Throughout its history, the Maritime Trades Department, AFL-CIO (MTD) has offered unstinting support to the brave men and women of the nation’s armed services.
The first generation of MTD officials and members was compromised of men and women who had served in World War II. Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower called their contributions irreplaceable. Winston Churchill dubbed them “heroes in dungarees.”
Throughout the Cold War and post-Cold War eras, maritime workers have stood by their brothers and sisters in the military, in both deed and word. They were there for them in Korea, Vietnam, the first Persian Gulf War, Bosnia, Haiti and Somalia.
Since September 11th, maritime and other union workers have been protecting American interests in the War Against Terror and in response to national disasters like Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. More than 5,000 merchant mariners supported Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom by serving aboard 157 vessels moving essential supplies to our troops.
Thousands of unionized workers belonging to MTD affiliated unions have served in the National Guard in Iraq. Some have seen action; others have provided essential services such as repairing the electrical grid. All share one thing: a deep love of country. Since March 2003, unionized stevedores have loaded and unloaded ships, sometimes around the clock, to ensure that essential supplies reach our troops.
The MTD, its affiliates and port maritime councils remain united in our support of the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States.