Maritime Executive magazine plays t-ball with this one and still strikes out


Correct, they only care about getting a crew onboard. But if no one will join the ship for what they pay them they need to pay more.

for as cheap as possible.


I know English isn’t your first language so I’ll give you a second chance to read my comments.


Oh come now. I know how to read English. How’s your second language skills??

You are an expert in quoting only part of a post, (or even part of a sentence at times) to suite your point.
I replied to your post above and explained that in Europe the pay scale for seafarers are mostly set by collective bargaining, unlike in the US, especially in the GoM.


Yes there are no restriction of where a seafarer originate from, as long as he/she has the required qualifications and aptitude.

BTW; I don’t think there are a lot of Mongolian seafarers though. Did you sail with any??

That is true, most ships are owned by companies in the rich world and manned by people from the “3rd world”, however you define that. China is both a main supplier of crew and owner of ships, incl. under FoC flags, but are they a “3rd wold country”?

There are also several developed/rich countries with “open registers” that is NOT regarded as FoCs. (Singapore, Norway, Denmark, France and others),
They allow foreign crews, incl. Masters. Many are from so called “3rd world countries”, but I don’t see that as a lowering of the safety standard in any way. They are held to the same requirement of training as national crews and the ships have to meet the same rules and regulations.

Some years back I visited an Aframax tanker at Senipah Terminal , East Kalimantan, Indonesia. She had a typical Norwegian name, was flying a Norwegian flag and registered in a small town in Norway called Grimstad.

When I came to the bridge I was met by a smiling man with a turban, Capt. Singh, who welcomed me on board. He had served the same Norwegian company since 2nd Officer on a variety of ships and all over the world.
All the other officers on board were also Indians or Pakistanis, while the crew were all Filipinos.

Not an unusual situation since Norway instigated their “2nd register” NIS. Wilhelmsen even had that same arrangement on their ships under Singapore flag long before that.

In short; I don’t think calling all “3rd world” seafarers “villagers” is very becoming by fellow seafarers, no matter where they come from. Even if they are not paid US or European wages.
They are no less professional, in most part. I’m sure you will agree.

PS> Yes I can read English. And yes I know you didn’t do so.


Yup, I sailed with a Mongolian guy. He was from Ulan Bataar.

Foreign flagged cruise ship, I was the only US guy on there.
The company would hire the cheapest they could get. We had Tanzanians, Jamaicans, Maldivians, everything. 42 different nationalities.

The whole idea, my entire time there, was for the company to hire the cheapest possible. Never mind skills, seatime or even the ability to speak English.


Yes Cruise ships are a special case, with crews of >1000 but mainly in the hotel service. You don’t need English to wash dishes or make beds I guess.

BTW Most large Cruise ships are now American owned and operated, but with few Americans, except in the entertainment section. There are still a few Norwegian Captains left from the days when many of the Cruise ships were Norwegian owned and operated.

PS> I know some Cruse ships hire Gurkhas from Nepal as Security Guards because of their honesty and reputation for fearlessness.


That doesn’t rule out supply and demand. If the supply of workers were low enough to be restrictive then the collective bargaining unit could demand higher pay.


Sorry to have to teach you English, but “collective bargaining” means that both side put forward all arguments to their advantage to try to obtain as good result as possible for their case.

The latest collective bargaining session for Oil Workers in Norway was finally settled by Government instigated arbitration in May this year:

In this case, of course the Employer side brought out the present low oil price and subsequent low activity and the Worker side tried to maintain the earlier agreed annual wage increase intact.

In any case, this is a luxury problem, between big Oil Companies with deep pockets, against the highest paid Oil Workers in the world, with the shortest working period to off-time (2/4) and with the highest standard of living quarters anywhere. (Single room with natural light for everybody as an example)


If those “open registers” were equal in all respects of cost, crew wages,and quality there would be no need for them to exist. would there?

The only reason they exist is so that “1st world” flag states can make money by lowering the standards that apply to the conveniently flagged second registers.


To me Collective Bargaining means workers bargaining collectively starting with the assumption that the management are usually assholes who won’t grant good wages and workplace facilities on their own accord. The management hates collective bargaining because workers in a collective block are a solid force. Alas, collective bargaining is now enshrined in the UN/ ILO procedures.

The history of the labour movement is replete with incidents of management never giving in easily. Every benefit had to be fought for. The struggle is never ending.

The word ‘collective’ is a socialist/communist thing.


You always throw this term around like it has some weight behind it. The STCW education and training “standard” is mostly basic or entry level knowledge. I struggle to stay awake in all of these death by power point classes. Now if I was a potential Mongolian seafarer taking these classes for the first time I may learn something. For me every one I’ve ever been through in the last 20 years was a total waste of my valuable off time. The recent gap closing classes were a worldwide money grab that most of us should have been grandfathered into to not waste our time.


can we get back to discussing where any opportunities for US mariners lie in today’s market? the article in question was all about increased training opportunities in the US and ended with an unrealistic sentence about some supposed “ocean of opportunity” which DOES NOT EXIST in the US flagged fleet not the world fleet even if there is a shortage of qualified officers out there. Can anyone point to where an American mariners are hired to serve on a foreign flagged vessel anywhere (other than in the GoM where the law mandates they be employed but often even there aren’t)?

Case in point, American Eagle Tankers operating shuttle tankers in the GoM…is there one American seaman or officer employed on their ships (other than the non crew positions)?


Not to be a killjoy, but Royal Caribbean actually has more than a handful of US licensed officers.


that’s good but how many? what does “more than a handful” mean? 50? 100? any serving as senior management level officers? and are they real Americans or foreign born nationals who became US citizens? I believe there are quite a few of those out there living in South Florida.


Couldn’t give you numbers as I don’t know them, but here’s an answer to a few of your other questions.


The Open registries allow wages to be lower than on ships in the National register of the same countries, but that is not the only reason. The main reason they exist is to maintain a fleet under their flag and to maintain some work places for national mariners.

Although they allow foreigner to serve, even as Masters, there are many ships in Open registers with national Masters and some Officers. (In case of European Open registers, that means EU Citizens)
Requirement for certification, the quality of the seafarers, the safety standard and the inspection routines for the ships and the shore based management are the same.

Not only pay counts for the Owners. They also look at qualifications over and above the minimum required and on experience that is sought after by Charterers. That doesn’t mean that somebody from a so called “3rd world country” can’t be as qualified and as experienced as somebody from a developed country.(Don’t kid yourself into believing otherwise)


That is exactly what I wrote:

“The only reason they exist is so that “1st world” flag states can make money by lowering the standards that apply to the conveniently flagged second registers.”

The flag state makes money by having the ship on the register, the owner makes money by employing cheap labor and lower working standards, and the citizen mariners of the national register either accept 3rd world wages or unemployment.

What part of the concept that those registers would not exist if they didn’t allow lower standards than the national register can’t you understand? What part of lower wages for your national mariners do you see as acceptable? Why are you so willing to run in the race to the bottom? A “second register” is a FoC by another name or it would not exist.


Well, that may be your experience and opinion. Ask the members of MUA if they are of the same opinion.
You keep your opinion and I’ll keep mine.

I think Unions that functions as they should and not as a tool for certain political parties, or is overly confrontational and obstructive to good Labour/Management/Government relations, is a good thing.

I have seen how it worked in Singapore in the 1960-70’s to calm down the rhetoric and turn the Unions from political entities to a positive force for change. I have also seen the Unions destroy the Maritime industry in Australia and in UK in that same period.




Nothing in the Jones Act purports to give it extra-territorial reach. There are also constitutional jurisdictional limitations. There are at least three legal requirements that regulate where a lawsuit can be tried: jurisdiction, venue, and forum non convens. Then there are choice of law and commity considerations. There are also lots of practical reasons why American lawyers would not take a seaman’s case against a foreign shipowner for an injury that occurred in foreign waters.

Show me where in the Jones Act it says that an American seaman can sue a foreign employer for injuries on a foreign ship located in a foreign jurisdiction. Cite a couple of cases where an American seaman injured on a foreign ship outside the US has successfully sued in US courts. Bet you cannot find one.

Don’t perpetuate the myth that it is too risky for foreign shipowners to employ Americans.


I have said it before, any American seamen can be heard in US courts for injuries received overseas in employ of a foreign owner but there is no way for a seaman to collect damages from that owner if the ship remains in foreign waters however if that same owner has any other ship calling in the US then the court can have the US Marshall attach that ship. It is the mere fact he is an American seaman that gives him access to US jurisprudence.

and no, I am not a maritime attorney so cannot cite relevant case law at the moment but I will try to see what Google will hand me