There was such a rapid expansion of their managed fleet, it was hard for them to find enough experienced senior officers. It takes a long time to become a seasoned tanker Mate or Captain.
They’ve been hiring chief mates off the street for their new builds.
Exxon officers did not have a union. The unlicensed were in the Exxon Seaman’s Union which, I assume, will disappear. Exxon Seaman’s Union had an affiliation with SUP. The Exxon unlicensed could join SUP, pay dues, then get some credit, I believe, toward a SUP book. I only knew one Exxon person who was paying the SUP dues. So the union affiliation won’t help most (or all) of the Exxon unlicensed.
A 30% pay cut for officers seems possible. 10 years ago Crowley offered me a third-mate tanker job at $1,500 per month less than SeaRiver was paying me. Plus, SeaRiver (Exxon) had the Exxon pension plan, paid days while traveling, paid physicals, paid courses, good health insurance, clothing allowance, etc. In fact, SeaRiver paid over $20K for courses for me to move from AB to third mate.
I think that’s largely because they’re looking for officers with container and RORO experience. They’ve also been trying to lure senior engine officers with LNG experience from TOTE.
Container and RORO experience doesn’t help when you now have the biggest Jones Act tanker fleet.
No, but it does when your company is building two ConRos to replace the tugs and barges on the Puerto Rico run. I’m not sure how many of the guys from the tugs will have the right licenses for the ships. That’s nearly 40 officer positions that will need to be filled for two crew rotations on two ships.
My apologies. My reference to them hiring Chief Mates off the street was for their rapidly expanding tanker fleet. I wasn’t thinking of the ConRos but your comment is spot on.