Best Time to Join a Union

Being an SSO has absolutely nothing with joining any of the unions and will neither harm nor help you. If you do decide to be in that program keep in the back of your mind that many of the classes taken at the respective schools will earn you points. At least that is the case at the MEBA school so I assume it is true for the others. If I recall correctly you need something like 50 points to earn a “retirement” year. (I could be wrong on the number) Points are earned on active duty training, courses taken, weekend drills etc.

I leave it to others who are a SSO, to add comment.

MSC is not a job…it’s an adventure

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When I first hired on to MSC, a Chief Mate teaching at the school in Jersey said “MSC has average pay and bad vacation.” But its a good place to get experience and raise your license. One piece of advice, if you are deck side try to diversify your experience. If you are a watchstander, try to get involved in the cargo ops and vice versa if you work deck side. If you go union afterwards, you will need to do both jobs at once which can be a challenge if you spent all your time on deck or in the wheelhouse.

And get your PIC if you can.

i’ve been in SUP, and the firetenders/boilermen/etc. mafia, (damned good outfit) can’t remember the acronym, but I think steamer said above (25 yrs. ago) and he is right as are the others who say sooner the better. As I retired from the govt. it didn’t matter much … and that govt. union is pretty worthless, i’m not even sure one has to pay dues?

MFOW, as I recall. . . . .

Yea, that’s it. Did my 90 days aboard cape fear & forgot to get sea time. Asked if i was ready to join but declined, pushed on for license. Good money but a lot of guys stay there, don’t move up. Tight outfit.

I sailed on 6 ships with MFOW personnel in the engine room. I can’t recall anyone that wasn’t a fully capable member of the crew. Lots could have made excellent engineers, but were happy to stay with the MFOW. I did sail with some engineer that did move up, though.

Correct me if I am wrong. been a while sirs. MFOW, is Marine, fireman, oiler, watertender? I had an endorsement similar to that way back when,

yup, that’s the one. also cmakin, i worked a matson ship there too. back in the ‘good ole days’. sigh !

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Yup. A quick google gives their website.