News

Wheelhouse Weekly – June 16, 2000

June 16th 2000


MASTER AND MMP MEMBERS ABOARD AND INTERESTED PERSONS THE MASTERS, MATES AND PILOTS’ — WHEELHOUSE WEEKLY

Bridging the Information Gap With E-News You Can Use

VOLUME 4. . . . . NUMBER 24. . . June 16, 2000

STORIES COVERED



DEEP SEA CONTRACTS, PILOT DUES INCREASE RATIFIED BY OVERWHELMING VOTE

The following Deep Sea contracts have been overwhelmingly approved by the membership: SeaLand; NPR; American Ship Management; Matson Navigation; Matson – ITB Moku Pahu; Central Gulf – Master Contract; Central Gulf – Green Point; Waterman – Green Dale. Ballots were mailed to all Licensed Offshore Members on April 7. The balloting period was 60 days. Counting was conducted June 8 at MITAGS.

In a separate Ballot also counted on June 8, MM&P Pilot members approved a dues increase by a 2-1 margin.

Ballot Committee Members were John Conrad, Chairman; Maurice Lizotte, Recording Secretary; and Lou Ramey. John Gorman, MM&P’s International Comptroller, served as Liaison to the Ballot Committee. TrueBallot, Inc., of Bethesda, MD, was designated by the Ballot Committee to serve as the Impartial Balloting Agent.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


SENATE PANEL GIVES NOD TO TWO BILLS THAT MM&P STRONGLY SUPPORTS

The Senate Commerce Committee favorably reported two legislative proposals which the MM&P initiated and strongly supports:

First, the Committee reported by voice vote Senator John McCain’s substitute cruise vessel legislation. As previously reported in the Wheelhouse Weekly, this legislation would enable companies like Voyager (with whom MM&P has an agreement through Patriot Holdings) to acquire foreign built cruise vessels for operation under the US-flag between American ports. Also under this legislation, the company would be required to first enter into a contract with a US shipyard to build cruise vessels to replace its foreign built cruise ships. It would also require the repair, modernization, upkeep and construction of large, modern cruise vessels in US shipyards. It is also widely supported by other maritime labor unions, organizations, port associations and the travel and tourism industry.

The second MM&P-supported initiative favorably acted on by the Commerce Committee is the so-called PMR tax issue (S.893). This bill would prevent interstate maritime workers from being taxed by states other than their state of residence unless then spend more than a majority of their time in the other state. At present, Oregon is taxing Washington State residents who work on vessels in interstate commerce if they spend any amount of time in Oregon, imposing an unfair double-taxation burden on MM&P members that workers in other transportation modes do not face. This effort was led by Senator Slade Gorton (R-WA). Both bills now await full Senate consideration.

In other action, the Senate Committee also gave its nod to the Maritime Administration Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2001 (S.2487). Authorization for Title XI guaranteed shipbuilding loans was increased from $2 million to $50 million. The bill authorizes $80.24 million for MARAD operations and training. Other provisions include amending the National Maritime Heritage Act of 1994 and allowing the Transportation Secretary to scrap obsolete vessels in both domestic and international markets; conveying ownership of the National Defense Reserve Fleet Vessel GLACIER to the Glacier Society to use as a museum, and requires the Transportation Secretary to review the maritime research funding in relation to other forms of transportation.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


FARRELL TIME CHARTER ARBITRATION RULING HANDED DOWN

On May 31, Arbitrator Arthur Stark ruled in favor of MM&P’s position that MM&P-contracted Farrell Lines violated its contract with MM&P by entering into a vessel time charter agreement with First American Bulk Corp. The arbitration resulted from Farrell’s violation in chartering an American vessel without first clearing this action through the MM&P.

In his ruling, he gave the MM&P and Farrell 60 days to arrive at a mutually-satisfactory resolution. Notably, this action marks the first time in the long-time collective bargaining relationship between the MM&P and Farrell Lines that a grievance between MM&P and Farrell has ever been submitted to arbitration.

Arbitrator Stark specified that should there be no agreement reached in what he termed the “unique circumstances of this case”, then “either party may request that I rule on the matter, provided the request is submitted within 60 days of this Award.” Stark has reserved jurisdiction “pending the outcome of the above proceedings.”

The main point that the arbitration turned around was the provision in the MM&P-Farrell contract regarding time charters of US-flag vessels. The contract specifies that in instances where the company needs to time charter a vessel for a period exceeding 180 days, the company must request a waiver from the Union and that the Union is obligated to not arbitrarily withhold granting such waiver. MM&P had contended that it was not given the opportunity to exercise its obligation under this section, which includes the right to deny a request, so long as the denial is not arbitrary. The Company claimed that MM&P had acted arbitrarily in opposing the request, due to the company’s financial need at the time.

The arbitrator found that “the Company did not take the actions called for [under the contract], either explicitly or implicitly. Part of the explanation is that Management believed the situation to be so critical that it had to proceed without delay. The Company was also reluctant to disclose financial data to the Union [as required under the contract]…”

He noted that “that is not to say that the Company officers who testified were incorrect in their conclusions or evaluations. The record does show, however, that the Union did not have the opportunity to exercise its… obligations before Management decided to exceed the 180-day limitation with respect to the two ships in question. I must conclude, therefore, that the Union did not arbitrarily withhold consent…; and without such consent Management exceeded its rights concerning time charters…”

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


MM&P MEMBERS JOIN ILWU BROTHERS ON SAN PEDRO PICKET LINE

MM&P members from the LA/LB Hall joined with members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union in walking an ILWU informational picket line at the Royal Caribbean Terminal in San Pedro. The ILWU has been picketing the Terminal every Friday and Monday from 1200 to 1500 hours in support of about 50 cruise hostesses who have expressed interest in joining the union’s office clerical unit.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


FRANK MURDOCK, FORMER MOBILE UNION REP, PASSES AWAY

MM&P was advised this week of the death of Frank L. Murdock on June 3, 2000. A MM&P member for many years, Frank Murdock served the Organization as Union Representative in Mobile, AL, from May 1986 – January 1994. He was 85 years of age at his death. Mr. Murdock was preceded in death by his wife, Mary, in late 1999. He is survived by two sons, Neal and Stuart, both of Mobile.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


MITAGS REQUESTS MEMBERS TO FAX COPY OF STCW-95 TO REGISTRAR

MM&P members who have completed the STCW-95 required training and have received the new certificate (the STCW-95 certificate has your picture on it), are asked to please send a copy to the MITAGS Registrar at FAX 410-859-5181. MITAGS will update your training record.

This will also help MITAGS determine number of course offerings that need to be in the 2001 schedule to ensure that all members receive this important certificate before Feb. 1, 2002.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


FORMER MSC COMMANDER SAYS US MUST ADOPT NEW MARITIME POLICY

The Congressional Information Bureau reports that upon reflecting on the upcoming first Independence Day of the new millennium, Vice Admiral James B. Perkins III, USN (ret.), former Commander of the Military Sealift Command, paints a dismal future for a viable US maritime presence on the high seas unless specific and immediate action is taken.

In a paper entitled “Game, Set, Match: The US Merchant Marine And National Defense”, Admiral Perkins said that the next US President and 107th Congress must adopt maritime policies which ensure a US-flag fleet fully capable of providing crucial commercial shipping assets.

“Without such action, maintaining smaller inventories and moving more supplies via merchant ships exposes military distribution channels to critical shortfalls­which could cost lives,” Perkins said. “To avoid such an unacceptable possibility, a comprehensive program must be developed to assure survival and encourage growth of the US Merchant Marine,” he asserted.

He sees the need for a blend of tax incentives, regulatory relief, capital modernization and increased competitiveness, while maintaining the support provided by traditional maritime programs and laws.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


VOTER ELIGIBILITY AND GOOD STANDING REQUIREMENTS

MM&P members are advised that under the newly-revised MM&P International Constitution, in order to be eligible to vote in upcoming Officer Elections, a member must be in good standing by the close of nominations for office.

Nominations for elective office for the 2000 MM&P Officer Elections close as of the last day of the 2000 MM&P Biennial Convention, scheduled to commence July 10, and which should conclude on or about July 12. Members must be in good standing by or before this date in order to be included on the list of eligible voters. To avoid confusion and potential errors, members must have all dues paid and be in Good Standing by June 30.

Members should keep a copy of their current dues receipts. Election guidelines may be found in the January-February and March-April editions of The Master, Mate & Pilot newspaper and are available at MM&P port offices and on the MM&P website.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


REMINDER: MM&P BOSTON HALL HAS RELOCATED EFFECTIVE JUNE 1

The Boston Hall has relocated effective June 1. The new address is: Harbour Pointe East, 80 Everett Avenue, Suite 207, Chelsea, MA 02150. The new phone number is 617-884-8680.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


THE LATEST ON MITAGS COURSE OPENINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

MITAGS has the following course openings:

  • Week 25: CBRD-1 (6/24), Damage Control (6/24-25), 25 BST,
    COMP-APS, GMDSS, CPR (6/21)
  • Week 26: FF-ADV. ROP and TPIC-Barge have been cancelled.

PLEASE NOTE: Those interested in the MSC-approved weekend Damage Control session should contact Mike Wein at: 443-989-3238 or Email mwein@mitags.org. MITAGS is closed in July. Admissions head Mary Matlock will be on vacation part of that time. Members interested in attending MITAGS courses should send in their applications and a copy of their last 30 days sea time. She will reply as soon as possible to those who leave messages. Currently, all course offerings for August are open.

For an application, schedule, or more info check the MITAGS website at: mitags.org, or contact Mary Matlock at: Email: admissions@mitags.org or phone: 443-989-3226.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is being produced under MM&P election guidelines which have been previously published and may be found in their entirety on the MM&P website. The Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 700 Maritime Blvd., Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1941. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: iommp@bridgedeck.org. For further info contact John Peige at jpeige@bridgedeck.org. The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea, broadcast worldwide via FEC marine telex and is posted on our web page under “News” at: http://www.bridgedeck.org.

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