House rejects Jones Act exemption for Puerto Rico

The following is the text of a news release from the Seafarers International Union (SIU):

(CAMP SPRINGS, Md.) — SIU President Michael Sacco, who is also the president of the AFL-CIO's Maritime Trades Department, issued the following statement on Thursday:

We are very grateful to the members of the House Rules Committee for ruling that an amendment dealing with the Jones Act was not in order for the pending legislation addressing the financial crisis in Puerto Rico.

As the facts have clearly shown, the Jones Act does not in any way have anything to do with the unfortunate financial situation before the citizens of Puerto Rico.

This amendment was simply the latest attempt by the enemies of U.S.-flag shipping to constrain decent American seafaring, shipbuilding and transportation jobs. We have weathered these fights for generations, and will remain vigilant for future attacks.

We thank U.S. Rep. Garret Graves, R-La., for defending the Jones Act before the committee, and U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., for his written public support for the Jones Act and the U.S.-flag maritime industry before the committee met. The Jones Act has long received strong bipartisan support on Capitol Hill, which was evident again throughout this battle.

The Maritime Trades Department, AFL-CIO is composed of 21 national and international unions representing nearly 5 million workers in maritime-related industries and businesses.

By Professional Mariner Staff