Back when unions were a serious matter and could swing a presidential election this may have not happened. Sadly labor has lost all clout and has been so demonized as to have no future.
Hess simply had higher paid lobbyists and bought off more congressman who paid off the labor board than a small union could. Armand Hess owned the republican congress ! The union probably got a kick back for not pushing things too. Welcome to the banana republic of USA. Democracy for all, justice for the rich.
All are supervised by what they owe the bank. It the company is in debt out the wazoo it will order the captain to do what they say to save them a dollar or two and the captain will if he cannot afford nor find another job. This mindset goes all the way down to the wiper and OS.
All the talk of safety is just theater for the underwriters or client. Heck the client will encourage shortcuts, just look at BP and the Horizon. Nothing has changed since then they just make sure there is no paper or email trail.
It is stuff like this that makes me thankful that I am retired. The ruling cannot be applied to shipping overall and remains a contentious decision applicable to tugs employed within a limited area of operation.
The first few pages of the ISM manual for most international shipping companies make it quite clear of where the master, chief engineer and mate fit in the organisation.
Under admiralty law the master is always mentioned separately from the crew, lucky him or her.
Like many things in the legal world, what lawyers have manipulated has little to do with reality.