Thoughts on Waivers for Foreigners working in the GOM on Drilling Rigs

[QUOTE=ChiefRob;87652]It says on there home page that it was originally called the gulf coast mariners assocation, and formed by the AFL-CIO along with the help of 4 unions. I guess the unions gave up in 2003, pulled out, and they changed the name to what it is now. It says on there website it is not a union, but it obviously as some union ties or support, behind it. I remember when this was all going on in the Gulf, however I was working on a ferrin flag ship, and didn’t really get to see much of it. I do remember hearing that most of the bayou companies hired people to rally against it, and it stirred up a bunch of stink.

You don’t hear much out of them now days, so I can’t even speculate how loud loud there voice is, obviously not to loud, or you would hear alot more about them.

I don’t think any association that limits itself to only one class of mariners is going to accomplish much. If you want to succed you need everyone, with a z-card and up involved, to be effective. IMHO[/QUOTE]

In the end all roads lead right to gCaptain and John. This site reaches each coast and ever sector of the industry. I’d write John a check tomorrow to join any association he might start.

John…I know you don’t want to, but think that if you just started it and got it on it’s feet then you could step back and let others take the reigns. We just need a person with all the creds you have to get something like this away from the dock and underway for sea.

IF I had a website that depended on shipping interest advertising dollars and the advertising dollars of the suppliers that service them I am not sure it would be in my best interest to be too outspoken on maritime labor issues. Who knows? I might be able to sell my website for millions some day to Marine Log publishers or Lloyds or some such.
Were I a grumpy old man who had his nest egg socked away and was sickened by the oligarchy that would eventually reduce all USA mariners to the status of the excellent if underpaid Filipino mariner I’d volunteer to be the mariners’ lobbyist; but I’d need a few million up front just to be taken seriously by the crooks running the game.

Why do rigs in the US GOM have to hire US mariners but not foreign owned service vessels working on the OCS?

I know that vessels that are foreign owned/operated and foreign flagged can be crewed by foreigners according to current law. Are the subsea 7 boats and Skandi boats managed by personnel abroad or people located in the US?

Two very simple rule changes are needed. First, there should be a $50,000 application fee required for each waiver application. It costs us taxpayers money to hire bureaucrats to process these waiver applications. Let the applicants pay for a very through investigation of every application. Second, let them have some waivers, PROVIDED that they must hire and actually train two Americans (at the same salary) for each waiver issued.

[QUOTE=Kougar018;91241]I know that vessels that are foreign owned/operated and foreign flagged can be crewed by foreigners according to current law. Are the subsea 7 boats and Skandi boats managed by personnel abroad or people located in the US?[/QUOTE]

because for the most part the rigs are owned by American corporations but the boats are owned by foreigners

PART 141 — PERSONNEL [ 33 CFR 141 ]

Subpart A—Restrictions on Employment

§ 141.1 Purpose.

This subpart prescribes rules governing restrictions on the employment of personnel on units engaged in OCS activities.

§ 141.5 Applicability.

(3) Unit over 50 percent of which is owned by one or more citizens of a foreign nation or with respect to which one or more citizens of a foreign nation have the right effectively to control, except to the extent and to the degree that the President determines that the government of such foreign nation or any of its political subdivisions has implemented, by statute, regulation, policy, or practice, a national manning requirement for equipment engaged in the exploration, development, or production of oil or gas in its offshore areas.

© The Commandant may, upon request or upon that person’s own initiative, determine whether over 50 percent of a particular unit is owned by citizens of a foreign nation or whether citizens of a foreign nation have the right effectively to control the unit.

u In determining whether ownership or a right effectively to control exists, the Commandant may consider operational control of a unit, management responsibility, title, lease and charter arrangements, and financial interests. [/u]

That last one highlighted is where everything could be turned over on its head if someone had the means and the balls to file suit in Federal Court but no one does seem to. I’ve beat the bushes looking for a company or organization with the cash to pay for the lawyers to do this. At one time Steve Jones who is a big supporter if this cause was interested in doing it but then DEEPWATER HORIZON happened and it is no longer a big issue for him. Steve, if you read this and feel I am wrong PM me please…I’d like to talk with you again.

Veolia is advertising several positions again on Rigzone.

[QUOTE=tugsailor;91294]Veolia is advertising several positions again on Rigzone.[/QUOTE]

Probably more BS for the KINGFISHER which is still operating with a waiver letter to the best of my knowledge. SWORDFISH is being manned by an American company now and has a mixed nationality crew but there are Americans there and that is what is important. All these jobs may not swing over to US nationals at once but so long as they are swinging then we’re going to prevail. Because I am very close to many of the parties involved here I want to give everyone a fair chance to do the right thing at Veolia. In the end, I am expecting those jobs to be filled with US citizens but I am not going to give up my fight while I am waiting. Just not be as loud is all.

[QUOTE=PDCMATE;87388]I was told by someone at transocean that they have filled out waivers as well.[/QUOTE]

Some of their rigs in the GOM operate outside the US EEZ. That being said, they can use foreign crews, even a foreign flag if they so choose.

[QUOTE=MattyB;91307]Some of their rigs in the GOM operate outside the US EEZ. That being said, they can use foreign crews, even a foreign flag if they so choose.[/QUOTE]

absolutely…there are only two authorities of who determines which nationalities must make up a vessel or rig’s crew and that is flag and the port states. Some nations are very strict (Norway, Australia) and some are very loose (Nigeria, Angola) the remainder are in between (Brazil, USA). What is unfortunate for us is that the statutes as enacted by law for the USA are pretty damned strict and if enforced to the letter there would be very few foreign nationals working on any vessel on the GoM. It is just so that the US federal government continues to be true to their reputation and waives or overlooks the law when big companies pressure them to. The working stiff is the looser as usual.

Saw this one in town today never seen them before. Anyone got any info on this thing? Do they have a waiver?

And you can thank the useless spineless Congress and that criminal organization known as MarAd.

They’ve been working in the main pass area around the old sulphur mines for a good while. Don’t have any other info.

These waivers are a pocketbook and jobs issue that we should be spending more time on.

[QUOTE=Fraqrat;100700]Saw this one in town today never seen them before. Anyone got any info on this thing? Do they have a waiver?[/QUOTE]

If they are owned at least 51% by a foreign corporation which does not have a US based operation then yes they get the waivers for vessel and crew automatically. This is shit that these vessel owners don’t even get in Brasil.

A union could fight this but since nobody wants the unions into the GoM then the only other alternative is a professional American mariners association with enough $$$ to lobby in Washington to force the Feds to change their policies. I’ve advocated for such an association here for years now but frankly I don’t see enough of us willing to fork over the cash to fund it effectively. There is only one way to do business in Washington and is to pay to play. Who’d pay $250 a year to be a member and who will run it?

[QUOTE=c.captain;100767]If they are owned at least 51% by a foreign corporation which does not have a US based operation then yes they get the waivers for vessel and crew automatically. This is shit that these vessel owners don’t even get in Brasil.

A union could fight this but since nobody wants the unions into the GoM then the only other alternative is a professional American mariners association with enough $$$ to lobby in Washington to force the Feds to change their policies. I’ve advocated for such an association here for years now but frankly I don’t see enough of us willing to fork over the cash to fund it effectively. There is only one way to do business in Washington and is to pay to play. Who’d pay $250 a year to be a member and who will run it?[/QUOTE]

I know of a situation where a foreign mariner has a waiver. I understand taht once the waiver is in place there isnt mucuh that can be done. But there was an openging for promotion and a qualified US mariner was onboard and was told he was qualified for the position. Managment went with the foreigner becuase he has been with the ship longer… is this grounds for an argument? The american has more experience overall in this capacity and was told he would be next after the foreigner…

If the US is going to bear the risks of oil exploration on its OCS, then taxpaying Americans ought to get the jobs.

Foreign vessels should be required to reflag US in order to work on the US OCS for more than 30 days. Reflagging should be a very simple and fast process.

[QUOTE=c.captain;100767]If they are owned at least 51% by a foreign corporation which does not have a US based operation then yes they get the waivers for vessel and crew automatically. This is shit that these vessel owners don’t even get in Brasil.

A union could fight this but since nobody wants the unions into the GoM then the only other alternative is a professional American mariners association with enough $$$ to lobby in Washington to force the Feds to change their policies. I’ve advocated for such an association here for years now but frankly I don’t see enough of us willing to fork over the cash to fund it effectively. There is only one way to do business in Washington and is to pay to play. Who’d pay $250 a year to be a member and who will run it?[/QUOTE]

SIU has been in Washington, alot. One speech given by Mr. Sacco that I remember was how hard it is becoming to get new lawmakers up to speed on anything in the mariner industry. Which is important as the old school support is retiring. Electing selected representatives that are mariner supporters in local and National politics who will work for mariner issues are badly needed. In my opinion there are some qualifiers right here that know the issues as well as anyone. Any nominations?

That is an excellent point. An effort should be made to encourage mariners, mariners gone shoreside, and retired mariners to seek public office.

[QUOTE=tugsailor;100936]If the US is going to bear the risks of oil exploration on its OCS, then taxpaying Americans ought to get the jobs.

Foreign vessels should be required to reflag US in order to work on the US OCS for more than 30 days. Reflagging should be a very simple and fast process.[/QUOTE]

That would not be financially viable for the offshore drilling companies.