Port Maritime Councils across the country are doing whatever they can to help the citizens of Puerto Rico recover from Hurricane Fiona last month.
The Delaware Valley & Vicinity and Greater South Florida PMCs are accepting and loading goods into containers (located at Seafarers Union halls in Philadelphia, Fort Lauderdale and Jacksonville) that will be taken aboard US-flag vessels headed directly to the island. The San Francisco, Honolulu and New Orleans councils have sent financial donations to the AFL-CIO’s Union Community Fund.
However, the West Gulf Ports Council found a completely unique way of calling attention to the situation.
Trade unionists, county and local officials, and a member of Congress gathered at the Seafarers Union hall in Houston on October 1 to discuss the future of offshore windfarms. Under a banner of “Let’s Work Together,” the attendees not only took part in the conference, they later formed a human chain to load the supplies they brought onto a container in the parking lot. Among the elected officials were US Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-TX), Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and County Commissioner Adrian Garcia. Texas AFL-CIO President Rick Levy led the union delegation.
West Gulf PMC Executive Secretary Michael Russo reported more than 300 people attended and helped. He said the union hall was packed with some spilling out into the parking lot.
Added SIU Vice President Gulf Coast Dean Corgey, “People are hungry for some type of positive activity. This was something they wanted to do to help.”