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Moratorium to be applied to AMO membership dues in April 2020

A one-month moratorium on AMO membership dues will begin April 1 in further response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This temporary hold on dues receipts - agreed to by consensus within the AMO Executive Board - is intended to help deep-sea, Great Lakes and inland waters AMO members facing unforeseen individual financial hardship resulting from the inability to return to work or to return home from their jobs under travel restrictions or other coronavirus containment measures imposed by federal and state authorities.

AMO members and applicants for AMO membership who have already paid dues through April, through the second quarter or through the year 2020 will have one month credited toward their dues obligations in 2021. AMO Member Services personnel at headquarters will calculate this credit beginning March 31 by processing adjustments equal to one month's dues for each of these AMO members. Questions can be directed to the .

This unprecedented dues initiative is driven by two considerations:

  • AMO members may have emergency spending needs while stranded ashore or at sea, or they may want to help relatives or friends through such sudden nationwide COVID-19 consequences as unemployment or illness. This pause in dues requirements may ease important personal decisions AMO members may be forced to make - while working or not - until economic and medical relief reaches those requiring emergency aid under legislation ultimately agreed to by Congress and the President. No one in the AMO administration will ask about such personal considerations.
  • AMO is healthier financially than it has ever been. After much consultation with AMO Controller Thom Heaton, it was agreed that our union's operating expenses for the month of April 2020 could be covered safely.

Meanwhile, all AMO members and applicants are encouraged to make lasting note of their financial commitments to AMO. Our union is now in its sixth consecutive year without a membership dues hike or an increase in initiation fees, and AMO offers the lowest dues rates among the three U.S. merchant marine officers' unions.

AMO officials, representatives and employees will continue to track "good standing" within the membership ranks at sea and ashore from May 1 forward, alert AMO members everywhere to their dues deficiencies and apply appropriate disciplinary measures when necessary and appropriate as provided for in the AMO Constitution.

Paul Doell
March 26, 2020

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