Davey Jones: Lawyers and Unions at Sea

For some reason the demon stopped harassing the AB, no one knows why, perhaps my cutting and welding the pipe scared it off, but more likely as the ship made Honolulu, the demon simply went on vacation in Hawaii. (that’s my theory anyway)

 While in Honolulu something far worse than a demon harassed the company, the office was served by the oiler’s lawsuit, which was not even the strangest part of this story.

 To be continued…

 Davey Jones icoBefore I proceed I need to explain a legal concept,” indemnification” which is just a fancy way (lawyers do love them some ten-cent words) of saying that once you join a Union, and take a job through that Union, the Union is your legal representative with the employer, so among other things, except in certain circumstances, you may not file suit against your employer, the Union would need to do that on your behalf, and the Union has the right to not file suit if they feel that’s in the best interest of the membership.

Further most contracts, including ours have a clause about binding arbitration.

So the Oiler was in a bit of a bind, but creative as he is (or more likely his lawyer) he found the odd loophole, one exception is a direct civil rights violation, which is of course where the Oiler went, but in a rather novel way.

He claims that in not being fired for his earlier misconduct, he has encouraged into further misconduct.

In short he claims that he was discriminated against, by not being discriminated against, not only did and attorney have the balls to write such nonsense, but a court accepted it!

So unless the company lawyers can get a summery dismissal (very likely) this suit will proceed, of course it will be sometime next year before the company even submits its briefs.

But in the meantime…


The company is breaking out another ship, so while Maersk is laying up ships, and laying off some 4000 people (mostly in Asia) this company is breaking ships out due to high demand.


The ship in question has been laid up in Richmond Ca. for a few years, and is also a Steam ship.


And as is standard practice they wished to do a dock side test to determine what all needs to be done to return this hip to service, as part of this the plant is survived, and if all goes well fired for 24 hours then shut down while an activation schedule is worked out.


As part of this an engine crew is called for 2-3 days.


The Oiler in question got wind of this and raced to the hall to throw-in for one of the jobs! So while he’s suing, claiming he was discriminated against (by not being discriminated against)


The company hadn’t placed him on the do not hire list (more discrimination by not discriminating!) so he did indeed get one of the oilers jobs.


He gets to the ship early in the morning and promptly calls the Hall and says he will not go down to the engine room unless he’s guaranteed the “day shift” the Vice Pres tells him “don’t go down the E/R I’ll dispatch someone else”


The Oiler goes down in the E/R, the test go well and the crew is laid off (the jobs was only called for three days)


The next morning the oiler shows up at the ship with his bags, tries to move on board but is turned away, he calls the Hall, and is told, the job was only three days, he did the three days and the company will call for a full crew about a week prior to activation, most likely around December 20th


The oiler files a lodging claim with the company for no meal service, he is claiming no meal service on a ship that he wasn’t working on!.


The company rejects it of course, the Union tells the oiler to pack sand.


To be continued.

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