Another dumb union question

Hey! Im a Chief Engineer and was recently hired by Crowley. I’m on a ATB that mainly stays on the west coast. I’m very happy so far with Crowley and the tug I’m on but I eventually want to move to ships. Tankers or container , so my question is can I be in 2 different unions at the same time? I’m IBU right now but I was told that most of the ships managed by Crowley are SIU. I’m new to unions in general.


Congrats on your new job, Chief! I’d would caution not to join more than one union at a time. However, if you want to work on ships with Crowley, AMO is the union you should apply with. Application is free. Ask your crewing coordinator if there is a position available for you on one of the ships/tankers. A lot of folks make the switch from ATBs to tankers. Not uncommon. The industry in general is short at all positions, so it is a good time to transition if that’s is what you want to do.

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Crowley Tankers are AMO. There’s a mass exodus on crowley ATBs right now so put your name in to switch to tankers but be prepared to wait a few years for that to happen.

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There’s also a mass exodus from Crowley tankers so I’m doubting he’ll have to wait that long. Maybe sail as 1st for a while, though

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Everyone chasing money in the gulf?

I saw for engineers they are offering sign on bonuses and they bumped their day rates up significantly.

Yeah, pay is sub par, equipment isn’t in the best shape. New ballast water treatment systems have been a major headache.

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Thank you for the advice !

Thank you! I have heard some people complaining and talking about going to other companies. If it goes well here I’m hoping to stay.

I had an engineer that bounced between the MEBA and IBU (dredge work). I am not sure how that ultimately worked out. Can’t believe it was much of a home life as he worked towards retirement from 2 union plans.

Hey brother. With crowley, you’ll have to quit, (on good terms- 2 weeks notice etc) Then go through the new union to get on a ship. If you try to do it through proper channels you’ll be waiting forever. “Now yous can’t leave” applies heavily to the ATB Fleet. ATB/Tanker fleets have recently combined logistically (port captains, port engineers, agents etc etc) but crewing is still run by 2 different people. Good luck.

Hey! Thanks for the tip! This is the best info I’ve got so far. Yeah, so for me ships are just a personal career goal. I have a C/E limited (oceans) at this time but I’ve been kinda been itching to upgrade my license. I’m about to complete my first hitch with Crowley and so far everything has been great. I’m happy on the ATB’s and don’t want to give off the wrong impression. “Now you can’t leave” on the ATB’s ? Do you mean that if I quit ATB’s to get on ships would it piss off someone in management? I don’t want to rattle anyone’s cage this early in my employment with Crowley. I’m more the type to stay off the radar. This is my first union gig so I’m trying to get used to the politics. Thanks again for the advice!

What license do you hold? If it’s only C/E Limited, I’m not sure what you can get on the ship side.

Hey! I have a C/E limited (oceans) but I’m going to sit for 3rd A/E soon.

I don’t know how Crowley does their hiring, but usually the 3 A/E come off the board through AMO. Not sure how much competition there is but you’ll be in the same pool as everybody else.

I was wondering about that too. I’m my recent experience I was hired on directly through Crowley and had to join IBU .

Not sure I have that type of energy anymore haha. I wore myself out on OSV’s in my early 20’s and 30’s

Thanks! I’ve liked ships every since I was a kid. I was a strange kid to say the least. I have no experience on them. It’s has always been a personal career goal to work one them.

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That’s fine I’m looking to get a 3rd A/E spot anyway. I’m a good engineer but I’m not on a 1st A/E level at this time. I have no slow speed diesel experience. I have never worked on a ship. Just tugs and large OSV’s diesel electric.

I’m IBU, when I got hired with Crowley I went through Crowley then joined the Union.

Way back in the olden days (the 80s), Crowley hired me and then I joined the SIU.