News

Wheelhouse Weekly – December 13, 2010

December 13th 2010

 

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

Volume 14 . . . . . Number 50. . . .December 13, 2010

STORIES COVERED

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


REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS, A STRONG SUPPORTER OF THE AMERICAN MERCHANT MARINE, OPENS SOCP MEETING AT MITAGS

Cargo preference laws, the Jones Act and a fully funded Maritime Security Program are “the pillars” of America’s maritime industry and must be maintained to ensure our nation’s security, Congressman Elijah Cumming (D- Md.) told members of the Ship Operations Cooperative Program (SOCP) gathered at MITAGS for their December meeting.

But Cummings, a long-time friend of MM&P and the U.S.-flag maritime industry, predicted that party-line polarization in Congress will now make it even harder to sustain the programs vital to the American Merchant Marine. “The challenges that impede legislation in the 112th Congress will be even larger than they have been in the recent past,” Cummings said. “And there are Congressional members who may again propose legislation that will weaken the Jones Act,” he added.

MM&P International President Tim Brown opened the meeting by welcoming SOCP members to the union’s MITAGS campus.

Another speaker was Maritime Administrator David Matsuda. Cummings took the opportunity to affirm that the Department of Transportation, of which MARAD is a part, “has sole responsibility to ensure the cargo preference statute is fully implemented.” The Department of Energy has argued that the law does not apply to its energy policy loan guarantee program. But there is no doubt, Cummings said, “that the act extends to cargoes financed with U.S.-taxpayer funds” such as those generated under the loan guarantee program.

 “Cargo preference is essential… and we must fight to continue a fully funded MSP at its authorized level,” Cummings said, but the job will be harder “because many members who championed the maritime industry will not be returning in the 112th Congress.” They include Jim Oberstar, Ike Skelton and Gene Taylor. In the wake of their election defeats, Cummings urged all those who depend on the U.S.-flag shipping industry for their livelihood to dedicate as much time and energy as possible to educating incoming members of Congress.

In closing, Cummings said he had written to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano with the request that her agency renew the charter of the MERPAC advisory group. He said MERPAC “gives the Coast Guard and the maritime industry a unique and vital forum through which they can assess the potential impact of pending policy changes.”

SOCP members at the meeting gave a standing ovation to Berit Eriksson, workforce development director of the Andrew Furuseth School of Seamanship, who received a special award for her professional dedication to the country’s merchant mariners. “Berit’s recognition by Congressman Cummings and the SOCP is well-deserved because of her tireless efforts to advance training and employment opportunities for all seafarers,” said MM&P International Secretary-Treasurer Don Marcus.

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.


MIKE JEWELL ELECTED PRESIDENT OF MEBA

The members of the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA) have elected Mike Jewell as the union’s new president. A sailing member of MEBA since 1986, Jewell is known throughout the industry as a dynamic leader and an active participant in union and maritime affairs. Elected along with him is a slate of new officials, including Atlantic Coast Vice President Chris Guerra, Executive Vice President Dave Nolan and Gulf Coast Vice President Jonathan Lincoln. Bill Van Loo was re-elected as MEBA’s Secretary-Treasurer.

“I want to take this opportunity on behalf of all MM&P members and officers to congratulate the newly elected MEBA officials,” said MM&P International President Tim Brown. “We look forward to working closely with them to build on the numerous successes our unions have achieved in recent years, both at the bargaining table and in terms of moving our two organizations closer together.”

Brown took the opportunity to thank, salute and extend well wishes to outgoing MEBA President Don Keefe and the other outgoing MEBA officials with whom MM&P has worked in close collaboration over the course of recent years.


TOM BETHEL WINS RE-ELECTION AT AMO

The members of the American Maritime Officers (AMO) have re-elected Tom Bethel as the union’s president. “MM&P extends congratulations to Tom and his administration on their re-election,” said MM&P International President Tim Brown. “We look forward to working together with AMO in the future to enhance and strengthen our relationship,” he said.


MM&P, MEBA, OPPOSE TWO-YEAR PAY FREEZE ON GOVERNMENT WORKFORCE

MM&P, the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA) and a group of unions that together represent over 300,000 federal workers are calling on Congress to oppose President Obama’s proposed freeze on federal civilian pay for 2011 and 2012.  

The government employees unions are working closely together on this issue as part of a coalition known as the Federal Workers Alliance (FWA). The group was founded to combat the National Security Personnel System (NSPS), a Bush Administration proposal to strip federal workers, including civilian mariners, of their collective bargaining rights. After years of fighting, the FWA was ultimately able to bring down NSPS through a combination of law suits and legislative advocacy.

The alliance has now turned its attention to recent attempts to target public employees with political aims in mind. In the Administration’s original FY 2011 budget, President Obama had recommended a 1.4 percent pay raise for federal employees and military personnel. “The 1.4 percent request for civilian personnel reflected wage increases in the private sector, and amounted to a small step towards closing the significant pay gap with the private sector,” the FWA says. 

“We are not unaware of the difficult economic times the nation faces and the large budget deficit,” the unions wrote in a Dec. 8 letter to all members of Congress. “But we do not believe that singling out federal employees for deficit reduction is fair.” The unions also said the federal wage freeze “is likely to impede the government’s ability to hire and keep talented and skilled employees at a time when nearly 45 percent are eligible to retire.”


AFL-CIO TRANSPORTATION TRADES BLAST PLAN TO OUTSOURCE TRAIN INSPECTIONS TO MEXICO

The campaign to outsource American jobs to developing economies entered a new chapter recently with a proposal by BNSF Railway to shift train safety inspections to Mexico.

The AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department (TTD) has gone on record as strongly opposing the plan. “There are key functions in the railroad business that are too important to outsource to the lowest bidder, and the safety inspection of trains belongs on that list,” said TTD President Edward Wytkind in an official statement. “We believe that BNSF Railway Company’s requested exemption from safety rules is a wrongheaded attempt to shed costs and American jobs.”

The TTD president said previous attempts by rail carriers to outsource inspections have been turned down by lawmakers, and he called on Congress and the Administration to do the same in this case. “BNSF has not shown that inspections in Mexico will be performed under regulations equivalent to U.S. standards,” Wytkind said. “In addition, the BNSF request fails to cite any agreement between Mexico and the United States that would give our government the uninhibited right to inspect facilities and work done in Mexico. We urge the Department of Transportation to deny BNSF’s request.”

Outsourcing of maintenance is already proceeding at full tilt in the airline industry. According to a 2008 audit conducted by the Department of Transportation’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG), nine major air carriers–AirTran Airways, Alaska Airlines, America West Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, Northwest Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines–outsourced 71 percent of their heavy airframe maintenance checks in 2007. Almost 27 percent of these heavy airframe repairs were outsourced to repair shops overseas. Roughly 20 percent of these repair shops are in developing countries. Therefore, about one in every five planes is now being sent to developing countries such as Africa, Asia and South America, to be overhauled and repaired.


HONOR ROLL OF HORIZON LINES SHIPS RECOGNIZED FOR SAFETY EXCELLENCE

As previously reported, a number of MM&P-contracted ships were recognized last month for outstanding achievements in environmental excellence by the Chamber of Shipping of America (CSA). Below is a list of the Horizon Lines vessels that were honored, with a combined total of 76 consecutive years of operation without any environmental incidents: Anchorage (4); Eagle (3); Enterprise (20); Hawk (3); Hunter (3); Kodiak (9); Pacific (10); Producer (7); Reliance (9); Spirit (3); Tacoma (3); Tiger (2). “In today’s world, it seems our industry only gets front-page news when spills or other environmental problems occur. It is encouraging to see how many vessels go for years achieving environmental excellence,” said Joseph J. Cox, CSA president and CEO. The awards, which are open to all owners and operators of vessels that operate on oceans or inland waterways, publicly recognize the skills and dedication of the men and women responsible for safe ship operations.


DEC. 29 (AT NOON LOCAL TIME) LAST DAY FOR PROCESSING 2010 VACATION AND PRO PAYMENTS

The Plan Office has received approval to close the year-end Internal Revenue Service and company reports and to process Vacation and PRO payments for 2010 no later than Wednesday, Dec. 29 at 12:00 PM local time. All requests for 2010 Vacation and PRO payments received after this date and time will be held until Monday, Jan. 3, 2011, for processing and payment, and will therefore be taxable in 2011. If you have any questions, contact Ken Ryan at 410-850-8617.


ONE SHIP RELEASED, ANOTHER IS SEIZED

On Dec. 7, pirates released the Saudi Arabian flagged product tanker MV AL NISR AL SAUDI and its crew of 14. But the same day, the bulker JAHAN MONI was captured by pirates in the Arabian Sea off the coast of India. The Bangladeshi-owned and flagged bulker had been heading towards the Suez Canal when the pirates struck and is now said to be on its way to Somalia. No casualties were reported among the 26-person crew. Including the MV JAHAN MONI, pirates are currently holding 23 vessels, with 547 hostages.


MM&P HOLIDAY PARTY SCHEDULE: CHARLESTON DATE SET

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
— Charleston, Tuesday, Dec. 21, 1300, until….
— Norfolk, Wednesday, Dec. 15, 12:00 PM, MM&P Norfolk Union Hall

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
— Seattle, Thursday, Dec. 16, 1:00 PM, Billy Baroo’s/Foster Golf Links, 13500 Interurban Avenue S, Tukwila, WA  98168


22 DEAD IN SINKING OF SOUTH KOREAN FISHING BOAT

Rescue officials in New Zealand said 22 mariners were dead following the sinking of a South Korean fishing trawler Monday in the frigid waters off Antarctica. Twenty members of the crew were rescued by a nearby South Korean fishing boat. There was no immediate indication for the cause of the sinking, and officials said no distress call had been received before the accident. The sinking occurred around 6:30 a.m., about 1,150 miles north of McMurdo Station, a U.S. science and research center on New Zealand’s Ross Island, in Antarctica. The water temperature in the area was 2 degrees Celsius, or 36 degrees Fahrenheit.  


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

Between now and the end of March 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
AZIPOD-3 day – Azipod Propulsion System: 3/15

BRM- Bridge Resource Management: 2/21
BRMP � Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 1/24, 3/3

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVWX � Advanced Meteorology: 1/10, 3/21
CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 1/17
CMM-CHS I – Advanced Cargo Operations (week 1): 1/31
CMM-CHS II � Advanced Cargo Operations (week 2): 2/7
CMM-ECDIS � Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems: 1/24, 3/7
CMM-MPP � Marine Propulsion Plants: 1/24, 3/28
CMM-SHMGT I – Ship Management (week 1): 2/21
CMM-SHMGT II – Ship Management (week 2): 2/28
CMM-SHS-ADV-I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 1/10, 1/31, 2/28, 3/14, 3/28
CMM-SHS-ADV-I I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 1/17, 2/7, 3/7, 3/21
CMM-VPEN � Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 3/14
CMM-WKP � Advanced Watchkeeping: 2/14

CONSTAB � Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 1/10
CONT PLNG � Contingency Planning: 3/17

ECDIS-ENAV – Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems and Electronic Navigation for Pilots: 3/3
ENAV � Electronic Navigation: 3/21
ENVIRO-Regs Permit � Environmental Regulations Permit: 3/15

FF-BADV � Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 1/24
FSM � Fatique, Sleep and Medications for Pilots: 3/18

GMDSS � Global Maritime Distress Safety Signal: 2/21
Great Lakes: DDE � Designated Duty Engineer: 1/10
Great Lakes: LAP � License Advancement Program: 1/31

HAZ � Hazardous Materials (5 day): 3/7

LAP CMM � License Advancement Program of Upgrade to Chief Mate/Master: 3/28

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 1/24, 3/2

MCL – Management, Communications and Leadership: 3/21
MED-PIC – Medical Person In Charge: 1/10, 2/14, 3/21
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 1/10, 2/14, 3/21
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 1/15, 3/26

MSC -SMA � Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 3/14

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 1/12, 1/25, 2/9, 2/23, 3/9, 3/30
ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Day Class: 1/24, 3/14
ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal: 1/17

SEC-VCF � Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 3/14
SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 2/14
SHS-EMR3 – Emergency Shiphandling for Pilots: 1/26
SHS-ESH-BRMP3 � Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 2/28
SHS-EMR5 � Emergency Shiphandling: 3/7

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial and Coastal Navigation and Compasses: 1/31
TPIC � Tankerman Person In Charge: 3/7
TTT � Train-the-Trainer: 1/17

WKP BAS – Watchkeeping Basic � 3/7
WX BAS � Basic Meteorology: 3/28

…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

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 12-10-10

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
11,370.06 2,616.67 1,233.00
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund (VAARX)
54.61
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
114.64
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
41.02
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
19.29
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
18.01
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
25.48
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.93
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
31.35
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.68
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
16.35
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
22.01
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
14.09
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
19.62
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
11.92
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
12.56
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
12.70
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
13.16
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
13.62
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.60
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
31.26
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
17.44
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
15.29
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
18.05
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.52
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
70.62
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
67.57
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
17.86
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
45.18
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
29.69
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
27.93
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.29
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
12.07
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
13.69
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
13.87
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
13.82
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
8.03
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
9.38
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.78
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
38.11
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
44.09
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
29.36



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.