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Even though physical distancing measures in place in the state of
Washington prevented any in-person social interaction, members of the
Puget Sound Ports Council gathered via computers and telephones on
March 25 to show solidarity with the MLK (Seattle-area) Labor
Council’s resolution in support of all workers being affected with the
coronavirus pandemic.

Included in the resolution was a paragraph dealing with the maritime
industry: “We resist and block all efforts of all levels of government
and private companies to lobby the executive and legislative branches
of the Federal government to undermine the Jones Act, the Maritime
Security Act, the Passenger Vessel Services Act, and other U.S.
cabotage and cargo preference laws, with respect to the rights of
workers.”

PMC Secretary-Treasurer Gordon Baxter said the council’s support for
the resolution was unanimous.

Besides maritime, the resolution called for protection of all workers
— union and non-union — who must remain on the job through the
pandemic. It sought to make sure those who are laid off or furloughed
be financially protected. In addition, it called for governments and
agencies to work together to provide tests and equipment needed to
fight the disease.

The Puget Sound Ports Council also announced the election of its
officers. Capt. Tim Saffle is the new president. Vince O’Halloran will
serve as vice president with Brother Baxter taking over as
secretary-treasurer.