Megacorp Union


Why? If all the contracts are the same (or, wt least universally higher than they are today), why not just go wait for a new job to pop up on the board for the same benefits and $?

If I am making $150k on the best contract today.

And tomorrow I make $300k on the best contract.

Then my company goes under and I have to take the worst contract in the union for $200k

… aren’t I still $50k ahead of the game?? (provided the benefits are equal)


That’s exactly why seniority would matter.


For the jobs that rotary ship (3M and 2M at MMP and MEBA) seniority is part of how you decide who gets first choice of the jobs.


Yes but the current system is clearly broken.


I think the only thing broken about it is the need to show up at the hall for job call (and the right hall at that). They could have job call online where members can bid on work and the most senior person gets the job.


No because not all of us have seniority… many US mariners today have been pushed out because the existing system failed them. We are out of a job or suffering for companies with shitty benefits.We want in and you need us.

The US flag is dying… if we want salaries to climb we need to put US mariners on good ships owned by American companies outside of the flag and foreign companies exploiting the eez… then we need to use our new collective bargaining strength (which we would have if the hnions were merged) to make congress extend the jones act to ships currently outside the act (cruise ships, offshore, etc). This is the true power of MEGAUNION… not increasing payroll expenses of the few remaining Jones Act Companies.


The current competition between unions nullifies the #1 reason for unions to exist in the first place… to have the right to strike.

No union has the balls to strike today because no union wants to piss off the companies that stuck with them… but MEGAUNION could strike. And strike on Hawaii or Alaska WOULD get attention.

The minute thousands of Alaska voters have to pay FedEx $50 to get their diabetes medicine or die… legislators would be willing to tell Aronson that his cruise ships have to hire American sailors.

The longshoremen don’t get crazy pay because they don’t undercut each other… they get crazy pay because wallmart is scared shitless they will shut down the port.

And “seniority” has nothing to do with the power to strike.


I’m not saying I support or even want all this… I’m just saying that the longshoremen have been mentioned many times on this forum and, yes, we “should” get more pay than them in fairness but the world is not fair.

They get paid more $$ for one reason only… they got big brass balls and eachothers back.


No, we don’t. We need the non union companies you work for. MEBA’s standard policy is to offer non union company employees that vote them in a permanent job with that company until they choose to leave. When a junior officer leaves the job goes onto the board for the rotary shipping members to bid on, the senior officers are always permanent employees of the company. Also, MEBA waives the initiation fee and gives group 2 status (B book) to any employee that stays at the company for 25 months.


Bingo! And here’s the only problem that counts. Infighting!

“When a junior officer leaves…” WE gave YOU a big money shitting company like Transocean “we” still are still only junior members stuck working for the company that now hates us? How does that make any sense?

And IF “we” were to do that it would require us to grow a big set of balls because whoever signed that documents would be out of a job and options if it didn’t take.

But risk are YOU taking? Now if YOU had the balls to shut down jones act ships until the seismic fleet were returned to American crews then… that “might” interest “us”.

(Not that I personally have a stake… I don’t work for either side right now… just saying hypothetically)


Pay attention to the word people use John. I said junior officers not junior members…


It’s not broken that union officers of the el faro had to hide behind tote lawyers in court because the union didn’t support them (and don’t say the other unions are better, the Marine Electric was the same thing)

It’s not broken that the average age of jones act union ships over 5000 gross tons is over 18 years old with several of those over forty years old, including the FIFTY YEAR OLD 1968 built union manned Chemical Pioneer?

AMO’s pension isn’t broken?

It’s not broken that many union ships have open lifeboats?

It’s not broken that many of you are expected to fight a fire with only two scba bottles and turnout gear?

It’s not broken that pay is a fraction of what I made offshore?

It’s not broken that the union has very few oportunities to qualify in Dynamic positioning systems?

It’s not broken that you have only one option of places to go to school while my company paid paid close to ren thousand to send me to manned model shiphanding just because I felt like foing?

The fact that not all unions have basic benefits like dental isn’t broken?

I can go on…


I wasn’t talking about union shipping, just the union method of determining work eligibility, which is what we were discussing.



We’re on the same page here btw… I’m just trying to push on the pain points because that’s what I think needs to happen to move forward and get everyone here more $$… which is important to me because I want you all to stop having to worry about basic shit like healthcare costs so you can start buying more of my overpriced tshirts :wink:


Seafarers’ International Union (SIU) and National Maritime Union (NMU) in 2001, for one. There are many examples of this.


There are also some bad examples. Take this stinker of NMU and MEBA from 1988-1993:

In 1988 the NMU agreed to merge with the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA) to form District 1, MEBA-NMU. The merger did not last. MEBA members charged that the merger referendum was rigged by MEBA president C. E. “Gene” DeFries. The accusations were serious enough that the United States Department of Justice began an investigation. Union members were even more outraged when they learned DeFries and five other union officers paid themselves more than $2 million in severance payments. During the course of their findings, a group of MEBA members (Led by Alex Shandrowsky, Jesse Calhoon, and Don Keefe) peacefully occupied MEBA’s Headquarters in Washington, DC after DeFries refused to disclose information to union members. DeFries and others were later indicted for crimes relating to their manipulation of union elections and misuse of union offices. US versus DeFries (et al.) became the first successful criminal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) prosecution of the governing body of a labor organization, which resulted in the conviction of 18 officials of MEBA), for RICO, RICO conspiracy, embezzlement, extortion, and mail fraud. NMU disaffiliated from the Marine Engineers in 1993.



It’s easy to have “brass balls” when you have a near 100% lock on movement of cargo to and from the pier, which is why they make good money. Of course if you think this negotiation model is fail safe, it isn’t. The ILWU strike of 2002 led to the expansion of Canadian/Mexican ports and the Panama Canal. Wether or not this will effect their market share remains to be seen.

One mega union covering all seafarers or just the officers wouldn’t necessarily equate to more jobs or better pay and benefits. The job market available to US seafarers is static — US Domestic or subsidized foreign— and that employment would be less shuffled, that’s all. It would leave a seafarer in better for pension continuity.

Of course a bunch of jobs could just go non-union given the over-supply of mariners for the job market (assuming supply would remain at current levels).


Could you fill us in on what happened there? I assume your talking about the Overseas Tankers?


Of course it isn’t fail safe (or even advised)… if it was it wouldn’t require brass balls. And the longshoremen isn’t the worst case scenario… the strike of 1965 was more harmful to union interests at sea.