MMP & AMO Companies

A year away from getting my 3M unlimited deck license and for the most part feel pretty clueless when it comes to unions. I’ve done some research on the differences between AMO and MMP and thanks to the forum have learned quite a bit. With that said, haven’t really be able to figure out which companies use one union or the other. More specially looking for information on which union has more box boats.

I’ll have my tanker PIC when I get my license but really don’t have any interest in pursuing that. Any information would help.

MMP has more boxboats between the two of them, AMO has the tankers (think MMP only has 3.)

MMP has Maersk, APL, Matson, a few Pasha ships and some of the Express/Hapag-Lloyd vessels under Crowley contract.

AMO I believe has some Maersk vessels as well, some Pasha and TOTE.

Can’t speak for MMP, a decent union. Can speak for the president of AMO, Paul Doell. A breath of fresh air compared to prior leadership. Pension is in good hands.Can’t comment on contracts for either union., they vary so much. Son just made a trip to Germany as a navy rep on an AMO steam ship from the reserve fleet. All went well…AMO crewed it on very short notice. Good for them.

Couldn’t have been that classified if he told you and then you just disclosed the destination of the voyage on this open forum. :smirk:


AMO has a bunch of Crowley tankers. Application to AMO union is free. No need to go to a union hall for a job.

That may be, but MMP discounts initiation fee by 25% for new graduates and annual dues are $400 verse AMO’s $1200. MMP asks for 10% of the initiation fee up front and should you choose to not accept membership when the time comes, you can ask for your initiation fee back.

AMO has a 3 Crowley box ships, some Maersk ships, and one Pasha box ship. AMO has more permanent positions for junior officers, which if you like stable work is a big upside.

My advice is join both unions and which ever one gives you a job first run with them.

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How much is initiation fee in total?

I’ll admit to not knowing a lot about MMP the union benefits. I do know the AMO dues buys you all of the training you want at the school plus room and board while you are there for classes. If op has no interest in tankers, AMO has TOTE, the Crowley Conro vessels, some MSC contract vessels, US Oceans/Intermarine heavy lift and the Transcom cable laying vessels.

One thing is certain though-the maritime schools are terrible about educating future licensed mariners about the unions.



This I can certainly agree with you on.

A note with MMP and the training benefits. They are covered under a trust that the companies pay into and can be accessed by applicants and members once they have 60 days of covered employment. Both schools (MITAGS and STAR Center) are excellent.

@BeerCaptain, I’m honestly not sure what they are now, but 20 years ago they were around $4500 if I remember correctly. It never bothered me. I was working steadily and still am.

To the OP, the best thing I can say for MMP in the current job climate is that I stopped by the hall a few weeks ago and there were more jobs on the board than I’ve seen in a long time. Are they great jobs? Probably not. But if you want to work, there is work available.


I was Engine but sailed AMO most of my career. Initiation fee is 5500 and you have 5 years to pay it off. Dues vary based on the rank you sail starting January 1 of that year. It’s easy enough to deduct dues and initiation fee from your vacation check. The union stays off your back as long as you’re making progress towards paying off your initiation fee.

As for which union is better, that is subjective. Being a west coast based sailor, I liked AMO because I didn’t have to go to hall for months on end to maybe get a job. Once I was with a company in AMO I was essentially permanent even as a junior officer. Now MMP and MEBA guys might make more money (have friends in both unions), but they’d go 6-8 months f not longer with no sailing job. True they’d pick up night mate or night engineer jobs to earn some cash. It may have been enough to cover their commute to the hall every day. Meanwhile in that time I had gone to work, come home on vacation, and back out again on the same ship building time on my license to upgrade in addition to a steady pay check.


Thanks for all the replies. I imagine its just about impossible to predict, but what do you think the state of MMP will be like in 1 - 2 years, still lots of jobs on the board? Curious if there are trends over the years. Also I was reading something on joining MMP while still in school. Do you think its worth it to join ahead of time and start getting points?

Damn Yankee, Cargo had already been delivered weeks before my post. Ship going to “Somewhere” next and already arrived at the next port . No Security was compromised. AMO proudly crewed a reserve ship on very short notice. That was my point .Regarding the questions the OP asked. You perhaps missed the first few sentences of my original reply.regarding unions and the confidence I have in my particular union. These debates will never end on “Who is better”. And that perhaps showed your bias towards your union. . That’s quite alright. I 'm fine with mine as well. To each his own. My check is never late and nearly fuly funded…Much beter than some unions. Choke on that. . . .

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Correct, impossible to choose at this young age with conflicting opinions regarding MMP and. AMO. They are both pretty good. Schools to get ahead are priceless in your journey… Check your options closely for the long term… Best of luck sir.

That’s impossible to predict. Sometimes shipping is hot, sometimes it’s not. Many variables at work there…

I joined as a cadet and got a jump start on points towards membership that way. Not sure if the other unions offer that option.

Which school do you attend? I know for a fact MMP has a large amount of personnel aboard the Empire State annually and one of our senior members is a rather large and consistent presence there who provides the cadets with presentations about how the union works. Whether cadets attend or not is a matter of what’s more important to them — rack time or figuring out what they want to be when they grow up.

I’m up at Maine Maritime. I believe there was a MMP stand at a career fair last year but I honestly had almost no clue as to what MMP even was till a few months ago. Hoping to see them show back up this year. Going to be looking into the associate program during the next few weeks. Doesn’t seem like it’ll hurt to at least get the ball rolling with that

Since you have one year left it’d be probably $25 to join as an associate member, $50 max… hardly a bank breaking experience.

Honestly the schools need to overall do way more to expose their cadets to the unions and now they operate. It doesn’t have to be a semester long course or drawn out experience but a little PowerPoint going over them all would certainly help. I know I could have used it…


American Steamship and Great Lakes Fleet are both all AMO vessels on the officers side. They run self unloading bulkers on the Great Lakes and are both actively hiring

They do discuss that to an extent. I don’t think all of the private companies (blue water, brown water and inland) would appreciate the academies favoriting the unions, just because young people still don’t know how to use google or take the time at career fairs to ask the questions to people there.

I know SUNY does it, but I’m pretty sure it is because MMP has an MOU with the school and sends officers out there which gives them plenty of face time on cruises.

I see the Golden Bear on the assignment board now as well, so maybe California Maritime does the same too. That’s new to me.

But you’re right… a little private research and interest goes a long way…

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