Suggestion ; availability notifying systems

Too easy exemptions & waivers on the basis of unavailability of U.S. candidate really hurt us all.
Because, there’s no system in place to investigate the availability.

Is there a board or a place, I do not know, to report?
If not, any chance to suggest USCG to keep one?

[QUOTE=capitanahn;43019]Too easy exemptions & waivers on the basis of unavailability of U.S. candidate really hurt us all.
Because, there’s no system in place to investigate the availability.

Is there a board or a place, I do not know, to report?
If not, any chance to suggest USCG to keep one?[/QUOTE]

If a job is one which requires or creates a federal exemption should no Americans be “available” then that job offer should have to be filed with the US Department of Labor and the labor department in the state where the job is located or advertised. Job applicants should respond to the State or Federal employment department having that job opportunity on file. Only then will there be a paper trail of those jobs and a simple and foolproof way to eliminate the lie that no qualified Americans applied. It would provide job tracking. If the applicant was afraid to complain, it wouldn’t matter, the application would be on file and that by itself is proof of fraud should a foreign ringer show up on a waiver application. If the job is a maritime job then MARAD or the CG should be required to maintain records of jobs offered and who applied for them. They are in the best position to determine who is or is not “qualified” for those positions. The State has a vested interest in finding employment for its taxpaying citizens.

When employment fraud is proven, the company committing the fraud should be barred from doing business in the US forever. Any law firm which assists that company with advice on how to avoid hiring Americans should lose its license to practice law. It is time these criminals are held accountable.

I can see the need for such a system, but it would have to be tied in to a minimum wage scenario. Otherwise the companies would simply turn off he US applicants by advertising an unrealistic pay rate for the positions. Thereby deterring US applicants from applying. Would you apply for a masters position in OCS or fishing for Tuna at say $250 per day or less? But other nationals would.

I witnessed a system practiced in one country, where lots of foreign laborers taking over jobs from locals like here.

Seaman if one wants to get hired reports to the Port Authority ( it acted as USCG, here ) with all the certs, Licenses & sea times, etc.

Shipping companies must go through the list of seamen who reported there, first.

And the company couldn’t find a cadidate from the list, and then the company applied for employment of foreign seaman, for the needed spot.

There was no captains available in the list, and the shipping company hired me through that process. I got a foreign ship Captain’s job, that way.

If there were any captain in the list who wanted to get hired, I would have been rejected…

Wish we had a system something similiar…

[QUOTE=CaptAndrew;43027]Otherwise the companies would simply turn off he US applicants by advertising an unrealistic pay rate for the positions.[/QUOTE]

I cannot go to a gas station in Europe and demand that they sell me gas for the same price I would pay in Venezuela.

It’s our country, we get to make the rules. The wages or salary should be the prevailing wage rate for that type of work for Americans on American ships. The department of labor and IRS has the statistics, it’s not hard to “investigate” fraudulent practices. If the wage rate is below the prevailing rate in order to exclude Americans then no exemption should be issued. There are already laws on the books for wage rates on federal contracts and since a federal waiver is required for these jobs, it is not a great stretch to use that same practice. When those companies are shown to be engaged in fraudulent practices in order to obtain an exemption the executives and owners should be charged with fraud, perjury, and conspiracy. Throw the whole RICO book at the bastards.

[QUOTE=Steamer;43035]
It’s our country, we get to make the rules. The wages or salary [U][B]should[/B][/U] be the prevailing wage rate for that type of work for Americans on American ships. The department of labor and IRS has the statistics, it’s not hard to “investigate” fraudulent practices. If the wage rate is below the prevailing rate in order to exclude Americans then no exemption should be issued. There are already laws on the books for wage rates on federal contracts and since a federal waiver is required for these jobs, it is not a great stretch to use that same practice. When those companies are shown to be engaged in fraudulent practices in order to obtain an exemption the executives and owners should be charged with fraud, perjury, and conspiracy. Throw the whole RICO book at the bastards.[/QUOTE]

I wholeheartedly agree. But I would not hold my breath waiting for it to happen.

Wish there’s a board or place where U.S. Coast Guard can see the available U.S. Mariners for the jobs
which can go to foreign counterparts otherwise.

One idea I had was for there to be a notice posted in the Federal Register each time a shipowner requested a waiver and then solicite comments or “notice of availability” from mariners. I know that the Dept of Transportation posts a notice each time a shipowner requests a Coastwise Trade waiver. Of course, it would require someone to constantly watch the Federal Register to make sure no request for waiver notice was missed but getting the word out through a forum like gCaptain here. When one was posted the word could then be put out that such and such a company was trying to get a waiver and anybody with the credentials and qualifications could make their interest and availability part of the public record. This could be done without the USCG setting up a whole new database but I do believe that something must be created that USCG and DoL can access to clearly show them the number of qualified US mariners available. Right now they have absolutely nothing other than the smoke the shipowners blow up the government’s ass. The only way the USCG found out about how Veolia was bullshitting them again in their current request for yet another wiaver. Somebody had to go to the government to tell them but nothing was posted to say that Veolia was making tht request. That is why there must be a form of public notice.

Regarding wage discrimination, that has got to be addressed. There is a new NVIC on the issuance of waivers being drafted now to replace NVIC 7/84 which is currently the one in place governing the USCGs handling of waiver requests. It will be critical to make sure in that new NVIC there is clear language that wage rates can not be used to determine that US citizen mariners are “not available”. Count on me to be posting more information here about that new NVIC as it is being developed…I plan to stay in touch with the USCG Office of Foreign and Offshore Vessel Division throughout the process. I believe that office is actually on the side of the US mariner and will do right by us, but we can’t take our eye off the ball.

[QUOTE] but I do believe that [B]something must be created that <ACRONYM title=“United States Coast Guard”>USCG</ACRONYM> and DoL can access to clearly show them the number of qualified US mariners available.[/B] Right now they have absolutely nothing other than the smoke the shipowners blow up the government’s ass.[UNQUOTE]

Can we propose to USCG and DOL to create something?
I frankly do not how to make it happen.
Any good idea?

[QUOTE=capitanahn;43290]
Can we propose to USCG and DOL to create something?
I frankly do not how to make it happen.
Any good idea?[/QUOTE]

Tony Munoz in his OpEd stated:

[U]And, any other waiver of US citizen mariners should be in the public record and open to comments just like this proposed rulemaking process. [/U]

I think it can be that simple. All that is required is someone to always watch for when these waivers are requested and then to come onto gCaptain to spread the word. This really appears to have worked with the current Federal Register request for comments.

Pretty much, we all go out to sea making a living…so, someone always watching for the waivers could be a challenge…

[QUOTE=capitanahn;43305]Pretty much, we all go out to sea making a living…so, someone always watching for the waivers could be a challenge…[/QUOTE]

That’s one way an association could be of value but I am beginning to think that a single point of communication might be just as capable. gCaptain has proven in my mind that an open forum is very useful in disseminating important information to a professional community like ours. I for one, am certainly glad we have it.