A call to action regarding the foreign mariner issue in the GoM

I spoke with the USCG yesterday regarding Veoilia Environmental who is without question the most egregious violator of the legal right for American mariners to jobs in the GoM. Readers might recall Veolia buying the SIEM SWORDFISH recently and simultaneous to that running solicitations on RigZone for American mariners to man the vessel. Those solicitations are now gone and Veolia is claiming yet again that they did not get qualified mariners responding.

If you did respond to Veolia’s soliciations then the USCG needs to hear from you. Email is fine but it cannot be anonymous. You need to tell the USCG who you are and when you applied. Even if you didn’t respond, you can still tell the Coast Guard that you want a job there and as long as you have the qualifications required, then the USCG “must” investigate your claim. Without a direct message to the USCG then they can do nothing but I am told that they will if they get the information they need. We need a test case on this issue and if Veolia can be broken, then it will be a precedent to start the process against the other violators.

PM me for addition information on who to contact (I was asked to not post it directly to the forum)

LET’S BREAK THESE BASTARDS NOW!

come on people…I’m serious about this shit! I cannot be the only one? Get do this thing!

This VEOLIA job for an unlimited master with DP is currently posted on Rigzone:

Master
Employer:
Veolia ES Marine Offshore Division
Updated: Sep 7 2012
Desired Expertise: Captain, SMS/ISPS, Oceans/All STCW Certifications, USCG Master Unlimited.
Experience: 7+ years
Minimum Education: Tech/Vocational Cert.
Location: TX, US
Job Status: Active / Open
Please login to bookmark Job Description:
Experienced in Operation of DP vessels. Vessels engaged in oilfield subsea construction and dive support operations. Responsible for vessels safe and efficient operation, directing and supervising crew, vessel maintenance and compliance with the requirements of all regulatory and statutory authorities. Solid knowledge of SMS/ISPS. Has to be in possession of DP certificate.

Applicant Requirements:

In order to apply for this position, applicants MUST meet the following criteria. If your resume does not match these criteria, you will not be able to apply for this position.

Location: North America

On a related topic, is the Viking Poseidon US crewed?

[QUOTE=kfj;81594]On a related topic, is the Viking Poseidon US crewed?[/QUOTE]

Of course not!

[QUOTE=tugsailor;81587]This VEOLIA job for an unlimited master with DP is currently posted on Rigzone: [/QUOTE]

I am going to believe that this is purely coincidental but I do also believe that is is purely the same BULLSHIT that Veolia is now famous for! Post for positions claiming they are seeking American mariners but with no intention to hire ANY! They just claim that none of those who respond are “qualified” and just go right back to the USCG with a further demand for yet another waiver. Everybody who gives a shit and has the right experience and certificates should apply and then notify the Coast Guard that they did. PM me for the contact at the USCG Headquarters. Veolia must be told that they can no longer get away with these violations of Federal Statutes. Time that they start playing by the rules and DO RIGHT by Americans!

Please, PM me for more information.

They also have an AB job posted. Id apply if I had Unlimited

at the risk of sounding like a dick (once again!), what is the problem with having some foreign mariners in the GOM? Like most of you career Oil & Gas types, I have worked all over the globe in many foreign waters and never had to fire my whole crew to hire locals: US Flag vessels w partial US crews were allowed to work there. “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander”???

I dont understand the rage; maybe Im not alone and thats why so few have responded to the post??

just askin’

fair winds all.

[QUOTE=richard8000milesaway;81607]at the risk of sounding like a dick (once again!), what is the problem with having some foreign mariners in the GOM? Like most of you career Oil & Gas types, I have worked all over the globe in many foreign waters and never had to fire my whole crew to hire locals: US Flag vessels w partial US crews were allowed to work there. “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander”???

I dont understand the rage; maybe Im not alone and thats why so few have responded to the post??

just askin’

fair winds all.[/QUOTE]

because 43USCpart1356 and 33CFRpart141 make jobs on the OCS restricted to American workers except for all the bullshit loopholes that all these both American and foreign companies use to get around that. Many of those loopholes are legal so can’t be fought but many of loopholes are open to abuse by unscrupulous companies like Veolia and those can be challenged. That’s what I am trying to do here.

If you want to learn about all the history and the citations to the US Code and Federal Regulations there is a very old blog here I started on this subject filled with valuable information on this subject. I urge everybody to read it if you give a shit.

I got all what they are looking for, so I am applying.
Let’s watch what happens.

[QUOTE=c.captain;81608]because 43USCpart1356 and 33CFRpart141 make jobs on the OCS restricted to American workers except for all the bullshit loopholes that all these both American and foreign companies use to get around that. Many of those loopholes are legal so can’t be fought but many of loopholes are open to abuse by unscrupulous companies like Veolia and those can be challenged. That’s what I am trying to do here.

If you want to learn about all the history and the citations to the US Code and Federal Regulations there is a very old blog here I started on this subject filled with valuable information on this subject. I urge everybody to read it if you give a shit.[/QUOTE]

A most worthwhile read, interesting about McCain’s take on the matter. I will follow your blog but as I have been out of the action for a decade I believe there is a need for me to become more knowledgeable before I can post any input of value. I will be following this.
Good work, c.captain

[QUOTE=richard8000milesaway;81607]at the risk of sounding like a dick (once again!), what is the problem with having some foreign mariners in the GOM? Like most of you career Oil & Gas types, I have worked all over the globe in many foreign waters and never had to fire my whole crew to hire locals: US Flag vessels w partial US crews were allowed to work there. “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander”???

I dont understand the rage; maybe Im not alone and thats why so few have responded to the post??

just askin’

fair winds all.[/QUOTE]

Your input is both important and needed. Kindly do not stop because you think you don’t fall in line. If any good is to come out of this all members should freely vet their thoughts. I see this as a serious issue therefore I also see a need to keep posts respectful.

[QUOTE=Sweat-n-Grease;81610]A most worthwhile read, interesting about McCain’s take on the matter. I will follow your blog but as I have been out of the action for a decade I believe there is a need for me to become more knowledgeable before I can post any input of value. I will be following this.
Good work, c.captain[/QUOTE]

Everyone of us in the industry must remember that any opportunity for seagoing employment denied to an American mariner makes our position just that one little bit weaker. If each and every protection accorded to us was honored we might well have what the Norwegians have in their waters…4 weeks on and 6 off with pay! Now wouldn’t that be nice!

In order for American mariners to get their rights respected does take effort and action on all of our parts. That’s what we must do here with Veolia.

.

I do not have any problem with the occasional foreign flag vessel working in US waters on a temporary basis to fill some legitimate need, or to demonstrate superior technology, so long as they hire and train Americans on this superior technology.

Nor do I have a problem with a few highly skilled foreign mariners working in the US, provided that for every foreign mariner they bring in, they have to hire two American “trainees” at the same wage.

What I do have a problem with is companies displacing American workers, solely because it is cheaper to hire foreigners (with no health care costs, no unemployment, no maintenance and cure, and no right to sue if they get killed or injured). The companies are rigging the game to hire more and more foreign mariners just because they are cheaper, and/or have less perceived litigation risk.

I also have a problem with American boat companies being expected to compete against the the very heavily subsidized Norwegians. Norway uses its “maritime cluster” of businesses like a huge welfare program to create jobs. Norway is the second wealthiest country in the world on a per capita basis because it has a lot of oil wealth in relation to its small population of around 5 million people. How is our neglected American maritime industry suppose to compete against that?

If the oil companies could, they would hire mostly foreign flag boats, because they are either better (the Norwegians), or much lower cost and have no rights (just about everyone else).

If the American boat companies could, they would operate most of their vessels under foreign flags with foreign mariners — simply because it would lower their costs, and it is more profitable to do so.

If the American boat companies could, they would hire mostly Filipino, and Mexican unlicensed crew to reduce costs. While the American boat companies will always be willing to pay top money for a few Norwegian, European, and American captains and chief’s, if they could, most of the junior officers would be lower cost foreigners (Filipino, Indian, Polish, Ukrainian).

If you want to see what would happen to the offshore industry and the coastwise trade if it were open to foreigners, all you have to do is look at what happened to deep sea. The US is the largest trading country in the world and surrounded by oceans. The vast majority of our foreign trade travel by sea. Americans own more ships than any other nationality, but virtually all of those ships are foreign flag with foreign crews.

If we let foreign mariners in to work, those of us who are still working will be paying ever higher taxes to cover the cost of extended unemployment benefits, jobs programs, and welfare for Americans who are not working.

If we want to let some foreign workers into the US to lower costs, why don’t we start with foreign doctors and dentists. We have the highest health care costs in the world, the highest drug prices, and only middle of the road quality of care. I would like to see some of these price gouging American doctors and dentists standing in the unemployment lines — while I go to a better foreign doctors and dentists at much lower cost.

I’ll only say this…we’re the United States of America here. Not Nigeria or even Brazil which don’t have the national mariners to man all the vessels working in their waters. We have the ratings and officers in the country with educations, certificates and experience enough to do all the jobs these vessels require. Just this forum alone shows how many mariners in this nation want to work in the offshore sector and only need to opportunity to gain entry. There are enough of us at the highest levels to immediately fill those positions and plenty more available to join at the lower levels to gain the experience and senior licenses to move up. The fact that we are being in essence “locked out” is preventing a whole group of mariners that chance. The US not only loses in the immediate term but in the longer term as well because of this. The government also loses the tax revenues that foreign mariners don’t pay to the treasury.

In every respect, this matter should become a matter of national priority but the operators are where the roadblock is. They push back all the time against us. They win but we and the nation loses! THIS IS A SHIT DEAL WHICH DOESN’T WASH ANYMORE! THIS MUST BE FOUGHT BY ALL OF US!

just so these solicitations become a matter of record that can’t just disappear after Veolia pulls them in a couple of days:

Master

Employer: Veolia ES Marine Offshore Division
Updated: Sep 7 2012
Desired Expertise: Captain, SMS/ISPS, Oceans/All STCW Certifications, USCG Master Unlimited.
Experience: 7+ years
Minimum Education: Tech/Vocational Cert.
Location: TX, US
Job Stats: Active / Open

Job Description:Experienced in Operation of DP vessels. Vessels engaged in oilfield subsea construction and dive support operations. Responsible for vessels safe and efficient operation, directing and supervising crew, vessel maintenance and compliance with the requirements of all regulatory and statutory authorities. Solid knowledge of SMS/ISPS. Has to be in possession of DP certificate.

Applicant Requirements:In order to apply for this position, applicants MUST meet the following criteria. If your resume does not match these criteria, you will not be able to apply for this position.

Location: North America

Chief Off/Senior DPO, 1st Off/Senior DPO, 2nd & 3rd Off/DPO

Employer: Veolia Environmental Services
Updated: Sep 7 2012
Desired Expertise: Dynamic Position Officer
Experience: 3+ years
Minimum Education: High School/Secondary
Location: US
Job Status: Active / Open

Job Description:. In possession of Unlimited License, Oceans, also Unlimited certified DPO. Solid knowledge of SMS/ISPS codes is a must. Experienced in offshore dive support operations. Must be conversant with PMS programs. Experienced in operating KONGSBERG DP Class II systems. Required experience for Chief Off.- 5yrs., 1st Off.- 3yrs., 2nd Off. - 3yrs., 3rd Off. - 2yrs.

Applicant Requirements:In order to apply for this position, applicants MUST meet the following criteria. If your resume does not match these criteria, you will not be able to apply for this position.

Location: North America

Chief Engineer, 1st Engineer, 2nd Engineer & 3rd Engineer

Empoyer: Veolia Environmental Services
Updated: Sep 7 2012
Desired Expertise: Ships Engineer, Sat Dive Operations
Experience: 3+ years
Minimum Education: High School/Secondary
Location: US
Job Status: Active / Open

Job Description: In possession of Unlimited Tonnage/Horsepower License. Experienced in operating Diesel Electric Power Plants, European engines SULZER, MANN as well as CAT; Brunvoll, Rolls-Royce thruster systems. Experienced operator of DP Class II Vessel Power Management Systems. Solid knowledge of SMS/ISPS codes is a must. Conversant with PMS programs. Minimum experience in operating DP vessels for Chief Engineer position 5 years, 1st Engineer - 5 yrs, 2nd Engineer - 5 yrs, 3rd Engineer - 2yrs. Experienced in Sat Dive operations.

Applicant Requirements:In order to apply for this position, applicants MUST meet the following criteria. If your resume does not match these criteria, you will not be able to apply for this position.

Location: North America

Bosun

Employer: Veolia Environmental Services
Updated: Sep 7 2012
Desired Expertise: Ships Mate, Sat Dive Operations
Experience: 2+ years
Minimum Education: High School/Secondary
Location: US
Job Status: Active / Open

Job Description:Certified to perform duty in Deck Department of Unlimited Tonnage DP Dive Support Vessel, in possession of AB Unlimited Certification. In charge of deck work force. Responsible for maintenance and repairs of deck equipment as per Chief Officer. In charge of inventory and maintenance of vessel LAG equipment as per Chief Officer. Experienced Bridge Navigation watch keeper. Experienced in Sat Dive operations. Responsible to Chief Officer. Minimum required experience in this position 2 years.

Applicant Requirements:In order to apply for this position, applicants MUST meet the following criteria. If your resume does not match these criteria, you will not be able to apply for this position.

Location: North America

AB

Employer: Veolia Environmental Services
Updated: Sep 7 2012
Desired Expertise: A B Seaman, DP dive vessel
Experience: 1+ years
Minimum Education: High School/Secondary
Location: US
Job Status: Active / Open

Job Description:Must have AB certificate unlimited, 1 yr on board DP dive vessel.

Applicant Requirements:In order to apply for this position, applicants MUST meet the following criteria. If your resume does not match these criteria, you will not be able to apply for this position.

Location: North America

[QUOTE=c.captain;81644]I’ll only say this…we’re the United States of America here. Not Nigeria or even Brazil which don’t have the national mariners to man all the vessels working in their waters. We have the ratings and officers in the country with educations, certificates and experience enough to do all the jobs these vessels require. Just this forum alone shows how many mariners in this nation want to work in the offshore sector and only need to opportunity to gain entry. There are enough of us at the highest levels to immediately fill those positions and plenty more available to join at the lower levels to gain the experience and senior licenses to move up. The fact that we are being in essence “locked out” is preventing a whole group of mariners that chance. The US not only loses in the immediate term but in the longer term as well because of this. The government also loses the tax revenues that foreign mariners don’t pay to the treasury.

In every respect, this matter should become a matter of national priority but the operators are where the roadblock is. They push back all the time against us. They win but we and the nation loses! THIS IS A SHIT DEAL WHICH DOESN’T WASH ANYMORE! THIS MUST BE FOUGHT BY ALL OF US![/QUOTE]

I agree, give me some time to craft a letter to Senators Tester and Baucus, when I do I’ll post my letter on this thread - or - would someone on the forum craft a generic letter for all of us. I think both have merit, a personal one followed by a generic. As I posted earlier, I need to collect my thoughts but I’m dam well with you on this, c.captain. I’m not one to fool around on such a serious agenda. There are times to play and there are times to dig-in a be very serious. This is a serious time.

I have a question, or rather a thought, I need to post. I question the wisdom of someone who is fully qualified for employment with Veolia, makes out the application, produces an excellent resume, and receives from Veolia an approval to join. Should not that person then be obligated to hook-up, would a refusal to accept the offered work be against our best interests. Remember, I’m new to this, being retired from deep draft vessels for a decade plus never worked off shore. I’m trying to help out. I’m being cautious here.

[QUOTE=Sweat-n-Grease;81654]I agree, give me some time to craft a letter to Senators Tester and Baucus, when I do I’ll post my letter on this thread - or - would someone on the forum craft a generic letter for all of us. I think both have merit, a personal one followed by a generic…[/QUOTE]

My blog has a generic letter already included there.

I reproduce it here for yours and anyone else’s use:

date

The Honorable Senator [Congressman/Congresswoman]_____________________
State of _______________, [___th Congressional District]
United States Senate [House of Representatives]
Washington, D.C.

Dear Mr. Senator / Madam Senator [Mr./Madam] _______________

In this time of severe economic recession in our Nation the importance of employment for U.S. citizens is of critical importance. The loss of employment for Americans means reduced spending by families for goods and services which supports our economic health. Further, fewer working Americans means reduced revenue to our Government from payroll taxes. Of no less importance, Americans with good honest work to perform are prouder citizens which makes for a stronger and better country.

I mention all of this because there is a situation occurring in the U.S. today where good skilled jobs which are by statute and regulation reserved for U.S. citizens are being filled by foreign nationals. These are high paying industrial jobs in a sector of our Nation’s economy which is critical for both energy and military security. I speak of the U.S. offshore energy maritime support industry in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico from which 25% of our domestically produced oil and natural gas come.

The specific situation is that in recent years at least 25 vessels from foreign countries (mostly Norway) have been brought into the Gulf of Mexico to work as specialized support ships for oil and gas exploration, development and production. Foreign built and even foreign flagged vessels are not prohibited from working in the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) waters , but within the applicable laws which govern the employment of workers on the OCS are specific restrictions that such workers including officers and crew of the vessels working in its waters are to be U.S. citizens just as with any employment on land in the U.S.A. However through legal loopholes and subterfuge on the part of the owners of these foreign vessels, and/or lack of enforcement by the Federal Agencies responsible to enforce the law, these particular foreign vessels are operating in our sovereign territory with 100% foreign national crewmembers. This is directly contrary to the intent of the employment protections provided in the Outer Continental Shelf Act (43USC1331 & 33CFRpart141). As a result, no fewer than 1000 U.S. Merchant Mariners are denied high paying skilled employment. One means the vessel owners use to get through loopholes in the law is the use of the old excuse that there are no American workers with the skills to man these ships. This is a falsehood and as a certified and experienced American Merchant Mariner, I am available and ready to serve given the opportunity presently denied to me.

To close, I need not emphasize more the loss which occurs when U.S. citizens are unemployed. It greatly harms our economy, our families and the very fabric of our great Nation. I urge you as a member of The Senate Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety & Security [House Subcommittee on Coast Guard & Maritime Transportation] you have oversight in this matter and can investigate the U.S. Coast Guard Foreign and Offshore Vessel Division in the Coast Guard’s Washington D.C. headquarters. Look into how it is granting foreign manning waivers to vessel owners without investigation on their part and how both foreign and domestic vessel owners are circumventing the intention of the law and allowing this harm to come to American workers.

Thank you very much for your time to read this letter and for giving this matter your due consideration.

Yours sincerely,

[QUOTE=Sweat-n-Grease;81656]I have a question, or rather a thought, I need to post. I question the wisdom of someone who is fully qualified for employment with Veolia, makes out the application, produces an excellent resume, and receives from Veolia an approval to join. Should not that person then be obligated to hook-up, would a refusal to accept the offered work be against our best interests. Remember, I’m new to this, being retired from deep draft vessels for a decade plus never worked off shore. I’m trying to help out. I’m being cautious here.[/QUOTE]

One of the traps that a company like Veolia can apply is to offer an American mariner the job at such a low wage that he will automatically decline the offer of employment allowing Veolia to go to the Coast Guard with that excuse that American’s “don’t want the work”! I tried to point that out to the office at the Coast Guard HQ that these companies should be held to a standard for wages, terms and qualifications for employment lest these companies just keep finding ways to make sure that the applicants are automatically disqualified or are made to turn away.