Well, I sure as hell hope so! I think its really pretty disgusting how some operators choose to treat their crews. The issue of communications is not even the biggest issue a lot of times. Sometimes, they can’t even get decent room and board, or the pay they’ve worked HARD to earn.
I’ve been very lucky that the communications issue has been my biggest gripe lately (as far as conditions on board go). 😉 Personally, I will never again take a job where I don’t have internet access. The last time I did, my entire life at home was totally screwed up for months! Yeah, we all used to go to sea for months at a time, stand in line for hours at the telephone office, etc. But that was long before the internet was invented.
No one at home will put up with us being out of touch for so long any more. At home, everyone has instant and constant communication and they just won’t accept it that we don’t have the same access when we’re at sea.
You think its fun to have your house ruined because you couldn’t pay the bills? Maybe your pipes freeze and burst because they shut off the heat? Or maybe it’s just your credit that’s totally screwed since you’re 4-5 months behind on all the bills and not even any attempt to contact them since you can’t get ashore to make phone calls. No one will accept the excuse that we are at sea any more and most of us just don’t have the extra money to pay our bills for months in advance when we go to sea.
I HOPE the MLC 2006 will help us get some better treatment from our employers. I have my doubts, they usually find ways to keep from doing things they really don’t want to do. We’ll all just have to wait and see if they do the right thing this time, or if it’s just going to be business as usual.