News

Wheelhouse Weekly – May 30, 2011

 

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

Volume 15 . . . . . Number 22. . . . May 30, 2011

STORIES COVERED

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


MM&P CLOSED MAY 30 FOR MEMORIAL DAY

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 Monday, May 30, for Memorial Day.


MM&P DECK OFFICERS AT WASHINGTON STATE FERRIES ARE UNDER ATTACK: PLEASE MAKE A PHONE CALL ON THEIR BEHALF ON TUESDAY!

The rights of our members employed at Washington State Ferries (WSF) are under attack. The Washington State Legislature has passed a bill that includes a provision which effectively decertifies MM&P as the exclusive bargaining representative of the captains who work for the ferry system. The legislation stipulates that if WSF ferry captains want to be represented, they have to go through an election process again.

Will you please make a phone call on Tuesday to help our brothers and sisters at Washington State Ferries turn back this blatant attempt at union-busting? Please call the Washington State Legislative hotline at 1-800-562-6000 and ask Gov. Gregoire to veto Section 8 of ESSB 5742. When you call, please mention one or more of the following points:

– Section 8 of ESSB 5742 violates the constitutional right to freedom of assembly and association;

– Section 8 of ESSB 5742 attempts to dictate union membership, which is contrary to existing procedures;

– Section 8 of ESSB 5742 constitutes union busting and creates an unprecedented process for union selection.

Fighting side by side with MM&P to defend the rights of all WSF employees are the members of the Inlandboatmen’s Union, the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association, the Puget Sound Metal Trades and OPEIU Local 8.

The Washington State Labor Council is urging all labor organizations in the State of Washington to encourage their members, families and friends to call Gov. Gregoire at 1-800-562-6000 to protest Section 8 of ESSB 5742.

“If the legislature and Gov. Gregoire condone the anti-union attacks set forth in this legislation, rest assured that MM&P will not be the last union to face such blatant disregard for workers’ rights,” said MM&P International President Tim Brown. In tandem with the protests by workers, Brown said that MM&P counsel is researching legal challenges to Section 8 of ESSB 5742.


ARBITRARY CUTS TO FEDERAL WORKFORCE DON’T YIELD COST SAVINGS, FEDERAL EMPLOYEE UNIONS SAY

Arbitrary reductions in the number of government workers often results in sharply increased costs for taxpayers, according to the Federal Workers Alliance (FWA), a 22-union consortium that represents over 300,000 federal workers. “While it may seem logical that if you reduce the federal workforce you have thereby reduced the size of the federal government, I can assure you that arbitrary reductions in federal agency staff do not truly reduce the size of government,” says FWA Chairman William Dougan. “Reductions in staffing force agencies to contract-out work, which generally costs tax-payers more than simply maintaining the in-house federal workforce.”

Dougan made the remarks in testimony presented last week before the House Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service and Labor Policy. Dougan said implicit in the title of the hearing, “Rightsizing the Federal Workforce” was “the insinuation that the federal workforce is too big.”

“In the end,” he said, “there are generally no actual savings derived from arbitrary staff reductions; rather a cost-shift moves resources away from the federal workforce to contractors,” Dougan testified. MM&P is a member of FWA and has endorsed Dougan’s testimony.

“If Congress is serious about reducing the size of government, then lawmakers are going to have to make the tough choices about which programs to reshape, scale back or discontinue altogether,” he said. “A non-strategic, broad-brush approach that simply mandates significant personnel reductions in federal agencies will fail to achieve savings and will cause wastefulness and disarray throughout the federal government. In a time of soaring deficits and lean budgets, we cannot afford the ills of politically expedient, but ultimately ineffective, cost-cutting schemes.”


UNION MEMBERSHIP ENABLED HOUSEKEEPER TO SPEAK UP ABOUT IMF CHIEF

“After International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arrested for alleged sexual assault on a Manhattan hotel housekeeper, there was a lot of domestic back-slapping for this country’s superior handling of the case compared with such European countries as France, where sexual predation often is swept under the rug,” reported Tula Connell of the AFL-CIO. “But the reality is that speaking out publicly against so powerful an international figure from the vantage of a hotel maid required guts–and a union.”
Connell posted the story, which was based on research by independent journalist Adele Stan, on the AFL-CIO’s blog, http://blog.aflcio.org/. “By any measure,” Connell writes, “it was a risky thing to do. But there was one thing that housekeeper knew could not be done to her for reporting her account: she could not be fired for having done so because of the contract between her union, the New York Hotel Trades Council, and the Sofitel Hotel at which she works.”


REPUBLICAN STATE LEGISLATORS IN AGGRESSIVE PUSH TO CHANGE VOTING RULES

In a trend that is attracting little attention in the mainstream press, Republican-controlled legislatures in many states are changing voting laws, shortening the length of early voting periods, requiring voters to show a photo ID and making it much more difficult and expensive for third-party groups to register new voters.

New, more restrictive rules are quickly moving forward in 13 states. They are already law in Wisconsin, Texas, Kansas, South Carolina and Florida. Republicans say the new rules are needed to combat voter fraud, although a five-year-long U.S. Justice Department investigation launched by President George W. Bush found virtually no evidence of any organized effort to affect the outcome of federal elections. “If they found a single case of a conspiracy to affect the outcome of a Congressional election or a state-wide election it would be significant,” according to Loyola University election law expert Richard L. Hasen, who was quoted in an April 12, 2007 article in The New York Times. “What we see, Hasen is quoted as saying, “is isolated, small-scale activities that often have not shown any kind of criminal intent.” Examples of the cases uncovered by the Bush Administration’s investigation were people who mistakenly filled out more than one voter registration form.

Democrats say the changes that are being rushed through state legislatures have nothing to do with preventing fraud and are intended exclusively to place additional obstacles in the way of young people, seniors and minorities who want to vote.

In Florida, which already had a photo ID law, Republican Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill earlier this month that would greatly restrict third-party voter registration drives. In response, the League of Women Voters said it would stop registering voters in Florida. The Florida bill also cuts short the number of early voting days. The “battleground” states of Ohio and Pennsylvania are among those moving ahead on voter ID bills.

Taken together, the state-by-state changes are likely to have an impact on close elections, experts predict. And since for the most part the changes are not being reported in the mainstream press, many voters will be unpleasantly surprised when they go to their regular polling place to vote in the next election and find the rules have been changed.

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka described the probable impact of the Wisconsin restrictions in a speech last week to members of the National Press Club. “There are large numbers of people who do not have the state-issued photo I.D. the bill requires,” he said. According to a recent University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee study, those without state-issued photo ID who would need to obtain one to vote under the Voter ID Bill include: 23 percent of Wisconsinites over the age of 65; 17 percent of white men and women; 55 percent of African American males and 49 percent of African American women; 46 percent of Hispanic men and 59 percent of Hispanic women.

“In state after state, politicians are attacking voting rights by imposing ID requirements, shortening early voting periods, blocking young people from voting and even levying criminal penalties and fines for breaking arbitrary rules in the voter registration process,” Trumka said. “So it will be harder for people to vote… especially the least privileged among us.”


WISCONSIN JUDGE STRIKES DOWN ANTI-WORKER LAW

A circuit court judge last week struck down a law passed in Wisconsin earlier this year that eliminated nearly all collective bargaining rights for most public sector workers. Before and after the law was passed by Republicans in the state legislature, thousands protested in the state capital, Madison, and nationwide. The Wisconsin State Supreme Court has scheduled arguments for June 6 to decide whether it will take up the case on appeal. Republicans who control the state legislature also could pass the law a second time to avoid the open meeting violations that led to the judge’s voiding the law last Thursday.

Wisconsin state workers are calling the judge’s ruling a victory. “It tells legislators ‘You can’t be arrogant,’” one said. “You can’t take stuff away from people in a backroom deal.”

Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and his brother, Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald, issued prepared statements saying they predict that the Supreme Court will take the case and will quickly rule in their favor. Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who developed the bill and spearheaded its passage, says if the law is voided in court, he will work with Republicans in the legislature to pass it again.


UNITED INLAND GROUP RATIFIES FIVE-YEAR CONTRACT WITH BLUE AND GOLD FLEET

MM&P’s Blue and Gold Fleet Maritime Bargaining Unit has ratified a five-year contract for the ferry and excursion boats on the San Francisco Bay. The vote was unanimous, a first for this unit.

“Capt. Sly Hunter deserves major thanks for his efforts in keeping the negotiations focused and fruitful,” said UIG Regional Representative Ray Shipway. “These negotiations were conducted at a fast pace due to the new RFP issued by the WETA Board to select a contractor for all but the Golden Gate Ferry service in the Bay. The timing will allow the current contractor, Blue and Gold Fleet, to place a competitive bid on the table and to bring five years of labor peace to the RFP in the process.”

In other United Inland Group news, our members at Connolly Pacific are now voting on a tentative three-year contract. The voting results are due on June 8. Connolly Pacific is a construction operator which hauls rock from the quarry on Catalina Island to the Los Angeles/Long Beach Harbor and carries out heavy-lift operations within the harbor.


UNITED INLAND GROUP-PACIFIC MARITIME REGION MEETING JUNE 9

There will be a meeting of the United Inland Group-Pacific Maritime Region on Thursday, June 9, at the Edmonds Office between 1000 and 1200. All members are encouraged to attend.


WRECKS OF THE WORLD CONFERENCE AT MITAGS, JUNE 6-7

The American Salvage Association (ASA) and the North American Marine Environmental Protection Association (NAMEPA) will co-sponsor a conference entitled “Wrecks of the World: Hidden Risks of the Deep” on June 6- 7 at MITAGS. The conference will explore the issues related to the more than 8,500 sunken vessels in the world, many of them World War II-era. These issues include pollution, risk assessment, oil removal, insurance and funding. The program includes a discussion of the pollution threat posed by the thousands of abandoned oil wells that litter coast and offshore waters around the world.

Sporadic or continuous leakages or potential sudden massive spillages from these wrecks pose a risk across the globe. Recent incidents have caused government agencies and responsible parties to look proactively at preventing catastrophic oil and other chemical releases from long submerged shipwrecks, which overall, are thought to contain as much as 20 million tons of oil and other hazardous materials. More details on this conference are available at www.americansalvage.org.


SCHEDULE FOR 2011 D-BOOK MEMBERSHIP COURSE

The Offshore Division Orientation Course, formerly called the D-Book Membership Course, will be held at regular intervals throughout 2011.

The schedule is as follows (but please note that course dates may change depending on the number of participants who sign up): June 10-11 and Oct. 21-22 at MM&P headquarters in Linthicum Heights; Oct. 13-14 in Los Angeles/Long Beach; and Nov. 8-9 in New Orleans.

There is no sea-time requirement to take the course. All Offshore applicants, potential transferees from other membership groups and other interested Offshore members are urged to attend.

If you want to attend the course, please RSVP to the local hiring hall where the class is offered or, in the case of a course planned for headquarters, to Mary Seidman at mseidman@bridgedeck.org.


SHIP NAMED FOR CONG. JIM OBERSTAR

Interlake Steamship announced last week it had rechristened the MV CHARLES M. BEEGHLY as the MV HON. JAMES L. OBERSTAR. Oberstar, who served in Congress for decades and is a tireless advocate for the nation’s workers in general and the American Merchant Marine in particular, was on hand with his family for the occasion.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

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

AB – Able Bodied Seaman: 6/13, 8/22

ARPA � Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 9/27
AZIPOD (2-DAY) for Pilots: 7/25, 7/28

BRM � Bridge Resource Management: 9/26
BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 6/6
BST – Basic Safety Training: 6/27, 8/15

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVWX � Advanced Meteorology: 6/6, 9/12
CMM-ADVSTB � Advanced Stability: 6/27
CMM-CHS I � Advanced Cargo Operations (week 1): 7/11
CMM-CHS II � Advanced Cargo Operations (week 2): 7/18
CMM-ECDIS � Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems: 8/15
CMM-MPP � Marine Propulsion Plants: 6/13, 8/8
CMM-SHMGT I – Ship Management (week 1): 7/25, 9/19
CMM-SHMGT II – Ship Management (week 2): 8/1, 9/26
CMM-SHS-ADV-I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 6/13, 7/11, 8/22, 9/12, 9/26
CMM-SHS-ADV-I I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 6/20, 7/18, 8/15, 9/19
CMM-VPEN � Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 8/22
CMM-WKP � Advanced Watchkeeping: 6/20, 8/29

CONT PLNG � Contingency Planning: 7/29
CHS BAS � Basic Cargo Handing and Stowage: 8/8

ECDIS-ENAV (2 DAY) for Pilots: 7/25
ENAV � Electronic Navigation: 9/12
ENVIRO-Regs Permit � Environmental Regulations Permit: 8/29

FF-BADV � Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 6/27, 8/15
FSM � Fatique, Sleep and Medications for Pilots: 6/8, 7/27

GMDSS � Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 8/22

HAZ � Hazardous Materials (5 day): 6/13, 8/22

LAP-ORG 3rd � License Advancement Program for Original 3/Mate: 6/6
LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 6/6, 9/12
LFBT-LTD � Lifeboatman Limited: 8/20
LNG Awar-4 � Liquefied Natural Gases Awareness (4 Day): 8/1

MCL – Management, Communications and Leadership: 6/13, 9/12
MEDIA-RSP � Media Response Workshop: 7/28
MED-PIC – Medical Person In Charge: 6/13, 8/1
MED-PIC -R� Medical Person In Charge Refresher: 9/12
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 6/13, 8/1
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 6/18, 8/6

MSC-CBRD1 � Basic Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense: 6/10, 8/12
MSC-DC � Damage Control: 6/6, 8/8
MSC -SMA � Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 6/6, 8/8

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 6/16, 6/28, 7/20, 7/27, 8/18, 9/14
ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Day Class: 6/16, 7/27, 8/29, 9/26
ROP-5 � Radar Observer Original and Renewal: 8/1

SEC-VCF � Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 7/25
SHS-BAS � Basic Shiphandling: 6/20, 8/29
SHS-ESH-BRMP3 � Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 6/8
SHS-EMR5 � Emergency Shiphandling: 8/1

TC-NAV/CO � Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 7/11
TPIC-DL � Tankerman Person In Charge Dangerous Liquids: 8/15
TPIC-LNG � Tankerman Person In Charge Liquefied Gases: 7/11

WX BAS � Basic Meteorology: 9/19

…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

June 2011

2-3      Vessel Security Officer
6-24    Terrestrial and Coastal Navigation
13-24  GMDSS
20-22 Fast Rescue Boat
20-24 ECDIS
27-29  Emergency Procedures
30-1    Search and Rescue

July 2011

5-15     GMDSS
7-8      Vessel Security Officer
11-15   Radar Observer Unlimited
11-15   Medical Care Provider
11-22   Medical Person-In-Charge
16th    Medical DOT
18th    Radar Renewal
18-22  ECDIS
18-22  Management, Communication, and Leadership
19-21   Security – Vessel, Company, and Facility
25-29  Basic Construction and Stability

August 2011

1-12     GMDSS
8-12    ECDIS
15-19   Tankerman PIC
15-19   Basic Meteorology
22nd   Radar Renewal
22-26  Medical Care Provider
27th    Medical DOT
22-2    Medical Person-In-Charge
23-26  ARPA


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 5-27-11

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
12,402.76 2,782.92 1,331.10
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund (VAARX)
58.30
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
122.98
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
44.86
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
20.20
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
19.25
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
27.68
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.95
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
33.51
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.85
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
16.96
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
23.29
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
14.47
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
20.54
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
12.22
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
13.02
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
13.28
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
13.84
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
14.28
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.75
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
33.67
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
18.54
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
16.04
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
19.31
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.75
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
74.68
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
73.80
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
19.34
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
48.63
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
31.17
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
30.05
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.58
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
12.28
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
14.14
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
14.41
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
14.43
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
8.42
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
9.86
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.95
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
40.88
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
47.26
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
32.05



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.