The new year showed Port Maritime Councils across the United States standing in solidarity with federal workers hurt by the partial federal shutdown as well as striking teachers in Los Angeles.
Across the country, Port Councils and their affiliates joined protests, offered supplies and showed support for the 800,000 men and women affected by the 35-day shutdown. Some workers stayed at home, while others – declared essential – worked without pay. Included in the latter group were air traffic controllers, TSA officers, border and custom agents. Coast Guard officers and enlisted personnel and so many others
After taking part in a labor solidarity march through Honolulu’s Daniel Inouye Airport, members of the Hawaii Ports Maritime Council gathered food and other goods for a drive-through food bank at the Seafarers Union hall for furloughed federal workers. PMC Secretary-Treasurer Hazel Galbiso reported several hundred families appreciated the help their fellow trade unionists offered.
The shutdown affected family members of people serving in the Coast Guard, who missed two paydays. Both the Greater South Florida and the Michigan Port Councils donated grocery-store gift cards to help those serving the country put food on their tables.
When the United Teachers of Los Angeles launched January 10 what became a six-day strike, the Southern California Port Council immediately responded. According to PMC President Larry Barragan, the council adopted Fries Elementary School in Wilmington, California. Barragan personally delivered a food, water and other goods on behalf of the Council. Members joined teachers and parents on the picket line to show solidarity.