Wheelhouse Weekly – August 13, 2013

August 13th 2013


– Bridging the Information Gap With E-News You Can Use –

Volume 17 . . . Number 33. . . Aug. 13, 2013


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


All MM&P port offices, the MM&P Health & Benefit Plans, the MM&P Federal Credit Union and MM&P headquarters will be closed on Monday, Sept. 2, for Labor Day.

President Grover Cleveland and Congress designated Labor Day as a federal holiday after the Pullman Strike of 1894. Members of the American Railway Union struck the Pullman Palace Car Company, which had cut wages and laid off workers–without lowering the rent on company housing–during the 1893 depression. The federal government intervened, sending thousands of U.S. marshals and troops to end the strike. Thirty strikers died in the resulting clashes. A law making Labor Day a national holiday was pushed through Congress six days after the strike ended.


The Department of Defense (DOD) announced on Aug. 6 that it has found enough funding to reduce the number of unpaid furlough days its civilian employees will be forced to take during this fiscal year from 11 to six. The announcement came as about 650,000 DOD employees, including civil service mariners who belong to the MM&P Federal Employees Membership Group (FEMG), began their fifth week of unpaid furloughs. The mandatory furloughs are the result of”sequestration,” a law passed by Congress when it failed to reach agreement on the federal budget.

MM&P and other members of the Federal Workers Alliance (FWA) have been working hard to end the furloughs.”This news is the result of the FWA and other federal unions representing DOD workers lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill as well as through the media,” said FWA President Bill Dougan, who is also head of the National Federation of Federal Employees.

“I want to thank our civilian workforce for their patience and continued dedication during these extraordinarily tough times and for their continued service to our department and our country,” said U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel in a letter to all DOD civilian employees.”Our civilian personnel are essential to ensuring that our Department and our military can provide for our nation’s defense. I regret the difficulties they and their families had to face during this furlough period.”


TV journalist Tom Brokaw has been taken to task by MM&P member Joseph H. Foreman for neglecting to mention the American Merchant Marine in a recent TV broadcast on the heroes of World War II.”You don’t get the usual greeting of Dear Sir as you don’t deserve it for the way you omitted the most important and maligned outfit of World War II on your program the other night,” Foreman wrote Brokaw in a letter that was also published in his local paper, The Macon County News, on July 18.

“One in every 26 merchant seamen was lost in World War II,” Foreman wrote.”Many in the Veterans of Foreign Wars may have been overseas but not in harm’s way, but a U.S. Merchant Seaman was in harm’s way as soon as his ship left port. Also, if his ship got sunk, his pay stopped. A prisoner of war, no pay, on the beach awaiting another ship, no pay, also not allowed in U.S.O. club.”

Foreman, himself a World War II veteran, reminded Brokaw that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt called the American Merchant Marine our nation’s fourth arm of defense.”Learn some history if you are as smart as they all say you are,” he told the journalist.

Brokaw is best known as the anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News from 1982 to 2004. He wrote the book The Greatest Generation and now serves as a special correspondent.


The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), one of the largest private-sector unions in the country, rejoined the AFL-CIO last week, ending an eight-year estrangement and boosting the AFL-CIO’s ranks by 1.3 million workers.”We join the AFL-CIO because it is the right thing to do for UFCW members, giving them more power and influence,” said UFCW President Joe Hansen.”This is not about which building in Washington D.C. we call home. It is about fostering more opportunities for workers to have a true voice on the job.”

The UFCW represents workers primarily in the retail and meatpacking, food processing and poultry industries. Its re-affiliation with the AFL-CIO effectively ends its membership in Change-to-Win, a labor federation that was launched in 2005. Change-to-Win includes the Service Employees International Union, the United Farm Workers and the Teamsters.

While Hansen said in an official statement that the relationship with Change-to-Win has been positive, UFCW leaders apparently believe their union will be most effective on Capitol Hill and at the White House as part of the AFL-CIO. Hansen said the re-affiliation made sense given the legislative efforts around the country to weaken unions since the 2010 elections.

“The decision by the UFCW to unite with the broader labor movement is great news for workers living in the ‘new normal’ of the low wage economy,” said AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka.”A stronger, more unified grassroots movement of working men and women is exactly what’s needed to raise wages for workers and rebuild an American middle class. Together we have a stronger voice in the global economy—the power to counter the excesses of CEOs and the ravages of inequality. I look forward to a strong partnership that can make a real and growing difference for today’s workers.”


The cover of the June issue of Marine News features an action shot of the MM&P-contracted dredge ATCHAFALAYA which was taken by MM&P Contracts Officer J. Lars Turner. The dramatic image captures the ATCHAFALAYA on assignment off the coast of Western Florida. The photo shows water and slurry streaming over the hopper, an everyday view for our members who work aboard the ATCHAFALAYA, an 850-ton suction hopper dredge operated by Cashman Dredging & Marine Contracting.


The Coast Guard proposes to increase rates for Great Lakes Pilotage for 2014 by an average of 2.5 percent to match the rate adjustments adopted by the Canadian Great Lakes Pilotage Authority. Comments on the proposal should be submitted by Oct. 7.


The July-August edition of The Master, Mate & Pilot has been posted on

In this issue: the essential bond between seafaring and longshore unions is the foundation of waterfront solidarity in the United States and in other nations; U.S.-flag fleet continues battle in Washington, D.C., to defend maritime jobs; MM&P and Maritime Labor Alliance partner unions reaffirm strategic partnership; Rep. Duncan Hunter speaks out on important role of food aid shipments in preserving America’s national security; greetings from MM&P members who man the McAllister Towing and Transportation Company operation in San Juan; members of the MM&P Federal Employees Membership Group (FEMG) are in the news.

To access The Master, Mate & Pilot online, go to, click on”News,” then on”MM&P Magazine” and”Current Issue.”


The 2013-2014 midterm Congressional election cycle is in full swing and a number of senators and representatives who support our industry are facing well-financed challenges. Many of these members of Congress–Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives–have worked with us to preserve the Jones Act, to fully fund the Maritime Security Program and to save the PL 480 food aid program and its U.S.-flag shipping requirement. These members of Congress stand with us and support us at every turn. It is now important for us to stand with them and give them the support they need to run successful reelection campaigns.

To support the legislators who stand with us, each MM&P active and retired member and employee should make a contribution to the MM&P PCF as quickly as possible. The attacks against our industry show no sign of letting up. Our success and our jobs are directly dependent on those who know and understand the importance of a strong U.S.-flag maritime industry to our nation’s economic, military and homeland security and who are willing to fight for the U.S.-flag merchant marine.

It is essential that each of us support the MM&P PCF to the maximum degree possible so that we in turn can support our friends and supporters in Congress. To contribute, please go to today!


Please be sure that MM&P has your current address on file, as well as your e-mail address and cell phone number. If your address has recently changed, or if you have not yet given MM&P your e-mail address and cell phone number, please send an e-mail to that includes your full name, MM&P membership group and complete contact information.


MM&P President Don Marcus will attend the membership meeting being conducted by Atlantic Ports Vice President Don Josberger at the MM&P Charleston Hall on Wednesday, Aug. 14, at 1100 hours.


Employees who work in a Coca Cola bottling plant in Turkey have been denied their right to form a union. Two years ago a majority of the employees of Coke supplier Crown Bevcan voted to join the Turkish metal workers union, Birlesik Metal-Is, but the company refuses to bargain. The Turkish Labor Ministry recognized the union’s right to represent the workers in 2012, and the local labor authority has also ordered the company to go to the bargaining table. Coca Cola refuses to intervene. Send a message to Coca Cola and its subsidiary in Turkey urging that they intervene to ensure that Crown Bevcan respects the human rights of its employees in Turkey:


MITAGS-PMI is seeking part-time simulator operators for the Transas simulation system. Simulator operators are responsible for planning for use of the simulators in all courses and assisting other team members of the Engineering Department in service and support of computer network systems.

Major duties include preparing and operating ship simulators for use in courses, assisting simulation engineers in daily system checks and problem solving, assisting in the development of ship models and databases for simulation systems by organizing and preparing documentation of model and database testing, as well as other reports as required.

Applicants should have knowledge of, or work experience in, the maritime industry. Applicants with a background or degree in Computer Science/Engineering or other related field, with two years’ experience in network support, systems integration and programming, experience servicing and designing local area networks and personal computer systems and analyzing computer systems, can be considered.

In addition all applicants must be able to work flexible hours, to include early morning, evening and/or weekend schedules, have excellent writing and communications skills, and proficiency in use of Microsoft Office Suite. This position requires moderate physical activity. If you are interested in this position, forward a cover letter and resume to the Human Resource Manager, Jane Sibiski,


The 2006 Maritime Labor Convention (MLC) will enter into force on Aug. 20, 2013.  It has been described as the fourth pillar of international shipping regulations along with SOLAS, MARPOL and STCW.  The International Labor Organization consolidated a number of previous conventions in MLC 2006. It establishes minimum standards on conditions of employment, accommodations, health and safety, medical care, crew welfare, recruitment, working conditions and social security protection. MLC will be strictly enforced during port state control inspections, including the potential for more detailed inspections and possible detention where hazardous conditions may exist if ships are not to be in compliance. Visit for more information or to register for the MLC course.


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.

Please note: There is a new dedicated fax line for Admissions only: 1-443-568-1928. For all other MITAGS business, please continue to use: 410-859-5181.

The following courses are scheduled at MITAGS. Please be advised that the schedule is subject to change. For class availability or info on MITAGS courses and programs, contact Kelly Michielli, Admissions Coordinator, toll-free at 866-656-5568 or e-mail: Or, try our on-line calendar to register for class:

AB – Able Seaman: 8/19/13, 10/14/13

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications  Systems Orientation: 9/30/13

ARPA – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 9/24/13, 10/29/13

AZIPOD (2-DAY) for Pilots: 10/3/13

BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 8/26/13

BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots:  8/19/13, 9/23/13

BST – Basic Safety Training: 10/7/13

CHS-BAS – Cargo Handling Basic: 10/21/13

CONSTB – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 1/27/14

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 9/23/13

CMM-ADVNAV – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): 9/9/13

CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 10/28/13

CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 9/9/13, 10/28/13

CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 8/26/13, 10/21/13

CMM-SHMGT – Ship Management (2 weeks): 10/7/13

CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 9/9/13, 9/23/13, 10/21/13

CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 9/16/13, 9/30/13, 10/28/13

CMM-VPEN – 9/16/13

CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 9/30/13

ECDIS-ENAV – 10/1/13

ECDIS-OICNW – 10/14/13

ENVIRO-Regs Permit – Environmental Regulations Permit: 8/26/13

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep and Medications:  9/18/13

FF-BADV – Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 10/7/13

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 8/19/13

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 9/16/13

LAP – License Advancement Program for C/Mate & Master: 9/23/13

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 9/25/13, 10/8/13

MCL – Management, Communications and Leadership

MCL OICNW –Management, Communications, and Leadership OICNW level: 9/6/13

MEDIA-RSP – Media Response Workshop:  11/6/13

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 9/9/13, 10/14/13

MED-PIC -R– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 11/11/13

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 9/9/13, 10/14/13, 10/28/13

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 8/17/13, 9/14/13, 10/12/13, 10/19/13

MSC -SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 8/19/13, 9/30/13

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (4 Evenings): 8/19/13, 9/30/13

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 8/23/13, 10/4/13

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 8/14/13, 8/28/13, 9/11/13, 9/18/13, 10/2/13, 10/9/13, 10/16/13, 10/30/13

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 9/23/13, 10/28/13

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal: 10/21/13

SEC-VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 9/3/13

SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 10/7/13

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling: 8/19/13, 10/14/13

SHS-ESH-BRMP3 – Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 10/7/13

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 1/6/14

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge:  8/26/13

WX-BAS – Basic Meteorology: 9/16/13

…And remember: If you can’t make the class, make the call.  Be courteous, don’t be a “no show.”

Check the MITAGS website at for course descriptions associated with the course title abbreviations, and schedule revisions.


Please also see our schedule online at For registration, call our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen, at (206) 838-1126.

August 2013

23rd       Radar Renewal
26-30     Basic Cargo Handling and Stowage

September 2013

3-6          ARPA
9th         Radar Renewal
9th         Medical DOT
9-13       Tankerman Person-In-Charge
9-13       Basic Shiphandling
9-20       GMDSS
11-12     Designated Person Ashore
16-20     Train the Trainer
19-21     Z-Drive/Tractor Tug Training
23-27     ECDIS

October 2013

1-2          Vessel Security Officer
7-11       Radar Observer Unlimited
7-18       GMDSS
14th       Radar Renewal
15-18     ARPA
21-25     Basic Construction and Stability
21-25     Medical Care Provider
21-1       Medical Person-In-Charge
23rd       RFPNW Assessments
28-1       Emergency Procedures / Search and Rescue
28-1       ECDIS

November 2013

4th         Med DOT
11th       Radar Renewal
11-22     GMDSS
18-20     Vessel Security Officer
18-22     ECDIS

December 2013

2-6          Tankerman Person-In-Charge
2-6          Medical Care Provider
2-13       Medical Person-In-Charge
2-13       GMDSS
9-13       ECDIS
11th       Med DOT

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.

© 2013, 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