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Thread: To Kick Start this!

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    Default Re: To Kick Start this!

    a very interesting view of the loss of our mn in general ......one small point i would make is the statement to me in 60 by the then shields breakaway union man jim slater was ...we will stop the shipowners making all this money while we seamen get nowt .....join our breakaway movement i will get you 200 quid a week.....he later ends up the NUS president ...hell bent on causing a strike in tally with other left minded union chiefs at that time ...he stated in shields before being the president of the NUS that he was a member of the communist party and proud to represent seamen...well there might have been one or two seaman earning two hundred quid a week ...but thousands with no ships .....as the financiers of the shipping owners and the owners themselves decided better returns would be found elsewhere.....as for bunker fuel going through the roof ...the greeks and russians who had massive fleets also paid similar prices ....without the massive prices of new builds ......but what do i know only that if there was a reasonable return on vessels we would still have a vibrant MERCHANT NAVY.....if there is a profit to be made finance will be found.....cappy

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  3. #42
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    Default Re: To Kick Start this!

    I sailed as Cook on the BEECHFIELD, of Savages, when the cook was killed in the galley. 1952, it was my second trip to sea, Joined as Ordinary Seaman.,

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  5. #43
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    Default Re: To Kick Start this!

    It used to be that it was that the best guy to ashore with was the radio operator on deep sea vessels as if he was adrift the ship could not sail as he was the only person qualified to handle communications.
    This ended with the introduction of GMDSS in 1988 wherein responsibility for radio communications were passed onto the bridge watch keeping officer's who all had to hold a g.o.c. certificate as part of their GMDSS certificate. If you look at the STCW safe Manning regulations there is a clause which says that the owner is required to provide provision for proper food and drinking water. This applies to any ship of over 500gt. which if you delve deeper into the regs. requires the carriage of a qualified ships cook.
    https://www.gov.uk/government/public...d-watchkeeping
    As a further comment on the flying of the Blue Ensign, it was my belief that you only needed two RNR guys on board to enable the Blue Ensign to be flown, however I doubt that any owner would supply that ensign as part of the ships standard required flag outfit. I only sailed on one ship where we flew the Blue Ensign and that was when the captain, a avid RNR guy who always carried his own blue ensign, was overjoyed to find the new joining chief engineer was also a fellow RNR member. He proudly pulled out his own ensign and got us to fly it after. He was not very chuffed to see his ensign all dirty and tattered after a couple of days in port in high winds and with exhaust fumes from the funnel covering it.
    Rgds
    J.A.

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    Default Re: To Kick Start this!

    As a follow on it would appear that in 1868 legislation was brought in requiring merchant ships to carry certified officers according to this in our local paper with the marine school being the first ever dedicated to the sole purpose of training ships officers. ( Don't know if it was both deck and engine back in those days).
    Rgds
    J.A.
    https://www.shieldsgazette.com/news/...sary-1-9525654

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    Default Re: To Kick Start this!

    Cappy, I have just read your remarks about Jim Slater. I remember him well, and was one of the reasons for leaving the MN early. At the time I was working for ESSO, when we had the option of paying our dues to the union or a nominated charity. As I had no faith in the union looking after my interests, I opted to pay my two bob dues to the King George Home. When I was due to return from leave, I was summoned to the head office in Victoria St for a meeting with Slater. After a period of some 2 hours of him browbeating and bullying, he stated that if I defaulted on one payment to the charity, he would make sure that I would never work at sea again. I eventually told him that if the union was so desperate, then the union could reluctantly have my dues. As you remark, he was a committed communist and personally, I feel that it was the likes of him who caused the demise of the Merchant Navy.

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  10. #46
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    Default Re: To Kick Start this!

    ###how refreshing louis to get confirmation of slater and his bullying tactics .....he was a very unlikeable man .......but like others at that time ie scargill and some motor union men they were intent on causing problems for the country both left and right .....slater in shields was always like the union men calling strikes in the shipyards... the bully boys were always around him ..he was a ships fireman ...nothing wrong with that but had never been deep sea only on the north east colliers he was quite an ignorant man and how he got in that position has always been a mystery some others may know the answer to.....i believe a lot was because if you had done your long trip the last thing you wanted was going to union meetings and it is my fervent belief that his tactics were one of the reasons the shipowners were pulling out ....slater had a chance to do what the U boats couldnt do ...ie stop the country eating ...along with others ie scargill no coal put the lights out and stop industry in this country working....i believe the unions were needed many years ago ....but the wrong folk had hold of them at that time......people forget the winter of discontent ...no lights ...no burials... no factories working... three day weeks .....well my parting shot is when i ran my own factory there was no union involved...the local donkey and that was what he was came and begged me to let him speak to my people....i told them he was coming at closing time .....he stood in the reception and was almost bowled over by my folk ....who where paid well above union rates anyway ......whoops sorry if it appears a dialoge but i dont need any body to tell me i can work or not .....to many bums hide under that mantle.. at last some else showing the true colours of the president ...what a laugh ...of the seamans union.....cappy from shields

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    Default Re: To Kick Start this!

    I believe the demise of the British Merchant Navy came about after a secret meeting at the United Nations after the second World War where Britain was told to that they had to share world trade cargoes with just about every country in the world, {The USA declined}even with those with no sea ports, I believe the pipe smoking British PM agreed and slowly the demise began. Britain had survived many Strikes, so I doubt that the seaman's strike was the reason, if that was so there would be no ports working in Britain today as the dockers had more strikes than the seamen. The coal strike was an engineered one, it was cheaper to get coal from Australia and Poland than mine it at home, Australia's open caste mining was seen as the future.
    Des

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    Default Re: To Kick Start this!

    The shipping industry is a prime example of what an unfettered free market does to a workforce, of globalization at its reddest in tooth and claw. Flying flags of convenience, British shipping has been allowed to register in low-pay, low-regulation countries. That exodus took off in the wicked 1980s when the number of British merchant navy officers was cut by two-thirds, replaced by cheaper foreign staff. Now only a third of British-owned shipping is registered under a British flag.

    Can Britain rule its own waves again after Brexit, restoring its ships to the UK flag with decent pay and safety conditions? No chance, since Britain has been the strongest lobby in Europe against reform. Of EU nations, Britain protects its own sailors least from unfair, undercutting competition, and issuing most “certificates of equivalent competency” to foreign mariners so they can work on its ship
    Read more

    The three politicians who now command the Brexit negotiations are all extreme free marketeers. Once outside the EU, don’t expect welfare, wages and working conditions to be high among their priorities as they attempt to strike new trade deals. Indeed, the risk is that after Brexit shipping companies based in the UK will try to drop existing EU regulations. Others may leave because they need an EU base: Stena Line warned immediately after the referendum that it might re-flag its UK vessels.

    A manning directive to ensure that ships sailing between EU states are paid and regulated under EU law has failed to gain approval in Brussels for years, defeated by ship owners wanting to hire cheaper non-EU crews.

    Compare this with how the US protects its industry: all ships working between US ports must be US-built and crewed. Many countries do likewise. But in Britain and the EU it’s a global free-for-all, where the cheapest contract wins. The result is a collapse in the British-registered shipping industry, now only 0.8% of the total worldwide. Why would owners pay British wages when they can hire crews elsewhere for much less?
    Been going on for years.
    An excerpt from a British newspaper
    Last edited by Des Taff Jenkins; 10th January 2019 at 12:33 AM.

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  15. #49
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    Default Re: To Kick Start this!

    Not only has the UK just about lost all it's shipping Australia has also.
    But little surprise there when you consider how the Australian dock worker passed the time of day and it was not doing too much hard work.
    Australian ports by the mid 60's were considered by some shipping lines to be ones to avoid, once in port there was no knowing when you would get out.
    The strikes were for the most rediculous of reasons and work rates were very low.

    Over time the shipping companies here went by the board, cheaper rates from overseas companies in Asia was the final nail in the coffin.
    The seaman's union here still exists but numbers are now so low it has had to amalgamate with another one.


    The only ships we now see in Australian ports are foreign ones, though there are still a few iron ore carriers but with overseas crew.
    Happy daze John in Oz.

    Life is too short to blend in.

    John Strange R737787
    World Traveller

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    Default Re: To Kick Start this!

    A few chaps I was talking to recently spoke of the possibility
    of renaming to the UK Merchant Service and the MN would then
    cover veterans. They mention similar to CWGC rules and service
    in conflicts would remain MN. Not certain how much was in it but,
    these chaps are in the know.

    K.
    "Our veterans did not forget about us .... Let's not forget about them." From Michael Levesque

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