An Open Letter to Edison Chouest Offshore and Gary Chouest


Be very, very careful here. Trust me, I have experienced and completely understand your plight. But make SURE you have a gig before you leave - milk that job search while getting paid for as absolutely long as you can because you gotta know - there are absolutely NO guarantees that you can get hired for ANYTHING out there right now. If you are financially prepared and the stress is making you ill, then maybe, but otherwise, keep fighting the fight until you land something. And SAVE. Thank God I did. It took me a LONG time after I got laid off to find something. I had a lot of false starts and missteps, etc etc etc. Even if you are financially gonna be ok for a while, it is a soul sucking, humiliating experience trying to find a job in this market. Thankfully I am trending up. Take their money, do as little as you can to keep your job, down size your life now before you get that call cuz, believe me, NO ONE is getting so much as an automated response from an HR department. You have to know someone. The more experience you have, the more of a liability it is, too. Keep that job while you have it, fight the good fight, find something on land.


Good luck with your upcoming hitch - Stay Safe. Headed out on a drillship?


Thanks and yeah. I temp for Spencer-Ogden right now and am heading to cover somebody doing military reserve duty.


I have little sympathy for the oil industry workers that bought into the anti worker “right to work” BS. You had your chance to organize in a democratic way to have a voice in your fate but chose to depend on Jeaux Boss to determine your pay, seniority rules, 401k plan and pension. Granted in an economic downturn no one can help you but at least the union guys have a pension to fall back on and believe me had ECO been organized they couldn’t have gotten away with deciding to retroactively not match the 401k. Chouest and family still have their Gulfstream jet, yachts and mansions because they put money aside for themselves, paid of the right politicians and CEOs. Your fate is determined by the 1% and you made that decision over the last many election cycles. But do not worry things will be better soon because there will be no abortion, no Obamacare, no illegal immigrants, no gays in your bathroom…you know all the things that caused the economy and the oil business to go down the tubes and put you in this situation.


People who do this deserves all the shit they get. Have some fucking pride in your work or quit. To wreck the vessel just to “stick it to the man” is childish behavior. All you accomplish is to leave a mess that the next man working on the vessel has to clean up.


Well, you can take comfort in the fact that they all are surely paying for it now.


“Try it. You may like it. It’s yummy in your tummy!”YoGabbaGabba

But seriously. I feel for your situation. Workers of the world unite!


Workers cannot unite! That is a freedom only corporations like the OMSA, American Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable etc., can have everyone knows that. God, the US would perish if a worker could have an organization lobbying for them, paying bribes for them like Jeaux Boss has. Workers exist to work when and where and at the pay they are given by Jeaux Boss. Anything else is socialist.


I need not preach to you my friend nor you to I. You and I both know this started during the days of Ronnie Raygun when he busted the ATC. Since then, unionization has steadily lost the ground it won during the Great Depression through WWII and the boom years afterwards. Unions and other workers collectives have steadily ended up in backwaters of the economy with their only real strength representing government workers where the bosses don’t play with the same rigged deck as in business. Business has worked with great vigor to paint unionization as something ugly which is against the interests of the worker and the American worker has been more than happy to be swayed by the propaganda. Nowhere, but nowhere is this better witness by how the GoM vessel operators made damned well sure no whispers of unions in the Gulf would be permitted and now a couple of decades later, it is the worker who now bitterly feel the pain of that decision. But because they did decide to lie down with Joe Boss…it is their own fault that they can’t find a way to get rid of the fleas.

my how the world has changed since I started saying all this in 2008? back when everyone and their brother screamed for me to shut up and sit down…

but they ain’t screaming now…except in pain


Those of us who have lived long enough to see the demise and demonization of workers expressing their rights know that it is only a matter of time until working folks wake up and realize they are powerless individually but powerful when they organize. Other countries have workers on their board of directors by law and their companies seem to do well. The US worker in the current state of affairs had rather eat his shit sandwich than risk running a foul of Jeaux Boss. It will take men and women of courage to change the situation, Sadly, courage is lacking among the brain washed. They will shuffle off to land jobs while the offshore jobs are filled by H1 B foreign workers. Chouest and his minion Trump do that already with their businesses on land. Chinese, Romanians, Filipinos will be coming soon to take the offshore jobs also. All part of the neo- liberalization promoted by Chouest and his friends.


You two love to hate Trump but let me ask you this, what did glorious Comrade 0bama do for the USMM while he was president. He was in office for 8 years vs Trump’s so far 8 months. Maybe I’m forgetting, but it didn’t seem like much. At least Trump has shown interest in updating the nation’s waterway infrastructure.

Here is another question: why are the maritime unions in a race to the bottom? I read on the SIU groups on FB about people losing OT hours, watchstanders who formerly didn’t have to work on deck while at anchor who now do. People losing penalty pay (or some other type of extra pay) for having to work in cargo tanks. The general consensus among them is the union is no longer working in the mariner’s interest but is now working in concert with the companies.

I’m no longer as against unions as I once was, I’m starting to think that they are a good thing IF they do as they are intended to do and serve their membership and help them get the best deal they can without strangling the host. But it seems many unions have lost their way.


Number one Obama has nothing to to with mariners, he barely knew they exist he was useless.
Number two unions are making concessions and trying to have a voice in preserving jobs. That is business and in this case the union companies often give good advice on where cost saving cut backs can be made, Union members WANT their company to succeed, it in in their own best interest, Cuts may have to be made but it is nice they are looking at cutting penalty pay and dirty work pay before cutting base pay. THE GOM mariners have no say they get raped depending on the price of jet fuel and property taxes that must be paid for massah’s mansions and yachts. Massah is happy because he knows you’re all out there doing little jobs tryingn to feed your familes and when he calls you you’ll come running back and say "Lawdy, lawdy I is glad to be back on yo plantation massah ! Let me kiss you feet, Lawd, Lawd lawd we po folks so lucky we got you rich folk to take care
of us


I dont think a union can make an industry work better when there is no money to run that industry.
Out here in Asia one full crew on cut wages are maintaining 19 other boats tied up to them, so 19 x 2 sets of crew have been fired


Well, it’s not like there is a lack of money in the oil business. Google “oil company profits 2017” for a laugh or a cry. And we all know that none of those pirates declare as profit a single penny that they can’t hide or disappear through a government welfare write-off.

Does anyone still wonder why the first thing that little nations trying to gain some kind of independence do is to nationalize their oil industry? It is no secret that oil company profits trump (no pun intended no matter accurate it might be) the fiction of democracy and open government.

What’s bad for American workers is good for business and politicians.


the world is drowning in oil, who needs to do any exploration drilling
You have noticed the oil majors dont own rigs and boats


I hate to defend Chouest but the only way they’d pay more is if they laid off more people to do it. Making little money is better than making no money.

I don’t see why it matters what other companies are paying captains. You got your mates license and never sailed on it so not only do you not have a master license but there’s no way in hell you’d get a job as captain.

You’d be lucky to get any job right now, being paid $350 a day as a brand new mate with no experience would be high pay.

Keep in mind that there are people significantly more qualified than you that have been out of work for the better part of a year or longer.

Doubtful. Most places work even time exclusively.


No but they own the start/stop switch. The business is a zero sum game, where do you think those massive profits came from in a world with a glut of low priced oil? It came from the pockets of coonass workers.

Back to the OP’s rant … the $42 million Massa Gary got from the State of Louisiana (and another $36 million from Mississippi) came out of the pockets of the bayou dwellers who are now living on handouts from the few remaining taxpayers in that poverty stricken swamp.

I guess there might be some schadenfreude there since those coonasses and Jeux Boss ranted against unions and welfare in general. Jeux bribed his way into hundreds of millions in corporate welfare and now Bubba is living on the dole because he hated the idea of some kind of socialist plot to give him protection against predatory employers like Jeux.

Maybe some of those laid off coonasses could fill the thousands of jobs Massa Gary promised Louisiana and Mississippi to get those handouts? Wasn’t he supposed to give it back since he defaulted on the employment agreement he signed to get the cash?


how come the GOM is pumping as much oil as it ever has but nobody employed?
Several huge projects came on line but none of the boat owners were looking so they just kept borrowing money, building boats and DOH!
Tons of oil company staff also have lost jobs, the Operators are making profits because there is no current investment, investment means deep water exploration, maybe they will never need it again.
More then 150 new vessels sitting at docks in China waiting to hit the market, ouch!
Who would pay top money for a glut of anything, oil or boats or crew


I’m neutral when it comes to union or non…I will say if I divulged my personal experience you would be surprised that I am not anti union.
From what I’ve seen most of my friends who sail union lose a little bit more with each contract negotiation. So for someone thinking that a union is going to protect them thru thick and thin is a bit unrealistic.

Exactly. I bet there are plenty of mates working as abs on tugs waiting to get their toar signed off, and most likely for less than 350 a day.


The Monday morning Mr. Gary email is easy enough to find on the ships computer…