The Masters, Mates & Pilots (MM&P) union has endorsed Sen. Barack Obama for president.
The union, representing nearly 7,000 mariners and shore-side staff in the seafaring industry, endorsed Obama after a unanimous vote at its 82nd annual convention this summer. Members chose Obama because of his support of pro-worker policies like the Jones Act, which protects America’s jobs in shipping and maritime commerce.
MM&P also noted Sen. Joe Biden’s “perfect record” on issues important to their members.
MM&P is affiliated with the Longshoremen (ILA), which also endorsed Obama this summer, citing Obama’s stances on trade, health care, retirement security and workers’ freedom to form unions.
|Charlie Ruiter, 1948-1999
Few of us became involved in the union movement completely on our own. Typically, there is a union leader who inspires and encourages new activists. The mentor is a sounding board who directs and even protects new activists as they learn the ways of the movement. Men and women like this serve as a counterculture to the leaders who hoard their knowledge and positions like personal gold reserves, an all-too-common practice.
Charlie Ruiter, a business agent from 1989 until 1995 for my local union, IUE-CWA Local 201, served that role for me and many others. He passed away suddenly nine years ago this month, way before his time. It is hard to overestimate his role in Local 201 and in my own life.
Charlie is best remembered, perhaps, as a storyteller. In one legendary performance he concluded an arbitration with AMETEK Aerospace & Defense for a hapless worker, a well-intentioned brother who was perhaps not fully capable of a productive day’s work in the plant. He compared this member to a yellow canary, sitting on a windowsill, while pleading:
Don’t slam the window shut and kill this poor canary.
With the nation’s unemployment rate the worst in five years and tens of thousands of U.S. jobs vanishing each month, jobless workers are finding it tougher and tougher to secure new work. Some 800,000 will run out of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits in October—1.1 million by the end of the year—unless the U.S. Congress passes and the president signs legislation extending benefits.
A bill to extend UI benefits for seven weeks—plus another 13 weeks for jobless workers in states with high unemployment rates—was introduced this week by Reps. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) and Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) Said McDermott:
With the unemployment rate nationally now above 6 percent, and our economy staggering under the weight of years of failed economic policies, it is time for the President and Republican Party to join us in urgently meeting the needs of the American people.
Registered nurses (RNs) at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Reno, Nev., reached a groundbreaking contract with the Catholic Healthcare West (CHW) hospital last night that includes safe staffing levels for patient protection, respect of union rights and pay and benefit improvements.
The 500 nurses who overwhelmingly voted to join the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee (CNA/NNOC) in December won nurse-to-patient staffing levels identical to the levels mandated by California’s first-in-the-nation safe staffing level regulations.
Alliance for Retired Americans President George J. Kourpias encourages union retirees to drop a line to their local newspapers on key issues—and get a union-made Retirees with Write Stuff free pen.
With threats to Social Security and Medicare and mounting economic anxiety, it’s more important than ever for retirees to make their voices heard in their local communities.
The Alliance for Retired Americans today is launching Retirees with the Write Stuff, a new campaign to encourage more retirees to write letters to their local newspaper.