Accepting a new job on a tanker and having to switch from meba to amo

I’m a relatively recent academy grad and I recently came into the opportunity to work as a 3AE aboard a tanker, only issue is that I’d have to switch from MEBA to AMO. I’m relatively new to MEBA (group 3 applicant), but the general consensus I’ve heard from dozens of people both apart and outside of MEBA is that it’d be better to stick it out where I’m at. The job I’ve been offered pays pretty good (Roughly 12k monthly base, 7k vacation benefits, 30/30 vacation days). I also heard through the grapevine of an opportunity to work a rotary gig as a 3rd on a MEBA ship coming up, which the pay is slightly better (not necessarily the base wage, but factoring in the different pay scales and what not). The only issue is my group status and my shipping card, which isn’t that old. It’s a real gamble since I could easily get outbid by most anyone with higher standing than me. The tanker gig is coming up soon and I’ve already gone through some of the hiring process and I’m pretty conflicted as to which I should choose. If I walk from the opportunity to work on the tanker then I will surely lose out on it for good, now and in the future. Really not sure what path I should take and could use some input

For the record I like MEBA, the freedom it provides to move around and work on different ships, stand night watches/daywork, and the possibility of getting to travel and see different places (other than just US ports). However, there is comfort in knowing I’d have something consistent as a permanent.

The union stuff shouldn’t matter with the recent jobs agreement and shortage of mariners. Work what you want to work. In my opinion, the wider range of experiences, the better, but go with whatever works best for you.

See the thread about MEBA and AMO having a new agreement to share each others jobs.

Thanks for the reply. I read through that entire thread a few days ago and thought that might be a potential avenue to explore. However, since I procured the tanker position directly through the company, I figured I’d only be able to retain my status with MEBA, and get the position, if AMO couldn’t fill it with there people and had to come to MEBA to put in on the open board. Having talked to a patrolman at my local hall, he pretty much confirmed my assumptions. Given the timeline involved, I’ve got to choose right now.

The unions tend to frown on jumping around with different unions. You can leave one and go to the other, but I would be careful about bouncing around.

The Crowley TSP tankers have a great contract and Crowley is known for taking great care of their tanker fleet. This is a great time to get in with Crowley and move up quickly through their ranks.

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Why won’t anyone take those jobs then? There’s like 10 on the board

I understand the AMO offer look tempting. But look at it long term. MEBA still has a very good pension plan and other pluses like the school in Easton.
You may move up to Group 1 with MEBA sooner with the shortages of engineers I’ve been hearing that are out there.
All the best!

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MEBA very much frowns upon it. I would expect you to be booted from the rolls if you get caught doing it.

You are right to not take this decision lightly.

THIS^^^^^. The new 3AE asking his question in the original post is perplexing because he should be on a ship working right now…making $$$, raising his license, and earning group/pension time. #1 goal is get 150 days, with #2 being 360 days for the 2AE license (which now doubles your job selection).

5-6 years ago, the open job board in halls had an average of 1-2 jobs on it…usually 1st/chief jobs with absurd requirements. G1 with ancient cards were fighting over fly-out no-pension shit jobs.

Contrast this to the last 2-3 years, a new grad 3ae/3m can roll into any hall and basically have a job within a few weeks, if not immediately (especially during summer time).

Given the question, and the lack of big picture thinking, I suggest the original poster rescind his application from MEBA and join AMO to enjoy all they have to offer. He obviously does not see the value in MEBA, nor does he see how there is essentially little effort/no risk to sitting in hall due to the availability of jobs.

Again, why are you even discussing this stuff with your patrolman? You should have taken one of the many jobs available already.

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Yeah I think you missed my point. I was pointing out if Crowley tankers were so good there wouldn’t be a million jobs on the board for those ships. You don’t see the “good ships” on the board hardly ever.

If I could go back in time I would’ve stuck with MEBA/MMP for the pension and better pay/benefits.

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Interesting. The vast majority of the Crowley stuff on the board this morning is their government stuff, only a couple of tanker spots listed.

Isn’t Intrepid crewing a weird subsidiary thing for them? I thought those were the Seariver ships?

Even “good ships” are on the board nowadays with the massive shortage of people. Even “good ships” are paying out bonuses. There is a severe shortage of people and no immediate relief and more ships to crew. I don’t think people understand just how short the industry is.

Yeah, guess I haven’t seen them on there as much as the other ships that don’t have stellar reputation as far as contracts and reliefs go.

Gotcha. Missed that you were talking about the AMO board.

Regardless, not really understanding why the question is even being asked. I guess these new acad grads are sitting in the halls waiting for the high paying container ship jobs instead of taking the first decent job they can get?

I think the TSP tankers have been sitting on the board because it’s still a pain in the ass to go overseas. I’m not exactly sure how these ships are running, I did see the Sun Coast in Corpus the other day, but given two jobs, one being $10/day less and one sending me to the Far East, I’ll take the pay cut to have better cell service and easier crew change. Not to Mention Stena Polaris is one of the lowest paying contracts in the union, replacing the Maersk Peary who lost the contract to her.

Now as to why Crowley’s coastwise fleet is clogging the board is a different question, and I have a hunch it was self inflicted. From what I heard in their last contract negotiation they screwed the Junior Officers saying, “If they wanted to get paid more, they’d get promoted.” Probably a number of factors, but with an attitude like that I’d promote myself to a different company.

Also still worth noting these folks graduating are less likely to have PICs, given they were cadets during Covid/SASH Stand down. No incentive to get a PIC either.


From what I understand Stena Polaris contract is significantly worse than the other Stena ships crowley reflagged for the TSP and that the “new” Stena ships are significantly higher paying and have Starlink or are in the process of getting starlink.

I’ve heard the same regarding the coastwise fleet. I’ve stayed away from tankers purposefully, but if I had started there why would I stay when I can make similar money elsewhere for less stress, better schedule, and not loading deadly shit in Brownsville when it’s 110 outside?

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YARN | Don't be ridiculous, Andrea. Everybody wants this ...

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To clear some topics up. Intrepid Personnel and Provisioning is their subsidiary that bargains with the union and pays the sailors’ wages. The SeaRiver ships are operated under Crowley Alaska Tanker a division of Crowley Petroleum Services as part of Crowley Shipping. There are a number of corporate veils and protections with Crowley.

The Crowley TSP ships are operated under the Government Services division which differs from Petroleum Services (Crowley Shipping) division. I have seen the wage numbers and they are pretty good.

The Jones Act Fleet of Crowley is hurting for people much like all other sectors of the maritime industry. The pay there is competitive from what I’m told. I did hear recently that they are offering $8K retention bonuses. Not sure if that is just for Senior Officers or all officers.

To make it personal, I spent 10 years sailing in Crowley’s Jones Act fleet before going shoreside. They always treated us well, paid well, kept you employed, and made sure you got any training you wanted. We were rarely questioned when it came to ordering things to keep the ships operating well. Overall, I had a great experience working there with some really good people.