In orientation they said we can have free representation by them, or we can pay dues and become a member. What would be the pro’s and Con’s of either getting free representation or pay dues and become a member? Since we get good benefits from MSC I don’t see what the union could offer us could anyone explain? Any responses will be good I will tell people in my class about this post so everyone can get some good info from the Professional mariners at Gcaptain.com
three very important adages to live by:
(1)“there is no such thing as a free lunch”
(2)“you get what you pay for”
Example: when I sailed MSC we, as a crew, were restricted to the confines of the port in Jabel Ali, we weren’t allowed to go into town. This was MSC following the guidelines of the local US Military commander who had also ruled that military personnel couldn’t go into town either. One of the unions sued MSC on behalf of the civilian mariner for the payment of “confinement pay”. MSC eventually paid…It took awhile but about 18 months after I resigned from MSC I received about a $500 check from them for my “confinement”. BTW, I was never a member of any union then. As far as what you get by joining, you better check that with the Unions; I don’t think you get as much out of them, (benefits, seatime credit, etc.), as you would if you were sailing on a union represented civilian company ship.
The MEBA dues aren’t much for MSC engineers, around $400/yr. You’re not required to pay dues but it does make a difference, besides what’s $400/yr for representing you in dealing with the morons/bureaucrats in the office? Don’t be a scab, pay some dues.
I don’t know if it is still true but it used to be that after sailing a couple of years as a dues paying MEBA applicant with MSC you could apply for Group II membership and the initiation fee would be waived. IF that is still true that’s one heck of a bargain.