looking into signing on into a local hall (jacksonville,Fl), for employment placement. costs $300, would like to hear what everyone thinks of it? how long the usual wait, is it worth it, what kinda work to expect as a o/s,wiper,steward(FH),lifeboatman (will take anything at this point), anything else that i havent asked?
Don’t waste your money! I went to Piney Point in 91 and was a member in good standing until the end of 95. Those guys are long on promises and never delivered. The end came for me after the guy running the hall brow beat me for dues money I didn’t have. I told him I will pay up when it looks like a job is certain. He said pay now I said I need to eat. In that year I registered in Mobile, Houston, New Orleans, and Jax. Never a wiff of a job in that time. I went Lousy-ana and Started working on mud boats and haven’t looked back. Things never changed I have since ran into ex union guys with the same story. Try the tug companies and if you strike out there try the supply boat companies. At some point all these companies are gonna have to start hiring OS, wipers. All of the licensed people playing musical chairs is slowing down. They will need to start replenishing the ratings as AB’s and QMED’s upgrade. Just stay hungry and keep plugging away brother!
well vane brothers gave me a call a half hour ago saying they were intrested in me, but as usual no spot open. this is one of the few who actually gave me a call back. ill be sure to jump on these people, i been lookin for a boat about half a year now. this industy from my limited experience has short-dicked its self a lil by ignoring hungry o/s’(draining the labor pools after high grades retire,etc.), who want nothing more than a job and willing to go the extra mile to prove themselves,yet ignored over higher rates. kinda like dogs, pick up a starved one up off the street and they show nothing but love,dedacation afterwards! had a nice lil spot for MSC o/s advacement but some ass stole my identity and now gotta clear that up and wait for a MSC spot to reopen…shit it was right in my hands and it would of been a grand remark on my resume… but thats life.
From my experience, mostly bad, avoid the unions on the same basis as fraqrat, the union hall guys are all on power trips and its hard for lower ratings to find work when there are quite a few hungre higher ratings in the pool. I hate working in the gulf but it has always been there to give me a job when I go hunting for it. Not as much as in earlier years but still. Head on down and start knocking on doors and talking to the HR departments. You gotta start somewhere and most of us started at the bottom and worked up, best way. And yeah I have a bunch of ex union buddies who came over to the dark side of non union and are doing good.
SubRed…Be sure to tell them at the hall that your willing to sail “Inland” witch includes seagoing tugs, ATBs, dredges.
Sailing union or no-union is cyclical. It’s feast or famine. I spent '70 to '85 cycling in and out of the oilfield. Wages and benifits were cut. I walked into the SIU hall in Houston and had a job the next day. For the next 24 years I worked 28/28 with a few 60 and 90 day foreign runs.
And yeah CaptStew…90% of the guys I sailed with were ex-non-union and are doing good also. lol! Many of us were able to retire young enough to enjoy retirement.
If you want to work inland the hall wont help you. Im SIU working a tug company, asked my union rep about other tug companies, he told me “we dont and wont help you find a tug job. Its up to you to call the companies and find a spot. Not us.”
So if you want to work tugs stay away from SIU, they just want your money and nothing else.
personally being new to the industry. i just want my foot in the door and will take anything that comes 1st. be it a open ocean cargo ship to a canoe on the atlantic scrubbing the head with a toothbrush, make that head so squared away and clean u would be ashamed to sit on it and soil it! i dont give a damn i need work.
SIU in jax told me it would be hard for me to sail out of the hall unless I’m there everyday for over a month
ugghhhh… all a guy wants is a F’ing boat to get on damn…
Well if thats what you want then RUN away from the SIU halls!!!
A guy who runs the union hall here in s.florida told me not to even waste my time or money on the hall as there is no work, and if there is it is for those with higher experience. So i turned away and kept applying for non unions jobs. after 4 months of little applying not excessively i got a call, but i think they didnt hire because i had my license suspended . apply and save your money by going private then go up a notch. but go private.
are all the “inland” jobs only going through the Houston and west coast halls?? My hall(Norfolk) is always so dry and I’m not about to get “friendly” for a job. I understand that Im a Blue ticket but I’m also an AB and its ridiculous to sit for months just because I dont want to take one of those filthy bulk grain ship jobs that pay pennies! I love being an AB but I’ve gotta live ya know. Norfolk is pretty much an “all ports” hall and the guys wont let me sail “inland.” Where is the best place for advancement too to cross over to the licensed side? Inland or Deep Sea? I am about to come up on my 1080 days and looking for different options.
now thats funny…but I agree
AND THEY ARE NOT LYING TO YOU! That hall is packed. Try NY and make reservations for the seamans house for around $48/night. Its not the greatest but its affordable in NY. Then you have to take the subway to the union hall but if you should get out. If thats too much, then Houston has alot of traffic as well