Please find attachment recounting just a few of my experiences with the south bank fleet of Humber Tugs LTD.The 4 in Hand Hull
957 Holderness Rd, Hull HU8 9DR
Remember Mick talking about that trip. It was a twin tow with Welshman and Irishman wasn't it? We had similar problems on Englishman. As soon as we relieved the crew we took a tanker in tow from Singapore to Japan. We soon started to run out of stores and what was left was full of weevils and cockroaches. Hardly had anything to eat by the time we got there.
We went through a typhoon to get there and nearly all the mugs got broken, we were down to about 4 mugs and had to do smokeos in shifts. Then I found a mug in the chiefs room and added it to the others. Next smokeo as the lads were finishing their drinks the chief (Charlie Boxhall), stormed into the mess room and demanded to know who had taken the mug he kept his false teeth in.
Hello Paul please find attachment
I was a trainee deckhand and joined Humber Tugs in Nov 1977 with Pete Nesvick. In May 1981 I transferred over to the south bank tugs which in the long run was one of the biggest mistakes I ever made!
I don"t know what they"re like today but too many over at Immingham had the attitude that if the company employed you ---- they owned you.
And Roy Sanderson, deck super intendant?, was more than willing to abuse a culture like that and did. Eventually, with a combination of 10th rate management and a spineless workforce, the company was ran into the ground. Sanderson replaced Pete Willingham around 1983. As far as I am aware he had no qualifications to justify a promotion like that and Willingham was a master mariner and a decent bloke.
Sanderson on the other hand was a devious, deep, progress chaser who regarded lying and deceipt as being a legitimate part of management and if that didn"t work veiled threats were his plan b.
But he was not working alone, as I stated above there were no shortage of suck holers and yes men who would cooperate with him.
One such was a tug master, Peter Gel. This invertebrate eventually played a hand in getting me dismissed after I refused to go out to the Rough field, my argument being that it must be sea work, which was "voluntary"
The company came up with the response that it was only sea work if the hirer agreed to a "daily" hire arrangement and this was "hourly"
although they never showed me any evidence and I knew of no one else who had ever seen this.
Almost certainly Sanderson was probably lying about this as was his speciality but proving it was easier to say then do. The ludicrous implication with this argument was any where on the planet was the port of Immingham. In other words there is no such thing as sea work.
I was dismissed on Thursday 14 of March 1985 with no written confirmation of this (they never liked putting anything in writing) then within a few weeks the TGWU branch filed an application with the local industrial tribunal for an unfair dismissal hearing against Humber Tugs.
They enlisted the help of Andrew Marvel Jackson a Hull based solicitor of whom I can find no reference on the internet --its as if the man never existed. From late March out to the following November the company came up with a littany of excuses as to why their witnesses could not attend, Sanderson was on holiday, then a few weeks went by and it was Gels turn to conveniantly be away, next was Jacksons turn not to be there and these delays were always announced after a new appearance date was offered by the courts service.
They were abusing the system but legally. I on the other hand was ready to go within a few weeks.
After they ran out of holidays we got an appearance in late November 85 and about 2 weeks before the union sent me a letter from Jackson offering £500 to drop the case, later increased to £750, which I refused. This was a "without prejudice" letter meaning I could not mention its existence in court. However I could have legally circulated it around the work force ---pity I did not think of this at the time!
Good afternoon Howard, thank you for your time. I am aware of the solicitors and their practice but I can find no mention of Marvel Jackson himself. His legal background, university, nothing.
My representative at tribunal, John Ibbot, told me the company paid him as much as £1000 a day in court over the 2 days which does not surprise me when you consider what was at stake for the company.
Whats that in todays money? --£2000/£2500 per day!
The afore-mentioned Peter Gel admitted under oath that he was "up in arms" about not getting sea pay for a Rough field voyage that he was sent on only a few weeks after my dismissal because it was outside of the "box" ---the very reason why I lost my job!
But then went on to explain that after an "explanation" from the company "in all fairness it wasn"t sea work".
What Gel really meant was "in all fairness I don"t want to join Grimsbys ever lengthening dole queues" and was clearly scared.
The "explanation" was, in reality, a threat.
Its also worth mentioning that the location was about 30 miles NE of the bull light float so how many miles out to sea did you need to go before you were at sea --- fifty, a hundred, a thousand?
In the agreement between the company and our branch of the TGWU it stated "sea work is voluntary" yet no one apparently knew the specific definition of the term and therefore the declaration was legally worthless.
After the very brief protest from Gel--- Jackson visited the sth bank office and took a statement from him. He signed it and this then equalled an affidavit which could be used against him in court if he decided to stand up to them which, of course, he was never going to.
As I said earlier the absence of a company recognised geographical line at which port work ended and seawork started meant you could be a thousand miles nth of the Orkneys and still be in the port of Immingham therefore you had to go! I said this at the tribunal
Regards, Ed. 07817 011910.