Union or not?

I have not worked on a boat with union backink yet and was woundering it its worth the time and effort or just go to a good company with a good reputation?

Unions suck but if you are in a bind take whatever job you can get. Use the recency and the coin to seek a better job. You’re gaining seatime toward and upgrade at the same time so it won’t be a total waste of time.

NOT !!!

No way. There are always other opportunities.

Unfortunately I am one of many being extorted by Local 333 UMD in NY. The union provides zero in schooling, zero in pension, zero in benefits and zero in representation. What you do get is a $45/month bill, and one of two former deckhand delegates with basic education. One of the delegates happens to be a former scab during the 80’s strike and the other looks like any other typical Richmond Terrace bum. The only thing lacking is a bottle of mad dog sticking out of his back pocket. With that being said, reputable companies tend to take care of their decent employees. The only union I would recommend is MEBA.

I would generally agree. I worked with two decent unions and one that was bottom of the barrel. Now I work non union and appreciate it. Having that experience I would do it again if I was in a bind. Going with a reputable company will go a long way. Whether union or non union, good companies will try and take care of their employees. With the bottom of the barrel “union”, the company had to constantly fight with them on our behalf. Kind of backwards. It just got old. For West Coast towing work IBU and MM&P inland group are decent.

It’s all cyclical. I sailed 39 years. The first 15 years I worked for 7 companies in the oilfield, salvage and research vessels and a couple of fish and crab processers. The next 24 years, I worked for 2 SIU Inland contracted companies. At that time, the pay was much higher than the oilfield and many deep sea contracts. Benefits were very good. Paid transportation 28/28. I retired at 56. Could have retired at 55.

Like Fraqrat said, start where you can and weigh your options as you progress.