Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Iconic Boss Remembered by Shipping Workers

Concrete Memorial to Head of Family Firm
Shipping News Feature

US – In any industry with a bit of history, and shipping can certainly claim that, there are from time to time personalities thrown up whose very name becomes iconic. Such is the name of Tom Crowley senior who for years was the power behind the 123 year old family business that is the Crowley Maritime Corporation. Crowley may have died in 1994 but recently his memory was honoured in a very concrete manner when the Seafarers International Union (SIU) dedicated a new administration building in his memory.

Thomas Crowley senior harboured good relationships with his union workers and the group has operated SIU-contracted vessels since the mid 1970’s until today Crowley is the largest employer of SIU mariners. The new Thomas Crowley Sr. Centre for Maritime Services, is located at the Paul Hall Centre for Maritime Training and Education in Piney Point, Maryland, a former military facility and now a modern space that will be used to train US merchant mariners.

The Centre will house the SIU medical staff and hiring hall, and will provide classroom space. The SIU’s Paul Hall Centre is committed to providing the nation’s maritime industry with skilled, physically fit and responsible deep-sea seafarers and inland waterways boatmen. During the naming ceremony, held on campus late last month, SIU President Michael Sacco said:

“Tom Crowley Sr. was an effective leader, a maritime visionary and someone you could always count on to do the right thing. When the torch was passed to Tom Crowley Junior he took the hand-off and successfully built upon the family legacy. Like his father, Tom sees the big picture, and he has done a fantastic job expanding Crowley Maritime’s operations. He has proven his mettle many times over, and his commitment to maritime training and education is second to none.”

Crowley’s current Chairman and CEO Tom Crowley Junior, the son of Crowley Senior and grandson of the original Thomas who founded the company, also had the opportunity to address the crowd, as the keynote speaker. During his speech, he emphasised his appreciation for the tribute and the productive, respectful partnership that exists between the company, union and school saying:

 “This is truly an honour, wonderful things have been said about our family and company, but it was also said that my father was a visionary about developing relationships with labour. We run a business that’s very complex, one which requires a tremendous amount of training and skill. The only way that we can succeed and continue to build upon this investment here, the investment in the ships and the investment in the people, is to work together.”