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Be There For Us
by Rob Glenn


January 18, 2005

Marine Highway Employees are being given a bad image by our employer. The state claims that we work half a year and get paid for the entire year. That is not the case. We work 168 hours a month minimum when we are on the ship. This is 8 hours a month more than a person who works a traditional 40 hour week. Every day we are out there we work a minimum of 12 hours a day. Many work 6 hours on and have 6 hours off. Then there are the call outs, drills and training.

When we are on the ship, we are there 24 hours a day. For 2 weeks we are away from family and friends. We miss holidays, birthdays and important events. I don't want people to think we are asking for sympathy, I just want people to realize what it is we do. Yet if you ask an employee if we would like it any other way more than likely they would say no. We do enjoy our jobs, or we would never make it out there more than a week.

Many of us are highly trained and approved by the US Coast Guard for jobs we do. Folks, we are here for you! We enjoy having the public sailing with us because if it were not for you, we would not be here.

The state is trying to blame the unions and cost of crew for the high cost of the Fairweather. They have not mentioned the training involved for the crew of that vessel. The employees don't want the ship laid up, we don't want to hurt service to the villages. The negative propaganda the state presents concerning the Marine Highway is to make the public dislike us enough to want roads. The state wants roads and is willing to pay a great deal for them; however, why don't we maintain the ones we have? The Marine Highway has worked for 40 plus years, we have been there for the residents, we ask that you be there for us.

Rob Glenn
Ketchikan, AK - USA



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