Switching Unions AMO/MEBA

I am a 3 A/E who just started at AMO and am fixing to get off a long first tour but wanting to go MEBA instead. If I apply for vacation pay for the tour I just completed, am I obligated to pay all of the initiation fee and quarterly dues during the quarters I have been in the union?

Best to contact M.E.B.A. directly at HQ or nearest Port Branch.

I will start off by saying I may not have the answer you are looking for. Certainly, the MEBA will take your application, money and let you join. The question is where you stand (owe) with the AMO for the time you worked there. It really boils down to all that fine print you signed when you joined the AMO. You may very well owe them since you’ve done a tour. How much will depend on what you agreed to when you signed the paperwork.


No. Pay your dues for the quarters you were sailing and then just leave. You’re an applicant not a book member. AMO and MEBA have a pass through agreement anyways so it’s possible to basically work for both unions.


Why would MEBA be able to tell him if he owes AMO money?


Did you take any classes at the STAR center as an AMO member? You can still swap in that case but AMO would likely come after you for the cost of any classes.

That’s not how the pass thru agreement works for MEBA-AMO. It is a case by case basis that both unions have to agree to. I can see the possibility of an AMO member trying to sail MEBA, especially during a breakout, but you wont find any MEBA members trying to sail AMO.

The MMP-MEBA pass thru is much different and N/A to engineers although there are times a few might grab one of the tanker jobs at MMP.

AMO will have no idea if you bail and go to MEBA. pay the minimum required to AMO to collect your vacation then go join MEBA. MEBA will have no ide you were AMO, and they would not care anyway.

Shoot me a message if you want more info. There are plenty of good jobs to be had right away with MEBA, and there is an pension too if you have any plans to make it a career. .

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Then why have I already worked with two MEBA engineers?

what company/ship?

No, I just started my career. I got on this ship a week after I graduated, all I’ve done is go through the sign up process with Crowley/AMO and have paid for one quarterly dues. So im still an applicant with AMO and probation with crowley to be the permanent 3 AE on this vessel. I haven’t been discharged yet from the vessel.

I am on an APT tanker with Crowley

Im thinking that’s how it’s probably going to end up going if I decide to switch. I’m going be getting off here with about 100 days so I definitely want that vacation pay & if I have to pay the initiation fee it’s best to pay it by the end of this year because right now it’s reduced to $2,500 and will go to $5,500 next year I believe.

I really like the tanker and crew on the ship im on now but out of excitement of a position opening up. I chose this ship because I cadet sailed on it and liked it & though it would be a great first ship to really learned the job and knew the senior officers would take the time to help me out. My thought process is if I work a permanent position for a company I would be treated more as an investment rather than another 3rd filling a contract. I didn’t look into the salary after graduating. I knew it wouldn’t compare to MEBA but it ended up being a lot less than I thought once I got on board.

I also chose this position because If I have a choice to choose how long I can sail I would like to do 60 days at a time but even the tankers are hurting to find 3rds and I’ve gotten stuck on here longer than planned waiting for a relief.

I haven’t really decided if I want to make the jump to MEBA yet, I do really like tanker, this ship, and have been getting the experience I came here for. I just know I can make more with MEBA, & I live right next to the Houston hall so the inconvenience of going to a hall isn’t a factor for why a chose AMO. Also, if I’m going to get suck on here for over 3 months on a regular basis due to the shortage, I’d rather make more for my time away.

I would say you are learning very quickly. I have been working side by side with MEBA engineers for two decades and have yet to see a third engineer be held over waiting for a rotary relief.

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Something to think about is job satisfaction. Sounds like you have lucked upon a good crew/vessel and people willing to help you learn stuff. That is very important in your young career. What if you go MEBA and get a “Not so good” vessel. I always tried to make the most money while away from home. Peace of mind comes in a close second. The 3AE shortage is industry wide, you are not alone regarding timely relief. If you have to work extra, much easier on a “Good Boat/crew”. than a bad one. Good luck sir whatever you decide.

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Then one gets off at the next USA port and tries again to find a good vessel.

The good news is that it appears many of the assholes are disappearing or being forced to get attitude adjustments.