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US Rep Elaine Luria responds to a question during her meeting with the Hampton Roads PMC. Seated next to her is MTD Exec Sec-Treas Daniel Duncan (center) and Eastern VA Labor Council Pres Thomas Calhoun.

With representatives from a dozen internationals in attendance, the Hampton Roads Ports Council held its first informational meeting with U.S. Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA) on August 6.

Luria was elected in November to represent a district that includes workers from the Newport News Shipyard and several Navy bases in the Norfolk/Hampton Roads/Tidewater area of southeastern Virginia. Before being elected, Luria served 20 years in the U.S. Navy, reaching the rank of commander. The Naval Academy graduate spent her entire career on combat ships.

During the 90-minute session, Luria reiterated her support for the Jones Act, cargo preference laws and the Maritime Security Program. She proudly stated she is a co-sponsor of the Energizing American Shipbuilding Act.

Union officials updated her and her staff on work and personnel issues at the shipyard and naval bases, on the need to bring veterans and others into the merchant marine, on concerns regarding federal pensions and other matters.

Luria told the group that she would work to have regular meetings between the PMC and her staff.

Unions with members attending included AFT, Boilermakers, CWA, IBEW, Iron Workers, IUPAT, NATCA, MEBA, SIU, SMART, UA and USW.