Wheelhouse Weekly – Apr. 5, 2016

April 5th 2016

Volume 21 . . . Number 14. . . April 5, 2016


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As the political campaign season shifts into high gear, those opposed to the programs that support the American Merchant Marine are stepping up their efforts.

Opponents of the U.S.-flag fleet will seize any opportunity to advance their own interests at the expense of our industry, the military and economic security of our nation and American maritime jobs.

Food Aid in the Crosshairs

U.S.-flag cargo preference requirements for PL 480 food aid have come under attack in the House Committee on the Budget. The committee’s draft Fiscal Year 2017 budget resolution states: “Eliminating cargo preferences . . . in international food aid would improve shipping flexibility and produce more cost-effective procurement procedures.”

The committee’s report says PL 480 Food for Peace—widely considered the world’s most effective program of its kind–has serious shortcomings that result “primarily from enduring program constraints, including the cargo preference (which dictates at least 50 percent of food aid must be shipped on U.S.-flagged vessels).”

We won’t take this attack lying down. MM&P, MIRAID and others in our industry will fight to preserve the buy and ship USA components of the Food for Peace program which ensure that American farmers, American longshore workers and America’s maritime industry continue to participate in the production, handling and shipping of U.S. food aid to people in need around the world.

Jones Act Foes Are At It Again: This Time, in Puerto Rico

Jones Act opponents see an opening in the debt crisis in Puerto Rico. The conservative advocacy group Heritage Action is demanding that members of Congress oppose any debt relief legislation that does not either exempt Puerto Rico from the Jones Act or repeal the Jones Act outright.

“Congress should fully repeal the Jones Act, which would promote competition, strengthen the economy and benefit American consumers,” the group says.

Stand With Us in the Fight to Protect American Maritime Jobs

MM&P and MIRAID have joined forces with others in our industry to oppose these attacks.

We know that turning over domestic maritime commerce to foreign owned, controlled and crewed vessels will weaken our economy, imperil national security and cost thousands of American maritime workers their jobs.

Can we count on you? It’s essential that we be able to support the election campaigns of the men and women who stand shoulder to shoulder with us in the fight to preserve American maritime jobs.

The MM&P Political Contribution Fund (PCF) supports any member of Congress, regardless of party affiliation or political ideology, who supports the U.S.-flag fleet!

Please go to and make a contribution today.

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The Supreme Court handed America’s labor unions a big win on March 29 when the justices deadlocked 4-4 in the case of Friedrichs vs. California Teachers Association. The tie vote affirms a lower court ruling that had found in favor of the teachers’ union.

If the outcome had been different, public sector unions nationwide would have been barred from collecting fees from employees who benefit from the contracts negotiated by unions but don’t want to contribute to the cost of union representation.

Under California law, public employees who choose not to join unions—and no one can be forced to become a union member–must pay a “fair share” service fee, also known as an agency fee.

The fees, the law says, are meant to pay for collective bargaining activities. More than 20 states have similar laws. All of them would have been nullified by a Supreme Court ruling in favor of the plaintiffs in the case.

Many believe that a decision in favor of the plaintiffs would have virtually wiped out public sector unions.

The tie vote demonstrates that the death of Justice Antonin Scalia has diminished the power of the court’s anti-labor conservative wing. During hearings on the case in January, the court’s conservative members, Scalia included, had shown they were inclined to rule against the unions.

The case was brought by 10 California public schoolteachers in a legal challenge funded by the Koch brothers and a group of corporate CEOs. In an unusual twist, the group had asked the lower courts to rule against its clients so they could file an appeal with the Supreme Court as soon as possible.

“Millions of working people who understand the importance of their unions in bettering their lives and the well-being of their communities are breathing a sigh of relief today,” said American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten. “Even so, we know this fight is far from over.”

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The American Maritime Partnership (AMP) has recognized U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) with the 2016 Champion of Maritime Award.

Hirono is being honored for her commitment to the U.S.-flag fleet as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and as Ranking Member of the Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Energy.

“America’s maritime industry is vital to our island state, accounting for thousands of jobs and infusing $1.8 billion into Hawaii’s economy each year,” she says.

“A strong domestic maritime industry is critical to accessing the goods local families need to lead productive, healthy lives, and that’s why I will continue to advocate for the Jones Act and other measures that support this vital segment of our economy and national security.”

“Senator Hirono’s unwavering support for the domestic American maritime industry… underlines what a champion of maritime should be,” said AMP Chairman Tom Allegretti.

“As ranking member of the Armed Services Subcommittee, Senator Hirono understands the value of sustaining a strong maritime industry, and because of her hard work in the Senate, it is our pleasure to honor her with the Champion of Maritime Award.”

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Captain George A. Quick, who represents MM&P in numerous national and international forums and serves as vice president of the union’s Pilot Membership Group, will be honored with an award for life-time achievement at the April 11 dinner of the Marine Society of the City of New York.

An expert on the maritime industry and an eloquent advocate for the world’s seafarers, he currently serves on the delegation of the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) to the IMO Maritime Safety Committee, the IMO Legal Committee and the IMO Facilitation Committee.

He is one of the foremost authorities on the laws and regulations affecting maritime pilots in the United States and around the world and has served as president of the Maryland Pilots Association and president of the Baltimore Maritime Exchange.

His areas of expertise include international and U.S. maritime law, fatigue and workload standards, training and the human element in ship operations, integrated navigation systems and bridge design, and the future role of electronic navigation and technology in the operation of ships.

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MM&P member Richard Phillips, master of the MAERSK ALABAMA when it was hijacked by pirates in 2009, will be the keynote speaker at Leadership Howard County, on the morning of April 14, at the Turf Valley Resort.

Phillips became the center of a riveting international drama in 2009 when he was captured and held hostage for days in a lifeboat during the course of the hijacking. The story was detailed in his book and later in the movie “Captain Phillips,” which starred Tom Hanks.

Leadership Howard County is a local Maryland non-profit that works to empower senior level business people, community managers, administrators and government employees to assume leadership roles in public organizations, boards of directors and community partnership groups.

The event, which begins at 1100 on April 14, is their major fundraiser. Speakers selected to keynote the event are leaders with inspiring stories.

Tickets are $100 for the general public and $75 for students, members of the military, veterans and employees of non-profits.

Go to to register and to find out more. All proceeds will go to benefit Leadership Howard County programs and scholarships.

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Long-time MM&P member Captain Peter S. Smith died suddenly Sunday morning after being transported to a nearby hospital from MITAGS, where he was on site to teach a course. Peter joined the MM&P Offshore Group in 1964 and served the union as a convention delegate. He first sailed as master in 1980 aboard the JACKSONVILLE with Sealand Service. At the time of his retirement, he was sailing as master aboard the HORIZON RELIANCE. He retired in 2008, with 44.75 years of service, and returned to MITAGS to teach.

“Peter was a greatly respected ship’s master and union brother,” said MM&P President Don Marcus. “His sudden passing has shocked all of us at MM&P Headquarters and MITAGS. Our hearts go out to his widow and family.”

More information will be published in the MM&P publications when it becomes available.

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People who assault airline employees must be held responsible under federal law, says the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department (TTD). Current law makes it a crime to assault flight crew but includes no protection for the “front line” employees who staff the ticket counters at our nation’s airports.

“Across the country, customer service agents have reported violent attacks by passengers,” says TTD President Ed Wytkind. “Some have been kneed and punched in the face; some have had to dodge projectile luggage; others have had their clothes torn. One employee reported being surrounded by several members of the same family who pushed, shoved and harassed her until co-workers intervened.”

The federal law that protects flight crews does not apply to customer service representatives. Local jurisdictions decide when or if to prosecute perpetrators, or whether to report an incident in the first place. In the vast majority of cases, violent passengers face no charges and are allowed to continue on their trips as though nothing happened.

A simple change to an already existing law, spearheaded by Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.), would fix this problem.

Under current federal law it is illegal to interfere with a pilot’s or a flight attendant’s ability to perform his or her job. The same statute also creates stricter sentencing guidelines for cases involving assaults on cockpit and cabin crew members. The provision agreed to in the House Aviation Innovation and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act–proposed by Garamendi–aims to expand this law to include customer service representatives who work at airports.

But when the Senate Commerce Committee reported its version of the FAA Reauthorization last month, it did not include the Garamendi provision. Rather, the Senate’s version requires the federal government to conduct a study on the problem.

“Studies are usually the alternative to actually doing something in Congress,” Wytkind says. “We do not need more federal studies while airline employees are getting beaten up.”

TTD’s 32 member unions, including MM&P, are calling for the Senate study plan to be scrapped and the House language to be included moving forward in any FAA bill.

“Yes, too often air travelers face long lines, crowded terminals, delayed and cancelled flights, and lost baggage,” Wytkind says. “They get frustrated and perhaps angry. But when those feelings result in punching, kicking or spitting on passenger service employees, something is seriously wrong.”

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MM&P headquarters is seeking a qualified candidate to be contracts officer. The position requires a high level of proficiency in Microsoft Excel, as well as excellent spoken and written business communications skills. Necessary qualifications include a college degree. A post-graduate degree in labor relations, business or law would be advantageous, but is not required. The position is based at MM&P Headquarters in Linthicum Heights, MD. Generous benefit package; pay commensurate with experience.

Interested candidates can submit a resume to MM&P Human Resources Director Patrice Wooten (

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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is seeking a director for the office of Marine Safety. This is a Senior Executive Service (SES) level opening that closes on April 18. SES members possess a diverse portfolio of experiences including strong skills to lead across organizations.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency responsible for investigating significant accidents in the various modes of transportation. The NTSB determines the probable cause of each accident and issues safety recommendations to prevent future accidents.

The Office of Marine Safety investigates all major marine casualties that occur in the United States or that involve U.S.-flagged vessels anywhere in the world. To find out more and to apply, go to or search MS-1653653-LM.

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The Offshore Orientation Course will be held in the San Francisco/Oakland Hall on April 13-14. Interested applicants should sign up with the San Francisco/Oakland dispatcher: 415-777-5074(phone); 415-777-0209 (fax). There is no sea-time requirement to take the course. All Offshore applicants, potential transferees from other membership groups and other interested Offshore members are encouraged to take the course as soon as possible.

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On Sunday, May 22, the annual National Maritime Day Observance and Memorial Service will be held at the American Merchant Marine Veterans Memorial at Harbor Boulevard and 6th Street in San Pedro at 1000.

The service is hosted by the American Merchant Marine Veterans Memorial Committee. It honors American Merchant Mariners who have served their country in peace and war since the American Revolution–when they acted as our first Navy–until the present day.

Organizations wishing to send wreaths to be displayed during and after the services are requested to have them delivered to the memorial site by 0900 on Sunday, May 22. Massey’s Florist on Western Avenue in Lomita (310-325-8222) has provided very good service and is the preferred florist of the committee.

The committee is again planning to have an interesting program, with national, state, and city officials invited to participate as speakers.

The committee is seeking sponsors to help us this year by purchasing an advertisement in our 2016 program booklet.

A luncheon will be held immediately following the National Maritime Day Observance at the Ports O’Call Restaurant located at Berth 76 in Ports O’Call Village. A no host bar will open at 1100 hours, with lunch being served at approximately 1130 hours. Parking is available in Ports O’Call with transportation provided to and from the memorial service.

The committee cordially invites all sponsors and the general public to attend the National Maritime Day Observance and luncheon. For more information, please contact Paul Nielsen at (310) 325 3506.

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The Coast Guard is warning of “a spike in ransomware infections impacting multiple organizations in maritime, health care, law enforcement and the emergency services sectors.”

Ransomware is a type of malware that restricts a user’s access to the infected computer with the aim of extorting money. Victims will see an on-screen alert that states, for example, that their computer has been locked or that all their files have been encrypted, and demands that a ransom be paid to restore access. The ransom typically ranges from $100 to $10,000, and is sometimes demanded in virtual currency, such as Bitcoin.

Ransomware is spread through phishing e-mails that contain malicious attachments or links and by drive-by downloading. Drive-by downloading occurs when a user visits an infected website and malware is downloaded and installed unbeknownst to the user. Crypto ransomware, a variant that encrypts files, is typically spread through similar methods, and has also been spread through Web-based instant messaging applications.

One recently observed variant, “Locky,” encrypts certain file types present in the user’s system and is capable of spreading via network shares. The compromised user is asked to pay the attacker to get the files decrypted: typically 1 Bitcoin ($415).

Researchers have observed over 400,000 cases of Locky ransomware proliferating through multiple sectors. The malware is typically propagated via e-mails which contain an attachment in the form of a malicious Microsoft Office document which contains a macro. The malicious file is typically a Word document (.doc or .docx file) or an Excel workbook (.xls file or .xlsx file). Macros can run in an Office application only if Macro Settings are set to “Enable All Macros” or if the user manually enables a macro.

Paying the ransom does not guarantee the encrypted files will be released; it only guarantees that the malicious actors receive the victim’s money; and in some cases, their banking information. In addition, decrypting files does not mean the malware infection itself has been removed.

The Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team, the FBI and CGCYBER recommend users and administrators take the following measures to protect their computer networks from ransomware:

— perform regular backups of all critical information to limit the impact of data or system loss and to help expedite the recovery process–ideally, the data should be kept on a separate device and backups should be stored offline;

— maintain up-to-date anti-virus software;

— keep your operating system and software up-to-date with the latest patches;

— be suspicious: do not click on any e-mails or attachments you do not recognize, and avoid suspicious websites;

— enable pop-up blockers—pop-ups are regularly used by criminals to spread malicious software. To avoid accidental clicks on or within pop-ups, it is best to prevent them from appearing in the first place.

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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 Elisabeth Cruz, 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 – 4/18/16, 8/22/16, 10/17/16

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: 5/27/16, 7/22/16

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 8/9/16, 9/27/16

AZIPOD 2-Day – 5/23/16, 11/14/16

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 8/8/16, 10/31/16

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 05/23/2016, 7/18/16, 11/14/16

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling: 04/19/16

BT – Basic Safety Training: 04/11/16, 06/27/16, 8/15/16, 10/10/16

BT-Revalidation – 05/10/16, 8/22/16, 10/31/16

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 4/25/16, 11/14/16

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVNAV-CMM – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): Contact Admissions

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 06/20/16, 8/1/16, 10/17/16

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 06/06/16, 8/8/16, 11/7/16

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 10/24/16

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 06/13/16, 7/25/16, 8/15/16, 9/12/16,10/10/16, 11/28/16, 12/19/16

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM) 4/11/16, 4/25/16,5/9/16, 5/16/16, 5/23/16, 6/27/16, 7/11/16, 7/25/16, 8/1/16, 8/8/16, 8/15/16,8/22/16, 9/12/16,10/3/16, 10/31/16, 11/14/16,11/28/16, 12/5/16, 12/12/16, 12/19/16

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 05/02/16, 9/19/16

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: 6/20/16, 8/1/16, 10/31/16

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 04/18/16, 10/3/16

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 04/18/16, 05/09/16, 06/13/16, 7/18/16,8/15/16, 9/12/16, 10/24/16, 11/7/16, 12/5/16

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 04/25/16, 05/16/16, 06/20/16, 7/25/16,8/22/16, 9/19/16, 10/31/16, 11/14/16, 12/12/16

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 9/12/16

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 05/09/16, 9/26/16

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 05/02/16, 10/24/16

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: 7/19/16

DDE – Great Lakes: 6/6/16

DPA – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-OIC – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-Pilots – 05/25/16, 7/20/16, 11/14/16

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 4/18/16, 5/9/16, 7/18/16, 8/22/16, 9/26/16, 10/24/16, 11/14/16, 11/28/16, 12/5/16, 12/12/16, 12/19/16

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 06/27/16, 8/15/16, 10/10/16

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 04/19/16, 4/27/16, 5/16/13, 6/1/16, 6/15/16, 9/20/16

GL Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: Contact Admissions

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 8/22/16

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 6/27/16, 8/29/16, 12/5/16

LAP- 9/19/16

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes: Contact Admissions

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License: 06/06/16, 8/8/16, 12/5/16

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 4/20/16, 5/23/16, 7/19/16, 9/21/16, 11/15/16

LNG-TPIC – 12/5/16

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 4/28/16, 7/12/16, 9/26/16, 10/26/16*, 11/14/16*, 12/19/16* (*Evening Session)

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control: 4/25/16, 5/16/16, 7/11/16, 8/29/16, 9/19/16, 10/17/16, 11/7/16, 11/28/16, 12/5/16, 12/12/16, 12/19/16

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 05/16/16, 7/11/16, 11/7/16, 12/12/16

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 05/02/16, 8/29/16, 10/3/16

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 05/16/16, 11/7/16, 11/28/16, 12/12/16

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 05/14/16, 8/28/16, 11/12/16, 12/17/16

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: Contact Admissions

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 6/10/16, 8/10/16, 10/17/16

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control: 6/8/16, 8/8/16, 10/18/16

*MSC-ENVPRO – 6/5/16, 8/7/16, 10/16/16

*MSC-FF-HELO – 6/6/16, 8/22/16, 10/31/16

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 6/13/16, 8/14/16, 10/23/16

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – 6/11/16, 8/11/16, 10/20/16

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced – 6/17/16, 8/13/16, 10/22/16

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force – 6/18/16, 8/18/16, 10/27/16

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P – 5/23/16, 7/26/16, 10/25/16

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 5/9/16, 8/8/16, 9/26/16

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 4/13/16, 04/20/16, 05/04/16, 05/18/16, 06/08/16, 06/22/16, 7/13/16, 7/27/16, 8/10/16, 8/24/16, 9/21/16, 10/5/16, 10/19/16, 11/2/16, 11/9/16, 11/16/16, 11/30/16, 12/7/16, 12/14/16

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 8/1/16

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue – 04/18/16, 11/7/16

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 04/11/16, 06/27/16, 8/29/16, 10/17/16

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day: 05/02/16, 8/1/16, 10/3/16, 11/28/16

SMS – Contact Admissions

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 8/8/16

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 7/11/16

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 8/8/16

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – Contact Admissions

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: Contact Admissions

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 04/25/16, 7/13/16, 9/7/16, 10/22/16

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): 10/3/16

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 9/19/16

Back to Stories Covered


Please also see our schedule and enroll online at For registration contact our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen: 206.838.1126 or

March 2016

30-31 Leadership for Shoreside Managers

April 2016

11th Radar Renewal
11-22 GMDSS
18-22 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
18-22 Medical Care Provider
18-22 MEECE (waitlist only)
25-29 ECDIS
27-29 Bridge Resource Management & Emergency Shiphandling for Pilots

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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 © 2015. Articles can be reprinted without prior permission if credit is given to The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly. For address changes, send an e-mail to Back issues of The Weekly are posted on