Quote[tugsailor;160412]Remember the attempt some years ago by river mariners to form a new union called Pilots Agree? Merely by talking and posting online some years ago the Pilots Agree mariners prompted river employers ( many Southern and Gulf employers) to dramatically increase mariner wages. Now the larger river towboats pay $1000 a day.
The top five companies in the Gulf already pay better than union wages. What would a union do for Gulf mariners? How would it benefit them? Just talkng about a union might do something for Gulf mariners. A gcaptain subforum might be a good place to get that going.
The NLRB wont do anything for masters, because the NLRB considers them to be "management." Its been that way for years.[/QUOTE]
Tug Sailor, I agree with your statement except the last sentence. There isn't any blanket status given to Masters by the NLRB. The status of a Master has and always has been decided by the NLRB on a case by case basis. I participated in just such a case and the tug masters were ruled by the NLRB as non-management.
The biggest problem I witnessed with the NLRB hearing officers is that they hear the term Master or Captain and they envision a cruise ship, container ship, or a tank ship. The company attorneys do all they can to uphold that vision. NLRB Hearing Officers who take the time to learn what duties a tug, osv, and other limited-tonnage masters perform are in a much better position to determine the captains status in a case by case status.
In my own opinion, perhaps some of the ship captains meet at least one of the criteria to be considered a manager. However, on tugs, osv's, and similar vessels, I believe we are more like heavy equipment operators. Like a shore-based crane operator who runs the crane but has a crew to guide the operator, maintain the crane machinery, and whatever else crane equipment requires. Or, what's wrong with the term Captain? It has served us well for hundreds of years.