The times are a – changin’. They certainly are. NASSCO – with 60% of its workcrew Latino, and located in Barrio Logan, a Mexican-American neighborhood of San Diego – is about to christen its latest Navy cargo ship after Cesar Chavez. The dedication ceremony will occur on Tuesday, May 17th, at NASSCO. The Chavez family will be flying into San Diego for it.
This is an interesting development, certainly. The civil rights and labor leader was in the US Navy in his youth.
Here is the local U-T article:
By Gary Robbins / SignOnSanDiego / May 16, 2011
The last of the 14 Lewis and Clark-class cargo ships that General Dynamics NASSCO is building in San Diego will be named after Cesar Chavez, the late civil rights and labor leader. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus will visit NASSCO on Tuesday afternoon to make the formal announcement. Some members of the Chavez family are expected to be in attendance, says NASSCO, which recently laid the keel of the ship.
“We suggested the name Cesar Chavez for the ship because we’re in Barrio Logan and want to be good neighbors, and we want to show respect for our workers,” said James Gill, a NASSCO spokesman.
About 60 percent of NASSCO’s 3,600 employees are Hispanic.
Over the past decade, NASSCO has been building dry cargo ships for use by the Navy’s Military Sealift Command. All of the ships are named after explorers or people who were pioneers in their fields. The names of the other 13 ships are:
Lewis and Clark, Sacagawea , Alan Shepard, Richard E. Byrd, Robert E. Peary, Amelia Earhart, Carl Brashear, Wally Schirra, Matthew Perry, Charles Drew, Washington Chambers, William McLean, Medgar Evers.
The newest vessel in this line will be the first to be named after a Mexican-American. Chavez was born in Yuma, Arizona in 1927, and died in San Luis, Arizona in 1993, at the age of 66.