Wheelhouse Weekly – Dec. 1, 2015

December 2nd 2015

Volume 20 . . . Number 48. . . Dec. 1, 2015


In this issue:

International News:



News From the MM&P Plan Office:

Attention MM&P Applicants:

Upcoming Events:


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Ship owners and operators continue to lay up containerships as the global economy slows. For the month of November, according to Drewry Maritime Consultants, the number of idle containerships was 238 vessels, equal to 4.6 percent of the world’s fleet, for capacity of more than 900,000 TEU.

Bigger ships are being laid up. As reported in November, Maersk Line has announced it will cut costs, reduce its workforce by approximately 20 percent and cancel orders for the Triple-E megaship as a result of slowing trade. The company also said it will lay up at least one currently sailing Triple E during the winter shipping season.

Market analysts predict that the size of the idle fleet will increase as rates and profits continue to fall.

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President Obama on Nov. 25 signed defense authorizations legislation that includes a much-needed increase in funding for the Maritime Security Program (MSP) for Fiscal Year 2016. Under the terms of the legislation, in Fiscal Year 2016 each vessel in the Maritime Security Program would be authorized to receive $3.5 million rather than the currently authorized $3.1 million.

The effort now shifts to the appropriations process, when MM&P and MIRAID will work to ensure that the newly authorized money for MSP is made available.

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Labor unions are among the most important pillars upholding economies and democracies, according to a study released recently by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The study found that the benefits of unionization flow not only to union members but to society as a whole, and that a strong union movement is key to keeping democracy functioning smoothly and reducing inequality.The study was based on 30 years of statistics compiled for 20 advanced economies.

The authors of the study, IMF economists Florence Jaumotte and Carolina Osorio Buitron, found that when fewer people belong to labor unions the very wealthy capture a larger share of overall income. In the United States, for example, hourly wages kept pace with productivity gains for roughly a quarter-century after World War II. As labor union membership began dropping in America, wage gains started falling behind productivity gains and inequality grew.

Some say that as long as the economy as a whole is growing, inequality doesn’t really matter because people’s basic needs will be met. But the IMF study finds that’s not what’s happening. Stock markets are booming, but wage stagnation is crippling the middle class and some basic needs, such as higher education, are becoming increasingly unaffordable.

Not surprisingly, the IMF study finds that the decline in union membership has led to unions having reduced influence on public policy. That, in turn, has led to a lower real minimum wage, reduced unemployment benefits and weaker employment protection laws.

American unions introduced many of the reforms we take for granted today: weekends off, workplace safety laws, the 40-hour work week and much, much more. But these reforms are endangered.

What do we do now? Pro-corporate forces want us to believe that inequality is irreversible and that we are the victims of unstoppable forces such as globalization and technology. These forces may be powerful, but much of our destiny remains within our control.

“The union movement is one of our democracy’s most potent economic tools,” writes Richard Eskow, writer, consultant and senior fellow at the Campaign for America’s Future. “Its benefits flow not only to its members, but to society as a whole. The IMF paper is a research study, but it can also be taken as a call to arms.”

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The Daniel K. Inouye Institute has honored Sen. Patty Murray for her consistent support of the American maritime industry. Dozens of maritime and Senate leaders gathered on Capitol Hill Nov. 17 to honor the Washington State Democrat as the first recipient of the Daniel K. Inouye Maritime Guardian Award. The award is for those who–like Sen. Daniel K. Inouye himself–embody strong leadership and commitment to the U.S. maritime industry.

The award was presented by Irene Hirano Inouye, widow of Sen. Inouye.

“We’d like to thank Sen. Murray for her vocal support and demonstrated commitment to the American maritime industry,” said Jennifer Sabas, director of the Daniel K. Inouye Institute. “She mirrors the legacy of Sen. Inouye for her commitment to the success, safety, innovation and progress of this industry.”

“Senator Inouye was and always will be a shining example of what it means to be a strong leader for the U.S. maritime industry,” Murray said. “His work has been immensely important to my home state of Washington. I’m honored to receive this award in the name of a true American maritime advocate. I will continue to work with members of Congress to support legislation that sustains the strength of this vital industry while honoring the maritime initiatives Senator Inouye worked tirelessly to uphold.”

Sen. Daniel K. Inouye had a distinguished tenure of more than 49 years of serving Hawaii in the U.S. Senate, the longest serving member to date. As president pro tempore of the Senate in 2010-12—third in line of presidential succession–Sen. Inouye was the highest-ranking public official of Asian descent in U.S. history. For his heroic actions as a member of the famed 442nd Regimental Combat Team—resulting in the loss of his right arm—the World War II veteran ultimately earned the nation’s highest award for military valor, the Medal of Honor.

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Australia’s Senate has voted down a proposal that would have allowed flag-of-convenience ships free access to the country’s domestic trades. The “Shipping Legislation Amendment Bill” would have allowed foreign ships paying wages as low as $1.50 US per hour unfettered access to Australia’s domestic trades, said Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) National Secretary Paddy Crumlin.

“The Senate has rightly decided that the Australian shipping industry is vital in terms of jobs and value to the national economy,” Crumlin said. “Australian crews are among the most highly trained in the world and all have high-level security screening. As a result, Australian-flagged ships are demonstrably safer than flag-of-convenience shipping and have a strong record in protecting our pristine coastline.”

“Had they passed, the government’s changes raised serious questions on national security, fuel security, jobs and skills and protection of our environment,” he added. “This vote sends a strong message that Australian jobs and industries should be front and center of policy making,” he said.

The vote to defeat the proposed legislation was very close: 31 to 28. Maritime unions in Australia continue to fight an array of measures that would eliminate their jobs or severely undercut their pay and worsen their working conditions. The multinational Alcoa, for example, has exploited a loophole that allows it to outsource to foreign mariners the jobs of 19 Australian mariners aboard the MV PORTLAND. The crew is refusing to sail the ship to Singapore where their jobs would be given to foreign replacements.

The company has been granted a temporary license by the government to use a foreign vessel even though there are Australian ships and seafarers available to service the trade as they have done for the past 50 years. The temporary license was intended for use on foreign trading ships that call into more than one Australian port but the PORTLAND trades solely in Australian waters.

The MUA is challenging the use of the temporary license in court. “It is a national disgrace that Alcoa has been allowed to dump Australian workers in favor of foreign workers earning as little as $2/hour,” Crumlin said.

A similar battle waged by Australian tankermen aboard the MT ALEXANDER SPIRIT ended in defeat in August when the 36-person crew was forced to sail to Singapore to relinquish their jobs. There is now only one Australian-crewed fuel tanker left in the country’s coastwise trades.

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Longshore workers at the Port of Rotterdam have voted to hold a series of 24-hour strikes in December and January in protest of possible job cuts. Union leader Niek Stam said in a statement that dockworkers had voted in favor of the strikes to back their demand for guarantees of no layoffs for the coming nine years.

Major container employers have rejected that demand in contract talks which have been ongoing for 10 months. A spokesperson for the employers says it is unrealistic of the longshore workers to expect that there will be no layoffs. The conflict centers on 700 projected job losses (out of a total longshore workforce of 4,000) linked to the commissioning of two new highly automated container terminals at the port in 2017.

The union strike committee has said it will choose three days in December and three in January for strikes. The first is expected to take place Dec. 9-11.

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The Coast Guard is helping to get the word out about the importance and effectiveness of speed limits and the responsible use of the safety exception as they relate to the North Atlantic Right Whale. Some of the annual seasonal speed restrictions in the mid-Atlantic areas came into effect Nov. 1 and will remain in effect until April 30, 2016.

“The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s robust and practical enforcement strategy has yielded very positive results, particularly on approaches to pilot stations,” said Rear Adm. Paul Thomas, assistant commandant for prevention policy.

“The safety exception is an important part of the process. We greatly value the input provided by professional mariners, who benefit from a reasonable enforcement approach that considers the challenges of ensuring safe navigation in confined waters.”

NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is conducting a survey of its North Atlantic Right Whale Mandatory Ship Reporting (MSR) system. The purpose of the survey is to evaluate and improve the MSR program.

If you are a mariner operating or working on a vessel 300GT or greater on the east coast of the United States, or who has operated in this area in the past, NMFS is seeking your input on a short, nine-question survey. The survey asks for the mariner’s opinions and feedback on the MSR system so that NMFS can improve the system to better suit mariners’ needs. Completing the survey is expected to take fewer than 10 minutes. All responses are anonymous and confidential. To take the survey, go to:

“The MSR has been in place for over a decade and has been an important conservation measure for the depleted North Atlantic right whale. However, we’d like to get mariners’ views on whether the information provided through the program is useful to them,” said Greg Silber, coordinator of recovery activities for endangered large whales in NOAA Fisheries’ Office of Protected Resources.

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Are you ready to start your holiday spending? Look for good deals that can save you money and be used on quality, union-made gifts that support American labor.

Need treats for your sweets? How about Hershey’s, Jelly Belly and See’s Candies?

Gamers will be the envy of their friends with Star Wars and Death Star, plus old favorites that never go out of style: Battleship, Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit.

You can’t get those projects done in the New Year without the perfect tools. Remember to shop for Black & Decker, Channellock, SnapOn or Stanley.

Keep them fashionable with gifts of clothes from All USA Clothing, Hampton Shoe Company and Union Line.

Don’t forget to enjoy those non-shopping hours with a holiday night cap by Jack Daniels, Jim Beam, Seagram’s or Wild Turkey.

Finally, make sure to stay connected to your loved ones with smart phone service from AT&T.

For a complete list of products, go to:

Happy shopping! Union-made, American-made!

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The Plan Office has received approval to close the year-end Internal Revenue Service and company reports and to process Vacation and PRO payments for 2015 no later than Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015, at 3:00 p.m. EST. All requests for 2015 Vacation and PRO payments received after this date and time will be held until Jan. 4, 2016 for processing and will therefore be taxable in 2016. If you have any questions, please contact Ken Ryan at 410-850-8617.

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There are still places available in the Navigational Skills Assessment Program (NSAP-MMP) scheduled for next week at MITAGS. Two sessions will be offered: Dec. 7-8 and Dec. 9-10. The NSAP is a new requirement for all Offshore applicants seeking membership after Jan. 1, 2016. It is an entry requirement for membership, not a training course. To register for the NSAP, contact the MITAGS Admissions Office at or call 410-859-5700. Please note that you cannot register for the assessment on the MITAGS website.

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The next meeting of the MM&P General Executive Board (GEB) will take place on Dec. 9-10. This is the last meeting for which the Navigational Skills Assessment Program (NSAP-MMP) will not be a requirement for Offshore membership. All qualified applicants are urged to submit their paperwork promptly if they wish to apply for membership at the Dec. 9 GEB meeting.

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Holiday parties have been scheduled at the MM&P union halls. The schedule is as follows:

Atlantic Ports:

Norfolk, Thursday, Dec. 10, 1200-1500, at “Dockside,” 3311 Shore Drive (at Lynnhaven Inlet), Virginia Beach, VA 23451, (757) 481-4545;

Charleston, Friday, Dec. 11, 1200-1500, at “the Kickin Chicken” (same as last year), 1179 Sam Rittenberg Blvd., Charleston, SC 29407;

Boston, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 1100-1500, at the MM&P/MEBA Boston Hall;

New York/New Jersey, Thursday, Dec. 17, 1200-1600, at the Noble Maritime Collection (same as last year), 1000 Richmond Terrace Building D, Staten Island, NY. This event will include both the Offshore Group and the Atlantic Maritime Group.

Gulf Ports:

Houston, Thursday, Dec. 17, 1200-1500, Brady’s Landing Turning Point Room;

Miami/Port Everglades, Friday, Dec. 17, 1200, Miami/Port Everglades Union Hall;

New Orleans, Wednesday, Dec. 9, 1200, Portabello Catering.

Pacific Ports:

San Francisco-Oakland, Joint party with UIG and MEBA, Friday, Dec. 4, at 1230, in the Oakland Union Hall;

Los Angeles-Long Beach, Joint party with UIG and MEBA, Friday, Dec. 11 at 1230, in the LA/LB Union Hall;

Seattle, Joint party with UIG, Thursday, Dec. 17, at 1200, downstairs in the Seattle Union Hall.

Please note: if you are planning to attend the Seattle party, you must call the hall so enough food can be ordered. The phone number of the Seattle Hall is: 206-441-8700.

Honolulu, Joint party with MEBA, Friday, Dec. 11, 1100 to 1400, at the Honolulu Union Hall.

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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 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 Elisabeth Cruz, Admissions Coordinator, toll-free at 866-656-5568 or by e-mail: Why not try our on-line calendar to register for class:

Please note the special addition to our on-campus schedule of MSC classes marked with an asterisk (*), which are not normally scheduled to be held at MITAGS.

AB – 4/18/16, 8/22/16, 10/17/16

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: 5/27/16, 7/22/16

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 1/26/16, 4/5/16, 8/9/16, 9/27/16

AZIPOD 2-Day – 2/29/16, 5/25/16, 11/14/16

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 2/1/16, 4/4/16, 8/8/16, 10/31/16

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 2/29/16, 05/23/2016, 7/18/16, 11/14/16

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling: 3/2/16,04/13/16

BT – Basic Safety Training: 1/25/16, 2/22/16, 04/11/16, 06/27/16, 8/15/16, 10/10/16

BT-Revalidation – 05/10/16, 8/22/16, 10/31/16

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 4/25/16, 11/14/16

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVNAV-CMM – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): Contact Admissions

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 1/25/16, 3/28/16, 06/20/16, 8/1/16, 10/17/16

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 1/4/16, 3/7/16, 06/06/16, 8/8/16, 11/7/16

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 04/04/16, 10/24/16

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 12/7/15, 1/11/16, 2/22/16, 3/21/16,06/13/16, 7/25/16, 8/15/16, 9/12/16, 10/10/16, 11/28/16, 12/19/16

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM) 12/7/15,12/14/15, 1/18/16, 2/15/16, 2/29/16, 3/14/16, 4/4/16, 4/11/16, 5/23/16, 6/27/16, 7/11/16, 7/25/16,8/15/16,8/22/16, 9/12/16, 10/3/16, 10/31/16, 11/14/16,11/28/16, 12/5/16, 12/12/16, 12/19/16

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 05/02/16, 9/19/16

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: 3/28/16, 6/20/16, 8/1/16, 10/31/16

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 04/18/16, 10/3/16

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 1/11/16, 2/8/16, 3/14/16, 04/18/16, 05/09/16, 06/13/16, 7/18/16, 8/15/16, 9/12/16, 10/24/16, 11/7/16, 12/5/16

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 12/7/15, 1/18/16, 2/15/16, 3/21/16, 04/25/16, 05/16/16, 06/20/16, 7/25/16, 8/22/16, 9/19/16, 10/31/16, 11/14/16, 12/12/16

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 2/29/16, 9/12/16

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 05/09/16, 9/26/16

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 05/02/16, 10/24/16

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: 3/2/16, 7/19/16

DDE – Great Lakes: 2/1/16, 6/6/16

DPA – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-OIC – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-Pilots – 3/2/16, 05/25/16, 7/20/16, 11/14/16

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 12/14/15, 1/4/16, 2/8/16, 3/21/16, 4/18/16, 5/9/16, 7/18/16, 8/22/16, 9/26/16, 10/24/16, 11/14/16, 11/28/16, 12/5/16, 12/12/16, 12/19/16

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 1/25/16, 2/22/16, 04/11/16, 06/27/16, 8/15/16, 10/10/16

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 1/26/16, 04/19/16, 9/20/16

GL Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: 1/22/16

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 3/7/16, 8/22/16

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 6/27/16, 8/29/16, 12/5/16

LAP- 4/4/16, 9/19/16

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes: 1/25/16

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License: 3/7/16, 06/06/16, 8/8/16, 12/5/16

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 1/27/16, 3/1/16, 4/20/16, 5/23/16, 7/19/16, 9/21/16, 11/15/16

LNG-TPIC – 12/7/15, 12/5/16

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 1/7/16, 4/4/16

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control: 12/7/15, 1/11/16, 2/22/16, 3/28/16, 4/25/16, 5/16/16, 7/11/16, 8/29/16, 9/19/16, 10/17/16, 11/7/16, 11/28/16, 12/5/16, 12/12/16, 12/19/16

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 12/7/15, 1/4/16, 3/21/16, 05/16/16, 7/11/16, 11/7/16, 12/12/16

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 2/1/15, 3/14/16, 05/02/16, 8/29/16, 10/3/16

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 1/4/15, 2/15/16, 3/21/16, 05/16/16, 11/7/16, 11/28/16, 12/12/16

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 12/12/15, 1/9/16, 1/31/16, 3/19/16, 05/14/16, 8/28/16, 11/12/16, 12/17/16

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: Contact Admissions

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 3/8/16, 6/10/16, 8/10/16, 10/17/16

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control: 3/5/16 (March is 4 evenings), 6/8/16, 8/8/16, 10/18/16

*MSC-ENVPRO –2/28/16, 6/5/16, 8/7/16, 10/16/16

*MSC-FF-HELO – 2/22/16, 6/6/16, 8/22/16, 10/31/16

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 1/4/16, 2/29/16, 6/13/16, 8/14/16, 10/23/16

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – 2/26/16, 6/11/16, 8/11/16, 10/20/16

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced – 1/8/16, 3/4/16, 6/17/16, 8/13/16, 10/22/16

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force – 1/10/16, 3/5/16, 6/18/16, 8/18/16, 10/27/16

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P – 12/7/15, 12/9/15

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 1/25/16, 5/9/16

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 12/10/15, 1/6/16, 1/13/16, 2/3/16, 2/10/16, 2/24/16, 3/9/16, 3/16/16, 04/06/16, 04/20/16, 05/04/16, 05/18/16, 06/08/16, 06/22/16, 7/13/16, 7/27/16, 8/10/16, 8/24/16, 9/21/16, 10/5/16, 10/19/16, 11/2/16, 11/9/16, 11/16/16, 11/30/16, 12/7/16, 12/14/16

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 1/18/16, 2/1/16, 8/1/16

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue – 04/18/16, 11/7/16

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 2/15/16, 04/11/16, 06/27/16, 8/29/16, 10/17/16

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day: 1/25/16, 3/7/16, 05/02/16, 8/1/16, 10/3/16, 11/28/16

SMS – Contact Admissions

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 2/8/16, 8/8/16

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 1/4/16, 7/11/16

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 2/22/16, 8/8/16

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – Contact Admissions

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: 4/28/16

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 2/15/16, 04/25/16, 7/13/16, 9/7/16, 10/22/16

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): 3/21/16, 10/3/16

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 2/29/16, 9/19/16

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Please also see our schedule and enroll online at For registration contact our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen: 206.838.1126 or

December 2015

4th Radar Renewal
7-11 ECDIS (waitlist only)
7-11 Medical Care Provider
7-18 GMDSS
14-18 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
14-18 MEECE

January 2016

4-8 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
4-8 Engine Resource Management
4-22 Terrestrial & Coastal Navigation
11th Flashing Light
11-15 ECDIS
11-15 Train the Trainer
18-22 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
25-29 Radar Observer Unlimited
25-29 MEECE

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The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, & Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 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 © 2015. Articles can be reprinted without prior permission if credit is given to The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly. For address changes, send an e-mail to Back issues of The Weekly are posted on