2001 Maritime

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October 12, 2001

Røkke and Russians to divvy up Kværner?
Aker Maritime is understood to have held secret talks this week with Kværner's new Russian shareholder, Yukos Oil, reports Norwegian daily Aftenposten. The newspaper says it's thought that Aker boss Kjell Inge Røkke and Yukos may be planning to divide the troubled group between them.

Røkke's Aker Maritime has long been eyeing Kærner's oil and gas division. Aftenposten says Mikhail Khodorkovskij, who controls Yukos, would most likely take over Kværner's engineering and construction division "should such deal ever see fruition."

That leaves open the question of what would happen to the Kværner shipbuilding division, which, of course, includes Kværner Philadelphia. Kværner's present management still plans to sell off shipbuilding. However, some observers see a particularly attractive logic in putting together Kværner's Warnowerft and Aker Maritime's MTW, both in eastern Germany. Kværner Philadelphia could well be included in such a match up since it is,in many regards, a sister yard to Warnow.

Security enhancement training at MITAGS
Glen Paine, executive director of the Maritime Institute of Technology & Graduate Studies (MITAGS), Linthicum Heights, Md., and Pacific Northwest Maritime Institute (PMI), Seattle, Washington says that MITAGS' small arms and other security enhancement training programs are now open to all companies and organizations.

“Over the years, MITAGS has provided professional mariners and the Military Sealift Command with small arms, employee awareness, security assessment, security management and chemical, biological and radiological training,” said Paine, “As organizations race to provide their employees and the public with increased security, we have opened our security training programs to all companies throughout this country.”

Lieutenant Jack Lynch USN (Ret), MITAGS’ firearms instructor is a licensed commercial pilot, flight engineer, scuba and nitrox diving instructor, and a certified police firearms instructor. Lynch served in key positions in operations, intelligence and training research development. He was a Navy Seal instructor and taught small arms and combat shooting courses.

MITAGS’ Small Arms Training is a four-day course designed to provide instruction in the care and safe use of firearms, as well as in basic offensive and defensive tactics.

Employee Awareness, Security Assessment and Security Management courses are designed and tailored to meet corporate requirements and to assist employees in recognizing and responding to threats. The Chemical, Biological, and Radiological Defense (CBRD) course provides an understanding of the complex environment to be encountered in any chemical, biological or radiological event, with an emphasis on classifications, symptoms, treatment and personal decontamination procedures.

Latin American unions join Trico campaign
According to the ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation), Brazilian oil workers’ and seafarers’ unions have launched a new Solidarity Pact with American seafarers who are fighting for the right to join a trade union. Signed in Rio de Janeiro, the pact, says ITF, "pledges international cooperation to promote fairness, justice and a voice at work for mariners working on U.S.-flaggeds vessels of Trico Marine Services, Inc."

The ITF says that maritime unions throughout Latin America have agreed to support the campaign. This is a new phase in worldwide action by mariners and oil workers. The unions involved are affiliates of the ITFand the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers’ Unions (ICEM). Together, they are supporting a campaign to secure trade union rights for American workers employed by Trico, which supplies shipping and other services to offshore oil producers.

The pact says: “The Brazilian and U.S. unions call peacefully and lawfully on the customers of Trico not to engage in any further contracts with Trico from this day forward until Trico ceases its anti-union activities and, upon demonstration of majority support, recognizes the OMU as the union representing mariners working on the company’s U.S. Gulf of Mexico fleet and negotiates in good faith a collective bargaining agreement providing these workers all the protections of union representation.”

It was backed by maritime unions from all over Latin America taking part in an ITF conference in Rio. They resolved to “support OMU and the Bilateral Solidarity Pact by taking steps to persuade Trico Marine to end its campaign of intimidation, including any and all steps sanctioned by applicable law which would have the effect of limiting Trico’s ability to expand its operations anywhere in Latin America, until such time as Trico Marine recognises the rights of its employees to organize and bargain collectively through the representatives of their choice.”

The OMU is a coalition of American mariners’ unions. Trico Marine operates a fleet of nearly 100 vessels worldwide in the Gulf of Mexico and the North Sea and off Brazil. Trico mariners in the North Sea and Brazil enjoy the protection of a union contract; those on Trico's U.S. flag vessels do not.