Marine Firemen, Carpenters and Theatrical Locals Endorse HR 676

In San Francisco, Local 22 of the Brotherhood of Carpenters & Joiners (BCJ) endorsed HR 676, single payer healthcare legislation introduced by Congressman John Conyers (D-MI).

In San Diego, Local 297 of International Alliance of Theatre and Stage Employees (IATSE) also endorsed the Conyers legislation.

The Pacific Coast Marine Firemen, Oilers, Watertenders and Wipers Association (Marine Firemen's Union), with headquarters in San Francisco, endorsed HR 676. The union, established in 1883, is a fully autonomous division of the Seafarers International Union (SIU). Its members work as engineers aboard containerships, bulk carriers, research and military contract vessels.

Anthony Poplawski, union president, said: "In 1981, President Reagan…ended U.S. Public Health Service benefits to merchant seamen and closed the marine hospitals that were established nearly 200 years earlier to provide for the nation's commercial mariners. Since then, maritime labor has struggled to negotiate and maintain replacement health care benefits and contain health care costs while insurance providers reap substantial profits. The time has come for a single-payer system for all citizens."