Union remembering longtime leader with day off

Some East Coast port terminals will be closed Tuesday, but not because of the coronavirus.

Tuesday is an International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) paid holiday: Gleason’s Birthday.

Teddy Gleason joined the ILA in 1919 and served as its president from 1963 to 1987. He died in 1992.

Gleason was born Nov. 8, 1900, not March 17. His actual birthday was an ILA holiday for years, but union members also had Election Day and Veterans Day as paid days off in November. With Gleason’s blessing, his birthday commemoration was moved in the early 1980s to coincide with St. Patrick’s Day, according to The Virginian-Pilot, which said both his parents were born in Ireland. 

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey tweeted that APM Terminals, Port Newark Container Terminal (PNCT), Maher Terminals, GCT Bayonne, GCT New York and Red Hook will be closed Tuesday.

The Port of Baltimore’s Seagirt Marine Terminal and Dundalk Marine Terminal are among other sites along the East Coast that will be closed Tuesday for Gleason’s birthday.

The ILA represents some 66,000 longshoremen at ports along the East and Gulf coasts as well as the Great Lakes and some inland rivers.

The Port of Virginia said truck gates at the Portsmouth Marine Terminal will be closed Tuesday. Opening at 7 a.m. Tuesday for container operations only will be Norfolk International Terminals and Virginia International Gateway.