Maritime Labor Alliance Working To Strengthen U.S. Flag Fleet, MM&P President Says
The Maritime Labor Alliance (MLA), formed by six unions last year to protect the jurisdictional rights of their members, is working to enhance cohesiveness in the industry and revitalize the U.S flag feet, says MM&P President Don Marcus.
Marcus, who was elected earlier this month as the first president of the MLA, said the six unions will work closely together and with other organizations to repel attacks on the Jones Act and the policies and programs that together help to preserve the U.S.-flag fleet. He made the remarks in a recent interview with Maritime TV?s Dave Gardy. The six members of the MLA are MM&P, the American Radio Association (ARA), the Inland Boatmen?s Union (IBU), the International Longshoremen?s Association (ILA), the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Marine Engineers? Beneficial Association (MEBA). Besides its partnership with the MLA unions, MM&P is also a member of the AFL-CIO and its Transportation Trades Department (TTD).
Marcus called the MLA ?essential? to protecting industry standards, which are now under attack in the United States and around the world. ?They are not so much attacks of necessity as attacks based on greed,? Marcus said. ?And they threaten to extinguish the middle class and working conditions and standards that have taken generations to establish.?
In the course of the interview, Marcus also underlined the vital role played by the American Merchant Marine in our nation?s economy, security and national defense. ?What is shocking is the sheer level of depth of ignorance about the merchant marine and the need for an independent U.S.-flag fleet,? he said. ?Without an independent American merchant marine, our economy and our military would be at the mercy of foreign shipping operators whose interests certainly might not coincide with those of our government and U.S. citizens.?
Marcus said the MLA ?looks forward to working with everyone in the industry in a grassroots effort to promote, expand and protect the U.S.-flag fleet.