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HOUSTON -- On Sunday, October 29th the Seafarers International Union and other Texas labor organizations will unveil a documentary chronicling the journey of Shwe Aung from Burmese merchant mariner to labor activist, refugee, immigrant, American citizen, and highly effective international labor leader.

The film, Burmese Cowboy: The Shwe Tun Aung Story, tells the story of an ordinary Burmese seafarer serving on a Burmese ship that refused to pay its workers for 8 months. It describes his fight for basic labor rights despite the risks of challenging unscrupulous ship owners and a brutal government. He describes how his life was upended and how global union solidarity helped rebuild it.

Dean Corgey, Gulf Coast Vice-President of the Seafarers International Union and Labor Representative on the Harris County Port Commission, said, "Shwe Aung left a tyrannical regime in Burma to sail around the world as a hard-working merchant mariner. He suffered persecution in his quest to find help in winning justice, which he finally found right here in Houston. He succeeded in getting millions of dollars in back wages paid to those sailors who were being cheated on their pay. With support from international unions, he has spearheaded the organizing of a democratically run seafarers union in Burma, which is improving the working conditions for all Burmese mariners. He is the finest example I know of for what it is to be a true American.”

The film is available on the International Trade Federation’s Youtube channel here. A full bio of Shwe Aung can be found here.

WHAT: Screening of Burmese Cowboy: The Shwe Tun Aung Story

WHEN: Sunday, October 29th at 2 pm

WHERE: Seafarers International Union hall, 625 N York St, Houston, TX 77003

WHO: Seafarers International Union, Texas Gulf Coast Area Labor Federation, and Texas AFL-CIO