Apprentice programs - SIU or AMO?

The old time maritime strikes fought for a union hall. This type of dispatching sounds like an old fashioned “shape up”

If your envelope is not thick enough. That’s the circumstance.


Seems to me it has everything to do with benefitting the company and not the membership if that is what you choose to call it. You are not describing a union or at least what most would consider a union. Your resume and record with the company comes into play as you progress up to senior officer status with the other unions, but that is definitely where the similarity ends if you ask me.

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Apologies if I did not correctly clarify. We are encouraged to pass our resume’s to any and all companies but are required to notify dispatch to prevent members making arrangements for backdoor shipping w/o the union being notified. My use of “clear” was not to infer that they would deny the membership that right, but they need to be kept in the loop, When I first joined, passing resume’s around to companies was not allowed and contacting companies even w/ union knowledge was not permitted (except as far as I figured out at the time for the top 4). Also if a member has been sailing with company A and scheduled to return to work, the union wants to insure proper notice is given to the company and not a sudden departure leaving the member onboard sitting w/o a relief and dispatch scrambling to fill the slot. It was a steep learning curve for me since I came from the non-union oilfield and never looked back. Once $65/ bbl oil is the norm and members leave for the “real” money, I hope they are blocked from ever returning and joining any union again but I digress.

If I could go back I would have gone this route with the Army or gone to one of the maritime academies and done the ROTC thing so uncle sam could have paid for my tuition.

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That seems unfair. Why should anyone be barred from working in any sector? I’m in the GOM now, but would consider towing or deep sea in a few years to experience other aspects of the industry.

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Again apologies, I did not clarify myself. I was referring to those members I know from the union I belong to, who either jumped ship in the past to took an oilfield job and then after being laid off during the oilfield downturn, came back again, hat in hand, were welcomed back with no consequences, many of whom never even bothered to take a leave of absence or freeze their union membership. Some even had left with DPO training and were not required to pay back the training costs (this has been addressed since then). I was not referring to mariners who started in the oil field and other maritime sectors and join the union as I did as well.

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“…not if they don’t have jobs.” The reason the AMO (and at the time of inception SIU)started the 2 yr engineer tech program is because there are always more openings for marine engineers, than bodies to fill them and the junior engineers from the ring factories (no offence) have so many shoreside opportunities, they do not stay longer than 3-4yr on the average. Being a decky the same cannot be said for us, hence there is no similar program for the deck side. Think about it, if there were no engineering jobs in AMO, why would the ring knockers themselves dominating the union underwrite this?

Owww those meanie AMO guys actually are trying to prepare them for the luxurious world of shipping which apparently includes breakfast in bed for MM&P mariners

Because by taking a job in a non-union sector (oil patch for example), you are undermining the union’s ability to get a foothold in that sector. Member has the right to go of course, but at a minimum should lose all seniority and accrued time and preferably be barred from rejoining the union.

Not sure what you’re getting at…

For once shooter I will have to agree with you shipmate.

Since I am not a lifelong union guy, I was not inculcated in the “help me, I have fallen and can’t get up” traditional old time union mentality. That being said I am a strong supporter of all maritime unions since the maritime industry in this country could not survive and could not apply the required political pressure to keep what little we still have via cabotage laws and the Jones Act. I have never served on Jones Act ships, preferring to sail overseas, but am very aware that protecting the cabotage laws is just as critical to the entire maritime industry regardless. I have nothing but the highest respect for the benefits the AMO has given us and have something to compare it with (the non-union oil field and seismic industry) unlike those who only know the union world. Having to travel a thousand miles to sit in a hall and book a room in a flop house sounds very nostalgic and appealing, but since I live in the twentyfirst century I will take a pass on that, thank you. I am very happy you dislike the AMO and stick with MM+P or MEBA. To each their own. In the end all of the union infighting only benefits the enemies of our industry and the proponents wanting to repeal the Jones Act.

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I have been in all 3 phases of employment over my career. Started with a great opportunity with SIU as a youngster. Upgraded at the Lundeburg school(Now PAUL HALL) numerous times as dues paying member for free tuition. Actually sold my beloved 65 Mustang to help with my personal expenses while upgrading for a deck license. Sailed as a mate and captain for a number of years before the company decided we were"Management". Luckily was 10 yr vested with Siu before that happened. That went on for some time until AMO came in and was successful in getting the officers and Chief engineers to join. Best decision of my life. We were able to use their facilities in Dania for the many upgrades the USCG and other entities were requiring at an increasing pace. The retirement and benefits I enjoy are priceless. Yes, my pension was frozen for obvious reasons early on in my retirement, still had a great insurance coverage and my check is never late. The management of AMO at the time I retired was not up to par, and ousted. They collectively put our pension in a not so desired position The “New” existing management had to take drastic measures to protect and grow our funds back to health, or see it go down the toilet as many other unions have seen the effects by not taking action and remain status quo. Is AMO perfect? No , but they are doing right by the membership, lobbying on the industry’s and memberships behalf. I would still be working today to even get close to what the"Non Union" company was offering in pension and benefits. Keep up the good work Mr Doell and your associates.

It’s still the Harry Lundberg school:

Thats good to know.I know there is a “Paul Hall Center” honoring his work. That “Harry Lundeberg” name has been retained is equally respected.

It’s impressive how many of my countrymen contributed to the labour cause for seamen in america. Too bad the fight against communism turned it ugly. (and the mafia)

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Funny, I just saw the new movie"The Irishmen" . Paul Hall and Seafarer’s were mentioned trying to organize the cab drivers opposing Jimmy Hoffa. It was pretty rough back then, regardless that this was only a movie on Netflix. That his name was mentioned raised my ears to the fact he was very big into organized labor back in the day. However, things are much different this day and time. We are all more well off with the oversight of present leadership.

Roger on all your last. I too have a high level of gratitude and respect for what the AMO has given us. As previously stated, I also came from non-union and the contrast is startling. I respond in a cynical manner to those “other” union’s members when they badmouth the AMO. I also ran into a lot of nepotism and corruption when I first joined the AMO as well when dispatch was located in New York, but there has been a lot of housecleaning and changes for the better since my joining circa 1998-1999. When I hear fellow union members complain that they actually have to pay for travel to Dania to get "free via our union dues) training, housing and superb meals I can only smile. Having started out as oil field trash myself, they don’t have a clue.