M.E.B.A. ends affiliation with Maritime Trades Department, AFL-CIO & joins Maritime Labor Alliance as a founding organizer along with five other maritime unions.
Seeking to strengthen the voice of maritime labor in the United States and end jurisdictional battles and raiding between unions, the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (M.E.B.A.) disaffiliated with the Maritime Trades Department (MTD) of the AFL-CIO this week. Along with five other maritime unions, the M.E.B.A. formed a new group, the Maritime Labor Alliance. Two of the other unions making up the new six-member union Maritime Labor Alliance – the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) and the International Organization of Masters, Mates and Pilots (IOMM&P) – also disaffiliated with the Maritime Trades Department.
The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), the Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific (IBU) and the American Radio Association (ARA) are all part of the newly formed Maritime Labor Alliance. While they are not affiliates of the MTD, these three unions strongly support the M.E.B.A., ILA and IOMM&P decision to withdraw from the MTD.
In a letter delivered to Michael Sacco, President of the Maritime Trades Department, AFL-CIO, the Presidents of the M.E.B.A., ILA and IOMM&P, cited, “many years of deterioration in the ability of the MTD to address the needs of the maritime unions and the apparent willingness of the MTD to permit the dilution of the objectives and principles that are set forth in the MTD Constitution.”
All six union members that formed the MLA have witnessed a steady diminishment of maritime interests in the Maritime Trades Department in recent years. The members of MLA see the problem getting worse and felt a need to pull back and establish an alliance of unions focused on maritime issues.
M.E.B.A. and IOMM&P leaders noted that numerous jurisdictional issues among MTD members were not being addressed or resolved by the MTD. The lack of resolution on these jurisdictional issues lead to the conclusion that forming a new alliance to advance maritime issues was in the best interests of America's merchant marine community.
“It’s time for those maritime unions that respect each other’s jurisdiction and fight for the good of its members to join together to become the new and true voice of maritime unions in America,” said ILA President Harold J. Daggett. “The Maritime Labor Alliance will become that force and that voice.”
About the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association
The M.E.B.A., America’s oldest maritime labor union, supplies U.S. Coast Guard-licensed deck and engineering officers in both the U.S. domestic and international trades. The Union was established in 1875. Its members serve aboard containerships, tankers, tugs and barges, research vessels and ferries.