Every day elected officials in Washington D.C. make decisions that impact our lives as workers.
These decisions can impact our jobs in many ways including the safety and health conditions of the ships we work on, the funding of key maritime provisions including the Maritime Security Program, protecting the Jones Act, and even our pensions.
We work tirelessly to make sure that the interests of M.E.B.A. are well-represented and that elected officials are held accountable.
Our PAF is comprised of small, voluntary contributions solely by members, employees, and retirees. As a contributor to the M.E.B.A. PAF you are joining your brothers and sisters in an effort to build the most effective way to maintain maritime support in Congress. Contributions are used to keep policy makers informed and support maritime initiatives.
Talk to your local union representative or call M.E.B.A. Headquarters for more information about the PAF. To contribute, see your local official or click here to make an online contribution.
PAF - Frequently Asked Questions
1) When times are tough, why should I continue to give to the PAF?
Your PAF contribution should be one of the last things cut when tightening your belt during these tough times. Your contribution to the PAF is the best tool that the Union has to influence the power brokers who are responsible for making policies that directly affect your job. Please do not forget that EVERY M.E.B.A. job is directly dependent on federal laws and regulations.
2) Aren’t PAF dollars used for M.E.B.A. officials to “wine and dine”?
Absolutely not. Every dollar distributed from the PAF is given directly the political campaign of legislators who are working to promote the M.E.B.A. and the U.S.-flag maritime industry. Further, every PAF expenditure is, by law, required to be reported to the Federal Election Commission. Yes, sometimes the checks are given at a reception or dinner, but the sole purpose of the event is to educate the legislator and to raise the profile of the M.E.B.A.
3) Isn’t M.E.B.A. PAF is already large enough?
Contributions to the PAF have declined by 37% over the past 10 years though they're needed now more than ever to help solidify the M.E.B.A. and the Merchant Marine. Please join with your brothers and sisters who are currently carrying your water. Your contribution will ensure the longevity of a strong U.S. maritime industry for future generations as well as a vibrant M.E.B.A. pension plan for current and future retirees.
4) I’m not involved in the process so why should I give?
M.E.B.A. officers and political staff have done everything they can to make the process as transparent as possible. To be clear, the method of distributing PAF dollars to Members of Congress does not change from one administration to another. Although the targeted Congressmen and Congresswoman may change, the support will always be given to the Democrat, Republican, or Independent who best supports the M.E.B.A. Further, every M.E.B.A. member is encouraged to come to Washington D.C., visit with the Chairman of the PAF Bill Van Loo and the political team, and attend Congressional meetings and political events with the team. Your involvement is important!
5) How much should I give?
As much as you can reasonably afford. Many members contribute as much as 2%, however, 1% or even $25 a month is certainly helpful. Vacation check-offs are simple, painless, and important to maintain regularity and budgeting in the PAF.
If you have any questions about the administration of the PAF, please feel free to contact Bill Van Loo at M.E.B.A. HQ. Further, if you happen to be passing through Washington D.C. and would like to follow the political team for a day, let us know.