Recommendations on Joining a Union Needed!

Hows everyone doing! Amidst this current crisis, I am still happy to say that I will be able to graduate on time next June (2021) with a Bachelors of Science in Marine Transportation, as an Ensign in the Strategic Sealift Officer force, and with my Mate of Tow endorsement (that is, if all goes as plan, knock on wood).

This past winter I had the opportunity to sail on the newly laid USNS Miguel Keith (T-ESB 5), however, none of the Officers onboard, besides the Hawsepiper Master and 1st A/E, were apart of a union.

Yesterday, my school hosted a small meeting with a few Captains who are all apart of MM&P and the Propellor Club, and they discussed a little bit about both.

For a while now, before and after that meeting, I’ve been doing research on all the different unions, but I seem to not find everything that I need, feeling that I am left with too many questions. So I decided to turn to gCapt because I know there are plenty of ya’ll that are in at least one of the Unions.

To start off my career, I am hoping to work with MSC to serve my 3 years required (on a US flagged) by MARAD, but I am still not sure if it is worth it for me to join a Union. Can anyone explain the direct benefits from any of the Unions? And if my desired MSC track is worth also being a part of a Union at the same time?

Fair Winds and Following Seas!

I don’t know if this is a fake post or not. But going union is a wise decision in the long run.


I am a 20 year old kid who knows not much about the industry, and even more so about Unions. If you think this is a fake post, your comments are not needed.

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No problem, your choice. Hope it’s a good one. Adios


I don’t think this forum is a real magnet for trolls.

You stopped being a kid when you graduated high school. Your going to be in situations in the near future(if not already) where your shipmate’s lives are in your hands. I hope you hold yourself to a higher standard than you’d hold a “kid” to.

As for the unions, it entirely depends on what your long term goals are.


Good advice rustbucket. Not a kid anymore. Serious shit going on.

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You have been at Mass Maritime since 2017 and you still don’t know much about the industry?

I apologize for my choice of words.
Do you mind explaining how a Union would depend on my long time goals?
Like I said, my school is irrelevant when it comes to things like this. They want my money and they want me out, or at least the majority of the instructors do. I have done the most research that I can and have turned to this forum for more advice, but seems that ya’ll would rather use me as a laughing stalk than at least assist me in a few ways.
Any help is still appreciated

Theres a lot to know in just 3 years of time while studying. I came into this school knowing absolute jack about the industry.
I am still learning…

Do you have a job offer from MSC?

Not at the moment, but my ship’s crew discharged me with good a good attitude and a thought out e-val. Hopefully I can use this as a boost for when they come to my academy for interviews.

I wouldn’t bank on that. Idk any cadet that left MSC with a bad eval except for the kid who got fired for stealing a truck in Singapore, but that story is for another thread.

If you live near a hall and are fine with sitting there waiting for a job, join MM&P ASAP and get to a hall. Even IF MSC offers you a job, which is a big IF, it’ll be months before you get out to a ship. Might as well make some money while you wait.

If you don’t live near a hall, join AMO and see what happens. You don’t have to pay anything to join so might as well get on the list.


In reference to your original question, if you don’t plan to stay with MSC past your “3 years required” then I would say join MM&P so you have a card when you leave. If you end up staying with MSC long term I don’t see the point in paying dues for a union you don’t sail for.

Does MMP have the schools similar to what AMO has? And if so ,where?

Thats my issue at hand, since I will be moving to San Juan, PR. I will definitely check out AMO now, I really appreciate your insight.

But I can add a bad eval to your list which is directed to an engineer who got a bad one for being lazy and then decided to claim sexual harassment… Thats my school for you.

Roger that. Once again, much appreciated.

Take any job you can get your hands on, and if that job requires you to join a union, then join. See how it goes for a year or two and if you find something better then move on. Always easier to get a job when you have a job.


Absolutely Correct

So still being a cadet myself, is it worth putting my foot in the door in any of the unions? I know that MMP has the ‘associate membership’ (not sure if that really means much in the eyes of the union) but not sure about AMO.
I was unaware that some jobs require those to join unions, but putting it into perspective that makes sense now.