From the Great Lakes to the Pacific Ocean, Port Maritime Councils celebrated a return to some normalcy following the covid pandemic with Labor Day activities.
More than 60 union members, family and friends participated in the Toledo Port Maritime Council’s annual autumn dinner on Friday, September 2. Local elected officials, including U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), took part in the festivities. Joining the PMC were MTD Executive Secretary-Treasurer Daniel Duncan and Administrator Mark Clements.
The good food and fellowship prepared the PMC members for the Toledo Labor Day Parade on Monday, September 5. PMC John Clemons noted the council has been active in that city’s parade for decades. Several dozen wore the PMC colors as they marched through downtown Toledo.
A few hours later across the country and with temperatures in the mid-90s, members and friends of the Port Maritime Council of Southern California joined several thousand other trade unionists and friends for the 43rd annual Los Angeles-Long Beach Harbor Labor Coalition Parade and Picnic. The event is billed as the largest Labor Day west of the Mississippi River. Duncan and Clements represented the MTD. Among the department’s affiliates in the celebration were AFT, AFSCME, CWA, IBEW, IW, IAMAW, IUPAT, UA, SIU, SMART and USW.
Duncan spoke at the subsequent picnic, that also featured California Senator (and former AFL-CIO Executive Council member) Maria Elena Durazo and Los Angeles County Supervisor (and former U.S. Labor Secretary) Hilda Solis.
The event chair is Southern California PMC President Larry Barragan, who is very ably assisted by PMC Secretary-Treasurer Louie Diaz. The pair reported they were very pleased with the turnout for the first parade and picnic since 2019. (In 2020 and 2021, the coalition hosted drive-through food banks for union members and their families hurt by the pandemic.)
On Wednesday, September 7, the San Francisco Bay Area and Vicinity Port Maritime Council returned from its summer recess to meet aboard the SS Jeremiah O’Brien.
PMC President Dave Connolly welcomed affiliates and their guests back, updating them on the latest news involving labor and the upcoming November elections. California Assemblyman Matt Haney expressed his appreciation for the union support he received in his recent election. Duncan updated the delegates on the national solidarity among the Maritime Trades, Building Trades and Metal Trades under the direction of AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler for construction and maintenance of the newly emerging offshore energy windfarm projects.