Wheelhouse Weekly – December 04, 2012

December 4th 2012


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

Volume 16 . . . Number 49. . . December 4, 2012


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


The officers and crew of MV GREEN COVE saved the lives of two fishermen they found floating in a freezer box in the waters off Mexico on the morning of Nov. 22. The rescue took place after watchstanders aboard GREEN COVE picked up a flashing light on the horizon and discovered that it was coming from a fishing boat’s freezer box carrying two people. MM&P members aboard the Central Gulf ship at the time were the Master of the vessel and Chief Mate Danny Duzich, Second Mate Thomas J. Steele and Third Mate Elisa A. Finan.

The crewmembers gave the two men food, water and medical assistance, helped them make contact with their families in Mexico and accommodated them on board the GREEN COVE until the ship reached Panama.

Coast Guard Rear Adm. Karl L. Schultz commended the entire crew of MV GREEN COVE for taking part in the rescue. “In challenging weather conditions, you expertly maneuvered your vessel and safely embarked the two men,” he said. “Your efforts in locating and assisting these two distressed mariners serve as a shining example of selfless dedication to the safety of life at sea and are in keeping with the highest maritime traditions.”


The seafaring unions are strongly urging Congress to immediately pass the Obama Administration’s Maritime Security Program (MSP) reauthorization.  The legislation sets forth the terms and conditions governing implementation of the MSP program for the next ten years. It was transmitted to Congress jointly by the Maritime Administration and the United States Transportation Command.
The unions noted in a letter to Congressional leaders that a single American shipping company has proposed amendments to the legislation that would deprive the Department of Defense of the worldwide capability inherent in the existing MSP structure. The amendments in question, which the unions vigorously oppose, would deny some MSP companies the opportunity to participate in the program.

The legislation sent to the Hill by the Administration has already been passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate with the strong support of MM&P and all of maritime labor. We will be working for its enactment during the closing weeks of this Congress.


The Navy League of the United States has called on Congress “to protect the U.S.-merchant marine and pass HR 6170,” a bill that would restore the one-third cut in the cargo preference program contained in the recently enacted Surface Transportation legislation. HR 6170 was introduced by Reps. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Jeff Landry (R-La.). In a Nov. 29 letter to leaders of both parties in the House of Representatives and the Senate, the Navy League called on Congress to act swiftly on the bill.

Echoing the concerns raised by MM&P and others in our industry, the Navy League noted that the United States relies on “the availability of U.S. merchant marine vessels, infrastructure and manpower to ensure the safe delivery of military equipment and supplies to our soldiers. . . Once the U.S.-flag merchant marine capability is diminished due to the impacts of this provision, the United States could be forced to depend on politically unreliable foreign ships and crews to deliver important military cargo during times of war and national emergency.”

MM&P, MIRAID and others in our industry will continue to work with Reps. Cummings and Landry for the enactment of this important legislation during the remaining weeks of the Congressional lame duck session.


A strike by clerical workers in the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach is now in its eighth day. The strike, which involves several hundred members of International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 63, has shut down 10 out of 14 port terminals. MM&P is among the unions honoring the picket line.

The two sides in the dispute continue to negotiate, but so far with little result. The main sticking point is the outsourcing of clerical and administrative jobs in the ports to low-wage job markets in developing countries. “It’s important to us to keep those jobs here in the United States,” says ILWU Communications Director Craig Merrilees. “We’re fighting against corporate greed.” 

“The Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO stands in full support of the 800 striking office clerical workers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach who are waging a valiant battle to save good-paying jobs that drive our nation’s economy,” said TTD President Ed Wytkind in an official statement. “These workers have gone 30 months without a contract and are drawing a line against the steady and irresponsible outsourcing of their jobs to the lowest bidder.”

Negotiators returned to the bargaining table Monday after Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa intervened with the request that meetings continue non-stop until an agreement is reached.


The AFL-CIO is calling on Congress to let the George W. Bush tax cuts for the top 2 percent of American earners expire. Labor leaders also want Congress to reject benefit cuts to Medicare and Social Security. The AFL-CIO released a study last week which details how Americans would be affected if Congress cuts benefits in the programs. Information for each state can be found at:

“Social Security has never added a penny to the deficit and should not be part of any deficit reduction negotiations,” the AFL-CIO says. The study warns of the impact that the Bowles-Simpson plan—which is supported by many members of Congress–would have on the program. The changes proposed would cut the cost-of-living adjustment by 0.3 percent a year for all current and future beneficiaries. By the age of 80, retired workers would lose, on average, $852 a year as a result of the decrease in the cost-of-living adjustment. If the Bowles-Simpson plan were to be completely phased in, it would reduce benefits for the average American retiree by more than $2,875 a year.

As a counter-proposal, the AFL-CIO supports scrapping “the cap,” which exempts annual earned income above $110,100 from Social Security taxes. “High earners should contribute the same percentage of their income to Social Security as everyone else,” the AFL-CIO says.

As far as Medicare goes, the AFL-CIO and many economists say that increasing the eligibility age from 65 to 67 would “substantially increase total health care costs, with the burden falling on individuals, employers and state governments.” The extra costs would be twice the net savings the Medicare age increase would give the federal government, according to an August 2011 study by economist Paul N. Van de Water, a senior fellow at the National Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

“Working people, jobless people and retirees shouldn’t have to sacrifice their health care and retirement security so that the richest 2 percent can continue getting more tax breaks,” says AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka.


Airport security officers employed by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) are now covered by a collective bargaining agreement (CBA). The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) won the right to represent the 45,000 TSOs after a decade-long organizing campaign fraught with a number of significant legislative, political and administrative obstacles. MM&P headquarters staff participated in the organizing campaign last year, backing up AFGE members by talking with transportation security officers at Washington-area airports about the benefits of belonging to a union.

The three-year CBA will take effect Dec. 9 and includes a new leave system, procedures for shift bidding and trading, and an expanded uniform allowance. “This agreement means better working conditions, fair evaluation practices and safer workplaces,” said AFGE President J. David Cox in an official statement.


Members of the MM&P Offshore Group please take note: a meeting of the Shipping Rules Committee is scheduled for Jan. 15-16. Members who wish to submit a resolution should send it to the Office of the International Secretary-Treasurer. Please refer to Article XIII of the Offshore Shipping Rules for additional information on submitting resolutions. The Offshore Shipping Rules are posted in the Members’ Only section of


A 75-day contract ratification ballot was mailed on Nov. 30 to all members of the Offshore Group. If you expect to be away from your address of record for the next 75 days, please send an e-mail to that includes your name and the best mailing address for your ship. If you have questions, please contact MM&P International Comptroller Beverly Gutmann,, 410-850-8700 ext. 112 or Juli Rodriguez,, 410-850-8700, ext. 129.


Effective immediately, the hours of the MM&P Norfolk Hall will revert to 0900-1600.


Effective immediately, the MM&P San Juan Hall has a new address: Avenida Kennedy, Marginal # 1055, ILA Bldg. Piso 9, Suite 914, San Juan, PR 00908. Phone and fax numbers remain the same.


Join us to celebrate! All MM&P members, employees, their families and friends are encouraged to attend the holiday parties now being scheduled in our union halls.

MM&P East Coast holiday party schedule:

– Boston, Monday, Dec. 10, from 1200 to 1500 in the Boston Hall, 12 Channel St., S. Boston (617) 671-0769;

– New York/New Jersey, Friday, Dec. 7, from 1100 to 1500, in the New York/New Jersey Hall;

– Norfolk, Thursday, Dec. 6, from 1300, jointly with MEBA at the new Norfolk Hall;

– San Juan, Friday, Dec. 14, at El Camaron Restaurant, from 1600 to 1930 (last call is 1925).

MM&P Gulf Coast holiday party schedule:

— New Orleans, Tuesday, Dec. 11, at noon, at Portobellos, 400 East William David Parkway, Metairie;

— Houston, Thursday, Dec. 13, noon, at Brady’s Landing, 8505 Cypress Street, Houston;

— Pompano, Friday, Dec. 14, at 1300 in the union hall;

— Jacksonville, Friday, Dec. 14, at 1300 in the union hall.

MM&P West Coast holiday party schedule for members of ALL MM&P Membership Groups:

— Honolulu, joint MM&P-MEBA party, Tuesday, Dec. 18, from 1000 to 1400, in the MM&P Honolulu Hall;

— Offshore, UIG and PMR party, with members of MEBA, in the Los Angeles/Long Beach Hall, Friday, Dec. 14, at 1300;

— Offshore, UIG and PMR party, with members of MEBA, in the San Francisco/Oakland Hall, Friday, Dec. 7, at 1300;

— Offshore, UIG and PMR party, Seattle, Thursday, Dec. 6, Billy Baroo’s/Foster Golf Links, 13500 Interurban Avenue, S, Tukwila, Wash., 98168. Please be sure to RSVP to the Seattle Hall (206) 441-8700 by Dec. 4 and let us know whether you are bringing a guest. Check with the hall if you need directions to Billy Baroo’s.

Come one, come all. Please join us to celebrate!


Members of MM&P’s United Inland Group-Pacific Maritime Region are encouraged to attend a meeting at the MM&P Hall in Edmonds on Tuesday Dec. 11, at 1000. All MM&P members are encouraged to attend. If you have specific questions that may need to be researched, please e-mail the question prior to the meeting to the MM&P Regional Representative:


Maersk Line, Limited (MLL) has become the first shipping company to receive global certification from the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) for energy management per the Guide for Marine Health, Safety, Quality, Environmental and Energy Management. Successful implementation of the standards required a commitment from all levels of the organization, a company spokesperson said, adding that it underscores MLL’s ongoing effort to improve the environmental sustainability of its operations.

ABS requirements for energy management are based on the international standard, ISO 50001:2011, Energy Management Systems. ISO 50001 specifies how an organization should establish targets and develop and implement an energy policy which takes into account legal requirements and other factors related to energy use. This international standard sets forth the systems and processes necessary to improve energy performance and efficiency. Implementing an energy management system supports reductions in energy costs, greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts.


American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA) members–singers, dancers and production staff–contracted by The Baltimore Opera Company will share more than $400,000 owed them after opera performances were cancelled in 2008 and 2009. When the Opera declared bankruptcy in 2009, AGMA sued under the union’s “pay or play” clause and recovered $150,000 earlier this year. An additional $266,000 was distributed to members last month.


One Coast Guard officer died and a second was injured on Dec. 2 after the small fishing boat they were trying to investigate as part of a counter-drug operation rammed their vessel. The two officers were thrown from Coast Guard Cutter HALIBUT into the water after it was rammed by the smaller boat off Santa Cruz Island in the waters of Southern California. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Terrell Horne III died of a blow to the head. The other Coast Guard officer was treated for minor injuries. Two nationals of Mexico have been arrested and charged in the case.


Try our on-line calendar to register for class:

For class availability or information on courses and programs, contact MITAGS Admissions Coordinator Kelly Michielli toll free at 866-656-5568 or e-mail her at

Between now and the end of March 2013, the following courses are scheduled at MITAGS.

Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 1/22/2013, 3/26/2013

AZIPOD (2-DAY) for Pilots: 3/20/2013

BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 1/14/2013, 3/18/2013

BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots:  1/21/2013, 2/7/2013, 3/7/2013

BST – Basic Safety Training: 1/21/13

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 1/21/2013

CMM-ADVNAV – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): 1/7/2013, 3/18/2013

CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 12/17/2012, 2/18/2013

CMM-CHS – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 2/25/2013

CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 3/11/13

CMM-SHMGT – Ship Management (2 weeks): 12/3/12, 2/4/13

CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 12/10/2012, 1/14/2013, 1/28/2013, 2/18/2013, 3/4/2013

CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 12/17/2012, 1/21/2013, 2/4/2013, 2/25/2013, 3/11/2013

CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 1/28/2013

DDE: Designated Duty Engineer: 1/28/2013

ENVIRO-Regs Permit – Environmental Regulations Permit: 3/5/2013

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep and Medications:  3/7/13

FF-BADV – Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 1/21/13

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 2/11/13

LAP – License Advancement Program for Great Lakes: 1/28/2013

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 3/6/2013

MCL – Management, Communications and Leadership, 3/25/2013

MEDIA RSP – Media Response Workshop: 3/8/2013

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 12/3/12, 1/7/13, 2/18/13, 3/18/13

MED-PIC -R– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 1/28/2013

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 1/7/2013, 2/18/2013, 3/18/2013

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 12/8/2012, 1/12/2013, 1/26/2013, 2/23/2013, 3/23/2013

MSC -SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 3/11/13

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (4 Evenings): 3/11/13

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 3/15/13

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 12/12/2012, 1/9/2013, 1/23/2013, 2/6/2013, 2/20/2013, 3/6/2013, 3/20/2013,

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 1/21/2013, 3/25/2013

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal: 1/14/13

SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 1/28/13, 3/25/13

SEC-VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 3/4/2013

SHS-ESH-BRMP3 – Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 3/4/13

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling: 2/11/13

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge:  2/25/13

… Remember: If you can’t make the class, make the call. Be courteous, don’t be a “no show.”

Check the MITAGS website at for course descriptions associated with the course title abbreviations, and schedule revisions.


Schedule of Courses – Please also see our schedule online at For registration, call our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen, at (206) 838-1126.

December 2012

10-14     ECDIS
17th       Flashing Light

MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 12-04-2012 at 11:30 a.m. EST

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
12,966.19 2,985.76 1,406.08

Mutual Funds (Live)

Click a mutual fund for more information.
Click the right or left arrow on the right side of the ticker to browse the mutual funds.

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: For further info or to subscribe contact Lisa Rosenthal at The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea and is posted on our web page.

© 2012, 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: For changes of address, contact Lisa Rosenthal at