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PMC Pres Paul Puente (right) welcomes delegates and guests to West Gulf Ports Council breakfast. With him are PMC Exec Sec Michael Russo (left) and PMC VP David Weathers.

PMC Pres Paul Puente (right) welcomes delegates and guests to West Gulf Ports Council breakfast. With him are PMC Exec Sec Michael Russo (left) and PMC VP David Weathers.

More than 30 officials from nearly 15 different locals around Houston heard requests for support from pro-labor candidates campaigning in various upcoming runoff elections during the West Gulf Ports Council breakfast on May 11.

“It is very important that we support those who will support workers,” stated PMC President Paul Puente before he introduced the half-dozen candidates. “We need to be there for them.”

PMC Executive Secretary Michael Russo recognized representatives from the Texas Area Gulf Coast Labor Federation who announced 150 union volunteers from 20 different internationals had participated in get-out-the-vote activities during the first three months of 2016 before outlining upcoming events.

MTD Executive Secretary-Treasurer Daniel Duncan updated the audience on activities in nation’s capital affecting the U.S.-flag merchant fleet. He pointed out a recent article in Politico in which a research fellow at the right-wing Heritage Foundation declared, “’[The merchant marine] are highway robbers,’” which drew some gasps. “This is why we need to back those who back us,’ added Duncan.