News

Wheelhouse Weekly – August 23, 2011

August 23rd 2011

 

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

Volume 15 . . . . . Number 34. . . . August 23, 2011

STORIES COVERED

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


FORMER ILA LEADER JOHN M. BOWERS DIES AT 88

John M. Bowers, who led the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) from 1987 until 2007, died Monday at the age of 88. “John Bowers’ tenure as president of the ILA was marked by consensus and bridge building,” said MM&P International President Tim Brown. “He listened to all but kept his focus on benefits and wages for the ILA membership. He will be missed for his human touch and sense of humor.”

“The ILA family and the entire labor movement has lost one of its most important figures,” said ILA President Harold Daggett. “John Bowers helped shape the ILA into one of the most successful unions. Our respect throughout the country and around the world is a tribute to him.”


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.


HURRICANE IRENE HEADING TOWARD SOUTHEASTERN UNITED STATES

The National Hurricane Center in Miami predicts that Hurricane Irene is likely to become a Category 3 storm on Tuesday and a Category 4 storm by Thursday. Irene has already cut a path of destruction through the Caribbean. Forecasters say it could land in Florida, Georgia or South Carolina. It is the first hurricane to seriously threaten the United States since Hurricane Ike struck Texas in 2008.


COAST GUARD SOLICITS FEEDBACK ON CREDENTIALING PROGRAM

The Coast Guard is asking mariners to respond to a 12-question survey on whether or not they are satisfied with the customer service provided by the National Maritime Center (NMC). The agency said the survey results “will guide improvements to the products and services provided by the NMC, which is why mariner and stakeholder involvement is critical.”

MM&P continues to receive complaints from members who say they are waiting an inordinate amount of time for the Coast Guard to review their medical evaluations. The ILO Maritime Labor Convention will take effect in January 2012. MM&P is a strong supporter of the new ILO standards and believes that their introduction will bring about an improvement in processing times for mariners in the United States, if the USCG applies a reasonable interpretation of the Convention’s provisions.

In the meantime, there are two ways to access the Coast Guard’s customer satisfaction survey:

– mariners who provide an e-mail address as part of their application information will be automatically e-mailed a link to the survey 10 days after their merchant mariner credential has been issued;

– mariners who do not provide an e-mail address as part of their application information and others who want to give feedback to the Coast Guard can access a link to the survey on the NMC website (www.uscg.mil/nmc).

The Coast Guard says that the survey is anonymous and should take less than seven minutes to complete and submit electronically.


MM&P-CREWED SHIPS IN GOVERNMENT FLEET WIN SAFETY AWARDS

Military Sealift Command (MSC) has recognized five vessels with MM&P licensed deck officers on board for an exemplary commitment to safety and excellent safety records. The five are USNS FLINT, USS EMORY S. LAND, USNS CATAWBA, USS FRANK CABLE and USNS 1ST LT. HARRY L. MARTIN. “Senior shipboard personnel aboard these vessels have established a safety culture in which all crew members’ safety concerns and opinions on safety are valued,” said a spokesman for MSC in an official release to the press.

The USNS FLINT won in the category of Auxiliary, Combat Logistics Force. The USS EMORY S. LAND won in the category of Auxiliary, Strategic Sealift. In addition to a plaque and a certificate, each ship receives $15,000 to be used to improve the quality of shipboard life.

For their exemplary commitment to safety and excellent safety performance records, USNS 1ST LT. HARRY L. MARTIN, USNS CATAWBA and USS FRANK CABLE received honorable mentions.


MM&P JOINS OTHER MARITIME UNIONS IN URGING ACTION ON LIFEBOAT SAFETY RULES

Recent International Maritime Organization (IMO) proposals to reduce the number of lifeboat accidents do not go nearly far enough, according to MM&P, the U.K.-Dutch officers union Nautilus and other maritime unions. Earlier this summer, the IMO Maritime Safety Committee approved long-awaited amendments to the SOLAS Convention and the Life Saving Appliance Code on lifeboat release-hook mechanisms. “We have been debating the topic of lifeboat safety at the IMO for the past four years,” said MM&P Pilots Group Vice President George Quick, who represents MM&P in international forums. “We are not completely satisfied with the outcome. It’s a halfway measure.”

In particular, unions and ship owners are concerned that proposals on hook stability and vibration testing were not taken forward by the Maritime Safety Committee. Although the IMO has agreed interim requirements for the use of fall preventer devices, the industry argues that a permanent secondary safety system that would lock all movable parts of a release hook and reduce the risk of vibration should be included in the design of new hooks.

“The additional safety assurance provided by such a measure during drills and particularly during lifeboat recovery appears compelling, especially because an appropriate vibration test has yet to be identified,” the unions and ship owners said in a statement released last month and published in The Nautilus Telegraph.

Under the amendments to the SOLAS Convention, owners will be required to ensure that their ships are equipped with safer on-load release mechanisms and to replace existing lifeboat release hooks not complying with the amended LSA Code by no later than July 2019. The importance of the agreement has been underlined by fatal accidents involving a U.K. car carrier and a French containership. In the second case, an officer and a cadet were killed when part of the davit arrangement failed during recovery of a lifeboat. A spokesman for the International Transport Workers Federation said the recent IMO proposals “do not resolve the issue of defective equipment.” In themeantime, he added, “seafarers are dying.”


VERIZON STRIKERS RETURN TO WORK

Unions representing 45,000 striking Verizon employees reached a return-to-work agreement with the company on Saturday, bringing a resolution to the 14-day strike. Both parties have agreed to extend the existing collective bargaining agreement and will continue negotiations. All pickets and demonstrations have been suspended.

According to Communications Workers of America President Larry Cohen, the decision to end the strike came after the unions and the company agreed on a structure and focus for bargaining on employment security, healthcare contributions and pensions. Cohen told Reuters that the issues on the table are complicated and will “take some time” to work out but he said the union was looking forward to the joint process.


BMW WORKERS, WITH SUPPORT FROM INTERNATIONAL DOCKERS UNIONS, WIN INTERIM AGREEMENT

Some 70 car parts distribution workers in Ontario, Calif., will see their job contract extended after union representatives and BMW management brokered an agreement. The workers had been facing dismissal at the end of August because their jobs were set to be outsourced. During a six-month extension negotiated between the company and the Teamsters, the contract will be extended for six months. During this period, management has committed to work with the union to reach a mutually acceptable solution. Earlier this month, unions around the world took part in solidarity actions in BMW vehicle shipper ports and BMW dealerships, offices and plants in protest over the plans to dismiss the workers and outsource their jobs.


FOR YOUR LABOR DAY PARTY, SHOP UNION-MADE FOR ALL YOUR OUTDOOR GRILLING NEEDS!S

Enjoy a great grilling party this Labor Day as you support good union jobs! Cook up your hot dogs and hamburgers on a UAW-made Weber Grill or an IBB-made Thermador. Wrap ‘em up in buns baked by members of the BCTGM: Oroweat Brand by Bimbo, or Parkerhouse and Kaiser rolls by Canada Bread Company. Dress ‘em up with Heinz, Open Pit or French’s condiments, all made by UFCW members. Fill it all out with UFCW-made Ebro or Van de Camp Baked Beans and Frito Lay snacks. Wash it all down with soft drinks including Coca Cola, Barq’s Root Beer and Minute Maid lemonade. Then… cool off with a Miller or a Budweiser, or any of the other 40 union-made brand name beers.


TWO PIRATES RECEIVE LIFE SENTENCES IN FATAL YACHT ATTACK

Two Somali pirates were sentenced to life in prison Monday for their roles in the February attack on the yacht QUEST that left four Americans dead. The two, Ali Abdi Mohamed and Burhan Abdirahman Yusuf, are the first pirates to be sentenced in the case. The two admitted taking part in the hijacking of the QUEST off the coast of Oman in the Arabian Sea. Both said they were simply acting as guards and were not responsible for the death of the hostages. They received life in prison without the possibility of parole, although government spokesmen said they could get their sentences reduced for continued cooperation in the prosecution of the three men accused of actually shooting the four Americans. Those three will stand trial sometime next year on capital murder charges. There is no word yet on whether the government will seek the death penalty.


PIRATES RELEASE MALTA-FLAGGED BULK CARRIER

MV SININ, a Malta-flagged bulk carrier which had been hijacked by pirates on Feb. 12, was released on Aug. 13. The 21-man crew is reported to be safe. The ship was attacked 315 nautical miles off Masirah Island, Oman, while traveling from the United Arab Emirates to Singapore.


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.


MITAGS HOSTS MARITIME EXECUTIVE FORUM ON JONES ACT AND JOB CREATION OCT. 12-13

The Jones Act has the potential to generate hundreds of thousands of new jobs and should be a central focus of the campaign to jumpstart the nation’s economy. This is the tenet of a national forum sponsored by Maritime Executive, the publishing company that produces Maritime Executive magazine and MarEx newsletter. The company will hold a national forum on the Jones Act at MITAGS Oct. 12-13.

“Today, U.S. vessel operators, shipbuilders, training institutions and port authorities have been overlooked as vital assets in the U.S. economic recovery plan,” the company said in an official release. “With your support, we aim to change that perspective in Congress and, most importantly, among the American people through a media campaign titled ‘Strong Ships for America’ and a series of strategic Jones Act conferences. The Oct. 12-13 conference at MITAGS is “the beginning of a national campaign to jumpstart the American economy, a campaign that will continue throughout 2012 and right up to Election Day in November.” To register, go to: http://www.maritime-executive.com/registration.php.


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.


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: 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: 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: 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: 10/10
FSM � Fatigue, Sleep and Medications for Pilots: 10/19

HAZ � Hazardous Materials (5 day): 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: 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: 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

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

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 8-19-11

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
10,817.65 2,341.84 1,123.53
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund (VAARX)
49.49
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
103.78
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
35.41
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
16.95
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
15.81
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
22.94
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
11.18
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
28.54
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.58
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
15.78
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
20.02
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
14.00
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
18.40
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
11.91
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
11.98
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
11.82
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
11.93
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
12.26
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
11.04
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
28.05
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
15.78
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
14.70
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
16.23
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.93
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
60.64
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
58.04
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
15.53
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
40.74
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
26.48
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
24.17
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.25
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
11.96
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
13.13
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
13.12
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
12.79
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
7.29
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
8.44
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
11.10
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
32.35
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
39.87
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
27.41



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.