The resolution passed the Senate in October and has now been introduced in the Assembly Oversight, Reform and Federal Relations Committee. The resolution urges Congress to permanently exempt Puerto Rico from the federal “Jones Act.” This would have a negative impact on the American maritime workforce.
The New Jersey State AFL-CIO and several other international unions, including the Seafarers International Union (SIU) and the International Longshoremen’s Union (ILA) respectfully ask you to stand with America’s maritime workforce in opposing SCR-31 (Sen. Pou: D-35 / Sen. Cruz-Perez: D-5 / Sen. Ruiz: D-29). Linked here is a letter from the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) in opposition to this resolution.
LCLAA is the nation’s leading advocacy group for Latino workers and union members. Click here for a second opposition letter from a coalition of international unions
which represent the men and women of maritime labor, including: the Seafarers International Union; the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO; the International Longshoremen’s Association; the International Organization of Masters, Mates and Pilots; the American Maritime Officers; the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association, and the Maritime Port Council of Greater New York/New Jersey and Vicinity, The SIU represents tens of thousands of mariners in the United States. The Jones Act requires cargo being transported between two points in the United States be carried by American ships, built in America and owned and crewed by Americans. It supports thousands of good paying middle class jobs in New Jersey alone. It also supports national and homeland security by providing a mariner pool of American citizens needed to crew our merchant marine ships in times of national emergency. The Jones Act does not simply require American crews on American ships, it also includes important standards for the maritime industry in regards to how it treats its workforce, such as workers’ safety standards, the elimination of worker exploitation, worker injury compensation standards, onboard medical requirements, minimal equipment standards including lifeboats, crew training and licensing requirements. Finally, the Jones Act has strong environmental standards, requiring compliance with EPA regulations. Without the Jones Act application, all of these protections could be eliminated at the whim of foreign ship operators and revert back to a “floating sweatshops” model.