My name is Becky Sleeper, I am a port agent in St Louis for the North American Seafarers’ International Union (SIU) and I have 27 years of union experience. Women seafarers with long experience at sea can influence young women to choose this extraordinary vocation. It is indeed hard work, but with unions standing right next to them and serving as a constant support, it can lead to an exciting and fulfilled life – for women and for men. At the age of 28 I became the first female official for the union and was sent on a mission to Illinois to help organise the casino boats. It was an exciting experience. Slowly but surely I worked my way up and today I represent SIU. I keep learning and growing. It’s a great life and anyone can do it. My son went to college for a year, returned home and said that it wasn’t the life for him. He asked me if he could go to sea. Of course, I said, you can go to sea, and the same thing I’ve said to my 15-year-old daughter, who expressed the same wish. Anyone who wants the best of life – go to sea!
Submitted by: Becky Sleeper
Now it's your turn!
Share your union stories. Let other activists learn from your struggles and wins and show them what’s happening where you are.
- Write an account of your wins and struggles.
- Upload pictures and video clips.
- Alternatively email your stories, photos and videos to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll add them on your behalf.
English not your first language? Use the translate button at the top of the page to access a choice of languages.