In a recent forum thread I asked what the world would look like if a hypothetical omnipotent American maritime union came to power. My personal responses to the posts were uncharacteristically abrasive. Why?
Partly out of frustration and partly because its my job as a gCaptain editor to push buttons.
gCaptain has grown larger and has more influence within the industry than I ever dreamed it would have. Further blogs and online media have become a much more powerful tool for change than anyone expected. And gCaptain has a lot of IOUs stored up at a gew BIG media that we have yet to use. I’m not saying this to bost and I do not want to argue these basic facts. What I do want to figure out is how to use this influence for good.
My original plan was to build gCaptain’s influence then open it up to forum members who would post articles here that we could distribute via our main site. But despite several attempts, that never happened.
So in recently evaluating the options I said, well screw it, we can just get a big loan and hire the journalists to start pushing a few common agendas ourselves.
But what adgenda do we tackle first?
I researched the threads and one topic that came up more than other is the fact that unions compete against each other. We could start by suggesting they work together for their common interest.
I thought that by creating a hypothetical MEGAUNION scenario you guys could help me flesh out the advantages of this idea for our first article but that didn’t happen. Instead the conversation devolved into a littany of problems, worries about loosing status-quo benefits and outright anger at me personally when I started poking with pointed questions.
So here’s my problem. I would like to do more to help push positive agendas. And I want to work for what YOU all want not what benefits me or gCaptain.
But how can I do that if even posts clearly marked as HYPOTHETICAL (with a wholly ridiculous title to boot) spurn scorn and accusation.
So the question is what can all us American mariners agree on? What topic can I start digging into without worrying about infighting among American industry insiders?
Or, more broadly, how (or where) do we (All American Mariners) start working together to defibrillate this Merchant Marine of ours?
P.S. I’m not intentionally excluding the international crowd here… I’d love to help you guys to but I have to start with what I know best.