Wheelhouse Weekly, April 13, 2021

Volume 27… Number 15… April 13, 2021


In This Issue:


News for MM&P Members:


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The urgent need to reform America’s century old labor laws has come into sharper focus now that Amazon warehouse employees in Bessemer, Ala., have voted not to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Workers Union (RWDSU).

Amazon engaged in many tactics that workers are all too familiar with, but in this case, the company went further: besides bombarding employees with text messages and forcing them to attend anti-union meetings, it papered bathroom walls with posters and encouraged employees to use a mailbox installed just outside the warehouse entrance, making workers feel that they were being spied on as they cast their ballots.

“Amazon spent millions of dollars intimidating and bullying these people just because they want a voice on the job,” said AFL-CIO Richard Trumka in an interview with Bloomberg News.

“Americans want to organize in unions and it should never be this hard.”

He cited an April 5 nationwide poll of registered voters that showed 77 percent of Americans expressed support for the warehouse organizing drive.

He also noted that at the outset of the campaign, before the National Labor Relations Board agreed to hold the election, the majority of workers at the warehouse had signed a card saying they wanted union representation.

“Amazon knew full well that unless they did everything they possibly could, even illegal activity, their workers would have continued supporting the union,” RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum said in a statement.

The final vote was 1,798 opposed and 738 in favor out of about 6,000 eligible employees.

The number of ballots being challenged by the union, 505, is not enough to reverse the result.

The RWDSU said it would continue trying to organize the warehouse workers, and Trumka emphasized that the labor movement as a whole was fully engaged in the effort.

“This is the vanguard,” he said. “This is the start and we will stay with them.”

In the meantime, the results have shone a spotlight on the urgent need to reform America’s labor laws by getting Congress to enact the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act.

“When we get the PRO Act passed, it will change labor laws to prevent this type of buying people’s future away from them,” Trumka said.

Among other important features, the PRO Act would bar companies from forcing workers to attend union-bashing meetings.

MM&P is fully engaged with the rest of the AFL-CIO affiliates in getting the PRO Act introduced and passed in the Senate, and signed into law. It has already been passed by the House of Representatives.
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President’s Biden 2022 budget proposal includes funding for the Maritime Administration to purchase the fifth and final State maritime academy training vessel.

Under the heading, “Secures a State-of-the-Art Training Vessel for the Next Generation of Merchant Mariners,” the proposal specifies that the funding:

“would support good-paying jobs in the domestic ship-building industry and provide an invaluable platform to train the next generation of U.S.-credentialed mariners.”

“With this final ship,” it continues, “all five State maritime academies would receive state-of-art training vessels, retiring the current ships, which have outlived their useful life.”

The proposal, released on Friday, is considered an early partial version of the President’s 2022 federal budget.

The rest of the budget should be released by the end of this month.

In December 2020, Philly Shipyard began work on the first of the five multi-mission vessels that will replace the aging training ships used by maritime academies around the country.

In addition to providing training for America’s future mariners, the National Security Multi-Mission Vessels will be available to support humanitarian assistance and disaster relief missions.

The first vessel will replace the almost 60-year-old SUNY training ship EMPIRE STATE VI.

The second will replace the 53-year-old TS KENNEDY at Massachusetts Maritime Academy.

In a statement, Philly Shipyard said the first vessel will be ready for delivery by early 2023.

The NSMVs will have numerous instructional spaces and a full training bridge.

There will be space for up to 600 cadets to train at sea in a first-rate maritime academic environment.

Each ship will have hospital facilities, a helicopter pad, and the ability to accommodate up to 1,000 people in times of humanitarian need.

The vessels will also have roll-on/roll-off and container storage capacity for use in disaster relief missions.
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The six-day blockage of the Suez Canal has shone a light on the essential role tug and towboat operators play in keeping the world’s supply lines open.

But two experts on tugboats and towage—Jacques Kerkhof and Ivan De La Guardia—warn that unless critical safety concerns along major waterways are addressed, the world could be in store for another EVER GIVEN-type crisis sooner rather than later.

Kerkhof is the chair of the European Transport Workers’ Federation Tug & Towage Committee.

De La Guardia is a long-time Panama Canal tug master and an official of the MM&P affiliate Union de Capitanes y Oficiales de Cubierta de Panama (UCOC).

“A global race to the bottom has been ongoing in the industry, and in 2021 it is continuing with highly profitable corporations exerting downward pressure on pricing for critical tug and towage contracts in every corner of the globe,” Kerkhof and De La Guardia wrote in an article published in a recent edition of The Maritime Post.

Major shipping companies, they say, are grouping their contracts with towage providers and then demanding discounts that in the long run the smaller companies cannot sustain.

As a consequence, it is extremely difficult for tugboat and towage operators to achieve fair returns if they use the number of crewmembers needed to operate safely.

Even in cases in which tugboat and towage workers are directly employed, contract squeezing has become so pervasive that staffing is often being cut to unsustainable levels.

“We have been clear that the industry must stop cutting back on maintenance, equipment, fleet renewal and training,” the two say.

“It is time to return to safe manning levels and proper periods of rest and safe levels of work.”

“We urge leaders of the shipping, logistics and freighting industries to recognize the unsustainability of the current trajectory.”

“Hazardous working conditions are a disaster waiting to happen.”

The International Transport Workers’ Federation commissioned a study in 2018 of fatigue among Panama Canal tugboat captains.

They interviewed 55 captains, a third of the total number working on the canal.

Nearly one in three captains interviewed said they had worked up to 20 hours in a single shift, and six of them reported falling asleep at work.

The tug captains say their workload has doubled since the elimination of the motorized “mules” that moved ships in the old locks and the opening, two years ago, of the new locks.
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The Labor Department reported that Bouchard Transportation and three former company officials have paid $375,000 in restitution to a mariner whose brother was one of two people killed in an explosion that took place aboard one of the company’s barges in October 2017.

The mariner alleged that the company had fired him for reporting serious lapses in safety procedures and for helping the Coast Guard investigate the cause of the explosion.

In addition to paying restitution, the company agreed to take remedial actions to resolve violations of the whistleblower protection provisions of the Seaman’s Protection Act.

Reporting violations of maritime safety laws and regulations, cooperating with investigations and furnishing information to the Coast Guard about facts related to any marine casualty resulting in death are protected activities under the Seaman’s Protection Act.

“Employers and vessel owners must know and respect that, under the Seaman’s Protection Act, seamen have the right to report safety concerns and cooperate with the Coast Guard and other safety investigators,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Richard Mendelson in New York.

“Failure to recognize these rights can instill a culture of intimidation that could lead to disastrous or deadly consequences for workers.”

Under the agreement, Bouchard must remove from its employment files any reference to the seaman’s termination.

It must also agree to provide a neutral reference if contacted by any prospective employer.

Finally, Bouchard is required to train managers and employees about seamen’s rights and to post a Notice to Seamen about their rights under the Seaman’s Protection Act.

“This agreement underscores the U.S. Department of Labor’s commitment to pursuing necessary and effective legal remedies to protect and preserve a worker’s right to a safe and healthful work environment,” said Regional Solicitor of Labor Jeffrey S. Rogoff in New York.

“Bouchard Transportation Co. Inc.’s disregard for worker safety is unacceptable.”

OSHA investigators concluded that the company and three of its officers–Morton S. Bouchard III, Brendan Bouchard and Kevin Donohue—had retaliated against the seaman after the BUSTER BOUCHARD/B. No. 255 exploded off Port Aransas, Texas, killing the employee’s brother and one other person.
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More than 6,000 merchant mariners died in service to our country during World War II, carrying military personnel, weapons and supplies to battlefields in Europe and beyond.

Yet there are many who are not aware of the fact that American mariners were key to the Allied victory in World War II.

Every effort should be made to educate the public about the important role that America’s mariners have played in defending our nation in peace and in war.

Your help is needed to support the preservation of the historic US Merchant Marine Officer training school in Alameda, Calif., one of only two World War II officer training schools in the nation.

Many of the original buildings are already gone, but some remain. Now, a developer has petitioned the City of Alameda to remove the site from the Historical Advisory Board “S” Study List and demolish what remains.

Please help us preserve history by signing this petition.

In addition to signing the petition, please take the time to email and/or write to the Alameda Historical Advisory Board asking them to preserve the site, which is known as: Alameda Federal Center Northern Parcel, 620 Central Ave. Alameda, CA, 94501

Write to the City of Alameda Historical Advisory Board Members:

Attn: Lynn Jones, Alvin Lau, Norman Sanchez, Thomas Saxby, Jenn Wit

2263 Santa Clara Ave

Alameda, CA 94501

Or send an email to Alan Tai, Planning Board, Secretary to Historical Advisory Board:

Tell them the property should be protected, and the buildings repurposed to include an interpretive center, community space, museum and other historical artifacts from World War II.

Act now to help save and preserve the Alameda historic WWII Merchant Marine & US Navy training site!
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A meeting of the Offshore Shipping/Work Rules Committee is scheduled for April 27-28, 2021.

Members who wish to submit a resolution should send it to the Office of the International Secretary-Treasurer.

Please refer to Article XIII of the Offshore Shipping Rules for additional information on submitting resolutions.

The Offshore Shipping/Work Rules are posted in the Members’ Only section of

Deadline for submission of proposed changes is prior to close of business on April 22, 2021.
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Prior to attending any training at MITAGS East or MITAGS West, you must read the MITAGS Covid‐19 policy, which is posted on

At the end of the Covid-19 policy there is a statement acknowledging receipt of the policy and acceptance of the policy.

Before you attend either school, you must acknowledge receipt of the policy and acceptance of the policy by emailing a signed copy of the statement at the end of the policy document to or

In addition, students coming to the MITAGS East Campus must send Admissions a negative Covid-19 test result. The test must have been taken within 72 hours of arrival.

Students who cannot access testing but who otherwise meet all the requirements of the MATES Program Covid-19 policy will have to take a Covid-19 test offered at MITAGS East every Monday morning.

Members may also reschedule their classes for later in the year when the infection rates are expected to drop.

MITAGS West currently does not require negative Covid-19 test results and does not have the ability to test.

MITAGS West continues to follow established Covid-19 protocols, including daily temperature screening, health checks, masking and physical distancing.

Students attending MITAGS East or West under the MATES Program: Please note that the minimum number of days to obtain eligibility continues to be 42 days instead of 30, with a sunset date of Dec. 31, 2021.

We appreciate your cooperation during these very trying times.
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\\Classes are 5-day unless otherwise noted\\

Class dates followed by an * are full

AB – Able Seaman – 6/28/21

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation (1-Day): 5/5/21

ARPA-OIC (4-Day) – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 6/1/21, 9/21/21

AZIPOD (2-Day) – 4/29/21, 8/9/21, 9/27/21

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 8/2/21, 10/25/21

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots (2-Day): 4/29/21, 5/17/21, 8/9/21, 9/14/21, 11/9/21
Online: Not currently scheduled

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling – (Now also included in BRMP-Refresher) (3-Day): 4/26/21

BRMP-Refresher (Now including Emergency Shiphandling for Pilots) (3-Day) – Not currently scheduled

BT – Basic Safety Training: 5/3/21, 8/2/21, 10/11/21

BT-Revalidation (2-day) (Must have 1 year of sea service in last 5 years) – 4/27/21*, 6/22/21, 8/16/21, 9/21/21, 10/27/21, 12/14/21

BT-Refresher (3-day) – 4/27/21*, 9/20/21, 12/13/21

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: Not currently scheduled

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 4/26/21, 6/21/21, 8/9/21, 10/18/21

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 5/3/21, 6/14/21, 8/2/21, 10/11/21, 12/6/21

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (10 Days): 10/25/21

CM-OPS 1 – Chief Mate Operations – Week 1: 6/7/21, 8/23/21, 11/29/21

CM-OPS 2 Maersk – Chief Mate Operations II Maersk Specific: 6/14/21, 8/30/21, 12/6/21

CM-OPS 2 APL – Chief Mate Operations II APL Specific – Not currently scheduled

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information Systems: 6/7/21, 7/26/21, 10/4/21, 11/29/21

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM): 5/10/21, 6/28/21, 8/16/21, 11/8/21, 12/13/21

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 9/13/21
(DCS-1 available on request – contact Admissions)

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: Not Currently Scheduled

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management: 9/20/21

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 4/19/21, 5/10/21, 6/7/21, 7/19/21, 8/9/21, 9/13/21, 9/27/21, 10/11/21, 11/1/21, 11/29/21

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 4/26/21, 5/17/21, 6/14/21, 7/26/21, 8/16/21, 9/20/21, 10/4/21, 10/18/21, 11/8/21, 12/6/21

**SHS-ADV-I & II are now approved to include SAR-CMM assessments at MITAGS**

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 4/19/21, 9/27/21

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: Not currently scheduled

WX-HW-ATL – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Atlantic Ocean (2-day) – Contact Admissions

WX-HW-IND – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Indian Ocean (2-day) – Contact Admissions

WX-HW-PAC – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Pacific Ocean (2-day) – Contact Admissions

CIW-DPA/IA – Continual Improvement Workshop: Designated Person Ashore & Internal Auditor (3-Day) ** This course is NOT covered by the MATES Program **
Online: 7/7/21, 10/6/21

CIW-SMS – Continual Improvement Workshop: Successful Safety Management (2-Day) – Online: 6/10/21, 12/9/21

CNAV-OIC (15-Day) – Celestial Navigation: 11/1/21

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications (1-Day): Not currently scheduled

CRSMGT – Crisis Management and Human Behavior (1-Day) – 8/27/21

CDMGT – Crowd Management (1-Day) – 8/26/21

CSE – Confined Space Entry (3-Day): 8/23/21

CSE-AWR – Confined Space Entry Awareness (2-Day): 5/20/21

CY-MAR – Cyber-Skilled Mariner ** This course is NOT covered by the MATES Program ** – Not currently scheduled

DDE – Great Lakes (20-Day): Not currently scheduled

ECDIS for Pilots (2-Day) – 5/3/21, 8/11/21, 11/11/21

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 8/30/21, 12/6/21

ADV-FF – Advanced Fire-Fighting (4-day) – Not currently scheduled

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 5/3/21, 8/2/21, 10/11/21

FF-ADV-Rev (1-day) (Must have 1 year of sea service in last 5 years) – Advanced Fire Fighting Revalidation: 4/26/21, 6/21/21, 8/18/21, 9/23/21, 10/26/21, 12/16/21

FF-ADV-REF (2-day) – Advanced Fire Fighting Refresher: 4/30/21, 9/16/21, 12/11/21

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications (1-Day): 9/14/21
Online: Not currently scheduled

GL-Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization (2-Day): Not currently scheduled

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (10-Day): 8/9/21

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 8/30/21, 11/15/21

IEN – Integrated Electronic Navigation (3-Day) – Not currently scheduled

LAP – License Advancement Program for Mate to Master (20-Day): 8/2/21, 10/18/21

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes (15-Day): Not currently scheduled

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License (15-Day): Not currently scheduled

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage (1-Day): 4/29/21, 8/9/21, 9/15/21, 11/9/21

LNG-TPIC (10-Day) – Not currently scheduled

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC) (1-Day): 9/20/21

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control Equipment (Assessments not included): 8/23/21, 11/29/21

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge (10-Day): 7/12/21, 9/27/21, 11/29/21

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 5/10/21, 6/28/21, 8/30/21, 11/15/21

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 7/12/21, 9/27/21

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing (1-Day): 5/15/21, 6/24/21, 7/17/21, 8/19/21, 9/24/21, 10/2/21, 10/25/21, 12/4/21, 12/17/21

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic) (1-Day): 5/17/21, 6/11/21, 8/4/21, 9/16/21, 10/31/21

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (2-day): 5/18/21, 6/9/21, 8/2/21, 9/14/21, 10/29/21

MSC-ENVPRO (1-Day) – 6/13/21, 8/6/21, 11/9/21

MSC-FF-HELO (2-Day) – 6/21/21, 8/2/21, 10/27/21

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualifications (4-Day): 5/10/21, 6/14/21, 7/12/21, 8/9/21, 9/20/21, 11/1/21

MSC-Security Watch Basic (1-Day/ 8-hour) – 5/9/21 (Evening), 6/12/21 (Evening), 8/7/21, 9/17/21, 11/1/21 (Evening)

MSC-Security Watch Advanced (1-Day) – 5/9/21, 6/12/21, 7/16/21, 8/8/21, 9/18/21, 11/5/21

MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force (3-Day) – 5/14/21, 6/18/21, 7/17/21, 8/13/21, 9/24/21, 11/6/21

NDMS-ENAV – Navigational Decision Making Series – Best Practice in eNav (3-Day) – Not currently scheduled

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P (2-Day) – 4/20/21*, 4/22/21*, 6/22/21*, 6/24/21*, 7/12/21, 8/30/21, 9/1/21, 11/15/21, 11/17/21, 12/13/21, 12/15/21

PSC – Personal Survival Craft (5-Day) – Contact Admissions

PSC-REF – Personal Survival Craft Refresher (2-Day) – 9/18/21, 12/16/21

RFPNW – Ratings Forming Part of a Navigational Watch (3-day) – Not currently scheduled

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal (1-Day): 9/20/21

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes (1-Night): 4/30/21, 9/14/21, 9/20/21

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 5/24/21, 8/23/21

SAR – Search & Rescue – (Now with OIC and CMM assessments) (3-Day): 12/6/21

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 5/3/21, 8/23/21, 10/25/21

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling (5 Day) – 6/14/21*, 7/12/21, 8/30/21, 11/15/21, 12/13/21

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 5/17/21, 8/30/21

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses (15-Day): 6/7/21, 7/12/21

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 4/26/21, 6/28/21

TRAC-TUG-2 (2-Day): 11/9/21

TTT – ** This course is NOT covered by the MATES Program ** Not currently scheduled

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties (1-Day): 6/15/21

VSO – Vessel Security Officer (3-Day): 6/16/21, 9/8/21

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level) (10-Day): 10/11/21

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 9

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Schedule of Courses – Please also see our schedule and enroll online at For Registration Contact our Admissions Department: 206.441.2880 or

Schedule of Courses – Please also see our schedule and enroll online at .

For Registration Contact our Admissions Department: 206.441.2880 or
April 2021

14th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
19-22 ARPA
26-30 Small Arms
26-7 Watchkeeping (Operational Level)
27-28 Basic Training Revalidation
29th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation

May 2021

3-7 Medical Care Provider
3-14 Medical Person-In-Charge
5th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
6-7 Basic Training Revalidation
6-7 & 10 Basic Training Refresher
10-14 Basic Training
10-28 Celestial Navigation
11-12 Advanced Firefighting Refresher
17-20 Advanced Firefighting

June 2021

1st Leadership & Teamworking Skills
2-3 Search & Rescue
7-11 Advanced Shiphandling I
7-11 Medical Care Provider
7-18 GMDSS
14-18 Advanced Shiphandling II
16-17 Basic Training Revalidation
18th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
21-23 Security Officer – Vessel, Company and Facility
28-2 Basic Shiphandling

July 2021

6-9 Advanced Firefighting
12-16 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
12-30 Terrestrial & Coastal Navigation w/ Compasses
19-23 Basic Training
26-27 Basic Training Revalidation
28th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation

August 2021

2-6 Radar Observer Unlimited
9-20 Watchkeeping (Operational Level)
23-24 Basic Training Revalidation
23-27 Cargo Handling & Stowage
25th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
30-3 Meteorology (Operational Level)

September 2021

7-10 ARPA
7-8 Advanced Firefighting Refresher
8th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
9-10 Basic Training Revalidation
9-10 & 13 Basic Training Refresher
13th Flashing Light
13-17 Basic Training
13-17 Advanced Shiphandling I
14th Leadership & Teamworking Skills
20-23 Advanced Firefighting
20-24 Advanced Shiphandling II
27-1 ECDIS
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The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots, 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 © 2020. Articles can be reprinted without prior permission if credit is given to The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly. For subscriptions, address changes or messages to the editor or to MM&P headquarters, email

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