More on the foreign mariner situation in the GoM


#1

I finally found who at the Department of Labor was certifying the myth that there were not enough qualified American mariners to man all the foreign ships working in the Gulf of Mexico. Every one who wants in on this work needs to write or send a fax to this man to tell him they are available and want the jobs:

Brian Pasternak
Office of Foreign Labor Certification
Employment and Training Administration
US Department of Labor
200 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20210

phone 202-693-3010
fax 202-693-2768

and get this…they refused to give me an email to use stating that the as a member of the public I didn’t have a right to know it even FOR PUBLIC BUSINESS!

anyway try this one: etapagemaster@dol.gov

or try the DOL’s Office of the Inspector General at: oigprograms@oig.dol.gov

I request that everybody who follows up on this, please let me know what you hear in reply. Telling this guy in Washington we are available might force him to stop certifying these companies claims that they can’t find Americans to hire.


#2

Dear C. Captain-

Sometimes in my work, I get hired by an illegal alien who would be hired by a “reputable” company to work in the GoM; the employer knows, or at least should know, the documents they were provided were false and the employee is illegal; they work the hell out of them and make them work double hitches day in and day out; they don’t train them; and hardly speak enough Spanish to be able to able even to communicate with them; then, inevitably because of all this, the undocumented worker gets hurt on the job. They hire a lawyer because the company fails to honor their maintenance and cure requirements and then the company turns around and tries to get them deported or makes a huge deal that they are illegal and, therefore, regardless of how torn up they are, argues they should not be able to calculate any future loss of earnings in their recovery because they are illegal and would not be able to stay here to work.

I am not going to comment on the viability of these future loss of income “defenses” but, it is clear to me, that these companies know exactly who they are hiring and, I think, they know why they are hiring them. That is they subject them to working conditions that they would not be able to do with a US citizen. I don’t want to get into the “illegal immigrant” political aspects of this but I would like to see more stringent regulations and enforcement of regulations on these types of employers.

I am not sure if your article was speaking to these types of employment situations or foreign flagged vessels operating in the GoM. If I went down the wrong tangent, I apologize but what I have written about is a problem for all concerned from the the out -of -work US mariner to the injured slave driven undocumented worker.

Take care,

Steve


#3

Generally, I have to say that you are on a different tanget with your thoughts and I for the most part believe the practice of hiring foreign labor to be for reasons other than to take advantage of these seamen. In many cases they are serving on vessels far better than those operated by US mariners and likewise are often paid more than their American counterparts.

The reasons that I believe these companies are insisting on using foreign labor are spelled out more clearly in an earlier post here. I encourage you to read it.


#4

“In many cases they are serving on vessels far better than those operated by US mariners and likewise are often paid more than their American counterparts.”

I’ll agree. Many people who claim to work on new “state of the art” OSV vessels in the GOM have no clue as to what the current “state of the art” is. Could the mates and captains handle vessels that truly had the latest technology? Probably. Do the companies in the GOM have an adequate number of trained technicians and engineers to maintain a complex vessel? No. The GOM companies as a whole [there are exceptions] have not invested the money in training that is needed for their DDE and OSV engineers to be able to properly maintain an advanced vessel. The oil companies know this, so they hire the foreign companies with their vessels and their crews. Is is fair? I don’t think so, but I don’t see the GOM companies hurrying to do much more than the same supply boat/anchor boat thing they’ve been doing for years.


#5

Read the earlier discussion…thank you for directing me to it. Pretty sad.

A couple of the instances that I had written about in my post to your post were involving Horizon Offshore barges. The Central Americans (illegal aliens) were hired as anchor handler assistants and I believe, if memory serves me correctly their rate of pay was around $8.75 an hour. Isn’t that very low for that type of work?


#6

That’s low for ANY kind of work - and that is why they were hired and that is the crux of the problem.


#7

I for one really don’t know what the unlicensed seamen on the foreign vessels working in the Gulf make but $150 per 12 hour day is my guess which works out to about $12/hr. I know the officers do pretty good and in many cases are getting paid more than the equivalent American mariner.

One poster on the earlier thread (Anchorman) said he had spoken to a Norwegian master who said he got $1500/day. I believe that this is accurate because in Norway the taxes are so high as is the cost of living.

I’ll be happy to save the Norwegian owners $500/day if they hire me and I am willing to work 28 and 28 as opposed to our Nordic friends who I believe work 28 on and 42 off (or something like that)


#8

There are too many factors in this problem that we cannot control.Be they Democrat or Republican, I do not think anyone has seriously put forth a solution to our “open” borders and that is something that, if it is going to be “solved” must take place at the Federal legislative level.

However, I personally think it outrageous that we have US companies operating US flagged vessels operating in the territorial waters of the United States and they knowingly hire illegal immigrants. I, unlike C.Captain, believe their impetus to be monetary. Monetary on both the front end (lower wages), on the transient nature of that type of worker thereby havng less $ cmmittment in no 401Ks and/or health insurance and on the back end (less accountability if the worker gets hurt). It is not a competency issue. As I said before, these workers were placed into a situation with no experience and could not even speak English. The company had some token/“throw down” barely bi-lingual “supervisor” to run rough shod over these guys. It truly was an accident waiting to happen.

As you know, the NMU is defunked and the SIU is not very strong generally and especially in the “brown water” business and these companies can get away with this crap. Whether you are a proponent or not of unions, it does appear that “unionizing” of workers is going to get alot easier under the Obama Administration (reversing a trend away from suppoting unions dating back to the Reagan era) and, perhaps, that will filter into the GoM. If it does, that will undoutedly have the biggest impact on these “penny-saving” type companies. It is not the workers’ fault as they just want o earn money to send back home to their starving family, it is the companys’ responsibility and duty to hire capable US seaman.


#9

When I was a kid employers who hired illegal immigrants were sent to jail if they got caught. Now they just hire lobbyists for immigration ‘reform’.
Whenever I hear an insurance company talking about health care "reform’, a bank talking about financial ‘reform’ or a CEO talking about immigration ‘reform’ I grab the Vaseline because I figure I’m about to get ‘reformed’.


#10

Tengineer - I think you missed prison ‘reform’ when you threw the Vaseline in there…

[quote=tengineer;10227]When I was a kid employers who hired illegal immigrants were sent to jail if they got caught. Now they just hire lobbyists for immigration ‘reform’.
Whenever I hear an insurance company talking about health care "reform’, a bank talking about financial ‘reform’ or a CEO talking about immigration ‘reform’ I grab the Vaseline because I figure I’m about to get ‘reformed’.[/quote]


#11

Re selling the country out (including maritime jobs), Europe started outsourcing its dirty jobs back in the early seventies to foreigners who’d move in and work for less before US followed suit, the same game. And rich at the top let it grow up to take the better jobs over time. Germany clamped down on it back in the late nineties and made them all either give up their foreign citizenship duality or get out of Dodge. They targeted the outflow of the incomes to insure it was recycled back into German economy and made all sorts of restrictions to that end including even getting the clever foreigners who found ways to beat the system; the cops would spy and get them on even the slightest infraction of law and then deport for something that would not have normally given more than a warning or small fine. Since US followed Europe’s lead on selling country out, maybe it better follow suit to clamp down and $top the outflow. One thing, however, which Europe did not do, that the US has done all on its own is to allow the sell out to spread to government jobs, namely MSC (Military Sealift Command). For example, [FONT=Arial][SIZE=4]when a Promotion Board convenes, the last to know are those on the ships, and the notice comes late about 2 days before the deadline to apply making it impossible, in most cases, to apply. Unqualified applicants for the promotions get them, and it is a well known secret that a certain ethnic detailer readies these illicit sales of jobs and promotions for the ethnic majority in the Steward Dept. Favoritism, nepotism, corruption, abuse of authority, racism, etc, is alive and well in MSC; for example, the Navy and civilian mariners are aware of the MSC Guam hiring fiasco where local Chamorran people, the indigenous people of the US Territory of Guam, could not get the job because there was no equal opportunity for them since they were not a paying member of the ethnic majority of MSC (resident citizens and homeowners of a neighboring foreign country who have long used Guam as an enterprising conduit for quickly obtaining a discount green card or even citizenship outright for just a couple grand. Many mariners and many Americans, in general, who have experience abroad are aware of the several scams foreigners take advantage of to gain citizenship or a foothold into this country and its economy. The few locals who did manage to get hired there in Guam by MSC then were only able to get the job by going around the corrupt individual of the ethnic majority responsible for doing the MSC hiring and taking their complaint direct to the naval commander there in Guam.). How is it possible that someone who can’t communicate in English without an interpreter qualify to rise to the position of Chief Mate, First Electrician, or Detailer, etc, within MSC? In what other country’s defense infrastructure (government) could a similarity be found? How is it that MSC has a naturalized (over-night sometimes) ethnic majority (one that not only outnumbers all other ethnic minorities combined, but also outnumbers black and white American mariners combined, too) or even needs such a mercenary and racist ethnic group comprising the majority of crew (which is the case on MSC west coast ships)? And it is very strange that the majority of a crew sailing under a US flag, the flag of a ship that is property of the United States Navy, speaks fluently in a foreign language yet has serious difficulty understanding and speaking English (At times, this is also a pretext used to get out of doing certain assigned tasks, to the consternation of American supervisors.). And if you belong to the minority of as little as 25% or so of crew who are Americans with American standards on some US naval supply ship, you’d better like the ethnic food and not mind you are being cursed in Tagalog behind your back. Might as well raise their flag on the ship… This would be a dire shame even if there was no economic crisis with so many Americans out of work now. Is it because they complain less than the American worker? Would the American complain if his MSC paycheck had the same mileage in an economy where the norm is only a few hundred bucks per month? Basically, their income, which is paid at the same rate their American counterparts receive, does not recycle back into the American economy, and they have no patriotic reasons for taking our jobs and performing, in many cases, substandard quality work. There are no Werner von Brauns in their midst to justify any contribution that could not be made by any true American just as well, if not better. Are there not enough American seamen or potential American seamen to fill organizational needs for manning MSC vessels? None of these nationalistic, patriotic views should be misconstrued as xenophobic to the point that they also reflect on the minority of the ethnic majority who are bonafide immigrants or those born and bred here in this country, hold property and have family in this country, not only speak our language fluently and refrain from cursing us behind our backs in an unfamiliar tongue, but are those whose entire income is also recycled back into the US economy, whose intention it is to permanently recycle their income back into the US economy, the ones that make up the minority of the ethnic majority who also abhor (as do the other minorities abhor) the anti-equal opportunity and unethical ways of the majority of the ethnic majority and their involuntary affiliation therewith; this sub-group does exist, and it is not being referred to here. Although many might refrain from openly endorsing this view because it is apparently politically incorrect at first glance, noone lets the thin veil trick them into being blinded by what is really going on. It should be noted that all others, including the other various minorities, consider the blatant infiltration and ever-growing monopilization of a federal job like MSC by this racist, mercenary, ethnic majority, whose allegiance is tied strictly to the paycheck, to be an appalling phenomenon, one out of control, that has sadly become normalized over time. They can only continue to cheat/beat the system this way “legally” if our government continues to allow their monopolistic growth to continue. Add the antagonistic relations with the ethnic majority on board to the now antagonistic relations with the office in Norfolk, and you have a situation going from bad to worse for many mariners in MSC. Being a Defense matter, the President needs to be informed of this growing, festering problem. We need a moratorium on the hiring of this ethnic majority of mariners who don’t recycle their income back into the American economy. MSC should be forced to hire real Americans in America, stop the corruption, and stop selling us out! Consider the big picture, the sensitive nature of the job and inherent risks of operating a US naval supply ship, and then consider how, for example, money, as a matter of fact, can and does buy the use of Philippino labor to run stolen ships for the Somalian pirates!
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#12

I’d like to see these shipping companies have to follow the Jones Act and hire American seamen if they are going to work thier vessels in the GoM. Most countries will only allow the master and maybe the Chief Engineer to be of foreign nationality if working in their waters. We as Americans can not work in foreign countries, I personally would love to and have been trying for over 5 years now to find work overseas again but not having any luck. Why are we letting all these foreigners take advantage of us here? There are plenty of qualified US seamen looking for work!


#13

Hello-

From my readings the last week or so, it is obvious the oil & gas maritime business in the GOM has been invaded by foreign flagged & crewed vessels.

I have two question for the gCaptain Members:
(1) what other industries and geographical areas in the US have this problem? and
(2) where could one find (perhaps online?)the “exceptions” that must have been entered into and/or granted by the USCG?

I Wish You Calm Seas


#14

Hello-

From my readings the last week or so, it is obvious the oil & gas maritime business in the GOM has been invaded by foreign flagged & crewed vessels.

I have two question for the gCaptain Members:
(1) what other industries and geographical areas in the US have this problem? and
(2) where could one find (perhaps online?)the “exceptions” that must have been entered into and/or granted by the USCG?

I Wish You Calm Seas


#15

[quote=Jones Act;10864]I have two question for the gCaptain Members:
(1) what other industries and geographical areas in the US have this problem? and
(2) where could one find (perhaps online?)the “exceptions” that must have been entered into and/or granted by the USCG?[/quote]

My answers for you Steve:

(1) any industries that request and are granted H1B visas
&
(2) I’d FOIA the following two offices:

Mr. Brian Pasternak
Office of Foreign Labor Certification
Employment and Training Administration
US Department of Labor
200 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20210
phone 202-693-3010
fax 202-693-2768

and

Mr. J.F. Williams
Chief, Foreign and Offshore Vessel Division (CG-5432)
U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters
2100 Second Street SW
Washington DC 20593-0001
phone (202) 372-2275
fax (202) 372-1917

Thanks for your concern and efforts


#16

The H2b and the transportation worker, formerly known as mariners visa [I don’t remember the classification] are used also.