News

Wheelhouse Weekly – August 16, 2011

August 16th 2011

 

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

Volume 15 . . . . . Number 33. . . . August 16, 2011

STORIES COVERED

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


MM&P CLOSED SEPT. 5 FOR LABOR DAY

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. 5, for Labor Day.


A BIG WIN FOR MM&P WASHINGTON STATE FERRY CAPTAINS

By an overwhelming margin, Washington State Ferry captains have cast their votes for MM&P representation in a state-imposed referendum aimed at eliminating their collective bargaining rights. The vote took place after months of attacks against our organization and our members by anti-labor politicians, which culminated in a legislatively imposed measure that could have stripped the ferry captains of union representation.

But MM&P members, with the support of other Washington state unions, rolled back the attempt to legislatively decertify the bargaining unit’s legitimate, democratically chosen labor representative. When the votes were counted in Olympia, 75 of the 80 members who returned their ballots cast their votes for MM&P representation. (The other five voted for no representation.)

“When all of this began, there was one highly professional bargaining unit of captains and mates who had partnered with the state and provided an unmatched safety and performance standard to the public for over fifty years,” said MM&P United Inland Group Vice President Mike Murray. “We will now move forward with negotiating new agreements for the captains-only bargaining unit and the mates-only bargaining unit.”
               
“Prior to the next union meeting, I will circulate some ideas on how to move forward with setting up two negotiating teams: one for our captains bargaining unit and one for our mates,” said MM&P Regional Representative Tim Saffle. “Both will be fully represented in accordance with our longstanding democratic processes.”

“Our membership is united and will pass every test as it comes up,” Murray said.


MM&P WELCOMES NEW MEMBERS OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES MEMBERSHIP GROUP

Civil Service mariners are joining MM&P’s Federal Employees Membership Group (FEMG) in large numbers. The union’s General Executive Board approved 30 applications for membership in the FEMG at their most recent meeting, and more applications are pending.

New MM&P FEMG members include: deck officers aboard Military Sealift Command ships; medical services officers in the MSO bargaining unit that MM&P gained recognition for in a Federal Labor Relations Authority election held in December 2010; Army Corps floating plant employees; officers aboard NOAA ships; and civil service pilots. The new members join existing members of MM&P’s Offshore, United Inland and Pilot Membership Groups. By becoming members, all benefit from a collective voice in dealing with management.


WHO ELSE IS JOINING UNIONS IN AMERICA TODAY?

Over 40,000 transportation security officers joined the American Federation of Government Employees in June. About 3,000 Piedmont Airlines employees joined the Communications Workers of America last November. Over 3,000 Republic Airlines employees joined the Teamsters in May.

And there are many other recent success stories. The Writers’ Guild of America, East, has negotiated contracts for writers at the Onion News Network, as well as at cable TV outlets including Animal Planet, Food Network, National Geographic and the Travel Channel. In July, workers at a Virginia IKEA furniture factory voted to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. Retail sales clerks in the New York branches of the Swedish clothing chain H&M joined the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) this summer. A UFCW affiliate has just succeeded in organizing 1,400 workers at Filene’s Basement stores and a distribution center in New York. In May, workers at Rite-Aid’s Southwest Distribution Center in Lancaster, Calif., joined the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.

These thousands of workers have joined together with their coworkers and with the larger labor movement to have a voice at work, to have collective strength and to make improvements in their working lives. Let’s build on these recent victories! Every new MM&P member makes our union and the American labor movement stronger. If you are an MM&P member, tell your co-workers why. Become a voice at work for solidarity and for our collectively bargained rights.


MATSON WILL END CLX2 SERVICE

Matson Navigation Company says it is ending its expanded China-Long Beach Express service (CLX2), which includes service to and from Hong Kong, Yantian, Shanghai and Long Beach. The company said it had made the decision because of “overcapacity in the transpacific trade and high fuel prices.” A Matson official said that discontinuation of the CLX2 service will have no effect on its original China-Long Beach Express service (CLX1), which was launched in 2006. In a statement, the company said that the financial model for the two services is different, in that the CLX1 service benefits from round-trip cost synergies.


EXPRESS YOUR SUPPORT FOR THE NLRB’S PROPOSED RULE CHANGES

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has proposed rule changes aimed at eliminating some of the obstacles that block the path of American workers who want to form a union. In response to the proposals, corporate CEOs and their backers in Congress have launched a multipronged attack on the NLRB itself. They have tried to pass an amendment to defund the NLRB (they ended up merely slashing the budget) and flooded the agency with comments opposing the proposals.

When workers want to form a union, they should get a fair chance to do so. That’s a basic right under U.S. and international law. But too often it’s denied.

The NLRB’s proposed rules are a first step to cleaning up the broken, loophole-ridden union election system that gives employers the opportunity to harass, intimidate and fire workers trying to have a union at work.

The NLRB is accepting public comments about the new rule until Monday, Aug. 22. Can you let the NLRB members know that you support the proposed changes to update and streamline the election process? Go to http://tinyurl.com/6xfw2bv to express your support for the changes. There is no need to comment on the proposals in detail; a generic message of support will be appreciated, along the lines of: “As a working merchant mariner, I support your proposed rule to help level the playing field so workers can make their own choice about whether to form a union. Please continue to protect the path unions provide to good jobs and the middle class.”


MLL RELEASES FIRST SUSTAINABILITY REPORT

MM&P-contracted employer Maersk Line, Limited earlier this summer released its first sustainability report. It includes the company’s goals and recent achievements, along with a comprehensive analysis of the programs implemented in 2010. “The report involved efforts from virtually every department across MLL,” says company President and CEO John F. Rienhart,” and is a direct reflection of our commitment to being a responsible corporate citizen.”

Reinhart says that MLL’s most important sustainability measure is safety, a factor embodied in its “Drive to Zero” campaign. “Our objective is to have no lost-time incidents ever,” he writes in the introduction to the report. The “Drive to Zero” campaign calls for “reporting transparency” and includes an aggressive drive “to eradicate slips, trips and falls.”

In terms of other objectives, he says, “MLL is steadfast on making a positive difference within our local and global communities. We take pride as a leader within the maritime industry in operating with strong governance practices, reducing our impact on the environment, and fostering a positive workplace.”

The company says the data presented in the report establishes a baseline for future reports and will serve as a roadmap to track progress against the objectives. To find out more, go to www.maersklinelimited.com.


UK-DUTCH OFFICERS’ UNION BRANCHES OUT INTO SWITZERLAND

Nautilus, the labor union that represents merchant marine officers in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, has established a branch in Switzerland. “Nautilus International took another step forward in trans-boundary trade union organization last month with the launch of its Swiss section, to run alongside the Dutch and U.K. branches,” according to the organization’s monthly magazine, The Telegraph. Under an agreement with the Basel-based union UNIA, around 800 Swiss maritime workers have been transferred, establishing in the process a Nautilus Swiss branch and national committee.

“The launch of Nautilus International in Switzerland is part of a plan conceived in 2000 to unite maritime professionals in a single cross-border trade union,” Nautilus General Secretary Mark Dickinson said. “This agreement is a hugely significant development, because it increases our level of involvement in representing seafarers serving on European inland waterways, where we are already the largest inland navigation union in Western Europe.”


INTERNATIONAL DOCKERS’ UNIONS BACK AMERICAN BMW WORKERS

Inspectors and dock workers who belong to unions affiliated with the International Transport Federation (ITF) are showing their support for American BMW workers by holding events at BMW car-importing ports, showrooms and offices around the world. The actions are to back some 70 workers at the company’s Ontario, Calif., parts distribution plant, who are due to be sacked at the end of this month and their jobs outsourced.

ITF solidarity actions such as “information pickets” (explaining the reasons for the dispute to the public and potential BMW buyers) took place earlier this month at the major BMW vehicle-shipper ports of Antwerp, Bremerhaven, Durban, Laem Chabang, Melbourne, Rotterdam, Veracruz and Zeebrugge. ITF trade unionists also made calls at BMW plants, dealerships and offices, in support of their colleagues from the Teamsters union, which represents the threatened Ontario workers.

“Dockers at the biggest ports through which BMW cars are transshipped have reacted speedily to a request to show the company that we take the welfare of our colleagues seriously, wherever they are in the world,” said ITF Dockers’ Section Secretary Frank Leys. “We trust BMW will now revisit its decision to replace the faithful and long-serving staff at the Ontario plant.”


WISCONSIN WORKING FAMILIES WIN TWO OF SIX IN RECALL ELECTIONS

Wisconsin working families won two of six recall elections last week, ousting incumbent state senators who backed Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s attacks on the collective bargaining rights of public employees. Democrat Jessica King defeated Republican incumbent Randy Hopper in Senate District 18 and Democrat Jennifer Shilling won over incumbent state Sen. Dan Kapanke in Senate District 32. The victories narrow the Wisconsin Republican Senate majority to one.

The districts with recalls were in largely rural areas that have consistently elected Republicans–voters in one had not elected a Democrat since the late 1800s. Although Barack Obama carried Wisconsin by 14 points in 2008, no Democrat won in the contested districts. A columnist for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel examined the party makeup of the districts and concluded that Democrats faced a severe disadvantage. As Craig Gilbert wrote: “Democrats are running “uphill” in five of the six elections Tuesday, trying to capture districts that are more Republican than the state as a whole in their partisan makeup.”

More than 12,000 volunteers mobilized for months in recall districts, contacting more than 1 million voters and knocking on 125,000 doors in the weekend preceding the vote. Wisconsin goes to the polls again Aug. 16, as this issue of The Wheelhouse Weekly is being distributed, in the final set of recall elections.


MM&P MEMBERS APPROVE ALL SHIPPING RULES AND WORK RULES BALLOT ITEMS

Members of MM&P’s Offshore Group have approved all the items on the Shipping Rules and Work Rules ballot. The votes were counted on Thursday, Aug. 11, at MM&P Headquarters in Linthicum Heights, Md. The union extends sincere thanks to Ballot Committee Members Ted Bernhard and Jake O’Boyle. More details will be posted in the Members Only section of the MM&P website in coming days.

This referendum was particularly important because some of the measures will affect Shipping and Port Relief Officer dispatch procedures. We salute those members who took an active role in the process. MM&P has a transparent and democratic hiring hall system whereby our membership bids on Offshore and Port Relief Officer employment. This referendum and others like it ensure that our shipping procedures and Work Rules serve the needs of our membership.


UPDATE FROM THE MM&P GREAT LAKES & RIVERS GROUP

It’s full steam ahead for members of MM&P’s United Inland Group who sail on the Great Lakes. “We have ongoing contract negotiations with Great Lakes Fleet/Key-Lakes; Erie Sand & Gravel; and Great Lakes Towing,” reports MM&P Regional Representative Charlie Malue. “All of our ships are running with order books full for the season.” Mates with Great Lakes Pilotage are still needed to crew MM&P ships. If you are qualified and would like to sail on the lakes, please send an e-mail to cmalue@bridgedeck.org.


NEWS FROM THE MM&P JUNEAU HALL POSTED ON WWW.BRIDGEDECK.ORG

A number of activities for union members and their families in Juneau are either underway or in the planning stages. The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance Trap Shoot and dinner will be held on Aug. 23, and the local AFL-CIO has scheduled a Labor Day picnic. To find out more about the activities that are planned, go to: .


UPGRADES TO WWW.BRIDGEDECK.ORG MAKE IT EASIER TO APPLY FOR MEMBERSHIP

MM&P’s website has been upgraded and enhanced. We’ve made it easier for prospective members to assemble the documents necessary to apply for membership. Just go to www.bridgedeck.org, and click on “Join MM&P” in the left-hand column. There, you’ll find all the information and forms you need to become a member.


COME TO THE LOS ANGELES LABOR DAY MARCH ON SEPT. 5!

All MM&P members, applicants and their families in the Los Angeles/Long Beach area are encouraged to participate in this year’s Labor Day March. Thousands of union members and their families attend the march every year to demonstrate their support for America’s working families and our country’s labor unions. There will be a rally in Banning Park after the march. If you want to participate, come to the LA/LB union hall between 0800 and 0830. We will walk to the staging area at 0900. Wear your MM&P shirt and show your solidarity. Join us as we march in Los Angeles Sept. 5 in honor of Labor Day!


FIRST MERPAC MEETING OF 2011 SCHEDULED FOR OCT. 6-7

The first MERPAC meeting of 2011 will be held at Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 6-7. For more information, please contact Mark C. Gould: mark.c.gould@uscg.mil or (202) 372-1409.


SCHEDULE FOR 2011 OFFSHORE DIVISION ORIENTATION COURSE

The Offshore Division Orientation Course, formerly called the D-Book Membership Course, will be held at regular intervals throughout 2011.

The schedule is as follows (but please note that course dates may change depending on the number of participants who sign up): Oct. 13-14 in Los Angeles/Long Beach; Oct. 21-22 at MM&P headquarters in Linthicum Heights; and Nov. 8-9 in New Orleans.

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 urged to attend.

 If you want to attend the course, please RSVP to the local hiring hall where the class is offered or, in the case of a course planned for headquarters, to Mary Seidman at mseidman@bridgedeck.org.


U.S. TO SELL 12 OBSOLETE LIGHTHOUSES

Every year, as part of the government’s effort to dispose of excess property, the General Services Administration (GSA) must find buyers for several lighthouses which have become obsolete as a result of technological advances. During the past decade, the government has found owners for 63 obsolete lighthouses. This year, 12 are being offered for sale. The preferred buyers are not-for-profit organizations that will preserve the lighthouses as historic landmarks and open them to the general public. If no appropriate candidate can be found, the properties are offered for sale via an online auction. Private owners are required to preserve the lighthouses as well, but they do not have to open them to the public. According to an article by Caitlin Fairchild in the Aug. 2011 issue of Government Executive magazine, “lighthouses have sold for as little as $10,000 and for as much as $250,000.” The proceeds of the sales go the Coast Guard for investment in new facilities.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

Try our on-line interactive calendar to register for class: MITAGS:PMI :: Courses

For class availability or info on MITAGS courses and programs, contact Kelly Michielli, Admissions Coordinator, toll-free at 866-656-5568 or Email: admissions@mitags.org.

AB – Able Bodied Seaman: 8/22, 10/17

ARPA � Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 9/27
AZIPOD (2-DAY) for Pilots: 10/13

BRM � Bridge Resource Management: 9/26, 11/14
BRMP � Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 11/28
BST – Basic Safety Training: 8/15, 10/10

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVWX � Advanced Meteorology: 9/12, 11/14
CMM-ADVNAV � Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): 10/31
CMM-ADVSTB � Advanced Stability: 10/3
CMM-CHS � Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 10/10
CMM-ECDIS � Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems: 11/17, 12/5
CMM-MPP � Marine Propulsion Plants: 10/24
CMM-SHMGT – Ship Management (2 weeks): 9/19, 12/5
CMM-SHS-ADV-I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 9/12, 9/26, 10/24, 11/7, 11/28
CMM-SHS-ADV-I I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 8/15, 9/19, 10/3, 10/31, 11/14, 12/5
CMM-VPEN � Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 8/22, 10/31
CMM-WKP � Advanced Watchkeeping: 8/29, 11/28

CONT PLNG � Contingency Planning: 11/10
CHS BAS � Basic Cargo Handing and Stowage: 10/31

ECDIS-ENAV (2 DAY) for Pilots: 10/17
EP � Emergency Procedures: 10/19
ENAV � Electronic Navigation: 9/12
ENVIRO-Regs Permit � Environmental Regulations Permit: 8/29, 11/8

FF-BADV � Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 8/15, 10/10
FSM � Fatigue, Sleep and Medications for Pilots: 10/19

HAZ � Hazardous Materials (5 day): 8/22, 11/28

LAP � License Advancement Program for Chief Mate & Master: 10/3
LAP-ORG 3rd � License Advancement Program for Original 3/Mate: 12/5
LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 9/12, 10/17, 11/28

MCL – Management, Communications and Leadership: 9/12
MEDIA-RSP � Media Response Workshop: 11/11
MED-PIC – Medical Person In Charge: 10/24
MED-PIC -R� Medical Person In Charge Refresher: 9/12, 11/14
MED-PRO � Medical Care Provider: 10/24
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 10/29

MSC-CBRD1 � Basic Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense: 8/12, 10/7
MSC-DC � Damage Control: 10/3
MSC -SMA � Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 10/3, 11/14

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 8/18, 9/14, 10/5, 10/19, 11/2, 11/16, 12/7, 12/14
ROP-5 � Radar Observer Original and Renewal: 11/7

SAR � Search & Rescue: 10/17
SEC-VCF � Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 11/7
SHS-BAS � Basic Shiphandling: 8/29, 10/10, 12/12
SHS-ESH-BRMP3 � Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 10/10
SHS-EMR5 � Emergency Shiphandling: 10/17

C-NAV � Celestial Navigation: 11/7
TPIC-DL � Tankerman Person In Charge Dangerous Liquids: 8/15

WX BAS � Basic Meteorology: 9/19, 10/3

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

Check the MITAGS website at www.mitags.org for course descriptions associated with the course title abbreviations, and schedule revisions. For class availability or info on MITAGS courses and programs, contact admissions toll-free at 866-656-5568 or e-mail: admissions@mitags.org


PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

Schedule of Courses – Please also see our schedule online at www.mates.org

For registration, call our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen, at (206) 838-1126

August 2011

8-12    ECDIS
15-19   Tankerman PIC
15-19   Basic Meteorology
22nd   Radar Renewal
22-26  Medical Care Provider
27th    Medical DOT
22-2    Medical Person-In-Charge
23-26  ARPA

September 2011

6-16    Celestial Navigation
12-23  GMDSS
19-23  Medical Care Provider
26-30 Med PIC Refresher
26-30 ECDIS
26-30 Basic Shiphandling

October 2011

3-7      Basic Construction and Stability
3-14    GMDSS
10-14  ECDIS
11th      Flashing Light
12-13   Basic Environmental Awareness w/ Vessel General Permit
17th      Radar Renewal
17-21   Management, Communication, and Leadership
17-21   Basic Shiphandling
18-20  Security – Vessel, Company, and Facility
24-28 Basic Cargo Handling and Stowage


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 8-16-11
(Mutual Fund Data as of 8-15-2011 close)

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
11,457.17 2,539.73 1,197.40
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund (VAARX)
52.53
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
111.20
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
38.98
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
18.22
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
17.42
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
24.50
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
11.20
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
30.88
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.59
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
16.25
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
21.25
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
14.19
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
19.22
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
12.14
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
12.46
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
12.44
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
12.70
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
13.07
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.97
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
30.22
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
17.02
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
15.21
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
17.26
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.90
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
60.34
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
63.06
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
16.69
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
44.79
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
28.46
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
26.33
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.40
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
12.12
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
13.56
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
13.64
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
13.43
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
7.72
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
8.97
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
11.07
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
35.58
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
42.72
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
29.42



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: iommp@bridgedeck.org. For further info or to subscribe contact Lisa Rosenthal at lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org. The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea and is posted on our web page.

© 2011, 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: lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org. For changes of address, contact Lisa Rosenthal at lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org.