Wheelhouse Weekly – April 20, 2001

April 20th 2001


Bridging the Information Gap With E-News You Can Use

Volume 5. . . . . Number 16. . . April 20, 2001




Changes may be coming for the US maritime industry with the new Administration’s proposed shift of the Maritime Security Program from MARAD to the Department of Defense; the potential dismantling of MARAD; and the possible reduction in the Title XI shipbuilding loan guarantee program. The Wheelhouse Weekly will periodically review these and other areas of potential change.

We begin with a look at the Maritime Security Program, and in particular, its current ship-owner citizenship requirements and the priority system of awarding contracts based on the citizenship of the corporate vessel owner.

The MSP, which is set to expire in 2005, provides funding to help support a 47 vessel militarily-useful commercial US-flag fleet. The MM&P and others in the US maritime industry are already beginning to lay the groundwork for renewed Maritime Security Program legislation. Under the current MSP, participating vessels must be US-citizen owned, US-flagged and crewed by US citizen merchant mariners.

There are two types of US corporate citizen owners who have ships enrolled in the Maritime Security Program. Citizens as defined by Section 2 of the 1916 Shipping Act are one; Documentation Citizens are the other. Under provisions of the Maritime Security Program, Section 2 Citizens are given first priority in the awarding of contracts because they are wholly-owned US entities. Documentation Citizens have second tier priority in contract awards. A Documentation Citizen is one where the company is 51-percent US owned, with the remainder of ownership being vested in a foreign interest.

At the beginning of the MSP, contracts covering 43 of the 47 vessels were awarded to Section 2 Citizens. Today, with the unprecedented changes in corporate ownership and control of American shipping companies — and MSP vessels — it has been proposed that the existing priority system for awarding MSP contracts be eliminated in any new MSP legislation. This would mean that wholly-owned US companies, and US subsidiaries of foreign shipping concerns would have equal status when applying to enroll vessels in the Maritime Security Program.

Would this change and its resultant increase in foreign control of MSP vessels threaten our fleet’s ability to respond to US defense requirements? Or, because of the present involvement of foreign shipping companies in the US merchant marine, would it have any real impact on the maritime security fleet? These are the types of questions Congress, the Administration and the US maritime industry will have to address — your input is appreciated. Comments may be sent to MM&P International President Capt. Tim Brown at MM&P Headquarters or by Email to

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


International Longshoremen’s Association President John Bowers has announced the creation of the ILA Defense Fund for the benefit of five members of Charleston ILA Local 1422 who were arrested Jan. 2000 when they engaged in a protest against Nordana Line after the company hired non-union workers to replace them.

Led by members of Local 1422, this peaceful protest was disrupted and turned violent when more than 600 riot police began using clubs and tear gas against ILA members. Ultimately, a successful contract was negotiated and the strike was ended, however, five of the protesters, now known as the “Charleston Five”, still face criminal charges in relation to the protest. Their trial is set to begin shortly.

This week, International President Capt. Tim Brown sent out correspondence to MM&P members which included a copy of a letter from ILA President Bowers recounting some of the events that have touched the lives of the Charleston Five over the last 14 months and their critical need for funds to help defray the cost of their defense.

In his cover letter, Capt. Brown said that, “As a Union, our International Counsel has advised us, just as the Counsel for the ILA advised them, that no part of our treasury can be used toward the Charleston Five’s legal defense. Individually, however, we can voluntarily contribute monies to their legal defense; and I personally have made two such contributions.”

He continued by saying, “I urge you, as a fellow member, to support these brothers, for at some period in our lives, you and I could find ourselves in the same state of circumstances.” Voluntary, personal contributions can be made to the:

ILA Defense Fund c/o ILA, AFL-CIO 17 Battery Place, Suite 930 New York, NY 10004-1261

In addition to the Defense Fund, the ILA has also created and educational fund called International Dockers Educational Association (IDEA) which will be used to publicize the plight of the Charleston Five and organize nationwide and worldwide support for them. It has also pledged, “to call upon our worldwide labor, business and government contacts to bring a successful conclusion, with justice and honor, to the wrongly accused Charleston Five.”

Over the last year, the ILA’s President Bowers also held a series of meetings with the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) which launched a campaign in support of the Charleston Five on April 9. The ITF describes the legal action against the ILA dockers as a classic example of union-busting in a notoriously anti-union state. Its campaign aims to rally international support for the five dockworkers and to raise funds to pay legal costs.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


Opportunities are available for MM&P members and pensioners to volunteer their time and skills to sail as deck officers and engineers on Mercy Ships, a Christian-based humanitarian organization that owns four vessels, including the 11,701 GRT former passenger vessel ANASTASIS and a recently acquired Danish rail ferry, DRONNING INGID, rated at 16,071 GRT. Crew members aboard these vessels receive no salaries and must cover their own expenses. Service aboard Mercy Ships does not conflict with MM&P Health and Benefit Plan Prohibited Employment provisions.

Members interested in volunteering or in finding out more about Mercy Ships should contact:

Mercy Ships PO Box 2020 Garden Valley, TX 75771-2020

Voice: 903-882-0887; Fax: 903-882-0336 Email: Their website is:

Lawrence Smith a retired MM&P member served for a year as a LDO volunteer aboard a Mercy ship in the Pacific. He can be reached at 906-789-0728 for further info.

Volunteer opportunities for experienced deck officers and engineers also exist on Friend Ships which operates two 5000 ton vessels to bring aid to people in desperate circumstances. Friend Ships (Park West Children’s Fund, Inc.) is based in Los Angeles, CA and provides large scale humanitarian aid, establishes development programs for people lacking essential human needs and supports ongoing programs that are having a significant, positive impact on their communities.

Full time volunteer crews, church teams, school groups and short term crew provide the manpower to provide life support programs to developing nations in an unprecedented, highly cost effective way. Supported primarily by private individuals, church and corporate donors, all those who join Friend Ships serve as full time volunteers. No one receives a salary.

For further info, contact:

Friend Ships 245 North Fries Avenue Wilmington, CA 90744-5717

Voice: 409-762-6060; Email: Their website is:

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


The San Francisco based JEREMIAH O’BRIEN will offer cruises of the San Francisco Bay on both Saturday and Sunday, May 19-20. Refreshments will be served in the morning along with a hearty catered buffet lunch at noon. Live music on deck will feature the swinging sounds of the ’40’s by a Big Band Glen Miller-type orchestra. On both days, as the O’BRIEN steams north of the San Rafael Bridge, she will come under “attack” by over 15 World War II-era fighters and bombers.

In its role as an operating maritime museum of WW II, the ship usually berthed at Fisherman’s Wharf (Pier 45) but will depart from Pier 32 on cruise days to accommodate additional free parking. Requested donation for the voyage into history is $100.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


Openings in classes through the end of June follow
  • 4/23-27: BST
  • 5/14-18: TPIC, EINS, ROP
  • 5/14-17: SMA
  • 5/21-25: DCS, FF-ADV, BST
  • 6/4-8: BRM-3, WX-HWA, BST
  • 6/11-15: COMP-MAR
  • 6/11-14: SMA
  • 6/16: ROR-1
  • 6/18-22: BST, COMP-NET, FF-ADV
  • 6/25-29: ARPA, BST
Damage Control

Class ongoing at MITAGS for weekend of April 21-22. To sign-up for MSC courses contact Mike Wein at 443-989-3238 or Email

GMDSS Instructors

MITAGS is seeking recently retired or actively sailing members to serve part-time as GMDSS instructors.

Minimum requirements:

  • Two years experience on GMDSS equipment;
  • STCW-95 certificate; and a
  • Valid GMDSS FCC license.

Additional relevant communications and instructional training/experience highly desired.

Anticipate hiring decision within 30 days and first actual employment early summer. Send resumes to Mike Wein. Fax: 410-859-5181 and Email both acceptable.

Air Fares

Please make every effort to book your flight to MITAGS as soon as course dates are confirmed. Last minute arrangements all too often result in grossly inflated prices. Obviously, there will be occasions when late bookings are unavoidable, but do your best to keep costs down by planning ahead and contacting Omega at the earliest opportunity.

Schedule through Dec. 2001 is being maintained on the website. Hard copy schedule updates are also provided to the halls. Check the MITAGS website at: for up-to-date info. For additional course info, contact Mary Matlock at voice: 443-989-3226 or Email:

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


The Pacific Northwest Maritime Institute has updated their blind pilotage labaratory. Students are now placed in a blind pilotage environment utilizing four seperate ownships each with the Navisailor 2400 ECDIS and ARPA Display. The school currently utilizes the Furuno 2110, Furuno 2800, Raytheon Mk34, Sperry Rascar, and the Decca Bridgemaster Arpa Displays.

Course openings are as follows:

  • ARPA: 4/23-27; 5/21-25; 5/28-6/1
  • BRM: 4/23-25; 5/14-18; 5/21-23
  • ECDIS: 4/30-5/4
    • (Note: Currently the ECDIS course satisfies the EINS Requirements.)
  • GMDSS: 5/28-6/8

For more info on their new ECDIS Course or the PNMI, please visit their website at

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


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MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly

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., Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1941. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: For further info contact John Peige at 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:

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