News

Wheelhouse Weekly – October 25, 2010

October 25th 2010

 

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

Volume 14 . . . . . Number 43. . . .October 25, 2010

STORIES COVERED

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


MM&P AND MEBA WILL VIGOROUSLY OPPOSE ATTEMPT TO OUTSOURCE CIVILIAN MARINER JOBS AS PART OF AVONDALE SHIPYARD BUILD-AND-CHARTER SCHEME

MM&P and the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA) will fight to protect the jobs of the civilian mariners who crew America’s fleet replenishment oilers. These CIVMAR jobs are now being threatened by a scheme put forward as part of a plan to salvage the jobs of workers at Avondale Shipyard.

The two unions are expressing their “adamant opposition” to a scheme devised by a potential purchaser of the Avondale Shipyard that would eliminate the jobs of the civilian mariners as part of a “build-and-charter” scheme.

Northrop Grumman announced last month it would close the shipyard despite the U.S. Navy’s decision to speed up plans to build there. In September, the first round of Avondale workers received pink slips from the company, telling them not to return to work. Northrop Grumman plans to lay-off all 5,000 of Avondale’s workers and permanently shutter the shipyard.

In a letter to AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, MM&P International President Timothy Brown and MEBA President Don Keefe said the two unions “appreciate and fully support efforts to save the jobs of the thousands of American workers directly and indirectly affected by Northrup Grumman’s decision to close the Avondale Shipyard in 2013.”

But the unions said a proposal by Cleveland Ships LLC to link future construction of vessels at Avondale with a scheme to contract out their operation and existing shipboard jobs “would do little more than give one group of American workers the opportunity to keep their jobs by throwing other American workers—the men and women we represent—out of work.”

The union presidents said they stand ready to meet with Trumka to discuss the matter further.


IN SAN FRANCISCO, UNIONS BEAT BACK PLAN TO PUT JONES ACT EXEMPTION IN CITY’S BID TO HOST 2013 AMERICA’S CUP

An attempt to include a wholesale, open-ended waiver of the Jones Act as part of the City of San Francisco’s bid to host the 34th America’s Cup was defeated by a coalition of maritime unions with the help of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and several pro-labor members of Congress. 

If the measure had been approved, it would have allowed foreign-flagged transport ships, foreign passenger ships and foreign spectator vessels to operate in the Bay and along the West Coast of the United States. The organizers of the event had in fact included in their proposal a provision calling for the federal government to exempt the entire event from the Jones Act.

Observers seeking to reconstruct the story say the San Francisco Mayor’s office, unaware of the impact of the Jones Act exemption, initially agreed to the proposal, which had been included by the promoters. Specifically, the provision, entitled “Jones Act Exemption,” called for San Francisco “to use best efforts to obtain federal legislation to exempt the event from the Jones Act to the extent necessary to authorize foreign-flagged yacht transportation ships to stop in more than one U.S. port, and foreign-flagged racing, support and spectator vessels to lawfully undertake the transportation and race related activities (including the transportation of spectators) contemplated in the Event Plan.”

Opposing the sneak attack on the Jones Act was a coalition of maritime unions that included the Sailors’ Union of the Pacific (SUP), MM&P, the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association, the Marine Firemen’s Union and the International Boatmen’s Union. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, a staunch supporter of the American Merchant Marine, also stepped into the fray on behalf of maritime labor. Ultimately, the Jones Act exemption was removed from the proposal before it was voted on and passed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. 

“On behalf of the unions, many thanks to Speaker Pelosi for her timely assistance,” said SUP President Gunnar Lundeberg. He also expressed gratitude to Reps. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.) and George Miller (D-Calif.). “Without their help, it would have been much more difficult to turn the tide,” Lundeberg said.


FEMA GRANTS MAY NOW GO TO FUND TRANSPORTATION FOR SEAFARERS AT MARINE TERMINALS

Maritime attorney Dennis Bryant reports that the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) Grant Programs Directorate has issued a bulletin (346) regarding its Port Security Grant Program (PSGP) which specifies that projects to promote the “safe and secure transit of seafarers and shore staff” are among those that may be funded. Effective in September, when the bulletin was issued, PSGP awards may be used to fund projects that will ensure the safe and secure transit of seafarers and shore staff/support to and from the vessel while at a Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) regulated facility. The following types of costs are approved for use of PSGP grant funds: passenger vans accommodating up to 15 passengers; mini-buses; closed-circuit television systems (CCTV); and portable fencing systems with a minimum height of eight feet.

“MM&P has closely monitored the issue of seafarers’ access through every available forum, international and domestic,” said MM&P International President Timothy Brown. “While this development is a step in the right direction, more needs to be done to ensure seafarers’ rights to fair and decent treatment, now and in the future. There are still facilities that will not allow seafarers ashore. U.S. law needs to be strengthened in this area.”


MM&P SUBMITS COMMENTS ON COAST GUARD PROPOSAL REGARDING U.S. RECOGNITION OF FOREIGN STCW CERTIFICATES

MM&P has submitted comments to the docket on a Coast Guard proposal regarding recognition of foreign-issued STCW certificates for employment on certain U.S. documented vessels. MM&P has consistently opposed the employment on U.S. vessels of foreign seafarers holding foreign certificates. Several years ago, however, a prior Congress waived, under very limited circumstances, the citizenship requirements for employment on some U.S. documented vessels, specifically Offshore Supply Vessels (OSVs) operating from foreign ports and Mobile Offshore Drilling Units (MODUs) operating beyond the waters of the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf. The issue received detailed coverage in the Oct. 18 Wheelhouse Weekly. To read MM&P’s comments on the recent Coast Guard proposal, go to www.bridgedeck.org and click on “What’s New.”


STRIKES CONTINUE AS FRENCH SENATE VOTES TO RAISE RETIREMENT AGE

In France, the Senate voted Friday to raise the minimum retirement age from 60 to 62, a victory for President Nicolas Sarkozy following weeks of nationwide demonstrations and strikes. The vote sealed passage of the highly unpopular measure, but it was unlikely to end the protests: more strikes have been called by students and unions for Oct. 26 and Nov. 8. Friday’s Senate vote of 177-153 came after some 140 hours of debate. The government finally succeeded in cutting short the debate via a constitutional maneuver that allowed it to expedite the process and rule on which of the more than 1,000 amendments are included in the finished bill.


SOMALI PIRATES HIJACK TWO MORE SHIPS WITH A TOTAL OF 30 CREWMEMBERS ABOARD

Somali pirates this weekend hijacked two more ships: an LPG tanker on Saturday and a German multipurpose vessel on Sunday. The German ship, BELUGA FORTUNE, was hijacked 1,200 nautical miles off the Kenyan coast. The tanker was seized 50 nautical miles east of Mombasa. There has been a report that the crew of the BELUGA FORTUNE has taken refuge in a safe room and that the ship itself is drifting without power in the Indian Ocean. There was initially a similar report from the LNG tanker YORK, but a Turkish warship reported that the vessel began moving the next day. There are 16 crewmembers aboard the German ship and 14 aboard the Singaporean-flagged LNG tanker.


WITH END OF MONSOON SEASON, MARAD WARNS OF UPSWING IN PIRATE ACTIVITY

The Maritime Administration is predicting even more attacks by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden and the waters off Somalia, now that the monsoon season is coming to an end. Better weather allows for small boat activity in the Gulf of Aden, the Red Sea, the Indian Ocean and the waters off the Horn of Africa. Recent attacks have occurred off the Kenyan and Tanzanian coasts, the Southern Red Sea, the Seychelles and the Maldives. At least 25 ships and a barge, and almost 450 people, are still being held for ransom by Somali pirates.


SOUTH CHINA SEA IS SCENE OF GROWING NUMBER OF PIRATE ATTACKS

The International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau is reporting a tripling of pirate activity in the South China Sea. There were 30 attacks in the South China Sea during the first nine months of 2010, IMB said, as pirates continue to expand their zone of operation, which now extends from the Red Sea to hundreds of miles east in the Indian Ocean. Somali pirates were responsible for 35 out of 39 hijackings that took place during the period. Worldwide, pirates boarded 128 vessels and fired at 52. A total of 70 vessels reported thwarting attacks. One crewmember was killed, 27 were injured and overall, 773 people were taken hostage. Increased naval activity and precautions by merchant ships have helped reduce the potential danger in the Gulf of Aden and off the East Coast of Somalia, the IMB said. There have been only 45 reported attacks in the Gulf of Aden this year compared with 100 in the January-September time frame last year.


ATTENTION VOTERS IN CALIFORNIA, FLORIDA, HAWAII, MARYLAND AND NEW YORK: UPDATES TO WHO WE SUPPORT SECTION OF WWW.BRIDGEDECK.ORG

All 435 members of the House of Representatives and 37 members of the Senate face re-election on Nov. 2. If you are a member of MM&P, you can go to www.bridgedeck.org to access a user friendly, state-by-state listing of the candidates for public office who have consistently demonstrated their support for the U.S.-flag maritime industry. Just go to the Members Only section and click on the “Who We Support” link. MM&P members and retirees in California, Florida, Hawaii, Maryland and New York should access the site to view a recent update regarding legislators who are locked in extremely close battles for election.

PLEASE NOTE: 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.


OFFSHORE SHIPPING AND WORK RULES COMMITTEE CONCLUDES MEETING

The Offshore Division Shipping and Work Rules Committee met last week at MM&P headquarters in Linthicum Heights to discuss changes to the Offshore Division Shipping Rules and Work Rules. The union extends a sincere thank you to the MM&P members who participated in the meetings: Dave Boatner, Rich Conway, Erik Cox, Wayne Farthing, Jim Hill, Roland Hobson, Don Marcus, Sean McNeice, Paul Mospens, Tom Sullivan, Lars Turner and Steve Werse. The meetings were productive and ballots are being prepared. More information will be published in The Wheelhouse Weekly as soon as it becomes available.


PLEASE NOTE: MM&P ATLANTIC PORTS MEETING IN NORFOLK ON 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 welcome to attend this meeting, at which MM&P Atlantic Ports Vice President Steve Werse and International Secretary-Treasurer Don Marcus will be present.

Please note that 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.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

Between now and the end of December 2010, 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.

ARPA � Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 11/30

BRM- Bridge Resource Management: 12/13
BRMP � Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 11/29

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVWX � Advanced Meteorology: 11/1
CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 11/1
CMM-CHS I – Advanced Cargo Operations (week 1): 11/8
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
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
CMM-SHS-ADV-I I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 11/1, 12/6
CMM-VPEN � Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 11/8, 12/6
CMM-WKP � Advanced Watchkeeping: 11/29

ENVIRO-Regs Permit � Environmental Regulations Permit: 11/10
ENAV � Electronic Navigation: 11/1

FSM � Fatique, Sleep and Medications for Pilots: 12/1

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

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 11/29

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


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

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

…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

October 2010

27th    Radar Renewal

November 2010

1-3       Security VCF
1-5       Medical Care Provider
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 10-22-10

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
11,146.57 2,459.67 1,180.26
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund (VAARX)
53.24
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
109.00
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
37.36
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
18.99
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
16.67
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
24.38
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
11.12
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
29.56
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.77
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
16.20
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
21.28
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
14.15
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
19.22
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
11.93
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
12.32
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
12.32
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
12.64
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
13.08
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.89
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
29.48
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
16.72
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
14.95
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
16.93
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.79
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
66.70
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
63.93
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
16.95
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
41.74
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
29.42
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
25.89
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.29
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
12.02
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
13.42
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
13.50
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
13.33
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
7.70
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
8.96
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
11.02
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
34.76
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
41.92
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
27.86



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.




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