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1 SUMMARY, CONCLUSIONS, AND RECOMMENDATIONS , In the last 20 years, some ship operating companies, notably those in Northwestern Europe and Japan, have accomplished substantial mann Ping te<:h- productivity gains through various combinations of shipboard nology, changes in ship operating company and vessel crew organization, and government maritime policies. The need to encourage the competi- tiveness of the U.S.-flag fleet has raised interest in the productivity improvement that might be realized through innovations in manning practices, and in the costs and consequences. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ . . _ At the request of the Maritime Administration (MarAd), the National Research Council established the Committee on Effective Manning under the auspices of the Marine Board. The charge to the committee was to provide technical background and analysis in support of management, labor, and government decision making regarding the means and process by which effective manning may be best accomplished in the U.S.-flag merchant fleet. The committee conducted its work by means of review of both published and nonpublished information, an information-gathering trip to Northwest Europe, and a meeting of the committee with U.S. government, industry, labor, and research princi- pals in ship operations. This section presents the committee's summary, conclusions, and recommendations. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS Ineffective manning. encompasses innovations in the crewing of merchant vessels, including number of personnel and functional organization, to improve cost-effectiveness, the human environment of the workplace, and safety. It also includes supporting innovations in vessel design and operating technology, the management structure and operating practices of ship operating companies, the policies and practices of labor unions, government regulations and programs, and the structure and process of collective bargaining. Some manning changes that increase productivity have adverse socioeconomic effects, i.e. , they decrease employment and increase workloads. These frequently are coupled with compensating increases in wages and prerequisites.

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2 However, other manning innovations have the potential f or simultaneously increasing productivity and improving working con- ditions, e.g., new types of training, increased flexibility regarding assignment of duties within and across departmental lines, and crew participation in work planning aboard ship. Effective manning changes characteristically consist of smaller complements of seafarers tasked with enlarged technical and manager ial responsibilities. The shipboard changes ares enabled or supported by technology advances and changes in shore support, management duties, and logistics. The range of innovations includes changes in vessel design, technology and equipment; the organization of crews; and union/company arrangements, shoreside support, and individual corporate policies. Changes in vessel design, technology, and equipment have included automated engine room' changes in maintenance requirements, schedules and responsibility, and bridge and navigation automation. They have also encompassed changes in mooring, anchoring, and cargo operations to minimize manpower requirements, as well as improvements in communi- ca~ions and superstructure design. Changes in the organization of crews have included intradepartmental f legibility ~ i. e., enlarging mariners ' duties within the individual deck, engine, and steward departments), interdepart- mental flexibility ~ i.e., assigning mariners duties in different departments), departmental integration ~ i.e., general purpose crew, and integrated off dicers ), shipboard management teams, and more part icipat ive war k planning . Notable changes in union/company arrangements, shoreside support, and individual corporate policies have been longer-term association of employees with ship operating companies and with vessels, efforts to close the traditional status gap between officers and other crew, and decentralization of ship operating company management to place more decision-making authority onboard. As important as the substance of the innovations is the process by which they have been developed and implemented. The process of change teas been led by individual companies. Government agencies, shipping associations, trade unions, and research institutes have played roles, but have been more successful in cooperative efforts wi th innovating companies . Based on the Northwest European and Japanese experience with effective manning, the committee was able to identify the key elements of the change process. 'these are: ( 1~ leadership in the form of top management commitment; ~ 2 ~ union, management, and government coopera- tion; ~ 3 ~ the opportunity for participants, especially crew, to discuss, review, and shape the innovations; and (4 ~ efforts to achieve a high level of crew continuity to prevent constant drain of newly acqu i red s kills and value.

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3 In Europe, the rate of diffusion of manning change and the quality of the innovations were enhanced through mechanisms for participants to meet and exchange experience. Furthermore, most manning changes entailed upgrading the technical skills of participants as a result of expanded responsibilities and organizational change. Some manning changes in Europe and elsewhere have violated laws or practices and required variances, which have had to be modified to enable diffusion of manning changes in the industry. In those instances where seagoing billets have been reduced and mariners' workloads increased, seafaring unions and their members have negotiated appropriate compensation. U.S.-flag oceangoing general cargo vessels carry crews of about 40, and tankers carry about 30. Ship manning levels can be reduced to about 30 for container ships and 20 for tankers with the adoption of automation technologies which eliminate the necessity of engine-room watchstanding and reduce the labor element of several shipboard tasks. Reorganization of shipboard work to employ unlicensed mariners and officers capable of performing both deck and engine duties would reduce manning requirements by several more billets. The traditional maritime nations of Northwest Europe and Japan embarked on a transition away from traditional manning and organiza- tional practices in the mid-1960s to early 1970s for two principal reasons. One, they were eager to improve the attractiveness of the seagoing career to alleviate a shortage of manpower; a better educated labor force with employment options ashore was less willing to accept existing shipboard working conditions. Two, operators wished to reduce operating costs to compete better with the expanding low-labor cost fleets of the third world and flags of convenience, and the heavily subsidized fleets of the Eastern bloc countries. Effective manning changes simultaneously improved the satisfication of mariners with a seagoing career and the efficiency of operations. At the same time, the nature of the manning changes coincided with larger national commitments to greater involvement of workers in job-related decision making. The interest in manning innovation in Europe and elsewhere led to the formation of long-term research programs, information-sharing networks, and an awareness of the mutual management and labor gains achievable through cooperative efforts. Interest overseas has been strengthened as a result of the challenges posed by the international shipping depression which has extended from the late 1970s to the present. Ship operators and seafaring unions are engaged in many individual and cooperative pro jects to improve the effective use of seagoing labor. Ine U . S. -flag merchant mar ine also has undergone some manning changes. Some modest crew reductions have been based primarily on technological advances. Fewer innovate ions have been directed toward

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4 improving the productivity, safety, and job satisfaction of mariners. Changes that have taken place seem not to build on one another, nor have they been widely diffused throughout the industry. There is, however, some evidence that competition is having a favorable effect on the introduction of effective manning practices into the U.S.-flag fleet; The economic challenges faced by U.S. operators and unions today are similar to those facing European and Japanese counterparts. There is a strong incentive to minimize the costs and maximize the contribu- tion of seagoing labor, and in all traditional maritime nations, there is currently an oversupply of mariners. Differences, however, do exist. The U.S. operators are faced with a sizable unfunded pension liability. The median ages of the U.S. seagoing work force and vessels are far older than overseas counterparts. With the exception of temporary shortages of manpower in certain segments of the merchant marine, U.S. operators have not exper fenced a prolonged shortage of manpower which overseas stimulated interest in effective manning. RECOMMENDATIONS The question ar ises, how best can inno~rat ions in the manning of vessels be developed and introduced in the U . S . merchant f lest? Changes ar e required at two levels--the industry/institutional level and the company/union level. Cooperation is essential at both levels, although the focus at each level will be dif ferent. At the industry level, the task includes addressing obstacles to change, especially certain laws and regulations and unfunded pension 1 iabilities . Industry level initiatives also are required to ensure that the cur r icula of the U.S. maritime training institutions keep pace with chang ing manning concepts. These initiatives require the cooperative work of management, unions, and in some instances, government. The multiplicity of separate and some time s competing mar itime unions deserves the pr iority attention of union leaders. Another set of initiatives at the industry level can encourage manning changes: workshops which permit potential participants to learn about and assess alternative manning concepts and strategies for introducing change ; workshops which enable actual participants in change projects to exchange experience; and research which documents the lessons learned from change efforts. Specific effective manning changes should be conceived, approved, monitored, and evaluated at the company or ship-specific level--by union and management. It is at this level that the parties themselves determine the manning policies that fit their particular circumstances, the pace of change, any constraints, and economic and human goals to guide their efforts.

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5 Although the remoras of constraints at the industry level will improve the climate for innovation and will permit more substantial changes in manning policies, there is no reason why company initiatives should wait for those changes . Some innovations are now pass ible . As a case in point, the committee considers that it will take considerable time and effort on the part of companies, unions, and the government to resolve the unfunded pension liability problem. While resolution of this problem is likely to affect union participation in manning changes, experimental efforts directed at, for example, crew continuity on the vessel must not wait for that problem to be solved. To remove barr iers in laws and encourage manning exper imentation and innovation, the committee recommends that the Coast Guard initiate changes in U. S . laws, rules, and policies . Remedies for the following should be developed and enacted or implemented: o Specific manning requirements, such as that for a radio officer, may no longer be necessary in 1 ight of technolog ical advances and state-of-the-ar t equipment installed on U. S . -f lag ships . O The situation of conflicting statutes and judicial interpretations concerning the three-watch law and related laws has become even more confusing as a result of technology advances which have obviated the necessity of many watchstanding duties, especially in the eng ine depar Onent. O The Crossover Laws (46 USC 8104 (673) I, which stipulates that the seafarer may not serve in both deck and engine departments in a single voyage, and the statutory division of deck and engine licenses may no longer be productive or necessary in light of technology advances and sh ipboard organizational developments that have been demonstrated over seas . Updating of the unlicensed mar iner designation in regulations and on certificates of inspection would seem to be required as the result of the recent recodification of Title 46, U.S. Code. The revised law requires that a seafarer's documents specify the ratings in which the seafarer is authorized to serve. The law requires further that the seafarer be author ized for service in the capacity in which he is employed . If timely and complete change is not deemed likely, the Coast Guard should establish an administrative mechanism providing exceptions to rules on a case-by-case basis to allow experiments in effective manning. For its part, MarAd should review the ef feet that the Operating Differential Subsidy program has on the climate for innovation, and on mar itime training in the United States . it then should develop alternative government programs that provide for the national defense

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6 while also providing necessary incentives for ship operators to innovate and operate ships as cost effectively as possible, and which also promote continued excellence of mar itime training in the United States . To effect specif ic changes in vessel manning, the committee proposes that individual companies or unions, or combinations of companies and unions, as appropr late: o o Enter into discussion with respect to initiating experiments in effective manning. Agree to modify labor agreements as necessary to accommodate these exper iments. O Seek temporary relief f tom regulations to implement change exper iments aboard ship . o Canvass training schools and related facilities for assistance in launching these exper iments. Based on the Northwest European exper fence, the labor-'nanagement discussions should concentrate on such important items as continuity of employment aboard the vessel, redistr libation of shipboard labor and job responsibilities between ship and shore, and other changes that may be available as a result of existing or new technology and do not require resolution of industry-wide obstacles to change pr for to their enactment. The discussion of reanning ideas and possibilities among specif ic prospective partic ipants can be instrumental to promoting and launch ing effective manning changes in the United States. MarAd can play an important but limited role in this as a catalyst. It could, for exam- ple, coordinate the formation of an industry-operated Ship Operation Research Center, as recommended by an earlier National Research Council report (National Research Council, 1983), to promote information exchange on ship operation innovation, including effective manning. Finally, the committee recommends that MarAd convene a second confereme on effective manning similar in format to the first conference, about ~ ix months after the public release of this report, in order to stimulate an industry dialogue on ef fective manning and encourage specif ic initiatives .