Statement by the General Executive Board on the MM&P Political Contribution Fund
Historically, contributions to individuals running for election to the House of Representatives and the Senate have been predicated on an individual’s support for the programs and policies important to the U.S.-flag maritime industry and to the jobs of the members of MM&P. These include support for the full implementation and funding of the Maritime Security Program; the full enforcement of U.S.-flag cargo preference shipping requirements; and full compliance with the domestic shipping statutes collectively known as the Jones Act.
Notwithstanding the importance of other social, economic, and labor issues and policies to the members of MM&P, the criteria for deciding who receives a contribution from our PCF was based solely on direct maritime policy issues. In other words, the individual’s support for and his/her position on matters relating to the preservation and creation of jobs for our members were the sole determining factors.
It has become increasingly apparent that there is an ongoing attempt on the part of various members of Congress and those seeking election to Congress to restrict and reduce the civil rights of individuals, including our members, who identify with a minority group. These repeated attacks against the rights of women, the LGBTQ+ community, racial minorities and others have necessitated a reexamination of the criteria used when deciding who should receive an MM&P PCF contribution.
There should be no question as to our commitment to do everything we can legislatively and politically to maintain the job base for all our members. Equally important, there should be no question as to our commitment to do everything we can legislatively and politically to protect the civil rights of all our members. Both are at the core of who we are as a union, and we will not reward those who, by their actions, do not share our commitments.
Consequently, the criteria for determining whether an individual will receive a contribution from our PCF will now also include a review of the individual’s record on issues affecting the civil rights of our members.
It is the mission of the MM&P General Executive Board to protect the interests of our union through the thoughtful allocation of PCF resources. To do this, we must ensure we continue to listen to the membership and consider adjusting course when warranted.