How can this keep happening? It is a constantly recurring event and if it were not for the longshoremen and the ITF reps who bring these atrocities into public view we would never know about it at all.
The CG knows about it, they don’t do or say anything. The companies that charter the ships know about it, the agents know about it but don’t care either. The only people who stop the ship are federal agents working for the bank that is profiting the most from these ships and once the bank gets its money the ship is free and the crew be damned.
It is hard to believe that at the end of 2012 in the United States we still allow shipowners to enter US waters to transport American cargoes on what are effectively slave ships. Given the “security” hoops that a ship must go through in order to enter US waters there is no excuse for this to happen. No excuse other than the first line of contact, the USCG, is paid (politically at least but also in budgets) not to see a real threat to American security, the use of slaves to replace American seafarers.
For all the back patting and holier than thou rhetoric about freedom and justice, we don’t make any effort to stop slavery in our own ports and we actually do the dirty work of arresting a ship when the bankers feel like they are getting stiffed. At least they eat. When was the last time anyone heard about a shipping company exec or a banker having to beg the local community for food and water?
Since the CG boards every one of those ships (or should), any of them that don’t meet American standards of shipboard food, health or accomodations, and cannot show that the crew has been paid according to their contract should be prohibited from entering US waters or leaving if they are already here. If the situation is not corrected within 48 hours the crew should be repatriated at the expense of the owner, operator, charterer, or local agent. If none of those parties can be found then the ship should be sold to cover expenses. The ship should only be sold to an American buyer for scrap or for operation under the American flag if it can be brought up to American standards. It should never again operate in competition with an American bottom.
Looks like the maritime unions would use the example of factory sweatshop conditions and compare them to conditions on foreign ships. Maybe some senator like Schumer from NY would pick up on the crusade and demand american shipping?
The Coast Guard does NOT board every vessel that enters the US. They just don’t have the personnel. Port State Inspections are carried out using a matrix that is supposed to work to expose vessels at risk for deficiences to a higher frequency of inspections. It IS the dollar that stops these ships. Even Port State Inspections don’t address general living conditions, but compliance with IMO standards. Often, that is enough for a very substandard vessel.
[QUOTE=cmakin;89328]The Coast Guard does NOT board every vessel that enters the US. They just don’t have the personnel. Port State Inspections are carried out using a matrix that is supposed to work to expose vessels at risk for deficiences to a higher frequency of inspections. It IS the dollar that stops these ships. Even Port State Inspections don’t address general living conditions, but compliance with IMO standards. Often, that is enough for a very substandard vessel.[/QUOTE]
Oh yeah, and TSA is supposed to do “random” searches according to a matrix that is supposed to work to expose terroristic threats. that’s why our mothers and fine young chickies are getting intrusive pat downs and xrays at the airports. Grandma gets searched to meet the quota. chickie gets searched, well, because.
Its human nature to take the easy way out. So USCG goes on the Norweigian cruise ship and doesn’t bother with the FOC rust bucket.
[QUOTE=seadog6608;89331]Oh yeah, and TSA is supposed to do “random” searches according to a matrix that is supposed to work to expose terroristic threats. that’s why our mothers and fine young chickies are getting intrusive pat downs and xrays at the airports. Grandma gets searched to meet the quota. chickie gets searched, well, because.
Its human nature to take the easy way out. So USCG goes on the Norweigian cruise ship and doesn’t bother with the FOC rust bucket.[/QUOTE]
Actually, it is weighted for boarding of that FOC rust bucket. The company, flag, Class Society and other criteria are used to establish the boarding. Now, this isn’t to say that those making the inspection necessarily know what exactly they are doing.
The USCG website has some interesting info, including lists of vessels detained for Port State Inspection deficiencies and other items.
I was just trying to make the point that some people, particularly those sucking at the taxpayer teat, are inherently lazy.
That’s given me food for thought…no pun intended…I am occasionally turned away from Chinese ships, service request in hand and everything, and the problem on the surface usually seems to be the language difficulty but now I wonder how many times this has happened because they didn’t want me to see anything. I am occasionally the only American they see besides the stevedores (and the pilot), and I go into places the stevedores don’t, like the engine room.
This is pretty damned sickening and horrifying…
I’m going to share this article with my boss and colleagues. Thanks for posting it.
Well, you have to know that the price of rice has exploded since a couple years. So half a bowl a day is more than enough, don’t you think ? :o
As well, there’s fat and full of proteins cockroaches all over the place behind the fridge … can’t complain !
[QUOTE=Topsail;89365]As well, there’s fat and full of proteins cockroaches all over the place behind the fridge … can’t complain !
For a minute there I thought that was the USS Ponce.
It’s CBP that boards every foreign ship that comes into the US, not USCG. They should be taking action, but those dick heads are only looking for one thing, fines.
Whether you get the rupees for 18 hours + a day, 7 days a week and for only for 9 months in a row or one meal a day for the same period. Sorry Sir but you can’t get both at the same time. You have to display leadership and make a choice. We are not a charity organization.
in this day and age it is not good that this is happening, there is obviously something going wrong. I’ve seen the complete opposite situation happen before, was on a vessel that arrived in Dakar, Senegal and the longshoremen hadn’t been paid for 2 months so were too hungry for work. They boarded the ship and went on a 6 hour strike, we had to go down on deck and give them some snacks out of pitty… strike finished after 6 hours and job got done but don’t know if the poor folk ever got paid.
[QUOTE=seadog6608;89354]I was just trying to make the point that some people, particularly those sucking at the taxpayer teat, are inherently lazy.[/QUOTE]
And in doing so, demonstrated a lack of knowledge, and thus a lack of credibility.
James D. Cavo
[QUOTE=jdcavo;89435]And in doing so, demonstrated a lack of knowledge, and thus a lack of credibility.
James D. Cavo
I have to say that for most of my years at ABS, I worked very closely with the USCG and their inspectors, at least those seasoned Warrant Officers that carried out the US Flag vessel inspections. For the most part, these were some of the hardest working and diligent folks that I have ever had the pleasure to work with. If there was an area of knowledge that they weren’t especially strong in, most of them would work to learn more about it. I don’t know how larger ports work, but I can say that there were a whole bunch of great inspectors in Galveston back in the 90s.
[QUOTE=catherder;89358]…I am occasionally turned away from Chinese ships …[/QUOTE]
Way back in another life I worked as a ship inspector for the WA State Dept of Ecology and boarded ships in the Columbia river to observe bunkering procedures and general condition and operations. Few of the FOC ships I visited were ever attended by the CG and the CG even resented WA for usurping their role. I guess they didn’t look at it from the point of view that if they did the job they claimed to do and got budget money to do then WA wouldn’t have felt the need to step in but that is another story with many sides.
Anyway, some of the ships were real horror stories, if they needed a set for another “Death Ship” film location or some Bogart movie, any one of them would have been perfect. I remember one in particular that used bamboo poles wired to the rusted remains of the old railings as substitutes … they were even painted to match the rails that hadn’t rusted away yet.
One time during bunkering of diesel I was on deck at the bunker station when a frantic radio call came up to stop the transfer and everyone disappeared. They were very hesitant to let me go to the engine room but after a reminder of why I was onboard I went down to find most of the crew scooping diesel from the bilge with buckets. A rusted line had failed at the manifold. I called my office and they called the CG. Since there was no oil in the water, the CG didn’t care enough to send anyone to the ship.
The agriculture lobby has its claws deeply into the necks of those who are paid by the taxpayer to protect public interests. In the case of the CG, it is not a good career move to threaten profits built on the cheap movement of grain or timber.
[QUOTE=follow40;89404]in this day and age it is not good that this is happening, there is obviously something going wrong.[/QUOTE]
I think that we will be seeing more, not less of this sort of thing. The parasites have skimmed the cream off the economy and they will continue to find ways to feed off what remains. They will whittle away at human rights and working conditions that cost them pennies in profit but may literally mean the difference between life and death for mariners and other workers.
We have just seen the depths the politicians will sink to keep their offices and status intact, they will sell everything the American worker has built or fought to win if that is what it takes to fund their campaigns and lifestyle. They will gut the agencies created to protect the environment and society from the kind of excesses that forced their creation.
There may be hard working, dedicated, ethical people in the CG but they are not in a position to enforce standards much less improve them. The system is broken and the inertia that keeps the legend alive is winding down. As the economy spirals down the toilet we will see who holds the real power and who they are in office to defend.
The American merchant marine and the American mariner is not among the chosen few.
With apologies to Mr Cavo; I realise that all government employees are not merely teat-suckers. But you have to admit that you see that type everyday at work. I was with MSC for a long while. The system has a lot of deadweight, both ashore and afloat. There are people occupying jobs that really serve no purpose. The jobs could be easily elliminated and rolled into the job of the person sitting at the next desk. Its a government wide systemic problem.