***RELEASE***

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.

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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.

MTD President Pens Letter in Support of Congressman Courtney’s Efforts to offer Bipartisan Amendment to FY19 House Defense Appropriations Bill

MTD President Pens Letter in Support of Congressman Courtney’s Efforts to offer Bipartisan Amendment to FY19 House Defense Appropriations Bill

The Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO, sent a letter of support to Congressman Joseph Courtney (CT) for his efforts to offer a bipartisan amendment to the FY19 House Defense Appropriations bill that will provide funding for the procurement of long lead-time materials necessary to build additional Virginia-class submarines in FY22 and FY23.

In his letter, President Hart expressed the MTD’s support for the amendment and stressed that “utilizing our available industrial base capacity to produce more submarines will also help the nationwide industrial base train sorely needed workers as our country ramps up to other high priority programs…”

See the full text of the letter:

Congressman Courtney,

The recent buildup and rise of the respective Navy’s of the Russian Federation and The Peoples Republic of China, pose an inherent threat to the national security of the United States.

Accordingly, the Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO, is in full support of your efforts to offer a bipartisan amendment to the FY19 House Defense Appropriations bill that will provide funding for the procurement of long lead-time materials necessary to build additional Virginia-class submarines in FY22 and FY23.

Our nation’s military commanders have clearly stated that building submarines above the plans laid out in the President’s budget is imperative if we are to avoid being saddled with a fleet being one-third less than needed to protect our country’s national security interests.

The Navy has clearly indicated that there is capacity in the industrial base to build an additional submarine in both 2022 and 2023. However, the shipbuilding industrial base requires stability and clarity in order to offer the most cost efficient and capable ships and submarines that our nation demands. If industry is to move forward and plan for submarine production in these years, they will need a clear signal of support from Congress. That is why we support your proposed amendment as it proposes funding of the long lead materials and industrial base support for preparing to construct these additional submarines.

We salute Congress and its strong support for increasing submarine production. The FY18 NDAA passed into law last year with strong bipartisan support makes it the policy of the nation to achieve the 355-ship Navy outlined in the 2016 Force Structure Assessment, which requires 66 attack submarines. Both the FY18 NDAA and the FY19 Omnibus authorized the Navy to seek up to 13 Virginia class submarines in the next block contract. The FY19 NDAA, which passed last month, included the additional funding for submarines reflected in this amendment.

The Senate NDAA has also included additional funding for helping achieve increased attack submarine production. The Department encourages all House members to take the next bold step on behalf of the national security of our nation by approving the funding as called for in the amendment for the building of Virginia Class Submarines in the FY19 House Defense Appropriations bill.

Utilizing our available industrial base capacity to produce more submarines will also help the nationwide industrial base train sorely needed workers as our country ramps up to other high priority programs as the Columbia Class Strategic Submarine.

The Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO and its 17 International Unions, which represents 100,000 members actively employed in Navy shipbuilding and related professions strongly supports the increase of our undersea force structure,

Should you have any questions regarding this communication, please feel free to contact me at your convenience.

MTD Supports the Energizing American Shipbuilding Act

MTD Supports the Energizing American Shipbuilding Act

The Metal Trades Department, AFL-CIO strongly supports the Energizing American Shipbuilding Act. We urge Congress to move forward on Congressman John Garamendi’s legislation.

View Rep. Garamendi’s whitepaper on “The Energizing American Shipbuilding Act: A Plan to Create Good Middle Class Jobs, Maintain Critical National Security Assets, Enhance Public Safety, and Strengthen the American Shipbuilding Industry” to learn more.

 

From the Whitepaper: The U.S. Merchant Marine and shipbuilding industries are strategic national assets critical to national security, with the Department of Defense relying on our U.S.-flag fleet and its pool of trained and credentialed mariners for over 95 percent of national sealift needs in times of war or emergency. Yet this fleet is in a state of precipitous decline: the number of privately-owned U.S.-flag vessels engaged in foreign trade has dropped from 249 in the 1980s to just 78 as of October 1, 2016.

This signals not only the erosion of our sealift capabilities, but also the outsourcing of security and control over the supply chain that underpins our entire economy. The world relies on maritime transportation to move ninety percent of its global trade, but very little of that travels on U.S.-flag ships. Of the 1.4 billion tons of goods that are imported and exported through U.S. ports each year, 98 percent travel on foreign-flag vessels operated by foreign mariners.

The erosion of our ability to build and operate ocean-going vessels at competitive rates is also a threat to our industrial base. Good manufacturing jobs in shipyards and shipbuilding supplier companies have been outsourced oversees at alarming rates, and with them the invaluable technical skill and shipyard infrastructure that once kept costs down for both commercial and naval shipbuilding.

Inertia and bad public policy precipitated this decline, but Congress can turn the ship around by passing the Energizing American Shipbuilding Act.

Contact Congress and tell them to move on the Energizing American Shipbuilding Act

Contact Congress today and tell them to move on H.R. 1240, the Energizing American Maritime Act. Unless Congress takes action, ALL exported American crude oil and LNG traveling by ship will go on foreign-built and foreign-flag vessels operated by foreign crews, outsourcing ALL of the associated jobs and technical skills to foreign competitors. This bill would expand our U.S.-flag fleet, create over 2,000 new mariner jobs, and create thousands of additional jobs in shipyards and throughout the shipbuilding supply chain. I hope we can count on your support.

The Act Will Support Good Middle Class Jobs

Tens of thousands of American mariner and manufacturing jobs aboard vessels, in shipyards, and throughout the U.S. supply chain depend on the strength of the maritime industry. There are currently 117 active shipyards in the U.S. spread across 26 states, and another 200 shipyards engaged in repairs or capable of building ships. In 2011, the U.S. private shipbuilding and repair industry directly provided 107,240 jobs, $7.9 billion in labor income, and $9.8 billion in gross domestic product to the national economy. Including direct, indirect, and induced impacts, on a nationwide basis, total economic activity associated with the industry reached 402,010 jobs across all 50 states, $23.9 billion of labor income, and $36 billion in GDP in 2011. Each job in the private shipbuilding and repair industry supports another 2.7 jobs nationally, including increased revenue for small – businesses serving maritime workers and their families. Each dollar of labor income in the shipyard sector leads to another $2.03 in labor income in other parts of the economy.

The Energizing American Shipbuilding Act would:

  • Immediately launch an LNG shipbuilding program in the U.S., ramping up over time so that by 2040, 15% of exported American LNG travels on U.S.-built and –flagged vessels;
  • Immediately launch a crude oil shipbuilding program in the U.S., ramping up over time so that by 2032, 10% of exported crude oil travels on U.S.-built and –flagged vessels;
  • Require that a significant portion of the iron, steel, and manufactured components be U.S.-sourced and U.S.-constructed, good U.S. manufacturing jobs in addition to mariner jobs;
  • Require that exporters immediately create training opportunities for American mariners aboard export vessels so they can earn the credentialing required to assume these jobs.

Resources Available to Affected Member in the Pacific Northwest & California

Dozens of historic deadly wildfires continue to consume millions of acres in the west, especially in California, Oregon and Washington where in some cases entire towns have been destroyed and tens of thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes.

Most evacuees have had to leave quickly with little advance notice, taking what few belongings they could. Thousands of homes and businesses have been incinerated. Weather conditions are improving, but the fire danger isn’t over. Wildfires are also burning in Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana.

The Metal Trades Department has compiled a list of resources for our members and employment partners. If you need additional assistance, contact your MTD General Representative.

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