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New jobs for AMO aboard five Liberty Maritime Corporation ships

AMO members manning Liberty's bulk carrier fleet in all licensed positions

American Maritime Officers members Oct. 1 manned four ships owned and operated by Liberty Maritime Corporation as a collective bargaining agreement with the company was being finalized. A fifth vessel is currently undergoing maintenance in a shipyard overseas.

The Marine Engineers' Beneficial Association (MEBA District 1) had previously represented the officers on the five ships. MEBA District 1 reported Sept. 30 that it had been negotiating with the company "for several months," but failed to secure a new agreement with Liberty prior to the expiration of that union's contract at midnight.

AMO officers went aboard Liberty's bulk carriers - the M/V Liberty Glory, M/V Liberty Sun, M/V Liberty Spirit and M/V Liberty Eagle - on the U.S. Gulf Coast Oct. 1 and prepared to begin work with a new AMO-contracted company. AMO will also be manning the M/V Liberty Grace in all licensed positions.

"Liberty expressed strong confidence in the caliber and professionalism of AMO officers, and took particular notice of the AMO Defined Contribution Plan, which provides AMO members with a substantial self-directed retirement investment benefit while eliminating the liability and loss risk associated with traditional defined benefit pension plans," said AMO National President Tom Bethel.

"There is a lot of heated rhetoric being slung about at this point, and I expect there will be more to come," Bethel said. "The fact remains the MEBA leadership was unable to come to terms with the company and secure an agreement despite having, as they said, several months to resolve the issues on the table. Liberty simply chose AMO as the superior option.

"I am proud to be bringing these jobs to the AMO membership, proud that our union is manning these ships for continued service in the U.S.-flag fleet," Bethel said. "The licensed engineering and deck officers represented by AMO are second to none across the board. With experienced leadership, the best training resources, and rewarding, realistic and well-managed benefit plans, there is present prosperity and a promising future for the AMO membership."

AMO members will be manning the five Liberty bulk carriers in every licensed position. As a new AMO-contracted operating company, all jobs in the Liberty Maritime bulk carrier fleet will qualify for the AMO Defined Contribution Plan at Schedule 2 rates.

Liberty's bulk carriers operate primarily in the PL-480 cargo preference trades, carrying U.S. government impelled cargoes to ports around the world.