News

Wheelhouse Weekly – December 06, 2010

December 6th 2010

 

– Bridging the Information Gap With E-News You Can Use –

Volume 14 . . . . . Number 49. . . .December 6, 2010

STORIES COVERED

Did you miss a week? Back editions of the Wheelhouse Weekly are available in the section.


WSF REFORM PLAN THREATENS FERRY CAPTAINS’ BARGAINING RIGHTS

MM&P will use “all available resources” to protect the bargaining rights of Washington State Ferry (WSF) masters in light of a new reform plan for the ferry system that would re-classify captains as part of management. The recommendation is among 36 made by a panel appointed to analyze and suggest changes to current WSF operating procedures.

“Our principal concern is with the recommendation to make the ferry captains part of management,” said Mike Murray, vice president of MM&P’s United Inland Group-Pacific Maritime Region. “We will be using all available resources to protect the bargaining rights of masters.”

The ferry system has announced it will seek to implement a majority of the recommendations, which touch on areas that include vessel and terminal maintenance, financial management, scheduling, labor management and customer service.

In March, Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire asked the Passenger Vessel Association (PVA) to conduct a review of how well WSF had implemented recommendations from past system reviews and audits, and to make further suggestions for efficiency improvements. “We understand that implementing the recommendations will require significant changes to the way we do business,” said David Moseley, assistant secretary for WSF. “Some of them will require changes in legislation, and some will require extensive discussions with our bargaining units. We’re ready to move forward with the hard work ahead of us.”

Moseley said WSF will seek to implement most of the recommendations, including: making vessel captains “management’s representative” on the ferries; strengthening accident- and injury-prevention measures for passengers and crews; developing new ways to measure customer satisfaction, on-time performance and cost efficiency; ensuring that vessel staffing is “appropriate for the number of passengers being carried”; imposing a system-wide, two-minute loading cut-off before sailings; and requiring staff to meet new customer-service standards.

The Governor’s Office issued a statement saying it would review the report and provide further direction to WSF if necessary. The complete reform plan is posted at www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/accountability.


AFL-CIO LEADER CALLS FOR UNION SOLIDARITY

In the face of the increasing number of attacks on public and private sector labor unions, union members nationwide should increase their involvement in political activity and stand together to meet the challenges arising on a daily basis at both the state and the federal level. “A united labor movement can provide the direction and hope Americans are looking for in these tough economic times, said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka in a Nov. 30 speech to members of Washington, D.C.-based labor unions.

For decades, Trumka said, “we have witnessed the erosion of America’s manufacturing sector—the outsourcing of good, middle-class jobs. And it didn’t just hurt manufacturing workers. It hurt every one of us. It destroyed whole communities, fractured families, gutted the middle class and hollowed out our economy.”

Trumka called on all union members and their families to fight for quality jobs and decent living standards. “It’s a perilous time—but one that is also ripe with opportunity,” he said. “The American people are hungry for leadership. And when I say ‘leadership,’ I’m not talking about me, or your union president. I’m talking about YOU. As our political program demonstrates year after year, nothing is more powerful in turning co-workers into activists than your face-to-face, heart-to-heart conversations. That’s leadership.”

Trumka traced a direct line linking trends that include: attacks on public sector employees because they have pensions and health care benefits; the introduction of new “right-to-work-for-less” laws in various states; public and private sector lay-offs; and attacks on prevailing wage laws. “If we only fight our own battles, we’re in danger of winning none,” he said. “So fight together. Lead together. If we stand together, no one can tear us down.”


NOAA’S PREDICTION FOR ACTIVE HURRICANE SEASON REALIZED; SLOW EASTERN PACIFIC SEASON SETS RECORD

According to the National Aeronautics and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season was one of the busiest on record. In contrast, the eastern North Pacific season had the fewest storms on record since the satellite era began. In the Atlantic Basin, a total of 19 named storms formed: a number tied with 1887 and 1995 for third highest on record. Of those, 12 became hurricanes: tied with 1969 for second highest on record. Five of those reached major hurricane status of Category 3 or higher. These totals are within the ranges predicted in NOAA’s seasonal outlooks issued on May 27 and Aug. 5. An average Atlantic season produces 11 named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes.

Large-scale climate features strongly influenced this year’s hurricane activity. Developing storms were energized by record warm Atlantic waters, combined with the favorable winds coming off Africa and weak wind shear aided by La Nina. NOAA said that the 2010 season continued the string of active hurricane seasons that began in 1995.

But short-term weather patterns dictate where storms actually travel and in many cases this season, that was away from the United States. The jet stream’s position contributed to warm and dry conditions in the eastern United States and acted as a barrier that kept many storms over open water. Also, because many storms formed in the extreme eastern Atlantic, they re-curved back out to sea without threatening land.

Other parts of the Atlantic Basin weren’t as fortunate. Hurricane Tomas brought heavy rain to earthquake-ravaged Haiti, and several storms, including Alex, battered eastern Mexico and Central America with heavy rain, mudslides and deadly flooding.

Though La Nina helped to enhance the Atlantic hurricane season, it also suppressed storms from forming and strengthening in the eastern North Pacific. Of that region’s seven named storms this year, three grew into hurricanes and two of those became major hurricanes. This is the fewest named storms (previous record low was eight in 1977) and the fewest hurricanes (previous record low was four in 1969, 1970, 1977 and 2007) on record since the satellite era began in the mid-1960s. An average eastern North Pacific season produces 15 named storms, nine hurricanes and four major hurricanes.


MM&P MEMBER’S LETTER HIGHLIGHTS FOC SHIPS’ DEBTS TO OTHER NATIONS

Intervention by the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard on behalf of the Panamanian-flagged CARNIVAL SPLENDOR last month is an example of how flag-of-convenience (FOC) operators unfairly benefit from help provided to them free of charge by other nations. “The U.S. Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard are to be congratulated for moving quickly to assist the CARNIVAL SPLENDOR,” wrote MM&P member Paul Nielsen in a letter that was published on the editorial page of the Torrance, Calif.-newspaper “The Daily Breeze.”

CARNIVAL SPLENDOR spent four days adrift or being towed in the Pacific in November after an engine-room fire left the ship with no power and the passengers with no air conditioning, plumbing or prepared food. “Flag-of-convenience vessels operate largely beyond the reach of any legitimate maritime nation and exist to avoid taxation, health, safety and environmental regulations and other crew- and vessel-related requirements,” wrote Nielsen, a former MM&P Pacific Ports Vice President. “My question: if this vessel had been in Panamanian waters, would the Panamanian Navy and Coast Guard have been there to assist?”


TUI MAY SELL ITS EQUITY SHARE IN HAPAG-LLOYD

TUI, former owner of German container line Hapag-Lloyd and now one of the company’s largest shareholders, may be considering selling its stock participation, according to Reuters news agency. A spokesman for TUI told Reuters it had contacted an investment firm to organize a public offering. Hapag-Lloyd is currently the world’s fifth-largest liner carrier. It declared significant losses in 2009 but has returned to profitability in the first three quarters of this year.


CREW OF AMHS FERRY CHENEGA RESCUES KAYAKER

A kayaker is safe today after being rescued from rough seas by the crew of the Alaska Marine Highway System ferry CHENEGA in Prince William Sound. Crewmembers were responding to a radio call from the Coast Guard reporting a kayaker in distress off Slope Point. CHENEGA’s crew maneuvered the ferry toward the kayaker, launched the ferry’s fast rescue boat and recovered the individual, who was not injured. CHENEGA’s crew has rescued people in distress three times in the past two years.


THIRTY-YEAR SENTENCE FOR ONE ATTACKER IN USS ASHLAND CASE

A Somali national was sentenced last week to 30 years in prison for crimes relating to the April 10 attack on USS ASHLAND. Jama Idle Ibrahim was charged with attacking to plunder a vessel, engaging in an act of violence against persons on a vessel and use of a firearm. “Today marks the first sentencing in Norfolk for acts of piracy in more than 150 years,” said a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office. “Piracy is a growing threat throughout the world, and today’s sentence demonstrates that the United States will hold modern-day pirates accountable.” According to court documents, the six men mistook USS ASHLAND for a merchant vessel.

Ibrahim has also pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to piracy charges stemming from the November 2008 attack against MV CEC FUTURE. Under the terms of the plea agreement, both parties agreed to a 25-year sentence in that case, which is scheduled for sentencing on Dec. 17.


SOMALI PIRATES NOW HOLD 22 SHIPS

The European Union Naval Force says that, following capture of the containership ALBEDO on Nov. 26, Somali pirates are holding 22 vessels and 521 people hostage. The Malaysian-flagged ALBEDO has 23 crewmembers on board.


COME TO SOCP MEETING AT MITAGS DEC. 8-9

The Ship Operations Cooperative Program (SOCP) cordially invites maritime industry representatives participate in its December meeting, to be held at the Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies (MITAGS) in Linthicum, Maryland. Delegates and ranking officers of the Maritime Administration and the Department of Transportation have been invited to address the meeting. In addition, senior representatives of federal and state governments and the commercial industry will present a comprehensive discussion on the impact of regulatory changes in the areas of safety, environment and training. The agenda includes presentations and panel discussions on a broad range of topics, such as, North American ECA, vessel response plans, Vessel General Permit, ballast water regulation, safety culture and work force development. The agenda also provides for updates and discussions on the STCW assessment recently conducted by SOCP at MITAGS. Draft agenda and information regarding this meeting can be viewed at www.socp.us under “Upcoming Events.” Everyone is welcome to attend this event, but registration is required. Just go to www.socp.us, look under “Upcoming Events” and click on “Attend Event.”


SALUTE THE MERCHANT MARINE IN SAN PEDRO, CALIF., DEC. 11

Come and participate in our wreath-laying ceremony (0845 on Dec. 11) at the San Pedro Merchant Marine Memorial. The ceremony is conducted to remember those who gave their lives to preserve our freedom. This is the fourth year that the Merchant Marine has been honored in the annual Wreaths Across America ceremonies. The tradition started with the laying of wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery and grew into an annual memorial service celebrated concurrently at over 300 national and military cemeteries and memorials across the nation and over 24 locations overseas. The San Pedro ceremony is the only one to be held at a Merchant Marine Memorial. For more information, please send an e-mail to John Daly, kpsocal07@yahoo.com or call (714) 305-2177. The ceremony is free. The 10:00 AM breakfast at The Ports O’ Call Restaurant is $20. Please send check made out to: USMMAAA LA/LB, Dick Cober, 16109 Rio Florida Dr., Whittier, Calif. 90603-1048. 


MM&P HOLIDAY PARTY SCHEDULE

MM&P members, employees, their families and friends are encouraged to attend the holiday parties in our union halls. The schedule appears below.

East Coast
— Boston, Tuesday, Dec. 14, 12:00 PM, in the MM&P Boston Union Hall
— New York/New Jersey, Wednesday, Dec. 8, 12:00 PM, in the MM&P Jersey City
Union Hall
— Norfolk, Wednesday, Dec. 15, 12:00 PM, MM&P Norfolk Union Hall
— Puerto Rico, Friday, Dec. 10, 2:00 PM, El Camaron, on Ponce De Leon Ave., close to the old MM&P hall in San Juan.

Gulf Coast
— Houston, Thursday, Dec. 9, 12:00 PM, Brady’s Landing, 8505 Cypress Street, Houston
— Jacksonville, Friday, Dec. 10, 12:00 PM, Jacksonville Union Hall
— Miami/Port Everglades, Friday, Dec. 10, 10 AM-2:00 PM, Miami/Port Everglades Union Hall
— New Orleans, Wednesday, Dec. 8, 12:00-3:00 PM, Portobello Catering, 400 E. William David Pkwy. , Metairie, LA  70005, 504-833-2120

West Coast
— Honolulu, Joint MM&P-MEBA party, Tuesday, Dec. 14, from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM, at JJ Dolan’s, 1147 Bethel Street, Honolulu, 96813-2219; (808) 537-4992
— Los Angeles/Long Beach, Thursday, Dec. 9, 12:00 PM, Los Angeles/Long Beach Union Hall
— San Francisco, Wednesday, Dec. 8, 1:00 PM, MEBA Hall
— Seattle, Thursday, Dec. 16, 1:00 PM, Billy Baroo’s/Foster Golf Links, 13500 Interurban Avenue S, Tukwila, WA  98168


JOB OPPORTUNITY: MARITIME INDUSTRIAL SKILLS TRAINER IN SAUDIA ARABIA

Saudi Aramco is looking for personnel for its new training facility in Ras Tanura, Saudia Arabia. The position calls for providing professional education and training in nautical sciences and/or marine engineering and serving as an expert in one or more of the following disciplines: navigation, safety, seamanship, bridge resource management ship handling, RADAR, ARPA, survival craft, meteorology, stability and trim, small vessel operations, cargo handling and stowage, steam and diesel propulsion, etc.

Minimum requirements include class 1 master certificate (unlimited) and/or chief engineer certificate and valid STCW-95 certificates. The job offers excellent pay and benefits. If you are interested in applying, contact Matthew E. MacDonald, Port Engineer, Saudi Aramco Marine Dept., Box 9030, Ras Tanura, 31311, Saudi Arabia; Tel:  +966-3-678-1971; Mobile: +966-055-493-6278, Fax: (966)-3-678-1584.


CRUISE PASSENGER FACES LONG PRISON TERM FOR RELEASING ANCHOR

A passenger on a Holland America cruise ship is charged with entering a restricted area and releasing the rear anchor while the vessel was in motion. The passenger, who says he was drunk at the time of the incident, faces 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The dynamics of the crime were recorded by the ship’s security camera.


REP. CUMMINGS AND SEN. LAUTENBERG RECEIVE COAST GUARD AWARD

Congressman Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) and Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) have been recognized by the Coast Guard for “supporting its employees and enhancing their ability to carry out the Coast Guard’s mission.” Cummings is chairman of the House Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee. The award is presented by the Coast Guard each year to a member of Congress.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

Between now and the end of January 2011, the following courses are scheduled at MITAGS.  For class availability or information on MITAGS courses and programs, contact admissions toll free at 866-656-5568 or e-mail: admissions@mitags.org.

AB � Able Bodied Seaman: 1/10
ARPA � Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 1/25

BRM- Bridge Resource Management: 12/13
BRMP � Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 1/24

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVWX � Advanced Meteorology: 1/10
CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 1/17
CMM-CHS I – Advanced Cargo Operations (week 1): 1/31
CMM-ECDIS � Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems: 12/13
CMM-MPP � Marine Propulsion Plants: 1/24
CMM-SHMGT II – Ship Management (week 2): 12/13
CMM-SHS-ADV-I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 1/10, 1/31
CMM-SHS-ADV-I I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 1/17

CONSTAB � Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 1/10

FF-BADV � Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 1/24

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 1/24

MED-PIC – Medical Person In Charge: 1/10
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 1/10
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 1/15


ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 12/15, 1/12, 1/26
ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Day Class: 1/24
ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal: 1/17

SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 12/13
SHS-EMR3 – Emergency Shiphandling for Pilots: 1/26

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial and Coastal Navigation and Compasses: 1/31

…remember: If you can’t make the class, make the call.  Be courteous, don’t be a “no show.”

Check the MITAGS website at www.mitags.org for course descriptions associated with the course title abbreviations, and schedule revisions. For class availability or info on MITAGS courses and programs, contact admissions toll-free at 866-656-5568 or e-mail: admissions@mitags.org


PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

Schedule of Courses – Please also see our schedule online at www.mates.org

For registration, call our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen, at (206) 838-1126

December 2010

11         Med DOT
13-15   Emergency Shiphandling
20       Radar Renewal

January 2011

10-14  ECDIS
24th    Radar Renewal
24-28 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
25-28  ARPA
31-4    Medical Care Provider
31-11   Medical Person-In-Charge

February 2011

5th      Med DOT
7th      Radar Renewal
7-8      Tractor Tug for Pilots
14th    Fatigue, Sleep, and Medications (Pilot Training Course)
15-16   Bridge Resource Management for Pilots
17-18   Azipod (Pilot Training Course)


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 12-3-10

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
11,362.41 2,579.35 1,224.71
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund (VAARX)
54.26
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
113.14
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
40.32
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
19.36
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
17.81
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
25.10
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
11.02
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
31.13
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.69
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
16.35
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
21.86
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
14.14
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
19.55
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
11.96
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
12.53
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
12.63
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
13.05
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
13.51
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.72
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
30.83
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
17.41
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
15.25
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
17.84
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.64
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
70.16
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
66.62
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
17.62
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
44.80
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
29.68
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
27.54
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.32
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
12.09
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
13.67
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
13.82
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
13.74
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
7.97
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
9.30
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.87
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
37.47
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
43.51
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
29.24



The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 700 Maritime Blvd. Suite B, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1953. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: iommp@bridgedeck.org. For further info or to subscribe contact Lisa Rosenthal at lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org. The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea and is posted on our web page.

© 2010, International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots. All the material contained in this publication is protected by copyright. For permission to reprint text from the Weekly, contact the MM&P Communications Department: lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org. For changes of address, contact Lisa Rosenthal at lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org.