I was recently employed on a tugboat on the great lakes. I was stuck on the boat for 1 month, I enjoyed it. However, I often worked 40+ hours grinding and painting the boat and barge, but only got paid for 30 hours (10.50 /hr) worth of work. One week I worked 68 hours in total, but only received 56 hours of pay. When I asked, he informed me he didn't pay for my lunch breaks, but often would demand you get back to work when finished eating. We were never allowed to leave the boat when docked, and often told what we can and can't do in our down time. It felt like being in jail. My question is can I contact someone on to get paid for the missing hours they claim was lunch/breaks? if so who?
The cook, whom I became good friends with, has been on the boat for over 2 months with no down time. As we talked, he discovered that he gets paid less than I did, and had more responsibilities. He would cook all 3 meals a day, kept inventory of the food, on top of keeping the galley and pilot house clean, he was also responsible for line handling with the deckhands, and has to stand on front of the barge and radio in boats while the captain navigated through blue water river. The captain also had asked him to keep track of deckhands hours, and train the new deckhands. (in my one month, I seen 5 new deckhands come and go) When I left he had asked me too find out how long the captain can make him work with no shore time. So his question is, How many days is it legal for him to work before he’s required to get shore leave? Also, shouldn’t he be fairly compensated for all of the extra responsibilities?
Just a Vent & Info
This was a 140 foot tug. He owned 2 barges, one with a massive crane. We would push one barge, and the other would get towed. We had a 4 man crew, 2 deckhands, the cook and the captain. (5 if you count the dog that pooped everywhere and tore into the trash on a day to day basis, you can guess who cleaned that up!) The captain had rented his services to a construction company that was laying water lines running too flint. He often was out there telling the workers how incompetent his crew was, aswell as bad mouthing our fellow crew to one of us. Never a positive remark from him. The beds were horrible, the mattresses were so old the springs were coming right out of the mattress! he frames of the bed were held together by duct tape! My cabin actually had a leak in the ceiling and smelt like mildew! We had no screens to cover our windows, and couldn’t open them for fear of giant spiders coming into bite us. The flies were horrible, and the cook did his best to keep our meals safe, but again no screens o help fight them off. The lines we had to handle smelt like dog pee, and often had fresh dog poop covering them. I seen the captain’s quarters one day, and it looked like one of those hoarders home you would see on TV. The dog had flies eatings its rear end, and was constantly shedding its fur and wasn’t a surprise to find its fur in your meal.
Thanks for taking the time to read this, and for any answers you may provide. I do intend on finding a job again as a deckhand, but I will never work for this guy again!