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David Heindel, secretary-treasurer of the Seafarers International Union of North America, recently was elected chair of the Seafarers’ Section of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF).  Three members of the Maritime Trades Department’s executive council—TCU President Robert Scardelletti, ILA President Richard Hughes and Robert Roach, Jr.,  general vice president of the International Association of Machinists—were named to organization’s executive board.

In a related development, Paddy Crumlin, national secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia was elected president of the 4.6 million, 760 member international association of trade unions.

Heindel told the body, representing maritime unions from around the world, that he was honored to head the Seafarers’ Section. He said he looks forward to continuing on the work already underway by the body as well as to facing upcoming challenges. He will be the first American to hold the post since John Fay of the SIUNA held it earlier in the decade.

Crumlin said: “I’m excited to be able to take on this new role and play my part in moving the work of the ITF, its hundreds of affiliated unions and their millions of members forward through the implementation of a comprehensive organizing program focused on trade union regeneration and revitalization.”

Issues addressed at the organization’s worldwide conference included piracy, cabotage laws and the ITF’s flag-of-convenience campaign.