Planet MUNZ Local 10

Maritime Union of New ZealandPorts of Auckland management decisions behind delays

The Maritime Union is questioning the reasons provided for ongoing delays at the Ports of Auckland and says there is a need for an honest conversation about what has gone wrong at the port.

International Longshore and Warehouse UnionILWU statement on the events of January 6

International Longshore and Warehouse UnionHappy New Year to the ILWU family (video)

International Longshore and Warehouse UnionILWU’s Feed the Community Day lends a helping hand during hard times

International Longshore and Warehouse UnionILWU Leadership webinar series

The ILWU is hosting a series of webinars in the coming months as part of our leadership education programming.

Maritime Union of New ZealandSkilled New Zealand workers turned down for jobs at Ports of Auckland

Ports of Auckland Limited CEO Tony Gibson has told media that there are no New Zealand workers available for key jobs including crane and straddle drivers. However the Union has an email from a former POAL employee that turns him down for a job as a straddle driver, and instead offers a role for skilled lashing work on a ship.

Maritime Union of New ZealandPort Otago workers launch “campaign of resistance” over mismanagement

Workers at Port Otago are going on the front foot in a public campaign to change aggressive management tactics which are threatening the future of the region’s export hub.

International Longshore and Warehouse UnionILWU, ILA dockworkers receive 2020 AOTOS award (video)

ILWU International President Willie Adam accepts the United Seamen’s Service’s 2020 AOTOS Award on behalf of dock workers across the United States. The award was presented to the U.S. Maritime community for their continued work in keeping the maritime supply chain moving during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Maritime Union of New ZealandBusiness award for Ports of Auckland Board Chair must be returned

This week on Thursday 3 December, the chair of the Board for Ports of Auckland Limited, Liz Coutts, was presented with an Deloitte Top 200 award for Chairperson of the Year in recognition of business excellence and leadership.

Maritime Union of New ZealandMaritime Union demands tougher penalties for reckless managers

The Maritime Union wants managers and board chairs held individually accountable for workplace deaths.

International Longshore and Warehouse UnionBiden’s plan for workers

Joe Biden released his plan to help workers and support collective bargaining rights on his website. It states: “There’s a war on organizing, collective bargaining, unions, and workers. It’s been raging for decades, and it’s getting worse with Donald Trump in the White House. Republican governors and state legislatures across the country have advanced anti-worker […]

International Longshore and Warehouse UnionJoe Biden and Kamala Harris win historic election with popular vote landslide

After an election with historic levels of voter turnout, Joe Biden will be the 46th president of the United States. California Senator and Oakland native Kamala Harris, the daughter of Indian and Jamaican immigrant parents, will become the first woman, first African-American, and first Indian-American to serve as vice president. The new administration will inherit […]

Maritime Union of New ZealandA Century of Struggle

A Century of Struggle chronicles the hundred-year history of the NZ Seamen's Union from its formation in 1879.

International Longshore and Warehouse UnionOrganizing summit

International Longshore and Warehouse UnionILWU hosts first online Leadership Education webinar

Felixstowe DockersTrouble at Port of Felixstowe leaves UK bookseller with no books

A UK book publisher says congestion at Felixstowe Port has left it with no books to sell in the lead up to Christmas.

Colin Hoad and Matt Green run a publishing company, Idesine, which has 4,000 books stuck on a ship that has been trying to dock since 31 October.

They are one of many businesses encountering problems importing goods.

Importers say congestion issues at UK ports have led to shipping firms quadrupling their freight costs.

"People are contacting us saying they've paid for books on pre-order as gifts, and we ultimately can't guarantee delivery," Mr Hoad said.

Delays at Felixstowe have been caused by a surge in import traffic as companies increased orders after the initial lockdown and some looked to stockpile goods before the end of the Brexit transition period.

The pandemic has made matters worse as large orders of PPE added to the backlog of containers on the quayside.

The port's owner, Hutchison UK, has said it is in the process of recruiting an additional 104 equipment drivers plus a number of engineers to help solve the problem.

But congestion at England's ports is now so bad, some shipping firms have limited the amount of cargo they will bring to the UK.

One of the world's biggest shipping lines, CMA CGM, told the BBC it was allocating less space on its fleet for UK imports for the time being.

"UK ports are currently experiencing yard and port congestion mostly in Felixstowe, and in London Gateway and Southampton to a lesser extent," said a spokeswoman for CMA CGM Group.

"We are controlling import volumes while maximising empty container evacuation wherever possible."

Empty containers waiting to be shipped back to Asia are causing traffic jams at ports across Europe and North America. That could have knock-on effects for companies' Christmas orders, said Peter Wilson, managing director of the UK freight forwarder Cory Brothers.

"We are already seeing that goods due by Christmas… are very unlikely to arrive because they're in their origin ports, waiting for containers," he said.

Causing even further headaches for importers, shipping companies have sharply increased freight prices in response to the congestion at UK ports - some by as much as 300%.

"What the lines are trying to do is to dissuade people sending stuff to the UK," said Alan Joseph, operations director of The Cotswold Company, which imports some of its wooden furniture from Asia.

This week, a freight company quoted a price of $8,000 to transport a 40ft container from Asia to the UK.

"At the end of September, market rates were less than a quarter of that, at $1,700 per unit," Mr Joseph said.

Furniture seller Alan Joseph has seen shipping costs quadruple in recent weeks

He added that while individual businesses will negotiate unique import costs based on the volume of goods they want to move, at the moment, prices are increasing across the board. And there are few alternatives for businesses whose goods are manufactured overseas.

"Airlines are not moving as much cargo because there are fewer passenger flights. The railway from China to Germany is now quoting rates in excess of $10,000 per container - which is not much of an option."

He said two other shipping firms are now refusing bookings for importing refrigerated containers to the UK.

"It's a worrying sign that big shipping lines are drastically reducing UK volumes because so much of the imports in the UK arrive through our ports, and if there's less coming there are less supplies of everything that gets imported."

Importing stock is also becoming increasingly difficult for Joe Burgwin, who is head of supply chain at the garden furniture firm Supremo Leisure, based in Telford. The business has been booming recently as the virus led to people spending more on their outdoor spaces.

Joe Burgwin says his freight costs have more than doubled.

"Previously for us, shipping cost $1,400-$1,500 tops per 40ft unit, which was manageable," he said.

"Now in negotiations with freight companies, prices have more than doubled and there are fears it could move even higher. We're predicting this to last until at least January, which makes business planning pretty challenging."

'Incredibly frustrating'

The ship carrying books belonging to publisher Idesine was originally supposed to dock at Felixstowe at the end of October, but the port was too busy so it was diverted to Europe.

Since Saturday, the ship has been moored outside Felixstowe waiting for a berthing slot.

After launching the company in June, Matt Green now has 2,500 pre-paid orders waiting to be delivered.

"It's incredibly frustrating that we can't get the book into our customers' hands," he said. "We just hope that we can do it before Christmas."

Congestion at Felixstowe Port could last into the new year

Shipping analysts say ports across the world are battling to manage the surging demand for imports, and Felixstowe has struggled to cope.

"At the moment, the port has become a bottleneck because other elements of the supply chain have got out of balance," said Eleanor Hadland, a ports analyst at the maritime consultancy Drewry.

She said getting a berthing slot at Felixstowe "is like trying to get a Tesco delivery in the beginning of lockdown".

"Partly that's because of Covid, partly Brexit preparation and a lot of external factors which have resulted in ports reporting congestion. But Felixstowe could have dealt better with these external challenges," she said.

Hutchison UK has warned congestion at Felixstowe Port could continue into the new year.

Felixstowe DockersVideo: World's First Night-time Drone Delivery From Shore to Ship



Singaporean maritime drone company F-drones has completed what it believes to be the first commercial drone delivery at night. The company flew a package out to the bulker Berge Sarstein, owned by Berge Bulk, marking a new milestone for drone operations at the Port of Singapore.

In the test, F-drones' unit carried a 3D-printed part weighing three kilos out to the Berge Sarstein at her anchorage. The flying distance was about three nautical miles, and the drone completed the flight in just seven minutes. The payload was the world’s first 3D-printed, CE-certified lifting tool (a tripod-shaped jig for lifting engine pistons), which was designed and printed by engine manufacturer Wartsila. It was delivered in partnership with Wilhelmsen Group. 

Globally, commercial drone deliveries are limited to daylight hours due to the technical and operational challenges of night operations. As ports around the world operate round the clock, the capability for night flights would allow drone operators to compete with small-boat operators for vessel delivery services day and night. F-drones suggests that this would improve safety (by reducing pilot ladder operations) and speed up the delivery of critical parts and supplies. 

F-drones is also conducting autonomous test flights of its own new in-house drone design, which is built to handle deliveries of five-kilo loads - the largest payload in its class - over a distance of 25 nm. The company says that it has completed more than 100 autonomous flights with the new drone system since the start of the year. With a top speed of nearly 80 knots, the new unit is designed for rapid deliveries. Commercial launch is scheduled for 2021. 

“Traditional means of transport are expensive, slow, labor and carbon intensive. F-drones’ solutions aid the maritime industry to reduce 80 percent of the costs, time and CO2 emissions. Besides being efficient, delivery drones can also reduce unnecessary human contact amid the COVID-19 pandemic," said Nicolas Ang, the company's co-founder.

International Longshore and Warehouse UnionVideo: This is SFVS

Meet the workers at San Francisco Veterinary Specialists and learn about the important work they do and their fight for fair wages and conditions.

International Longshore and Warehouse UnionNCDC withdraws endorsement of Hakeem Brown

The Northern California District Council released the following statement regarding Hakeem Brown” After careful deliberation and discussions with the Napa Solano Central Labor Council, the ILWU Northern California District Council has voted to withdraw our endorsement of Hakeem Brown for Mayor of Vallejo. We believe strongly in providing people a second chance and support their […]

International Longshore and Warehouse UnionACTION ALERT: Phone banking help needed

“Calling all ILWU members: the Biden Campaign needs your help! Show your support and join us for phone banking for Biden. Please reach out to the International for information on how to sign up. Every call counts!”

International Longshore and Warehouse UnionILWU Local 94, Assemblyman Jones-Sawyer Donate Lunch to COVID-19 Testing Site Volunteers

Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 94 and Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles) donated lunch today to volunteers administering COVID-19 tests at Crenshaw Christian Center. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, members of ILWU Local 94 have donated meals to essential works in an effort to lift spirits and show their gratitude. Since […]

International Longshore and Warehouse UnionInternational Executive Board passes Statement of Policy in support of the United States Postal Service

The ILWU’s International Executive Board met over Zoom on September 24- 25. The Board passed a Statement of Policy defending the United States Postal Service

Felixstowe DockersBoris Johnson’s Offshore Wind Plan Will Require $58 Billion from Industry

Dudgeon offshore wind farmA view of Equinor’s Dudgeon offshore wind farm off North Norfolk, England. Photo: Equinor

By William Mathis (Bloomberg) — Boris Johnson’s plan to quadruple the size of the U.K. offshore wind industry will require $58 billion of investment and careful management of what’s a tricky building process in some of the world’s roughest waters.

The prime minister is targeting turbines with the capacity to produce 40 gigawatts of electricity by 2030, up from more than 10 gigawatts now. That would speed the nation’s shift away from fossil fuels and help it meet a goal of zeroing out carbon pollution by the middle of the century.

The difficulty is managing so many large infrastructure projects at once. Turbines these days are massive, with blades as big as a jumbo jet’s wingspan. They require highly specialized ships with giant cranes to do the installation, and developers compete to hire the few vessels that can do that work. The money needed to build all those facilities will require steady government policies that ensure the likes of Orsted A/S and Vestas Wind Systems A/S get paid regardless of political change.

“It’s hard, but it’s possible,” said Tom Harries, offshore wind analyst at BloombergNEF.

More Offshore

The goal Johnson set out in his speech to the ruling Conservative Party’s annual conference also would maintain the lead the U.K. built in offshore wind over Denmark and Germany. The government is keen to highlight that position as the U.K. separates from the European Union and prepares to host the United Nations climate talks in Glasgow next year.

Johnson’s remarks amount to a statement of political intent, a reassurance for industries that policies on whose power feeds into the grid will be tilted in favor of renewables and especially offshore wind power. Just seven years ago, Johnson was skeptical of wind power and favored nuclear energy. Since then, the price of atomic plants has surged while the cost of turbines that work offshore plunged. That forced a rethink within government, which increasinly favors wind as a primary source of clean energy.

Price Plummet

Reassurance is crucial for wind developers. Unlike the oil companies, where drillers probe for for reservoirs and then worry later about how to sell it, wind developers generally leave investment decisions until after they’ve pinned down contracts setting a price for the electricity they will produce.

Words alone don’t guarantee that such a massive building project is delivered on time. The turbines needed to supply 40 gigawatts of power may cover an area of the sea close to 9,500 square kilometers, six times the size of greater London, according to BNEF.

Britain increasingly is competing for the resources to build offshore wind farms. As the industry spreads to new markets, the limited fleet of these specialized vessels and cranes large enough to lift massive turbines is spread thin. A delay in one project or a storm that delays a voyage from one project to the next could create a domino effect of delays.

There’s also the issue of the electric grid. Conventional power plants were built relatively close to population centers in the southern part of England. Wind farms off the east coast and in Scotland are much farther away and will require millions in new spending to improve the network.

“There’s not enough capacity in the grid near the coast to enable that much wind capacity,” said Simon Cox, offshore wind business manager at consultant DNV GL. “There’s going to need to be significant investment.”

The grid could also cause issues with keeping projects on time. To get the power to land, offshore developers have to dig up the coast line to install cables and other infrastructure to link with the grid. Residents of England’s coastal communities are starting to complain about all the disturbance. Those issues and others from the fishing industry and environmental groups could delay permitting processes to push projects to completion after the 2030 target.

The U.K.’s network operator National Grid Plc is currently consulting on a plan to link wind parks together to cut down on the industry’s impact on the countryside. It could save billions of dollars in the coming decades, but likely won’t be in place for projects that will be built this decade.

Green Jobs

Johnson doesn’t simply want to build up electric capacity, he wants to create jobs. Offshore wind already employs about 11,000 people, according to the industry group Renewable U.K. That’s set to rise to 27,000 full time jobs by 2030.

Still, the U.K. has lagged in offshore wind manufacturing. While it leads on capacity, it remains behind Spain, Denmark and Germany among European manufacturers of offshore wind turbine components. The massive steel foundations and platforms known as jackets for the turbines are made abroad in bigger ports.

“At the moment we can do blades, we can do cables, we can do some steel works, but we can’t do much else,” said Gary Bills, regional director for Europe, Middle East and Africa at energy consultants K2 Management. “We’re going to be the world’s leading industry with very little capability in house.”

© 2020 Bloomberg L.P.

Felixstowe DockersVirus Outbreak Halts Shipbuilding at Norwegian Yard

The New Hayard Ship Technology shipyard in Leirvik, Norway. Photo: Havyard Group

Officials have extended the temporary closure of the Havyard shipyard in Leirvik, Norway until at least October 19 after more workers tested positive for COVID-19.

All shipyard activities were originally closed on September 30 after four people tested positive for the virus. On October 2, Havyard said 17 people had been diagnosed with the virus out of 200 tested.

As of today, the number of cases has now jumped to 75 with 495 tested, according to Havyard.

“In order to prevent further spreading of the virus and to gain control of the situation, Hyllestad municipality has today, pursuant to the Infection Control Act, decided to keep the yard business further closed until 19 October 2020. Such a decision may be extended until it is deemed safe to reopen the production,” Havyard said in a statement.

The shipyard in Leirvik , Norway belongs to New Havyard Ship Technology AS, a subsidiary of Havyard Group ASA. According to the company’s website, the shipyard completes around four to six new builds per year and employs 400 to 500 employees and subcontractors.

Havyard’s current backlog stands at six vessels, including three live fish carriers and three wind farm service operations vessels (SOVs), according to its website.

Today’s update said it is “foreseeable” that the extended shutdown will now likely lead to delayed deliveries, and any delay will depend on the extent of the shutdown and what measures that can be implemented to make up for the lost production time.

Felixstowe DockersCargo Ship Breaks Tow, Grounds in Vietnam


Photo shows a severe hog in the ship’s hull.

An end-of-life cargo ship under tow to breakers lost its tow and become grounded along the east coast of Vietnam.

The owners of the MV Jakarta, NKD Maritime Limited, said the vessel went aground on October 10 during very heavy weather and sea conditions.

The vessel was under tow at the time and is not carrying any cargo or fuel. It was also unmanned at the time.

NKD Maritime is a UK-based cash buyer of end of life ships for dismantling in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Reports indicate that the Jakartar was under tow to Alang at the time of the incident.

Images of the vessel aground show a severe hog in the ship’s hull with a large crack amidships indicating that the vessel is at risk of breaking in half.

The MV Jakarta, built in 2002, was formerly the CMA CGM Jakarta.

All crew from the towing vessel are safe and accounted for, NKD Maritime said.

“NKD Maritime would like to thank all those assisting to resolve this situation in a safe manner,” the company said.

Felixstowe DockersUS Navy’s New ‘Affordable’ $1.2 Billion Ship

Navy Broken Fleet Zumwalt LCSAlbatross’s of the US Navy: The $8B+ USS Zumwalt sails alongside a littoral combat ship (LCS). Both classes of vessels have failed to meet US Navy expectations. Photographer: Navy Media Content Service

The successor to the $30b troubled littoral ship project was billed as affordable but the Congressional Budget Office projects $12.3 billion for just 10 new frigates.

The Navy also warned CBO there’s a 50% chance the first two ships would exceed their cost estimates

By Anthony Capaccio (Bloomberg) The first 10 vessels in the Navy’s new frigate program may cost $12.3 billion, or 40% more than the service calculated, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, a new sign of looming trouble for plans to expand the U.S. fleet.

US-Navy-Constellation-class-frigate-renderingAn artist rendering of the U.S. Navy FFG(X) Constellation-class guided-missile frigate. U.S. Navy graphic.

The assessment released late Tuesday projects the frigates will cost an average of $1.2 billion apiece in inflation-adjusted dollars in contrast to the Navy’s estimate of $870 million each. It’s an early setback for a ship billed as a more versatile and better-armed replacement for the troubled Littoral Combat Ship, a $30B program that was truncated because of mechanical flaws, light armament and vulnerability to attack.

The Navy is counting on an affordable frigate as a key component in its effort to meet President Donald Trump’s goal of 355 deployable ships by 2035, up from about 299 today. Defense Secretary Mark Esper set out an even more ambitious goal last week of a 500-ship Navy by 2045 that would include unmanned vessels of unknown weight, capabilities and cost.

“If the Navy’s procurement cost estimates” for the frigate “prove accurate, the ship would be, by far, the least expensive surface combatant that the Navy has bought since 1970 — measured in cost-per-thousand tons of displacement,” the budget office said. “That would apply to both the lead ship and the average cost of the first 10 ships.”

Its fiscal 2021 cost estimates for the second through 10th frigates “are at the very low end of the range” established at the outset of a competition that was won by Fincantieri SpA in April, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The Navy also told CBO there’s a 50% chance the first two ships would exceed their cost estimates and a 60% chance the third through 10th ships would as well.

Littoral Ships

Esper’s vision calls for a fleet of 60 to 70 “small surface combatants” that includes the frigates — which will be equipped with guided missiles — and Littoral Combat Ships, a quantity the Congressional Research Service said implies buying more than the 20 frigates currently planned.

Despite the decision to cut short the Littoral Combat Ship program, the Navy still has 35 on contract, with 19 delivered as of March. The LCS is built in two versions: One by Trieste, Italy-based Fincantieri in a joint venture with Lockheed Martin Corp. based in Bethesda, Maryland, and the other by Henderson, Australia-based Austal Ltd.

CBO compared the frigate’s estimated cost with ships of similar tonnage and examined arguments supporting the Navy’s estimate, such as Fincantieri’s long experience building small surface combatants vessels including, in this case, a design that’s been in production for years for the French and Italian navies.

It also looked at elements that “suggest the Navy’s estimate is too low,” such as the service’s star-crossed history in which “costs of all surface combatants since 1970, as measured per-thousand-tons, were higher” than initial estimates.

“Historically the Navy has almost always underestimated the cost of the lead ship, and a more expensive lead ship generally results in higher costs for the follow-on ships,” the budget analysts said.

The report cited the cost growth over initial estimates for the lead ship in other Navy programs, from 155% for one version of the Littoral Combat Ship, 84% on the San Antonio-class amphibious warfare vessel, 44% for the DDG-1000 Zumwalt destroyer and 25% on the Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier, the costliest warship ever.

Compared with the design on which it’s based, the frigate “will be more densely built and will have somewhat more complex weapon systems,” CBO said.


Felixstowe DockersHere’s One Way To Avoid COVID19 – Set Your Ship Adrift In Arctic Ice

Research Vessel Polarstern Return

Research Vessel Polarstern returns from Arctic ice research. Photo via The Alfred Wegener institute

After more than a year in the Central Arctic, this Monday, 12 October, the research icebreaker Polarstern returned to her homeport in Bremerhaven. The event marked the end of a record-breaking expedition: never before had an icebreaker been near the North Pole in winter. Drifting with the ice, they endured the extreme cold, Arctic storms, a constantly changing flow while the rest of the world battled the coronavirus pandemic.

On 20 September 2019 Polarstern departed from the Norwegian port of Tromsø, bound for Arctic ocean ice. Once there, the ship allowed itself to become trapped in the ice, and began a one-year-long drift across the North Pole, completely at the mercy of natural forces – the route and speed were solely determined by the ice drift, powered by wind and currents.

Over the five legs of the expedition, a total of 442 researchers, Polarstern crewmembers, young investigators, teachers and press took part. Seven ships, several aircraft and more than 80 institutions from 20 countries were involved. The researchers, who hailed from 37 countries, had a common goal: to investigate complex interactions in the climate system between the atmosphere, ice and ocean, as well as life in the Central Arctic, to build better climate models.

Even when virtually every other expedition around the globe was canceled because of the pandemic, the entire team, this expedition was able to continue. In the early summer, Polarstern did have to briefly leave the ice floe for a personnel transfer. Four weeks later, a new team commenced fieldwork on the ice, continuing their efforts right up to the last day, when the floe (as predicted) reached the ice edge to the east of Greenland, began breaking up under the influence of the waves, and completed its typical lifecycle.

To explore the last piece of the puzzle in the sea ice’s annual cycle – the formation of new ice at summer’s end – the expedition then headed farther north, crossed the North Pole, and moored to a second floe in its vicinity.

““Climate change is the greatest challenge facing humanity,” said Anja Karliczek, the German Federal Minister of Research. “Throughout their long months in the Arctic ice, the experts retrieved a unique wealth of data that will help to fill critical gaps in our understanding of the region, allowing us to more accurately evaluate our current climate models.”

The total cost of the expedition was ca. 150 million euros, with roughly two-thirds being contributed by Germany.

Felixstowe DockersCrew Kidnappings Surge in Gulf of Guinea


somali piracyFILE PHOTO: EU NAVFOR warship chasing down a suspected pirate ‘mothership’ off the coast of Somalia. File photo. Credit: EU NAVFOR

The number of seafarers kidnapped by pirates in the Gulf of Guinea has surged so far this as pirates abduct bigger groups of seafarers further offshore, the International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reported Centre revealed today.

In the first nine months of 2020, the IMB reported a 40% uptick in the number of kidnappings reported in the Gulf. Worldwide, piracy and armed robbery at sea has also risen. The Bureau’s latest global piracy report, released today, details 132 attacks since the start of 2020, up from 119 incidents in the same period last year. Among the 85 seafarers kidnapped from their vessels and held for ransom, 80 were taken in the Gulf of Guinea in 14 separate attacks reported off Nigeria, Benin, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and Ghana.

Combined with the on-going crew change crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, seafarers are currently facing “exceptional pressures,” the IMB said.

“Crews are facing exceptional pressures due to Covid-19, and the risk of violent piracy or armed robbery is an extra stress,” said Michael Howlett, Director of IMB, whose Piracy Reporting Centre (IMB PRC) has responded to reports and shared data since 1991, supporting seafarers and fishers worldwide. “While IMB liaises with authorities swiftly in case of a pirate attack, we encourage all Coastal states and Regional Cooperations to take responsibility for ensuring maritime security within their EEZ to achieve safer seas and secure trade.”

Gulf of Guinea Piracy

With approximately 95% of global kidnappings reported from within Gulf of Guinea waters, IMB warns that pirate gangs in the area are “well organized and targeting all vessel types over a wide range”.

The furthest attack from shore also involved the most crew kidnapped from a single vessel in 2020. On 17 July 2020, eight pirates armed with machine guns boarded a product tanker underway around 196 nautical miles southwest of Bayelsa, Nigeria. They held all 19 crewmembers hostage, stole ship’s documents and valuable items, and escaped with 13 kidnapped crew. The tanker was left drifting with limited and unqualified navigational and engine crew onboard. A nearby merchant vessel later helped the tanker to sail to a safe port.

Regional Authorities were notified and the 13 kidnapped crewmembers were released safely one month later.

A more recent example was on 8 September 2020, when armed pirates attacked a refrigerated cargo ship underway around 33nm south-southwest of Lagos, Nigeria. Two crewmembers were kidnapped, but the rest of the crew managed to retreat into the citadel – one of the industry’s recommended best practices endorsed by IMB. A Nigerian naval team was dispatched, who boarded, conducted a search, and then escorted the ship to a safe anchorage for investigations.

The IMB piracy report includes a special thanks to the Nigerian Authorities, particularly the Nigerian Navy and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA who “continue to provide timely information, actions and valuable cooperation between Agencies”.

The IMB report also highlights knife attacks in the Singapore Straits. The Bureau recorded 15 attacks to ships underway in the area. It notes, that while most are considered low level crimes, two crew were threatened, one injured and another taken hostage, indicating a continued risk to the crew. Knives were reported in at least ten of the incidents, the Bureau said.

Indonesia Brighter

On a good note, the IMB reported a sharp quarterly decrease in the number of incidents within the Indonesian archipelagic, with four reported in Q3, down from 14 in Q2. These are also viewed as low level opportunistic thefts with most reported on anchored vessels.


In Somalia, once a hotbed for ship hijackings, no incidents of piracy have been reported around Somalia since 2019 and, in August, pirates released the last three of the thousands of hostages who have been held captive in the region over the years since ship hijackings peaked in 2011. Despite this, however, the IMB still urges vessels to continue implementing the industry’s best management practices (BMP5), and encourages the continued, stabilizing presence of navies in the region.

Call for More Reporting

The IMB report also warns that all vessel types in the Caribbean, Central and South America – including Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Haiti, Mexico and Peru are being targeted at anchor as well as underway, and during river passages under pilotage.

In one incident on 26 September 2020, a container vessel was boarded by armed perpetrators during its river passage at Guayaquil. The attackers fired their weapons towards the accommodation and bridge, then opened containers and stole the contents before leaving.

Due to many more cases go unreported, the IMB is urging all ship masters and operators to inform, in a timely manner, the 24-hour IMB Piracy Reporting Centre of any attacks to their vessels or crew.

“Understanding the true risk in the area is an important step towards improving safety for all seafarers,” said Howlett. “IMB PRC not only relays reports to appropriate response agencies and broadcasts incident information to ships via GMDSS, but we also use the reported statistics to raise awareness of these crimes and be a catalyst of change.”

International Longshore and Warehouse UnionILWU join millions of Americans mourning the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

• Trump nominee Amy Coney Barrett a threat to the Affordable Care Act, healthcare for millions of workers at risk “On behalf of the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU), it is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I join the millions of people across the country as we mourn the death of […]

International Longshore and Warehouse UnionSecretary-Treasurer’s report

America is in crisis and Donald Trump and the Republican Party have shown that they aren’t up to the task.

International Longshore and Warehouse UnionAnnual SoCal Labor Day event shifts focus from celebration to service

The he unions of the LA/Long Beach Harbor Labor Coalition, including the ILWU, the Labor Community Services, and the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, suited up and went to work to put on a food drive to help area families impacted by COVID

International Longshore and Warehouse UnionImportant deadlines for mail-in/absentee voting by state

Check your registration, request a mail-in ballot, or find out how to vote in person by clicking here.  Download as a PDF

International Longshore and Warehouse UnionSan Pedro vigil honors RBG

Scores of people gathered in San Pedro on September 21 to honor Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with a candlelight vigil.

International Longshore and Warehouse UnionDocker Podcast featuring ILWU Secretary-Treasurer Ed Ferris

ILWU International Secretary-Treasurer Ed Ferris returns to the show. Dan and Ed talk about climate change, the upcoming U.S. elections, and ILWU Young Workers.

Felixstowe DockersShipping Industry Calls on EU for Plan to Safely Disembark Migrants

shipping leaders call on EU to ensure migrants disembark promptly
Migrants aboard the Maersk Etienne - courtesy Maersk Tankers

With the EU leaders putting forth a new plan to address Europe’s migrant crisis, leaders from the shipping industry are calling for provisions that guarantee that ships which undertake humanitarian efforts can quickly and safely disembark the people they are rescuing. 

The shipping industry says that its ships are fulfilling their moral and legal requirements to save the migrants but then are being put in jeopardy due to the lack of agreements on how to promptly disembark the people.

The challenges faced by merchant ships in the migrant crisis came to the forefront recently when a tanker, the Maersk Etienne was called on to go to the rescue of 27 migrants in distress in the waters south of Malta. Responding to calls from a human rights group the tanker saved the migrants including women and children. The vessel was then caught in limbo for nearly six weeks with no port willing to let the ship land the people. 

Citing the situation that has just been resolved with the Maersk tanker and other incidents the leaders of the European Community Shipowners’ Associations, European Transport Workers' Federation, International Chamber of Shipping, and International Transport Workers' Federation signed an open letter to the president, vice president and commissioners of the European Commission calling for action to ensure a similar situation did not happen again.

Reporting that since the height of the migrant crisis in 2014, merchant ships have helped rescue over 80,000 distressed persons in the waters of the Central Mediterranean, the industry is calling for action from the EC. While acknowledging that there had been a decline in the number of migrants, they cited new data from the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, known as Frontex, that reports an 85 percent increase in the number of migrant transits this year over last year. 

“This is deeply alarming to the shipping industry, as the migrant routes pass through international shipping lanes, increasing the likelihood of merchant ships being called on to conduct rescues. As recent incidents such as the Talia and Maersk Etienne demonstrate, there is no guarantee that those ships will receive prompt and adequate assistance when fulfilling their humanitarian responsibilities,” the letter says.

They go on to cite the obligations that ships face in these situations noting that once they take the migrants on board the ships act based on instructions received from the Search and Rescue (SAR) Authority coordinating the SAR operation.

“Merchant ships will not shrink from their legal and moral responsibility to render assistance to those in need of assistance at sea,” they say while pointing out that vessels such as the Maersk Etienne are not designed or equipped to take these numbers of people aboard. In addition to the safety issues of boarding the people, they point out that the ships do not have provisions for first aid, medical care, and food and water for large groups of distressed persons. 

"It is therefore essential that the rescued persons can be disembarked at the earliest opportunity in a place of safety – as the law demands.” They call for clear rules without attempts to criminalize or complicate the situation further. “States must ensure that the vessels and the masters of those vessels carrying persons in distress whom they have rescued at sea are relieved as soon as reasonably possible in accordance with international law.”

The letter concludes by saying that the ECSA, ICS, ETF, and ITF call on the EU and Member States to facilitate such an outcome without any further delays, taking full account of the need to ensure the safety and security of merchant ships, seafarers, and the distressed people they help.

International Longshore and Warehouse UnionACTION ALERT

URGENT ACTION ALERT — CALL TODAY: Stop Mitch McConnell from Filling Supreme Court Vacancy and Taking Away the People’s Voice

Less than 24 hours after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced a rushed campaign to fill her seat. When it was President Obama’s turn to fill a Supreme Court seat in an election year, McConnell insisted on waiting until the next president took office, allowing the Senate to “give the people a voice in the filling of this vacancy.” That seat remained vacant until after Trump’s election. Now that the situation is reversed, McConnell, hypocritically, has no problem taking away the people’s voice in the filling of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s vacancy.
It is URGENT for the future of working people and Labor that we STOP McConnell from forcing a 6/3 conservative majority on the nation’s highest court. This seat will reshape the Court, labor laws, and our nation for decades to come.
Call your U.S. Senators TODAY: (202) 224-3121
Share this action alert with friends and family, especially those who live in Alaska, Colorado, Iowa, Maine, South Carolina, Tennessee and Maine.
Sample Script: “This is (name) from (city, state). Four years ago, Senate Republicans stopped Obama from filling a Supreme Court seat in an election year. It would be wrong to now rush to fill the seat within weeks of the election. The people should have a voice in filling this vacancy. Voters will not forget this hypocrisy in future elections. Show your constituents the respect we deserve. Allow us the November 3 election, so we can choose the President who will make this nomination that will shape our future for decades to come. My phone number is (number). Thank you.”
[Remember: Forward this to your friends in Alaska, Colorado, Iowa, Maine, South Carolina, Tennessee and Maine!]

Maritime Union of New ZealandTransport plan a chance to rebuild coastal shipping

The Maritime Union welcomes the Government’s transport policy, which was released today, as an opportunity to restore New Zealand’s coastal shipping industry and repeal section 198 of the Maritime Transport Act

Maritime Union of New ZealandMaritime workers back Ports of Auckland health and safety review

Maritime Union National Secretary Joe Fleetwood says the Union has repeatedly called for a review of safety practices at all ports in New Zealand.

Felixstowe DockersReefer Ship Attacked Offshore Nigeria. Two Crew Members Kidnapped

Image by Roli B - MarineTraffic.Com

Maritime security intelligence agencies have reported that the Water Phoenix reefer vessel was boarded Tuesday morning off Nigeria by an unknown number of persons and that two Russian nationals have been kidnapped.

Per Praesidium International, a risk consultancy and maritime security company, the incident happened at 5:50 a.m. UTC Tuesday, approximately 34 nautical miles south of Lagos.

"According to the initial reports, the perpetrators managed to board the vessel and kidnap the master and another crew member, both Russian," Praesidium said, adding that the crew includes 18 seafarers, of which seven Russians and 11 Filipinos.

Apart from the two crew members who have, reportedly, been kidnapped, the rest of the crew managed to retreat into the citadel.

The Water Phoenix is a reefer owned by the Dutch company Seatrade Groningen.

"AIS tracking indicates that the vessel was on route to Lagos at 14kts and undertook evasive maneuvers before coming to a stop and is currently drifting," maritime safety intelligence group Dryad Global informed.

Praesidium said Tuesday that the same vessel had been involved in another piracy incident in April 2019, around 80 nautical miles southwest of Brass, Nigeria. The attack was foiled after warning shots forced the perpetrators to abort their attempt.

Nigerian maritime authorities have dispatched the NSS Ekulu to provide assistance, Presidium said.

According to Dryad, the attack on Tuesday was the 13th reported incident in waters of the Lagos Port Complex and Anchorage in the past 12 months "most of which have manifest as boarding for theft."

"This is the 3rd offshore incidents in the waters south of Lagos within 2020,"

Per Dryad, 93 personnel have been kidnapped from vessels in incidents off West Africa in 2020, so far.

Felixstowe DockersIranian Fuel Seized by US to Reach Texas Within Days

Euroforce (© Pak Agen /

Iranian fuel that the United States seized last month while it was being transported to Venezuela is now being taken to Texas by two tankers due to arrive in coming days, part of Washington’s efforts to disrupt trade between Caracas and Tehran, according to sources and data.

The first fuel cargo, on Liberia-flagged tanker Euroforce, was to arrive in Texas in the coming 24 hours, the sources said. It is broadcasting the U.S. Gulf port of Galveston as destination, according to shipping data on Refinitiv Eikon.

The second cargo on Singapore-flagged tanker Maersk Progress tanker, is expected to arrive on Sep 19 to Houston port, the Eikon data showed.

Eurotankers and Maersk Tankers, which manage the two vessels, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The U.S. Department of Justice declined to comment.

The U.S. announced in August that it had confiscated 1.1 million barrels of Iranian fuel bound for Venezuela. The sources said the four tankers originally carrying the fuel had transferred their cargoes onto the two vessels, which had special permits to enter into the U.S. waters to deliver the cargoes.

Felixstowe DockersStena RoRo’s E-Flexer GALICIA Delivered to Brittany Ferries – with Higher Passenger Capacity


GALICIA, the first of three ships in the E-Flexer class ordered by Brittany Ferries was delivered on September 3. 

The vessel is the third E-Flexer of nine ordered by Stena RoRo from the Chinese shipyard CMI Jinling (Weihai). The Galicia will be chartered by Brittany Ferries on a long-term basis and has been especially adapted to the wishes of the French ferry company:

The basic model car deck on Deck 7 has been converted to cabins. This, in combination with the deckhouse having been extended on both Decks 7 and 8, has enabled the number of cabins to be increased from 175 to 343.

Two scrubbers, one for each main engine

Two extra lifeboats added due to the ferry’s increased passenger capacity

The public spaces on Decks 7 and 8 have been partially given over to other functions compared to the basic model, but largely follow the E-Flexer standard.

“GALICIA is special because she is the first in the E-Flexer series to be delivered to an external customer. The design has been adapted to Brittany Ferries’ special requirements and the yard has been able to deliver according to schedule despite the ongoing pandemic, which we are very happy about.”

Per Westling, CEO for Stena RoRo. 

Stena RoRo has an agreement with Brittany Ferries for long-term charters of two more vessels in the Stena E-Flexer series. Both will be powered by LNG, are under construction and will be delivered in 2022 and 2023, respectively.

Felixstowe DockersSecond Survivor and One Body Found From Livestock Ship Lost Off Japan

Search continues for lost livestock carrier off Japan

 A second survivor has been located from the livestock carrier Gulf Livestock 1 lost two days ago in a typhoon according to reports from the Japan Coast Guard. 

The search and rescue operations are continuing in a race against time as a second, potentially even larger, typhoon is nearing the area.

The Japan Coast Guard announced this afternoon, September 4, that it had located a survivor in life raft approximately a mile from Kodakara Island in the East China Sea. 

The Gulf Livestock 1’s last known position was south of there about 115 miles west of Amami Oshima island. Winds from Typhoon Maysak and tides are believed to have carried the raft away from the sinking. 

The 30-year old Filipino sailor was reported in good condition and taken a hospital. The first survivor, who was discovered on Wednesday, also remains in a hospital. The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said that it was working to repatriate him to the Philippines once COVID-19 protocols are cleared.

Earlier in the day on Friday, the Japan Coast Guard also pulled an unconscious sailor from the water. 

Found floating face down in a life jacket, the sailor was pronounced dead at a local hospital. The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said identification was pending on this person but that he was in a blue jacket with the label “Fitter” on it.

Felixstowe Dockers24-Year-Old Migrant Found Dead in Vehicle Hold Aboard Ro/Pax Ferry

cruise europa

The body of an Afghan migrant was found Sunday in the vehicle deck of a ro/pax ferry in Ancona, Italy. 

The cruise ferry Cruise Europa arrived in Ancona at about 1700 hours Sunday on a voyage from Patras, Greece. 

The victim's body was found within the vessel's vehicle hold, and it showed no signs of injury or violence, according to the local prosecutor's office. 

The enclosed hold can get as hot as 120 degrees Fahrenheit in summer weather, and Italian authorities believe it is likely that the victim asphyxiated while the vessel was under way, according to local media.

Italy's border police are leading an investigation into the cause of the casualty. It is not known whether the victim came aboard in a truck, and the drivers whose vehicles were in the hold did not report seeing him. 

The 24-year-old migrant was identifiable because he was carrying a Greek refugee asylum application, according to InfoMigrants. 

International Longshore and Warehouse UnionVeterinary workers at CRVS ratify first private-sector union contract in the industry

Rally for fair contract: National Veterinary Professionals Union Vice President Tana Greatorex speaks at a rally for CRVS workers in February of this year. Other organizations at the rally included ILWU Locals 4 and 5, the Inlandboatmen’s Union and Jobs with Justice.

Workers at Columbia River Veterinary Specialists (CRVS) in Vancouver, Washington ratified their first union contract on August 12 by an overwhelming margin of 53-1. These workers have been bargaining a contract with CRVS management for over a year, after voting to join ILWU Local 5 in February 2019. The contract is the first-ever private-sector union contract in the veterinary industry. Veterinary service is a rapidly growing, lucrative industry where workers are often faced with challenging working conditions and pay that is not commensurate with the education and skill required for the profession. In recent years, there has been massive consolidation of the industry as large companies acquire locally owned hospitals, leading to a corporate-led environment where workers’ rights and sustainable jobs for local communities too often come second to profit.

Organizing the unorganized

“This is a historic agreement that will set a new standard for wages and conditions in the veterinary industry,” said ILWU International Vice President Bobby Olvera. “I am so proud of the workers at CRVS for their grit, determination and courage. I would also like to thank the staff of the Organizing Department for their work. Organizing workers in an industry with no history of unionization is a difficult task, but also a necessary one. As the seventh guiding principle of the ILWU states; ‘To organize the unorganized must be a cardinal principle of any union worth its salt; and to accomplish this is not merely in the interest of the unorganized; it is for the benefit of the organized as well.’”

Campaign goals

Like the vast majority of first contract campaigns, this one was long and hard fought. CRVS workers began the bargaining process in February 2019. The workers had several primary goals for their first contract:

  1. Enhance worker rights beyond minimum legal (federal/state/ local) requirements;
  2. 2. Raise wages and establish a fair and transparent wage structure;
  3. Improve benefits;
  4. Secure an environment where the union would remain established and be able to improve upon the provisions won in this contract in the future.

By March 2020, like all bargaining tables, the CRVS/ILWU sessions were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, five months later, workers secured their contract.

A base to build on

The agreement was achieved through many collective actions, shows of solidarity, and productive and collaborative negotiations at the table. This is a first contract, and while not all goals were met, many were. The agreement is a marked improvement from the status quo and allows workers the opportunity to continue building the movement as they prepare for second contract negotiations in 2023.  The results of those combined efforts were:

More Workplace Rights:

  • “Just Cause” and progressive discipline standards of treatment;
  • Seniority based layoff and recall procedures;
  • Improved hospital communications such as: required all-staff meetings and establishing office hours for 1 on 1 meetings with administration to address workplace concerns;
  • Grievance Procedure to ensure contractual obligations are adhered to;

Increased Wages:

  • Increased base rate of pay for all positions;
  • Transparency on wages and wage rates;
  • Defined Differentials for additional skills/duties; • Yearly increases to the rates of pay for all positions; Better Benefits: • Increased Paid Time Off (PTO)    accrual and ability to cash out    PTO upon resignation;
  • Paid Jury Duty;
  • Bereavement for loss of a pet;
  • Improved Employee Assistance Program benefits;
  • Expanded rollover options for Continuing Education Credits;

…and a union shop where all new applicants are informed there is a union contract in place before they apply, and a structure whereby the union is able to effectively administer the contract and support workers on the job.

Setting a new standard: ILWU International President Willie Adams posted a solidarity photo on social media in support of workers at CRVS. After the vote ratification, the ILWU Titled Officers wrote a letter to the employer, congratulating them on reaching a fair agreement

Many workers whose wages have languished under corporatized veterinary medicine are now receiving their first increase in years under the agreement. Tracie Vestal, Licensed Veterinary Technician (LVT) stated: “Since I had not received any meaningful wage increase from CRVS over my five years of employment, I had the lowest hourly wage of any technician with my experience, education, and skillset. This did not reflect the unique role I served in the hospital as the sole LVT expert in laboratory diagnostics. I had considered sub-standard pay par for the course as a veterinary technician and had been debating applying my skills to human medicine/public health sectors, in order to be more financially sound. This was an agonizing consideration given my deep and abiding love and dedication This equity in pay will set CRVS apart as being a leading employer in the local veterinary community.

“I am extremely hopeful that this inaugural contract with veterinary professionals will serve as a model for everyone in this country and prove that negotiating across the employer/ employee divide benefits everyone (most importantly the patients).”

But as all union members know, the struggle is never over. ILWU Local 5 administrators are already building for the next phase of these efforts to ensure that workers are prepared to defend their gains and organize for future negotiations.

Katt Bennett, LVT, Veterinary Technician Specialist (Small Animal Internal Medicine) who was a member of the Member Action Team and instrumental in organizing every solidarity action, including picket lines and rallies, reflects on the struggle and looks to the future:

“It took CRVS over two years to accomplish this feat and this contract is only the first step toward making veterinary medicine a viable career during this time of corporate greed. It will provide veterinary workers with protections, wage equality, and establish a foothold for continued improvements in working conditions. Hopefully hospitals throughout the nation will follow suit, including veterinarians. This is a long journey, but we owe it to ourselves, our clients, and especially our patients to keep pushing for justice and fairness in our hospitals.”

International Longshore and Warehouse UnionRemembering our roots: Local 5 marks 20-year anniversary

Forming ILWU Local 5: EXCERPTS from No Decisions About Us Without Us
By Kristin Russ

[ILWU Local 5 was chartered on August 10, 2000, after a two-year organizing and contract campaign by 400 workers at Powell’s Books in Portland, OR. The organizing effort began in 1998 when the company restructured jobs and significantly reduced raises for workers. Powell’s workers filed for a union election on March 12, 1999.  On April 22, they made history by voting to join the union and becoming the nation’s largest union bookstore. In honor of Local 5’s 20-year anniversary, we are running excerpts from, No Decisions About Us Without US.]

Workers Take Action: September 1998

Fighting for a first contract: Workers at Powell’s Books demonstrate in support of their efforts to win their first contract. ILWU Local 5 was chartered on August 10, 2000, after a two-year organizing and contract campaign by over 400 workers at Powell’s.

[Powell’s] employee, the late Marty Kruse, knew his coworkers were upset about the changes, and he decided to take action. The day the email was issued, he wandered around the Burnside store carrying a cardboard sign under his shirt. On it was scrawled: “If you’re pissed off, meet at Ringlers Annex at 11pm.” He flashed his message to fellow booksellers whom he thought might be sympathetic. In answer, about a dozen workers met covertly to discuss their options. The atmosphere that night was heavy with paranoia—even a random bar patron in a cowboy hat was seen as an informant for management. Not knowing how to take the next step, the group decided to seek guidance from representatives with the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW). One week later, these representatives met with an expanded group of employees, more representative of the broader Powell’s workforce. Once employees began talking, they realized that the wage changes were not their most important concern. Many employees found that lack of management accountability and lack of respect, as well as a loss of specialization in their jobs, were common issues of contention.

Searching and Striving for a Union

[The] new Organizing Committee worked toward a quick declaration of which union they wanted to represent them. It wasn’t long before the Committee determined that the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) was the best choice for their needs. Under the ILWU banner they were able to charter their own Local, which would be a self-governing, independent division of the larger union.  This Local would function in the same democratic, inclusive and militant tradition of the ILWU. They would no longer be isolated employees of Powell’s Books. They became ILWU Local 5.

Management began to take action to quell the support for the union among employees. By holding informational meetings and sending out letters explaining the ills a union would bring, management vied for employees’ attention. On November 12th, 1998 a letter was sent out to employees on Powell’s letterhead, attempting to dispel rumors of upcoming corporate changes and to show what the company had done for its employees. In efforts to convince employees that a union was not necessary, the corporate managers advised: “We also want to alert people to the fact that if you don’t want to be represented by a union, if you don’t think it’s the right thing for Powell’s, your rights to oppose unionization are protected by law just as much as your coworkers’ rights to support unionization are.” The corporate managers played on the anxieties and affection of its employees, stressing that the uniqueness of Powell’s would be under threat and possible ruin with a union.

Despite Management’s efforts to sway employee interests in its favor, on March 12, 1999 Local 5 had collected enough signed Union Authorization Cards to file for a union certification election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). On that rainy Friday afternoon, a rally was held outside Powell’s Burnside store in celebration of the filing. Employees held signs urging a “Fast and Fair Election”. Local 5 had one month to generate the support it needed to win the election. In another testimonial, John McMahon asked fellow Powellsians: “Should Michael Powell be left to speak for all of us, or should we have a strong voice in shaping the future of both this company and the community it serves?”

Vet Pet Care Pioneers: Pictured here are members of the Northwest Veterinary Specialists bargaining committee. NWVS workers were among the first veterinary workers who voted to unionize on the West Coast. Local 5 represents about one hundred veterinary workers at the Northwest Veterinary Services VCA, ranging from receptionists, kennel caretakers, to certified technicians.

On April 22nd, that question was answered. The ILWU was accepted as the union for Powell’s bookstore. Local 5 was official! The vote was close at 161-155. With 90% of the 350 eligible employees casting ballots, only 6 votes had determined the future of Powell’s Books and its employees.  It wasn’t a strong win, but it was a win that would take everyone into a promising, albeit tentative, future. The next nine months were spent organizing toward bargaining efforts, electing a bargaining team, and surveying employee wants and needs. On September 14th, 1999, exactly one year after Corporate’s compensation email and that first meeting of exasperated workers, the Powell’s Bargaining Team and the Local 5 Bargaining Team met across the table for the first time.

The End and The Beginning

The end of bargaining came after almost 11 months and 53 bargaining sessions, with hard feelings on both sides of the table and much conflict within the Portland community. Powell’s Burnside bookstore had become a mecca for the liberal-minded city of Portland, and the ongoing internal rift had been a source of community distress for too long. The hard-won agreement became a commitment to get back to the selling of books. Everyone was ready to move on, although some were uncertain what a unionized Powell’s would mean.

The proposed contract included more than 18% in wage increases over three years; a protection of current health care benefits; and a closed shop. The union lost in the fight for a successor rights clause; however, it was not a big loss as there was no imminent fear that Michael Powell would sell. But if, for example, a future employer should decide to contest the union, then by law a new vote for unionization would take place. Any strongly organized union should have no problem winning such a vote—yet another reason why it is in the best interest of the Local 5 and its members to maintain a good and healthy union.

Growing Seeds Bargaining Committee: Workers at the childcare chain Growing seeds in Portland voted to unionize and join Local 5 March 2020.

After a long struggle, Powell’s bookstore had defied the doubts of the retail business and completed what it set out to do—build a strong union. The vote to ratify the contract was a resounding victory at 293-37. A statement at the time from Mary Winzig, who was about to be Local 5’s first President, spoke to the fatigue of Local 5 bargainers and their satisfaction with the results: “I think we got everything we were looking for. It’s a great first contract.” Corporate Manager Ann Smith stated, “Yes, there’s relationship mending to do. But I look forward to moving on the the next chapter. It’s a good contract; it gives us a good foundation to build on.”

It took two years of fighting and rallying, multiple appeals for support from the Portland community, many ULP protests, and one powerful and united workforce to gain a precious first contract, ensuring protection of the livelihood of Powell’s employees. ‘No Decisions About Us Without Us’ had been the proclamation that reverberated throughout the aisles of Powell’s Books and had given a voice to its workers. And this new voice needed to be guarded. Setting the tone for the future of Local 5 and Powell’s, Union member Meredith Schafer stated, “The only way we get what’s in that contract is if we stay together and keep on working. The contract is not a gift—we worked for it and we’ll work to keep it.”

Afterword, The Years Since

In the years following that initial contract, Local 5 has continued to fight and continued to grow. Now with the 7th contract at Powell’s, the agreement has progressed and developed through negotiations, grievances and precedents set. The workers have continued to make gains with the most recent contract providing for over $3 in wage increases over a four-year agreement as well as maintenance of other benefits such as healthcare and PTO. The workers at Powell’s have continued to play a pivotal role in making sure Local 5 is a well-run union and continue the democratic traditions on which it was founded.

One thing has changed significantly over the years, Local 5 is no longer the “Powell’s Union” as it was initially referred to. Local 5 now represents workers from across a diverse set of industries: in foodservice is Aramark workers at the Evergreen State College in Olympia; in museums is Oregon Historical Society; in veterinary medicine is Columbia River Veterinary Specialists and Northwest Veterinary Specialists and in early learning education is Growing Seeds Learning Center. Local 5 is on the move and continues to embrace those workers who are taking a stand in their workplace and demanding better wages, benefits and working conditions. It’s a tradition 20 years in the making and one the Local looks forward to maintaining for another 20 years and beyond. Forward Ever – Backward Never!


International Longshore and Warehouse UnionSFVS workers strike to protest illegal actions by their employer, VCA-Mars

Workers at San Francisco Veterinary Specialists (SFVS), walked-off the job on July 30 to protest federal labor law violations by their employer, VCA-Mars.  The “Unfair Labor Practices” strike was triggered by a new charge that the ILWU filed against the company and by a new complaint issued by the Federal Government, alleging the hospital committed a host of federal labor law violations.

Solidarity and social distancing

Workers held a small rally outside of the hospital in San Francisco’s Mission District following proper COVID safety protocols, while community supporters and clients listened to the rally speakers over Zoom and participated in a car caravan that circled the hospital.  In 2018, workers at SFVS voted by a 3-to-1 margin to form a union and affiliate with ILWU Local 6. Since that time, they have been trying to negotiate their first contract. Meanwhile, the company has hired anti-union consultants and lawyers to avoid reaching an agreement. The company refused to meet more than one day per month for bargaining until recently, when they finally agreed to meet twice per month to settle a NLRB complaint for bargaining in bad faith in violation of federal law. Standing with Katy

During the strike, workers, community members, and clients also rallied in support of Katy Bradley, an outspoken union supporter, bargaining committee member, and advocate for better patient care who was fired by VCA-Mars hours after the employer was notified that charges were being filed against them for violating federal law. Bradley has been an exemplary employee at SFVS for nearly eight years where she worked as a lead veterinary technician.  “VCA-Mars can lock me out but they can’t keep me from bargaining for a fair contract,” Bradley said during an emotional speech. “We’ve been trying to reach an agreement for 27 months to improve this hospital as well as the pet-care industry. We want a fair contract that mutually benefits the hospital and the employees that work here. We want to improve the staffing ratios so that we can continue to provide the best patient care possible. Despite how reasonable our asks are, VCA-Mars continues to stall bargaining and deny that they can hear our calls.” The big business of vet care

The veterinary care industry is a lucrative, multi-billion-dollar business built on the backs of a workforce that is underpaid for their high level of skill and education. In 2017, the Mars Corporation quietly purchased SFVS, along with hundreds of other animal hospitals and clinics, for $9.1 billion. Mars is a privately-held company famous for their M&M candies. Mars now controls a large share of America’s animal care industry, along with ownership of IAM’s and Pedigree brand pet foods, and other animal-linked assets. Mars has come under fire in recent months by civil rights activists for the negative racial stereo depicted in the packaging of their Uncle Ben’s brand rice products. The company has also been criticized by human rights activists for using slave labor in the production of their cocoa products.

“The ILWU is proud to stand behind Katy and all of the workers at SFVS who are fighting VCA-Mars to improve patient care and reach a fair contract. VCA-Mars is not the first billion-dollar corporation the ILWU has faced. We won those battles and will win this one too,” said ILWU International President Willie Adams.

Support from elected officials

The action drew statements of support from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and San Francisco Supervisors Hillary Ronen and Dean Preston.

“Recent developments represent a troubling deterioration of labor negotiations. This week, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ordered VCA-SFVS to respond to charges of retaliation and termination based on employees’ protected union activity and refusal to bargain in good faith. And last week, ILWU filed an Unfair Labor Practice complaint and 10-J Injunction for the termination of Katy Bradley, a union supporter who rose through the ranks at VCASFVS to her role as lead veterinary technician,” Speaker Pelosi wrote in a letter to the employer.

Supervisor Ronen stated in her letter to the company: “When a company knowingly attacks workers or undermines worker support, that company attacks our community. As the community–elected representative of the city’s 9th District I request that you reinstate Katy Bradley, cease all anti-union activity and you return to good faith bargaining. A quick resolution that is mutually beneficial to all parties is what our community grows and thrives on.”

District 5 Supervisor Dean Preston wrote in a letter the employer, “I have closely followed the multi-year effort of the VCA union. I have been impressed by how committed and serious these professionals are, diligently trying to improve their place of employment for the benefit of workers and patients. Naturally, we expect their employer at VCA – Mars Corporation – not to undermine workers.   “Like most, until I became familiar with the VCA workers’ union, I was unaware of the size and nature of Mars’ investment and growth in the pet care industry. I would hope that a multi-billion dollar company would be thoughtful in disciplinary action towards an employee, particularly during a pandemic and during contract negotiation. I am concerned not only by the report of the termination of Ms. Bradley, but also reports of zero cost of living adjustments, raises or any proactive policy in support of the workers at SFVS during this health crisis, as well as a reduction of hours for support staff and increased patient load on reduced staff.”

The strike, which lasted less than an hour, is an “unfair labor practice” strike, because it responds directly to illegal conduct by the employer, rather than concerns about working standards, such as high-turnover, short-staffing and patient care, problems that have also plagued SFVS.

Liz Hughston from the National Veterinary Professionals Union, called into the rally via Zoom and spoke about the central role Katy has played in the effort to unionize the veterinary industry. “Katy is the reason that unionization in the veterinary industry is as far along as it is,” said Hughston. “Katy started this mission at SFVS. She is the one who connected the veterinary industry with the ILWU and without her we would not be fighting for the rights of veterinary workers to the extent we are today.”

SFVS worker David Lesseps closed the rally out, saying that workers will outlast the company’s efforts to undermine the union. “We have been targeted. We have been threatened. They have tried to wear us down but we are not tired, we are not stopping,” he said.


International Longshore and Warehouse UnionExplosion at the Port of Beirut puts spotlight on lax maritime regulations

Aftermath: The warehouse blast decimated the Port of Beirut and killed scores of port and maritime workers.

On August 4, two devastating explosions occurred at the Port of Beirut, the capital of Lebanon. The second explosion, caused by the ignition of 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate, leveled the port and killed at least 177 people, including seafarers, longshore and other port workers. The blast left an estimated 300,000 people homeless and caused billions of dollars in damage throughout the city. The ammonium nitrate had been confiscated by the Lebanese government from the abandoned ship, the MV Rhosus, and then stored at the port for six years without safety measures.

 ILWU statement

The day after the explosion, ILWU International President Willie Adams released the following statement: “International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) workers on the West Coast of the United States and Canada grieve the tremendous losses that Beirut is suffering following an explosion of stored material at a port warehouse. While the chaos of the explosion has yet to reveal the full scope of human loss, we are heartbroken to learn that longshore workers lost their lives when their worksite became ground zero for the catastrophic explosion. The city of Beirut and thousands of families will never be the same.

“Reports that the Lebanese government has put port authorities under house arrest while investigating the dubious storage of these explosive materials on the docks since 2014, and the likelihood that these deaths were preventable, are deeply disturbing but not surprising developments to those of us who work on the waterfront. Employers, port authorities and government agencies should always hold safety paramount on the waterfront – but, left unchecked, complacency and profit motive too often put workers’ lives at risk. The shocking images we are seeing in the news illustrate why dockworker unions fight for safety on the docks and the safe movement of cargo: to protect our lives and communities.

The ILWU is closely monitoring the developments at the Port of Beirut, and we will determine the best way to assist when the facts become clearer. On behalf of my fellow Titled Officers, the Coast Committeemen and the rank and file membership, I extend our profound condolences to the families, friends and colleagues of the dockworkers and the people of Beirut.“

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) also issued a statement: “On behalf of the ITF and our 700 affiliates from around the world, we send our sincerest condolences and sympathies to all of those impacted by these terrible explosions. The ITF and our affiliates stand in solidarity with all of you, your members, colleagues, families and the people of Lebanon at this incredibly sad time,” they wrote. “We mourn this terrible tragedy alongside you and express our deep condolences to families who have lost their loved ones and wish the injured a quick recovery.’

ITF affiliated unions in Lebanon include the General Confederation of Drivers and Transport Workers in Lebanon (GCDTW), the Union of Beirut Port Employees (UBPE), the Syndicate of Middle East Airlines and Affiliate Companies (MEA), the Lebanese Cabin Crew Association (LCCA) and the Lebanese Seaman’s Syndicate (LSS).

 Profits over people

Protests erupted in the aftermath of the explosion that resulted in the resignation of Lebanese government officials including the Prime Minister. But the gross negligence of the government is only part of the story.  In an opinion piece published in The Guardian, Laleh Khalili, Professor of International Politics at Queen Mary University of London, argues that the roots of the catastrophic explosion run “to a network of maritime capital and legal chicanery that is designed to protect businesses at any cost.” At the heart of this “network of legal chicanery” is the “flag of convenience” (FoC) practice that prioritizes the profits of shipping companies over the health and safety of seafarers and port workers, Khalili argues.

Flag of convenience

The FoC practice allows shipping companies to register a ship in a country other than that of the ship’s owners to avoid oversight, regulations, and accountability. Such ships are registered to (and fly the flags of) countries with the weakest labor, environmental, and health and safety regulations.

 The beginning of the tragedy

In her article, Khalili begins the story of the Beirut Port explosion in 2013, when the Russian-owned MV Rhosus, registered to a company in Bulgaria and flagged in Moldova, set sail from Georgia to Mozambique with a cargo of ammonium nitrate. The 30-year old vessel had a hole in its hull requiring water to be pumped out to stop it from sinking. It was operated by a crew of eight Ukrainians and two Russians who were unaware that the previous crew had left the ship in protest of the non-payment of their wages by the ship’s owner.

The Rhosus stopped in Beirut to earn extra cash by picking up additional cargo of heavy machinery. Inspectors were alerted when the ship’s decks buckled under the weight. It was declared “unseaworthy” and Lebanese officials impounded the vessel for failure to pay charges including port fees. The owner filed for bankruptcy, abandoning the ship, its cargo, and its crew in the Port of Beirut.  Port authorities refused to allow four of the seafarers off the ship without a replacement crew.

The captain and remaining crew were trapped aboard the ship—with its 2,750 tons of explosive cargo—for almost a year with no wages, no access to electronic communications, and with dwindling food and fuel provisions, until a Lebanese court intervened and ordered them to be released.  The cargo of ammonium nitrate was confiscated and stored in a warehouse at the port–where it remained until it exploded on August 4.  “Flags of convenience are essentially an offshoring tool intended to protect capital, allowing unsafe ships to sail with crews who are vulnerable to the depredations of unscrupulous employers. Even the wealthiest shipping companies in the world, with headquarters in Europe and east Asia, flag their ships to open registries to save on wages, taxes and insurance,” Khalili concluded.

“The removal of these offshoring provisions, eliminating flags of convenience, and an overhaul of the arbitration mechanisms that so often disadvantage seafarers and less powerful states are only the first steps towards addressing the malfeasance that created [the August 4] tragedy. As the dust settles in Beirut, there is a great deal of work to be done.”

The ITF says that until there is a “genuine link between the flag a ship flies and the nationality or residence of its owners,” abuses will continue.”

International Longshore and Warehouse UnionILWU Legislative Director Lindsay McLaughlin retires

Screenshot of C-Span broadcast of ILWU Legislative Director Lindsay McLaughlin speaking before Congress.

ILWU Legislative Director Lindsay McLaughlin retired on August 14 after serving the union for over 30 years.  Lindsay’s many contributions to the ILWU and his work with the Legislative Action Committee have left a lasting imprint on the union and membership.   During his tenure as Legislative Director, Lindsay successfully navigated many rounds of contract negotiations, worked diligently to protect our health care and retirement benefits, advocated for investments on the waterfront, defended the Jones Act, and ensured the wellbeing of future ILWU members for years to come.

At the July 17 International Executive Board meeting held over Zoom, IEB members thanked Lindsay for his decades of work.  “I’ve known Lindsay for almost 30 years. This organization owes you a debt of gratitude,” said ILWU International President Willie Adams.  “Thank you for all the years of service. You’ve been a true warrior.”  “One thing you’ve demonstrated was never to be intimidated by these politicians—they work for us,” said Executive Board member Dan McKisson. “You’ve always done a great job for us and I really appreciate it.” Lindsay recalled how he actively pursued a job with the ILWU.

“When the job came open, the first thing I did was read a biography of Harry Bridges and that got me very excited about the ILWU. I wanted the job very badly because I knew this was union with principles,” he said. “I got so hyped-up, I even grew a long mustache so I could look older. I was 27 years old at the time and I thought the union might want someone with more experience.” Lindsay thanked the Titled Officers and Executive Board members for the opportunity to serve the ILWU membership for 30 years. “I may be retiring but I will never leave the ILWU. If the union needs anything from me, I will be there,” he said. Lobbyist Kyle Mulhall, who has

worked with the ILWU Legislative Office since 2015, will be handling the transition of duties for the ILWU Legislative Office.  We wish Lindsay all the best in his retirement and thank him for his many years of service to the union.

Felixstowe DockersDolphin Death Mystery Stokes Anger in Mauritius

Dead dolphins blamed on oil spill, thousands protest against government  inaction in Mauritius - ABC News

The unexplained deaths of Dolphins in Mauritius are fanning anger over the government’s handling of an oil spill that’s the nation’s worst ecological disaster.

In less than a week, 46 melon-headed whales have been found dead on the nation’s southeast coast where the Nagashiki Shipping Co.’s Wakashio leaked fuel, according to the government. Tests so far haven’t linked the deaths to the spillage.

Thousands of protesters took to the streets of the capital, Port Louis, at the weekend, claiming the deaths were linked to the spill and blaming the government for failing to prevent the leakage.

“The reasons for the deaths are unknown,” Jasvin Sok Appadu, spokesman for the Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping Ministry, said by phone from Port Louis. “Preliminary reports following autopsies of the first set of dead mammals do not show any presence of fuel oil in their lungs and digestive systems.”

Mauritius was left almost helpless after the vessel spilled about 1,000 tons of fuel into its pristine waters that communities and the government rely on for fishing and tourism. The leakage started more than a week after the ship ran aground on July 25 after salvage operations were delayed.

Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth said that the government was unable to act immediately because it lacked the resources.

Luke Smout

Maritime Union of New ZealandHere’s why we need only NZ-flagged ships travelling around our coasts

I work at Ports of Auckland. I’m onsite every day as part of the stevedoring team, in the 20 years I’ve been a watersider, I’ve had just about every job there is. Lasher, straddle driver you name it.

International Longshore and Warehouse UnionILWU’s 10 Guiding Principles Webinar

The ILWU is hosting a webinar on September 22, 2020, from 6-7:30PM as part of our leadership education programming.  The online event, The ILWU’s Values: Members reflect on the Ten Guiding Principles will feature leaders from across the union discussing the role of the ILWU’s Ten Guiding Principles in their work and union life.

The Ten Guiding Principles were developed in 1953 to codify the cardinal values upon which the ILWU was built.  Since they were first written, the principles have served as a guidepost to ILWU leaders in their work within the union and the broader community.  This webinar will highlight some of the work that union members have done that reflects the ILWU’s values through the lens of the Principles.  Panelists will share personal stories that illustrate how the ILWU’s Principles have applied to their work.

The webinar is open to members and affiliates in good standing with preference given to active members.  Those interested in attending may register by clicking the link below.


Please register online no later than 5 p.m. on September 18, 2020

Questions may be addressed to Educational Services Director Robin Walker at


Felixstowe DockersUAE Ship And Its Crew Detained By Iran

 UAE Representation Image

Iran’s Foreign Ministry has reported that it detained a UAE-registered vessel on Thursday, 20th Aug 2020 after it was found violating the Iranian waters. 

In a statement made on state television, it also added that UAE had, on the same day shot two Iranian fishermen and seized a boat.

Iran summoned the charge d’affaires of the UAE in Tehran in response to the deaths of the 2 fishermen and compelled them to release the seized boat. UAE in return expressed its ts deepest regrets for the action and returned the boat and its crew to authorities. Transportation of the dead bodies will be undertaken legally. It has also agreed to pay for the damaged caused.

The Emirati ship had been held by Iranian Coast Guards as it was found performing illegal trafficking on the territorial waters of Iran. The crew has now been arrested. Iran has warned against further attacks saying that “Tehran will take all necessary measures to protect its vessels and citizens in the Persian Gulf.”

Both actions come at a time when tensions continue to escalate between Iran and UAE

After a surprise agreement last week between UAE and Israel seeking to ‘normalise ties’.

The decision wasn’t taken in well by the Iranian President who called it a “big mistake” as he believed that it will open up the path of Israel to the region.

Abu Dhabi, finding President Hassan Rouhani’s comments “unacceptable and inflammatory” summoned Iran’s charge d’affaires to condemn the rhetoric.

Emirati minister of state for foreign affairs, however, maintains that the diplomatic agreement has nothing to do with Israel. The agreement once signed will make UAE the 3rd nation to evolve diplomatic relations with Israel.

The rivalry between the countries has downgraded consistently since 2016 due to rifts between Tehran and Saudi Arabia. Despite the troubled relations, Iran and UAE have important economic links with each other, including a significant chunk of Iranian expatriate community in UAE.

Felixstowe DockersTypes of Main Bearings of Marine Engines and their Properties

Main Bearing Top Half

The rotational power of a ship’s propeller is determined by the power produced by the marine engine to rotate the crankshaft. 

The crankshaft of the main engine is supported and connected to the connecting rod via main Bearings whose main function is to transmit the load without any metal to metal contact.

This is achieved by choosing special materials for manufacturing main bearings which float the journal pin of the rotating crankshaft when lube oil is supplied to it.

Forces on Bearings

A ship engine comprises of heavy rotational parts which exert different forces on various parts of the engine crankshaft. One of the significant load-bearing parts of the crankshaft system is the main bearings.

The bearings in a marine engine are subjected to multiple forces which include:

– Gas pressure generated inside the liner

– Dynamic Inertial forces due to different reciprocating and rotating motion of the engine parts

– Centrifugal forces due to different reciprocating and rotating motion of the engine parts

– Friction between the crankshaft and bearing due to engine vibration

Forces on Main Bearing

The main bearing is thus designed to tackle various forces along with supporting the crankshaft rotating at high speed. Hence, the material used in making the bearing is essential so that it can support the crankshaft journal and also adjust to minor surface irregularities.

The engine bearing cannot do the work alone. They need a compatible lubricating oil to bear the load and allow the rotation of crankshaft journal smoothly. The lubricating oil enables the bearing to withstand abrasive particles which create friction between journal and bearing.  

Properties of main bearing materials

For selecting the main bearing for a marine engine, it must have the following features: 

It should be anti-corrosive in nature to avoid corrosion of bearing material and associated parts such as journal and bearing keep

It should be frictional resistant so that there is minimum energy loss between the bearing and the journal

It should have an excellent load-bearing capacity as dynamic load acts on it

It should have good running in and grinding-in ability

The bearing must support the oil film which allows smooth rotation of the journal

The bearing material should be such that it does not react with the lubricating oil

The bearing should have suitable embeddability property so that small particle embed in the bearing surface without harming the journal pin

The bearing material should have an excellent compressive and tensile strength

It must have a thermal resistant property to avoid any damage if it’s running hot

Common defects in bearings

Corrosion: If the oil in which the bearing is placed is acidic, it may lead to corrosion. The surface of the bearing will become discoloured and rough due to corrosion

Abrasion:  If the oil is not filtered and treated correctly and contains minute particles, which are common in engines burning heavy fuel oil, it may cause fine scratches on the bearing surface 

Erosion: When the oil supply pressure is not appropriate, or there is a rapid and unusual journal movement, it will lead the stripping of the overlay layer of the bearing. These phenomena are more common in medium-speed engines.

Fatigue: When the engine load over the bearing is too high, it may lead to the removal of the bearing lining. The bearing surface loads cracked paving.

Wiping:  It is the process when the overlay layer removes due to high temperature. When the bearing is new, wiping is required to remove the initial layer, which helps in re-alignment of the bearing to the journal. However, too much metal wiping can lead to increase in clearances affecting the performance of the bearing

Spark Erosion: When the propeller is at rest, the stern tube, propeller shaft and bearings are in contact with each other. Similarly, main engine bearing and journal are in contact with each other, maintaining continuity of the circuit. When the ship is running, due to the rotation of the propeller and lubricating oil film the shaft becomes partially electrical insulated. It may also happen on the tail shaft using non-metallic bearing which acts as an insulation.

The propeller at the aft is a large area of exposed metal which attracts protective cathodic current which produces an arc while discharging from the lubricating film. This results in spark erosion of bearings, which can lead to a worse situation if lube oil is contaminated with seawater

Crankshaft misalignment: Crankshaft of a marine engine is a massive component when fully put together in the engine. Initially, the complete crankshaft is aligned in a straight line (connection drawn from the centre of the crankshaft makes a straight line) before setting it on the top of main bearings. But with time due to various factors, the straight line may deviate and misalign which can lead to damage to the main bearings

Hence, the increase in the clearance between the bearing and the journal pin can be due to the above-listed factor as well as the following:

-If the bearing is operated above the operating temperature for a longer period

-If there is significant and prolong variation in the engine speed, e.g. over speeding of the engine

-If the lubrication oil film thickness is reduced due to change in the oil flow

–If there is a change in the viscosity of the lubricant 

-If the lubrication oil temperature is high

-If the lube oil used has a different load-bearing capacity than the recommended.  

-There is a change in the engine ambient temperature.

Types of the main bearing

In the maritime industry, there are three famous types of Main bearings used for both propulsion engines which are normally 2 stroke engines and power generation engines which are 4 stroke engines, they are as follows:

1. Lead Bronze Bearing: These bearings consist of the following layers

Flash layer: It is the topmost layer with a thickness of 0.035mm made up of tin and lead. It is used to protect the bearing from corrosion and dust when not in use. This layer flashes off when a bearing is running.

Nickle Barrier: It is the second layer made up of nickel with a thickness of 0.02mm. Its main function is to prevent corrosion and avoid diffusion of tin into bearing metal.

Lead Bronze: The third layer composed of lead bronze which has an excellent anti seizing property and is the principle component which acts as a bearing out of all layers.

Steel back: Steel back is the last and backing part of the bearing used for shape and support over which all the layers are bonded together.

Gudgeon Pin bearing in a 4 stroke engine is usually made of lead bronze bearing and also used for the main bearing for smaller engines.

2.  Bi-metal Bearing: This bearing consists of the following layers

Aluminium Tin: The first layer of bi-metal consists of Al and Sn with a thickness of 0.5 to 1.3mm and this is the main element of this type of bearing.

Bonding Layer: The bonding layer consists of aluminium and it is 0.1mm thick. The main function of the bonding layer is to obtain a good bond between the shell and the top layer.

Steel Back: The backing part used for shape and support.

This type of bearings are used in 4 stroke engine main bearings

3. Tri-Metal Bearing: These bearings are called tri-metal bearing because they consist of three main layers 

Flash Layer: It is the top most layer with a thickness of 1 micron made up of tin and lead and used to protect the bearing from corrosion and dust when not in use. This layer flashes off when bearing is in Running in the period.

Overlay: The second layer made up of white metal (Tin Antimony Copper) which is the main component in this type of bearing. Its thickness is 20 microns.

Interlay: It is the third layer used as an anti-corrosive layer for overlay. It is of 5 microns thickness.

Lining: It is the lining layer between interlay and steel back with a thickness of 1 mm made up of lead and bronze.

Steel Back: The backing part used for shape and support.

Felixstowe DockersFate Of English Channel Migrants Entwined In Brexit Talks

 Immigration - latest news, breaking stories and comment - The ...

The European Union has so far rebuffed British calls for talks on a deal to allow London to send unwanted migrants back to Europe from 2021, and could use the issue as potential leverage in wider Brexit negotiations, diplomats and officials said.

The agenda for this week’s EU-UK talks on their future relationship after a post-Brexit transition period runs out at the end of 2020 did not include specific talks on returning migrants, though London has long pressed for such a deal.

Brussels diplomats and officials following discussions on Britain’s departure from the bloc told Reuters the EU was playing hard to get, believing an agreement on migrants was more important to Britain than the bloc’s 27 member states.

Hundreds of people, including some children, have tried to cross the English Channel to southern England from makeshift camps in northern France this month – many navigating one of the world’s busiest shipping routes in overloaded rubber dinghies.

Britain’s Home Office said this week the uptick in the numbers attempting the perilous crossing was frustrating.

“That is why the (government) is committed … to ensuring we have legislation ready following the end of the transition period,” it said. “This legislation will build on our continuing work with the French government to stop these crossings.”

Britain wants to be able to ship such migrants back to France or Belgium, where they embarked.

But without a new deal with the EU, once its current arrangements with the bloc end it would be obliged under international humanitarian law to take responsibility for anyone landing on its coast, being fished from the water by its ships or brought to its ports by other vessels.

Unlike with Turkey, where the EU needed a migration pact to ensure Ankara keeps on its soil the millions of Middle Eastern refugees it hosts – the 27 EU countries are in no rush.

“The UK has interest in this. We can wait,” said an EU diplomat dealing with migration. “The 27 are not that worried. Of that, 25 do not really care at all. France and Belgium can be to some extent preoccupied, but far less than the UK is.”

Authorities on Wednesday found a dead Sudanese boy on a beach in northern France, as Paris and London said they would shut down the migrant route across the Channel.


Sources in Brussels hope a final Brexit agreement will be ready for an Oct.15-16 EU leaders’ summit, allowing time for ratification by year-end, though some have warned it might come later.

EU sources said migration would not ultimately be a deal maker or breaker in the negotiations, where fisheries and state aid arrangements are the biggest lingering hurdles.

But a second EU diplomat said migration could play a role, suggesting a trade-off for talks on a new security and defence pact, which the bloc wants but London has refused to engage in so far.

“If they don’t get the overall deal – they don’t have a migration deal either,” said the person, speaking on condition of anonymity. “If they do go for a deal – they may get something on migration as well.”

The U.N. migration agency expressed concern this week about Britain’s plans to deploy its navy to intercept people and return them to mainland Europe.

“Our collective response should be… from saving lives to combating smuggling rings, expanding legal options, and ensuring that all those who are in need of protection can effectively access it,” said the International Organisation for Migration.

It called on London to ensure vulnerable migrants, such as unaccompanied minors, can continue reuniting with families in Britain after Brexit.

Felixstowe Dockers4 Missing After Dredge Hits A Pipeline And Explodes in Corpus Christi

 Corpus Christi Dredge Explosion

Coast Guard crews respond to a dredge on fire in the Port of Corpus Christi Ship Channel, Aug. 21, 2020. 

A Sector/Air Station Corpus Christi MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew was launched to the scene, hoisted two injured crewmembers, and transferred them to Corpus Christi Medical Center.

Four members of the dredging vessel Waymon L Boyd are missing after a fire and explosion near the Port of Corpus Christi, Texas, on Friday, causing the U.S. Coast Guard to close the port’s inner harbor, the agency said.

Two injured crew members have been rescued from the dredging vessel Waymon L Boyd after it caught fire, while a search for missing crew members continues, the Coast Guard said.

The fire started shortly after 9:00 AM ET (1300 GMT) in an area referred to as “refinery row” because of its proximity to several refining facilities, according to a spokeswoman for the Corpus Christi fire department.

Corpus Christi is home to a number of oil refineries and shipping ports, and has become an important exporting locale for crude oil. Valero on Friday said operations at its refinery were normal.

The U.S. Coast Guard closed the Inner Harbor from Harbor Bridge inward of the Port of Corpus Christi ship channel.

Felixstowe DockersMaersk Executive Charged In Petrobras Corruption Scheme

A.P. Moller-Maersk (1) | Supply Chain & Transportation Management Blog

Brazilian prosecutors pressed charges on Friday against two people for an alleged scheme to obtain confidential market information from Petrobras to benefit A.P. Moller-Maersk, the world’s largest shipping company.

The case stems from an investigation that started in 2014 as part of Brazil’s sprawling Car Wash scandal, which has since included suppliers like Maersk and uncovered corruption throughout multiple countries in more than 70 police operations.

A statement released by prosecutors on Friday said a former Maersk executive in Brazil, Viggo Andersen, participated in a scheme that led to at least $31.7 million in losses for Petrobras.

Andersen denies the accusations and will have his innocence proved, his lawyer Paulo Freitas said in a written response.

According to prosecutors, Andersen participated in a scheme to bribe a Petrobras executive, through an intermediary, in exchange for privileged information that would guarantee more business to Maersk.

Andersen allegedly inflated shipping contract prices and transferred the proceeds to Maersk commercial representative Wanderley Gandra, who acted as a financial operator for the scheme, the prosecutors said.

Gandra, according to prosecutors, then sent some of the money to Paulo Roberto Costa, a former Petrobras top executive, who supplied confidential information on the state oil company’s shipping needs back to Maersk, the statement said.

Gandra’s lawyer could not immediately be reached for comment.

Costa was arrested in 2014 and was the first of more than 100 people who entered a plea deal with prosecutors. He has provided investigators with information on multiple Petrobras contracts he oversaw, including with Maersk and other international offshore suppliers.

A judge must still decide whether to start a criminal case against Andersen and Gandra or drop the charges.

The alleged crimes relate to the period 2006 to 2014, the prosecution statement said. Andersen left Maersk in 2017, according to his LinkedIn page.

Maersk said it takes the “allegations very seriously and remains committed to cooperating with the authorities.” Petrobras has been collaborating with officials since 2014 and will continue to do so, the company said in a written response.

Last year, Maersk’s offices in Brazil were raided by prosecutors.

Representatives of the Danish company met with Brazilian investigators as far back as 2014 in relation to its dealings with Petrobras during the early stages of the corruption investigation.