The end of summer brought a flurry of activity for Port Maritime Councils across the country.
In Illinois, the Chicago and Western Lakes Port Council honored its past president with its “Unionist of the Year” Award on September 19.
Tom Faul was caught completely off guard when current President James Sanfilippo announced his name. “I have been trying to avoid this for years,” stated Faul after receiving a ship’s wheel.
Faul began his union career in 1958 when he joined the Machinists, soon becoming a business agent for Lodge 126. By 1987, he was serving on the executive board for the Chicago Federation of Labor. By his own estimate, he has worked with and/or served as an officer of the PMC for 25 years.
He urged the Chicago Port Council to promote maritime labor issues so it will continue to grow.
A little to the south and across the Mississippi, the Greater St. Louis Area and Vicinity Port Council resumed meeting on September 22 to install its officers after a summer recess.
More than 40 trade unionists and friends gathered for lunch to see Jack Martorelli, John Stiffler and Becky Sleeper be sworn in as (in order) president, vice president and secretary-treasurer of the PMC. MTD Executive Secretary-Treasurer Daniel Duncan performed the duties.
Martorelli remarked this was the first meeting in decades in which the late President Richard Mantia did not preside. “We know he is with us in spirit,” noted Martorelli who asked those attending to raise their glasses in a memorial salute.
The new president announced Mantia and he had planned to launch a recruitment drive for more affiliates to join the PMC. He said he will move forward with the effort in Mantia’s memory.
Earlier in the month, the Michigan Maritime Trades Port Council hosted its 35th annual golf outing and dinner, drawing more than 200 participants to location north of Detroit.
PMC Secretary-Treasurer Todd Brdak announced funds raised by the event would be used to help area charities including Care House (for abused children), the McComb County Child Advocacy Center, Dennis O’Dowd Scholarship Fund and the local American Cancer Society.
Across the Pacific, the Hawaii Ports Maritime Council held its third annual Maritime Ohana Barbecue with hundreds of union members, their families and political friends in attendance on August 4.
President Randy Swindell said that among those who attended and spoke were Governor Neil Abercrombie, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz and U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa.as well as Alejandro Chavez, grandson of United Farm Workers’ late founder and president, Cesar Chavez.