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.