How is the economy, current times affecting your career?

Daily we read the horror stories of how Americans are losing their jobs, homes and stability in general. Recently, I have taken a pay cut that I could not have imagined possible several weeks ago. The company I work for is tying up boats left and right, close to 30 last time I checked. Rumors from the office are that several rig moving, anchor handling boat companies have gotten together to drop wages in the gulf and others will soon follow. This is inference at this point but, the remote possibility of validity frightens me.

I have called around and the office personnel I spoke to say their market is strong and growing. I would like to hear from some of the guys out there doing the job. Are you guys working less? Are you spending more time at anchor or at the dock? Is your company tying up equipment or talking about lost wages or jobs?

The company I work for is in the GOM and as history shows, the ups and downs are a part of life down here. Is this the beginning of the next low for the GOM mariner? Or, is the company I work for the exception? I will not go to another company in the GOM (with the exception of one or two) in fear of the finding myself in the same situation a month from now.

I find out tomorrow if Chouest can put me on and it seems to me that they are diversified enough to withstand all but a complete collapse of the industry. Crowley is a pretty sure thing but I am not really in a position to work even time. I would seriously consider an offer from Bouchard but they are not currently hiring. So back to the reason of this post:

What is going on on the boats? Are you guys seeing anything that would make you think things are slowing down?

In this forum we tell it the way it is. This is the best source of information available to me and others like me… What is going on people? Talk to me.

A friend of mine at Crosby just called me. They took an across the board 30% paycut. I assume that is who you work for also because you stated you recently took the same pay cut. He also told me that Choest was getting ready to cut pay also.
I am on a rig moving tug and we have been very slow this year. No boats have have been laid up and pay has not been cut YET. However what one does the rest generally follow.

Here in Fourchon it looks like a parking lot.

Yep, Crosby. I’m sorry to hear that about Chouest. I thought that they would have a better chance to weather the storm for a while. The PNW and the NE coast is looking more and more attractive.

I hope you are wrong about others following Crosby. This thing can go downhill a lot quicker than it came up.

GL thanks for the reply…

Although my company is based in Belgium and mainly working on the North Sea I see the same things happening here:
Several boats get parked near the head office and the crew is send home, it won’t happen to me as the ship I’m working on has a 5 year charter from a big oil company but it’s worrying none the less.

I have stayed in touch with several friends and business associates in the trucking world …Just in case I may have had to go back to that industry…

Trucking has always been a pretty good barometer of the economy…It slows down first and picks up first, as the demands for goods increases…Usually 3-5 quarters ahead of what you usually see in the economy…

I saw the slow down and freight volume languish in early 2008,we had a slight spike through the summer but nothing like we had had in the past… …

Now my sources are telling me that this will be the worst 1 st quarter that they have experienced in many years…The freight volume hasn’t seen lows like this since the early 80’s…My particular sector was in flatbed and equipment hauling…But I’m hearing this from all sectors…

The company in the I work for in the GOM has a number of crew andwork boats tied up. Several boats have been locked own, and new hire captains laid off. Some boats have gone to a 14/14 schedule. I’m half way through a 28 schedule, and am not sure what to expect. Our boat is presently working.

There are a lot of boats tied up at Fouchon, but I can always expect to meet at least five or six other boats under way within 1/8 mi of Belle Pass 1 & 2…

3 months ago gCaptain had 2 high budget advertisers and 4 smaller ones, a loan application in the final stages plus solid promises by 3 large companies to start advertising in early January.

Well, we haven’t lost any existing advertisers (we send them too much quality traffic to pull back) and even picked up a bunch of smaller ones but the high dollar prospects have all reconsidered. Plus the bank loan fell through and our current source of capital (Mr. Amex and Visa) pulled back our credit limit to amount owed.

Luckily, this site is doing well (financially) on its own, the bad news is it’s not enough to fully meet the needs of our employees AND fund our growth. Rather than laying anyone off or cutting back the budget, we found a buyer for our skiing sites and I’ll be heading back to sea part time.

Certainly not the end of the world, but unless an Angel Investor swoops in with a check, you’ll be hearing less of me in the coming months. Not to worry though, the new guys are top notch and some big gCaptain projects, built for mariners, are moving forward!

I hate to blame anything outside our control for these bumps in the road but ChEng is right… this economy sucks.

Our company (Energy Loss Adjusting) just had our best year ever. We are certainly busy. I was just in the Fourchon/Houma, LaRose area and did notice a whole bunch of Crosby boats tied up. A lot of the slowdown offshore is a reflection of the low price for oil just now.

Shellback, you are an ex trucker too? I had my own rig until last May, but it all went away with the economy, fuel costs, and taxes; I went back to school, used my Navy background, and got my AB (Unlimited), RFPNW, Lifeboatman, OS, Wiper, and FH; can someone tell me where the jobs are? I’ve sent resumes out by the dozen, and haven’t gotten one hit back yet.


Chris M.

[QUOTE=Cmannoia;44480]Shellback, you are an ex trucker too? I had my own rig until last May, but it all went away with the economy, fuel costs, and taxes; I went back to school, used my Navy background, and got my AB (Unlimited), RFPNW, Lifeboatman, OS, Wiper, and FH; can someone tell me where the jobs are? I’ve sent resumes out by the dozen, and haven’t gotten one hit back yet.


Chris M.[/QUOTE]

Ya Chris I sure was…22 years worth …I owned my own and had small fleets for 16 of them…

In 2005 , I knew it was time for me to get out…It took until Nov 08 before I did and got lucky and sold the whole company at once…Then I did exactly what you are doing now…Used my Navy experience and went to school…Got my AB and a 200 Ton license and now I am about half way through the OICNW courses for mate…

Through some trial and error I landed my current job which coincidently was in March of 09 the same time this thread was started so it’s not impossible to land something in slow times…Patience and persistence is the key and a sense of humor won’t hurt either…As I said before on another post ,in my opinion,you need to get face time with the people that do the hiring…Good luck

Feel free to PM me any time …

I’m taking my assesments now for my OOTW, no one who I know (maybe 20 or 30 people), who qualifed the year before has failed to find work, though perhaps not the jobs or conditions they would have liked. I’ve just been offered a job in the north sea for when I finish, not a firm with a great rep mind.

On another note only, joined this site a week ago, loving it, unbelievably helpful for a new starter!

I’ve said it before here and I will say it again and again and again…Hundreds of jobs which 33CFR141 say belong to US mariners are being held by foreign labor

Many of these vessels are see in Fourchon often:

-Veolia Environmental (DSV KINGFISHER)
-Epicv Diving (DSV EPIC DIVER)

These are only those that I know for certain as working in the GoM. How many others is something which is anybody’s guess? Each is owned by an Amercian Corporation and even though they fly foreign flags they are still required to man their vessels with American mariners just like MODUs in the Gulf but they don’t have to because they have the USCG so buried in their own pile of bullshit that there are no qualified US mariners available for them the hire! A greater stinking load I have yet to experience!

I haven’t even touched upon how many Norwegian owned vessels are working in the GoM with all foreign labor. The Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act intended the entire Gulf of Mexico offshore industry become the province of US labor but NOBODY HAS EVER CHALLENGED THESE COMPANIES FOR THEIR PRACTICES WHICH HARM AMERICAN MARINERS! When the Hell will people wake up to what has happened, what is happening now and what is going to happen for the foreseeable future?

Sorry to climb on my soapbox again, yet someday this can change but it is up to [U]all of us[/U] to make that happen or just be ready to take it you know where again like every time in the past!

How much was your pay before and after paycut?

Whose pay?

Cheng said:

Recently, I have taken a pay cut that I could not have imagined possible several weeks ago.

What was your pay before and after the pay cut?