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Thread: AMO's opinion of TransAtlantic Lines

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    NewEngr is offline gCaptain Crew
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    Default AMO's opinion of TransAtlantic Lines

    TransAtlantic Lines: Unsafe at Any Speed

    By Captain Mike Murphy
    National Vice President, Government Relations


    TransAtlantic Lines, LLC, owner and operator of three ships under U.S. Government contract, lost their Document of Compliance to operate vessels in December of last year. This was as a result of flagrant violations of proper safety procedures and poor ship maintenance. All of their vessels were immediately sent to port where they remain today. TAL's loss of their Document of Compliance is only the second time that a company's gross mismanagement has resulted in a removal since the International Safety Management Code went into effect in 1996.

    The International Safety Management Code requires every operating company to hold a Document of Compliance. This document is a certification by a classification society, such as American Bureau of Shipping, and the U.S. Coast Guard that a company has a Safety Management System in place to competently operate ships under all conditions and to properly maintain their ships. The classification society, with oversight from the U.S. Coast Guard, in addition to auditing the company, also inspects and audits each of the company's ships to ensure that the company's Safety Management System is implemented and the vessel is being properly maintained. Each successfully inspected vessel then receives a Safety Management Certificate, which allows it to operate under the International Safety Management Code.

    As soon as TAL lost their document, Military Sealift Command cancelled their contract to deliver petroleum to U.S. bases in the western Pacific since they were no longer a valid ship operator.

    However, the U.S. Transportation Command's Surface Deployment and Distribution Command, which has contracts with TAL to service the Azores and Ascension did not follow suit. They have allowed TAL to charter other U.S. flag vessels to meet their contract commitments. The fact that TAL still retains a contract with SDDC, even though they do not qualify as a ship operating company, has brought complaints from legitimate operators who can meet all terms of the contracts.

    TransAtlantic Lines is owned by Gudmundur Kjaernested, an Icelandic citizen, and Brandon C. Rose, a U.S. citizen. The company is located in Greenwich, Connecticut. Mr. Kjaernested is also president of an Icelandic shipping company. TAL's owners have been rigorously non-union throughout its history. Their low wages, coupled with little or no benefit contributions, allow them to underbid all companies employing union seafarers on government contracts.

    American Maritime Officers, through its Washington, D.C. office has been pursuing the names of officers serving on TAL's vessels through various agencies and using the Freedom of Information Act. Our rationale is that there are a limited number of unlimited licensed senior officers with an STCW endorsement and we know where nearly all of them work. Therefore, we believe they must be using officers either "moonlighting" or retired from one of the three officer unions. If TAL is able to use our active or retired members who are drawing benefits from their respective union, it is tantamount to the unions subsidizing a non-union company.

    The three unions are actively reviewing all names obtained and any active or retired member caught working with TAL will be dealt with severely. American Maritime Officers has already expelled a member who was discovered working for TAL while on vacation.

    TransAtlantic Lines has been operating a substandard shipping company and this fact has finally been reinforced by the actions of the American Bureau of Shipping and the U.S. Coast Guard. This should be a wake up call to companies that want to run a shoddy operation and exploit seafarers.

    *****

    Not that I disagree with them about the condition of TAL's ships and working conditions, but AMO seems to be a bit high on their horse assuming there are a "limited number of unlimited licensed senior officers with an STCW endorsement." The fact that they can look up people's names and where they work seems a bit far-fetched to me. Scare tactics?...
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    That's a load of crap that the unions are doin that! If shipping is down, what are we suppose to do? Go broke? Glad I'm no longer union
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    Default Re: AMO's opinion of TransAtlantic Lines

    I thought I'd never say that but as bad as the AMO is...TAL is worse by several orders of magnitude! If there ever were a company that should be unionized it's them.

    TAL is the worst US flag ship operating company I have ever encountered and that's saying alot because I've been around 30 years in this sorry industry and have run across more than my share of shitty assed companies!

    Eat shit and die Gudmundor you snivelling puke...
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    Trust me, I know how bad that company is... but if not for that rust bucket, I would have lost my bacon. What you do on your off time should have nothing to do with the unions
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    Default Re: AMO's opinion of TransAtlantic Lines

    Quote Originally Posted by ryanwood86 View Post
    Trust me, I know how bad that company is... but if not for that rust bucket, I would have lost my bacon. What you do on your off time should have nothing to do with the unions
    I understand that when you needed a source of income, you could get a job. But when i worked for AMO, I was made aware that they were my employer in the maritime industry. If I wanted to work in the industry on the side during my vacation, I had to get their blessing or suffer possible repercussions. Granted if the guy that they kicked out had made a "donation" to the political action fund, he might have skated by...
    Strippers changed my life- Brad Pitt
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    emxer is offline gCaptain Greenhorn
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    Default Re: AMO's opinion of TransAtlantic Lines

    Hey, that "voluntary" $400 "donation" paid for some very important political trips to Hawaii for the McKay brothers.
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    Same TAL that tow the 'Guantanamo Bay Express' to and from JAX with tug SPENCE?
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    Yes, its the same one.
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    cmakin is offline Top Contributer
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    Default Re: AMO's opinion of TransAtlantic Lines

    In reading the notice by Capt. Murphy, he does not seem to understand just how Class Societies work. While I am not personally aware of the condition of any of the vessels referenced, my guess is that the Union wants to be the sole exploiter of merchant seamen.
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    That's job security for the shore side people in the unions! Funny how the donations are supposed to help the unions with shipping and contracts ... yet the unions are not doing so hot.
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    Default Re: AMO's opinion of TransAtlantic Lines

    "Therefore, we believe they must be using officers either "moonlighting" or retired from one of the three officer unions. If TAL is able to use our active or retired members who are drawing benefits from their respective union, it is tantamount to the unions subsidizing a non-union company."

    ok I have a problem with this statement! I agree active members should not be moonlighting, but including retired menbers in this is way off base!

    AMO pensioners retiring after 20 years can only take a monthly pension now, and cannot work on any AMO vessel as of the retire date, unlike all the 'retirees" who got million dollar buyouts and continue to work on AMO contracted ships. So, you are now upset that a monthly pensioner is trying to make ends meet working for a non AMO company? Am I wrong here that AMO wants it both ways? Opinions?
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    Default Re: AMO's opinion of TransAtlantic Lines

    TAL pays less than an AMO company my ass. I took a tagos job in late 1999, the only amo job I've ever done, Third Mate wages were $80.00 per day. Weekend watch pay was less than regular overtime. AMO, the mckays and the siu and saccoshit can kiss my fuzzy American ass.
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