Wheelhouse Weekly – Feb. 17, 2015

February 18th 2015

Volume 19 . . . Number 7 . . . Feb. 17, 2015


In this issue:


Job Opportunity:

Upcoming Events:


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


Labor Secretary Tom Perez is in California to help bring about a settlement in the contract negotiations between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and shipping companies that belong to the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA). Disputes surrounding the negotiations have led to a partial shutdown of ports along the West Coast. Last week the companies announced that without a settlement, they would bar loading and unloading of freight through Monday’s President’s Day holiday, a move that led to the Obama administration’s decision to dispatch Perez to the scene.

“The negotiations over the functioning of the West Coast ports have been taking place for months with the administration urging the parties to resolve their differences,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz said in a statement to the press. “Out of concern for the economic consequences of further delay, the president has directed his Secretary of Labor Tom Perez to travel to California to meet with the parties to urge them to resolve their dispute quickly at the bargaining table.”

On Friday, negotiators for the ILWU and PMA agreed to a federal mediator’s request for a 48-hour news blackout. Shipping companies first suspended vessel operations at the ports for two days last weekend and again on Thursday. Port operations resumed in full for one eight-hour shift on Friday before loading and unloading was halted again.

In mid-January, PMA claimed that there was a lack of dock space for containers, saying that as a consequence it was eliminating night shifts at many ports. The union, for its part, has provided photos disputing the employer group’s assertion that the docks were too congested to unload ships. “PMA is leaving ships at sea and claiming there’s no space on the docks, but there are acres of asphalt just waiting for the containers on those ships and hundreds of longshore workers ready to unload them,” ILWU President Robert McEllrath told journalists. “The employers are deliberately worsening the existing congestion crisis to gain the upper hand at the bargaining table.” The union provided several photos of marine terminals in Southern California that show large tracts of space that would easily fit thousands of containers.

The ILWU contract has covered longshore workers at 30 West Coast ports in California, Oregon and Washington since 1934.

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The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) says important progress was made last week at International Labor Organization (ILO) meetings on the issue of facilitating shore leave and the movement of seafarers joining or leaving vessels.

At the ILO in Geneva, a tripartite meeting of employers, trade unions and governments agreed a common approach to improving ILO Convention 185 on seafarers’ identity documents to improve the welfare of seafarers, while at the same time helping nations to maintain their security. The recommendations now pass to the ILO governing body for study and a decision on their implementation.

“ILO 185 has two key aims,” says ITF Seafarers’ Section Chair David Heindel, “to uphold security and allow the deserved and necessary passage of seafarers on shore leave and in transit. However, its take-up has been underwhelming. These latest recommendations, which would bring seafarers’ identity documents in line with e-passports, should help persuade states that ratification is sensible and in everyone’s best interests.”

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The AFL-CIO, religious groups, retiree organizations and a number of individual labor unions have joined forces to protect the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) from groups inside and outside Congress that are seeking to dismantle and privatize it. The USPS provides universal, affordable mail service to 150 million households and businesses each day—without receiving any taxpayer funding. It is the second largest employer in the United States after Walmart. But unlike Walmart, which pays such low wages that many of its employees qualify for government assistance, the Postal Service is unionized, pays reasonable wages and benefits and receives no government subsidies.

Anti-labor politicians in Congress have been pushing to privatize the Postal Service for years. Their most recent strategy: manufacture a crisis by requiring the service to come up with $5.5 billion annually to pre-fund 75 years of retiree costs. This means the Postal Service has to set aside money now for the pensions of employees who have not even been born yet. No other government agency–and certainly no company—is forced to meet such a requirement.

At the same time that its finances have been hamstrung by pension pre-funding, the Postal Service is also required to make a profit or at least to break even while still delivering mail to areas that are unprofitable for private companies to operate in. Congress has also restricted its ability to raise rates, enter new lines of business or take other steps to raise revenue.

Contract talks between the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) and the Postal Service start Thursday, Feb 19. The APWU says it will propose “bold improvements” in customer service, such as postal banking, the sale of licenses and the addition of public notary services, along with longer and more convenient hours for customers to allow USPS to capture a greater share of the market. To find out more and to participate in the fight to defend public postal service in the United States, go to

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Francesco Schettino, who was captain of the cruise ship COSTA CONCORDIA when it ran aground off Giglio Island on Jan. 13, 2013, has been sentenced to 16 years in prison. The court also barred him from holding public office in perpetuity and from operating a ship for five years. It found him liable, along with his former employer, Costa Cruises, for damages arising from civil suits relating to the accident. Thirty-two people died in the accident.

State Attorney Maria Navarro told the court the lengthy sentence was motivated partly by Schettino’s “unjustified and ignominious flight from the ship” and that there were “no attenuating circumstances” in the case. She said “only through Divine intervention” had more people not been killed.

In related news, the region of Tuscany and Giglio Island are seeking the equivalent of approximately $247 million in damages from Carnival Corp. subsidiary Costa Cruises for the impact of the disaster on local residents and the tourism industry.

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The City of Los Angeles has extended, for at least 30 days, the deadline to apply for the position of port pilot. The deadline was previously set at Feb. 12. Applications will only be accepted on-line. To apply go to

Requirements include three years of full-time paid experience as a USCG licensed master or chief mate of an inspected vessel of not less than 5,000 gross tons, on the waters of any ocean; or three years of full-time paid experience as a port pilot whose duties include docking and undocking of oceangoing or coastwise vessels in a major U.S. port; or three years of full-time paid experience as a master of a tugboat within the confines of San Pedro Bay and its tributaries, including experience as a docking master on flat tow vessels of at least 5,000 gross tons. More information can be obtained by going to and clicking on Competencies under Port Pilot.

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Experience shipping the way it used to be! Come to the Annapolis Maritime Society General Meeting and Happy Hour, Feb. 19 at 1730 at Reynolds Tavern, 7 Church Circle, Annapolis, Md., 21401. Bring two business cards. Open bar, domestic beers and well until 1900. Spread the word and see you there! Connect with us at and

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MITAGS & CCMIT invite you and your family to join us in celebrating the renovation of the Conference Center and the upgrade of the full-mission shiphandling simulators: Thursday, Feb. 26, 5:00–8:00 PM. Join us for music, food and tours of the most advanced ship simulators in operation. Don’t miss this event! Please RVSP by Feb. 19. To register, go to We look forward to seeing you at the celebration!

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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: 6/19/15, 7/13/15

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

AZIPOD 2-Day – 4/6/15, 10/1/15

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

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 3/2/15, 4/13/15, 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, 9/28/15

BT – Basic Safety Training: 4/6/15, 6/8/15, 8/10/15, 10/5/15

BT-Revalidation –8/4/15, 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: 4/20/15, 6/15/15, 7/27/15, 9/28/15

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 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: 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): 3/9/15, 3/30/15, 4/20/15, 5/11/15,6/22/15, 7/13/15, 8/10/15, 8/31/15, 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): 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): 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: 5/27/15

DPA – 3/19/15

ECDIS-OIC – Contact Admissions

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

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 2/23/15

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

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 4/14/15, 7/6/15, 9/15/15, 11/11/15

GL Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: Contact Admissions

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: Contact Admissions

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

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 3/3/15, 4/15/15, 6/17/15, 7/16/15, 9/16/15, 11/10/15

LNG-TPIC – 12/7/15

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 3/30/15, 9/21/15

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 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: 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: 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, 6/5/15, 8/19/15, 10/29/15

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (4 Evenings): 2/23/15, 6/2/15, 8/17/15, 10/27/15

*MSC-ENVPRO – 6/6/15, 8/16/15, 10/31/15

*MSC-FF-HELO – 6/9/15, 8/3/15, 11/2/15

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 5/26/15, 8/8/15, 10/19/15

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – 2/20/15, 5/30/15, 8/6/15, 10/17/15

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced – 2/22/15, 6/1/15, 8/12/15, 10/23/15

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force – 2/23/15, 6/2/15, 8/13/15, 10/24/15

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

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 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, 11/3/15, 11/11/15, 11/18/15, 12/2/15, 12/10/15

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

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue – 4/6/15, 10/19/15

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

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

SMS – 3/17/15

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

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

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

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – 3/23/15

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: 5/21/15

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 4/18/15, 5/18/15, 7/22/15, 9/9/15, 10/7/15, 10/17/15

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

February 2015

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 © 2015. 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