San Diego, CA (Feb. 25, 2016) – The Maritime Labor Alliance (MLA), comprised of six major maritime unions in North America and representing 120,000 members, has approved an ambitious program to collectively strengthen all member-unions and expand its influence in maritime legislation, organizing, negotiations and jurisdiction. The MLA held its semi-annual meeting in San Diego, California last week in conjunction with the Winter Meetings of the AFL-CIO.
The presidents of all six unions of the MLA—International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA), International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), International Organization of Masters, Mates and Pilots (IOMM&P), Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (M.E.B.A.), American Radio Association (ARA), and Inlandboatmen’s Union—including upwards of 25 officers and staff from the MLA-affiliated unions, attended the San Diego meetings.
Each union reaffirmed its commitment to the mission of the MLA calling on all unions to provide mutual assistance to affiliated unions in collective bargaining, protecting industry standards and promoting the organization of the unorganized maritime workers and to collaborate on political, legislative and jurisdictional issues affecting the maritime industry.
MLA members provided updates on their respective negotiation schedules. The Alliance may arrange to bring employers into meetings with the group to demonstrate solidarity and the group’s commitment to support each other’s collective bargaining. MLA will support historical jurisdictional claims by all its member-unions and work together to protect each union’s jurisdiction.
The group discussed the current U.S. Presidential campaign and other important national and state elections as well as legislation that might adversely affect maritime unions.
MLA agreed to expand its use of social media outlets, such as Facebook and Twitter, to promote its message and mission to a far greater audience.
The six unions of the MLA expressed optimism for continued growth and influence as they begin their fourth year of existence and continue as the “one true voice of Maritime Unions in North America.”