I’m thinking about joining a union. I’m a 3rd mate unlimited (in like 2 weeks) and I’d really like to sail blue-water. I’ve had some interest from some drilling companies but nothing like a solid job offer, and I was thinking about joining a union and seeing what I could get until I get a job on a rig or a drillship, if i end up getting an offer, and if not just sticking with the union. What kind of experiences have you guys had with them?
Use the search function!.. Take whatever pays the bills and gives you sea time
As the above poster said, take whatever job you can, whether it’s through MMP, AMO, MEBA or even non-union. I joined MMP out of school and found that it was quite difficult getting any sailing jobs, as you’re a third mate behind an enormous list of new third mates behind an enormous list of A, B and C books who are completely willing to snatch up a third mate job if one appears on the board. Takes awhile to get the hang of bidding for jobs and it’s tough commuting to halls looking for a ship, but call me weird I like it. Not sure how AMO or MEBA works with their jobs, but if someone is interested or willing to hire you and they’re in a union you never considered joining or non-union altogether, just take it. Experience is experience regardless of where you got it.
Take any job you can and get your license higher as you will not have to compete against professional 3rdmates
MMP is really tough for applicants right now. You need an old card for just about any job and then can only usually ship out around the holidays or summer. If you don’t live near a hall, it’s probably not economically beneficial unless you have some money you can live off, or friends you can stay with. It does seem like there is a fair bit of night mate work (8 hour cargo watch jobs in US Ports) but that’s always hit or miss for Applicants.
MEBA lost a bunch of deck jobs, I think all they have left is grey ships or NCL. Not sure how great your chances would be to ship out with them.
I know nothing about AMO except that your best shot with them would be to get hired by a company then join the union.
A friend of mine managed three times in a row as an applicant in the New Orleans hall to get on three different box boats without a problem. Wish I had that kind of luck a year ago, hah. Ho hum.
I went non-union and the ship ended up going MMP… dumbest stroke of luck in the universe. Hopefully a “CE” shipping card as 3rd Mate doesn’t have an expiry or a date at which it rolls over and the 2nd and 3rd Mates go rotary.
[QUOTE=ShooterMcGavin;100079]I went non-union and the ship ended up going MMP… dumbest stroke of luck in the universe. Hopefully a “CE” shipping card as 3rd Mate doesn’t have an expiry or a date at which it rolls over and the 2nd and 3rd Mates go rotary.[/QUOTE]
CE 3rd Mate? Are you on a grey ship? Didn’t realize we had any CE 3rd Mate jobs anymore.
The company I worked for was non-union until Dec 1st of this past year. When the union took over and the company changed hands we were carried over with it. When I picked up my vacation check from the hall they issued me a “CE” card. No idea how it works, seeing as I was an applicant up until that point, but I’m hoping we don’t get switched over to rotary. An A-Book buddy of mine mentioned something about preference expiring after a year… tried to get him to clarify but he’s out on the APL Coral right now so emails are sporadic.
Damn, a co-worker of mine sailed the g lakes and his ship (iron ore for Ford) was taken over by union, and he was shown the door. He has a bitter view toward unions to this day. Me, I’m from a union family and an ex-Steelworker from my SY days so I’m flexible and will look at any means to an end.
I’ve contacted SUP, MFOW, and IBU this week and they were kind enough to send me information.
A followup from the higher ups in Mobile stated that yes, MMP did in fact give 3rd and 2nd Mates “CE” status on all UOS vessels, which they keep until they choose to resign. Guess it’s one of those rare occurrences, even the old timers in the union hall were surprised to hear it. Prior to that I never heard of anyone below CM/Master holding that kind of card.