Four maritime unions today announced their endorsement of Democrat Mufi Hannemann in the race for Hawaii’s Second Congressional District, bringing Hannemann’s total labor support to 26 labor organizations with a combined membership of over 120,000 working men and women from across the state.
The Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA), Marine Firemen’s Union, Sailors’ Union of the Pacific (SUP), and the Seafarers International Union of North America (SIU) made their endorsement based on Hannemann’s extensive record and experience of creating jobs and strengthening Hawaii’s economy.
“Mufi Hannemann has shown a deep understanding of the economic challenges facing the maritime industry. In Washington, D.C., he will be a leader for creating and preserving high-quality American jobs and will be an effective advocate for our members and their families,” said Luke Kaili of the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association.
“Mufi Hannemann is a leader who is always looking out for the needs and interests of the working men and women of the State of Hawaii. We believe he will produce results for us on Capitol Hill,” said Bonny Coloma, Honolulu Port Agent with the Marine Firemen’s Union. Anthony Poplawski, national president of the Marine Firemen’s Union, added, “Among the 2012 candidates, there is no doubt as to who will best represent maritime labor in Hawaii.”
“We have the opportunity to send a leader to Congress who will stand tall for American jobs and middle-class families. Mufi Hannemann knows how hard our local sailors work, and he is committed to ensuring that they have fair wages and a chance to succeed,” said Michael Dirksen, the Honolulu Branch Agent for the Sailors Union of the Pacific.
“The choice in this race is clear: Mufi Hannemann has the credibility, background, and experience required to hit the ground running for us in Washington, D.C. We know him, we trust him, and we believe in his ability to get the job done,” concluded Hazel Galbiso, the Honolulu Port Agent for the Seafarers International Union of North America.
“It is an honor to have the endorsement of these four unions. As an island state, Hawaii’s economy is dependent on the health and well-being of our maritime industry. As Congressman, I pledge to work hard to create good quality American jobs, get the economy moving again, and support our working-class and middle-class families. I look forward to putting my experience and collaborative approach to work in Washington, D.C.,” said Hannemann.
The Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association, established in 1875, is the oldest American maritime trade union still in existence, and represents deck and engine officers on U.S.-flagged vessels. MEBA represents over 5,800 members nationwide.
The Marine Firemen’s Union, known more formally as the Pacific Coast Marine Firemen, Oilers, Watertenders and Wipers Association, was established in 1883 and represents over 800 members in ports in Hawaii, California, and Washington state.
The Sailors’ Union of the Pacific, founded in 1885, is a union of unlicensed sailors that work in the deck, engine, and steward’s departments in U.S.-flag vessels. The SUP also has collective bargaining agreements with U.S.-flag companies where licensed personnel are also represented. The SUP represents over 700 members, and has offices in California, Washington state, Hawaii, and Virginia.
The Seafarers International Union is the largest North American union representing merchant mariners, counting over 35,000 members nationwide. The SIU represents unlicensed merchant mariners sailing aboard U.S.-flag vessels, including commercial containerships and tankers, military support ships, tugboats and barges, passenger ships, and many more.