Senator Maria Cantwell, Chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation announced that the committee voted to approve President Biden’s nomination of Washington labor leader Max Vekich to be a Commissioner of the Federal Maritime Commission.
The Commission is responsible for regulating agreements between American exporters and the shipping companies that carry their goods to ensure they are fair and competitive.
Vekich, a native of Aberdeen and a graduate of Grays Harbor College, previously served four consecutive terms as the representative for the 35th Legislative District in Washington state’s House of Representatives from 1983-1991. During that time Vekich served alongside Maria Cantwell from 1987 to 1991.
During his tenure in office he served as Chair of three committees: Agriculture, Trade & Economic Development, and Commerce & Labor.
President Biden nominated Vekich to serve on the Federal Maritime Commission in July to fill a vacant seat.
Cantwell (D-WA), Chair of the Committee, spoke in favor of Vekich both at his October 20th nomination hearing and this week.
“The perspective and experience that Mr. Vekich will bring to this position of Commissioner is needed in this moment,” Cantwell said at the nomination hearing in October. “He has a unique career first serving as a member of the Washington Legislature, followed by a long career as a longshoreman in Grays Harbor and in Seattle. Mr. Vekich knows port and shipping communities firsthand. He spent his life working in the maritime industry, and knows the challenges faced by the maritime and intermodal transportation system. And I know he understands the importance of what a maritime economy is to the State of Washington’s economy and knows how important it is to our national economy as well.”
In 2004, Vekich joined the Port of Seattle to supervise the loading and unloading of vessels. He also served as a member of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union’s executive board.
Vekich is married to Marcee Stone, they have three adult children and four grandchildren. Two of his children are longshore workers and his daughter-in-law is currently in training.
The nomination of Vekich was placed on the Senate Executive Calendar.
Video of Senator Cantwell’s remarks on Vekich is available HERE and HERE, audio is HERE and HERE, and a transcript is HERE.
Video of Senator Cantwell’s remarks from the October 20th nomination hearing is available HERE, audio is HERE, and a transcript is HERE.