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5 OPPORTUNITIES FOR AND OBSTACLES TO CHANGE ~ . IN THE U.S.-FLAG MERCHANT FLEET The committee's analysis of the status and manning of the U.S.-flag merchant fleet and of manning innovation in Northwest Europe and Japan enables a number of comments to be made on the potential for introducing manning innovations in the U.S.-flag fleet. TECHNOLOGICAL AND ORGANIZATIONAL CONSIDERATIONS The most comprehensive manning changes have entailed both technological and organizational alterations. However, manning changes also have been accomplished by technological or by organizational innovations alone. For example, an unattended engine room can be operated with a lesser number of traditionally organized engineering personnel--a tech- nological innovation alone; or a shipboard management team approach can be introduced on conventionally equipped vessels--a purely organiza- tional innovation. Technologically based manning reductions are likely to be less effective if not supported by concurrent organizational changes; for example, a lesser number of ratings works best if the ratings serve as a general purpose crew. Organizational changes, to be most effective, r equire technolog ical adaptations . There is a general belief among ship operating management that the typical 40-man crew on container strips and 30-man crew on tankers could receive its biggest reduction by diesel conversion, automated engine room, and h igh technology for navigation and deck operations . They feel that with improvements along these lines, and with reductions in the steward's department, containership crews could be cut almost in half, and tanker crews between 30 and 35 percent. An indication of what can be and is being accomplished in the United States is provided by a Mar itime Administration study, Lumbar ized in Table 10 . A ma jor bar r ier to the introduce ion of automation technolog ies into the IJ. S . -f lag f feet is cost. Another tear r ier has been the difficulty of reaching company-union agreement on manning issues. 63

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64 TABLE 10 Alternative Manning Levels of a Container Ship Master Pos ition A L T E R N A ~ I V E A B Cut 1 Radio Officer 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Purser 1 a a a Deck Officer 4 3 3 3 Unl. Deck 11 6 6 6 Chi ef Eng . ~ 1 1 1 Eng . Of f icer 5 4 2 3 Unl. Engineer 8 5 3 3 Steward 8 6 5 3 TOTAL 4 0 2 7 2 ~ 21 . a MarAd recommended that duties of purser be transferred partly ashore and partly to other members of the crew. b Based on a permanent crew with the except ion of entry personnel . Alternative A: Present vessel--steam turbine with watchstand~ng engine room. Present manning. Alternative B: Present vessel equipped with a watch call system, bridge sanitary and messing facilities, labor saving devices for mooring, and automatic radar plotting aid. Alternative C: Present vessel with equipment as in B and changing engines to diesel classed for an unattended engine room. Alternative D: Latest slow-speed diesel vessels with navigational aids and an unattended engine room. SOURCE: U. S . Maritime Administration.

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65 Technologies that permit reduced manning have not been adopted to the same extent in the u.s.-tlas fleet as they have in some Northwest European fleets, primer fly because of cost considerations and the age of the U.S.-flag fleet. By and large, it is more cost effective to introduce automation technologies on new ships than to retrof it. Some of the newer U. S . vessels are equipped with state-of-he-art automation technolog ies that make them technolog ically comparable to the most effectively manned vessels of Northwest Europe. Shipboard Innovations There is already a degree of intradepartmental flexibility in the U. S . -flag fleet. Some [1. S . operators now employ chief steward/cooks, second cook/bakers, steward utilitymen, QMEDS, and watchstanding chief mates. Additional opportunities are constrained only by the absence of investment in supporting technological innovations, and by the lack of management and labor support to date for exper imenting with changes and implementing those that are successful. Innovations that further, interdepartmental flexibility--general purpose ratings and semi-integrated officers--must spring from management and labor suppor t and cooperation for change. This coop- erative atmosphere has been lacking in the United States. However, business conditions are such that labor unions are increasingly open to considering changes in this area, at least in new ship construction, in the interest of preserv ing jobs . The crossover provision of 46 USC 8104 (e) (673), may prohibit interdepar tmental ar r angements, but these depar tments ar e ne ither created nor limited by the law. A court has already accepted the concept of a maintenance and repair department (see Appendix C}. The way seems open, if the form of a Certificate of Inspection is altered and the appropriate rating designations used, to avoid having deck departments and engine departments, or at least to minimize them by also recognizing a maintenance department and using properly designated and identif fed general purpose seamen. The concept of mate is traditionally linked to deck duty. While an engineerless ship is not out of the question, the expansion of the Seaters duties to include eng ineer ing duties would possibly require statutory change. The current licensing laws may not permit the Coast Guard to create a dual-purpose license by rulemak ing . An innovation that can be introduced unilaterally by management is the shipboard management team. The outstanding obstacle In this instance is not external to the ship operating company, it is internal --the corporate culture policies of central author ity. Shipboard management teams require that headquarters personnel share their responsibilities with the seagoing work force. Mile there have been few studies made of the subject in the United States, it may be that

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66 the culture or tradition of U.S. ship operators is more centralized and directive than that of their counterparts overseas because U. S. Operators have not always enjoyed the stability of employment of officers that has been coTmnonplaca overseas. As with shipboard management teams, the innovation of work planning is not discouraged by legislation, regulation, or union contract. However, participative work planning usually is introduced only in connection with other more basic changes, such as shipboard management teams and interdepartmental flexibility. Supporting Innovations Changes in maritime employment leading to longer-term association of employees with ship operating companies and with vessels, and also redef inition and reorganization of jot, content, are essential elements of effective manning. Achievement of such changes hinges on cooperation and agreement between management and labor. The unions f ind it cliff icult to approve those portions of changes that lead to reduced manning because of the large number of seafarers willing to work who cannot find billets. The unions, understandably, want to spread the work over the membership. Even in an environment of balance between labor supply and demand, greater continuity of employment may be viewed by the unions as weakening the ties between the union and its meters. However, unions readily support manning innovations that assure job survival or promise growth in billets. Outside of the above understandable and manageable union concerns, there are no legal, policy, or technical obstacles to greater employ- ment or vessel ass ignorant continuity in the O. S . -f lag f leet. Nor are there any obstacles, outside of union or corporate culture, to the reorganization of shipping offices and union organization. in support of effective manning. However, if for no other reasons than communica- tion and representation, the relatively large number of industry entities compared to the small nether of union members or ships is a considerable obstacle to change. This fragmentation complicates the formation and execution of manning innovation projects, and the reorganization of shipboard work. MANNING RESEARCH AND EXPERIMENTATION, AND TE:CENOL~GY TRANSFER Effective manning of the U.S.-flag fleet has been the object of several studies, including job satisfaction surveys, manning-level task analyses, and projects directed towards defining The ship of the future. ~ A kind of research, which has been key to the development and implementation of manning innovations in the effectively manned fleets of Northwest Europe and Japan, and which has been absent in the U.S.-flag fleet, is action research.

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67 Action research is organizational development research that has as its objectives both ache development of new knowledge and simul- taneously the promotion and implementation of organizational change. In action research, the project participants {i.e. ~ seafarers, corporate managers, union and government off icials) participate in the planning and execution of the exper iment and the implementation of results . ~ - - ~ hands-c~n in - The European exper fence with ef festive manning demonstrates exper indenting ~ including a structure for doing so and for transferring experimental results to other users} is an important aspect of innovation, especially if the innovation is to be adopted by other users. Moreover, action research allows each user the opportunity to participate in the development and implementation of innovations. The European experience has shown that changes tailored to one workplace may fail in another without the molding and shaping that results from action research. Stated another way, the most successful organiza- tional changes have been the product of action research. While action research is absent from the U.S.-flag maritime industry, it has been an element of organizational change in other sector s of U. S . industry. The introduction of quality of work life and ocher employee involvement programs into the automobile, communi- cations, rubber, and other U. S. industr ies has been facilitated through action research. The elements of union and management agreement to cooperate for technological and organizational change In these instances have been: o Common statement of ob jectives; o Joint plan for change, respecting the organizational integr ity of each party; o Joint committee for approving and monitoring change projects; and o Joint and also separate education and training for union and management personnel. In addition to the absence of action research in the U.S.-flag fleet, mechanisms for technology transfer in the United States are not being adequately used. Unlike overseas, the United States lacks a single technologically oriented ship operators' association which could document and disseminate information on developments to members. The existing organizations are concerned primarily with government policies and also are fragmented, being organized around issues of protection, subs icy, and trade . There is also no established ship operating research program in the United States. However, a framework for such a program exists within the Mar itime Administration; also, a report of the National

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68 Research Council (National Research Council, 1983) has recommended that industry sponsor such a program. Since no U. S. companies are engaged in formal effective manning projects comparable to those undertaken in Northwest Europe and Japan, it is no surpr ise that there are no informal networks of such companies sharing the results of their trials. That inhibition may be exacerbated by the antitrust laws of the United States, which, whether for fear or fact, have a chilling effect OR industrial cooperation. Overseas, there are enough experimenting companies, unions, researchers, and interested parties to sustain a number of workshops, conferences, publications, and other forums for technology transfer. TRAINING Through training programs designed to give officers and unlicensed mariners multiple technical skills, U.S. maritime training centers are contr ibuting to setting the stage for ef fective manning innovation in the IJnited States. The training centers are often The product of union-shipping industry cooperation; usually union operated and company funded. The decline in billets has reduced the annual contr ibutions of operators to the training centers, and the use made of them. Thus, while the U.S. training centers are progressive and have good facilities, they are also underutilized and underfunded. Nevertheless, the industry-labor cooperation that is evident in the training canters provides a basis to extend cooperation to other sectors of mar itime industry, especially manning innovations. Any further modif ications to training curr icula that may be necessary In support of effective manning are not likely to cause problems with accreditation boards or to extend the course of instruction; the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy already graduates dual-licensed officers in 4 years. Training for expanded managerial responsibilities can be developed and provided by existing management training or continuing education programs. Training in organizational devel opment processes, both for shipboard and shoreside personnel, could be obtained Through a number of organizations in the United States which have conducted such training for other industries; or existing mar itime training centers could provide such training . GOVERNMENT RUNES With certain exceptions explained in the text and in Appendix C, minimum manning levels are determined administratively by the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard performs that duty by means of policy guidelines which are implemented in the field through issuance of Certificates of Inspection. The flexibility of this approach contrasts favorably with that of Norway and elsewhere, where manning levels are prescr ibed by law. There are, however, several legal impediments and observations:

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69 Specific manning requirements such as for a radio officer may no longer be necessary in light of technological advances and state-of-the-art equipment installed on U.S.-flag ships. The situation of conflicting statutes and judicial interpretations concerning the three-watch law (46 USC 8104 (673) and related laws (46 USC 8301(a) (223); 46 USC 8301(a)(5) (404)), has become even more confusing as a result of technology advances which have obviated the necessity of many wa~chs~anding duties, especially in the engine department. The Crossover Law. (46 USC 8104 (673), 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 shipboard organizational developments that have been demonstrated overseas. Updating of the designation of seafarers' ratings in regulations and on Certificates of Inspection would seem to be required as the result of the recent revision of Title 46 of the U.S. Code. The revised law requires That seafarers' documents specify the ratings in which the seafarer is authorized to serve. The law requires further that the seafarer be authorized for service in the capacity in which he is employed. IMPLICATIONS OF CHANGES FOR SEAFARERS Certain patterns of involvement are common to both some European experimental ship projects and some U.S. manufacturing plant pro jects. The two groups most likely to become involved and positive about changes are the unlicensed mariners/shopfloor workers and vessel masters/plant managers. The two groups likely to be most threatened and therefore least actively involved are the junior officers/lower and middle managers in plants and shore staff/division staff. The patterns were reflected in the Hoegh Mistral-Mul~ina sequence, when the second project attempted to remedy the problems of involvement, which had been encountered in the first. It also was reflected in Sealife' s containership pro ject ( 1976-1978 ) which focused on the ratings and was followed by three pro ject ships within the same company deco pursue shipboard delegation to junior off icers. Manning changes that redef ine work conten~c, promote involvement in decision making, and increase the continuity of crew members have complex implications f or the development and utili cation of ski Its . Such changes can be developed in a way that takes into account the interests of both mariners and ship operators. Properly formulated and implemented, these changes can enhance both economic performance and human satisfaction.

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70 However, other manning changes often reduce billets and sometimes increase workloads. These kinds of changes have led mar iners' unions and their members to negotiate compensation for their concurrence and participation. Compensation has taken the form of compensating pay- ments or retraining. A major obstacle in the United States to union concurrence with reduced manning is the unfunded pension liabilities, which- increase when manning is reduced. Compensation arrangements will have to take pension liabilities into account as well as the needs of participating near iners. However, unfunded pension liabilities may in the future exceed the ability of ship operators to pay.