Transatlantic lines (TAL) current situation


#162

I don’t believe anyone on the ship is following this post but I’ll let them know of your generous offer if you want me to.
They are being told (again) that they are going to be paid either Friday (yesterday) or Monday.


#163

If MEBA is not helping you, call the International Seamen’s Center, at (562) 432-7560 and ask them for help. The seamen’s center is located at 120 Pico Ave in Long Beach. They provide assistance to seamen, including showers, communications, temporary housing, rides, and prayer. The director of the seamen’s center is undoubtedly a minister that knows people in the Long Beach Community. No one wants to say no to him. Not Gudmundor. Not the owner of the launch service. Not even the worthless MEBA business agent.

MEBA should put up a measly $230 and arrange a launch to get the entire crew ashore, and rides to the airport. If MEBA is a collection of worthless scumbags, instead of being a maritime union, and it won’t help its members and pledges, I’m sure someone else in Long Beach will. I’d bet the seamen’s center can find someone to get you ashore. I’m sure that the seamen’s center can also get you onto the right bus to the airport.

MEBA should also get plane tickets home for their members and pledges. Probably, it’s up to the rest of the crew to get their own plane tickets. Credit cards are useful for this purpose. So are friends and relatives.

If you have a deadbeat employer, a worthless make-believe union, no money, no credit cards, no friends, and no relatives, if your that pathetic, then that is your fault. You probably don’t deserve much help, but go to the City of Long Beach and apply for welfare.


#164

It is beyond my thinking on how the owner can just walk away from a crew he hired - though never paid - and just left them literally afloat, leaving them without potable water and very low rations. How can someone be that morally screwed up to do that to an entire crew as I am sure he is enjoying his Sunday morning country club brunch in his historically renowned Greenwich home…


#165

The owner of TAL is not a real American. He is an Icelandic-American. Generally speaking, “Hyphenated-American” shipowners are extremely bigoted and think that American sailors are only slightly higher on the evolutionary scale than the poorest and most ignorant non-white sailors from the furthest corners of the third world. To them, American sailors only exist to be used hard, taken advantage of, and thrown away, that is the only purpose of American sailors. In the mind of this Icelander, he has done nothing wrong at all, and he sleeps just fine with dreams of more corporate welfare from the stupid American government.

There is something seriously wrong with the US immigration system. We need to be a lot more selective about who we let in, and what their attitudes are toward Americans. When we find that a mistake has been made and the wrong type of person let in, we need to be able throw them out and send them back where they came from. I can think of no better place to start real immigration reform than with this piece of shit Icelander.


#166

Man, I have been following this since the start as I’ve had friends that worked on these POS in the past.

If one was just now coming into this discussion, I would bet they would be shocked to find out we are talking about U.S. Flagged Vessels and not some FOC crap! In the past years we have all heard about the treatment of Foreign Crews when their Company’s abandoned them but here we are having this conversation about U.S Flagged Vessels and U.S. Crews, right here at home. This is disgusting and unbelievable! Add to this the fact that this POS Company mainly survived on Government Contracts just adds to my disgust! They, Our Government, should step into this also as they are just as guilty in my eyes for letting this company get away with the way they have been operating.

What I’m waiting for is the Company *for lack of a better word) coming out and stating how the HIGH Cost of U.S. Crews lead to this situation, which each and everyone of us know is utter B.S. but those reading this in whichever news source will believe each and every word. They will publish how much “can” be made for working 6+ months and Joe Public will not show any caring as they would do this work for less. This tactic has been done in more than one Union Dispute that I’ve been involved of. They always seem to find the most uneducated and sloppy crew member to be interviewed!

I hope that MEBA steps up as they are (or were supposed to be) the Best Maritime Union. If they don’t I hope that each and everyone of their members take note of this as they could be next!

I also agree with getting the Seaman’s Church involved. It will most likely come as a shock to them to see how low a U.S. company will stoop! It really sucks to see what used to be a great industry and while, I’m still proud to call myself a Proud U.S. Mariner, I am glad that I’m retired. My Brother and I were talking to other day about the decline in our U.S. Merchant Fleet. It pains us to watch something that gave our family 5 Generations of employment to go down like this and that we are glad that we’re the last generation as none of our family chose a life at Sea as a Career.

I hope that those Crews get every dime of what’s owed to them before any other bill and or claims are paid! I guess we will have to wait and see what happens. If these crews are not paid before any creditor this should serve as another (and most important) wake up call as it will show just where the U.S. Seaman / Worker rates.


#167

HEAR, HEAR BROTHER!

I do not know much about Gudmundor’s past other than he had some capacity with Van Ommeren Shipping in the 80’s and 90’s when they had the STRONG vessels and after Hvide took over the ships he found some money and started TAL by winning the contract for the run to Keflavik using the GAYSIR. He ran that little POS vessel on the Iceland run in the dead of winter in weather that ship was never built to withstand even during summer when brand new.

It was is November 2004 that they were looking for a master for her and offered me the job. During the phone interview, I asked all the usual questions of outstanding 835’s and if the vessel was fit for the run which of course was all answered that the ship was in excellent condition and there were no issues with machinery or safety equipment. Based on this, I flew to Norfolk to meet the ship at Little Creek and instantly after stepping aboard discovered how badly I had been lied to in that interview. I simply could not believe what a horrible maintained and unseaworthy vessel it was. The crew struck me as being utter refugees from the industry and more than one had that “thousand mile stare” on their faces when I asked about how the ship did on that run. Never in my career of running other old and tired vessels did I ever have a early premonition of disaster if I took the vessel off the dock but I had it with her. I really believed that once past Cape Race we were going to capsize and all hands would be lost with the ship. With a young daughter at home, I had no desire to die a horrible death at sea and even though I needed the work, I said under no uncertain terms would I assume legal responsibility for such an abominable pile and that same day took a taxi back to the airport and paid my own way home. Needless to say that my wife at the time was not happy at all but I did find other work and while the ship did not founder in the cold North Atlantic on that nor any other voyage how am I to know for sure whether that premonition might well have become real if I had gone to sea on that ship?

Anyway, back to the TAL saga. I believe at the same period of time I was running away from the GAYSIR, Gudmundor also had won the Diego Garcia resupply contract from MSC and acquired the then BAFFIN STRAITS (later TRANSATLANTIC) and ran her on that run until he lost the contract. I saw photos of her and they showed a ship every bit as decrepit as the GAYSIR although not very old at all. Hideous! I also think he was running the SPENCE on the Guantanamo Bay run as well too.

I never ever wondered about my decision and did not follow the company other than when they were mentioned here and most will know that I have always condemned Gudmundor Kjaernestad with as much venom as I can muster as I can barely imagine the toil his crews provide him to earn millions of dollars for the pathetic few sheckles he gives them as reward and how their own lives are being continually risked by his failure to properly care for his ships. I have wanted nothing but downfall for him in all these years and I am more than thrilled to see the MISERABLE LITTLE PUKE finally get his reward although I suspect he has a mountain of money squirreled away outside the country and thus outside the reach of the courts to pay off all the mariners and creditors he is obviously planning to stiff here.


#168

Taken today in Jax on the St Johns River at North Florida Shipyard.

Cargo still onboard


#169

One of my co-workers knows a guy on there, going to plant the seed tomorrow.


#170

He’s not going to plant any seed. You guys have no idea what your taking about.


#171

Yeah that is the reason, not that you have a shit system that allows for this to happen over years. Had the idiot paid the crew, how long do you think he could have gotten away with his dangerous practiceses?

Have you already forgotten SS El Faro? Was that also a “Hyphenated-American” ship owner?


#172

This is a truly fucked situation and only more fuel for the fire that the U.S. needs to be signatory to the MLC convention. I just heard through the grapevine that an ex cadet of mine is stuck in this quagmire and I feel awful for him. There is no excuse for this to happen to any seaman in the world, but certainly not an American citizen on a U.S. flag ship in a U.S port. Despicable.


#173

Please explain further.
What don’t we know?


#174

The owner of TAL has gotten away with operating and mismanaging unsafe ships and mistreating their American crew for 15 to 20 years. The US system for regulating shipping is terrible, and the USCG is incompetent. Otherwise TAL never would have gotten away with this crap for so long.

TAL has mistreated thousands of American mariners over the years. TAL had incredible turnover. We meet former TAL sailors everywhere. I have had at least half a dozen former TAL sailors onboard as crew. Their stories are always the same. TAL has a crazy Icelandic-American owner with no concern for his crew. I was told that they had Greek-American managers, but heard recently the Greeks were replaced by Indians that were much worse.

Hyphenated-Americans are immigrants that are still culturally from the old country, such as Italian-Americans, Irish-Americans, Greek-Americans, Portuguese-Americans, Norwegian-Americans, Japanese-Americans, Russian-Americans, Mexican-Americans, etc.

I have seen this problem of hyphenated-Americans mistreating and not paying their American crews many times before, usually on fishing vessels. Often there will be a hyphenated-American frontman who is the vessel “owner” on paper (to comply with US ownership requirements), but the money comes from friends, family, investors, banks, and sometimes foreign governments back in the old country. The managment is always hyphenated-Americans.

Examples of this are the Japanese and Norwegian owned, financed, and managed fishing vessels in Alaska, that on paper were owned by Japanese-American or Norwegian-American frontmen, or their American wives.

The Japanese owned, financed, and managed Fishing Company of Alaska and its vessels were many many times worse than TAL. They hated their American crew and certainly did not want to pay them. Most of the Norwegians were a lot better, but not all of them.


#175

All of this is just excuses, your system allows this to happen. Your culture and your laws are fairly anti-worker. If every “Hyphenated-American” has a disdain for the american worker then it’s clearly something horribly wrong with how you organise things.

If you have such low regard for yourself that you don’t even unionise(I’m not talking about your crazy system but a Union to fight for worker rights and collective bargaining), why should anyone else respect you?

Tell me, why has the US not ratified the Maritime Labour Convention?


#176

Because it would require us to give visa free travel to foreigners from any country in the world just because they’re seamen. I think it also would require us to allow them to have shore leave as well.


#177

FYI:

TransAtlantic Lines-owned ship arrested

UPDATE: Connecticut-based firm says it is working to clear up lawsuits and serve needs of customers.

August 11th, 2017 21:53 GMT

by Michael Angell

Published in Legal

TransAtlantic Lines saw one of its general cargoships arrested this week in Florida.

The blow comes as the contractor to the US government faces several lawsuits filed during the last month over unpaid bills.

The 2,000-dwt Geysir (built 1980) was arrested this week after an order from a US district judge in Florida. It is berthed at the port of Jacksonville.

Turkey’s Tuzla Shipyard ordered the arrest, alleging that it was owed $314,000 for work done on the Geysir back in April. It is also seeking $100,000 related to attorneys fees.

But Tuzla’s lawsuit is only of several facing the Geysir and its Greenwich, Connecticut-based owner.

Bunker supplier Endofa has also filed as an intervening plaintiff. It is claiming $111,900 in unpaid bunkering bills and related attorneys fees related to fuel deliveries to both the Geysir and the 5,055-dwt Transatlantic (built 1997).

The Transatlantic itself was already barred from working with the Military Sealift Command (MSC) after the US Coast Guard found multiple violations. TransAtlantic Lines said last March it was making needed repairs to the ship.

TransAtlantic said that it “remain[s] focused on serving the needs of our active customers, including the MSC. As with all legal disputes there are always several sides to the issue which we will deal with respectfully through the proper processes.”

In addition to Tuzla and Endofa, a union representing seafarers aboard also filed claims against the Geysir and the Transatlantic over unpaid wages. The total amount of unpaid wages claimed was not listed in the lawsuit.

Separately, TransAtlantic faces two lawsuits from ship agencies over unpaid bills. Wilhelms Ships Service claims to be owed $48,000 over unpaid bills and Inchape Shipping Services claims it is owed $86,000 related to port calls for the Transatlantic.


#178

What a great piece of PR bullshit … “active customers” of a shipping company with no ships.

The real crime here is that MSC even deals with this scumbag outfit. Unfortunately our great congress has been bought off by the likes of the “miserable little puke” so that non payment of crew and operating an unseaworthy vessel is not enough reason to prevent his getting another contract.

I would like to see the miserable little puke perp walked in chains by ICE agents to the next flight to Iceland. Make him the poster boy for the Cheeto’s immigration dreams. He scammed American workers, he scammed the US government, throw him out after confiscating everything he bought with his contract scams. Fire the MSC contract administrators who have allowed this fraud to continue for so long.


#179

Oh the horror.


#180

The US will never ratify the MLC, as long as it requires visa free travel and shore leave for any and all foreign seamen.


#181

Luckily for you there aren’t too many US seaman in foreign trade to retaliate against.
Maybe time to start a #noshoreleaveforUSsailors?

It wouldn’t hurt many merchant seamen, but maybe the Navy boys would get pissed off if they were not allowed ashore in foreign ports?

This paranoia about foreigners, especially seamen, is killing the American standing in the Maritime world.

If you are so afraid of terrorists, just look at what happened in Charleston. You don’t need to worry about imported nutcases, you got more than enough of your own.

Please keep them home though. We don’t want them travelling to other countries to spread their poison and Nazi ideas. Banning all Americans from entering other countries MAY be a bit too much, but it may come to that if you cannot rain in your crazies yourself.

PS> It is starting already: https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2017/08/13/Drunk-American-tourist-punched-arrested-after-giving-Nazi-salute-in-Germany/2781502636509/