U.S officer and seamen jobs on six liquefied natural gas
(LNG) tankers will be retained after the tankers are reflagged from the U.S. The merchant marine jobs will be guaranteed to American officers and seamen through 2004, according to two agreements announced last week.
The agreements were signed by the American Maritime Officers (AMO) union, the Seafarers International Union (SIU) and PRONAV Ship Management, which manages the ships for BLNG Inc.
Under the agreements, AMO will fill eight officer berths on the six vessels, and SIU will retain all of the existing billets for the unlicensed crewmen.
"Today's unprecedented agreements represent a commitment to American labor," said Michael Dyer
, senior partner at Dyer Ellis & Joseph
, the law firm representing PRONAV
and BLNG. "Since the company had decided to reflag the ships, our priority was to find a way to retain jobs for American seamen, and we achieved that." Dyer continued by saying that these agreements represent a shift in the trend of the last 20 years, where more and more seafaring jobs have not gone to Americans.