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Union officials and maritime representatives gather in Santurce, PR, to review the benefits of the Jones Act to the commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

The group spearheading the effort to return a Port Maritime Council on Puerto Rico held a meeting July 15 with local union leaders and maritime officials in Santurce to review the benefits of the Jones Act on the commonwealth’s economy.

“My goal is to get everyone involved and to get their support for the Jones Act for the island,” stated Seafarers Union Port Agent Amancio Crespo.

“I’m reaching out to every AFL-CIO union and maritime operator on the island to promote the Jones Act. So far, every meeting and conference we hold on the Jones Act brings more and more support to the maritime industry, its unions and its operators,” Crespo added.

Joining Crespo, Puerto Rico AFL-CIO President Jose Rodriguez-Baez and TOTE Caribbean Operations Vice President Eduardo Pagan (a U.S.-flag carrier serving Puerto Rico) at this meeting were representatives from AFGE, UAW, UFCW, UPAGRA and USW.

Attendees received materials in English and Spanish including a July 2018 economic study conducted for the Transportation Institute showing “the Jones Act has no impact on retail prices in Puerto Rico or the cost of living.”

The Puerto Rico Port Maritime Council functioned between the 1950s and 1990s.