Sign Up For Email Updates
Share Your Story
Send us your stories, photos, and videos so that we can feature them in our new site.
Read Full Article
U.S. Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD) passed away October 17 after an extended illness. He was 68 years old.
Cummings was known as a strong fighter for his Baltimore-based district and for all working people. Prior to his election to Washington, he served in the Maryland legislature. He was a crusader for civil rights.
“Representative Cummings stood up for the men and women of the Port of Baltimore and the U.S. merchant marine,” recalled MTD President Michael Sacco. “He understood our issues and our concerns. We could always count on him. He will be deeply missed.”
Nearly 100 trade unionists and their friends took advantage of beautiful early autumn weather to hit the links and honor three Labor members and supporters at the Fourth Annual Greater St. Louis and Vicinity Port Council Golf Outing and Awards Dinner on September 25.
International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) Second District Vice President Mark Woolbright received the Richard Mantia Labor Man of the Year Award. Robert Bray, President of union-contracted TSI Global Companies, picked up the Management Man of the Year Award. Retired Fire Fighter Kim Besserman was recognized with the Able Helmsman Award.
“Receiving the Richard Mantia Award, it doesn’t get any better than that,” Woolbright stated. (Mantia is the late president of the Port Council.)
Starting with his wife, Woolbright thanked many people who have stood with him and guided him through his career with the IAFF.
“I don’t think I have done any more than anyone else in this room,” he added.
Introducing Woolbright was Port Council Secretary-Treasurer Bryan Powell, who recited a long list of the community charity work Woolbright has performed over the years. Powell told the audience Woolbright was listed among the 100 most influential people affecting public policy in Missouri.
Bray announced he was proud that TSI Global is a “100 percent IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) Local 1 company.”
He said his union routes go way back through his family as well as cutting the lawn as a youngster for Port Council
President Jack Martorelli. He recalled when he was 14 years old that Martorelli offered eight St. Louis Cardinals baseball tickets to mow his lawn. Bray, a Cardinals fan, eagerly accepted the job. When he was finished, Martorelli presented the tickets but added the parking pass would cost him $10. “Jack said, ‘They call that dues.’
“I learned that if you want it, you’ve got to pay for it. The IBEW has been outstanding for TSI. ”
Bray said he is proud of TSI Global’s union diversity program, noting that during the company’s 32 years, it has provided more than 4 million work hours for IBEW members.
In thanking his family, his associates, IBEW Local 1 and the Port Council, Bray declared, “You are only as successful as the people you surround yourself. We make sure we do the job right the first time.”
Presenting him to the Port Council was Martorelli. He informed the body of TSI Global’s growth from a local “mom-and-pop” firm to one that provides audio, visual, security, commercial and residential electrical services all over the country.
Although Besserman may be listed as a retired fire fighter, he remains very active on many fronts, including being the lead organizer for the Port Council outing. His resume lists his involvement in many local charity and political campaigns as well.
He called out his wife and family, thanking them for the decades of support: “I share these accomplishments with Saint Karen (his wife).”
He told at those at the dinner that they should always “remember those who helped build the Labor Movement.”
MTD Executive Secretary-Treasurer Daniel Duncan presented Besserman with his ship’s wheel. He said Besserman was a charter member of IAFF Eastern Missouri Local 2665, which started with 55 in 1978 and now has more than 2200 in its ranks.
School bells may be ringing and the calendar shows summer is approaching its climax, but Port Maritime Councils across the country remained ramped up in early September.
Two PMCs were very involved in Labor Day activities.
On the West Coast, the Port Maritime Council of Southern California took a leading role in organizing the 40th Annual Los Angeles/Long Beach Harbor Labor Coalition’s Labor Day Parade. PMC President Larry Barragan served as the event’s chair. He reported all of the council’s affiliates were very involved from planning to clean-up.
The parade featured tens of thousands of union members and their families. Marching among them in Wilmington were U.S. Representatives Nannette Barragan and Gil Cisneros as well as former U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis.
On the nation’s North Coast, affiliates from the Toledo Port Maritime Council joined with other trade unionists for that city’s annual Labor Day parade. PMC members marched in bright yellow t-shirts that featured the Port Council’s logo.
The following week, the Toledo PMC held its annual Great Lakes Grill-Out. PMC President John Clemons said turnout was very good for the September 12 gathering at the Carpenters training center with quite a few local elected officials in the crowd.
Friday, September 13, was lucky for the Michigan Maritime Trades Port Council as more than 170 union members and friends participated in its 40th Annual Ron Krochmalny Golf Classic in New Haven. PMC President Jeannette Bradshaw noted a little drizzle did not dampen the fun.
Dollars raised by the outing benefit a variety of area charities and scholarships.
Read Full Article