News

Wheelhouse Weekly – November 08, 2011

November 8th 2011

 

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

Volume 15 . . . . . Number 45. . . . November 8, 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.


MARITIME ADMINISTRATION DISREGARDS SHIPBOARD LABOR, RELEASES FLAWED REPORT

Statement by the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots; American Maritime Officers; Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association; and Seafarers International Union on Maritime Administration Report Comparing U.S. and Foreign-Flag Operating Costs.

“The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) recently released a highly contentious study of American-flag shipping without any input whatsoever from maritime labor. This inexplicable decision guaranteed that the report would not contain the information that Congress and the Administration would need to develop and implement meaningful maritime policy that strengthens, not weakens, the U.S.-flag merchant marine, provides jobs for American, not foreign, maritime workers, and bolsters, not diminishes, the economic, military and homeland security of the United States. The administrator who approved the report, David Matsuda, should be held accountable.”

“The Maritime Administration, more than a year ago, was tasked by Congress with identifying ways to boost American-flag shipping. Instead, the agency accepted a report based on incomplete information whose main conclusion–that in the deep-sea commercial sector, it often costs more to use U.S.-flag ships–isn’t news to anyone. The fact that MARAD chose to exclude a significant segment of the maritime industry from this process, and accepted a report that includes possible cost-cutting suggestions that are completely contrary to the overall best interests of the United States, represents a gigantic failure in Matsuda’s leadership and a missed opportunity on the part of the Maritime Administration.”

“How could the Maritime Administration sign off on a report that suggests consideration of weakening or eliminating the Jones Act, one of the bedrocks of our national and economic security? How could the agency not refuse the mere notion of turning America into a second register? (It should be noted that the carriers interviewed for the study soundly rejected lowering U.S.-citizen crewing requirements as well as the second-register idea.)”

“We make no apologies whatsoever for the fact that our members make a living wage and receive health care and pension benefits. American mariners are second-to-none worldwide when it comes to being properly trained for their profession. Yet MARAD’s report points to these factors as some of the reasons why it costs more, on average, to ship American. MARAD should be ashamed of itself for entertaining a study that suggests that beating down American mariners to the level of Third-World labor and lowering their standard of living are good for our industry and good for our country. The findings of this report are an insult to the brave men and women who comprise the U.S. Merchant Marine, including those who sail in harm’s way to deliver vital materiel to our armed forces.”

“We stand ready to work with Congress and the Administration to make our industry stronger, larger and more competitive. The Maritime Administration had the opportunity to start this process in an all-inclusive, productive way. It is not only unfortunate but a clear dereliction of duty that they chose not to and instead spent time, energy and resources on a report that serves no useful, constructive purpose.”


SURVEY CHARTS MARINERS’ USE OF E-MAIL, THE INTERNET AND SOCIAL MEDIA

Although most mariners still do not have shipboard access to the Internet, they show a growing affinity for online communications tools and social networking. These are the main findings of a study commissioned by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) Seafarers’ Trust. Among the results of the study:

  • Onboard access to e-mail is also limited: 68 percent of seafarers said they still have no access to e-mail at sea.
  • Ships’ officers were much more likely than unlicensed seafarers to use the Internet, mobile phones and social networking sites, whether at sea or at home. For example, 82 per cent of the officers said they access the Internet every day when they were at home, compared with 39 per cent of unlicensed seafarers.
  • Seventy percent of respondents said they use social networking sites, such as Facebook. 
  • Although more than half of the survey respondents were union members, only a third of them said they are in regular contact with their unions.
  • “These results set us–and every seafarers’ union–a challenge,” said ITF Maritime Coordinator Steve Cotton. “How best to serve workers who spend a great part of their working lives at sea. Thankfully the technologies are there; the task is to make sure they are as available as possible. We trust,” he added, “that this research will interest people in unions and beyond. Potentially it has lessons for the whole industry.”


    USNS BIG HORN COMPLETES U.S. 6TH FLEET DEPLOYMENT

    Military Sealift Command welcomed fleet replenishment oiler USNS BIG HORN back to Naval Station Norfolk after a seven-month deployment providing replenishment services to U.S. and NATO forces supporting Operation Unified Protector. Licensed deck officers aboard BIG HORN are represented by the MM&P Federal Employees Membership Group.

    Initially deployed in April to the Irish Sea as part of the 2nd Fleet exercise Joint Warrior 11-1, BIG HORN played numerous scenario roles in the multinational exercise, including serving as a training platform for amphibious assaults. “BIG HORN conducted underway replenishments with ships from a variety of countries,” said Capt. Steven Karavolos, the ship’s civil service master. “Many of the rendezvous-at-sea events included short-notice requests for fuel and stores and were conducted at all hours of the day and night,” he said.   

    At the conclusion of Joint Warrior, BIG HORN provided fuel and stores to the U.S. and NATO ships supporting U.N. Security Council Resolution 1973, which authorized measures to protect Libyan civilians and enforce a no-fly zone.


    CONTAMINATED COOLANT TO BLAME FOR FATAL CONTAINER EXPLOSIONS?

    Following the deaths of three port workers–one in Brazil and two in Vietnam–members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) are working in tandem with other port and security workers in Seattle and Tacoma to identify and quarantine refrigerated containers coming from Vietnam. A spokesperson for the Pacific Maritime Association says that the fatal explosions have been linked to the refrigerant systems of containers that underwent maintenance work in Kat Lai, Vietnam, since the beginning of the year. Although the cause of the accidents is still unknown, one theory is that the faulty units were contaminated with bad coolant. There have been no reports of workers injured in the United States.


    OAKLAND OCCUPY WALL STREET PROTEST TEMPORARILY CLOSES PORT

    A day-long “general strike” in Oakland as part of the Occupy Wall Street movement ended with a shutdown of port operations last Wednesday and police in riot gear arresting dozens of protesters. Supporters in New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and elsewhere staged smaller-scale demonstrations, each group saying its protest was a show of support for the Oakland movement, which became a rallying point when an Iraq War veteran, Scott Olsen, was seriously injured in a clash with police two weeks ago.

    In New York, about 100 veterans marched in uniform to the front of the New York Stock Exchange, where they stood before a line of New York City police officers on horseback with nightsticks. The veterans said they were marching in support of Olsen and also to protest economic inequality and the lack of job prospects for men and women returning from service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    On Saturday, protestors marched in cities across the United States as part of a demonstration asking bank customers to move their money to credit unions. In Atlanta, police arrested 20 people after a rally in a city park spilled onto the streets and officers converged on them in riot gear. There were numerous other demonstrations over the weekend in cities including Anchorage, Alaska, Washington, D.C. and Vancouver, British Columbia.


    PRISON SENTENCE FOR OPERATOR OF TOWBOAT IN FATAL DUCK BOAT ACCIDENT

    A 35-year-old resident of Catskill, N.Y., has been sentenced to a year in federal prison for his role in the fatal July 7, 2010 collision between a “duck boat” and a barge guided by a towboat on the Delaware River. In the accident, the barge, THE RESOURCE, guided by the towing vessel CARIBBEAN SEA which was piloted by Matthew R. Devlin, ran over a boat operated by Ride the Ducks International. Two young passengers on the duck boat were killed. Devlin, who surrendered his mate’s license, has been instructed to report to prison on Jan. 5. He pleaded guilty to the charges against him and admitted that before the collision, he was using a cell phone and a laptop computer to attend to personal matters.


    OFFSHORE SHIPPING AND WORK RULES POSTED ON WWW.BRIDGEDECK.ORG

    The MM&P Offshore Shipping and Work Rules now in effect have been posted in the Members Only section of www.bridgedeck.org. The rules are a compilation of the 2002 Shipping Rules and the changes approved by the membership in 2007 and 2011. Copies of the Offshore Shipping and Work Rules will be printed and mailed to every member of the Offshore Group in the coming months.


    APPLICATION DEADLINE FOR UNION PLUS SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM

    Applications are now open for the 2012 Union Plus Scholarship Program, which provides $150,000 in scholarships to union members, their spouses and dependents. To apply, visit UnionPlus.org/Education. This year’s application is entirely online, which means students can work on it when they have time, save their responses and then continue later. The application deadline is Jan. 31.

    In addition to scholarships, the following benefits help union families afford higher education: scholarships to help union members finish their degrees with an affordable and convenient online program at the National Labor College; discounts of 15 percent to 60 percent on college and graduate school test preparation courses from The Princeton Review, including classroom, online and private tutoring for the SAT, ACT, GMAT, LSAT, GRE and MCAT; $500 grants to union families who open a new 529 plan, and establish a $1,000 balance, for a child under the age of 12. To find out more, visit UnionPlus.org.


    UNITED KINGDOM APPROVES ARMED GUARDS ABOARD MERCHANT SHIPS

    British Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that U.K.-flagged merchant ships will be allowed to carry armed guards as protection against pirates. The U.K. government says it will soon begin licensing private guards to carry revolvers, automatic weapons and probably rocket launchers on ships sailing through the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. A spokesman for the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) greeted the news with the comment that the use of armed guards would deter pirates but is not a real solution to the piracy problem. The ICS spokesman also expressed concern that arming merchant vessels would lead to escalating violence.

    “What’s an open secret is the yawning gap in flag state responsibility,” said ITF Seafarers’ Section Chair Dave Heindel. “While some nations and their armed forces are doing an amazing job, others are shirking their responsibilities. Until more countries are prepared to patrol, arrest and prosecute, and to take the fight to the pirates and their bases–which are often fuel dumps and facilities in plain view right on the beaches–the world will continue to be held to ransom, and innocent seafarers to risk imprisonment, torture and, ultimately, death.”

    “Somali-based piracy has been allowed to become so successful, savage and wide-ranging that seafarers’ and seafaring organizations’ worries about armed guards have had to be set aside,” said ITF General Secretary David Cockroft. “But guards can never be anything but a supplement to the sorely tried existing naval presence, which is now trying to cover an entire ocean. The ITF, like the International Shipping Federation and International Chamber of Shipping, would like to see on-vessel detachments made up of the ship’s flag state forces whenever possible,” he said. Cockroft also warned that cuts now being made to British Navy’s budget would hinder the piracy fight.


    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: 11/14, 2/20

    BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots:  11/28, 1/23, 3/1

    BST – Basic Safety Training: 1/23

    [CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

    CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 11/14, 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): 12/5, 2/20

    CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 11/28, 1/16, 1/30, 2/27, 3/12, 3/26

    CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 12/5 , 1/23, 2/6, 3/5, 3/19

    CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 11/28, 2/13


    CONSTAB – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 1/9

    CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning: 11/10, 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): 11/28, 3/5

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

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

    LAP-ORG 3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3/Mate: 12/5

    LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 11/28, 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: 11/14, 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: 11/14, 3/12

    ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 11/16, 12/7, 12/14, 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: 11/7, 1/16

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

    SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 12/12, 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.
     


    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

    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 11-4-11

    D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
    11,983.24 2,686.15 1,253.23
    Fund Name & Trading Symbol
     Closing
    Price
     Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund (VAARX)
    54.10
     Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
    115.58
     Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
    40.34
     Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
    17.73
     Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
    18.21
     Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
    25.73
     Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
    11.16
     Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
    32.29
     Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
    5.70
     Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
    16.42
     Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
    21.62
     Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
    14.31
     Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
    19.56
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
    12.35
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
    12.69
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
    12.66
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
    12.92
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
    13.30
     Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
    11.04
     Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
    31.37
     Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
    17.75
     Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
    15.30
     Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
    17.94
     Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
    10.89
     Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
    65.08
     Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
    64.55
     Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
    16.98
    Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
    44.35
     Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
    27.40
     Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
    26.63
     Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
    11.42
     Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
    12.19
     Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
    13.63
     Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
    13.71
     Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
    13.47
     Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
    7.74
     Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
    8.99
     Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
    10.98
     Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
    36.82
     Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
    44.41
     Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
    30.39



    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.