When working for American companies, there are usually only Americans on board. Every once in a while you might see a Brit or a Filipino. Probably because of the Jones Act and other rules and regulations.
The Jones Act is one of the most important of the laws regulating the American Merchant Marine. One of the provisions of this law for US vessels is that the Master and crew must be Americans. Of course, there are exemptions. Lots of them, really probably too many.
But that’s another story for another post.
The ship I’m on now is not American. The company I’m working for is based out of Athens. It was out of Norway but it has been taken over by the Greeks. I’m not sure yet how that is going to work out. It seems already to be bringing unwelcome changes.
But it is a nice change to have people from all over the world to work with instead of mostly just from the southern US. When I’m working in the Gulf of Mexico, most of the people I work with are from Louisiana, Texas, Alabama and Mississippi. Maybe we get a few from Florida and Georgia. A very few from the other states.
The reason for that is that the companies we work for do not want to pay for our transportation to and from the boats/rigs so most people they hire have to live close enough to drive to/from work in a reasonable* amount of time.(*What the companies think is reasonable is not necessarily what any reasonable person would think is reasonable.)
Since I’m now working for a company which is not based in the USA and we’re not working in the Gulf of Mexico, there is no restriction on who they can hire or where they can come from. I really like that. I love meeting people from all over the world. 🙂
On my last rig, the DPOs were from Ireland, Croatia and the Netherlands. Here, they are from Poland and Canada. The last rig had lots of Brits. There were people from Ireland, Scotland, England. There were people from South Africa and from all over Europe (Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria, Belgium, Lithuania, Italy, France, Spain).
Here, we have lots of people from Poland. We have people from Portugal, Brazil, Croatia, France, etc. We have lots of Canadians. We even have a couple of other Americans. I’ve met a guy from Azerbaijan and another from India. Some from the Philippines.
Of course, we have people on both rigs from Angola and all over Africa (Ghana, S. Africa, Liberia, Guinea, Libya). We are required to have a certain amount of our crew hired locally. We are supposed to train them up to take over eventually. I’m not sure of the time frame for that but it will probably take a while.
So I hope that will allow me to keep my job and they won’t take over from me for a while. Let me keep doing my job here a few more years til I’m ready to retire. 😉
So much of what goes on out here now is extremely complicated and complex. It takes a long time to learn the things we need to know to do our jobs. I know I am always having to go to classes. This place will probably be sending me to classes every time I get off the ship for the next year or so.
I’m not really looking forward to that. I used to really look forward to going to work. I used to really enjoy my work and loved looking forward to joining a new ship and seeing all the new places we would go. But they’ve taken all the fun out of the job. It’s not at all like it used to be out here. To me, at this point, the best part of the job is the time off!
Yep, let me keep working overseas until I’m ready to retire, that idea is getting better looking every day.