Wheelhouse Weekly – Aug. 19, 2014

August 20th 2014 ,

Volume 18 . . . Number 33 . . . Aug. 19, 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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MM&P President Don Marcus says the Senate should join the House of Representatives in passing legislation to prevent a flag-of-convenience airline, Norwegian Air International (NAI), from operating in the United States. Although it is a subsidiary of Norwegian Air Shuttle, NAI seeks to operate as an Irish airline. The subterfuge would allow it to benefit from the more “business-friendly” regulations of the Republic of Ireland. As an “Irish” company (which however has no plans to operate out of Ireland), NAI can avoid complying with Norwegian tax and labor laws.

“Flag of convenience” is the name given to the system that allows U.S. and other first-world ship owners to register their vessels under the laws of countries such as Liberia, Panama and the Marshall Islands. By registering their cargo ships, cruise ships and even fishing boats in these far-away lands, they avoid the legal obligations of their own countries. The system enables shipowners to evade national taxes, labor standards, safety and environmental regulations and in some cases even criminal responsibility.

NAI plans to use pilots and flight attendants based in Thailand who would work for independent contractors under the legal and regulatory regimes of Asian countries: in the case of pilots, Singapore. NAI pilots and flight attendants would be “rented out” to the airline by third parties, beyond the reach of European labor laws and with no responsibility to provide their workers with otherwise mandatory benefits, such as health care or pensions.

In his opinion piece, published today by CQ Roll Call, the MM&P president calls on Congress to intervene in the case, now pending before the Department of Transportation. “Lessons learned in the U.S. maritime industry show how allowing companies to cherry pick among different national regulatory regimes can sink a great industry and with it, tens of thousands of jobs,” Marcus writes. “The amount of U.S. foreign trade carried on U.S. ships has dropped to less than 2 percent,” he adds. “We can’t let this happen to the airline industry. Doing business in the United States is a privilege. It must carry commensurate responsibility.” To read the commentary in its entirety, go to

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The officers and crew of Military Sealift Command (MSC) ship USNS RICHARD E. BYRD have been commended by the head of U.S. Navy Fifth Fleet for the rescue of nine mariners adrift in the Gulf of Oman. The licensed deck officers aboard USNS BYRD, a Lewis and Clark-class dry cargo ship, are represented by the Masters, Mates & Pilots. The master of the vessel is MM&P member Captain Daniel A. Glazier.

The rescue took place on July 28, when crewmembers aboard BYRD picked up a distress call from a Yemeni-flagged cargo vessel, the AL-SAED, which had lost power and was taking on water. The crew of the MSC ship was able to safely recover all nine men via lifeboat.

“Well done to the crew of USNS RICHARD E. BYRD for expertly rendering assistance to MV AL SAED-1,” the commander said in communications to the Fifth Fleet. “Your efforts exemplify the U.S. Navy’s commitment to the safety of all mariners. You can be justifiably proud of your efforts and teamwork.” The nine rescued men, all apparently unharmed, were transported to USNS AMELIA EARHART for transport to Yemen.

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The world congress of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) ended Saturday with adoption of a four-year program focused on organizing key transportation hubs and corridors and defending the right to strike. Paddy Crumlin was reelected as ITF president and Steve Cotton as general secretary. MM&P President Don Marcus, Gulf Ports Vice President Wayne Farthing and Pilots Group Vice President George Quick participated in the convention, at which affiliated labor unions set the agenda for the next four years. Almost 2,000 labor union members from 371 trade unions in 116 countries attended the event, the 43rd in the ITF’s 118 year history.

“The ITF understands just how interconnected we all are and how powerful that can make us if we work hard together and build on the solidarity between working men and women across supply chains, across industries, and across borders,” Crumlin said in his closing remarks. “The ITF lets brave men and women of the union movement know that their fight is not in vain, that they are part of something much bigger.”

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Virgin America flight attendants have voted to be represented by the Transport Workers Union of America (TWU). A spokesman for the TWU said the vote was 58 percent in favor of joining the union. The flight attendants would be the first Virgin America employees to choose to be represented by a labor union. It was the second time the flight attendants had voted on unionization. A similar proposal was rejected in September 2011.

“One of the important things about this election is that Virgin America was the last completely non-union major airline in the United States,” said TWU America International Vice President Thom McDaniel “And we’re especially proud, of course, that it was TWU and that we’re an ITF affiliate.”

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Attention all MM&P members in the greater Los Angeles Area: The Annual Labor Day March and BBQ will be held on Sept. 1, 2014. Members will meet at the MM&P Hall in Wilmington and head over to assemble for the march at 0900. Hot dogs and drinks will be served at the park at the end of the march. Come one, come all, and bring your family members and friends!

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is planning a review of shipping lanes in the southern California area following publication of a study linking an increase in the number of deaths of endangered blue whales due to collisions with ships.

In the context of the 15-year study, published in July by researchers at Oregon State University’s Marine Mammal Institute, scientists tagged 171 blue whales off the coast of California during summer and early fall from 1993 to 2008. A finding that the tagged whales “generally departed U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone waters from mid-October to mid-November” led to the conclusion that that period should be considered “safe.” The study suggested, however, that modifications to existing shipping lanes during peak months could be needed to reduce the likelihood of “vessel-to-whale contact.”

Two of the blue whales’ major feeding areas intersect with shipping lanes off the Pacific Coast. So far, no specific changes have been suggested, but, “restricting use of the northern lane during summer and fall,” as well as “extending one lane further offshore before separating it into different trajectories,” have been proposed by OSU researchers.

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The July-August issue of The Master, Mate & Pilot has been posted on In this issue of the magazine: MM&P and ILA Local 333 move closer to affiliation; strategic partnerships, including federation with Nautilus International and strengthened ties with International Transport Workers’ Federation, are focus of 85th MM&P Convention; MM&P-crewed MV MANISTEE rescues diver in Straits of Mackinac; plus greetings from our members aboard USNS POMEROY, USNS SISLER and USNS WATKINS.

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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 MM&P Charleston Hall on Wednesday, Aug. 20, at 1100. MM&P President Don Marcus, Secretary-Treasurer Steve Werse and Atlantic Ports Vice President Don Josberger will be present at the meeting. Members in the area are encouraged to attend.

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The Offshore Orientation Course will be held at the MM&P New York/New Jersey Hall on Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 2-3. The course will begin on Tuesday at 0930. To register, please call the New York/New Jersey Hall at 201-963-1900. The Offshore Orientation Course will be held at the MM&P Los Angeles/Long Beach Hall on Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 8-9. If you are interested in participating in the course, please contact the Los Angeles/Long Beach Hall at 310-834-7201 or 310-834-6667 (fax).

There is no sea-time requirement to take the Offshore Orientation 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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Wilfred Feinberg, a federal appeals court judge in New York who ruled in major cases involving maritime law and labor rights over more than 50 years on the bench, died July 31 at the age of 94. He is known and most gratefully remembered in maritime labor for a landmark arbitration ruling that found that mariners have the right to receive benefits contributions not only on shipboard employment, but also on “covered vacation.”

Feinberg was a lawyer in private practice in 1961, when President John F. Kennedy appointed him to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Five years later, President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed him to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, where he served 45 years, eight as chief judge.

In the 1970s, he was involved in a decision requiring the North Carolina textile company J.P. Stevens and Company to allow its workers to form a union. The case inspired the 1979 movie “Norma Rae,” starring Sally Field. Feinberg’s interest in maritime led him to develop an in-depth knowledge of the industry. He was a proponent of arbitration as “a valuable and efficient alternative to the judicial resolution of disputes in the maritime industry,” a belief he espoused in a series of legal writings.

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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, 3/31/15

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: 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): 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: 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): 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: 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: 8/20/14, 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: 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

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