Unions


#1

Am hoping to hear stories from any of you that have worked union.

Sailors Union of the Pacific?

Seafarers International?

MEBA?

MM&P?

AMO?

ILWU?

United Steelworkers?

IBU?

Exxon Seamens Union?

Others?


#2

MM&P, and IBU. No real stories to tell, except that they’ve both been mostly a positive presence.
I’ve also worked non-union, and there are some aspects of that I enjoyed and others I didn’t. I like the concept of seniority when it comes to job security, but I hate the concept of seniority as the only determining factor for promotion from Mate to Master, which was the case at one employer I had. Other union employers I’ve worked for have had the contractual right to promote based on merit, which I prefer.
I have been at union companies where the relations between management and labor have been harmonious and productive, and at companies where it has been poison. In general, I support the workers’ right to choose whether or not they are represented by a union. I don’t share the genetic hatred of unions that is the norm in the GOM, but I also don’t see why a company that takes good care of its employees should be have a union forced upon them. It’s complicated.


#3

I’m gonna completely agree with Capt_A. I’ve sailed tugs and ships with SIU (licensed and unlicensed) and with AMO. I’ve also sailed a lot of non-union. They are not the answer for everyone, but they are also not the ultimate evil. The thing to remember is that companies staffed with lawyers and accountants do not have the mariner’s best interest at heart. It’s up to the individual to find what works best for them, and get the best working conditions they can. If you feel well treated by your company, no, there is no reason to unionize.


#4

MMP had Cadillac dental insurance and their training facilities are top notch. All had to be earned through sailing time and contribution by me and the employer, as I recall, I didn’t use the Medical but I read through it and it looked good although the one time I did need it the ailment wasn’t covered.


#5

I worked oilfield, towing and salvage, processing and research vessels from '69 to '85. I then joined the SIU. My expirence has been mostly positive. Our plan G insurance used to be the best. Now we have better than average insurance. The pay and benifits vary between the different companies and contracts. I’ve worked under the better inland contracts equal time and am elegible to retire now @ 55 without taking a Walmart greeter’s job. Seagoing tugs, ATBs, dredges and the odd ro-ro come under inland division.
A friend just retired his book and took a non-union job for a few dollars a day more. He was surprised find that he had to pay $600 @ month for the same level of insurance that had been included in his last contract.


#6

I have also worked both. IBU tug & Barge. Insurance was top notch and all paid for as long as you worked a regular sced. The unions power was a bit diluted however by the fact that the officers are MMP. The company new how to divide and conquer to get a new contarct through. Working hours and conditions were well regulated by the contract and generally followed. On the other side, I work for a good company in GOM that takes good care of us and provides first rate equipment to work on. In this situation I don’t miss the union. In the end I’d have to say that even though my union experience was good, all the union could absolutely guarantee was that I would pay due’s.