<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt]<font face=“Times New Roman” size=3>Have a question about the 3 primary deep sea officer unions, AMO, MEBA, & MM&P. Which has the most work available for deck officers? <span style="mso-spacerun: yes] </span>Are they all pretty much the same as far as limiting how much time you can be at sea? <span style="mso-spacerun: yes] </span><span style="mso-spacerun: yes] </span><span style="mso-spacerun: yes] </span>Is there a big difference as far as wages and benefits? <span style="mso-spacerun: yes] </span>How about their management, understand the AMO senior leadership is currently in jail. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes] </span>Thanks</font></P>
Wow…this thread is gonna be hot for awhile.
<span style=“font-family: Times New Roman” size="3;]"Are they all pretty much the same as far as limiting how much time you can be at sea? "<br> <br>I don’t know where you got that idea but you might want to consider cutting down on your mind altering drugs. We’ll discuss your other questions once you get better.<br></span>
Reason I’m asking about sea time being limited was that I thought I read somewhere AMO had closed their books, and MSC makes the point that young officers are not limited to how much time they can spend at sea, unlike the unions, allowing someone to advance their license faster.
I worked for MSC for three years. It is sort of true that you can sail as much as you want with them, the truth is you will sail more than you want to. MSC, never has enough mates, so what ends up happening is that you never get relieved on time. I was three months over due for a relief one time and missed a wedding because of their lack of reliefs. Don’t believe them if they tell you the problem has been fixed, they claimed that while I was a cadet with them and later when I was actually employed by them.<br><br>On the other hand, the work isn’t bad. You will do things that you will never ever do on a regular commercial ship, you do get more port time than commercial (At least that was the case 3 years ago), and the ships are in fairly good shape. MSC is good for your first company, upgrade your license, see some the world, make some money, and then get the hell out. <br><br>As far as unions, MSC is represented by MMP. AMO is crooked, with lower wages, although they have more jobs than MEBA or MMP. MMP is a great union if you are a captain with a B book, I don’t have any friends that still sail with them, the old guys have that union locked down and getting a job is difficult. MEBA has worked well for several people I know and they all felt that it was pretty well run and decent to work for. When you get out of school you will probably work for all three at some point in your career. Nobody admits it publicly, but that is what usually happens.
<span style="color: rgb(6, 41, 113); font-family: Arial; font-size: 12px; line-height: 32px; ]<ul style="float: left; margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; list-style-type: none; list-style-position: initial; list-style-image: initial; ]<li style="margin-top: 0px; margin-right: 0px; margin-bottom: 0px; margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px; padding-right: 0px; padding-bottom: 0px; padding-left: 0px; display: inline; color: rgb(170, 170, 170); font-size: 11px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-bottom-style: initial; border-bottom-color: initial; ]civengrpe , [/LIST]</span><br><br><br>In my experience, Kingfysh is right on the mark.
Thanks to John & Kingfysh. I know nothing about the maritime industry, our youngest son is at a maritime academy and we’re just trying to get some idea of the industry. Noticed MEBA seemed to be focused on the engineering side and their training seemed to lack deck related courses. Another question, normally with union work - at least in the construction trades - you first join a union then you get the job. Is it the same way with Maritime? Or do you find the job first and then go with whatever union represents that company? How else would you find yourself a member of all 3 at different points in your career?
<strong>“When you get out of school you will probably work for all three at some
point in your career. Nobody admits it publicly, but that is what
usually happens.”</strong><br><br><br>I have been out of school and sailing out of a hall for the past year. Before getting my first ship I was at the hall during the monthly members meeting. During this meeting the members voted to remove a member from the union because they found out he had worked on a ship not affiliated with the union. This member was previously in good standing and had been with the union for over 20 years. <br><br>I would like to work in other fields of the industry such as tugs and osv work. However, I do not want to give up my standing with the union. Another item is that I do not have my tank ship PIC and it doesn’t look likely that I will get it in this union. If I get my PIC outside the union and they eventually see my new z-card with tank ship PIC endorsement wouldn’t they raise some questions?<br><br>Would like to hear how other people have dealt with this. Thanks.
“MEBA has worked well for several people I know and they all felt that it was pretty well run and decent to work for.”<br><br> MEBA is the oldest maritime union in the USA. Their Calhoun Engineering School is well regarded world wide. Top notch outfit and they take care of their members and the companies that have contracts with them. They are engineering oriented but have a MOU [memoradum of understanding] with MMP to supply engineers for MMP contracts and MMP will help fill with deck officers on MEBA ships. Professional organizations both.Don’t expect to start out with the best jobs as they reward on an experience basis. Put your time in, make good money and accrue pension credits as you gain experience. Not a bad life.<br>TEngineer<br>
civengrpe, I was an AMO member after college and stayed with them until I my company lost its MARAD contracts to IUM and put me on a tanker close to it’s OPA 90 date. Job were slim that year so I took a job offshore in the Gulf of Mexico… that dried up as well and they sent my ship to India. I tramped around SE Asia for 4 years until I got married then came back and joined MMP but after months sitting in the union hall I went back offshore. I would have rejoined AMO but at that time they had dropped dental coverage. The grapevine said MEBA had no jobs.
I agreee with most of what Kingfysh says. I’m an MMP member, and have never lacked for work. New applicants start out going to lower-tier ships (tankers, T-AGS, etc.). I’ve never heard of an applicant who was willing to work on a tanker wait longer than 4 weeks for a job. The one guy who waited 4 weeks took an AB job for 30 days, then they let him fill the next 3rd mate slot on the ship. <br><br><br> AMO’s got the jobs, no doubt about it. From what I’ve been told, the AHL tankers, the lowest paying ships in MMP, pay roughly what a moderate-to-better paying AMO ship does. I’ve got to say, however, that the MMP bennies are incredibly good- not as great as MEBA, however, as far as the pension, but the medical/dental/vision/training bennies are top notch. <br><br> The old guys absolutely have the big money MMP ships locked up for rotary jobs, but it takes about 5 years to become one of those guys. The books are open. <br> <br><br> For my part, when I want to work on my vacation, I work. I don’t sail in other unions, and I don’t sail with union-busters, ever. <br>
Civengrpe,<br><br>I would hate to give you any ill advice, but, what does your son want to do for a living?<br><br>I’ve sailed with AMO, some independents, and I’ve worked the oil patch. All of them have their pluses and minuses, but it’s really important to know what you’re son is looking to accomplish in his career at sea.<br><br>As for how a union works: After graduation, and receiving his license, he’ll have to become an applicant for any of the above three. After that, it’ll be a matter of catching his first job out of the hall. Is he deck, or engineering?<br><br>After being an applicant, he’ll have to buy his book, by either buying it outright over a period of time, or by sailing for a predetermined period of time as an applicant, and if the union offers it, he’ll be able to buy out his book with xxx amount of “qualifying” years. Up until that time, he’ll be just an applicant, and any book member can bump him for a job. Not that they would do that, but it does happen.<br><br>Do not be mistaken about the fact that whether it’s AMO (which once upon a time had been MEBA District 2), MM&P, and MEBA, they all have their cast(s) of characters, and have all had their ups, and downs over the years. That being said, I can honestly tell you that the “membership” of any, and all of these unions, are for the most part (and there are exceptions, believe me) first rate mariners, and some of the best guys that a guy can rub shoulders with. Period. <br><br>Certainly there’s a lot more to discuss when weighing, or discussing the options, but in doing so, it may be advantageous for us to know what his future aspirations are. And, can you kinda indicate to us which Academy he’s attending? Maine, Mass, Throgs Neck Tech, KP, Texas, Cal, or Great Lakes? That, believe it or not, does play a role in things, albeit a minor one.<br><br>Also, would I be mistaken in saying that a career in the military is also not an option?<br><br>Regards…and best wishes!
<P class=MsoNormal style="MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt]<font size=3><span style="font-family: Times New Roman;]<?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” /><st1:place w:st="on]El Capitan</st1:place> – Thanks for the input.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes] </span>He’s a deck cadet at GLMA.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes] </span>His immediate desire is to sail oceans and see the world, but long term who knows?<span style="mso-spacerun: yes] </span>At this point in his life he has no desire to sit in an office or spend time commuting. <span style="mso-spacerun: yes] </span>He has talked about getting a pilots license (<st1:City w:st="on]Chesapeake</st1:City> or <st1:place w:st="on]Sandy Hook</st1:place>) at some point in his career – he’ll have his Great Lakes Pilot upon examination at graduation.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes] </span>Think I’ll give him a call and have him log into gcaptain so he can ask specific questions.<br><br>Thanks again</span></font></P>
I am a GLMA deck cadet graduating in two short weeks. I’ll write for an unlimited thirds and first class pilotage for the five Great Lakes and three of the rivers. I have a dangerous liquids PIC, and GMDSS certification (as well as radar/ARPA, BSTW…). I have talked with members of all three unions and hear pretty much the same; AMO has the jobs, MEBA is a great union with a fair number of jobs, and MMP is the holy grail provided you can get in at the right moment and stumble into a job. <div>As of now I’m leaning towards MEBA. I will be returning to the east coast (either Baltimore or Brooklyn) upon graduation so Im not too concerned with sitting in a hall. I’m not entirely sure this will be a 20-30 year career for me. If it does become a long career I would hope to reach a Captains job aboard a Ro/Ro or container ship, or find my way into a Pilots job in the Chesapeake Bay region (grew up in Annapolis). </div><br>
As of right now, I’m not sure AMO is the way to go. The books are closed, and all of the companies that work through AMO don’t seem to be hiring. IAS, who crews for ARC, Marad, and some other companies, won’t even look at new applications because the books are closed at AMO. I have a friend who is going to work at TYCO in a few weeks, and the only reason they’re letting him in is because he talked to them back in October and joined AMO then. I think short term it’s better to go MMP or MEBA, but if AMO’s books open up, it’s another great option.
BarryR,<br><br>It sounds to me as if you’ve made your mind up that you want to go union. If that is the case, can I ask why? Also, is there anything that “lights” your fire? i.e. tankers, Ro/Ro, Containers And what haven’t you tried?<br><br>A 3/M is only a year away from a 2/M, and a 1600 Ton Master if you want it. Have you thought about the oil patch? At this point in history, that is where all the shaking and grooving is going on. Have you thought about becoming DP certified? Is a drillship, or the OSV world anything you’ve considered?<br><br>You’ve just spent the last 4 years laying the groundwork to arrive at this point, and I congratulate you for that. I’m just curious, if you’ve thought out all the options.<br><br>Let me know if I can answer any questions…<br><br>Fair Winds…
<div>Thanks for the responses,</div><br>I haven’t really found anything to light my fire. I have had the opportunity to spend time aboard three bulk carriers on the lakes, carrying iron ore pellets and coal. On the ocean, I spent 93 days on one tanker going between the west coast, Hawaii, and Alaska. I enjoyed my time aboard the tanker but honestly I would like to get a chance on every type of vessel out there. <br><div>I’m not necessarily dead set on a union job. I plan on taking 2-3 weeks after passing my license exam to try and get a job on my own, and if nothing turns up, turn to a union. The oil patch is an option I’m considering but I would like to get out to sea, and to foreign ports while I’m young without a lot of ties ashore.</div><br><br>
BarryR,<br><br>I would say that taking a good hard look outside of the union scheme would be in order, before you make a decision.<br><br>There are so many options for a newly minted 3/M or 3A/E today, that it’s almost mind boggling.<br><br>Are you into shiphandling? Do you like being on the cutting edge? Would watching a 20 ton anchor break the surface and come across the stern roller make you go “wow”? Would breaking ice in Antarctica, and pulling into McMurdo Station passing up the Polar Star or Sea make the hair stand on the back of your neck? Would holding station in 10,000 + feet of water, while drilling a well, impress the hell out of you? Would running resupply to the Antarctic Peninsula sound like a dream job? <br><br>Just curious…
El Cap: sounds exciting - but then there are the dirty jobs…son is below decks at NY Maritime. What opinions change when applied to the engineer jobs - unions, MSC, offshore, etc.? He’s had experience on MSC, a container ship, local tourboats, plus the training ship, of course. Summer cruise might be adjusted due to oil costs.<br>PS - Never heard Throggs Neck Tech…whatever floats your boat!
Weski - It’s true. There are dirty jobs no matter where you go. The 3 A/E on most ships, is tasked with taking care of the Marine Sanitation Device (aka shit tank), so I suppose it doesn’t get any better than that.<br><br>I think if he’s tried the list you gave, he should try a few more things before he signs on the dotted line, and commits. Offshore, and the operators with the specialty fleets, are most certainly worth a look, and I would strongly recommend someone trying it, whether they’re an engineer, or a decky. I have a 3 A/E that graduated Maine Maritime last year standing next to me, who wouldn’t go back deep draft for anything. But everyone has their opinion, and you know how those go.<br><br>I’d be more than happy to add some more to the mix, and maybe John can add some more with his thoughts and views, but I would suggest trying it, even if it’s just to experience it. Let me know if you’d like to know more, and we’ll take it from there.<br><br>TNT - Throgs Neck Tech - is the pet name used by the guys from the other side of the bridge, and a name I’ve used to rib my friends who graduated from there. Since I’m a hawsepiper, I suppose I can get away with it a bit easier…and yes, Maritime puts out some great engineers, with a solid background.