Wheelhouse Weekly – August 25th, 2020

August 26th 2020

Volume 25… Number 34… Aug. 25, 2020


Convention Coverage:


Coast Guard Announcements:


Job Opportunity:


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Delegates convened at MM&P headquarters, union halls and offices around the country on Aug. 22-23 to participate in the MM&P Constitutional Convention and 88th Biennial Convention—the first in the union’s 133-year-history to be conducted online.

In accordance with Covid-19 safety protocols, delegates wore masks and adhered to strict social distancing rules.

“This is a somber moment both in our union and in our country,” MM&P President Don Marcus said in his opening remarks.

“There can be no minimizing the hardships that our members are going through on vessels of every type and in our country at large.”

Delegates participated in the Conventions from MM&P headquarters, union halls in Boston, Charleston, Cleveland, Honolulu, Houston, New York/New Jersey, Norfolk, Oakland and Seattle, and from offices in Juneau and San Juan.

The Conventions covered six time zones. Over the two-day period, there were only two absences among the 54 delegates.

The fact that so many delegates in union halls across the country participated in the Conventions–despite Covid-19 concerns and weekend distractions—attests to members’ commitment to MM&P and to the labor movement.

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Among other actions, delegates to the 88th MM&P Biennial Convention approved the following most important resolutions.


“[I]n the midst of a global pandemic and grave social unrest in the United States… notwithstanding all the other demands on his time and his administration… [President Trumka] took the time to carefully and equitably consider all points of view pertaining to the AFL-CIO Charter of MM&P’s 5300 members, and… in full accordance with the Constitution of the AFL-CIO recognized MM&P as a direct affiliate of the AFL-CIO and the holder of its original AFL-CIO Charter.”

On behalf of the MM&P membership, the delegates expressed “a heartfelt and collective ‘thank you’ to Richard L. Trumka for his just decision made under the intense pressures of our times.”

They pledged MM&P’s “enduring support for the institution of the AFL-CIO and the ideals of justice and service to working people of all stripes that the AFL-CIO so proudly stands for.”


In approving the resolution, the delegates noted Vice President Biden’s strong support for America’s working families and for the American Merchant Marine and in particular his consistent and strong advocacy for laws, policies and programs including the Jones Act, cargo preference, the Maritime Security Program and the Export-Import Bank.

With regard to MM&P’s support of international cooperation among maritime labor organizations, MM&P President Don Marcus recounted the plight of 300,000 mariners who are awaiting crew relief and repatriation and are treated like serfs by the flag-of-convenience system.

He reiterated MM&P’s longstanding commitment to the International Transport Workers’ Federation and the Nautilus Federation.

During the Convention, officials of two international unions presented reports from their locations in Panama and Mexico.

General Secretary Agustin Urena of MM&P’s Panama affiliate Union de Capitanes y Oficiales de Cubierta (UCOC) described the unrelenting challenges his members face in dealing with unilateral changes to working conditions for tugboat captains operating in the Panama Canal–introduced under the guise of Covid-19 precautions–which have increased the hazards and stress of the job. MM&P pledged its continued support for UCOC’s efforts to seek justice.

Secretary of Labor and Disputes Antonio Fritz of the Orden de Capitanes y Pilotos Navales de la Republica Mexicana (OCPNRM), a union representing captains, licensed officers and other marine personnel in the Mexican Merchant Marine, outlined the challenges his union is facing, including the impact of efforts to militarize the administration of the Mexican Merchant Marine and the potential upside, but also risks, of the new United States-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement.

After overwhelmingly positive discussion at the Committee level, the delegates authorized the MM&P General Executive Board to explore a potential affiliation of OCPNRM as a fully autonomous MM&P affiliate.

During the course of the Constitutional Convention, six resolutions were agreed on to be submitted to the membership for approval or rejection by referendum vote.

All the resolutions approved by delegates will be posted on and published in their entirety in the October-December 2020 issue of The Master, Mate & Pilot.

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The following nominations for elected office were made:

International President–Donald J. Marcus

International Secretary-Treasurer– Donald F. Josberger

Offshore Vice President Atlantic–Thomas P. Larkin, Conor J. Sullivan

Offshore Vice President Gulf & Government Contracts–Jeremy R. Hope, Klaus D. Luhta, Conor J. Sullivan

Offshore Vice President Pacific–Conor J. Sullivan, J. Lars Turner

Vice President United Inland Group–Pacific Maritime Region–Timothy C. Saffle

Vice President United Inland Group–Great Lakes & Gulf–Thomas E. Bell

Vice President Pilots Group–George A. Quick

Vice President Federal Employees Membership Group–Randall H. Rockwood

Vice President Atlantic Maritime Group–Stephen H. Doherty, Michael Riordan, Nicholas Tosto, Ronald Tucker

Nearly 100 nominations were made, including for delegate and alternate delegate positions, for the union’s five membership groups.

An International Ballot Committee was seated. A 90-day ballot will be mailed to members in the coming weeks for the above offices and delegate positions.

All members are urged to cast their vote.

The new administration will take office on Jan. 1, 2021.

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Union Equity Presentation Explores Past MM&P Membership Practices in Context of Systemic Racism

MM&P has joined the AFL-CIO and the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department in condemning all forms of racism and violence, while underlining the labor movement’s pivotal role in addressing inequality.

The MM&P Pacific Ports Coast Agent has penned a courageous, compelling presentation that explores the role of systemic racism in offering job, housing and financial opportunities to privileged groups, while shutting others out.

As best as historical records indicate, prior to World War II, MM&P (like many other labor organizations) accepted only white people into membership.

The Pacific Ports Coast Agent’s thoughtful exploration of these topics, the Masters, Mates & Pilots Union Equity Project, is posted at:

This presentation was highlighted during the opening remarks of the MM&P Constitutional Convention.

The character of and hardships endured by Captain Hugh Mulzac, a pioneering African-American ship’s master who commanded a Liberty Ship during WWII, were prominently noted and the need for active opposition to racial prejudice and discrimination was emphasized.

All members are encouraged to read the presentation.

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The Coast Guard has issued new guidance on credentials, medical certificates and course approvals in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.

The agency said it has acted in response to questions raised by the maritime industry and mariners, and in consultation with the International Maritime Organization and other administrations to ensure alignment with respect to the extension of endorsements issued in accordance with the Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, as amended (STCW).

The text of the update follows.

To mitigate the impact on seafarers and the industry caused by the novel coronavirus disease Covid-19, the Coast Guard is taking the following actions:

— Regional Exam Centers and Monitoring Units. The Coast Guard resumed testing at REC Juneau and MU Ketchikan on Aug. 17.

Additional plans to augment testing capabilities are in process and future REC/MU openings will be announced via National Maritime Center bulletins.


— Merchant Mariner Credentials (MMC) (National Endorsements only) that expire between March 1, 2020 and Sept. 30, 2020 are extended until March 31, 2021. Mariners who are actively working on expired credentials that meet the extension criteria must carry the expired credential with a copy of this notice.

— Medical Certificates (National Endorsements only) that expire between March 1, 2020 and Sept. 30, 2020 are extended until Dec. 31, 2020. Mariners who are actively working on expired medical certificates that meet the extension criteria must carry the expired credential with a copy of this notice.

This measure relaxes the requirement to carry an unexpired medical certificate and not the actual medical standards. It is important that mariners with disqualifying medical conditions do not sail.

— STCW Endorsements: MMCs with STCW endorsements that expire between March 1, 2020 and Sept. 30, 2020 are extended until March 31, 2021. Mariners who are actively working on expired credentials that meet the extension criteria must carry the expired credential with a copy of this notice.

— Until July 1, 2021, for mariners who have met the requirements for initial competency in survival craft and rescue boats other than fast rescue boats (PSC), PSC-limited, fast rescue boats (FRB), basic training (BT), and advanced firefighting (AFF) and who are renewing MMCs that expire between March 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021, the Coast Guard will accept shipboard experience in fire, emergency, and/or abandon ship drills for demonstrating continued competence in PSC, PSC-Ltd, FRB, BT, and/or AFF provided they have obtained at least 360 days of relevant service within the past five years.

Relevant seagoing service will be determined as described in NVICs 4-14, 05-14, 08-14 and 09-14.

— Mariners who do not have at least one year of relevant service in the past five years can only renew their STCW endorsements by demonstrating continued competence for PSC, PSC-Ltd, FRB, BT, and/or AFF as specified in 46 CFR 12.613(b)(4) or 46 CFR 12.615(b)(4) and NVIC 04-14 (for PSC and PSC-Ltd); 46 CFR 12.617(b)(4) and NVIC 05-15 (for FRB); 46 CFR 11.302(e), 12.602(e), and NVIC 08-14 (for BT); and/or 46 CFR 11.303(e) and NVIC 09-14 (for AFF).

These mariners will need to complete original or “refresher” training for PSC, PSC-Ltd, FRB, BT, and/or AFF, as appropriate. Shorter and less comprehensive “revalidation” courses are not acceptable.

— STCW Medical Certificates: STCW Medical Certificates that expire between March 1, 2020 and Sept. 30, 2020 are extended until Dec. 31, 2020. Mariners who are actively working on an expired medical certificate that meet the extension criteria must carry the expired certificate with a copy of this notice.

This measure ONLY relaxes the requirement to carry an unexpired STCW medical certificate and not the actual medical standards. It is important that mariners with disqualifying medical conditions do not sail.

— Additional administrative measures: The following items that expire between March 1, 2020 and Sept. 30, 2020 are extended until Dec. 31, 2020: Additional Information letters, Qualified Assessor letters, Designated Examiner letters, Approval to Test letters, and mariner training course completion certificates.

— Pilot Annual Physical examinations. 46 USC 7101(e)(3) requires that pilots undergo an annual physical examination each year while holding a credential. The Coast Guard does not intend to enforce this requirement given the pandemic and its impacts on health care providers.

This measure ONLY relaxes the requirement for an annual physical and not the actual medical standards. This posture applies until Dec. 31, 2020 irrespective of when the medical certificate expires. It is important that pilots with disqualifying medical conditions do not sail.

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The Coast Guard on Monday issued the following notice.

We are aware of the need to restart the examination process to allow mariners to obtain or upgrade credentials.

We know the closure of our Regional Exam Centers and Monitoring Units due to Covid-19 has negatively affected mariners, maritime employers, and the industry as a whole.

The National Maritime Center is working to safely reopen all examination rooms. To date, we have reopened REC Honolulu, REC Houston, REC Juneau, MU Ketchikan, and MU San Juan.


Each opening will be announced with guidance on how to schedule an examination. The Coast Guard will initially prioritize examinations by:

— Examinations that were previously scheduled but cancelled due to Covid-19 REC closures;

— Mariners who previously sat for examination and require retest of one or two modules;

— Pilotage examinations.

All other testing requests on a first-in, first-out basis.

Due to social distancing requirements, our exam room capacity is reduced by nearly 50 percent.

For that reason, we are looking at alternative means to provide examination services.


Contact to coordinate potential examination activities at a location other than a REC if you have multiple Pilots/Apprentices ready to test and/or your local REC is not yet open for examinations.


Where companies and other industry stakeholders are aware of a need to test multiple mariners, are able to provide a suitable location for testing that meets CDC guidelines, and can coordinate the availability of mariners to test (minimum of five), they should contact to discuss the potential and requirements for conducting examination activities at a location other than a REC.

Approvals will be subject to the availability of resources.

The NMC says it is committed to working with the maritime industry to create testing opportunities and welcomes comments and suggestions.

Please address your ideas, questions, or concerns to or 1-888-IASKNMC (427-5662).

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It’s a simple truth: the American maritime industry and the jobs it supports depend on who wins on Election Day.

What can you do to defend American maritime jobs and the US-flag fleet?

First: Vote. (But before you do, go to the MM&P Members Only site and click on “Who We Support” to see which candidates support the US-Flag Merchant Marine.)

Second: Contribute to the MM&P Political Contribution Fund.

Your contribution will be used to elect or reelect candidates–without regard to political party or philosophy–who support the US-flag fleet and who will work to defend it, maintain it and expand it.

Your contribution—large or small—helps provide the resources we need to ensure America’s mariners have a seat at the table and can make their voice heard.

Please act now.

Go to and click on the “1-Click PCF Donation” button in the top right-hand corner.

To view the names of legislators who support the American Merchant Marine, enter the MM&P Members Only site, click on “Documents” and scroll down to Who We Support.

Remember: Your support helps the PCF to protect your job.

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Eligible dependent children of eligible Offshore members and co-pay pensioners in good standing are reminded to request an application for the scholarship program.

Applicants must be high school seniors during the 2020-21 school year.

Completed applications must be returned to the Plan Office by Nov. 30, 2020.

For more information, please contact Madeline Petrelli at 410-850-8615 or send an email to

To access a PDF copy of the application, go to, click on “Plans,” then click on the drop-down menu titled “H&B Benefit Forms.”

The application is the fourth form from the bottom.

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MITAGS West is seeking a part-time instructor responsible for delivering content provided by the organization. Desired qualifications include:

— USCG and/or NFPA approved instructor;

— Train-the-Trainer certification;

— in-depth knowledge of firefighting and maritime industry.

Please submit a cover letter with your resume to MITAGS Human Resource Manager Jane Sibiski

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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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Please be advised that as of the June MATES Trustees meeting, the number of sea days required to receive covered training at MITAGS will now be 42 days instead of 30, until further notice.

\\Classes are 5-day unless otherwise noted\\

Class dates followed by an * are full

AB – Able Seaman – 10/5/20

AZIPOD (2-Day) – 10/5/20

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots (2-Day): 9/15/20
Online: 8/31/20

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling – (Now also included in BRMP-Refresher) (3-Day): 10/7/20

BT – Basic Safety Training: 10/12/20

BT-Revalidation (2-day) (Must have 1 year of sea service in last 5 years) – 8/31/20, 9/23/20*, 10/28/20, 12/15/20

BT-Refresher (3-day) – 9/23/20*, 12/14/20

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 10/26/20

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 10/5/20, 11/30/20

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 9/28/20, 12/7/20

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (10 Days): 10/12/20

CM-OPS 1 – Chief Mate Operations – Week 1: 11/9/20

CM-OPS 2 Maersk – Chief Mate Operations II Maersk Specific: 8/31/20*, 11/16/20

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information Systems: 11/9/20

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM): 11/16/20, 12/14/20

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management: 9/21/20

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 9/14/20, 9/28/20, 10/12/20, 11/2/20, 1/30/20

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 9/21/20, 10/5/20, 10/19/20, 11/9/20, 12/7/20

**SHS-ADV-I & II are now approved to include SAR-CMM assessments at MITAGS**

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 11/2/20

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 10/26/20

CNAV-OIC (15-Day) – Celestial Navigation: 11/2/20

ECDIS for Pilots (2-Day) – 12/3/20

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 12/7/20

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 10/12/20

FF-ADV-Rev (1-day) (Must have 1 year of sea service in last 5 years) – Advanced Fire Fighting Revalidation: 9/2/20, 9/22/20, 10/27/20, 12/17/20

FF-ADV-REF (2-day) – Advanced Fire Fighting Refresher: 9/26/20, 12/12/20

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications (1-Day): 9/15/20
Online: 9/17/20, 10/15/20

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 11/16/20

LAP – License Advancement Program for Mate to Master (20-Day): 9/28/20

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage (1-Day): 9/16/20

LNG-TPIC (10-Day) – 11/30/20

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC) (1-Day): 9/21/20

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control Equipment (Assessments not included): 11/30/20

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge (10-Day): 9/28/20*, 11/30/20

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 10/19/20

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 9/28/20*, 11/30/20

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing (1-Day): 9/3/20, 9/21/20, 10/3/20, 10/26/20, 12/5/20, 12/18/20

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic) (1-Day): 9/11/20, 11/10/20

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (2-day): 9/9/20, 10/30/20

MSC-ENVPRO (1-Day) – 11/1/20

MSC-FF-HELO (2-Day) – 10/28/20

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualifications (4-Day): 9/14/20, 11/2/20

MSC-Security Watch Basic (1-Day) – 9/12/20, 11/2/20

MSC-Security Watch Advanced (1-Day) – 9/13/20, 11/6/20

MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force (3-Day) – 9/18/20, 11/7/20

NDMS-ENAV – Navigational Decision Making Series – Best Practice in eNav (3-Day) – 11/30/20

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P (2-Day) – 8/31/20*, 9/2/20, 10/26/20*, 10/28/20*, 12/14/20, 12/16/20

PSC – Personal Survival Craft (5-Day) – 10/19/20

PSC-REF – Personal Survival Craft Refresher (2-Day) – 12/10/20

RFPNW – Ratings Forming Part of a Navigational Watch (3-day) – 9/30/20

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal (1-Day): 9/21/20

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes (1-Night): 9/15/20, 12/14/20

SAR – Search & Rescue – (Now with OIC and CMM assessments) (3-Day): 10/14/20, 11/30/20

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 10/19/20

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling (5 Day) – 8/31/20*, 11/16/20*, 12/14/20*

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 9/8/20

VSO – Vessel Security Officer (3-Day): 9/9/20

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level) (10-Day): 10/5/20

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 9/14/20

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Schedule of Courses – Please also see our schedule and enroll online at

For Registration Contact our Admissions Department: 206.441.2880 or

August 2020
31-4 Radar Observer Unlimited

September 2020

14-18 Engine Resource Management
14-18 Basic Training
14-2 License Preparation (OICNW)
21-25 Management of Electrical and Electronic Control Equipment (MEECE)
21-2 GMDSS
28-29 Basic Training Revalidation
30th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation

October 2020

12-16 ECDIS
12-16 Ship Construction and Basic Stability
12-16 Basic Training
12-16 Medical Care Provider
12-23 Medical Person-In-Charge
19-20 Basic Training Revalidation
19-23 Advanced Meteorology
19-6 Celestial Navigation
21st Medical DOT
22nd Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
26-29 Advanced Firefighting
26-30 Advanced Shiphandling I

November 2020

2-6 Advanced Shiphandling II
2-6 Radar Observer Unlimited
2-6 Basic Training
9-12 Advanced Firefighting
9-13 Leadership & Managerial Skills
9-13 Medical Care Provider
9-20 Medical Person-In-Charge
13th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
16-17 Basic Training Revalidation
16-18 Security Officer – Vessel, Company and Facility
16-19 ARPA
16-20 Advanced Stability
30-4 Basic Training

December 2020

4, 7-8 Basic Training Refresher
7-8 Basic Training Revalidation
7-11 Medical Care Provider
7-18 Medical Person-In-Charge
9th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
10-11 Advanced Firefighting Refresher

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We now offer blended learning options ( for a variety of USCG and VA approved courses.

Blended learning involves online and in person learning. First, course materials will be delivered remotely, via an online platform.

The second portion of your course will be completed on campus since some USCG-approved courses require assessments (exams and practical exercises) to be completed in person.

Dates of in-person course completion will be determined at a later date.

MITAGS is currently able to offer the following blended learning courses.

Check individual courses often for any upcoming scheduled course dates.

New course sessions are being added regularly.

— Advanced Meteorology (Blended)

— Basic Firefighting (Blended)

— Basic Training (Blended)

— Basic Training Refresher (Blended)

— Basic Training Revalidation (Blended)

— Bridge Resource Management for Pilots (Online Course)

— Cargo Handling & Stowage (Operational Level) (Blended)

— Fatigue, Sleep & Medications (Online)

— Leadership & Managerial Skills (Blended)

— Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities (Blended)

— Personal Survival Techniques (Blended)

— Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses (Blended)

Please contact us via e-mail if you have questions or concerns.

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The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots, 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 © 2020. Articles can be reprinted without prior permission if credit is given to The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly. For subscriptions, address changes or messages to the editor or to MM&P headquarters, e-mail Back issues of The Weekly are posted on