Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Is Enough Enough?

Ship pilots at Galveston have suddenly withdrawn a request for an increase in their rates. They had wanted an overall 5% increase in their net pay, but had earlier agreed to reduce the number of pilots they require on cruise ships from two to one. (They were only charging 50% for the second pilot, by the way.) To compensate for the loss of that income, they were proposing a 7.1% increase on their fees to guide cargo vessels, which would then average out to the 5% increase in the average pilot's paycheck.

The cargo lines then balked at that, feeling they were being treated unfairly when they cruise lines' rates would effectively go down, and they threatened a lawsuit.

Literally minutes before the Board of Commissioners was to vote on the increase, they pilots withdrew their request, saying they didn't want to bear the expense of defending their position in a court battle.

According to the Houston Business Journal, the average pilot made $314,453 in 2008 for 26 weeks' work. Additional coverage is available in the Houston Chronicle.