The Unions get it — this is an existential threat to more than “just” KP

H/t to the Facebook page, “KPBack2Sea” for this news.  AMO, MEBA, MMP and SIU have signed a joint letter to Secretary Foxx calling the DOT-MARAD sexual assault response strategy “dangerously off course.”  The unions recognize that

“the situation at Kings Point threatens not only this vital institution, but also the privately owned and operated U.S. merchant fleet, the jobs this fleet provides in diverse commercial markets coast-to-coast and worldwide, the ability to crew the U.S.-flag ships the U.S. Department of Defense relies on primarily for strategic sealift service in national security emergencies, and the morale of the U.S. seagoing labor force.”

And the unions are questioning the data, too:

“Do DOT and MARAD have specific data and empirical evidence to support their belief that merchant mariners on commercial ships pose direct physical or psychological threats to Kings Point midshipmen while mariners on government vessels do not? If so, they ought to make such data and evidence available to U.S. merchant vessel operating and management companies and to seagoing unions in the interests of credibility and consensus.”

Exactly.  There is no data.  As I’ve documented here, the crisis was manufactured between May 20, 2016 and June 16, 2016 (when the sea year stand down cancellation was ordered). The only thing MARAD has to support its claim is an off-the-rails, unofficial, unscientific, undocumented “focus group” conducted by Sharon van Wyk, the chair of the Academy Advisory Board.  That’s in contrast to years of official, scientific, documented, data accumulated by the Academy over the years. (See the Important Documents page for links to the data.)

Read the whole letter from the unions.  It’s an important contribution to the entire discussion.


    • The problem for the shipping companies is that most depend upon MARAD/DOT for business. It’s difficult for them to go out on a limb without risking retribution. Is there anyone who believes their wouldn’t be such retribution?

      Recognizing that problem, what I’d like to see the shipping companies do is start posting their own SASH policies on-line and let people compare and contrast them to MSC’s policy. If their policies are as good as MSC’s (and some companies definitely think they meet or exceed MSC’s), and we could have a debate on that, it would be much harder for MARAD to justify keeping midshipmen off of those companies’ ships. With that information, Congress could ask even tougher questions of MARAD — why is MSC okay but this company, that has a much stronger policy, is not? [This is not a criticism of MSC’s policy in any way. MARAD has made MSC the standard so MARAD cannot justify keeping midshipmen off of the ships of any company that meets or exceeds MARAD’s own benchmark.]

      The policies can also be submitted to me in confidence (use the tip page or send them to Andy Simpson 82 [at] save kings (no spaces) and I can post an analysis or get someone else to do the analysis and post it. They can be submitted to me by anyone who has access, not just an official representative of the company.

Comments are closed.