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Posted: April 15, 2014
'PTE' would allow AMO Plans expansion, improved services to participants
The American Maritime Officers Safety and Education Plan has applied to the U.S. Department of Labor for a “prohibited transaction exemption” (PTE) under which the Plan would be permitted to purchase property owned in South Florida by American Maritime Officers.

The purchase of the property would allow AMO Plans to proceed with long-planned expansion to further improve service to AMO members and their families.

The PTE is necessary because DOL regulations resulting from federal law bar such business between labor unions and their benefit funds. The AMO Safety and Education Plan operates under a union-employer trust agreement and is funded entirely by deep-sea, Great Lakes and inland waters merchant vessel operating companies that have collective bargaining agreements with AMO.

The property that would be acquired by the AMO Safety and Education Plan under the PTE is the sprawling site holding the Plan’s Simulation, Training, Assessment and Research Center in Dania Beach, including the four-story classroom and STAR Center administration building, student housing, recreational areas and parking lots. AMO — the union — owns the land and leases it to the Plan.

Sale of the property by AMO to the AMO Safety and Education Plan would not occur without market appraisals by qualified independent local agents.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale would be used by AMO to build new headquarters offices on AMO-owned property across Federal Highway from the current AMO administration offices in Dania Beach. The AMO accounting department now uses this property.

The new AMO headquarters building would include administrative offices, the dispatch and accounting departments and a membership meeting hall. The union now leases space in the STAR Center building for its monthly membership meetings in Dania Beach.

AMO has been advised reliably that construction of the new headquarters complex could take up to three years, but AMO has already secured the necessary permits and architectural drawings, thereby cutting the projected construction time in half.

American Maritime Officers is the only U.S. merchant marine officers' union without a national headquarters building.

Neither the sale of the property by AMO to the AMO Safety and Education Plan nor the construction of new office space for AMO would commence without approval by the AMO membership through a 90-day secret ballot referendum.
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Updated: December 24, 2013

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