A new U.S. DOT contract for up to five national security multi-mission vessels has been awarded to TOTE Services. This means welcome news for Local 19 (Philadelphia) sheet metal workers employed at the Philadelphia Shipyard where the vessels will be constructed.
TOTE has placed an initial order with the Shipyard for the first two vessels, with delivery scheduled to take place in the spring and winter of 2023.
"SMART Sheet Metal Workers' Local 19 members are excited about these contracts awarded to the Philadelphia Shipyard and TOTE Services," said Gary Masino, SMART SM Local 19 President-Business Manager. He added that "our local union represents over 4,000 highly skilled and well-trained individuals who are more than up to the task." Masino concluded that Local 19 members "are ready to partner with TOTE to build these ships on time, under budget, with the highest quality end product anywhere in the world."
Masino, who has served as a leader in the Philadelphia labor, political and economic community for over a decade, noted that "Sheet Metal Workers' Local 19 has two state of art training centers located in Pennsylvania which are responsible for training hundreds of our members a year in the most up-to-date technology." These centers include welding, computer aided design, metal fabrication, blueprint reading and all other facets of the sheet metal industry."
Prior to this new order, work was nonexistent with the facility at times coming close to the brink of extinction, something that would be a disaster for the city and surrounding area. SMART Local 19 sheet metal workers, along with representatives from across the Philadelphia Metal Trades, worked strenuously to bring this important work to the shipyard and reignite a long dormant shipbuilding industry.
Now that the yard is open, this new work will stimulate jobs and new economic development in the area. Plans currently call for work to begin on the new vessels in the fall, with the bulk of new jobs to be filled by qualified and highly training Local 19 sheet metal workers.
SMART General President Joseph Sellers. Jr thanked James Hart and the range of federal office holders who played a role in bringing this new work to Southeastern Pennsylvania. "As a native Pennsylvanian and member of Sheet Metal Workers’ Local 19, I am especially proud of the teamwork that went into producing this new work for local sheet metal workers. This is a great example of what the close relationship between Local 19 and our friends across the Philadelphia political spectrum can achieve when we work together for the future of the region."
SMART, the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers, is one of North America’s most dynamic and diverse unions with 200,000 members. SMART’s members ensure the quality of the air we breathe, promote energy efficiency, produce and provide the vital services that move products to market and passengers to their destinations. We are sheet metal workers, service technicians, bus operators, engineers, conductors, sign workers, welders, production employees and more. With members in scores of different occupations, we advocate for fairness in the workplace, excellence at work and opportunity for all working families.
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