MSC still gangway up

MSC is still gangway up. Overseas ships, ships out of the East and West Coast. Never mind vaccination percentages. We remain locked up if we are scheduled to get underway.

I’ve finally had it with this. Once my prison gets back to the States I’m out. We have people quitting all the time. The company has tried to tell them they can’t quit without mutual consent. The company has convinced some folks that they can quit but they can’t leave. (A guy rode the ship as a ‘passenger’ for weeks before being permitted to walk.) A ship recently tried to talk the USN pier security into forcing a guy back onto the ship after he quit by not letting him off the pier. (The security let him go.)

When a company tries to turn Navy sailors into press-gangs, you know it’s getting bad.

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Wow. Wondering if Marad found Buzby’s replacement yet?

This isn’t fleetwide? Is it just based on where the ship is operating or is it at captains discretion? I’ve seen MSC Mariners in port abroad, both CivMars and Contractors

Our sources tell us no.

The Navy has been holding Sailors to 2 week quarantines prior to getting underway. Until recently, their guidance was basically that a Sailor could go home & on the ship, that’s about it. This also applied to any government employees or contractors working with shipboard personnel.

A couple of my coworkers had to drive from FL to Norfolk and then sit in a hotel for two weeks prior to any contact with any shipboard Sailors. This has loosened slightly recently as vaccination is increasing. It was interesting before as the infection rate in Hampton Roads was higher than Florida. The questionnaire was a bit of a joke - have you been to a COVID hotspot in the last 14 days? Um, Norfolk?

The Navy has loosened restrictions on non-vaccinated Sailors so they can use those restrictions as a club to beat non-compliant personnel into taking the vaccines. The last time I talked to MSC shore-side folks, they were allowed to travel without quarantining if they had been vaccinated. That was a couple months ago and while the Navy was allowing no deviations to it’s quarantine policy.

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Say a fully vaccinated CIVMAR gets an assignment. He gets on a plane, flies halfway around the world. He goes through airports, jetways, buses between terminals and finally a car ride to the ship. That’s okay.

Now the CIVMAR is on the ship and realized he forgot to pack a toothbrush. Can he make a quick trip to the store and buy one? No way! Too dangerous! COVID everywhere!

It’s a fucking joke.

Fully vaccinated people can:

  • Resume activities without wearing masks or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance
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On a tangent, MSC is encouraging CIVMARs NOT to get vaccinated. How so?

If you are fully vaccinated you don’t have to quarantine before travel or joining a ship. A non-vaccinated person must quarantine for 10-14 days. In other words, the no-vax gets two extra weeks at home or in a hotel to chill out.

If you are fully vaccinated you don’t have to quarantine before training. A no-vax needs to quarantine. Again, more time at home or in a hotel to chill out.

A fully vaccinated CIVMAR is easier to get to a ship. Less host country or travel restrictions. They get sent overseas to gangway up prisons. A no-vax is a pain to travel so they get stateside assignments out of Norfolk or San Diego near family and friends with less chance of gangway-up imprisonments on deployment.

A vaccinated CIVMAR doesn’t get time off for possible exposure to COVID sick people. A no-vax gets time off (or goes home if they live locally).

The smart CIVMAR would get vaccinated to protect themselves, their loved ones and their country. They would then LIE to MSC and claim they never got vaccinated so they may enjoy the benefits of the no-vax.

I wish I hadn’t told MSC I was vaccinated. There is zero incentives to report vaccination. If the fully vaccinated could go ashore it’d be different but we are all shit on equally - vaccine or not.

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These policies must vary based on where the ship is operating, no? Is it an MSC problem or the fact that there are ships operating in countries with tougher quarantine restrictions?

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MSC ships feel like prison to me whether the gangway is up or down. you can feel the low morale and hopelessness every day.

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If the ship might get underway in the next 14 days they gangway up the ship. For example, the oiler that was on duty for the East Coast was going in and out of Norfolk regularly. They were gangway up for two months. This was March-May 2021. They were a day out of Norfolk, VA for the most part.

I use that ship as one example out of several to point out that Virginia is a domestic port which is open, that they were not crossing an ocean. That should be low risk.

Another ship is in and out of the UK. The ship has high vaccination rates (85%). The UK is doing great in their vaccinations. That ship is repeatedly denied gangway down.

I can understand gangway up restrictions on a ship in and out of a restrictive country like Singapore. Local rules overrule. No problem with that. But restrictions in countries like UK and UAE with high vaccine rates that have generally reopened? It’s silly.

Finally, the CDC says fully vaccinated people can mostly return to normal life, that they are unlikely to get seriously ill or pass on an infection in the unlikely event that they do get sick. Yet the USN does not differentiate between vaccinated and unvaccinated sailors. That isn’t following the science.

We all remember last year when CIVMARs were gangway up while contractors, shipyard workers and USN came and went freely to infect the trapped CIVMARs. What was that? I’ll tell you what that was: a show of doing something so they could pat each other on the back - a farce.

Which brings me to my point: USN leadership isn’t following the science; they aren’t putting in place the conditions to encourage vaccination (see my previous post); they are hemorrhaging CIVMARs to the point that the important job gets done for now (supporting the Navy) at the expense of retaining experience and losing the most desirable CIVMARs to other employments which will make MSC a less capable partner/servant in the future. (That’s another soapbox for another time.)

I’m not saying an employer has to give a shit about their employees. They don’t have to. I just don’t see how this is in the employer’s best long term interest.

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That might not upset the gilded admirals. When there are no more CIVMARS they can whine and cry about the lack of support and make the case for using cheap FoC ships or getting Uncle to buy them more of their own.

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Two months? I don’t know that I have a lot of sympathy for sailors stuck on a ship for 2 months. Now if that’s supposed to be March 20-May 21, then yes. I know a lot of these guys live in Norfolk so they can go home and that’s a perk of the job, but 2 months is unfortunate but not crazy.

The rest of it is utter bullshit. The USN is doing the same nonsense with their civilian (office) employees, making up their own rules and then cherry picking which ones they want to follow. It’s stupid.

I used that ship as an example of a stateside ship, staying near the coast of the United States, when the port of origin/ destination was opened for business. That’s a clear case of a lower risk situation. The HQ pukes were at no less risk than the crew of that ship. The HQ staff were not restricted.

I could have used other examples of +200 days restriction but the case was less clear (overseas, crossing oceans, host nation restrictions).

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And the candidates wanting to be backed are not impressive.

They need to just vax everyone who sails period, this is getting ridiculous. The American vaccines are top tier and even if you don’t think you want it, you have to get all kinds of mandatory vaccines to sail anyway. Yellow fever shot had the same/worse side effects for me as the second covid dose (and was an imported vaccine on a provisional authorization of some kind) but no one ever whines about it.

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I’m curious. Are USN sailors subject to the same gangway up restrictions as CIVMARS on USNS ships? What about NOAA, ACE vessels?

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Not going to happen.

Why not? Makes too much sense?

We don’t care. We get paid the same whether we’re at the hotel or on the ship.

Can you leave the hotel or are you confined there?