Wheelhouse Weekly – Aug. 12, 2014

August 13th 2014

Volume 18 . . . Number 32 . . . Aug. 12, 2014


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


All MM&P union halls, the MM&P Plan Office, the MM&P Federal Credit Union and MM&P headquarters will be closed on Monday, Sept. 1, for Labor Day.

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The crew of the Matson containership MV MANUKAI rescued three people on Monday from a disabled sailboat that had gotten caught in Hurricane Julio hundreds of miles from Hawaii. The MM&P officers aboard the MANUKAI at the time were Captain John H. Bloomingdale, Chief Mate Matthew Frank Merrill, Second Mate Matthew J. Berntson and Third Mate Justin N. Moore.

The crew of the MANUKAI brought the three people from the 42-foot sailboat on board shortly before 0800 local time after previous attempts to rescue them had failed because of rough weather, a Coast Guard spokeswoman said.
The crew of the sailboat, THE WALKABOUT, originally launched from Stockton, Calif., got into trouble about 400 miles northeast of the island of Oahu.
They sent out a distress signal on Sunday morning as Hurricane Julio moved across the Pacific Ocean. The vessel was caught in winds of 92 to 115 miles per hour and 30-foot waves, and as it took on water, one of its hatches was blown away along with its life raft, the Coast Guard spokeswoman said.

Crewmembers aboard MANUKAI deployed a life raft for the sailboat’s crew on Sunday night, but conditions were too rough for them to get into it. The rescue attempt resumed after daybreak on Monday with the crew of the cargo vessel pulling the sailboat to their ship with a line, which allowed the three people, who were apparently unharmed, to climb up a ladder.

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Scot L. Beckenbaugh, acting director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS), issued the following statement today on a tentative agreement reached last evening between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and Pacific Northwest Grain Companies.

“After engaging in difficult and contentious bargaining for over two years, including multiple marathon mediation sessions held under the auspices of the FMCS, the announcement of the tentative agreement, subject to the ratification of ILWU membership, represents an amazing achievement of a potentially positive outcome in a labor dispute that has gained national attention. The ILWU, with its recommendation, will submit the tentative agreement to its members for ratification.”

“The FMCS commends both labor and management representatives for their successful negotiation and for their commitment and dedication to the process of collective bargaining. Clearly the parties maintained strongly held competing views on the many issues that divided them during this process. In the end they found a way, in the time-honored tradition of the collective bargaining process, to reach mutually agreeable solutions that will allow the employees and the employers to move forward in their relationship. Equally important to our nation is the knowledge that this tentative agreement, subject to the approval of affected ILWU membership, represents the opportunity to ensure that grain exports important to the U.S. economy and the world will proceed without disruption for years to come.”

“These were difficult and contentious negotiations to be certain. I am grateful for the professionalism and cooperation the parties exhibited in the mediation process during which they were able to reach what they believe will be acceptable and mutually beneficial solutions to the issues which have separated them for so long. I especially commend the leadership demonstrated by the representatives of ILWU and the representatives of the Grain Handlers. Though fierce in their representation of their respective positions, they never lost sight of their responsibility to reach a mutually acceptable solution.”

“Out of respect for the ratification process and consistent with the Agency’s longstanding policy on confidentiality, FMCS will neither comment on nor disclose the terms of the agreement,” Beckenbaugh said. The FMCS, created in 1947, is an independent U.S. government agency whose mission is to preserve and promote labor-management peace and cooperation.

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The four-yearly world congress of the International Transport Workers’
Federation (ITF) began Sunday in Sofia, Bulgaria. MM&P President Don Marcus, Gulf Ports Vice President Wayne Farthing and Pilots Group Vice President George Quick are participating in the conference, which runs Aug. 10-16. The convention is the ITF’s main decision-making event, at which affiliated labor unions set the agenda for the next four years and elect its executive board, president, vice presidents and general secretary. Approximately 1,800 people, including staff and participants from 371 trade unions in 116 countries, have registered for the congress, the 43rd in the ITF’s 118 year history.

The event can be followed online at, on Facebook at and on Twitter at (hashtag is #ITFcongress2014). The event is being held at Sofia’s National Palace of Culture and is hosted by the ITF’s affiliated Bulgarian unions, with special support from the Federation of Transport Trade Unions of Bulgaria.

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MM&P has joined other unions that represent federal workers in urging the White House to fill the leadership vacancy at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS). The FMCS provides collective bargaining and conflict management services to labor-management parties in the federal and private sector. The director’s position at the FMCS has been vacant since July 31. The unions have asked that FMCS Deputy Director Allison Beck be named director.

FMCS does not regulate labor-management relations or enforce workplace laws.
Its professional mediators work instead to help parties resolve collective bargaining disputes and provide training and tools to promote strong
labor-management relationships.

“Deputy Director Beck has provided critical policy leadership in all aspects of the FMCS mission,” the unions said. “She has fostered innovation throughout the agency” and has helped to “completely transform previously toxic labor-management relationships at large government agencies, such as the Bureau of Prisons.” The unions said a director vacancy adversely impacts the public interest by “removing a critical tool necessary to maintain sound and stable labor-management relationships, particularly in the federal government.”

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MM&P President Don Marcus and ILA Local 333 Secretary-Treasurer Ron Tucker met aboard the tug PEGASUS in New York Harbor recently to update members of both unions on the proposed merger. Local 333 and MM&P, which are both affiliates of the International Longshoremen’s Association, are moving forward with a plan under which Local 333-now the United Marine Division of the ILA–would transfer within the ILA and become the new MM&P Atlantic Maritime Region. Local 333 is comprised of over thirteen hundred members who operate tugs, ferries and vessels engaged in tourism, predominantly in New York Harbor and along the East Coast of the United States.

“Adding hundreds of new members largely employed in this harbor will strengthen our union and boost our membership,” says MM&P President Don Marcus. “Our goal is not just to combine the two groups–our goal is to build a bigger, better and stronger union for all.” If approved by the members of both unions, the merger would be effective as of Jan. 1, 2015.
The video is posted on the MM&P YouTube channel and at A Q&A regarding the merger has been posted at

A portion of the video segment was filmed in Charleston, S.C., aboard USNS POMEROY, one of the eight Watson-class Large, Medium-Speed Roll-on/Roll-off Vessels (LMSRs) now crewed by MM&P licensed deck officers. MM&P Atlantic Ports Vice President Don Josberger toured USNS POMEROY along with Captain Richard Smith. Each of the MSC ships is crewed by five LDOs.

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The American Postal Workers Union (APWU) continues to protest a 2013 agreement between the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and Staples which calls for establishment of postal sales points in over 80 Staples stores. The “post offices” use non-union, low paid Staples employees instead of unionized, trained, Postal Service employees. The APWU has filed numerous unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) protesting the Postal Service’s refusal to provide information to the APWU about the contract with Staples, as well as numerous instances of illegal actions by postal management against employees protesting the Staples deal.

A Postal Service letter to the union indicating that it is terminating the deal and replacing it with an ‘approved shipper’ program is “a ruse,” says APWU President Mark Diamondstein. “The USPS is changing the name of the program without addressing the fundamental concerns of postal workers and postal customers. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck,” he added. “They intend to continue to privatize postal retail operations, replace living-wage Postal Service jobs with low-wage Staples jobs and compromise the safety and security of the mail.” He said the boycott of Staples stores is having an effect. “We intend to keep up the pressure until Staples gets out of the mail business,” he said.

As mail volume has trended downward in recent years, the U.S. Postal Service has cut jobs. In 2005, USPS employed more than 700,000 people. It now has fewer than 500,000 workers.

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A survey of marine life in the Gulf of Mexico has found one of the world’s largest “dead zones” covers an expanse of ocean roughly equal in size to the state of Connecticut. As part of the survey, which was released on Aug. 4, scientists for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency measured the dead zone, an expanse of water marked by unusually low oxygen levels, at roughly 5,052 square miles.

“The Dead Zone off the Louisiana coast is the second largest human-caused coastal hypoxic area in the global ocean and stretches from the mouth of the Mississippi River into Texas waters and less often, but increasingly more frequent, east of the Mississippi River,” wrote scientist Nancy Rabalais, a marine ecologist who is dedicated to documenting and mitigating the effects of hypoxic zones. The Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone forms off the coasts of Louisiana and Texas each summer. Scientists attribute it to excess nutrients from human activities, such as fertilizer runoff from farms.

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If you’ve changed your e-mail address or e-mail provider, please let us know by sending a message to The message should include your full name and the name of your MM&P Membership Group. The Wheelhouse Weekly distribution list is separate from the union database, so please note that the change should be made in both places. Thank you for helping us to keep our database up-to-date.

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In its continuing mission to find new ways to serve union members and their families, Union Plus is sponsoring a contest to help three winners pay off a portion of their student loan debt. The Grand Prize winner will receive
$10,000 toward his or her student loan obligations. There will be two $5,000 prizes for runners-up. Other prizes will also be given away, including courses, consultations and books provided by the Princeton Review. In related news, Union Plus now offers a new mobile app that delivers union-made shopping lists right to your phone. To find out more about the student loan pay-off contest, go to:

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There will be a membership meeting at the New York/New Jersey union hall on Wednesday, Aug. 13 at 1100 hours. Members in the area are encouraged to attend the meeting.

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There will be a membership meeting at the Los Angeles/Long Beach union hall on Aug. 13, directly after the 1100 job call. Members in the area are encouraged to attend the meeting.

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The MV PINAK, a ferry that capsized Aug. 4 in Bangladesh with hundreds of people on board, had a capacity of only 85 passengers, a government spokesman said. The ferry capsized in the Padma River in Munshiganj district, about 28 miles south of the capital, Dhaka. The owner of the ferry and five employees have been charged in the accident, which took place in bad weather as hundreds of people watched from the shore. More than 200 people were believed to have been on board when the ferry sank, although the exact figure is unknown. Many people die in ferry accidents every year in Bangladesh. In May, about 50 people died in a ferry accident in the same district as last week’s accident.

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If you are interested in attending the Offshore Familiarization Course, please contact your MM&P Vice President to request that one be scheduled in your area. An Offshore Orientation Course is now scheduled for Los Angeles/Long Beach on Oct. 8-9. If you are interested in participating in the course, please contact the Los Angeles/Long Beach Hall: 310-834-7201 or 310-834-6667 (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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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 Kelly Michielli, 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 – 10/13/14, 4/13/15

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: Contact Admissions

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 9/23/14, 11/18/14, 1/20/15,

AZIPOD 2-Day -10/9/14, 2/2/15

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 8/25/14, 10/13/14, 1/26/15, 3/23/15

BRMP -Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 8/20/14, 9/22/14, 11/20/14, 2/4/15, 3/2/15, 4/13/15, 5/20/15

BRMP-EMR -Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling:
10/6/14, 3/4/15

BT – Basic Safety Training: 10/6/14, 1/19/15, 2/9/15, 4/6/15, 6/8/15

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 10/27/14, 4/13/15

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVNAV-CMM – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): 11/10/14

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 9/22/14, 1/19/15, 4/20/15, 6/15/15

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 9/8/14, 1/12/15, 4/13/15, 6/1/15

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 9/29/14, 4/27/15

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 10/20/14, 11/10/14, 1/5/15, 4/6/15, 6/8/15

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly
MCL-CMM): 9/15/14, 9/29/14, 12/8/14, 1/26/15, 3/30/15, 6/22/15

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 10/27/14, 3/2/15

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 8/18/14, 10/13/14, 3/9/15

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 9/8/14, 9/22/14, 10/20/14, 11/3/14, 12/1/14, 2/2/15, 3/9/15

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 9/15/14, 9/29/14, 10/27/14, 11/10/14, 12/8/14, 2/9/15, 3/16/15

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 11/17/14, 3/23/15

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 11/3/14, 5/11/15

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 11/3/14, 4/27/15

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: 10/7/14

DDE – Great Lakes: 1/26/15, 6/1/15

DPA – 10/27

ECDIS-OIC -9/8/14, 2/16/15

ECDIS-Pilots – 3/2/15

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 9/22/14, 12/1/14

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 10/6/14, 1/19/15, 2/9/15, 4/6/15, 6/8/15

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 11/19/14, 4/15/15, 5/19/15

GL Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: 1/23/15

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 8/18/14, 3/16/15

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 9/15/14, 11/17/14

LAP- 9/8/14, 4/6/15

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes: 1/26/15

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross Ton License: 3/2/15, 6/1/15

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 10/7/14, 11/20/14, 3/3/15, 4/15/15, 5/20/15

LNG-TPIC – 5/11/15

LTS -Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 9/5/14, 10/7/14

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 9/8/14, 11/3/14, 12/1/14, 1/5/15, 3/16/15, 4/20/15, 6/15/15

MED-PIC-REF- Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 10/13/14, 3/2/15, 5/11/15

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 9/8/14, 10/20/14, 11/3/14, 12/1/14, 1/5/15, 3/16/15, 4/20/15, 6/15/15

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 9/13/14, 10/12/14, 11/8/14, 12/6/14, 1/10/15, 1/24/15, 3/21/15, 4/25/15, 6/20/15

MSA -Maritime Security Awareness: 10/6/14 (PM)

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 8/22/14, 10/3/14, 2/26/15

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (4 Evenings): 8/18/14, 9/29/14, 2/23/15

*MSC-ENV -8/23/14, 2/27/15

*MSC-FF-HELO – 2/10/15

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 8/18/14, 9/29/14, 11/10/14, 2/16/15

*MSC-Security Watch Basic -8/25/14, 11/14/14, 2/20/15

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced – 8/27/14, 11/17/14, 2/22/15

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force – 8/28/14, 11/18/14, 2/23/15

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 9/22/14, 11/17/14, 1/19/15, 3/30/15

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 8/14/14, 8/20/14, 9/10/14, 9/17/14, 10/1/14, 10/7/14, 10/15/14, 10/29/14, 11/12/14, 12/3/14, 12/10/14, 1/7/15, 1/14/15, 1/28/15, 2/4/15, 2/18/15, 3/6/15, 3/18/15, 4/1/15, 4/15/15, 4/29/15, 5/6/15, 5/13/15, 6/3/15, 6/17/15

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 1/12/15, 2/2/15, 3/23/15

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue -10/13/14, 4/6/15

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 8/18/14, 11/17/14, 2/16/15, 5/11/15

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day: 10/6/14, 1/19/15, 3/2/15

SMS – Contact Admissions

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 1/26/15

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 1/5/15

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 8/25/14, 2/23/15

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – Train the Trainer: Contact Admissions

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: 10/7/14

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 9/2/14, 10/8/14, 10/22/14, 2/4/15, 5/20/15

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): 9/29/14, 3/2/15

WX-OIC -Meteorology (Operational Level): 9/15/14, 2/23/15


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Please also see our schedule online at For registration, send an e-mail to our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen, at or call her at (206) 838-1126.

August 2014

19th Radar Renewal
25-29 ECDIS

September 2014

8-12 Basic Cargo Handling
8-19 GMDSS
15th Radar Renewal
16-19 ARPA
22-24 Vessel Security Officer
22-26 ECDIS
29-3 Medical Care Provider

October 2014

1-3 Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling
6-10 Radar Observer Unlimited
6-17 GMDSS
13th Management and Teamworking Skills
14-17 ARPA
20-24 ECDIS
20-24 Basic Stability
20-31 GMDSS
27-29 Emergency Procedures
30-31 Search and Rescue

November 2014

3-7 Medical Care Provider
3-14 Medical Person-In-Charge
10-21 GMDSS
17-20 ARPA

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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. Suite B, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1953. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: For further info or to subscribe contact Lisa Rosenthal at The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea and is posted on our web page.

© 2014, International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots. All the material contained in this publication is protected by copyright. For permission to reprint text from the Weekly, contact the MM&P Communications Department: For changes of address, contact Lisa Rosenthal at