Is Union (MMP) worth it?

I am a 3rd mate currently working for a direct hire company. I am considering leaving and joining MMP (not interested in AMO because I’ve only heard about how poorly it’s run and that I’ll likely be taking a pay cut). Anyway, I think I am ready for a change and would like to choose when I want to work. I’m used to a set day rate and I’m already paid for a 12 hour work day every day with my current company. The issue is that I am not entirely sure how MMP contracts work in terms of OT and if I am actually guaranteed to earn as much OT as I want. I am also hearing a bunch of mixed things from people within MMP and from some of the anti-union individuals at my current job.

I am hearing success stories from applicants getting great contracts like Maersk ships within a couple days in the hall and making $800+/day and having a very chill lifestyle for like 75 days.

I am also hearing of people getting what they thought would be a high paying ship, just for OT to be cut and they end up not even reaching $600/day.

Not sure what to believe, or trying to get a high paying ship is all just a gamble. If anyone has some insight/advice and info on the going rate for some of the MMP ships are that would be greatly appreciated. I know I cannot expect the greatest contract right away, but I also hear getting a good ship as an applicant isn’t necessarily hard anymore. I just don’t know which ships are the good ones. (Good pay, decent run, generally decent crew, unlimited WiFi)

P.S. As a Tankerman PIC holder, the SLNC ships intrigued me because generally tankers make good money, but I’ve heard to stay very far away from these contracts if I join MMP. Is this true?

AMO doesn’t require sitting in a hall and most contracts are day rate so they can’t cut your OT.

1 Like

You will not get the gravy jobs as an applicant

That seems misleading. AFAIK the unions that use the hiring hall system do not require 'sitting at the hall".

How would you characterize it? Can you call the union for jobs that’s are in the board and take them?

Most of the time I sailed union I was permanent.

When I was shipping off the board I went in for job call then left after. Most of the senior members knew when the ship they wanted was going to be called.

But if you’re sailing off the board, say as an applicant like the OP, you’d be going to the hall, sitting and waiting for a job? One way or the other you’re going to a physical hall?

You can see the pay scales at the hall. I’ve seen the SLNC pay scales at the MEBA hall and they were pretty pathetic.

1 Like

That means showing up at the hall in person and sitting through job call. How is it misleading?


The contract for the MMP SLNC tankers is worse than the AMO tanker contracts but SLNC is also 12 hour day 120 day contracts (don’t assume you will get a relief right away).

Depends on the containership but some Maersk Captains will restrict/ cut OT to less than 4 hours a day. If you join MMP you need to have money set aside to possibly sit in the hall and/or travel to multiple halls just to get beat out but I also know people who have been extremely lucky every time.
Also, here is some other insight into MMP jobs
APL = 2 third mates, good rates but very low OT per week maybe 30 hours, 2nd mate you need a Med PIC
Matson= forget about getting a 3rd mate or 2nd mate job unless you are an A book
Patriots= low pay, security clearance, gov classes required

1 Like

Why don’t you consider joining MEBA? There is more upward mobility right now compared to MMP for 2nd mate and chief mate jobs. Also, the MEBA has way better training and retirement benefits compared to MMP.
If you want to work on tankers, you can easily get on and make decent money on the Keystone tankers, call the Houston MEBA Hall.
If you want to try containerships MEBA has one express ship called in MEBA halls right now but will be taking back 4 containerships from MMP in 2025 so there will be plenty of future opportunities as well.

The deep sea unions seem like a pretty good deal right now while there is a “shortage of mariners “ and jobs are plentiful. Minimal waiting in the hall, no need to work non-union for months to age your shipping card.

Very different from years ago.

Very different from years ago indeed. We’ve been seeing more applicants than almost anyone else out here, especially since 2020.

Haven’t seen them pick their own adventure like this in a long long time — despite the tall tales of misery.

With MMP, you do need to sit in a hall. Jobs are called from the hall that the current guy on board got the job from. So if the 3/M asking for a relief got the job in the NY/NJ hall, that job will be called there according to seniority. If no one takes the job there it then goes to all East Coast halls, minus Pompano. If still, no one takes the job it goes all ports.
If you don’t live in commuting distance to a hall you will need to find a place to sleep. It gets expensive.
My last job with MMP was with SLNC and that is one lowball contract on shitty ships. I left five years ago and went with AMO and never looked back. I’m a 3M too and I have had just as much work as I want. At AMO, the job board is on the computer. You see a job you might want, you call dispatch and he forwards your name and creds to the company. If they want you they call you. Simple as that. Stay away from the Sealift Inc ships. $600 a day with your OT and vacation figured in. FOS LMSR’s 3/M is about $800 per day. Never worked the tankers but they are always jobs on the board. Not too many PIC’s I guess.

1 Like

So a Master with both Tanker and Containership experience, what would be the best opportunity to sail 4 month a year via relief trips (30-50 days), MMP or MEBA. I would ship out of the Boston Hall. I would assume as CM?

Anyone know how much the MMP ROS contracts pay per day? I know you don’t work weekends or holidays and it’s a much more balanced lifestyle. So I’m assuming it’s much less than any regular contract.

With MMP, can you see the pay scale before putting in for a ship off the board?

I was always shown the latest contract when I asked for it.


Would you say Houston hall is good for 2nd mates?

MARAD ROS contracts for AMO, MEBA and MMP are all the same. There is a tripartite agreement between the three unions for the wages. The only difference is that MMP does not allow permanent 3rd mates on its vessels while the other two unions do.