Vincent Miliote, an ILA member from Local 824, Becomes a Hero To Fellow ILA Members for Taking on New York Post Reporter's Biased Story Attacking Union
Vincent Miliote struck a positive nerve with hundreds of his fellow ILA members from around the country when he penned a letter to New York Post reporter Jennifer Fermino, criticizing her for an August 23rd article: Wrong-shoremen - Port Strike Looms Over 'Low-Show' Jobs.
The ILA member from Local 824 in the Port of New York took exception to Ms. Fermino referring to him and his fellow workers as "Greedy Longshoremen" and also for what he said was an "uninformed and extremely biased article." He noted that because of mandated screening by the Waterfront Commission in the Port of New York and New Jersey, ILA members "are now held to a higher standard than employees of the Federal Government."
Post reporter Fermino has written a number of articles in the past attacking the ILA while siding often with the Waterfront Commission in the Port of New York and New Jersey.
ILA member Miliote decided to fight back after her most recent article last week.
"I don't know your reasoning for writing such an ignorant article, but I personally find it insulting," Miliote wrote about New York Post article. "Why not write an article about the dangers that the longshoremen face on a daily basis?"
"Instead of citing manipulated numbers about how much money longshoremen are alleged to make, you could have cited interesting facts like how in the 2000s, more maritime workers were killed on the job than officers in the line of duty for the NYPD (including the tragedy of 9/11)."
Within hours of his letter being posted on the ILA page on Facebook, hundreds of fellow members applauded his efforts.
"Wow Vin. I'm very proud of this letter, and you for writing it," said Johnnie Black Taylor from ILA Local 1588. "Go Vinny my man. Great article pal," added Anthony Vernaci.
Said Tony Cuccuia: "Great piece of work Vinny. Well written. Thank you from everyone...Tony C."
Post reporter Fermino inaccurately describe last Wednesday's negotiating session between the ILA and USMX.
The ILA's newest hero Miliote questioned the New York Post's research efforts made. "Don't you think you should have done at least a little research into the subject you were writing about? At the very least, shouldn't a journalist aim to inform the reader about both sides? By starting your article with 'greedy longshoremen' it is perfectly clear what direction you plan on going."
Miliote's powerful letter to the New York Post also describes the dedicated and round-the-clock service ILA members provide keeping commerce moving across the United States.
"You could have told everyone how the longshoremen are out there loading and unloading the food you eat, the clothes you buy, the cars you buy working in conditions that range from 0 degrees to over 199 degrees...in the rain, sleet and snow loading and unloading mega ships for more than 24 straight hours at the expense of their families at home," Miliote wrote with great passion and insight.
Countering Post reporter Fermino's writing about "Lo-show" jobs, Miliote noted the sacrifices ILA members make "including sleeping in the cars some nights, working seven days per week and missing family events all to earn a good living for their families."
Miliote also charged that the New York Post would be better off writing about the positive economic impact the port of New York and New Jersey has to the region, how President Obama's federal funds are going toward raising the Bayonne Bridge to help the port be better prepared for the Panama Canal expansion. Miliote also wrote that the ILA and the port were responsible for generating 170,000 direct jobs in the region.
Miliote challenged the Post reporter to write about the ILA's two decade long commitment to raise money for the late actor Paul Newman's Hole in the Wall Gang Camp for children with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. Miliote also noted the ILA's annual Christmas effort to collect and donate toys for less fortunate children in the Metropolitan area.
Miliote even noted the irony of a Rupert Murdoch owned publication, guilty of phone hacking scandal that rocked Great Britain, passing judgment on others. "You could have written that your job is more difficult to pass judgment on morals without seeming like you are throwing stones in a glass house."
How can the New York Post pass judgment or criticize how much money someone makes when the head of your parent company made $33.3 million in 2011, Miliote asked, "despite a British parliamentary report about the scandal found that he (Murdock) is not a fit person to exercise the stewardship of a major international company."
ILA President Harold J. Daggett commended Vincent Miliote for taking the time to respond to the New York Post's biased article.
"Vincent defended his honor and that of all ILA members by his wonderfully written and crafted letter," President Daggett said. "He makes us all proud to be ILA."