MM&P Hopes to Pad Ranks with Brown Water Mariners
New York Harbor Tug Boat Captains and Crews, Staten Island Ferry Workers, Circle Line and Other Tourist Boat Crews Vote on Joining New Union
Uniting with the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots will bring added clout, resources and training to local mariners and open the door to opportunities beyond the East Coast, the union said.
Ballots are arriving in the mail this week at the homes of 1,300 area mariners for an election to decide whether local watermen will join a large national union of deck officers who serve on ocean-going ships, and which also represents captains and crews on inland waterways beyond New York Harbor. Ballots will be tabulated and results announced in mid-November.
Ron Tucker, Secretary Treasurer of Local 333, the group that currently represents the men and women who work on most of New York Harbor’s unionized tugs and tourist boats said, “This is a win-win both for folks in maritime here in the New York and New Jersey area and for the Masters, Mates & Pilots. Through this merger we will gain strength, we will gain access to legal, lobbying and financial support, to a state-of-the-art training facility and yet we will still maintain local control.”
The International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots represents deck officers who serve on U.S.-flagged ships that sail across the globe delivering goods, including military cargo and American food aid. The union also represents workers at ferry services similar to the Staten Island Ferry in Washington State and Alaska as well as on boats involved in the tourist trade, tugboats, dredges and other vessels that work in inland waters. Harbor pilots in ports across the nation, including those who guide large ships through New York Harbor, are also members of the national union.
“While we represent many ship’s officers and harbor pilots who live in the greater metropolitan New York area and who navigate large commercial vessels in and out of the Port of New York and New Jersey every day, we haven’t had much of a presence aboard smaller vessels working the harbor and the coastal waters of the Northeast for many years,” said Captain Don Marcus, who serves as President of the Masters Mates & Pilots.