News

Wheelhouse Weekly – November 01, 2010

November 1st 2010

 

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

Volume 14 . . . . . Number 44. . . .November 1, 2010

STORIES COVERED

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


VOTE YOUR JOB ON NOV. 2

MM&P encourages every union member and employee to vote their jobs on Nov. 2. Now as never before, the members and employees of America’s maritime unions are faced with a stark choice. We can cast our votes for candidates who have consistently demonstrated their support for the U.S.-flag maritime industry. Or we can support those candidates and their allies who make no secret of their plans to eliminate the programs that sustain our jobs and allow us to provide for our families. If you are an MM&P member, go to the Members’ Only pages of www.bridgedeck.org and click on “Who We Support” to see which candidates the MM&P Political Contribution Fund is supporting in the various races. If you are not an MM&P member, or if you have a question about the candidates, e-mail jpatti@miraid.org.

The sole criterion in deciding whether our PCF should support an individual seeking election to public office is his or her position on issues of direct importance to the jobs and economic well-being of MM&P members, MM&P pensioners and their families.


TONIGHT AND TUESDAY, MM&P INTERNATIONAL SECRETARY-TREASURER MEETS WITH PMR MEMBERS ON WEST COAST

MM&P International Secretary-Treasurer Don Marcus will meet tonight and Tuesday with members of the union’s Pacific Maritime Region (PMR) in the San Francisco Bay area. All members of the PMR-United Inland Group are strongly encouraged to attend these meetings. The meeting schedule is as follows:

  • San Francisco: Monday, Nov. 1, 1900-2000, at the Blue and Gold Pier 41, The Embarcadero at Powell Street, San Francisco, CA 94133;
  • Oakland: Tuesday, Nov. 2, 1700-1800, at the MM&P/MEBA Offshore Hall,  548 Thomas L. Berkley Way, Oakland CA 94612, one block away from the 19th Street BART Station.
     
    UIG Vice President Mike Murray and PMR Representative Ray Shipway will be present at the meetings to give their reports to the membership. All members of the MM&P Pacific Maritime Region are urged to attend the meetings, at which many issues of importance to PMR members will be discussed.


    MM&P COMMENTS ON USCG PROPOSAL ON U.S. RECOGNITION OF FOREIGN STCW CERTIFICATES

    As previously reported, MM&P has submitted comments on a Coast Guard proposal regarding recognition of foreign-issued STCW certificates for employment on certain U.S.-documented vessels. In response to questions from several members, here is additional background information on the issues involved.

    U.S. law makes U.S. citizenship a prerequisite for holding a U.S. license and serving on a U.S.-flag ship. But a previous Congress enacted a narrow exemption that permits the waiver of the citizenship requirement on small Offshore Supply Vessels (OSVs) and Mobile Offshore Drilling Units (MODUs) that operate out of foreign ports.

    The rationale for the exemption is a claim by the Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA) that the cabotage laws of some countries require the employment of local mariners aboard OSVs and MODUs operating off their own national coasts. Under current U.S. law, the master of an exempt OSV or MODU must still be a U.S. citizen. But the master is permitted to hire foreign officers and determine their qualifications.

    Under the new STCW Convention, only the USCG can recognize the validity of foreign STCW certificates for service on a U.S.-flag vessel. This creates a conflict between U.S. law and the international requirements of the STCW Convention. In its request for comments, the USCG asks for input regarding the conditions and procedures it should apply in recognizing foreign certificates and credentials.

    MM&P’s position is that the union is opposed in principle to any recognition of foreign certificates or credentials for service on any U.S- flag vessel. But, in the very narrow circumstances where U.S. law waives the citizenship requirements for OSVs or MODUs operating from foreign ports, any foreign officers employed must meet all the standards and requirements that the USCG applies to U.S. licensed officers. It is also MM&P’s position that any endorsement of a foreign certificate should be specifically restricted to service on the category of vessels already exempt under U.S. law from the citizenship requirement.

    The full text of MM&P’s comments can be viewed in the public pages of MM&P’s website: just go to www.bridgedeck.org and click on “What’s New.”


    MSC COMMANDER CALLS JONES ACT CRITICALLY IMPORTANT

    Maintaining the Jones Act is essential to meeting Military Sealift Command (MSC) requirements for a highly trained cadre of professional mariners, says Rear Adm. Mark Buzby, Commander, Military Sealift Command. “We need a strong industry, and part of a strong industry is highly trained merchant mariners, so many of whom are employed on Jones Act ships,” he said. Buzby made the remarks at a meeting Thursday of the Washington branch of the International Propeller Club, where he outlined MSC’s ongoing shipbuilding programs and operational challenges in areas ranging from humanitarian aid to security and national defense.


    HORIZON LINES ACQUIRES THOUSANDS OF NEW CONTAINERS FOR NEW PACIFIC SERVICE

    MM&P-contracted Horizon Lines says it will add over 12,000 new containers to its shipping network to support current customers and the new Asia liner service, which is scheduled to begin next month. The weekly liner service, called the Five Star Express, will have port calls at Shanghai, Ningbo, Los Angeles and Oakland. The company will use its five Hunter Class vessels to offer 11-day port-to-port transit from Shanghai to Los Angeles, with Monday morning cargo availability every week. A spokesman for Horizon Lines said in an official statement that the first sailing is over 45 percent subscribed.


    APL WILL BURN CLEANER FUEL AT NEW YORK/NEW JERSEY PORTS

    As part of a plan being implemented by the Port Authority to curb emissions, APL says it will begin burning cleaner fuel in every vessel calling at the Port of New York and New Jersey. The voluntary agreement is part of a program intended to lower emissions in New York Harbor. Under the plan, APL vessels will use low-sulfur fuel in auxiliary generators while berthed. Under the terms of the plan, the Port Authority will reimburse 50 percent of the added cost APL incurs. The conversion to low-sulfur fuel is expected to reduce particulate matter emissions by 75 percent and sulfur oxides by more than 85 percent. Also in October, APL joined a low-sulfur fuel program at the Port of Hong Kong. The company has long been part of such programs at the ports of Los Angeles, Oakland, Seattle and Vancouver.


    STRIKES SUBSIDE IN FRANCE

    Strikers in France are gradually beginning to abandon street protests following Senate approval of a measure, proposed by President Nicolas Sarkozy, that will raise the minimum retirement age from 60 to 62. The government has argued that the entire pension system is in jeopardy without the reform because the French are living longer: an average of 84 years for women and 78 for men. But the measure continues to be highly unpopular with the public: Sarkozy’s approval ratings are now said to be the lowest ever for a French President. The unions have called for more strikes on Nov. 6, but the measure appears certain to become law and it was not clear whether the new protests would actually go forward.


    HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN NEWS: ENROLLMENT AND RE-ENROLLMENT REQUIRED FOR CHILDREN AGE 19-26

    The Trustees have agreed to amend the Health & Benefit Plan Rules and Regulations to meet the requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Calendar-year plans such as MM&P’s will make the following change effective Jan. 1, 2011: the Plan will provide coverage for dependents up to the age of 26 who do not already have health coverage through their own employers. The Trustees agreed to have a 90-day open enrollment period during which dependents can re-enroll under the Plan. This open enrollment period will begin Nov. 1, 2010, and continue until Jan. 31, 2011, with coverage effective on Jan. 1, 2011.

    The Plan office is mailing a letter that explains the change and provides instructions and an enrollment form. All participants with dependents aged 19 to 26 who meet the conditions should complete an enrollment form for each dependent.

    You must complete a form for each adult child age 19 and older regardless of whether or not your child is currently a full-time student and covered under the Plan. If you need additional copies of the enrollment form, you can download a PDF copy from the union’s website: go to www.bridgedeck.org, click on the “MM&P Plans” button, and then on “H&B Forms.” The enrollment form is posted at the bottom of the page. It is titled “Enrollment Form for Eligible Adult Children 19-26.”


    BELUGA FORTUNE AND MAIDO CREWS FOIL PIRATE ATTACKS

    The BELUGA FORTUNE, a German-flagged vessel which came under attack about 1,200 nautical miles off Kenya on Oct. 23, was able to resume its voyage to South Africa. The pirates who boarded the vessel were unable to complete the hijacking because the crewmembers shut down the engine and bunker-feed systems and locked themselves in a safe room. The attackers finally fled when the British frigate MONROSE arrived at the scene.

    Three days later, the French-flagged liquefied petroleum gas carrier MAIDO was attacked approximately 100 nautical miles southeast of Dar Es Salaam. The pirates abandoned the vessel when they were unable to capture the 14 crewmembers, who had also locked themselves in a safe room.


    MM&P ATLANTIC PORTS MEETING IN NORFOLK NOV. 10

    The MM&P Offshore Atlantic Ports meeting for the month of November will be held in Norfolk, VA, at 1300 on Nov. 10. Federal Membership Group members are encouraged to attend this meeting, at which MM&P Atlantic Ports Vice President Steve Werse and International Secretary-Treasurer Don Marcus will be present.

    The Norfolk meeting will take place at the new MM&P Norfolk Hall. The address is: Norfolk Commerce Center III, 5425 Robin Hood Road, #204, Norfolk, VA 23513. The telephone number of the Norfolk Hall is: 757-489-7406.

    Please also note that there will not be a monthly meeting in November in the MM&P New York/New Jersey Hall.


    D-BOOK MEMBERSHIP CLASS IN LOS ANGELES NOV. 9-10

    The D-Book Membership class will be held in the MM&P Los Angeles Hall on Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 9-10. All applicants should complete the D-Book Membership Class as soon as possible to avoid delays in becoming members. Applicants should take the course before completing 360 days of covered employment. For more information and to sign up for the Nov. 9-10 course, please contact the Los Angeles Hall at 310-834-7201.


    CONTAINERSHIP CREW SAVES FISHERMEN

    Crewmembers of the box ship VEGA rescued mariners aboard the factory fishing vessel ATHENA in United Kingdom waters on Oct. 27. The ATHENA was 230 nautical miles southwest of the Isles of Scilly with 111 people on board when it reported a blaze. The master of the fishing vessel evacuated 98 non-essential crewmembers to life rafts, while the other 13 stayed to fight the fire. No injuries were reported.  


    KOREAN CAPTAIN GETS MINIMAL JAIL TERM FOR BEING DRUNK

    A U.S. District Court in Tacoma, Wash., sentenced Capt. Seong Ug Sin of Korea to 14 days in prison and six months of supervised release. He had faced maximum charges of a year in prison and a fine of $100,000. The incident took place in April, when Sin was commanding the 590-ft STX DAISY through the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Coast Guard boarded the vessel for inspection. The Coast Guard said Sin refused to follow orders and was unable to produce usable charts of Puget Sound. On searching the vessel, the Coast Guard discovered that the captain and another officer had been drinking. The captain was found to have a blood-alcohol level double the legal limit.


    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: 11/30, 1/25

    BRM- Bridge Resource Management: 12/13
    BRMP � Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 11/29, 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): 11/8, 1/31
    CMM-CHS II � Advanced Cargo Operations (week 2): 11/15
    CMM-ECDIS � Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems: 11/15, 12/13
    CMM-MPP � Marine Propulsion Plants: 11/29, 1/24
    CMM-SHMGT I – Ship Management (week 1): 12/6
    CMM-SHMGT II – Ship Management (week 2): 12/13
    CMM-SHS-ADV-I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 11/29, 1/10, 1/31
    CMM-SHS-ADV-I I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 12/6, 1/17
    CMM-VPEN � Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 11/8, 12/6
    CMM-WKP � Advanced Watchkeeping: 11/29

    CONSTAB � Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 1/10

    ENVIRO-Regs Permit � Environmental Regulations Permit: 11/10

    FF-BADV � Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 1/24
    FSM � Fatique, Sleep and Medications for Pilots: 12/1

    HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 11/29

    LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 11/29, 1/24

    MCL – Management, Communications and Leadership: 12/6
    MED-PIC – Medical Person In Charge: 11/8, 1/10
    MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 11/8. 1/10
    MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 11/13, 1/15


    ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 11/17, 12/1, 12/15, 1/12, 1/26
    ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Day Class: 11/29, 1/24
    ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal: 11/15, 1/17

    SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 11/15, 12/13
    SHS-EMR3 – Emergency Shiphandling for Pilots: 12/1, 1/26

    …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. 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

    November 2010

    8-12    ECDIS
    8-19    GMDSS
    15-19   Basic Construction & Stability
    15-17   Fast Rescue Boat
    29        Radar Renewal

    December 2010

    6-10    Medical Care Provider
    6-17     Medical Person-in-Charge
    6-17     GMDSS
    7-9      Security VCF
    11         Med DOT
    13-15   Emergency Shiphandling
    20       Radar Renewal


    MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 11-1-10 (Mid-Day)

    D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
    11,162.19 2,510.19 1,187.03
    Fund Name & Trading Symbol
     Closing
    Price
     Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund (VAARX)
    53.17
     Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
    109.04
     Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
    37.59
     Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
    18.93
     Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
    16.86
     Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
    24.37
     Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
    11.11
     Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
    29.74
     Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
    5.79
     Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
    16.19
     Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
    21.28
     Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
    14.15
     Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
    19.21
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
    11.93
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
    12.32
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
    12.33
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
    12.65
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
    13.09
     Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
    10.89
     Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
    29.53
     Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
    16.69
     Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
    14.97
     Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
    16.91
     Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
    10.79
     Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
    66.79
     Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
    64.09
     Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
    16.88
     Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
    42.04
     Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
    29.49
     Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
    25.91
     Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
    11.30
     Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
    12.03
     Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
    13.42
     Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
    13.44
     Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
    13.53
     Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
    7.72
     Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
    8.98
     Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
    11.02
     Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
    34.99
     Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
    41.93
     Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
    28.04



    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.