Reflag Means New Jobs for Seafarers

October 2010

Back to Issue

SIU members are sailing aboard a newly reflagged heavy-lift ship that is an outright addition to the union-contracted fleet.


In mid-September, the BBC Australia became the Seafarers-contracted BBC Houston, hoisting the Stars and Stripes in its new namesake port. Built in 2005, the vessel is 393 feet long and is equipped with two cranes each capable of lifting 250 metric tons.


SIU-contracted American Overseas Marine (AMSEA) is providing the shipboard manpower for the BBC Houston. The company anticipates that a second heavy-lift ship similar to the BBC Houston soon will reflag American, which will mean additional jobs for SIU members.


At least initially, the BBC Houston is expected to sail on a South American run.


“But she’ll go anywhere where the cargo is,” said AMSEA Vice President Chris Nette, who also complimented the SIU and AMO crew members for their gracious assistance to the Russian mariners who signed off the ship in mid-September.


SIU Vice President Contracts George Tricker said the BBC Houston “represents an important addition to our fleet, most prominently because it means new jobs. The union and the company are working together to make sure this transition goes smoothly.”


Built in China, the 7,500 DWT BBC Houston formerly flew the flag of Antigua and Barbuda. It has a beam of 66 feet and can sail at 16.5 knots.


Seafarers and AMO members also sail on numerous other AMSEA ships, including the LMSRs USNS Bob Hope, USNS Fisher, USNS Seay, USNS Mendonca, USNS Pililaau, USNS Brittin and USNS Benavidez. They also sail aboard the prepositioning ships M/V 2nd Lt. John P. Bobo, USNS Pfc. Dewayne T. Williams, USNS 1st Lt. Baldomero Lopez, USNS 1st Lt. Jack Lummus and M/V Sgt. William R. Button.

Share |

BBC Houston CrewSIU members climbing the gangway (above, left to right) are Recertified Bosun Jimmy Scheck, Recertified Steward Pedro Mena, AB Donald Stickens, GUDE Darrin Cobb and AB Alula Teferi. The newly reflagged ship is shown below.


BBC Houston