Wheelhouse Weekly – August 21, 2012

August 21st 2012


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

Volume 16 . . . Number 34. . . Aug. 21, 2012


Did you miss a week? Back editions of the Wheelhouse Weekly are available in the 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. 3, for Labor Day.


MM&P members and officials demonstrated in Charleston, S.C., and in Washington, D.C., on Monday in support of members of International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) Local 1422, who are being threatened with the loss of their jobs loading ships for the U.S. Marine Corps.

MM&P Members David Dwyer, Ryan Guthrie, Chris Hendrickson, Jason Teal and Ruffin Warren joined the picket line in the Port of Charleston. MM&P officials, headquarters personnel and MEBA President Mike Jewell took the battle to Washington, D.C., joining about 60 ILA members in a demonstration in front of the U.S. Marine Corps Barracks.

ILA President Harold J. Daggett has called on all ILA locals, affiliates and supporters to join the picket line at the Port of Charleston, which is expected to continue for ten days.

“Longshore workers in South Carolina have long performed the work of loading ammunition and military supplies for the U.S. Marine Corps,” Daggett said. “They are now threatened with the loss of these valuable jobs to Florida workers transported to South Carolina to perform this work. The loss of these jobs will not only adversely affect the South Carolina longshore workers’ livelihood, but also the larger local economy.”

“What’s going on in Charleston isn’t right,” said the MM&P International Secretary-Treasurer, who joined the protest at U.S. Marine Corps Headquarters in Washington, D.C., along with other MM&P staff. “Out-of-state workers are being brought to Charleston to load dangerous cargo aboard the USNS LEWIS AND CLARK. These workers–who may not be adequately trained–are taking jobs away from experienced local longshoremen and may be putting our members at risk. Furthermore, these out-of-state workers are being housed aboard the USNS LEWIS AND CLARK in an unprecedented move that signifies a new low in government contracting.”

MM&P members in the Charleston area are encouraged to join the picket line in support of our ILA brothers and sisters. Please contact the Charleston Hall for more information at 843-766-3565.


The U.S. Coast Guard’s failure to issue regulations specifying how the United States will implement the 2010 STCW amendments has left the American maritime industry “in a regulatory gap” that will worsen dramatically in a brief period of time, according to the presidents of the nation’s four largest maritime unions.

In an Aug. 15 letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano, the presidents of the four unions—MM&P, MEBA, SIU and AMO—said any further delay by the Coast Guard “places the U.S.-flag maritime industry trading internationally in jeopardy, causes our U.S. mariners’ credentials to be called into question and leaves our training centers and academies in limbo.”

The STCW Convention and Code contain mandatory training and certification standards for mariners working in the international trades. The Code also regulates hours of work and rest in an attempt to avoid fatigue-related accidents. The 2010 amendments to the STCW Convention and Code became effective on Jan. 1, 2012. Although the new provisions can be phased in over a five-year period, seafarers who enter the industry starting Jan. 1 of next year are required to begin training in accordance with the 2010 amendments. “Given the magnitude and scope of the new amendments, the transition period requires very aggressive implementation on the part of our industry,” the union presidents told Napolitano.

The USCG published one notice of proposed rulemaking in 2009 and a supplement in 2011, but has still not provided the specific details needed by U.S. maritime training facilities to go forward.

The Coast Guard issued a notice Jan. 4 stating that it will not enforce the 2010 amendments until it is able to formulate the new regulations, but this does nothing to help U.S. ships in the international trades, which now face international enforcement of the new provisions. “Essentially our U.S.-flag shipping companies, our U.S.-flag ships, and our U.S.-citizen captains and officers are on their own in dealing with foreign Port State Control officials enforcing compliance with the 2010 amendments,” the union presidents wrote.

The entire U.S. seagoing labor work force on ships in international trade must undergo either additional training or refresher training to comply with the new amendments to the Convention and Code. “Due to the nature of seagoing work assignments and the limited capacity of our training facilities, careful planning over the five-year transition period is necessary to assure properly credentialed U.S. mariners are available for commercial operations and civilian-crewed military support ships,” the union presidents wrote.

They asked Napolitano to ensure that the Coast Guard implements the new provisions before the end of the year. “The inexcusable delay in implementing the internationally required training, credentialing, and work/rest hour provisions is unacceptable and brings into question the ability of the U.S. Coast Guard to publish regulations in a timely fashion to further safety, security and environmental protection,” they wrote.


The United Seamen’s Service (USS) will present the Admiral of the Ocean Sea (AOTOS) Awards for 2012 to Niels M. Johnsen, chief executive officer and chairman of International Shipholding Corporation, as well as to U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La.), and Robert Johnston of Overseas Shipholding Group.

“Niels M. Johnsen is a Viet Nam veteran who proudly served his country in the U.S. Army, in addition to being an economic patriot by maintaining a fleet of U.S.-flag ships and preserving American jobs by testifying before Congress to promote increased use of U.S.-flag vessels in U.S.-foreign trade,” said the MM&P International President. “He is an ideal choice to receive the maritime industry’s most prestigious honor.”

“Niels M. Johnsen represents the finest in ship management and Sen. Mary Landrieu has spent her career in elected office bringing a leadership voice to efforts that benefit all Americans,” said Gen. Kenneth Wykle, chairman of the USS AOTOS Committee and president of the National Defense Transportation Association.

The awards will be presented at a dinner in New York City on Oct. 26. During the course of the ceremony, a group of U.S. mariners will be honored for acts of bravery and heroism at sea.

All proceeds from the event benefit USS community services abroad for the U.S. merchant marine, seafarers of all nations and U.S. government and military.


New York City utility workers who belong to UWUA Local 1-2 last week approved a new contract with Consolidated Edison (Con Ed). The good news came following months of labor strife, including a lock-out and demonstrations by the 8,000 UWUA members and supporters in many other unions, including MM&P.

The four-year agreement was approved by a 93-percent margin. Chief among the contract highlights is the provision that in future agreements, through the year 2037, Con Edison can no longer seek to change the defined pension benefit retirement plan for members who were employed as of July 1, 2012. Employees hired after that date will receive a cash balance pension benefit which, if coupled with Con Ed’s 100 percent matching contribution through its Thrift Savings Plan, will, over time, be on par with those members covered under the defined pension benefit, a spokesman for the UWUA said.


As the heat waves continue to roll across the United States, what could be better than a refreshing ice cream sundae? And while you’re at it, why not make your sundae using products made by union members? Choose an ice cream brand like Good Humor, Breakstone, Breyers, Labelle, Laura Secord, Carvel, Kraft, Land-O-Sun Dairies or Perry’s. Top it off with union-friendly toppings: Hershey’s Chocolate Sauce, Frito Lay Peanuts, Planters Peanuts, Cool Whip or Country Fresh Cream. (Although Hershey’s operates a number of non-union manufacturing facilities in the United States and Mexico, the chocolate sauce is 100 percent union made.) Enjoy!


The MM&P Norfolk Hall has a new schedule. The hall is now open 0900-0300 Monday through Friday.


The Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee (MERPAC) will meet in Washington, D.C., Sept. 11-12. The meeting will be open to the public. MERPAC working groups will meet on Sept. 11 from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. The full committee will meet briefly on the morning of Sept. 11 and again on Sept. 12 from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.  Written comments to be distributed to committee members and placed on the MERPAC website are due by Aug. 31. The committee will meet in Room 2501 of Coast Guard Headquarters, 2100 Second Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20593. Attendees will be required to provide a photo identification card. Visitors should arrive at least 30 minutes in advance of the meeting.

Written comments must be identified by Docket No. USCG–2012-0763 and submitted by one of the following methods: 1) Federal eRulemaking Portal:; Fax: 202-372-1918; Mail: Docket Management Facility (M-30), Department of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, D.C. 20590-0001; Hand delivery: Same as mail address above. The telephone number is 202-366-9329. All submissions must include the words “Department of Homeland Security” and the docket number.

Requests to make oral presentations should be made in advance using one of the methods listed above. For more information contact Rogers Henderson, 202-372-1408. for questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call Renee V. Wright, 202-366-9826. To see the agenda for the meeting, go to:


The Offshore Familiarization Course, formerly called the D-Book Membership Course, will be held at regular intervals throughout 2012.

The schedule is as follows (but please note that course dates may change depending on the number of participants who sign up): Sept. 7-8 at MM&P Headquarters; Oct. 9-10 in New Jersey; Oct. 17-18 in Los Angeles; Nov. 7-8 in Houston.

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 MM&P Membership Secretary Mary Seidman:


Data published recently by the European Commission show that sulfur dioxide emissions from ships have decreased by 66 percent in European Union (EU) ports since a new shipping fuel policy was implemented in 2010. Researchers measured air quality in Mediterranean harbors before and after the low-sulfur requirements for ships at anchor was introduced in January 2010.

In Mediterranean harbors in Spain and Italy, the tests found an average drop of 66 percent in concentrations of sulfur dioxide. Measurements taken in the port of Tunis, which is outside the EU, showed no decline. Since 2010, all ships berthed or anchored in EU harbors must use fuels with a sulfur content of less than 0.1 percent by weight compared to a 4.5 percent allowance in previous years.


Try our on-line calendar to register for class:

For class availability or information on courses and programs, contact MITAGS Admissions Coordinator Kelly Michielli toll free at 866-656-5568 or e-mail her at

Between now and the end of September, the following courses are scheduled at MITAGS.

AB – Able Bodied Seaman: 10/15

AIS-1 – Automatic Identification Systems (one day): 10/10

ARPA – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 9/25, 10/23, 12/3

AZIPOD (2-DAY) for Pilots: 10/11, 11/12

BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 8/27, 10/19

BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots:  8/23, 11/29

BST – Basic Safety Training: 10/8

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 9/10, 11/12

CMM-ADVNAV – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): 10/22

CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 10/1, 12/17

CMM-CHS – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 10/8

CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information Systems: 11/12

CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 11/26

CMM-SHMGT – Ship Management (2 weeks): 9/17, 12/3

CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 9/10, 9/4, 10/22, 11/5, 11/26, 12/10

CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 9/17, 10/1, 10/29, 11/12, 12/3, 12/17

CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 8/27, 11/5

CHS-BAS – Basic Cargo Handling & Stowage: 10/22

CNAV – Celestial Navigation: 11/5

CONSTAB – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 12/15

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning: 11/10

ECDIS-ENAV (2 DAY) for Pilots: 10/11

ENVIRO-Regs Permit – Environmental Regulations Permit: 8/28, 11/8

EP – Emergency Procedures: 10/17

FF-BADV – Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 10/8

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 11/26

LAP – License Advancement Program for Chief Mate & Master: 9/17

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 10/10, 11/29

MEDIA RSP – Media Response Workshop: 11/6

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 9/17, 10/15, 12/3

MED-PIC -R– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 11/12

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 9/17, 10/15, 10/29, 12/3

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 9/22, 10/20, 12/8

MSC -SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 10/1, 11/12

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (4 Evenings): 10/1

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 10/5

RFPNW – Rating Forming Part of a Navigational Watch: 10/1

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 8/29, 9/14, 10/3, 10/17, 10/31, 11/14, 12/5, 12/12

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 9/24, 10/11

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal: 10/7, 11/26

SAR – Search & Rescue: 10/15

SEC-VCF – Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 11/7

SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 10/8, 11/16

SHS-ESH-BRMP3 – Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots:  10/8

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling:  10/15

WX-BAS – Basic Meteorology: 9/17

WKP-BAS – Watchkeeping Basic (2 weeks): 10/1

… 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.


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

August 2012

27th    Radar Renewal
27th    Flashing Light
28-31   ARPA

September 2012

4-7     Basic Cargo Handling and Stowage
5-6     Vessel Security Officer
10-14   Radar Observer Unlimited
10-14   Bridge Resource Management w/ Simulation
10-21   Celestial Navigation
17-21   Basic Construction and Stability
17-28   GMDSS
24-27   ARPA
24-28   Able Bodied Seaman
24-28   Medical Care Provider

MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 8-21-2012 at 11:00 a.m.

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
13,321.59 3,096.13 1,425.55

Mutual Funds (Live)

Click a mutual fund for more information.
Click the right or left arrow on the right side of the ticker to browse the mutual funds.

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.

© 2012, 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