Wheelhouse Weekly – April 02, 2013

April 2nd 2013


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

Volume 17 . . . Number 14. . . April 2, 2013

(Look in the archives for this weeks Special Edition.)



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


The MM&P Hall in San Juan, P.R., will be closed on Monday, April 15, for José De Diego’s Birthday, an ILA holiday.


Captain David C. Goff, 67, a member of the MM&P General Executive Board and the MM&P Representative in Port Everglades, Fla., died March 27. A friend and mentor to countless MM&P members and staffers over the course of many years, Dave was a lifelong active and committed crewmember of the World War II Liberty Ship JOHN W. BROWN.

Dave was an avid scholar of the history of the American Merchant Marine, and he was always eager to share his knowledge with others. For several years he wrote a history column, “Sailing Through Time,” for the MM&P magazine “The Master, Mate & Pilot.” He sailed as an MM&P officer for over 30 years, mostly with Navieras de Puerto Rico (NPR). He last sailed as captain for NPR CAROLINA.

Dave served as National Vice President of the American Merchant Marine Veterans Association. He was also the Pensioners’ Representative on the MM&P General Executive Board. Among his many activities on behalf of merchant mariners was work as an inspector in southern Florida for the International Transport Workers’ Federation.

“On behalf of the membership of Masters, Mates & Pilots, we wish to express our sadness on the passing of our steadfast Union Brother,” said MM&P International President Don Marcus. “An expert master mariner, trade unionist and chronicler of labor and maritime history, Dave was active in promoting his chosen profession, merchant mariners of all stripes and his Union Brothers and Sisters. MM&P has suffered a great loss.”

A memorial and celebration of Dave Goff’s life will be held at Galuppi’s, 1103 North Federal Highway, Pompano Beach, FL 33062 on Friday, April 5, from 12:00- 3:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the David Goff Memorial Fund at the non-profit organization Project Liberty Ship, PO Box 25846, Baltimore, MD 21224.


The president of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) was among 16 people arrested Monday in Charleston, W.Va., in a demonstration against coal conglomerate Peabody’s plan to eliminate health care benefits for 23,000 current and retired miners and their families. More than 10,000 people from several states participated in the rally in support of the miners. Besides UMWA President Cecil Roberts, speakers included U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, Congressman Nick Rahall, Gov. Earl Ray Tomlin and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

In a complex legal operation, Peabody Coal created Patriot in 2007 as a repository for its liabilities, including employee health care and pension costs. Patriot filed for bankruptcy in July 2012 and is now trying to end the conglomerate’s obligation to cover retiree health care and pensions. In tandem with the push to end health care benefits, Patriot filed a motion in bankruptcy court to pay $6 million to 120 senior executives and managers. In a third piece of the puzzle, another coal company, Arch, deposited its own retiree obligations into a spinoff called Magnum Coal, which was then purchased by the now-bankrupt Patriot. Senior managers regularly move back and forth among all the companies in the group. Peabody and Arch reported profits of $2.5 billion over the past three years.

The miners’ union has sued Peabody and Arch, claiming they deliberately set up Patriot to fail so pension and health care benefits could be shed. The West Virginia House of Delegates and Senate have adopted resolutions calling for Patriot Coal to honor its commitments to current and past employees.

Monday was the third time since January that UMWA President Cecil Roberts has been arrested in protests. “These workers put their health and their lives on the line every single day to produce coal,” Roberts says. “For Patriot to now take millions of dollars that would help keep people alive and pass it around to already well-paid executives and managers is just wrong… UMWA members are solid as the rock we mine for a living. We will not rest until we win justice for the workers who were promised health care benefits in exchange for a lifetime of hazardous work.”

To find out how you can help support the miners’ fight for justice, go to


Many Michigan labor unions that represent public employees are signing long-term contracts with school districts, institutions of higher learning and local governments before the state’s “right-to-work” law—now blocked in court—takes effect. Because the Michigan law does not apply to contracts already in place, public employee unions had a window of opportunity since its passage in December to bargain. Some unions succeeded in securing contracts that will effectively delay the law’s impact for ten years.

“Right-to-work” laws allow people who don’t pay union dues to enjoy all the benefits of working under a union-negotiated contract. Although Michigan is the 24th U.S. state to pass a “right-to-work” law, the move came as a shock because of the state’s relatively high rate of union membership and its iconic role in the modern labor movement in this country. “Right-to-work” states are generally characterized by lower wages, lower living standards, higher rates of workplace fatalities and reduced access to health care.

In Michigan, a coalition of labor unions and civil rights groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), is still fighting the legislation in court, charging that lawmakers illegally debated it while the public was locked out of the Capitol. The ACLU filed an amended complaint in late January alleging that the Capitol building lockdown was part of a “larger overall effort by a slim majority of legislators to evade public accountability for taking unpopular legislative action.”

According to the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a free-market think tank, at least 37 Michigan school districts have agreed to or extended contracts with their employee unions since “right-to-work” passed in December. Some local government employers have come out strongly against the law. The Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution in February calling for its repeal, saying it is “designed to weaken labor unions and their ability to serve their members.” The Board approved 10-year agreements with unions representing about 700 county employees before the law took effect. A spokesman for the Board said the long-term contracts provide the county with stability and certainty about its personnel costs over a 10-year period.

Republicans in the Michigan State Legislature have countered by introducing legislation that would cut state funding for local government bodies and higher education institutions that sign long-term contracts in advance of the law’s implementation. Many schools could lose as much as 15 percent of their expected state funding if these bills become law. This includes $27.5 million at Wayne State University in Detroit, which just approved an eight-year contract with its faculty, and $47.3 million at the University of Michigan, which has just reached tentative five-year agreements with five employee unions. Republican Governor Rick Snyder has not yet indicated whether he would sign the budget measures being considered.


Please visit to see our redesigned website! We’ve simplified navigation, posted new photos of our members and contracted vessels, and added more information about the work that the union and its advocacy arm, MIRAID, are carrying out in Washington, D.C., to defend members’ interests. We’ve also added a Twitter feed and links to the MM&P Facebook page and YouTube channel. And don’t forget: on, prospective members will find all the information they need to start the application process to join the union! Just scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the name of the Membership Group you want to join. Check out our new look today at


MM&P International Secretary-Treasurer Steve Werse will join Atlantic Ports Vice President Don Josberger at the union meeting on April 10 in the Norfolk Hall.


The Offshore Familiarization Course will be offered at the Los Angeles Hall on April 10-11 and Oct. 9-10. For more information or to sign up, please contact the Los Angeles Hall: 310-834-7201.


The Coast Guard will hold a public meeting in Arlington, Va., at 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. on April 18 to receive comments on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on TWIC Reader Requirements. One or more additional meetings regarding the proposals may take place in the future, and notice will be provided if a meeting does occur. The notice for the upcoming meeting is posted at


The Coast Guard’s Navigation Safety Advisory Council will hold a meeting in Arlington, Va., from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. on April 10 and 11 to discuss issues relating to: maritime collisions and groundings; navigation regulations and equipment; routing measures; and driving safety. If you wish to attend, please register by contacting Burt Lahn (202/372-1526 or The agenda for the meeting is posted at:


From now until May 31, MM&P members and their families can save an additional 1% on the already low cost of our auto and personal loans. For the next 72 days, in fact, we’re reducing all our rates by 1%. Until May 31, the starting rate on our already low-priced auto loan will be reduced to an incredible 1.50% (according to, the average 4-year auto loan rate was 2.65 on March 18). This means that for clients who qualify for the starting rate, the MM&P Federal Credit Union can save members and their families more than $483 on a $20,000 auto loan!

The rates on our personal loans, which now start at 5.00%, will also be reduced by another 1% across the board until the end of May, which means that qualified borrowers can get a loan rate as low as 4%! Act now to take advantage of this great offer.

It’s easy to save money and time with MM&P Federal Credit Union: ; send an e-mail to or call us toll free at 800-382-7777 (we’re open Monday-Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Friday from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.)

And remember: if you’re sick and tired of bank fees, the credit union offers free checking accounts; surcharge-free ATMs through the 30,000 terminal CO-OP ATM Network; and free electronic bill pay. Contact us today to take advantage of our convenient, low-cost services and great new rates!


Knowing the right number to call can save you valuable time. Please make a note of the following phone numbers for all your MM&P Health & Benefit questions.

General Health & Benefit Plan Questions: 877-667-5522; select Option 1

Check Your Claim Status: 877-667-5522, ext. 607

Health & Benefit Eligibility: 877-667-5522, ext. 607

Changes to Your Status (marriage, children, etc.): 887-667-5522, ext. 607

Employment Verification: 887-667-5522, ext. 629

Questions About Your Pension: 887-667-5522, ext. 617 or 629

Retired Pensioners/Death Benefits: 887-667-5522, ext. 647

Vacation: 887-667-5522, ext. 625

IRAP/401K Questions: 887-667-5522, ext. 625


Divers today were assessing the damage to the Sarah Long Bridge after a 473-foot tanker carrying tallow oil allided with it on Monday afternoon. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Northern New England received a report from MV HARBOUR FEATURE saying that the ship had lost power and drifted into the bridge in bad weather. A spokesperson for the New Hampshire Department of Transportation said the bridge, which was immediately closed to traffic, has been severely damaged.


Maersk Lines is offering masters and chief mates a five-day course on handling the CV6500-class containerships. The course will provide familiarization with the characteristics of the new class of vessel and will also fulfill the company’s emergency shiphandling course requirements. Please call or e-mail the MITAGS Admissions Office to enroll. The courses are open to any eligible MM&P member, but permanent masters and chief mates sailing for Maersk will be given preference. The schedule is as follows: April 22-26 (five attendees); May 6-10 (five attendees); May 20-24 (five attendees); June 3-7 (five attendees); June 10-14 (five attendees).

Between now and the end of June, the following courses are scheduled at MITAGS. (Please keep in mind, however, that the schedule may be subject to change.)

For class availability or information on courses and programs, contact MITAGS Admissions Coordinator Kelly Michielli toll free at 866-656-5568 or e-mail her at

Or, try our on-line calendar to register for class:

ARPA – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 4/2/2013

BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 5/12/13

BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 5/23/13

BST – Basic Safety Training: 4/8/13, 6/24/13

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 4/1/13, 6/17/13

CMM-ADVNAV – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): 6/3/13

CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 4/28/13

CMM-CHS – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 5/6/13

CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 5/20/13

CMM-SHMGT – Ship Management (2 weeks): 4/15/13

CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 4/1/13, 4/15/13, 5/6/13, 6/24/13

CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 4/8/13, 4/22/13, 5/13/13, 6/17/13

CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 4/8/13, 6/24/13

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning: 5/9/13

ENVIRO-Regs Permit – Environmental Regulations Permit: 5/23/13

ECDIS-ENAV for Pilots (2 day): 6/13/13

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep and Medications: 5/23/13

FF-BADV – Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 4/8/13, 6/24/13

FL – Flashing Light: 4/1/13, 4/10/13

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 6/24/13

LAP – License Advancement Program for C/Mate & Master: 4/1/13

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 5/23/13

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 4/22/13, 6/10/13

MED-PIC -R– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 5/13/13

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 4/22/13, 6/10/13

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 4/13/13, 4/27/13, 6/15/13, 6/29/13

MSC -SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 6/3/13

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (4 Evenings): 6/3/13

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 6/7/13

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 4/3/13, 4/10/134/17/13, 5/1/13, 5/15/13, 5/22/13, 6/5/13, 6/19/13, 6/26/13

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 4/1/13

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal: 4/8/13

SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 4/29/13, 6/24/13 SEC-VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 5/6/13

SHS-ESH-BRMP3 – Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 5/20/13

… Remember: If you can’t make the class, make the call. Be courteous, don’t be a “no show.”

Check the MITAGS website at for course descriptions associated with the course title abbreviations.


Please also see our schedule online at
For registration, call our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen, at (206) 838-1126.

April 2013

3-5Vessel Security Officer
8thRadar Renewal
22-26Train the Trainer
29thMed DOT
29-3Medical Care Provider
29-10Medical Person-In-Charge

May 2013

6-7ECDIS for Pilots
6-10Basic Meteorology
13thRadar Renewal
14thRFPNW Assessments
21-23Bridge Resource Management for Pilots
29-30ECDIS for Pilots
29-31Vessel Security Officer

June 2013

3-21Terrestrial and Coastal Navigation
10thRadar Renewal
11-13Bridge Resource Management for Pilots (3-day)
14thFatigue, Sleep, and Medications for Pilots
24-28Radar Observer Unlimited
24-28Medical Care Provider
27-28Bridge Resource Management for Pilots (2-day)