Wheelhouse Weekly – Dec. 9, 2014

December 10th 2014 ,

Volume 18 . . . Number 49 . . . Dec. 9, 2014


In this issue:

Maritime Union News:


Other News:

News for MM&P Members:

Upcoming Events:


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


The MM&P Federal Credit Union, MM&P headquarters and all port offices will be closed on Dec. 24, 25 and 26, and onJan. 1. The MM&P Plan Office will be closed on Dec. 24, 25, 26 and on Jan. 1. Atlantic Ports, Pacific Ports and Gulf Ports are also closed on Dec. 31.

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Members of the Masters, Mates & Pilots have voted overwhelmingly in favor of the merger with ILA Local 333. The count was 1,106 votes in favor of the merger and 85 opposed. A total of 4,217 ballots were mailed, of which 1,191 were returned. Members of Local 333 also voted by an overwhelming margin in favor of the merger in a ballot that was tabulated last month.

“This is a significant vote for the future of our union,” said MM&P President Don Marcus on behalf of the MM&P General Executive Board. “To all those who participated in this referendum and who worked to bring this to a vote, your efforts are appreciated. Now that the ballots have been cast, we can join forces to build better working conditions for mariners in New York Harbor and all along the Atlantic Seaboard.”

Both MM&P and Local 333 are affiliates of the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA). Local 333 represents 1,300 New York and New Jersey based mariners who operate tugboats, dredges, tourist boats and ferries. MM&P represents professional mariners sailing offshore, on inland lakes and waterways, on ferry boat systems, on the Great Lakes, on dredges and as marine pilots.

“This is a win-win for both groups,” said Local 333 Secretary-Treasurer Ron Tucker. Affiliation will give the New York harbor mariners access to the MM&P training facility, credit union, legal services, financial and lobbying support, but the members will “still maintain local control,” Tucker said. Local 333 will become the new MM&P Atlantic Maritime Group when the merger is finalized on Jan. 1, 2015.

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Maersk Line says it will close the TP-5 U.S.-flag service operated by its U.S. affiliate MLL on Jan. 15. The company called the move “the first step in a new strategy to eliminate unprofitable trans-Pacific services.” The TP-5 service is supported by MLL’s four U.S.-flag Champion-class vessels. The company said in an official statement that the U.S. flag vessels on that service will be out-flagged and redeployed within the Maersk Line network and would ultimately “be replaced with newer U.S. flag vessels deployed in other trades later in 2015.” The company said MLL has entered into a Vessel Sharing Agreement with APL to secure U.S.-flag capacity in the Transpacific “so that we can continue to support our U.S.-flag cargo preference customers in the Pacific theater.”

Maersk said it will also terminate its eastbound Taiwan Express slot-swap agreement with Evergreen Line on Dec. 31. In a notice advising customers of the decision to end the TP-5 service between North China, South Korea and Japan to the West Coast, Maersk Line said the overall trans-Pacific trade had provided unprofitable results for nine out of the last 10 years. But it said the end of the service “by no means suggests our commitment to the trans-Pacific trade has wavered,” adding “in fact, we see it as very much the opposite.” The company says it will begin a new TP-5 service with reduced capacity covering Yokohama and Busan on Jan. 16.

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The AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department (TTD) is urging the Senate to pass the Coast Guard Reauthorization bill approved by the House of Representatives last Wednesday. The bill includes a number of important provisions championed by transportation labor.

The House voted overwhelmingly to approve the legislation, known as the Howard Coble Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2014 (H.R. 5769). The bill was introduced in the House by Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), along with Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), Transportation Committee Ranking Member Nick J. Rahall II (D-W. Va.), and Coast Guard Subcommittee Ranking Member John Garamendi (D-Calif.). The measure, which passed by a vote of 413 to 3, represents a bipartisan, bicameral agreement between House and Senate committee leaders, and the Senate is expected to take up the legislation before the end of the year.

“This bill helps ensure that the federal agencies charged with transporting U.S. cargo will honor existing cargo preference laws,” said TTD President Ed Wytkind. “By granting the Department of Transportation the clear authority to determine when cargo preference laws apply, we can bring consistency and transparency to this process and stop those who seek to undermine or evade these requirements. Cargo preference laws require that U.S. workers and U.S.-flag ships move vital government cargo and are a strategic benefit to our nation, the U.S. military, and the maritime workforce. But to be effective, cargo preference rules must be strongly enforced and this legislation provides a common-sense framework to accomplish this objective.”

The bill would also provide what Wytkind calls “a critical bridge to our veterans” by helping place them in good-paying jobs aboard U.S. vessels after they return from military duty. The bill would remove outdated rules that fail to properly document Armed Service members’ time at sea. “With passage of this legislation,” Wytkind said, “retired service members would be better able to put their skills to work as officers in the commercial maritime industry.”

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As part of ongoing efforts to build solidarity within maritime labor, the Joint Operating Committee of the Merchant Officers’ Labor Alliance (MOLA) met last week at the headquarters of the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA). MM&P and MEBA formed the agreement to strengthen both organizations with an eye toward securing stronger contracts with increased job security. The unions seek to achieve this objective by working together to cut costs, strengthen their positions in the maritime industry and present a united front on Capitol Hill. As in the past, and since 2007 when the MOLA was approved by members of both organizations, issues of common interest were discussed. A meeting is planned for early in 2015. Taking part in last week’s meeting were MM&P President Don Marcus, Secretary-Treasurer Steve Werse, Pacific Ports Vice President Dave Boatner, MEBA President Marshall Ainley, Executive Vice President Adam Vocak and Secretary-Treasurer Bill Van Loo.

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MM&P congratulates the winners of the American Maritime Officers (AMO) election, as reported in the AMO publication “AMO Currents.” The winners include: Paul Doell, AMO National President; and Charles Murdock, AMO National Secretary-Treasurer. “MM&P congratulates the new AMO administration,” said MM&P President Don Marcus. “Our union’s commitment to protecting and enhancing terms of employment for all ships’ officers, in partnership with like-minded labor organizations, will continue.”

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CBS MoneyWatch has reported that recent events involving the fulfillment center giant Amazon could bring the company’s workforce closer to their goal of joining labor unions. A case settled last week by the National Labor Relations Board could make it easier for the company’s workers to organize. As part of the settlement, Amazon agreed to display signs at its fulfillment centers telling employees that they have the right to form unions. For years, the company has fought off employee attempts to unionize. Amazon has been criticized for creating unhealthy working conditions for employees in its fulfillment centers. In 2011, the company parked ambulances outside a Pennsylvania warehouse for workers suffering from heat-related injuries. The U.S. Department of Labor has investigated two deaths this year at Amazon centers in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

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Typhoon Hagupit continued to weaken Tuesday as it moved slowly across the central Philippines, while rescue workers struggled to reach towns in provinces where approximately 13,000 homes were flattened and at least 27 people were killed. Despite the jump in the number of reported dead, there was relief that Hagupit had not brought destruction on the scale of super typhoon Haiyan, which last year killed thousands of people in the same areas. Hagupit blew in from the Pacific as a Category 3 typhoon on the night of Dec. 6, over Samar and Masbate islands. Its effects were felt across the central Philippines, including Leyte island and southern Luzon. The authorities had launched a massive evacuation operation ahead of the storm, emptying whole towns and villages in coastal and landslide prone areas.

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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 2014 no later than Monday, Dec. 29, at 1:00 p.m. EST. All requests for 2014 Vacation and PRO payments received after this date and time will be held until Friday, Jan. 2, 2015 for processing and payment, and will therefore be taxable in 2015. If you have any questions, contact Ken Ryan at 410-850-8617.

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Holiday parties are being scheduled in the MM&P union halls. We will publish more information when it becomes available. For now, the schedule is as follows:

Pacific Ports: Seattle, Wednesday, Dec. 10; Los Angeles, Friday, Dec. 12; Honolulu, Tuesday, Dec. 23, 1200 to 1600. The Seattle Christmas Party will be held at 1200, at Billy Baroo’s Restaurant at Foster Golf Links, 13500 Interurban Ave S. Tukwila, WA 98168. When times and locations are not listed please call the local union hall for more information.

Atlantic Ports: Norfolk, Thursday, Dec. 11 in the Norfolk Hall, at 1100 local time; San Juan, Friday, Dec. 12, at Restaurant Aire Libre, Calle Aldea, San Juan, at 1600 local time; Boston, Monday, Dec. 15, at 1230 in the Boston Hall; New York-New Jersey, Wednesday, Dec. 17,at The John Noble Collection, 1000 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island, 1200-1600.

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There will be a membership meeting at the Boston Hall on Monday, Dec. 15 at 1100, prior to the holiday party. There will be a membership meeting at the San Juan Hall at 1100 on Friday, Dec. 12.

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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 Kelly Michielli, 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 – 4/13/15, 8/17/15, 10/12/15

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: Contact Admissions

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 1/20/15, 3/31/15, 8/4/15, 9/22/15

AZIPOD 2-Day – 2/2/15, 4/6/15

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 1/26/15, 3/23/15, 5/18/15, 8/3/15, 10/19/15

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 2/4/15, 3/2/15, 4/13/15, 5/20/15, 6/17/15, 7/16/15, 11/9/15

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling: 3/4/15, 4/8/15

BT – Basic Safety Training: 1/19/15, 2/9/15, 4/6/15, 6/8/15

BT-Revalidation –8/5/15, 11/3/15

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 4/13/15, 10/26/15

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

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

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 1/19/15, 4/20/15, 6/15/15, 7/27/15, 9/28/15

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 1/12/15, 4/13/15, 6/1/15, 8/3/15, 10/19/15

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 4/27/15, 10/5/15

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 1/5/15, 4/6/15, 6/8/15, 8/17/15, 11/2/15, 12/7/15

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM): 1/26/15, 2/16/15, 3/30/15, 6/22/15,8/10/15, 10/26/15, 11/30/15

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 3/2/15, 11/16/15

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 3/9/15, 9/14/15

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 2/2/15, 3/9/15, 3/30/15, 4/13/15, 5/4/15, 6/1/15, 7/13/15, 8/10/15,8/24/15, 10/5/15, 11/9/15, 11/30/15

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 2/9/15, 3/16/15, 4/6/15, 4/20/15, 5/11/15, 6/8/15, 7/20/15, 8/17/15, 8/31/15, 10/12/15, 11/16/15, 12/7/15

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 3/23/15

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 5/11/15, 11/9/15

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 4/27/15, 11/9/15

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: 7/9/15

DDE – Great Lakes: 1/26/15, 6/1/15

DPA – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-OIC – 2/16/15

ECDIS-Pilots – 3/2/15, 6/15/15, 7/14/15, 11/12/15

ERM – Engine Resource Management: Contact Admissions

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 1/19/15, 2/9/15, 4/6/15, 6/8/15, 8/10/15, 10/5/15

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 4/15/15, 5/19/15, 7/6/15, 9/15/15, 11/11/15

GL Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: 1/23/15

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 3/16/15, 8/24/15

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 6/22/15, 8/31/15, 11/16/15

LAP- 4/6/15, 9/14/15

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes: 1/26/15

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License: 1/5/15, 3/2/15, 6/1/15, 8/3/15, 11/30/15

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 3/3/15, 4/15/15, 5/20/15, 7/16/15, 9/16/15, 11/10/15

LNG-TPIC – Contact Admissions

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 3/30/15

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 1/5/15, 3/16/15, 4/20/15, 6/15/15, 8/24/15, 12/7/15

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 3/2/15, 5/11/15, 7/27/15, 9/28/15

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 1/5/15, 3/16/15, 4/20/15, 6/15/15, 8/24/15, 10/12/15, 12/7/15

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 1/10/15, 1/24/15, 3/21/15, 4/25/15, 6/20/15, 7/25/15, 8/28/15, 11/5/15, 12/12/15

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: Contact Admissions

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 2/26/15, 8/19/15, 11/1/15

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (4 Evenings): 2/23/15, 8/17/15, 10/26/15

*MSC-ENVPRO – 2/15/15, 8/16/15, 10/31/15

*MSC-FF-HELO – 2/10/15, 8/3/15, 11/2/15

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 2/16/15, 8/8/15, 10/23/15

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – 2/20/15, 8/6/15, 10/21/15

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced – 2/22/15, 8/12/15, 10/27/15

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force – 2/23/15, 8/13/15, 10/28/15

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 1/19/15, 3/30/15, 8/3/15, 9/21/15

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 1/7/15, 1/14/15, 1/28/15, 2/4/15, 2/18/15, 3/6/15, 3/18/15, 4/1/15, 4/15/15, 4/29/15, 5/6/15, 5/13/15, 6/3/15, 6/17/15, 7/8/15, 7/22/15, 8/5/15, 8/19/15, 9/2/15, 9/16/15, 9/30/15, 10/14/15, 10/28/15, 11/18/15, 12/2/15, 12/10/15

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 1/12/15, 2/2/15, 3/23/15, 6/1/15, 7/27/15

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue – 4/6/15

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 2/16/15, 5/11/15, 6/22/15, 11/2/15

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day: 1/19/15, 3/2/15, 4/27/15, 7/27/15, 9/28/15

SMS – Contact Admissions

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 1/26/15, 8/3/15

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 1/5/15, 7/6/15

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 2/23/15, 8/3/15

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – Train the Trainer: Contact Admissions

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: Contact Admissions

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 2/4/15, 5/20/15, 6/22/15, 9/9/15, 10/7/15

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): 3/2/15, 9/28/15

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 2/23/15, 9/14/15

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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 2014

16th Leadership and Teamworking Skills
17-19 Security Officer – Vessel, Company, and Facility

January 2015

5th Radar Renewal
5-23 Terrestrial and Coastal Navigation
12th Flashing Light
12-16 Leadership and Managerial Skills
12-16 ECDIS
12-23 GMDSS
26-30 Radar Observer Unlimited
26-30 Leadership and Managerial Skills

February 2015

2nd Flashing Light
3-7 ARPA
9-13 ECDIS
9-13 Leadership and Managerial Skills
9-13 Medical Care Provider
16-20 Rules of the Road
16-27 GMDSS
23-27 ECDIS
23-27 Leadership and Managerial Skills

March 2015

2-6 Leadership and Managerial Skills
2-6 Basic Construction and Stability
9th Radar Renewal
9-20 Celestial Navigation
16-20 Leadership and Managerial Skills
16-20 Medical Care Provider
16-27 GMDSS
16-27 Medical Person-In-Charge
23-27 ECDIS
30-3 Leadership and Managerial Skills

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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 © 2014. Articles can be reprinted without prior permission if credit is given to The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly. For new subscriptions or address changes, send an e-mail to Back issues of The Weekly are posted on