Wheelhouse Weekly – Oct. 7, 2014

October 8th 2014 ,

Volume 18 . . . Number 40 . . . Oct. 7, 2014


In this issue:


Job Opportunity:

Upcoming Events:

News for MM&P Members:


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


All MM&P union halls, the MM&P Plan Office, the MM&P Federal Credit Union and MM&P headquarters will be closed on Monday, Oct. 13, for Columbus Day.

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Canada’s version of the Jones Act would be thrown to the winds under a new trade agreement worked out behind closed doors between negotiators for that country and representatives of the European Union. CETA, short for the Canada-European Union: Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, was published last week in final form after months of speculation. The text of the agreement covers trans-shipment of international cargo on inland waters and “would be a serious breach of Canada’s cabotage laws,” said MM&P President Don Marcus.

Today, only ships that are Canadian registered and on which all relevant duties have been paid have free access to move passengers and goods between Canadian ports. CETA would mandate an end to “measures requiring that all or part of any international cargo be transported exclusively by vessels registered in that Party or owned or controlled by nationals of that Party.”

In the United States, cabotage law as embodied by the Jones Act provides an additional layer of national security, especially in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. It also serves to maintain an employment base of hundreds of thousands in the domestic maritime and shipbuilding trades, and makes possible the operation of a U.S.-flag fleet, crewed by American-citizen mariners, to respond in time of war or other national emergency.

Last month, MM&P joined three other U.S. maritime unions in condemning efforts to compromise Canada’s cabotage law. “We stand in solidarity with our Canadian counterparts, and we categorically oppose current attempts to cripple Canadian maritime law via the EU/Canada CETA negotiations,” the unions wrote in an official release to the press. “If the CETA agreement is approved, it could mean the end of Canadian-flag shipping,” Marcus said, adding that it could well portend similar attempts to undercut the Jones Act.

“Instead of seeking to attack Canadian cabotage, the EU should welcome a similar policy package to protect European shipping by introducing a level playing field for intra-community trades that would help stop the downward spiral in salaries and discriminatory practices against seafarers,” the unions wrote. Besides MM&P, the other unions that signed on to the statement were the American Maritime Officers, the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association and the Seafarers International Union.

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MM&P officers Captain Michael Schlecter, Chief Mate Brian McCarthy and Second Mate Joseph Krzesni were featured in the October/November issue of Professional Mariner magazine. Reporter John Gormley interviewed the three in the wheelhouse of the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) fast ferry MV FAIRWEATHER. The journalist followed the crew through a four-and-a-half-hour, 132-nm voyage in June from north of Juneau, Alaska, to Sitka, for an article entitled, “Alaska Fast Ferry Navigates Complex Series of Waterways.”

The 235-ton ferry, built in 2003, was constructed with state-of-the art technology including infrared radiation to detect obstacles in low visibility and an active interceptor roll control system to minimize passenger discomfort along the challenging route. Schlecter, who has been master of the FAIRWEATHER since it was delivered to AMHS over a decade ago, appreciates the electronics but says he is also conscious of their limitations. “Sometimes people rely too much on the technology,” he says. All the officers aboard ferries in the AMHS fleet are members of MM&P’s United Inland Group-Pacific Maritime Region.

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The MM&P-crewed MAERSK MONTANA was among the vessels that intervened to aid a peace activist trying to “run across the water” from Florida to Bermuda in a homemade floating “hydro pod” last weekend. The man, Reza Baluchi, was ultimately rescued by the Coast Guard. In audio footage, he is heard to refuse an Oct. 1 offer of assistance from personnel aboard USCGC BERNARD C. WEBBER. The long-distance runner explained to them at the time that he did not want to give up the journey, which was intended to call attention to the quest for world peace, saying he had been preparing for the voyage for two years. The cutter was dispatched to the scene after the crew of MAERSK MONTANA reported the man had asked them for directions to Bermuda. Baluchi was rescued on Oct. 4, 70 nautical miles east of St. Augustine, Fla., after activating his personal radio beacon. A spokesperson for the Coast Guard said he appeared to be suffering from exhaustion. Aboard the hydro pod, Baluchi reportedly
had only protein bars, bottled water, a GPS and a satellite phone.

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Longshoremen and maritime workers in a number of countries are joining forces with hundreds of thousands of transport workers worldwide as part of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) action week. From October 6 to 12, members of road transport and railway unions will take action to highlight issues of local and national concern, including deregulation, outsourcing, safety, fatigue and labor law enforcement. This is the first time that maritime industry workers, including longshoremen, will participate in the event. Oct. 9 is dedicated to the safety of containers, which are handled by transport workers in a variety of sectors, including road, rail and maritime. Actions are planned in the United States and the United Kingdom, as well as in Australia, Canada, Japan and a number of European and African countries. The week will also include activities around the World Day for Decent Work Oct. 7.

“Deregulation, privatization and liberalization have dramatically changed the road and rail industries in recent decades, usually for the worse for transport workers and the travelling public alike,” said ITF Inland Transport Section Secretary Mac Urata. “This action week allows transport workers and their national unions to focus on the areas most important to them while speaking with one united, global voice. Public transport, for example, is under threat as never before. Together during the action week we will defend these vital services and the jobs, working conditions and rights of those who work in them.” To find out more about Action Week, including Container Day, visit

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The Oregon Board of Maritime Pilots and the Columbia River Bar Pilots are accepting applications to fill vacancies expected to occur over the next few years. Applicants must have at least one year of sea time as Master on ships over 5,000 GT to apply and two years’ sea time to be accepted. The Columbia River Bar Pilots are an equal opportunity organization looking for Captains with a broad range of experience capable of working in the demanding conditions of the winter bar. Successful applicants must have the command personality needed to make the wide range of decisions the job requires. They must also be willing and able to contribute to running the business side of the organization.

If you are interested, please contact: Susan Johnson, Administrator, Oregon Board of Maritime Pilots, 800 N.E. Oregon St. #15, Suite 507, Portland, OR 97232;; 971-673-1530 (phone); 971-673-1531 (fax).

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There will be a union meeting at the Boston Hall on Wednesday, Oct. 15 at 1300. Participants in the meeting will include Atlantic Ports Vice President Don Josberger, Secretary-Treasurer Steve Werse and MM&P President Don Marcus. All members in the area are encouraged to attend the meeting.

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MM&P officials will be in Staten Island on Wednesday, Oct. 8, between 1000 and 1400 to meet with members of International Longshoremen’s Association Local 333. Members of MM&P and Local 333 are now voting on a proposal that would unite the two unions in the context of their mutual affiliation with the ILA. MM&P officials participating in the meeting are President Don Marcus, Secretary-Treasurer Steve Werse and Atlantic Ports Vice President Don Josberger. The meeting will take place at Local 333’s union hall at 552 Bay Street, Staten Island, NY 10304.

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Starting on Veterans Day Nov. 11, Union Plus is making available $1,000 grants to veterans who close on a home purchase after Oct. 31, 2014. The grants can help defray the expense of a down payment. They do not need to be repaid. To be eligible to receive a grant from Union Plus you need to: finance the purchase of your primary residence through the Union Plus Mortgage Program; be an active or retired member of a participating union, such as MM&P or the International Longshoremen’s Association; be a veteran of the U.S. armed forces; apply within 90 days after closing on your mortgage. For more information and to receive a grant application, visit

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In response to a high level of demand, MITAGS has added a session of LMS for the week of Nov. 17 and a course for BT Revalidation. Please check the schedule at the end of every issue of The Wheelhouse Weekly for course schedules. Send an e-mail to for more information.

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In response to requests, MITAGS has added an additional ECDIS course to the schedule. The course will be held beginning onDec. 1. All other sessions for the rest of the year are already full. Please send an e-mail to if you are interested in signing up for the Dec. 1 course.

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MITAGS needs your current address! Have you moved recently? Did you remember to send MITAGS your new address for communications regarding courses? Please send your current contact information to or to the fax number below.

New dedicated fax line for Admissions only: 1-443-568-1928. For all other MITAGS business, please continue to use: 410-859-5181.

For class availability or information on MITAGS courses and programs, contact Kelly Michielli, Admissions Coordinator, toll-free at 866-656-5568 or by e-mail: . Why not try our on-line calendar to register for class:

Please note the special addition to our on-campus schedule of MSC classes marked with an asterisk (*), which are not normally scheduled to be held at MITAGS.

AB – 10/13/14, 4/13/15, 8/17/15, 10/12/15

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: Contact Admissions

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 11/18/14, 1/20/15, 3/31/15, 8/4/15, 9/22/15

AZIPOD 2-Day –10/9/14, 2/2/15

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 1/26/15, 3/23/15

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 11/20/14, 2/4/15, 3/2/15, 4/13/15, 5/20/15, 6/17/15, 7/16/15, 11/9/15

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling: 3/4/15, 4/8/15

BT – Basic Safety Training: 1/19/15, 2/9/15, 4/6/15, 6/8/15

BT-Revalidation –8/5/15, 11/3/15

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 10/27/14, 4/13/15

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVNAV-CMM – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): 11/10/14

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 1/19/15, 4/20/15, 6/15/15, 7/27/15, 9/28/15

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 1/12/15, 4/13/15, 6/1/15, 8/3/15, 10/19/15

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 4/27/15, 10/5/15

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 10/20/14, 11/10/14, 12/1/14, 1/5/15, 4/6/15, 6/8/15

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM): 11/17/14, 12/8/14, 1/26/15, 3/30/15,6/22/15

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 10/27/14, 3/2/15, 11/16/15

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 10/13/14, 3/9/15, 9/14/15

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 10/20/14, 11/3/14, 12/1/14, 2/2/15, 3/9/15

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 10/27/14, 11/10/14, 12/8/14, 2/9/15, 3/16/15

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 11/17/14, 3/23/15

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 11/3/14, 5/11/15, 11/9/15

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 11/3/14, 4/27/15, 11/9/15

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: 7/9/15

DDE – Great Lakes: 1/26/15, 6/1/15

DPA – 10/27

ECDIS-OIC – 2/16/15

ECDIS-Pilots – 3/2/15, 6/15/15, 7/14/15, 11/12/15

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 12/1/14

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 1/19/15, 2/9/15, 4/6/15, 6/8/15

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 11/19/14, 4/15/15, 5/19/15

GL Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: 1/23/15

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 3/16/15, 6/1/15, 8/24/15

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 11/17/14, 6/22/15, 8/31/15, 11/16/15

LAP- 4/6/15, 9/14/15

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes: 1/26/15

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License: 1/5/15, 3/2/15, 6/1/15

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 11/20/14, 3/3/15, 4/15/15, 5/20/15

LNG-TPIC – 5/11/15

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 3/30/15

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 11/3/14, 12/1/14, 1/5/15, 3/16/15, 4/20/15, 6/15/15

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 10/13/14, 3/2/15, 5/11/15

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 10/20/14, 11/3/14, 12/1/14, 1/5/15, 3/16/15, 4/20/15, 6/15/15

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 10/12/14, 11/8/14, 12/6/14, 1/10/15, 1/24/15, 3/21/15, 4/25/15, 6/20/15

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: Contact Admissions

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 2/26/15, 8/19/15, 11/1/15

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (4 Evenings): 2/23/15, 8/17/15, 10/26/15

*MSC-ENVPRO – 2/15/15, 8/16/15, 10/31/15

*MSC-FF-HELO – 2/10/15, 8/3/15, 11/2/15

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 11/10/14, 2/16/15, 8/8/15, 10/23/15

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – 11/14/14, 2/20/15, 8/6/15, 10/21/15

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced –11/17/14, 2/22/15, 8/12/15, 10/27/15

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force –11/18/14, 2/23/15, 8/13/15, 10/28/15

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 11/17/14, 1/19/15, 3/30/15

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 10/15/14, 10/29/14, 11/12/14, 12/3/14, 12/10/14, 1/7/15, 1/14/15, 1/28/15, 2/4/15, 2/18/15, 3/6/15, 3/18/15, 4/1/15, 4/15/15, 4/29/15, 5/6/15, 5/13/15, 6/3/15, 6/17/15

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 1/12/15, 2/2/15, 3/23/15, 6/1/15, 7/27/15

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue –10/13/14, 4/6/15

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 11/17/14, 2/16/15, 5/11/15, 6/22/15, 11/2/15

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day: 1/19/15, 3/2/15, 4/27/15, 7/27/15, 9/28/15

SMS – Contact Admissions

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 1/26/15, 8/3/15

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 1/5/15, 7/6/15

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 2/23/15, 8/3/15

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – Train the Trainer: Contact Admissions

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties:

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 10/22/14, 2/4/15, 5/20/15

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): 3/2/15, 9/28/15

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 2/23/15, 9/14/15

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Please also see our schedule online at For registration, send an e-mail to our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen, at or call her at (206) 838-1126.

October 2014

13th Management and Teamworking Skills
14-17 ARPA
20-24 ECDIS
20-24 Basic Stability
20-31 GMDSS
27-29 Emergency Procedures
30-31 Search and Rescue

November 2014

3-7 Medical Care Provider
3-14 Medical Person-In-Charge
10-21 GMDSS
17-20 ARPA

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The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, & Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 700 Maritime Blvd. Suite B, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1953. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973. All rights reserved. The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly © 2014. Articles can be reprinted without prior permission if credit is given to The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly. For new subscriptions or address changes, send an e-mail to Back issues of The Weekly are posted on