MTD President Michael Sacco is thanking the department’s affiliates and Port Maritime Councils for their strong solidarity in support of the Jones Act, the nation’s freight cabotage law.
In a memo that was issued on November 5, Sacco declared, “The MTD, our affiliates and our Port Maritime Councils will continue to lead the fight to educate the public and elected officials on the value of the Jones Act. We appreciate your support of this important law that benefits American workers and the nation’s economy.”
Sacco sent the letter after receiving messages from several affiliates regarding a December one-day conference whose purpose is to attack the Jones Act. The event is being held by the Cato Institute, a Washington-based libertarian think tank. (When it was founded in 1974, it was known as the Charles Koch Foundation.)
Several unions noted they had been contacted to participate in a debate on the cabotage law during the conference.
“The Cato Institute has proven over the years that it is not a friend of the U.S.-flag maritime industry, nor the U.S. Labor Movement,” stated Sacco.
“We KNOW – and the FACTS prove – Jones Act vessels and crews DELIVERED when Puerto Rico was decimated by Hurricane Maria. We KNOW – and the FACTS prove – Jones Act crews keep American borders and waterways safe. We KNOW – and the FACTS prove – the Jones Act ensures the United States has well-trained American mariners ready to deliver materiel wherever and whenever our Armed Forces are deployed. We KNOW – and the FACTS prove – the Jones Act is responsible for $29 billion in annual wages from the nearly 500,000 American jobs the law provides for directly and indirectly,” he added.
Sacco reiterated the department’s continued support for the AFL-CIO Metal Trades Department fight to maintain a strong domestic shipbuilding capability, and for the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department battle to maintain the nation’s cabotage laws for rail, highway and air transportation workers.