Pilots who guide ships into the ports of Galveston and Texas City have asked for substantial pay increases, and are fighting an industry pushback against their rate request.
The 15 pilots say they earn less than those at other Texas ports, including the 90 Houston Port pilots who help guide ships to docks along the Ship Channel.
“We pilot the same ships as the other Texas pilots do. We attend the same schools,” said Capt. Chris Gutierrez, who heads the Galveston-Texas City Pilot Association.
“We don’t want to be the highest-paid pilots in the country, but neither do we want to be the worst-paid,” Gutierrez said.
A state Pilot Commission must approve or deny the rate increase.
“We have a hearing and listen to both sides: the pilots wanting more and the users wanting to pay less,” said Vandy Anderson, chairman of the five-member body, which is appointed by the governor.