News

Wheelhouse Weekly – November 01, 2011

November 1st 2011

 

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

Volume 15 . . . . . Number 44. . . . November 1, 2011

STORIES COVERED

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


MM&P CLOSED NOV. 11 FOR VETERANS 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 Friday, Nov. 11 for Veterans Day.


U.S.-FLAG MARITIME INDUSTRY HONORS MM&P VICE PRESIDENT GEORGE QUICK

Several thousand industry representatives gathered in New York City on Friday to honor MM&P Pilot Group Vice President Capt. George Quick and a cadre of other highly respected maritime sector professionals. Quick was recognized for a career dedicated in large part to the protection of the legal and human rights of the world’s seafarers. In recognition of the caliber of his advocacy work, the United Seamen’s Service (USS) awarded him with the Admiral of the Ocean Seas 2011 Special Recognition Plaque.

“Throughout his career, Capt. George A. Quick has been a powerful voice for the world’s seafarers,” said MM&P International President Tim Brown in awarding the plaque.”His focus on the promotion of international and national regulations that recognize the role of the human element in shipping have led to concrete improvements in the lives of seafarers the world over, as well as to a heightened recognition of their role as maritime professionals in the global economy.”
 
Quick, who was accompanied to the ceremony by his wife, Gale, has been an MM&P member for more than 60 years, 29 of them as Vice President of the union’s Pilot Membership Group. He is a member of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) delegation to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the London-based United Nations organization with the responsibility for the regulation of international shipping. His international work has included participation in the IMO’s Flag State Implementation Committee, the Facilitation Committee, the Maritime Safety Committee, and the subcommittees on Navigation Safety and Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping.

“The entire global economy, which supports the standard of living of each one of us, depends on shipping and on the seafarers who spend their working lives at sea,” Quick said in accepting the award. “Far more must be done in the context of the maritime transportation security system to recognize the human rights of seafarers and ensure that they are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.”


AWARDS TO MM&P MEMBERS ABOARD HORIZON PRODUCER, USNS BRIDGE AND USNS SAFEGUARD

Licensed deck officers aboard several ships represented by MM&P were honored during the course of Friday’s AOTOS Awards ceremony for heroism and humanitarian work. The crew of HORIZON PRODUCER—including MM&P members Capt. Mark Ruppert, Chief Mate David Cunningham, Second Mate James McAfee and Third Mate Fred Schick—received the marines’ plaque for rescuing two fishermen in a small boat on the verge of sinking on Jan. 29 in the waters off Puerto Rico. “The rescue operation was carried out quickly and efficiently by the officers and crew of Horizon Producer,” said MM&P International President Tim Brown. “Their professional actions are probably responsible for saving the fishermen’s lives.”

Also recognized at the ceremony were the crews of Military Sealift Command ships USNS BRIDGE and USNS SAFEGUARD for their heroic humanitarian work following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

MM&P officials on hand to congratulate all the awardees were International Secretary-Treasurer Don Marcus, Atlantic Ports Vice President Steven Werse, Federal Employees Membership Group Vice President Randall Rockwood and United Inland Group Vice President C. Michael Murray.


BRITISH AND DUTCH OFFICERS’ UNION ANNOUNCES NEW PLANS TO FIGHT CRIMINALIZATION

Nautilus, the British and Dutch maritime officers’ union, has announced a seven-point plan to address the unjust criminalization of mariners involved in maritime accidents. “The increasing criminalization of maritime professionals is one of the biggest industry concerns that Nautilus International currently deals with,” says the Nautilus General Secretary Mark Dickinson. “In recent years, the pressure to penalize those involved in accidents at sea has increased dramatically,” he said.

Nautilus is urging the British and Dutch governments to sign onto the 2006 Maritime Labor Convention, known as the Seafarers Bill of Rights. The union has also committed to: updating the union’s information on its network of overseas lawyers and making that information available online, in booklet format and ultimately on a flash drive. The material will be accompanied by information on mariners’ rights following onboard incidents and accidents. Nautilus will also lobby the British and Dutch governments to fight again any future legislation that could unjustly criminalize seafarers. It will work in tandem with Seafarers’ Rights International (SRI), which is headed up by seafarers’ rights champion Dierdre Fitzpatrick.

“Accidents happen in every industry but no other industry treats its workers like criminals when they do, with the implication that seafarers somehow deliberately set out to cause collisions, injuries or spillages,” Dickinson said.


INCOME INEQUALITY IN AMERICA SKYROCKETS, GOVERNMENT WATCHDOG GROUP FINDS

The incomes of the richest 1 percent of Americans nearly tripled from 1979 to 2007, far outpacing income growth for all other groups, according to the government’s financial watchdog agency, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

The report, which underlined the growing disparity in income between rich and poor, was released against a backdrop of nationwide protests over the power of Wall Street and the wealthy. The report found that in the past three decades, the United States has become a far more unequal nation.

“For the 1 percent of the population with the highest income, average real after-tax household income grew by 275 percent between 1979 and 2007,” according to the CBO report.

The next-highest 19 percent of earners saw their income grow by 65 percent over the same period. Income grew by just under 40 percent for the 60 percent of the population in the middle, while the 20 percent at the bottom of the scale saw income growth of only about 18 percent, the report said.

“This report confirms what the American people already know,” said Rep. Sander Levin, ranking Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee. “The rules have been changed by the unfair tax policies of the last decade and our tax code is doing less to level the playing field than it was in the past.”

As a result of this uneven shift, income was substantially more skewed toward the very top of the income scale in 2007 than it was in 1979, CBO said. So much so, it said, that in 2005-2007, just before the financial crisis, the top 20 percent of the population received more after-tax income than the entire bottom 80 percent.


ITF SAYS CREW OF PHILIPP ROBBED AGAIN BY MANILA CREWING AGENT

In a continuing saga of dishonesty and greed, several members of the crew of the Gibraltar-flagged containership PHILIPP have reportedly been ambushed and robbed of their wages by a Manila crewing agent. As reported in last week’s Wheelhouse Weekly, the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) had discovered that the German operator of the ship had used a double book-keeping system to cheat the Filipino crew of their rightful wages. “We often suspect double book-keeping is being operated on vessels we inspect,” said ITF Nautilus Inspector Tommy Molloy, “but it is unusual to get both sets of accounts: the fake accounts showing what the crew should be getting paid, and the real accounts which show they actually get paid approximately a third of what they should. The amount of wages the crew had been cheated of was over $ 230,000.”

The companies involved, Vega Friedrich Dauber GMBH & Co KG and its subsidiary, Vega Manila Crewmanagement Inc., admitted to the “discrepancy” and agreed to make payment in Liverpool. But they sent representatives aboard the ship the night before payment was to be made and allegedly warned the crew that they would have to give the money back. Molloy, concerned that the crewmembers were being threatened, returned to the ship in the company of the Port Police. “It became immediately apparent that the company had taken back the wages they had so recently paid out,” Molloy said. “The company did not deny they had the wages back but insisted the crew had returned the money voluntarily.”

In the most recent twist to the story, the few crewmembers brave enough to hold onto their recovered wages have reportedly been ambushed as they were leaving the airport in Manila. The men were bundled into two vans and taken to Vega Crewing’s office, where their wages were taken from the under duress. Only one crew member, who had left the airport by a different exit, escaped.

“The company has never denied the fraud,” said Molloy. “They’ve actually paid back the stolen wages twice now, simply on the basis of the evidence we have against them. Whether Vega Crewing has acted alone or under instructions by taking the money back yet again in Manila I don’t know. If it’s the former then we would expect Vega Reederei to the take the appropriate action. If they don’t, then we will be looking for the Gibraltar Maritime Administration and others to take the necessary action against the German owner.”


ILWU PREPARES FOR LONG HAUL AT LONGVIEW TERMINAL

Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) are continuing their fight for fairness at the EGT grain terminal in Longview, Wash. “The fight for justice in Longview involves a lot more than just our little town–it’s about corporate greed and the future of America’s middle class,” says ILWU Local 21 President Dan Coffman.

The company that owns the grain terminal—the first to be built on the West Coast in almost 25 years—accepted generous land and financial concessions from the local community with the promise of providing good jobs, but then broke off negotiations with the ILWU and hired other workers.

ILWU International President Bob McEllrath is calling on EGT to return to the table and bargain in good faith. “The best way for this dispute to be settled between EGT and ILWU 21 is for the negotiations to resume,” he said. Over 200 ILWU members have been arrested since the dispute began, including McEllrath and Coffman themselves. The union has filed a lawsuit in federal court that charged local law enforcement officials with violating the civil rights of union members and supporters in Longview. In response, local prosecutors decided, after several months of waiting, to bring charges against an EGT employee who assaulted two ILWU picketers with his Chevy Suburban on August 29. Although the man was charged with two counts of felony hit-and-run driving (instead of felony assault with a deadly weapon), the prosecutor refused to have him arrested—unlike the case of so many union members, who have been charged with minor, non-violent offenses. In the meantime, the union has been slapped with a $250,000 fine, which it is appealing.


SOCP MEETING AT MITAGS NOV. 2-3

The Ship Operations Cooperative Program (SOCP) invites you to attend its Nov. 2-3 meeting at MITAGS. The topic is safety/security issues and regulatory changes that affect the maritime industry. Topics include vessel security, mariner safety, the North American ECA and STCW. All industry representatives are welcome to attend. To register, go to www.socp.us.


OFFSHORE FAMILIARIZATION COURSE SCHEDULE

The Offshore Familiarization Course, formerly called the D-Book Membership Course, will be held Nov. 8-9 in New Orleans. If sufficient showing of interest is demonstrated at other union halls, additional courses may be added to the schedule.
 
Under the changes to the shipping rules that were ratified by the membership in August, members who want to upgrade to a B-Book or an A-Book are now required to attend the course. It is also a pre-requisite for D-Book status. Applicants should take this course as soon as possible.

If you are interested in taking the course in a port office, please contact the local union hall. If you are interested in taking a course offered at MM&P headquarters, please contact Mary Seidman at mseidman@bridgedeck.org.


VIKING BOAT BURIAL SITE A FIRST FOR BRITISH ARCHAEOLOGISTS

The first intact Viking boat burial site to be found in the United Kingdom was discovered earlier this autumn in Ardnamurchan, in the west Highlands. The vessel and its occupant are believed to be more than 1,000 years old. “The artifacts and preservation make this one of the most important Norse graves ever excavated in Britain,” University of Manchester archaeologist Hannah Cobb told a reporter for the BBC. Items found buried alongside the Viking lead archaeologists to believe that the man was of high rank. These include an axe, a sword with a decorated hilt, a spear, a shield boss and a bronze ring pin. The 16 ft long gravesite at has also yielded a knife, what could be the tip of a bronze drinking horn, a whetstone from Norway, a ring pin from Ireland and Viking pottery. About 200 rivets–the remains of the boat he was laid in–were also found. The boat was likely to be from the 10th Century AD.


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.

BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 11/14

BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots:  11/28

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 11/14
 
CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems: 12/5
 
CMM-SHMGT – Ship Management (2 weeks): 12/5
 
CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 11/7, 11/28
 
CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 11/14, 12/5
 
CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 11/28

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning: 11/10
 
ENVIRO-Regs Permit – Environmental Regulations Permit: 11/8
 –
HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 11/28

LAP-ORG 3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3/Mate: 12/5
 
LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 11/28

MEDIA-RSP – Media Response Workshop: 11/11
 
MED-PIC -R– Medical Person In Charge Refresher: 11/14

MSC -SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 11/14

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 11/2, 11/16, 12/7, 12/14
 
ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal: 11/7

SEC-VCF – Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 11/7
 
SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 12/12
 
C-NAV – Celestial Navigation: 11/7
 
…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.
 


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 2011

7-11     ECDIS
7-11     TPIC
7-18    GMDSS
28th   Radar Renewal
28-2    Medical Care Provider
28-9    Medical Person-In-Charge
29-2    ARPA

December 2011

5th      Radar Renewal
5-9      Train the Trainer
5-16     GMDSS
12-16   Radar Observer Unlimited
19-22  ARPA


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 10-28-11

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
12,231.11 2,737.15 1,269.09
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund (VAARX)
54.65
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
118.48
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
40.98
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
18.50
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
18.52
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
26.31
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
11.11
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
32.87
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.72
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
16.51
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
21.11
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
14.27
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
19.84
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
12.36
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
12.85
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
12.91
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
13.26
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
13.66
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.94
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
32.09
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
17.97
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
15.50
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
18.49
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.81
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
66.79
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
66.31
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
17.45
Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX) 45.39
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
28.61
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
27.48
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.47
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
12.22
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
13.78
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
13.91
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
13.74
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
7.92
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
9.22
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.90
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
37.39
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
45.53
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
31.20



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.