Questions re the National Mariners Association

I have been writing a lot here about the need for a professional mariners association but had forgotten about the NMA (formerly the GCMA). I have to admit that I have not previously followed them or know much about their activities short of what is on their website. Does anyone here know Richard Block or been involved with his group?

I like what they stand for and hope to achieve but wonder if they have what it takes to effect any real change. Have they been able to get the USCG to take any notice of them at all?

From what I’ve read on (there own) website, they do have some credibility with officials. Check it out…

There is also the Council Of American Master Mariners (CAMM). They struggle with the same problems as the rest (lack of funding, small in numbers, median age of membership) but have really made efforts in the past few years to change for the better and make a real difference. For example they now publish a magazine with world-wide distribution and they opened there membership to captains regardless of tonnage.

I’m not saying they are perfect but they are moving in the right direction.

Why don’t you call Richard yourself, talk with him, and then decide if NMA is for real or not. You can reach him at 985-851-2134. NMA, and the MTVA (which works closely with NMA) have the same problem: we get people to join but then everyone is always “too busy” to do anything besides send us the membership dues. We need people willing to be active members and make phone calls, write letters, comment on CG rulemaking projects, etc. This past fall Richard attended the House subcommittee hearings on the T/V Mel Oliver spill and marine safety generally, communicating our concerns directly to Congress. No one else works harder on behalf of [B]all[/B] limited-tonnage mariners than him and he deserves your strong support.


I was planning to contact Richard but thought I’d check with people like you here to get their experiences with NMA. As I said in the beginning, we all need a group like his to represent the US mariner in Washington DC and like what the NMA’s goals are.

Thanks for your reply

I got my GMDSS and ARPA tuition paid for thanks to GCMA. I loosley followed their transformation to NMA.
I really just discover their website the other day.

The “brown list” is the best in my opion. Puts the shoe on the other foot for a change.

The news letters have a lot of usefull information but the articles are very biased and one sided. So you have to wade through self serving propaganda to get the facts.

Very opinionated journalism I guess would be a nice way to put it.

I wish I could find someone to get me grants so i could go to school for my third mate’s license.

I was appualed at how guys from the gulf coast were taking these classes for free and expecting to just be handed a piece of paper for doing nothing. And the whole time bashing anyone who was union affiliated.

Our instructor was a Master Mariner from Mitags on the East Coast. He could have cared less whether these guys went union or not. But they took out their anti union sentment on him anyway.

He put up with some stuff I wouldn’t have.

I don’t know if those other fools ever passed or not. He offered them a retest on a saturday moring delaying his own flight back home to try and help these jerks out. They thought they were gonna just get handed a piece of paper for showing up and listening to a union speil.

I did a search on here for NMA and got nothing. I found this on a “National Maritime Assosciation” search.

Not much on here about them.

The news letters are almost like self serving blogs rather than nuetral industry issue reporting.

I don’t think I am going to pay $30 some bucks a year to be able to call this guy and cry on his shoulder every time a company screws me over.

It seems like it is one main guy and maybe one or two friends as associate contributors.

I could do that.

I don’t have the time to do that and I can’t make enough money at it to do that so maybe he is the best guy for the job after all.

I liked the GCMA at first but after the union idea got shot down in the 90’s they went pro company for awhile and now they are pro mariner again but under a different name. Too many changes for me to have any kind of loyalty.

Aligning yourself with NMA is akin to bragging that you are an AMO member while scabbing on a non union boat.

Joining the NMA to me would be about like trying to join Pilot’s Agree.

A day late and way too many dollars short to ever get a union vote in a southern state.

So…you use their resources to find grants that save you thousands. And then you pi$$ and moan about not getting representation for $30 a year?

[QUOTE=injunear;37052]So…you use their resources to find grants that save you thousands. And then you pi$$ and moan about not getting representation for $30 a year?[/QUOTE]

I said I was impressed with them when they were just the GCMA with no ties to the AFL-CIO. They were pro mariner, non for profit, and government funded. They were not a political organization.

Yes, I let them help me get grants for my GMDSS and my ARPA and also attended the school sites that they set up. But at that time that is all they did. They were even advertising free classes in marine magazine classifieds.
They wanted to spend all the grant money so they could get at least that much if not more for the next fiscal year. But then the federal funding dried up and the only way to keep it alive was to align with another group like the AFL-CIO.
That is where they lost trust with a lot of staunch anti union mariners.

I am not looking for representation.

I have the union of “me”. When “me” no happy, “me” leaves. Don’t need a union or anyone else to talk to the boss for me.

I don’t care either way. I will work union or non union. Whoever is paying the most.

I was just pointing out that I am grateful to the original GCMA. And that i was not impressed by the NMA. If I wanted “representation” I would join MMP or AMO not NMA for $30/year.

You get a lot more for your money from the AMO or anyother true union. Benefits, free tuition, advancement, some job security sometimes, ect.

I am sorry if my personal opinion that the NMA website is a little too biased and long winded for me. I don’t have that much time in my day to read through that much information and editorials.

I am a “Just the facts, ma’am” kind of guy.

I have read my post several times and I still cant find the pissing and moaning part. maybe you could help me with that one.

I can’t find the part about me moaing about wanting representation either.

Oh, well maybe it is just my reading comprehension skills.

Good luck