Waiting in union halls

Ab here thinking about going union. Is waiting in the hall still a thing? Or are they capable of just calling or emailing you?

The ABs on my ship are SIU. You have to go to the hall. I am not sure if book seniority is a factor, but if you complete a few rotary jobs and get recommended by the captain/company I think some companies can get you on a 5-year permanent spot. Right now there are pages and pages of open jobs on the SIU board. I’m sure if you have your ducks in a row you’ll get a job the first day in the hall. Some other SIU ABs I know have established a solid reputation with their patrolman and sometimes they get phone calls at home telling them to come grab a job that they’ll hold for them.
SUP I am not sure. I would imagine there’s gonna be some hanging around the hall.

A newbie stands to benefit a great deal by “hanging around the hall.”


Also known as giving the patrolman a kickback. Why the SIU members put up with that is beyond me.

Sad state of affairs for an organization calling itself a union.


yea, it’s ok if you don’t have to really camp there.

I guy i went to school with graduated and went down to the hall at MMP. He thought it was on the level. He would stare at a job opening on the board all day long salivating, only to have some drunken mate stumble in 10 minutes before the deadline and take the job.

It took a week before he realized what was going on. He did manage to get a few night mate gigs in Newark before he was hired by MSC.

Right now it’s not the case. Both licensed and unlicensed unions can’t get bodies to fill all the billets. If you have all your documentation i.e. MMC, STCW, USCG medical certificate, current drug screen you can be on a ship in a few days.

Unions pulling guys out of retirement just to maintain obligations to provide crew.

MEBA has had open board top paying box boat jobs they can’t fill on west coast. 3 AE making $16K a month without counting vacation.


The day a job is going to get a called is not a secret , the company knows and they’ll tell me if I ask. The company will notify people that have proved reliable as will crew members.

It’s good to be in that network but even without that information savvy members can figure out when the jobs on ships on the liner runs are going to be called.

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True; double edged sword too for the military contract vessels. It looks like a lot of those jobs have been sitting there forever and you might be out there for a lot longer than you originally bargained for. No problem for the young guys, but could be problematic for people with families.

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Split off a number of posts that moved off topic.

Going back to the original question posted in this thread; if you want a job there is no waiting at the various halls. It may not be a top contract but there are plenty of jobs. I took a class recently at the MEBA school and we had a young 3rd not long in her career. My advice was these good times never last forever. Get time on the license (to upgrade) and time in the union (to move towards Group 1 status). There will be good ships and the not-so-good. In the end, if they enjoy what they do, everything else will generally fall into place.