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Wheelhouse Weekly – April 14, 2000

April 14th 2000


MASTER AND MMP MEMBERS ABOARD AND INTERESTED PERSONS THE MASTERS, MATES AND PILOTS’ — WHEELHOUSE WEEKLY

Bridging the Information Gap With E-News You Can Use

VOLUME 4. . . . . NUMBER 15. . . . April 14, 2000

STORIES COVERED



MM&P JOINS WITH AFL-CIO DEMONSTRATORS IN DC WTO RALLY

On Wednesday, April 12, a contingent of MM&P members and staff traveled from MM&P HQ in Linthicum to the steps of the US Capitol to join with thousands of union brothers and sisters in marching for workers rights and against favored trade status to China. Among those demonstrating at the rally was Teamsters president James Hoffa who favored keeping China on probation rather than the current proposal before Congress to lower trade barriers between Beijing and Washington which many believe would threaten US jobs and reward China for human rights abuses. Members and staff of MEBA joined the MM&P contingent at the rally.

Some 15,000 union members filled the West steps of the Capitol and spilled onto the lawn at the rally to send a firm message to Congress: “No Blank Check for China!”

“Until there is freedom of speech and freedom of association in China, until there is freedom of religion and freedom to join unions in China, there can be no permanent free trade agreement with China,” AFL-CIO President Sweeney told the cheering crowd.

The noon event, during which nearly a dozen semi-trucks driven by IBT members honked and circled the Capitol, was part of a day long rally and lobby action during which union members from across the country visited their lawmakers and stood together in solidarity against efforts by Congress to grant permanent Normal Trade Relations (NTR) to China.

Despite China’s blatant and ongoing human rights abuses, Congress is expected to vote in late May on a proposal to grant the permanent free trade status to China. If approved, it would scrap annual congressional review of that nation’s human rights and trade practices and give China permanent access to US markets. Backers of NTR claim opening China to more trade will force that nation to improve its human and workers’ rights practices, but a recent US State Department report shows China’s rights record continues to deteriorate, despite growing trade with the US.

Union members at the rally said their two biggest concerns with scrapping annual review of China’s behavior are human rights abuses and potential job loss here at home. Thousands of union members visited members of Congress to urge them to vote against legislation to grant permanent China permanent NTR.

For more info on the AFL-CIO Washington, DC, demonstrations and how you can use Email to lobby your members of Congress, be sure to checkout the AFL-CIO website at: www.aflcio.org.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


MAERSK-SEALAND AMONG COMPANIES SWITCHING PARTNERS IN ATLANTIC

The Journal of Commerce reports that container ship operators in the trans-Atlantic trades have confirmed plans to reshuffle their vessel-sharing alliances. The changes will begin this summer and continue through the end of the year. They were triggered by the decision of P&O Nedlloyd and Orient Overseas Container Line to exit their vessel-sharing alliance with Maersk-Sealand.

MM&P-contracted Maersk-Sealand, the world’s largest carrier, has struck a series of slot-sharing deals with members of the New World Alliance which includes MM&P-contracted APL Ltd., Mitsui O.S.K. Lines and Hyundai Merchant Marine. Two of the New World Alliance lines, APL and Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, will terminate slot-sharing agreements with Americana Ships on North and South Atlantic routes.

In their place, APL and MOL will start moving their cargoes on the North Atlantic section of Maersk-Sealand’s all-water service through the Panama Canal, and via Maersk-Sealand’s existing South Atlantic service. Hyundai, meanwhile, will terminate its own agreement with Mediterranean Shipping Co. when it expires at year-end, and will use space on the Maersk-Sealand services.

The New World Alliance’s all-water service, which now links Asia and the US East Coast via the Panama Canal, will be extended across the Atlantic to North Europe. Maersk-Sealand will take slots on the Atlantic part of this service.

That means the New World Alliance will increase its current eight-ship deployment to 11 ships. But the increase in Atlantic capacity will be offset by the termination of the Maersk-Sealand vessel-sharing agreement, and the transfer of four of its Econships, or Atlantic-class vessels, to Maersk-Sealand’s service between the Mediterranean and US Gulf.

According to the Journal of Commerce, a spokesman for Maersk-Sealand emphasized that the changeover would be orderly, and that service schedules wouldn’t be disrupted. The four Econships to be redeployed from the North Atlantic to Maersk-Sealand’s Mediterranean-US Gulf service will displace chartered vessels on that service. Maersk-Sealand confirmed that some of these vessels could be switched to the US Military Sealift Command.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


USCG SETS MEETING TO EXAMINE IMPACT OF HIGH-SPEED VESSELS

The US Coast Guard has set up a public meeting to solicit comments on the impact of high-speed commercial vessels, both ferries and cargo vessels, on the users of the navigable waters of the US. The growth of fast ferries in some metropolitan areas is increasing because these ferries appear to be viable options to highway commuting. Likewise, the logistical preference “just in time” supply increases the likelihood that operation of fast cargo vessels will grow.

By their speed and potential numbers, high-speed commercial vessels introduce another dimension into the conventional mix of slower commercial vessels, fishing vessels, and recreational vessels. Some mariners already believe the waterways to be too congested with existing vessels.

The USCG hopes to receive input from mariners on this issue so it can determine if there is a need for regulatory and other policy action that will enhance waterways safety for all vessels. It is particularly interested in which options should be dealt with locally, and which have regional or national implications.

The USCG will consider all comments received from the meeting and those submitted to docket to formulate policy on the management of national waterways. The public meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 2, from 0830 to 1600 at the Executive Inn, Bayside Room, 1755 Embarcadero, Oakland, CA.

For further info contact Lt. Commander George Burns at: phone 202-267-0550, e-mail GBurns@comdt.uscg.mil.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


SHIP SALES TO BE OFFERED ON WEB

A new Internet site for the maritime industry will debut this month to cover bunker prices, chartering markets, shipbuilding, prices, weather and exchange rates, among other things. The site, www.marine-net.com, claims to be the first company to sell secondhand ships through Internet-based auctions. There also will be a bulletin board service allowing members to post details of sale or purchase orders. It promises to provide all the info the modern marine industry needs quickly and accurately. Initially, the trade section will offer three main services: virtual chartering, ship auctions and a bulletin board. Virtual chartering will allow users to post details of cargo or vessels on an interactive world map displaying 2,700 ports. By selecting a port, users can get info on the availability of vessels and cargo, as well as associated details.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


TIPS AND TOOLS FOR SATELLITE WEATHER IMAGE ANALYSIS

The Tips & Tools for Satellite Weather Image Analysis held at MITAGS earlier this month was sold out. The course featured live Weatherfax capture, NOAA satellite capture, and Internet access, allowing all aspects of SeaStation 2000 to be demonstrated. Full use of SeaStation 2000 is being taught with the assistance of Lee Chesneau, Senior Meteorologist with the Marine Prediction Center (MPC), Mark Freeberg, President of Ocean and Coastal Environmental Sensing (OCENS) and Michael Carr, Heavy Weather Avoidance (HWA) Instructor at MITAGS. Next Tips & Tools seminar is scheduled for September 2000. Contact Michael Carr (mcarr@mitags.org) or Mark Freeberg (www.ocens.com) for details.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


AFL-CIO BEGINS TO GEAR UP FOR 7 DAYS IN JUNE

This year’s 7 Days in June events, the AFL-CIO’s annual crescendo of actions aimed at drawing attention to workers struggling to gain a voice at work, will be June 10-17. For that week, workers at more than 100 sites coast to coast will explain why they want to form unions and describe the tactics employers frequently use to try to prevent them from doing so. Central labor councils, state federations and constituency groups will organize activities where elected officials, religious leaders and community allies take concrete action to help reduce employer interference with workers organizing in their neighborhoods. For more info, contact Bill Ragen at 202-637-5176 or Enid Eckstein at 617-557-5488, x4.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


MM&P CREDIT UNION LOWERS AUTO LOAN RATES TO AS LOW AS 6.9%

Auto loan rates at the Masters, Mates & Pilots Federal Credit Union have been lowered. New cars can be financed for as low as 6.90% for terms of 36 months and 7.90% for terms up to 60 months. Members can now finance up to $25,000. These rates and conditions are subject to change without notice. Call the office for the most recent info. The toll free number is 800-382-7777; Email is: mmpfcu@bridgedeck.org. Your Credit Union offers competitive rates on other loan programs. Call today for details.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


REMINDER: BASIC SHIPHANDLING COURSE SET FOR MITAGS IN MAY

The inaugural MITAGS class for the USCG-approved Basic Shiphandling will convene on May 15. Successful completion of the course will entitle the student to either 21 days of sea service towards a raise of license or recognition by the USCG of compliance with shiphandling requirements as set forth in the STCW Code. To apply or receive additional info, contact MITAGS Admissions Coordinator, Mary Matlock, at (443) 989-3226 or Email: admissions@mitags.org. The MITAGS website at www.mitags.org offers detailed info on course dates, descriptions, facilities and accommodations.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


REMINDER: PNMI TO OFFER TANKERMAN PIC (BARGE) COURSE APRIL 17

The Pacific Northwest Maritime Institute will offer the course “Tankerman Person-in-Charge (Barge)” on April 17-21. The MITAGS-affiliated facility is located at 2333 Third Avenue, Seattle WA 98121-1711.

For further info check the Institute’s website at: http://www.stcw95.com/tpic-barge.htm. To register online go to: http://www.stcw95.com/register.htm. Contact Gregg Trunnell, the Institute’s Director toll free at 888-893-7829 for further info or Email him at info@stcw95.com.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


UPCOMING MITAGS COURSE OPENINGS

MITAGS has the following course openings:

  • May 1-12: GMDSS
  • May 1-19: MMO
  • May 10: CPR
  • May 13: CBRD
  • May 15-19: FF-ADV, TPIC
  • May 15-26; May 16-17: EAPT, GMDSS
  • May 22-26: BST
  • May 24: HAZ-MAT Night
  • May 27: CBRD

Contact Mary Matlock at MITAGS admissions at: Email: admissions@mitags.org or phone: 443-989-3226. Information and applications are also available on the MITAGS web site at mitags.org.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is being produced under MM&P election guidelines which have been previously published and may be found in their entirety on the MM&P website. The Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 700 Maritime Blvd., Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1941. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: iommp@bridgedeck.org. For further info contact John Peige at jpeige@bridgedeck.org. The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea, broadcast worldwide via FEC marine telex and is posted on our web page under “News” at: http://www.bridgedeck.org.

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