We are deeply saddened by the loss of 28 of our brothers and sisters aboard the cargo ship El Faro. These brave men and women left an incredible mark on their communities, both on land and at sea via their hard work and steadfast commitment to the maritime trade.
After more than 35 years writing for union newspapers, magazines, e-newsletters, fax alerts and blogs, and even sending out a few tweets and texts lately, this is my last—as we used to call it— story. I’m retiring from the AFL-CIO after 26 years.
The Seafarers (SIU) is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. The union received its charter from the American Federation of Labor (AFL) on Oct. 14, 1938, and the November issue of the Seafarers Log looks back on those 75 years with a year-by-year timeline.
When the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star recently published a cartoon featuring so-called “union thugs” in trench coats talking in “does and dem” patois expressing dismay about the "right to work" for less vote in Michigan, with American manufacturing encased in cement ready for a deep six off a pier in the background, and inferring workers were the reason for the demise of Hostess, Seafarers (SIU) Communications Director Jordan Biscardo fired off a letter to the editor in protest.
Not only was the letter published, but the paper apologized for the cartoon. Here’s Biscardo’s letter:
The recovery from Superstorm Sandy could be one of the most expensive in American history, with estimates climbingtoward the $50 billion mark in property damage alone. As Americans all across the country pitch in, most of the work repairing and rebuilding the storm-ravaged areas will be done by talented and hardworking union members. Many of the organizations dealing with Sandy’s devastation emphasize the importance of union workers’ expertise and skill, as well as of sufficient government financial support for rebuilding physical structures and roads and, in many cases, people's lives. Here is what our members have been doing to help with the recovery:
Paul Robeson, once the premier African American artist of the 20th century, is well known as a scholar, athlete, actor and activist. Less well known is his long commitment to the union movement and his belief that the achievement of full equality for African Americans and other people of color is inextricably linked with the full equality of America’s working men and women.
Max Hall has seen the fight for health care reform from both sides—as an advocate and a patient. In a Point of View (POV) guest column at the AFL-CIO website, Hall (no relation to me) writes how he first saw passing health care reform as part of the principles of fairness he believes in. But later, the issue turned personal for the 30-year veteran trade unionist when, in September, he confronted serious medical issues.