1-800-JonesAct – The best known online resource for the Jones Act, provided by the Ogletree Abbott Law Firm of Houston, Tx. We can’t personally vouch for their integrity or legal expertise, but they’ve done more than anyone else to put this very important information at your disposal free of charge. For this the MTVA applauds them.
National Mariners Association – Capt. Richard Block and his crew have been fighting the good fight for all of us for years (previously as the Gulf Coast Mariners Association) by keeping pressure on the Coast Guard, unscrupulous vessel operators and the powerful trade/owner associations like the American Waterways Operators and Offshore Marine Services Association. Now they’ve gone nation-wide! They’re the best friends we limited-tonnage mariners have, so please consider joining so you can support their important activities in Washington, D.C. Come on, cough it up you cheap bastards!
The Inland Boatmen’s Union (IBU) – The biggest union on the West Coast for limited-tonnage workboat mariners of all types. They’re affiliated with the International Longshore & Warehouse Union, and based in Seattle.
American Maritime Officers (AMO) – There’s some interesting reading on their site, though they seem to be yet another example of what happens when union members put too much trust in their elected officials and then don’t pay attention. They’re also an S.I.U. affiliate, and based in Dania, Fl.
The Association for Union Democracy – If your union has forgotten what democracy means and who it is they’re supposed to be working for, and you want to know what you can do about it, then this is your site. A great how-to manual for going about fixing a broken union.
National Labor Relations Board – This agency is the government’s referee for disputes, squabbles and fights between unions and management, unions and their discontented members, non-union workers who want to unionize and management-types that want to prevent it, disenchanted union members who want to get rid of their union, and so on. Probably not a very fun job. Lots of good information here for those who want to form a union, get rid of a union, or who aren’t quite sure what they want to do. Plus the entire text of the Labor Relations Act of 1935. Read it if you dare!
USCG Licensing & Documentation, Military Sea Service, TWIC, FCC Licensing, U.S. Passports & Traveler’s Health Information
Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) – You can’t get seafarer’s documents from the Coast Guard anymore unless you have one of these first. If you should allow it to expire then you’re seafarer’s documents immediately become null and void. One job, two completely different (and indifferent) bureaucracies to deal with. What a great system!
F.C.C. GMDSS Radio Operator’s License – Information about the F.C.C. radio license you need to work on vessels equipped for the GMDSS radio service. Anyone who wants to be able to work internationally on the larger SOLAS-compliant vessels (like some ATB’s and OSV’s) needs this license.
U.S. Passports – If you want to be able to travel and work internationally you’ll need one of these. Here’s the latest word, right from the U.S. State Department.