Wheelhouse Weekly – December 25, 2012

December 25th 2012


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

Volume 16 . . . Number 52. . . Dec. 25, 2012


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


All MM&P port offices, the MM&P Federal Credit Union, the MM&P Plan Office and MM&P Headquarters will be closed on Tuesday, Jan. 1. In addition, MM&P port offices will be closed on Monday, Dec. 31. The next issue of The Wheelhouse Weekly will be published on Wednesday, Jan. 2. Happy holidays to all and best wishes for the New Year.


International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) President Harold J. Daggett has notified ILA locals covered by the master contract to prepare for a coastwise strike beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 30. “Unfortunately, negotiations are not progressing well… and it is imperative that all ILA local unions begin immediately to prepare for a strike,” Daggett informed ILA locals Dec. 20 in an official statement.

MM&P is the marine affiliate of the ILA and participates with both the ILA and the ILWU in the Maritime Labor Alliance, which also counts as members the American Radio Association, the Inland Boatmen’s Union and the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association.

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has expressed full support for the International Longshoremen’s Association. “The ITF stands firm in solidarity behind the ILA and calls on East Coast employers to respond to constructive proposals from the union. The world’s dock workers are waiting, watching and are ready to mobilize,” ITF President Paddy Crumlin said in an official statement. “ITF affiliates are alerted to the situation yet remain hopeful that a negotiated settlement can be reached and industrial action avoided,” said ITF Acting General Secretary designate Stephen Cotton.

On the West Coast, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) is involved in an equally tense contract dispute with grain terminal operators. Three of four operators of grain export terminals in the Pacific Northwest have released a statement saying they have made their final offer and will not negotiate further with the union. The fact that three–not all four–of the grain terminal operators have said they reject the union’s latest contract offer suggests that one terminal operator does not agree with the direction the employers’ group is taking. Left out of the Grain Handlers Association statement was TEMCO, a joint venture of Cargill and CHS Inc. that operates facilities in Portland and Tacoma.

“The ILWU is disappointed that the grain merchants apparently have rejected a very fair offer that equalizes the playing field on all points that matter,” said an ILWU spokesperson. “Clearly the foreign-based grain merchants intend to risk the U.S. export market to try to break the union.”

MM&P will keep members informed about the situation in the ports via communications to MM&P-contracted ships, updates on and messages posted in MM&P union halls.


Barbara Mikulski, a long-time supporter of MM&P and the U.S.-flag maritime industry, will be the new chair of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee. She replaces Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, who died on Dec. 17. “It is especially gratifying to be the first woman to lead this powerful committee,” Mikulski said in an official statement. “I am grateful for this opportunity to fight for the day-to-day needs of the American people and the long-range needs of the nation.” Mikulski, who will be the first woman to chair the Senate Appropriations Committee, last year became the longest-serving woman in the history of the U.S. Senate.


Capt. Kit Skow of San Francisco’s Blue & Gold Fleet has been profiled in “Bay Crossings,” the magazine for Bay Area commuters. Members of MM&P’s United Inland Group crew and maintain the ferries under a contract with WETA, the regional public agency charged by the State of California with operating the Vallejo Baylink ferry, the Alameda-Oakland ferries and the Harbor Bay Island (Alameda) route.

Skow, who currently captains afternoon tours including the popular “Escape from the Rock,” will soon start working the Angel Island and Tiburon commutes. He has worked at Blue & Gold for 29 years. For much of that time, he has also taught physical education in local public schools. When Skow is not sailing or teaching, he travels the world–he’s been to Australia six timesâ�and trains for fitness events, including obstacle courses and “tough mudders.”


It’s time to start thinking about the next big holiday on the calendar: New Year’s Eve. We’ve rounded up some of the best American-made and union-made deals for union members to host a great holiday party.

It’s difficult to celebrate New Year’s Eve without a beverage of choice, and luckily there are a number of union-made options. Wineries that sell union-made wines include Mondavi, Columbia Crest, Chateau Ste.-Michelle and Gallo. Or try a union-made beer from companies that include Anheuser Busch, Budweiser, Leinenkugel, Michelob or Miller. Pepsi and Sprite have unionized workers, as do Welch’s, Mott’s and Minute Maid.

Snack on some union-made snacks like Frito-Lay or Doritos chips and light up the night with sparklers from Diamond Sparklers, the only sparkler company based in the United States.

Remember to always look for the union label and have a Happy New Year!


AT&T Wireless offers union members a 15 percent monthly discount on select service plans. And if you have a Union Plus credit card, you are now eligible for additional discounts:

  • upgrade to a new smart phone with an AT&T data plan and get up to $100 in rebates;
  • move to AT&T from another wireless service provider and receive up to $100 towards the cost of moving your service.

When you do business with America’s only unionized wireless carrier, you show your support for the 45,000 members of the Communications Workers of America who work at AT&T Wireless. More than 192,000 union members have already taken advantage of the 15 percent discount. To find out more, go to


The MM&P General Executive Board is seeking resumes from members interested in working as Port Agent in the Port of Oakland. If you wish to apply, please send your resume to the Offshore Division Pacific Vice President by Jan. 25. The resume should include work experience under MM&P contracts, labor relations experience and higher education or labor training degrees/certificates. Remuneration and benefits will be based on qualifications and experience, and shall be in accordance with the Offshore Division Work Rules.


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.


A member of a private security detachment was killed and two others injured on Dec. 13 in a gun fight with pirates, according to the International Maritime Bureau. The incident took place when heavily armed pirates in a speed boat fired on an offshore support vessel working off the coast of Bayelsa, in the Niger Delta region. The ship’s master raised the alarm, gave the order to increase speed, sent a distress message and instructed the crew to withdraw into the safe room as the embarked security team exchanged fire with the pirates. After about 20 minutes, the pirates gave up their attempt to board the ship and fled. At that point, it was discovered that one of the guards had been killed and two had sustained injuries.


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: 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): 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 here for course descriptions associated with the course title abbreviations, and schedule revisions.


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

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 will return in the Jan. 8 issue of The Wheelhouse Weekly. Have a happy holiday.

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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