Recommendations on Joining a Union Needed!

The school is fine. The jobs board is a sham.

OSG, Chevron, Polar, MSC, etc are non union. And they are definitely more than 1% of the US market. MSC alone is the largest employer of US mariners in the industry


Those are about the extent of non union ships in the US though and, as far as I’m aware, it’s very unlikely that anyone will get hired as anything other than a 3rd mate at any of them.

My statement only applied to commercial vessels, MSC isn’t applicable.

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Sure sounds like they got that line from somewhere…

I’m not AMO but last I checked, we are all ‘working men’ out here. Even a few ‘working women’.
I chose MM&P because during a recruiting fair their booth had a binder with all the pay rates of the various companies they had under contract. I asked the other unions there if they had something similar and they just shook their heads. That transparency and the dues at 1/3 those of AMO were enough to convince me.

Trust me. Everyone skins a few knuckles on their way to captain. Hell I still do. If you choose to work at sea, you are making a choice to be a working man.


Awesome, thanks for the insight!!

I don’t doubt that everyone is a ‘working man’ but like I said, just certain things that certain people tell me. Its not meant to offend or belittle or bash anyone else, just a common reoccurrence. But yes that true, I’ve also heard AMO is easier to progress though upgrades than MMP, but MMP pays greater. Lots of comparing and contrasting

Hopefully, you got a lot of different insight from the experienced posters/sailors… One thing to keep in mind, the highest pay does not neccessarily mean highest take home pay after benefits. And how fully said unions have all their plans compensated for the long term. Medical, pension, and further educational opportunities deserves a very hard look, no matter where you work, whether union or non-union. Good luck sir.

AMO has no transparency. So if you don’t have a connection there as a recent grad, especially as a mate, you’re kinda SOL. You’ll sit on the list for a while and unless you bug the shit out of the dispatchers and won’t get a call. The “list” apparently exists somewhere, but no one knows where it is or what the order on it is.

MM&P is very transparent and the system is fair. It’s tougher to get out as a young mate with no money not living near a hall, but if you grind I would say it’s probably a better bet.

As you can see, lots of opinions from seafarers. Just pay attention to the last sentence in my latest reply to you. It will serve you well. It is advice I give to all my young relatives and friends. No matter where or what industry their career takes them.

That’s the same advice you’d give an engineer, right?

Correct. Young, fresh out of school is the perfect time to work for MSC and see the world. They are basically the only US vessels that see the world anymore and definitely the only ones with any significant port time. Get lots of sea time quickly, make a lot of money with overtime, let them pay for all your upgrade classes, and if you want to go commercial do it after you have a 1AE (preferably CE). You can feasibly get CM or 1AE within 3 years of beginning employment with them if you are on the ball with upgrades.

Absolutely agree. Bennies aren’t to shabby either. As a young single man, and not worried about sailing time away from home, would take a hard look at that too. Recommended that to my own son(Domer take notice) didn’t work out because of health stuff. But cranking out money and benefits while it lasted. MSC is not a bad gig starting out either.

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But this guys going to be a 3rd mate…

The reason I brought all that up in the first place was because it’s hard to do a career on non union vessels then try to switch over to union vessels without going back to 3rd mate. The fact that those non union tanker companies don’t hire anyone above 3rds makes them the same as the union companies.

When you are shipping out with an officer’s union i.e. MM&P, MEBA you register on a national shipping list. Jobs go to who ever has the oldest card in a seniority group in the port in which the job is called, and posseses the license required for the job. You are not restricted to taking a job as a 3rd mate. In fact having a higher level license can be a distinct advantage as it qualifies you for more jobs. If you have a senior level license such as Master or Chief Engineer there are four jobs on every ship for which you are qualified. If you only have a 3rds license (deck or engine) you are only qualified for one job on a ship. While it is unusual, I have sailed with a C/E who had been with one of the oil majors and walked into the MEBA hall in Boston and walked out with a Chief’s job on a Coronado class tanker. (By the way, I realize that my description of the shipping procedures is a simplification, so don’t go after me about Article 3-A, sub chapter 6 (b) of the shipping rules, as amended and approved the membership in 2017.)

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I never said you were.