Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Holzer All-Ocean Shipping Company Terms of Employment

Notice to all current and future Holzer All-Ocean Shipping Company employees.

The events of last week have underscored once again the scourge of piracy in the Indian Ocean, a seaway in whose waters this company’s vessels regularly travel as we engage in our shipping business.

Although ever since President Thomas Jefferson laid waste to the Barbary Pirates the American flag flying on the High Seas has been feared (if not respected), the last couple years of piracy in that ocean, and last week’s attempted piracy there of an American flag vessel by Somali gangsters, has necessitated a change in the way this company will operate in the future.

We know that some of our competitors whose ships and crews have been kidnapped acquiesced to the pirates’ demands for ransom. With millions of dollars and the lives of innocent men an women at stake, and the so-called “international community” sitting on its hands and allowing the piracy to continue unabated, this company will pass no moral judgment on whether payment of those ransoms was, or in the future will be, appropriate.

That said, this company will not negotiate with criminals, nor pay even one cent in ransom to Somali, or any other, gangsters who hijack our ships and kidnap our employees. Not one cent, to anyone, under any circumstances, ever! We are removing the profit motive (and cancelling our anti-piracy insurance).

There is only one way to stop our ships from being hijacked and our employees being kidnapped: by taking the profit out of that criminality.

Accordingly, tomorrow morning at 11:00 AM Eastern Daylight Savings Time, I will hold a press conference announcing this policy and distributing copies of this Notice.

Simultaneously, our public information department will disseminate this Notice to CNN, FOX NEWS, and all other internationally-received television networks.

In addition, we have made arrangements to have this Notice disseminated to newspapers and by airdrop throughout the major cities of East Africa in several indigenous languages, broadcast on major African regional radio stations, and publicized in other ways that I am not at liberty to disclose.

Having adopted this no-negotiation, no-ransom policy, the company recognizes that some of its ship’s captains and mariners may choose not to go to sea in the Indian Ocean. We understand and respect that choice.

Those company employees who choose not to crew on our ships in the Indian Ocean will suffer no adverse consequences. We will find other berths for you with the company and, failing that, provide generous separation benefits.

Those of you who choose to continue on Indian Ocean routes—whose salaries will now be doubled because of the risk—must understand that you will be akin to soldiers in a war.

From now on, our ships will be manned by reliable, experienced mercenaries who will stand guard duty 24 hours each day, seven days a week. They will possess automatic and heavy weapons, which will unhesitatingly be used for self-defense.

Pirate launches and other hostile watercraft within one mile of our ships which do not heed the first, and only, warning to leave our vicinity will be blown out of the water.

If you are captured, the company will use every means possible to liberate you. Rather than be specific, for obvious reasons, I assure you that whatever has to be done to free you will be done, no matter the cost in treasure or casualties.

I know you realize the seriousness of what we face as a company, and as a nation. I hope you understand why the company has adopted this policy, rejecting negotiation and blackmail, taking the profit out of the criminal act of piracy, and standing for a moral principle—while not minimizing the risk, nor forcing anyone to assume it.

Together we will fight these gangsters in our own way, hoping that others will join our cause. Unless they do, the cost will be measured not merely in money and lives, but in the abdication of the seaways of the world by the civilized to the uncivilized.

Bless you all, and bless the United States of America.