Wheelhouse Weekly – Aug. 25, 2015

August 26th 2015

Volume 20 . . . Number 34. . . Aug. 25, 2015


In this issue:



Job Opportunity:

Upcoming Events:


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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. 7, for Labor Day.

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When a U.S. Army helicopter made a hard landing on the deck of USNS RED CLOUD earlier this month, the crew of the Watson-class LMSR responded with split-second professionalism.

“There was no hesitation,” says USNS RED CLOUD’s Master Donald Agold. “When the general alarm sounded, the entire crew went into action.” The licensed deck officers aboard the ship are members of Masters, Mate & Pilots.

Six people were injured when the H-60 helicopter came down hard on the deck of the vessel for reasons that are still under investigation. The accident took place when the RED CLOUD was about 20 miles east of Okinawa.

As the military personnel on board the ship tended to the crew of the helicopter, Agold reported, Chief Mate Bruce Lachance ensured the #1 life boat was launched safely and quickly to pick up any survivors who could have ended up in the water. Third Mate John Robertson manned the life boat as coxswain. Bill White, also serving as third mate aboard the ship, manned the life boat as deck hand: a new mate, he is also an experienced AB. Second Mate Brad Lawhon proceeded to the downed helicopter to assist at the site of the emergency. As soon as the Army reported that all personnel were on board, Lachance oversaw the safe recovery of the life boat.

Army personnel rendered first aid and delivered their personnel to the flight deck where two rescue helicopters had arrived on scene to assist and to transport the injured and the rest of the helicopter crew to Okinawa.

“Congratulations and job well done by all the officers and crew,” said MM&P President Don Marcus. “We appreciate the dedication and service rendered by everyone in this emergency.”

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Americans are becoming more pro-union, according to a Gallup poll released on Aug. 10. The poll found that nearly 6 in 10 Americans say they approve of labor unions, the highest positive rating since 2008. “Millennials,” defined as people between the ages of 18 and 34, are more pro-union than any other age group. The Gallup poll surveyed 1,011 American adults via live interviews over landline and cell phone from Aug. 5 to 9.

“Americans have grown more supportive of labor unions in recent years,” writes Janie Velencia in The Huffington Post. The poll found that approval has increased by 10 percentage points since 2008 and by five percentage points in the last year alone.

Gallup found that desire for more union influence is also on the upswing, with 37 percent of those surveyed saying they want unions to have more influence, compared to 35 percent who say they want unions to have less influence. By comparison, in 2009, only 25 percent of respondents said they wanted unions to have more influence.

The poll found that although a majority of Americans support organized labor, most remain pessimistic about its future: fifty-three percent of those surveyed thought unions would become weaker going forward.

Union membership in the United States has been falling for decades. A 2013 analysis by the Economic Policy Institute, a think tank that supports workers’ rights, found a strong correlation between the decline in union membership and growing income inequality.

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The MM&P Atlantic Maritime Group (AMG) Ballot Committee met on Friday, Aug. 14, to make a final determination on the eligibility of candidates to serve as AMG Interim Convention Delegates and to discuss the election process. The AMG members serving on the ballot committee were Mark Campbell, John Cronin and Chris Leek. Prior to their deliberations, the members of the ballot company heard an introduction and presentation by TrueBallot Inc., a company that provides election services for labor unions.

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The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) reports that crewmembers aboard a Korean bulker docked in Mackay, Australia, were literally starving. The ITF says the conditions aboard the flag-of-convenience (FOC) ship are a stark reminder of the risks that mariners can face in the unregulated world of FOC shipping. The Conservative Australian government is seeking to repeal that country’s version of the Jones Act and open the domestic trades fully to FOC vessels.

A spokesperson for the ITF said one crewmember aboard the Korean bulk carrier, the C. SUMMIT, was diagnosed by a doctor as suffering from malnutrition. Four members of the crew fled the ship in Mackay, claiming they feared for their lives. ITF Assistant National Coordinator Matt Purcell said the men, all of whom were from Cambodia or Burma, had been victims of “the worst kind of bullying” he had ever encountered in his work as an inspector.

“The crewmembers claim they have received no wages for several months,” he said. “They have been locked in hatches and have survived on what I can only describe as a starvation diet.” Purcell said two contracts were found by inspectors, one signed by the workers before boarding and the other, “which doesn’t meet even the most basic international standards,” signed shortly after joining the ship.

The C. SUMMIT is owned by South Korea-based Chang Myung Shipping Co. The ITF said its many deficiencies had been repeatedly noted by inspectors in a number of different port state control areas.

ITF President Paddy Crumlin said although the ship was an extreme example, many ships calling at Australian ports have poor records on safety, pollution and crew welfare. “The sea is a largely unregulated environment in which greedy shipowners and operators are allowed to get away with egregious breaches of human rights, and the Australian government is regularly turning a blind eye to the breaches happening in our waters,” Crumlin said. The country’s prime minister, he added, “seems to want these awful breaches to increase by wiping out the Australian merchant navy fleet through complete deregulation.”

The country’s Conservative government is attempting to dismantle the Coastal Trading Act, which stipulates that ships trading between Australian ports must be crewed by Australian workers or else paid comparable wages.

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As has been reported in the news, wildfires are burning in the Pacific Northwest, including one approximately 100 miles NE of Seattle. Recently the media reported the state was accepting volunteers to help fight the fires. Contact information for volunteers with credentials who are ready and able to deploy to the scene is provided below.

Deployment to a wildfire will depend on the availability of professional firefighter staff to accompany, direct, and ensure the safety of everyone concerned. The type of credentials that would be considered appropriate for a volunteer include “Red Card” firefighters and “Blue Card” equipment operators.

Centers are being established in two strategic locations:

OMAK – E-mail Jay Guthrie: or call 360-826-2546

COLVILLE – E-mail Julie Sacket: or call 509-675-7847

Each station will be staffed during posted hours with DNR coordinators who will sign up volunteers and contractors, determine where their assistance will be of most help, and arrange training in wildfire safety, where appropriate. Phone messages and emails can be submitted and will be reviewed during hours the coordination centers are not staffed. To expedite the processing service, potential volunteers should contact DNR coordinators at the above phone numbers or email addresses in advance with their desired role, existing fire qualifications, location, and contact information.

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Kids are heading back to school, pools are closing, vacations are but a memory, and the unofficial end to summer is upon us. Chin up, there’s still time for a great backyard BBQ with family and friends! Labor Day gives us a chance to celebrate together and honor the hardworking men and women who keep our nation working and growing.

Show your appreciation this Labor Day by supporting fair wages, secure working conditions and American jobs by purchasing high-quality, union-made goods.

Treat your guests to some Ball Park hot dogs, Burnham & Morrill baked beans, Claussen pickles, crispy salad using Andy Boy’s Romaine lettuce, and fresh fruit from Swanton Berry or Dole. Be sure to serve on colorful Solo products. Top off your BBQ with stacked-tall cones packed with Breyers ice cream. Don’t forget to fill your Rubbermaid cooler with A&W root beer, beer from Shock Top or Sam Adams and bottled water from Crystal Springs.

Text MADE to 235246 for more union-made-in-America product lists.

By making the choice to spend your money on products and services that are made in our country by workers who are treated fairly and paid a living wage, you can help protect the middle class, strengthen our national economy and build a stronger America. Go to today to find out more.

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The Maritime Institute of Technology & Graduate Studies (MITAGS) is seeking a full-time instructor for the NAV Systems & License Advancement Department. The instructor is responsible for developing courses in the maritime field and providing quality classroom instruction to students. He or she will ensure course content is current, consistent with latest directives from regulatory authorities and practices in the maritime industry. Qualifications include maritime command experience, license at the captain and chief mate level, experience with bridge systems and teaching, computer skills, outstanding presentation skills before a variety of groups, supervisors, peers and students. For more information, send an e-mail to or call 443-989-3258.

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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. 7, 2015. 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 70th anniversary of the end of World War II is Saturday, Sept. 5. Join us in Baltimore Harbor at Pier 13, 4601 Newgate St., from 1000 to 1600, to tour two vessels on which many members of our union once sailed: the NS SAVANNAH and the Liberty Ship JOHN W. BROWN. Tours of the ships, including their engine rooms, will take placeFriday, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 4, 5 and 6, 1200 to 1600.

Bring the whole family! Watch the BROWN’s 140-ton triple expansion engine operate. Check out events including: Rosie the riveter; WWII cartoons and news reels; the Ultimate Abbott & Costello Tribute Show; Miss Victory; beer tasting hosted by Max’s Taphouse,; see a World War II tug, a Coast Guard vessel and World War II vehicles.

For more information, go to or e-mail: Parking is free. Admission is free as well, but donations for ship maintenance and restoration are greatly appreciated. The BROWN is one of only two fully operational Liberty Ships in the United States.

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The Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee (MERPAC) will meet on Sept. 16-17 in Martinsburg, W. Va. Topics on the agenda include: using military education, training and assessment for merchant mariner certifications; communications with the National Maritime Center; training guidelines for mariners on vessels subject to the Gas Fuel Code; and competency requirements for vessel personnel in polar regions.

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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 – 10/12/15

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: Contact Admissions

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 9/22/15, 1/26/16, 4/5/16

AZIPOD 2-Day – 10/1/15, 2/29/16

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 10/19/15, 2/1/16, 4/4/16

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 11/9/15, 2/29/16

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling: 9/28/15, 3/2/16

BT – Basic Safety Training: 10/5/15, 1/25/16, 2/22/16

BT-Revalidation –11/3/15

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 10/26/15

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVNAV-CMM – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): Contact Admissions

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 9/28/15, 1/25/16, 3/28/16

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 10/19/15, 1/4/16, 3/7/16

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 10/5/15

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 9/21/15, 10/5/15, 11/2/15,12/7/15, 1/11/16, 2/22/16, 3/21/16

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM):8/31/15, 9/7/15, 9/21/15, 9/28/15, 10/26/15, 11/2/15, 11/9/15, 11/16/15, 11/30/15,12/7/15, 12/14/15, 1/18/16, 2/15/16, 3/14/16, 4/4/16, 4/11/16, 5/23/16, 6/27/16

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 11/16/15

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: 10/12/15, 3/28/16

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 9/14/15

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 10/5/15, 11/9/15, 11/30/15,1/11/16, 2/8/16, 3/14/16

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 8/31/15, 10/12/15, 11/16/15,12/7/15, 1/18/16, 2/15/16, 3/21/16

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 11/30/15, 2/29/16

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 11/9/15

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 11/9/15

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: 3/2/16

DDE – Great Lakes: 2/1/16

DPA – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-OIC – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-Pilots – 11/12/15, 3/2/16

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 9/21/15, 10/19/15, 11/9/15, 12/14/15, 1/4/16,2/8/16, 3/21/16, 4/18/16, 5/9/16

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 10/5/15, 1/25/16, 2/22/16

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 9/15/15, 11/11/15, 1/26/16

GL Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: 1/22/16

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 3/7/16

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 11/16/15

LAP- 9/14/15, 4/4/16

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes: 1/25/16

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License: 11/30/15, 3/7/16

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 9/16/15, 11/10/15, 1/27/16, 3/1/16

LNG-TPIC – 12/7/15

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 9/21/15

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control: 9/14/15, 10/12/15, 11/2/15, 12/7/15, 1/11/16, 2/22/16, 3/28/16, 4/25/16, 5/16/16

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 12/7/15, 1/4/16, 3/21/16

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 9/28/15, 2/1/15, 3/14/16

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 10/12/15, 12/7/15, 1/4/15, 2/15/16, 3/21/16

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 8/28/15, 11/5/15, 12/12/15, 1/9/16, 1/31/16, 3/19/16

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: Contact Admissions

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 10/29/15, 3/8/16

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control: 10/27/15, 3/5/16 (March is 4 evenings)

*MSC-ENVPRO – 10/31/15, 2/28/16

*MSC-FF-HELO –11/2/15, 2/22/16

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 10/19/15, 1/4/16, 2/29/16

*MSC-Security Watch Basic –10/17/15, 2/26/16

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced –10/23/15, 1/8/16, 3/4/16

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force –10/24/15, 1/10/16, 3/5/16

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 9/21/15, 1/25/16, 5/9/16

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 9/2/15, 9/16/15, 9/30/15, 10/14/15, 10/28/15, 11/3/15, 11/11/15, 11/18/15, 12/2/15, 12/10/15, 1/6/16, 1/13/16, 2/3/16, 2/10/16, 2/24/16, 3/9/16, 3/16/16

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 1/18/16, 2/1/16

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue – 10/19/15

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 11/2/15, 2/15/16

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day: 9/28/15, 1/25/16, 3/7/16

SMS – Contact Admissions

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 2/8/16

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 1/4/16

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 2/22/16

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – Contact Admissions

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: Contact Admissions

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 9/9/15, 10/7/15, 10/17/15, 2/15/16

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): 9/28/15, 3/21/16

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 9/14/15, 2/29/16

Back to Stories Covered


Please also see our schedule and enroll online at For registration contact our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen: 206.838.1126 or

August 2015

31-4 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
31-4 Basic Meteorology

September 2015

8th Leadership & Teamworking Skills
9th OICNW Assessments
10th Radar Renewal
14-18 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
14-18 Basic Cargo Handling
14-18 Medical Care Provider
14-25 Medical Person-In-Charge
14-25 GMDSS
21-25 ECDIS
21-25 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
21-2 Celestial Navigation
28-30 Security Officer – Vessel, Company, and Facility
28-2 MEECE

October 2015

5th Radar Renewal
5-9 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
5-9 Medical Care Provider
5-9 Basic Shiphandling
5-9 Engine Resource Managemet
12-16 ECDIS
12-16 Leadership & Managerial Skills
12-23 GMDSS
19-23 Radar Observer Unlimited
19-23 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
19-23 MEECE
26-30 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)

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The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, & Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 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 © 2015. Articles can be reprinted without prior permission if credit is given to The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly. For address changes, send an e-mail to Back issues of The Weekly are posted on