News

Wheelhouse Weekly – August 27, 2013

August 27th 2013

 

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

Volume 17 . . . Number 35. . . Aug. 27, 2013

STORIES COVERED

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


MM&P CLOSED 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. 2, for Labor Day. If you are in the Los Angeles/Long Beach area, please join us for the largest Labor Day March in the United States. Details appear below under “Upcoming Events.”


ANOMALIES IN ELECTRONIC CHARTS RAISE NEW QUESTIONS ABOUT RISKS OF “E-NAVIGATION”

A proposal to go forward with a plan to implement an e-navigation system that could lead to greater shore-side control over the operation of ships will be considered next week by the International Maritime Organization’s Maritime Safety Committee. During the session, advocates for large-scale e-navigation systems that incorporate shore-side monitoring and control over shipping will find themselves on the opposite side of the table from ship owners and maritime labor.

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the shipping organization BIMCO have submitted a report expressing concern at “the assumption that shore authorities will be more effective in managing the safe operation of a ship by remote monitoring than the qualified and competent seafarers on board and the company’s safety management system.” The two also questioned the cost/benefit analysis used to justify shore-side monitoring and control, saying that the numbers being used as a basis for discussion are years out of date and substantially lower than the true costs.

The vision that some advocates have for the future of e-navigation is a system in which all electronic information from the ship would be transmitted to and monitored by shore-side controllers. ICS and BIMCO described some of the e-navigation proposals under discussion as “conceptual systems that have not been sufficiently justified with an identified compelling need.” As an example, they cited one plan which assumes “that remote monitoring of ship’s systems, including temperatures, torque control, voltage and machinery status by VTS [vessel traffic service] authorities, will improve safety and… mitigate potential fire and flood outbreaks.”

Because any e-navigation program would center on the use of ECDIS electronic chart display systems, BIMCO and Denmark have submitted for the record a new report on ECDIS anomalies. The report is based on responses to a survey of operators of 613 ships of different types, flying different flags. More than 17 percent of respondents said they had experienced a situation in which ECDIS had failed to display a navigational feature correctly. Five percent of respondents said they occasionally or frequently experienced false alarms.

Representatives of maritime labor at the IMO meeting are also expected to express concern about serious anomalies with ECDIS: in a recent case, the U.S. Navy has cited inaccurate digital nautical charts as a factor in the grounding and total loss of the USS GUARDIAN in Philippine waters on Jan. 17, 2012.


CONGRESSMAN ALAN LOWENTHAL SPEAKS OUT IN FAVOR OF JONES ACT

Newly elected Congressman Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.) has marked the 93rd anniversary of enactment of the Jones Act with a strong statement of support. The core of the Jones Act is the same today as in 1920: cargo transported between American ports, whether in the continental United States, or the non-contiguous states of Hawaii and Alaska, and also territories such as Puerto Rico, must be conveyed with American-built, -owned and -flagged vessels and using American crews.

“The idea behind the Jones Act is also the same today as it was 93 years ago,” Lowenthal says. “It creates a barrier to entry into the U.S.-to-U.S. shipping market for low-cost foreign carriers who do not adhere to the same wage, labor and environmental regulations faced by U.S. shipbuilders and operators. At the same time, the Jones Act assures that the nation has a reliable and accessible domestic merchant fleet of cargo vessels, the mariners to operate them and the shipyards to build and repair them.”

“This is why I supported the Jones Act throughout my time in the California Legislature and why I will continue to support it just as strongly in Congress,” Lowenthal says. “From my district’s own Port of Long Beach to the Port of Portland in Maine, Americans count on the Jones Act and those Americans–in fact the millions upon millions of Americans touched by the Jones Act each day–can count on my support.”

Lowenthal cited statistics that show that Jones Act-related industries account for $45.4 billion in annual economic output; 70,000 U.S. shipbuilding and waterborne transport industry jobs; and, over 41,000 vessels of all sizes in the U.S. fleet representing an investment of more than $30 billion. “American workers supporting American industry supporting the American economy and American national security. That is the Jones Act,” Lowenthal says.


PAY RAISE FOR MM&P MEMBERS AT NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION

MM&P members employed by the Department of Commerce who sail aboard vessels operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are set to receive a pay raise. The raise will go to all members of the MM&P Federal Employees Membership Group (FEMG) who sail aboard OKEANOS EXPLORER, GORDON GUNTER, MCARTHUR II, HI’IALAKAI, KA’IMIMOANA, OSCAR ELTON SETTE, NANCY FOSTER and OREGON II, as well as to MM&P members assigned to the Relief Pool.

In an official statement, the agency said that implementing the pay increase had been a priority for Rear Admiral David A. Score, deputy director of the NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations. “MM&P continues to maintain a very positive and productive partnership with all management reps within NOAA,” says MM&P Government Fleet Representative Randi Ciszewski.


MARCH ON WASHINGTON DRAWS UNION MEMBERS, CIVIL RIGHTS LEADERS

Tens of thousands of people–many of them union members and their families–turned out for the 50th Anniversary March on Washington on Aug. 24. The event kicked off a week of observances of Dr. Martin Luther King’s 1963 march. Speakers at last week’s gathering on the Washington Mall remembered King’s strong support for workers’ rights. The Nobel Prize laureate and civil rights activist was assassinated in 1968 on a trip to Memphis in support of a strike by sanitation workers.


GIFT TO MM&P FROM MEMBER OF “GREATEST GENERATION”

MM&P pensioner Earl Herring has donated to the union a series of magnificent images of the ships designed and built for the U.S. Maritime Commission during World War II. Herring obtained and reproduced the images, which he calls “the End of an Era Series,” as part of his effort to preserve the merchant marine’s heritage. Besides their historical relevance, the images are a poignant reminder of the essential role of the merchant marine in America’s defense and prosperity, and of the sacrifices made by American merchant mariners in times of peace and war. MM&P will display the prints, along with a plaque describing Brother Herring’s contributions to the preservation of our nation’s proud maritime tradition, at the union’s headquarters.


SONY RELEASES SECOND TRAILER FOR “CAPTAIN PHILLIPS” MOVIE

Sony Pictures has released a new trailer for “Captain Phillips,” the film which is based on the book by MM&P member Captain Richard Phillips. As readers of The Wheelhouse Weekly are aware, the book tells the story of how Somali pirates seized the MAERSK ALABAMA in 2009. It was the first successful pirate seizure of a ship registered under the American flag since the early 19th century. The other Licensed Deck Officers aboard the vessel at the time were Chief Mate Shane Murphy, Second Mate Kenneth Quinn and Third Mate Colin Wright. The movie is scheduled for release on Oct. 11. The new trailer for the movie, which stars Tom Hanks, can be viewed at: http://vimeo.com/72091344.


ATTENTION ALL PARTICIPANTS IN MM&P VACATION, IRA & PENSION PLANS

The MM&P Plan Office is in the process of mailing new Summary Plan Descriptions for the Vacation Plan, the Individual Retirement Account Plan and the Pension Plan.

These Summary Plan Descriptions are required to be periodically updated and sent to all participants. The Plan professionals are still working on the Adjustable Pension Plan Rules & Regulations and will be presenting a draft to the Trustees for their review and approval. The professionals will then be working on the Adjustable Pension Plan Summary Plan Description.

Please be advised that effective March 1, 2013, under the Adjustable Pension Plan (APP) the Trustees have agreed to the Rule of 70 and members who meet this rule will be able to retire. The Pension Plan Summary Plan Description does not show this change but the Adjustable Pension Plan Rules & Regulations and Summary Plan Description will include the Rule of 70 language. If you have any questions please contact the MM&P Plan office Pension Plan Benefit Advisor at 410-850-8500.


CELEBRATE LABOR DAY WITH UNION-MADE PRODUCTS… AND SAVE ON CAR RENTALS

What better way to celebrate Labor Day than with union-made products? Fire up the grill to make some Butterball burgers and almost any brand of hot dogs (Johnsonville, Oscar Meyer, Ball Park, Hormel or Hebrew National). Serve them on a bun made by Wonder Bread or Arnold, and top them off with good old Heinz ketchup, French’s mustard, Frank’s Red Hot and some Vlasic brand pickles.

Want a little something to go with your burgers and dogs? We suggest union-made chips from Frito-Lay or Doritos. You can’t go wrong with Chex Mix, Rold Gold and Funyuns either.

Thirsty? Try Miller beer, Michelob, Budweiser or Shock Top for you, and Pepsi, Coke, Mountain Dew or Sprite for the kids. Looking for something healthier? Welch’s, Minute Maid, Mott’s and V8 are all union-made.

And remember, Union Plus also offers great deals on car rentals. An MM&P member contacted us last week to say that she saved more than $150 on a weekly car rental. Thanks to Union Plus, her weekly rate for a mid-sized vehicle was only $202. Union Plus offers discounts on rentals from Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz and National.

Have a great Labor Day and we hope you’ll remember to support unions when stocking up for your cookout!


GMAIL USERS: HOW TO GO BACK TO PREVIOUS INBOX CONFIGURATION

Gmail has implemented a new tab-based layout which automatically separates incoming e-mails into five categories: primary, social, promotion, updates and forums. The Wheelhouse Weekly and all other MM&P communications, unless sent directly to you by an individual MM&P officer or employee, will appear in the “Promotion” section of your inbox. They can be accessed by clicking on the “Promotion” tab. 

If you want to receive the Wheelhouse Weekly and other MM&P e-mail in your Primary Gmail inbox, drag the e-mail from the Promotions tab to the Primary tab, then click “Yes” when asked if you want to do that for all MM&P e-mail.

If you want to return your Gmail inbox to the previous configuration, you can easily switch back.
1.    Go to settings and click “configure inbox.”
2.    Uncheck all the new tabs that appeared like magic in your inbox.
3.    Click “Save.”


ILA EXPRESSES SOLIDARITY WITH PORT DRIVERS IN NEW YORK/NEW JERSEY

Port drivers in the Port of New York and New Jersey have faced serious problems over the past several months due to a major computer breakdown that sometimes brought port operations to a standstill. These independent drivers, whose livelihoods are based on the number of moves they make, were subjected to massive traffic tie-ups that cut deeply into their ability to support their families.

The International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) has released a statement saying it has been doing everything in its power to assist the Port of New York and New Jersey in getting operations up and running. Employers took responsibility for the computer glitch and have praised the ILA for its assistance. The union says ILA members have worked “to the point of exhaustion to help unclog the congestion.”

“We stand fully behind our fellow workers, the independent port drivers in the Port of New York and New Jersey,” says Dennis Daggett, president of the Atlantic Coast District, ILA and president of ILA Local 1804-1. “They took a big hit when the system went down. We all make our living when the port is working and we all share in the responsibility to make it happen.” The ILA said it looks to work more closely with the independent port drivers to protect their livelihoods and improve their working conditions going forward.


COME TO THE LOS ANGELES LABOR DAY MARCH ON SEPT. 2!

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. The march begins at 1000. Wear your MM&P shirt and show your solidarity. Join us as we march in Los Angeles Sept. 2 in honor of Labor Day!


MEMBERSHIP MEETING AT SAN JUAN HALL ON SEPT. 9

MM&P Offshore Vice President Don Josberger will hold a meeting for MM&P members in the union hall in San Juan on Monday, Sept. 9, at 1100 hours. MM&P Regional Representative Eduardo Iglesias will also be present. All MM&P members in all membership groups are encouraged to attend the meeting for a general discussion of issues important to the maritime industry.


MEMBERSHIP MEETING AT NEW YORK/NEW JERSEY HALL ON THURSDAY, SEPT. 12

The monthly membership meeting at the MM&P New York/New Jersey Hall will be held on Thursday, Sept. 12, instead of on Wednesday. All members in the area are encouraged to attend the meeting, which will be held at 1100 hours.


MERPAC MEETING ON SEPT. 11-12 AT MITAGS

The Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee (MERPAC) will meet Sept. 11-12 at MITAGS. Topics on the agenda include: crew training requirements onboard natural gas-fueled vessels other than LNG carriers and competency requirements for vessel personnel working in polar regions. To find out more, see the notice that was published in the Federal Register: 78 Fed. Reg. 51736  (Aug. 21, 2013).


PORT RELIEF OFFICER WORK IN NEW YORK/NEW JERSEY

Port Relief Officer (PRO) work is now available for MM&P members in the New York/New Jersey area. Over the course of the summer, Offshore job openings have also been frequent. If you are interested in doing PRO work, please contact Jay Tripaldi in the MM&P New York/New Jersey Hall: 201-963-1900. You can also send an e-mail to: nynj@bridgedeck.org. The hall is located at 35 Journal Square, Suite 912, Jersey City, NJ 07306-4103.


WEST AFRICAN NATIONS JOIN FORCES IN RESPONSE TO RISE IN PIRACY IN GULF OF GUINEA

The chiefs of naval staff of states in the Gulf of Guinea have agreed to work together to establish a maritime information-sharing mechanism by March 2014. During the course of a three-day conference in Nigeria on “regional maritime awareness,” representatives of each state in the region agreed to work towards establishment of a new legal framework to enforce maritime law. The meeting, which was described in a recent issue of Fairplay, comes in response to the recent rise of piracy and other crimes in the Gulf of Guinea.

The conference comes on the heels of a summit of heads of government that was held in June. At that meeting, participants considered recommendations including new taxes to fund improvements in maritime security in the region and the harmonization of judicial frameworks. Participants in the conference included the heads of the navies and coast guard services of Angola, Cameroon, the Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Nigeria, Gabon, Senegal and Togo, as well as the Gulf of Guinea Commission, the European Union, and U.S. Naval Forces Africa.


MARITIME LABOR CONVENTION COURSE REMINDER

The 2006 Maritime Labor Convention (MLC) entered into force on Aug. 20. 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 www.mitags-pmi.org for more information or to register for the MLC course.


/ MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES /

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 admissions@mitags.org or to the fax number below.

New dedicated fax line for Admissions only: 1-443-568-1928. For all other MITAGS business, please continue to use: 410-859-5181.

For class availability or information on MITAGS courses and programs, contact Kelly Michielli, Admissions Coordinator, toll-free at 866-656-5568 or by e-mail: admissions@mitags.org. Why not try our on-line calendar to register for class: mitags-pmi.org/courses/calendar

AB – Able Seaman: 10/14/13

AIS-1 – Automatic Identification Systems Orientation: 9/30/13, 11/21/13

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

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

BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 12/16/13

BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots:  9/23/13, 11/19/13

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-ADVWX – 11/18/13

CMM-CHS – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 11/4/13

CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 9/9/13, 10/28/13, 12/16/13

CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 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, 11/4/13, 12/2/13

CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 9/16/13, 9/30/13, 10/28/13, 11/11/13, 12/9/13

CMM-VPEN – 9/16/13

CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 9/30/13, 12/16/13

CNAV – 9/30/13, 11/4/13

CONT PLNG – 11/5/13

ECDIS-ENAV – 10/1/13

ECDIS-OICNW – 10/14/13

ECDIS Pilots – 10/1/13

ENVIRO-Regs Permit – Environmental Regulations Permit: 11/4/13

EP – 10/30/13

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: 3/17/14

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 9/16/13, 12/2/13

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

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross Ton License: 12/2/13

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 9/25/13, 10/8/13, 11/19/13

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, 12/2/13

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, 12/2/13

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 9/14/13, 10/12/13, 10/19/13, 12/7/13

MSC -SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification:  9/30/13, 11/11/13

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

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

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

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 8/28/13, 9/11/13, 9/18/13, 10/2/13, 10/9/13, 10/16/13, 10/30/13, 11/13/13, 12/4/13, 12/11/13

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

SAR – 10/28/13

SEC-VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 9/3/13, 10/14/13, 11/6/13

SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling:  10/7/13, 11/18/13

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling: 10/14/13

SHS-ESH-BRMP3 – Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 3/5/14

SEC-MSA – 9/16/13 PM, 10/17/13 PM, 11/12PM, 12/10/13 PM

SEC-VPDSD – 9/17/13, 10/18/13, 11/13/13, 12/11/13

SEC-VSO – 10/14/13, 11/6

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

WKP-BAS – 11/4/13

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 mitags-pmi.org/courses/calendar for course descriptions associated with the course title abbreviations, and schedule revisions.


PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

Please also see our schedule online at mitags-pmi.org/courses/calendar. For registration, call our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen, at (206) 838-1126.

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: 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.

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