Maritime Labor Alliance Members Ratify Constitution

Ends Affiliation With Maritime Trades Department

By MarEx 2013-07-17 13:23:00

The Maritime Labor Alliance (MLA), which was formed last year to protect the jurisdictional rights of its members, met in Chicago on July 9 to approve a constitution and set a course for the future. The members of the alliance are MM&P, the American Radio Association (ARA), the Inlandboatmen’s Union (IBU), the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA), the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA). The constitution states that the MLA unions have joined forces “to promote unity and harmony in various aspects of the industry and maintain industry standards.”  

Three members of the MLA--MM&P, the ILA and MEBA —announced on July 16 that they are ending their affiliation with the AFL-CIO Maritime Trades Department (MTD). They will, however, retain their relationship with the AFL-CIO. ARA, the IBU and the ILWU were not MTD members but released a statement saying they support their MLA partner unions’ decision to withdraw from the MTD.

In an official release to the press, an ILA spokesperson said the union had decided to concentrate its energies on the new alliance “to strengthen the voice of maritime labor in the United States and end jurisdictional battles and raiding between unions.

In a letter delivered today to MTD President Michael Sacco, the ILA, MM&P and MEBA presidents 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.” In recent years, all six union members of the MLA have witnessed jurisdictional attacks by other unions--some of which are MTD affiliates.

“"It’'s time for those maritime unions that respect each other’s jurisdiction and fight for the good of their members to join together to become the new and true voice of maritime unions in American",” said ILA President Harold J. Daggett. "“The Maritime Labor Alliance will become that force and that voice."