Wheelhouse Weekly – Feb. 16, 2016

February 17th 2016

Volume 21 . . . Number 7. . . Feb. 16, 2016


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The Fiscal Year 2017 budget released last week by the Administration does not call for full funding for the Maritime Security Program (MSP): for reasons that have more to do with the timing of the budget process than with the Administration’s support for MSP, it includes the previously authorized amount, rather than the increase recently approved by Congress.

As a result, MM&P, MIRAID and the rest of the U.S.-flag maritime industry are mobilizing once again to ensure that the 60-ship maritime security fleet, and the U.S. jobs it supports, are adequately funded.

Our industry achieved an important victory late last year when both the House of Representatives and the Senate agreed to include an accelerated funding increase for MSP in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016.

That measure, which was immediately signed into law by President Obama, provides our industry with an extremely important short-term funding increase to help keep vessels operating under the U.S. flag in the coming fiscal year.

It authorized $299.997 million for MSP for Fiscal Year 2017, an increase over the $186 million that had been previously authorized.

But because of the timing of the budget process, the Administration’s 2017 budget uses the old $186 million number.

To address the discrepancy between the Administration-authorized budget and the amounts approved by Congress, MM&P, MIRAID and our allies are proceeding on the Hill with our effort to secure the $299.997 million. We will keep readers informed via The Wheelhouse Weekly.

In other MSP news, as has been previously reported, thanks to the tireless efforts of a number of our longtime supporters, including Sens. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.), and Reps. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), John Garamendi (D-Calif.) and Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), Congress passed and the President signed omnibus appropriations legislation that includes much-needed and significant new long-term funding levels for MSP.

Specifically, this legislation stipulates an increase in the per-vessel stipend for each of the 60 vessels in the maritime security fleet to $299.997 million, or $4,999,990 per ship, in Fiscal Year 2017; $300 million, or $5 million per ship, in each of Fiscal Years 2018, 2019 and 2020; and $313.8 million, or $5.230 million per ship, in Fiscal Year 2021.

This increase is the amount the Maritime Administration has indicated is necessary to retain the 60 vessels and their maritime jobs for the U.S. flag, and guarantee that the Department of Defense will continue to have the commercial sealift capability it needs to protect America’s interests and to support American troops around the world.

At this point it is essential to ensure that appropriations at the authorized funding levels be approved by Congress. Our work to secure appropriations at the newly authorized level has already begun, and we will persevere until we succeed.

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The United States will continue to decline in world stature and living standards if we don’t stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), writes United Steelworkers International President Leo W. Gerard in a Feb. 8 blog post.

Gerard quotes American writer and poet Carl Sandburg, who a century ago dubbed Chicago “the City of Big Shoulders”: “hog butcher for the world, tool maker, stacker of wheat, player with railroads and the nation’s freight handler; stormy, husky brawling.”

“All of this was true of America itself as well,” Gerard writes. We were “a Nation of big shoulders… a brawny country that would intervene to help win World War I and later quickly retool factories to serve as munitions mills to win World War II.”

“Now, though, as America’s tool makers and freight car builders are furloughed, their factories shuttered and offshored, America is wasting. Ill-conceived free trade deals are reducing it to a nation of stooped shoulders,” he writes.

Unions universally oppose the TPP, which was signed in New Zealand two weeks ago by representatives of the United States, Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

In arguing that this deal and others like it would continue to lower standards of living in this country, U.S unions cite the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which has devastated U.S. manufacturing.

“From cookies to car parts, [after NAFTA] factories fled America for places like China and Mexico,” Gerard writes.

“There, corporations pay workers a pittance and pollute virtually penalty-free. CEOs and shareholders roll in the resulting royal-sized profits. Meanwhile, formerly middle-class American workers and their families suffer. Communities bereft of sustaining mills collapse. And the United States atrophies, losing more and more of those once-bulky industrial shoulders.”

As evidence of the continuing impact of NAFTA, the USW president cites a decision last week by Dematic, an automated conveyor system company based in Grand Rapids, Mich., to move to Monterrey, Mexico, where it will be paying workers $1.50 to $1.70 per hour instead of the $11.55 to $24.26 an hour paid to the United Auto Workers (UAW) members who work at the Michigan plant.

The company had asked the UAW workers to submit a counter-proposal, but the vote against doing so unanimous. “It’s illegal in the United States for workers to labor for $1.50 an hour,” Gerard notes.

In the first 10 years of this century, he writes, America lost 56,190 factories. That’s an average of 5,619 a year. Or 15 a day.

“Not all of them moved to Mexico or offshore,” he writes, “but many did. And when they did and shipped their cars or Hershey bars back to the United States, that contributed to the nation’s ever-ballooning and increasingly dangerous trade deficit. The trade deficit in manufacturing hit $831.4 billion last year, up 13.2 percent from 2014.”

The TPP contains weak plans to help countries like Vietnam and Malaysia improve conditions so that Americans workers aren’t placed in competition with forced and child labor there. It contains no strategy at all to counter the impact of competition from workers in Mexico who have few rights and protections and earn, on average, 20 cents for every dollar a U.S. worker earns.

“NAFTA and the TPP are giant greenbacks for multinational corporations,” Gerard writes. “CEOs close U.S. factories, destroy the lives of American workers and collect bigger profits as a result of the less-than-subsistence wages they pay foreign labor.”

“NAFTA, the TPP and the rest of the free trade schemes are sapping U.S. industrial strength, shipping it overseas. They’re emasculating America.”

The signing of TPP last week marks the end of the negotiating process. Member nations now have two years to get the deal approved at home before it becomes legally binding.

In the United States, the next step is for the White House to send implementing legislation to Congress for a vote on final ratification. There is still an opportunity to stop this deal from going through.

Take action today: go to to send your representatives in the Senate and the House a message about the impact TPP will have on American jobs.

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The International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) and its two districts have each made initial donations of $5,000 to The Flint Child Health and Development Fund, a charity that will help children of Flint, Mich., who have been exposed to lead from drinking tainted water.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has conceded he made mistakes in handling what has come to be known as “the Flint water crisis.” As has been reported in the press, the Snyder administration switched the city’s water supply to the Flint River to save money, not realizing that the river water would corrode the city’s lead pipes. Lead is a potent toxin that even in miniscule amounts has been found to cause brain damage in children.

The ILA had planned to ship clean water to Flint but was informed that the city had all the water donations it could properly handle and store. ILA International Vice President William Yockey, a Michigan resident, and ILA International General Organizer John D. Baker, a Cleveland native, identified The Flint Child Health and Development Fund as the most appropriate recipient of aid.

“The needs of Flint children, particularly those most vulnerable to lead poisoning–children ages 0-6–are ongoing and will be long term,” the charity said in a statement.

“We are grateful the ILA, the Atlantic Coast District and the South Atlantic and Gulf Coast District were able to generate $15,000 in initial contributions for the citizens of Flint,” said ILA President Harold Daggett. “Our ILA locals and membership have always demonstrated incredible generosity and service to those in need and I am certain they will now answer the call for the men, women and especially the children of Flint,” he added.

Donations should be made payable to Community Foundation of Greater Flint and sent to ILA headquarters at International Longshoremen’s Association, AFL-CIO, Department MF, 5000 West Side Avenue, North Bergen, NJ 07047. For additional information, contact Maria Fong at ILA at 212-425-1200, ext. 303.

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The Coast Guard and the Department of Homeland Security are seeking to fill vacancies on the Towing Safety Advisory Committee (TSAC). The committee advises the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security on matters relating to shallow draft inland and coastal waterway navigation and towing safety.

Completed applications should reach the Coast Guard on or before March 28. Send a cover letter expressing interest in an appointment to the Towing Safety Advisory Committee that identifies which membership category you are applying under (see below) and a resume.

Among the open positions are one representing licensed or unlicensed towing vessel engineers with formal training and experience and three positions representing the barge and towing industry.

Contact information:; fax (202) 372–8379 or regular mail to: William J. Abernathy, Alternate Designated Federal Officer, Commandant (CG–OES–2), U.S. Coast Guard, Stop 7509, 2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20593–7509.

For more information, check the Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 27 / Wednesday, February 10, 2016 / Notice 7133.

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An agreement between MM&P and SUNY Maritime gives MM&P members and applicants the opportunity to gain experience as officers aboard the TS EMPIRE STATE during the summer sea term. The basic provisions of the agreement allow members to participate in the MM&P Health & Benefit Plan and MATES program.

Applicants who sail under the terms of the referral program are eligible for points. If you are interested, please contact MM&P National Director of Collective Bargaining Lars Turner:

Additionally, SUNY notes there are positions for watch standers, instructors and day workers for both Deck and Engineering. The school also says there are specific opportunities available for Stewards and as support staff (Librarian, Yeoman and as qualified members of both Deck and Engineering departments).

This is a unique opportunity to assist with the at-sea, practical training of future mariners and the chance to participate in a great itinerary. The FULL Cruise appointment will begin May 2, 2016and end Aug. 10, 2016. However, you may apply and be considered for one of the following:

Cruise A (anticipated May 2, 2016 – June 22, 2016); Cruise B (anticipated June 22, 2016 – Aug. 10, 2016); Full Cruise (May 2, 2016 to Aug. 10, 2016).

If you are interested in applying, please send an e-mail to

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Some members who sail aboard ships in the government fleet have informed us that because of the limited bandwidth aboard some ships, it is not always possible to access course listings on the MITAGS website.

The Wheelhouse Weekly does contain an updated listing of courses in text format for readers who can’t access HTML. There is also a PDF version of the course listings on the MITAGS website.

Additionally, MITAGS Admissions will e-mail to members either a PDF or text version of the course list (since some ship e-mail systems will not accept PDFs).

If you would like to request this information in text or e-mail form, just send an e-mail to

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The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) is seeking justice for workers in the Philippines who have been killed for trying to organize labor unions. The ITF says the government’s “failure to investigate or punish” such crimes has created “a culture of impunity and a climate of violence and insecurity.”

The ITF has filed a complaint against the Philippines with the International Labor Organization (ILO). The National Confederation of Transport Workers’ Unions (NCTU) and the Filipino labor union SENTRO are signatories to the complaint.

In 2012, Antonio Petalcorin, activist and then president of the NCTU, along with two union colleagues, filed a complaint against the director of the Land Transportation Franchising Board of Davao, alleging corruption. Among other things, they claimed that the director took bribes in exchange for franchise approvals.

Over the next eight months, Petalcorin and one colleague were shot to death. The third man was subjected to threats and violence forcing him and his wife to go into hiding. No one has been accused of the crimes and there have been no independent judicial inquiries into the murders, according to the complaint. “These actions and omissions constitute violation of the internationally accepted principles of freedom of association set out in ILO convention 87,” the unions say.

“The steps taken by the government of the Philippines to investigate these crimes clearly fall woefully short of what is expected in instances of such violence,” says ITF General Secretary Steve Cotton. “We call on the ILO to intervene… to protect workers’ right to freedom of association.” He called the Philippine government’s actions so far “at best apathetic and at worst corrupt.”

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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: 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: 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: 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: 3/28/16, 06/20/16, 8/1/16, 10/17/16

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 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: 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) 2/29/16,3/14/16, 3/28/16, 4/4/16, 4/11/16, 5/16/16, 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): 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): 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: 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: 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: 2/22/16, 04/11/16, 06/27/16, 8/15/16, 10/10/16

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

GL Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: Contact Admissions

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: Contact Admissions

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: 3/1/16, 4/20/16, 5/23/16, 7/19/16, 9/21/16, 11/15/16

LNG-TPIC – 12/5/16

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

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control: 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: 3/21/16, 05/16/16, 7/11/16, 11/7/16, 12/12/16

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

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

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 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 – 2/23/16, 6/6/16, 8/22/16, 10/31/16

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 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 – 3/4/16, 6/17/16, 8/13/16, 10/22/16

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

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P – 5/23/16, 7/26/16, 10/25/16

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

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 2/17/16, 2/24/16, 3/9/16, 3/16/16, 3/29/16, 04/06/16, 4/13/16, 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: 8/1/16

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

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

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day: 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: 8/8/16

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 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: 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

February 2016

22-26 ECDIS (waitlist only)
22-26 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
22-26 Bridge Resource Management
22-26 MEECE (waitlist only)
29-4 Basic Meteorology

March 2016

7th Radar Renewal
7-11 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
14-18 MEECE (waitlist only)
15th Leadership & Teamworking Skills
16-17 Security Officer – Vessel, Company, and Facility
21-25 ECDIS (waitlist only)
21-25 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
21-25 Engine Resource Management (waitlist only)
28-8 Celestial Navigation
30-31 Leadership for Shoreside Managers

April 2016

4-8 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
4-8 Engine Resource Management (waitlist only)
11th Radar Renewal
11-22 GMDSS
18-22 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
18-22 Medical Care Provider
18-22 MEECE (waitlist only)
25-29 ECDIS
27-29 Bridge Resource Management & Emergency Shiphandling for Pilots

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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