News

Wheelhouse Weekly – December 20, 2011

December 20th 2011

 

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

Volume 15 . . . . . Number 51. . . . December 20, 2011

STORIES COVERED

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


MM&P HOLIDAY CLOSING SCHEDULE

All MM&P union halls, the MM&P Health & Benefit Plans, the MM&P Federal Credit Union and MM&P headquarters will be closed on Friday, Dec. 23 and Monday, Dec. 26, for the Christmas holidays, and on Monday, Jan. 2 for New Year’s. Pacific Ports and Gulf Ports will also be closed on Dec. 30.


PRESIDENT OBAMA NOMINATES TWO WORKERS’ RIGHTS ADVOCATES TO NATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD

President Obama last week announced he will nominate Dick Griffin and Sharon Block to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The NLRB is a crucially important agency that protects workers’ rights to join together to address issues at their workplaces. Its mandate extends to protecting employers by regulating labor relations with the goal of reducing counter-productive workplace strife.

Dick Griffin is the general counsel of the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE). Sharon Block has worked at the NLRB, at the Department of Labor and as a staff member to the late Sen. Edward Kennedy. She is currently deputy assistant secretary for congressional affairs at the Department of Labor. “Our nation will be greatly served by the talent and expertise these individuals bring to their new roles,” President Obama said in an official statement. “I am grateful they have agreed to serve in this Administration, and I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.”

“We are thrilled the President has nominated Dick Griffin and Sharon Block to the NLRB, and we hope the Senate will do its job and move to confirm them to full terms,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.
 
During the course of 2011, the NLRB has seen its very existence called into question by a ceaseless barrage of attacks by anti-labor politicians in Congress. Since January, politicians have made nearly 50 separate assaults on the NLRB, from bills to gut its power and funding to hearings and subpoenas aimed at making it impossible for agency staff to function.

In one of the most recent attempts to shut the board down, its Republican member, Brian Hayes, threatened to resign so as to deprive it of the number of voting members needed to act. The impact of the attacks extends beyond the nation’s unionized workforce–threatening to further undercut the financial wellbeing of the country’s entire middle class–because the NLRB provides protections to 77 percent of all private sector workers in the United States, both unionized and nonunionized.


MAERSK LINE CEO ASSUMES LEADERSHIP POST AT DENMARK’S LARGEST BANK

Maersk Line Chief Executive Officer Eivind Kolding is moving to a job as head of Danske Bank, Denmark’s largest financial services institution. To replace him, Maersk Line parent company A.P. Moller-Maersk has named Soren Skou, long-time chief executive officer of Maersk Tankers. The 47-year-old Skou, who has held a number of high-level management positions at Maersk Line, will assume his new role on Jan. 16. A.P. Moller-Maersk is Danske Bank’s biggest shareholder.

“Under Eivind Kolding’s skilled leadership, Maersk Line has undergone an impressive turnaround,” said A.P. Moller-Maersk CEO Nils Andersen in an official statement. “Maersk Line’s competitiveness has improved significantly while at the same time it has set new standards for the industry with regards to environment, reliability and customer focus.” Andersen expressed confidence in incoming CEO Soren Skou, who, he said, has decades of experience in the maritime industry and extensive knowledge of container shipping.


MAERSK LINE LIMITED ELECTED TO MEMBERSHIP IN CHAMBER OF SHIPPING OF AMERICA

In related news, the Chamber of Shipping of America (CSA) announced last week that MM&P-contracted Maersk Line, Limited (MLL) has been unanimously elected to CSA membership. “All of us in the maritime community take use and stewardship of the oceans very seriously and Maersk Line, Limited’s concerns with safety, protection of the marine environment and efficient operation for their customers dovetail very well with CSA’s mission and vision statements,” said CSA President Joe Cox. “We welcome them into our association and look forward to working with them on issues affecting our industry.”

“We look forward to being an active and productive member of CSA,” said MLL President and CEO John Reinhart. “It’s a great organization that is addressing a large number of important issues facing our industry, including numerous safety and environmental initiatives.”

CSA is an association of 36 U.S. companies that own, operate or charter vessels in the domestic and international trades of the United States or are engaged in businesses closely associated with vessels.


CONGRESSIONAL STALEMATE PUTS FEDERAL WORKERS IN THE CROSSHAIRS� AGAIN

Partisan gridlock in Washington has become a phenomenon with which most Americans have become all too familiar. A lesser known aspect of the stalemate is how anti-labor politicians are using the partisan bickering as cover to demand additional cuts in the pay of federal workers–who have already had their salaries frozen for two years. Among the proposals on the table as this issue of The Wheelhouse Weekly was being distributed was an extension of the pay freeze to a total of three years and reductions in federal retirement benefits. The pay of the Civil Service mariners represented by MM&P was frozen along with that of other federal workers last year. 

Government employees are “sick and tired of being used as a political bargaining chip,” says William R. Dougan, chairman of the Federal Workers Alliance (FWA), a coalition of 22 unions, including MM&P. “Federal employees have already made significant sacrifices to help reduce the national deficit by accepting a two-year pay freeze, resulting in $60 billion in savings. They are feeling the same squeeze as every other American. A federal worker who makes $50,000 per year at the end of a 30-year career receives a federal pension of just $15,000 per year. At some point,” Dougan added, “you have to stand up and say enough is enough.” 

Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) defended federal workers last week in an impassioned speech on the floor of the House. “This Congress continues to ask one group to sacrifice to bring down our nation’s deficit while not asking others to contribute,” Hoyer said. “With all the challenges we face today on a national scale, we ought to ensure that those who help devise solutions and carry them out receive the recognition they are due. America’s public service workers should not be constantly subjected to the kind of verbal attacks and legislative assaults we have seen over the past couple of years. Those who work in civilian government positions are no less important to our safety, health, prosperity, and general well-being than their military counterparts who protect our freedom,” he said.

Hoyer cited statistics compiled by the Federal Salary Council which show that federal workers are paid, on average, 26.3 percent less than private sector workers.


CONSTRUCTION OF NEW FERRY WILL SUPPORT 2,500 JOBS IN WASHINGTON STATE

Dozens of local companies will build the new 144-car ferry scheduled for delivery to MM&P-contracted Washington State Ferries (WSF) in mid-2014. In appropriating funds for the new ferry, the legislature stipulated that all work be completed in-state. The multi-company approach will support more than 500 direct jobs around Puget Sound, including many new hires, and an estimated 2,000 additional indirect jobs in the state. Construction will begin in February. WSF, the largest ferry system in the United States, carries more than 22 million passengers and 10 million vehicles each year across marine highways serving eight counties and British Columbia.

US Fab, the new-build subsidiary of VIGOR Industrial, will craft the ferry’s hull at the historic Harbor Island Shipyard in Seattle. Nichols Brothers will build the structure from the car-deck level up at its facility in Freeland, Wash. The drive-on, drive-off ends of the vessel will be constructed by Jesse Engineering just off Commencement Bay in Tacoma.  The sections will ultimately be joined together in Seattle. Eltech will handle electrical installation, working at multiple facilities from its home base near Seattle’s Fishermen’s Terminal. Final outfitting, including flooring, insulation, galleys, restrooms and heating and air conditioning, will be completed in Everett by Vigor Marine at what was formerly known as Everett Shipyard. In all, construction of the 1,500-passenger ferry will be performed by more than two dozen other Puget Sound subcontractors.

The structure parallels the multi-city approach used to build three 64-car ferries for the state, the last of which, KENNEWICK, was delivered to WSF in October 2011.


IMO SAYS WIDE-RANGING ANTI-PIRACY CAMPAIGN NOW BEARING FRUIT

Citing statistics that show the number of ships and seafarers held hostage by pirates has fallen dramatically over the course of the past 11 months, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations’ agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping, says that good progress has been made in the fight against piracy. The number of ships and seafarers held captive by Somali pirates declined from a peak of 33 and 733 in February to 13 and 265, respectively, at the beginning of December. The number of reported attacks also declined, from a high of 45 per month in January 2011 to 14 for the month of November 2011.

The proportion of successful attacks fell from 20 per cent in January 2011 to 7 per cent in November 2011—a statistic that many observers attribute to the increasing use of armed on-board security detachments. During the course of the past year, the IMO addressed the issue of privately contracted armed security personnel and developed guidelines on the subject, involving flag, port and coastal States.

“Although we should welcome the good news of the drop in the number of ships and seafarers falling into the hands of pirates, there is still a lot of work to be done,” said an IMO spokesperson. “Even one seafarer in the hands of pirates is one too many.”


CONVICTED PIRATES SENTENCED TO LIFE IN PRISON

The Department of Justice issued a news release stating that two members of the Somali pirate gang that hijacked the sailboat QUEST in the Indian Ocean in February have been sentenced to life in prison. The hijacking led to the murder of the four Americans aboard the sailboat. Nine pirates were arrested in the wake of the attack. Seven have now been sentenced to life in prison. Two others await sentencing.


DEC. 28 LAST DAY FOR PROCESSING 2011 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 2011 no later than Wednesday, Dec. 28, at 1:00 p.m. EST. All requests for 2011 Vacation and PRO payments received after this date and time will be held until Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012, for processing and payment, and will therefore be taxable in 2012. If you have any questions, contact Ken Ryan at 410-850-8617.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

Try our on-line interactive calendar to register for class: http://mitags-pmi.org/courses/calendar/

For class availability or info on MITAGS courses and programs, contact Kelly Michielli, Admissions Coordinator, toll-free at 866-656-5568 or Email: admissions@mitags.org.

AB – Able Bodied Seaman: 1/9

ARPA – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 1/24, 3/13

AZIPOD (2-DAY) for Pilots: 3/13

BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 2/20

BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots:  1/23, 3/1

BST – Basic Safety Training: 1/23

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 1/9, 3/19

CMM-ADVNAV – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): 3/5

CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 1/16

CMM-CHS – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 1/30

CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems: 1/23

CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 1/23, 3/26

CMM-SHMGT – Ship Management (2 weeks): 2/20

CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 1/16, 1/30, 2/27, 3/12, 3/26

CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 1/23, 2/6, 3/5, 3/19

CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 2/13


CONSTAB – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 1/9

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning: 3/15

DDE-GL – Designated Duty Engineer Great Lakes: 1/30

ECDIS-ENAV (2 DAY) for Pilots: 3/1

ENAV – Electronic Navigation: 3/19

ENVIRO-Regs Permit – Environmental Regulations Permit: 3/13

FF-BADV – Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 1/23

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep and Medications for Pilots: 3/16

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress Safety Signal: 2/20

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 3/5

LAP – License Advancement Program for Chief Mate & Master: 3/19

LAP-GL – License Advancement Program for Great Lakes: 1/30

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 1/23, 3/1

MCL – Management, Communication & Leadership: 3/26

MED-PIC – Medical Person In Charge: 1/9, 2/13, 3/19

MED-PIC -R– Medical Person In Charge Refresher: 3/5

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 1/9, 2/13, 3/19

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 1/14, 3/24

MSC -SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 3/12

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 1/11, 1/25, 2/8, 2/22, 3/7, 3/21

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 1/23, 3/12

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal: 1/16

SEC-VCF – Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 3/12

SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 2/13

SHS-ESH-BRMP3 – Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 1/11, 2/27

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling: 3/5

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial and Costal Navigation and Compasses: 1/30

TPIC-DL – Tankerman Person In Charge Dangerous Liquids: 3/5

WKP BAS – Basic Watchkeeping: 3/5

WX-BAS – Basic Meteorology: 3/26

…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.
 


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 12-16-11

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
11,866.39 2,543.80 1,219.66
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund (VAARX)
52.64
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
112.86
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
38.64
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
15.89
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
17.21
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
25.23
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
11.19
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
31.11
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.64
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
16.20
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
20.91
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
14.24
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
19.11
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
12.21
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
12.41
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
12.30
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
12.46
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
12.81
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
11.06
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
30.51
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
16.85
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
14.78
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
17.64
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.88
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
61.28
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
61.20
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
16.83
Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
41.38
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
24.78
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
25.03
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.30
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
12.06
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
13.30
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
13.32
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
13.00
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
7.42
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
8.60
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.90
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
34.52
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
43.12
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
29.10



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.

© 2011, 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.