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MTD President Michael Sacco welcomes AFT President Randi Weingarten to the 2018 MTD Executive Board Meeting.

The Maritime Trades Department, AFL-CIO welcomes its newest affiliate, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). “We are very proud and honored that the AFT has joined the ranks of the MTD,” declared MTD President Michael Sacco. “We have had a very good working relationship with the AFT and its members from the local level up throughout the years.

“People may wonder why the Teachers would join. Well, without teachers, none of us would have a chance to learn critical new ideas, to fight for our members and to succeed in life,” noted Sacco.

“The AFT is proud to join the Maritime Trades Department,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten. “Together, we can fight for what all Americans want – a better life and a better future for our families: through good jobs; high-quality, affordable healthcare; a secure retirement; great public schools; affordable college; and a healthy democracy.”

The AFT represents 1.7 million teachers, paraprofessionals and school staff, higher education faculty and staff, nurses other healthcare professionals, and public employees.

AFT members work as instructors and staff at a variety of public maritime schools, colleges and programs across the United States. It also represents workers at the Guam Port Authority.

During the last two years, MTD affiliates and the AFT have worked together to help Puerto Rico recover from the devastating hurricanes of 2017, including the delivery and dispersal of 100,000 water filters. President Weingarten spoke directly about that labor solidarity when she addressed the 2018 MTD Executive Board Meeting in Orlando.

At the start of this year, members of the Port Maritime Council of Southern California immediately adopted a local school when the United Teachers of Los Angeles went on strike on January 10. They walked picket lines and provided supplies (including food and drinks) during the six-day struggle.

In 2018, the Maritime Port Council of Greater New York/New Jersey and Vicinity recognized Weingarten with its Paul Hall Award of Merit. In receiving the recognition, Weingarten told the audience how MTD affiliates helped her local, New York City’s United Federation of Teachers, gain recognition in the early 1970s.

The AFT becomes the 22nd affiliate of the MTD.