April 13, 2020

Resolution in Support of Workers in Maritime Trades and within Marine Port Dependent Supply Chain


WHEREAS: The COVID 19 global pandemic crisis is and will increasingly impact necessary front line workers in the marine supply chain and transportation system, including merchant mariners, ferry workers, workers on port facilities, warehouse and translating facilities, rail workers, truck drivers, shipbuilders, engineers, fish industry workers, and all other workers in the “door to door” supply chain from factory to customer, and

WHEREAS: infection clusters in the supply chain will not only impact workers in the productive process, but will also impact the ability to transport patients on passenger vessels, as well as the availability of crucial goods for all workers, such as hospital and sanitation supplies, food, pharmaceuticals, and other high demand items necessary for the continued health and welfare of people, their families, and institutions necessary for financial, health, and personal security;

WHEREAS: Workers, union and non-union, will suffer hardship, as a result of unscrupulous employers taking advantage of the crisis to undermine working conditions, and where already existing poor labor standards will exacerbate existing hardships,

WHEREAS: The Trump Administration and their political allies may seek to use the crisis as a means to enrich global shipping companies, terminal operators, cruise ship operators, and other interests at the expense of workers, by undermining the Jones Act, the Maritime Security Act, the Passenger Vessel Services Act, and other U.S. cabotage and cargo preferences laws, laws which are key to maintaining the US Merchant Marine and union conditions on land and water,

WHEREAS: Federal, State, County, and Local government agencies will need to consult with leaders in the maritime trades, in order preserve the customary dispatching of work assignments and to not interfere with the necessary and crucial operation of the supply chain, and

WHEREAS, MLK Labor has gone on record in response to the COVID19 crisis, demanding for all workers: $1,500 per household, per week income replacement for all, without barriers and regardless of citizenship, Healthcare benefits extended through the crisis, Hero pay for people working during the pandemic, Emergency child care assistance of $2,500 per family per month, PPE for all frontline workers, Debt freeze for all mortgage, student loans, and car debt, No evictions, No Utility Shutoffs, and a policy for National Paid Sick Leave, which the maritime trades wholeheartedly support,

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED: That MLK Labor will advocate for front line workers in the marine supply chain, marine transportation system, and passenger vessels, and insist that respective employers and government agencies honor the needs of these workers and classify them within the purview of necessary production in dealing with the COVID crisis;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: We ensure on-site testing for workers on job sites and facilities, particularly where contagion and cluster infections will impact the functioning of the supply chain;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: We insist all work areas in all supply chain facilities, including warehouses, terminal buildings, human-driven cargo equipment, and other vehicles, restrooms, and facilities are regularly disinfected in accordance with the directives of the King County Department of Health and other health authorities, and that on-site disinfection supplies, including hand sanitizer, soap, hot water, and clean paper towels are provided to all employees;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: 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 preferences laws, with respect to the rights of workers and;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: That all employers honor the existing negotiated health and welfare benefits and all other working conditions with unions, including workers who are laid off, furloughed, or otherwise separated from their work.

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