US employers and unions throw support behind American Offshore Worker Fairness Act

More than 100 executives from the US marine industry sent a letter to US Republican Senator Bill Cassidy, US Republican Representative Garret Graves and US Democratic Representative John Garamendi endorsing and thanking the trio for introducing the American Offshore Worker Fairness Act (AOWFA). The executives represent a cross section of the US maritime industry, with signers on behalf of vessel operators, shipyards, suppliers and their trade associations, specifically the Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA), the Shipbuilders Council of America (SCA) and the American Waterways Operators.

“The simple fairness contained in the legislation has resonated with employers and labour leaders from Oregon to Massachusetts,” said OMSA President and CEO Aaron Smith. “It’s clear, all those who work in the US maritime industry understand that our mariners, shipyard workers, and other professionals are second to none, but they can’t compete with foreign counterparts that are paid second-rate wages.
“SCA is proud to sign on to this letter on behalf of the 400,000 men and women working in America’s shipyard industry,” said Matthew Paxton, President of the SCA. “Foreign maritime workers have been given a leg up on our American workforce for decades and this legislation is a crucial step in closing this loophole.”

According to the OMSA website, “the AOWFA would require foreign vessels to utilize either US mariners or citizens of the vessel’s home country while operating in offshore energy activities in US waters. This would change the current practice where foreign vessels utilize crewmembers from low-wage countries at day rates no American would or should accept. This unfair practice gives foreign vessels a competitive advantage over US vessels and takes jobs away from American mariners.”

Kim Biggar

Kim Biggar started writing in the supply chain sector in 2000, when she joined the Canadian Association of Supply Chain & Logistics Management. In 2004/2005, she was project manager for the Government of Canada-funded Canadian Logistics Skills Committee, which led to her 13-year role as communications manager of the Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council. A longtime freelance writer, Kim has contributed to publications including The Forwarder, 3PL Americas, The Shipper Advocate and Supply Chain Canada.
Back to top button