Wheelhouse Weekly – December 11, 2012

December 11th 2012


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

Volume 16 . . . Number 50. . . Dec. 11, 2012


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


An experienced slate of ship’s officers will assume the helm of the Masters, Mates & Pilots on Jan. 1. Don Marcus, currently MM&P International Secretary-Treasurer, has been elected International President. Long-time master and current Atlantic Ports Vice President Steve Werse will be the new MM&P International Secretary-Treasurer. Horizon Lines Master Don Josberger will come ashore to be the new Offshore Vice President for the Atlantic Ports.

The rest of the Board is composed of veterans who have been seasoned by shipboard commands and significant responsibilities in the area of labor relations. They are well-known to the membership in their current roles: Pacific Ports Vice President Dave Boatner, Gulf Ports Vice President Wayne Farthing, United Inland Group Vice President Mike Murray, Pilots Group Vice President George Quick and Federal Employees Membership Group Vice President Randall Rockwood.

“All these men have long and distinguished records of service to MM&P,” said outgoing International President Tim Brown. “They have the experience, the foresight and the drive to navigate our ship going forward. This is an experienced team who will provide our union with much-needed stability in these challenging times.”

The ballots were counted at MITAGS on Dec. 11 by True Ballot Inc. Members of the International Ballot Committee who supervised the election were Art Thomas (chair), Bob Darley, Dave Goff, Paul Nielsen and John Traut.


International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) President Harold Daggett has been authorized by ILA delegates to call for a strike if no contract is reached with the United States Maritime Alliance (USMX) before the current contract expires on Dec. 29. The strike authorization vote Monday by 200 members of the ILA’s wage scale committee was unanimous. The union says employers are seeking to eliminate gains that the ILA membership has achieved in previous contracts: a central point of contention involves employers’ demands to cap container royalty payments.

On the West Coast, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) continues to negotiate with grain terminal operators in the Pacific Northwest in the presence of a federal mediator. Both parties have announced their intention to keep grain moving through the six export terminals in Oregon and Washington as negotiations continue.


Horizon Lines says it will change its Puerto Rico service schedule effective Jan. 10, shifting to weekly–from the current twice weekly–Jacksonville-San Juan service. The company says it is making the change to better align deployed capacity with market demand and to improve cargo availability times in San Juan. The southbound service will depart Jacksonville on Thursday evenings and arrive in San Juan on Sundays. Cargo will be available at the opening of business on Monday mornings.

In addition, the company says, Horizon Lines weekly San Juan service from the Northeast will depart Elizabeth, N.J., on Thursday evenings instead of Fridays, with cargo availability in San Juan on Mondays. Northbound departures from San Juan to Elizabeth will be on Sunday evenings with arrival on Thursday mornings. Northbound departures from San Juan to Jacksonville will be Monday evenings with arrival on Thursday mornings. The company said service schedules between Houston, Texas and San Juan will remain unchanged.

Horizon Lines said the change will create cost efficiencies that will enable the company to improve the Puerto Rico trade lane’s financial performance and reinvest in the business over the long term. In association with the service change, the company expects to record a fourth-quarter charge of approximately $3.6 million.


The Republican-controlled Michigan state legislature has approved legislation aimed at undercutting the ability of unions to represent their members in the political arena and in negotiations with employers. The so-called “right-to-work” law, like others that exist in 23 states, allows employees to opt out of financially supporting a workplace union while profiting from the same wages and benefits as dues-paying union members. After two years of asserting that similar legislation was “not on the agenda,” the state’s Republican Governor, Rick Snyder, is now its most vocal proponent.

Judging from the situation in other states that have enacted similar laws, the measure will drive down living standards for all workers in the state of Michigan. Workers living in right-to-work states earn, on average, about $1,500 less per year than workers in states without such laws. The incidence of on-the-job fatalities is 53 percent higher in right-to-work states. Workers in right-to-work states are also significantly less likely to have health insurance.

In the days since Republican legislators announced their intentions, thousands of protestors have packed the halls of the Michigan state capitol in Lansing. The measure was voted on and approved in closed door sessions, without public hearings. Unions in the state have few options at this point but to protest, particularly since the bill’s sponsors attached it to an appropriations measure, which under Michigan law cannot be repealed by referendum


Several hundred clerical workers who belong to the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) are back on their jobs in the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach after the union and port employers reached a tentative agreement that will help prevent the outsourcing of jobs.

ILWU International President Robert McEllrath said the solidarity of the workers, other union members and thousands of community supporters played a major role in the victory. MM&P members, ILWU dockworkers and other port employees refused to cross the picket lines. “This victory was accomplished because of support from the entire ILWU family of 10,000 members in the harbor community,” McEllrath said.

Key elements in the tentative agreement are new protections that will help prevent jobs from being outsourced to low-wage markets. “It was about getting control of the outsourcing and ensuring that the jobs are here today, tomorrow and for the future,” said ILWU spokesman Craig Merrilees. The port workers had been without contract for more than two years.


Mandatory passenger safety drills should take place prior to or immediately upon departure of passenger vessels, according to the International Maritime Organization Maritime Safety Committee (MSC). The committee put forth this and other safety proposals during its London meeting on Nov. 26-30. The measures are intended to reflect lessons learned from the COSTA CONCORDIA tragedy.

Specifically, the MSC approved draft amendments to Chapter III of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) to require musters of newly embarked passengers prior to or immediately upon departure, instead of “within 24 hours,” as stated in the current regulations, for a ship engaged on a voyage where passengers are scheduled to be on board for more than 24 hours.

The recommended measures include: additional guidance on common elements to be included in passenger muster and emergency instructions; a recommendation that the nationality of each person on board be recorded; guidance on lifeboat loading for training purposes; and the recommendation that companies owning and/or operating passenger ships and the ship’s master take steps to ensure that changes to the voyage plan are consistent with company policies.

The recommended voluntary measures agreed at the last session remain in place, including:

– carrying additional lifejackets, to be readily accessible in public spaces, at the muster/assembly stations, on deck or in lifeboats, so that in the event of an emergency passengers need not return to their cabins to retrieve the lifejacket stored there;

– reviewing the adequacy of the dissemination and communication of the emergency instructions on board ships;

– carrying out the muster for embarking passengers prior to departure from every port of embarkation if the duration is 24 hours or more;

– limiting access to the bridge to those with operational functions during any period of restricted maneuvering or while maneuvering in conditions that the master or company bridge procedures/policy deems to require increased vigilance; and

– ensuring that the ship’s voyage plan has taken into account IMO guidelines for voyage planning and, if appropriate, guidelines on voyage planning for passenger ships operating in remote areas.

The draft amendments will be circulated for consideration with a view to adoption at the next session of MSC in June 2013. If adopted, they could enter into force at the end of 2014.


The nation’s jobless rate dropped to 7.7 percent in November, down from October’s 7.9 percent and the lowest level since December 2008. The economy added 146,000 new jobs last month, according to figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The 146,000 jobs created reflect 33 straight months of positive job growth. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka says that while the drop in unemployment is welcome news, we remain a long way from full employment.


Congressman Bill Shuster has been selected by the House Republican Conference to be the next chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Congressman Nick Rahall has once again been named Ranking Democrat on the committee. Shuster will succeed Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) as chairman of the committee, which has jurisdiction over a number of legislative issues that are critical to the American merchant marine.


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 2012 no later than Thursday, Dec. 27, at 1:00 p.m. EST. All requests for 2012 Vacation and PRO payments received after this date and time will be held until Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, for processing and payment, and will therefore be taxable in 2013. If you have any questions, contact Ken Ryan at 410-850-8617.


The November-December issue of The Master, Mate & Pilot has been posted on In this issue: Grand River Navigation launches new ATB; MM&P now has 300 members and applicants on the Great Lakes; International Shipholding Corp. buys United Ocean Services and adds PCTC to fleet; new “on-call” water taxi service makes waves in San Francisco; two MM&P members in New York cook for hundreds of residents and first responders in wake of Hurricane Sandy; Patriot Contract Services wins renewal of USNS WATERS contract.

The November-December issue of the magazine will be in your mailbox soon. In the meantime, look for it online on


A meeting of the Offshore 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.


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:

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

MM&P Gulf Coast holiday party schedule:

  • 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.

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


Between now and the end of March 2013, the following courses are scheduled at MITAGS. (Please keep in mind, however, that the schedule may be subject to change.)

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

Try our on-line calendar to register for class:

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): 2/4/13

CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 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: 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: 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: 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

17th Flashing Light

January 2013

4th Radar Renewal
7-11 ECDIS
7-18 GMDSS
7-25 Terrestrial and Coastal Navigation
14-18 Medical Care Provider
23-25 Vessel Security Officer
28th Med DOT
28-1 Radar Observer Unlimited

February 2013

4th Flashing Light Exam
11th Radar Renewal
11-15 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
11-15 Bridge Resource Management
18-22 ECDIS
20-21 Environmental Regulations in the Maritime Industry / Vessel General Permit
25-1 Medical Care Provider
25-8 Medical Person-In-Charge
25-8 GMDSS

March 2013

4-15 Celestial Navigation
11th Radar Renewal
12-15 ARPA
18-19 ECDIS for Pilots
18-22 Able Bodied Seaman
20th Fatigue, Sleep, and Medications
21-22 Azipod for Pilots
25-29 ECDIS
27-29 Vessel Security Officer

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
13,287.49 3,028.08 1,432.46

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