Wheelhouse Weekly – February 14, 2017

February 15th 2017

Volume 22…Number 7…Feb. 14, 2017


In This Issue:


News for MM&P Members:


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Two senators who met with President Donald Trump last week have said he is committed to quickly restoring the Export-Import Bank to a full quorum.

The agency, which provides credit and loan guarantees to American exporters, currently cannot finance projects of more than $10 million because three of the five seats on its board are empty.

At least 50 percent of the products exported with Export-Import Bank financing must be transported on U.S.-flag vessels. MM&P, MIRAID and the rest of maritime labor are strong advocates of the bank.

Following last week’s meeting with Trump and a bipartisan group of legislators, Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) said the president is committed to getting the bank working again with its full complement of board members.

“He wants to get that done,” Manchin told members of the press.

“It’s great news he agreed and said he would nominate someone to serve on the Ex-Im Bank Board very soon so the agency–which has been stalled for a year–can fully function and keep supporting American workers and small businesses, including many in North Dakota, just as it has done for more than 80 years,” Heitkamp added.

She said the president told senators at the meeting that he would quickly nominate a new board member.

The president said, Manchin recalled, that without a functioning Export-Import Bank, the United States is at a global trade disadvantage and risks losing even more jobs to other countries.

Trump pledged to nominate another member to the board, according to Heitkamp. A third member would establish a quorum, allowing regular lending to resume.

The bank subsidizes exports by offering direct loans as well as credit guarantees to foreign companies buying American products. Foreign countries have similar public lenders of their own.

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Houston Pilots Michael McGee and Michael Phillips on Friday received an award for courage for fighting a fire that had broken out aboard a crude oil tanker they were piloting in the Houston Ship Channel.

The incident took place aboard the 800-foot tank-ship AFRAMAX RIVER just after midnight on Sept. 6, 2016.

Due to its size, the tanker required two pilots. McGee was conning the vessel and undocking when the ship experienced an engine failure and struck two mooring dolphins.

The fire started when the hull was punctured, causing a spill of approximately 90,000 gallons of diesel fuel that ignited and burned.

The pilots maintained their stations in the wheelhouse surrounded by a 200-foot high wall of burning fuel, the Coast Guard reported.

Both sides of the Panama-flagged vessel were engulfed in flames which covered the bridge wings. The surrounding water was also on fire.

McGee was able to maneuver the burning ship away from surrounding ships, preventing the flames from spreading to the numerous tank vessels moored on both sides of the channel.

Phillips handled communications with the Coast Guard and coordinated firefighting efforts with the tugs and fireboats via radio. The blaze continued for more than one hour.

One pilot’s face and hair were singed, the Coast Guard reported. The other pilot broke out and charged a firehose and extinguished a fire on the port bridge wing himself.

Once the fire was extinguished, McGee brought the vessel safely to dock.

For their heroic actions, McGee and Phillips received the Coast Guard’s Meritorious Public Service Award in the presence of a standing-room-only crowd at the Houston Pilots headquarters on Feb. 10.

Rear Adm. Dave Callahan, the Coast Guard’s 8th District commander, presented the award to the pilots, the Port of Houston Fire Department and the two tug captains.

“Captains McGee and Phillips exemplify the caliber of dedicated mariners that make up the membership of the Houston Pilots,” said Houston Pilots Presiding Officer Robert Shearon.

“We are very proud of them. All Texans can take pride in their commitment to ensuring safety on the Houston Ship Channel.”

The Coast Guard Meritorious Public Service Award recognizes “unusual courage, a substantial contribution that produced tangible results and specific individual accomplishments that provide unique benefits to the public.”

The Houston Pilots are members of MM&P.

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The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has joined labor unions representing longshore workers in Spain to protest a government decree they say would lead to the loss of 6,500 union jobs over the next three years.

“The Spanish government threatens the growth of the Spanish economy and seeks to make the dockworker profession disappear from national ports,” says Jordi Aragunde, general coordinator of the International Dockworkers Council (IDC).

“The Spanish government is tearing up the rule book with a callous disregard for Spanish jobs, Spanish prestige and international conventions,” says International Transport Federation (ITF) President Paddy Crumlin. “Their plans go beyond belief.”

In recent days, in support of Spain’s longshore workers, representatives of tens of thousands of dockworkers from the five continents have sent letters to the Spanish maritime union Coordinadora, to the Spanish Minister of Public Works and to Spanish embassies and consulates.

If the government does not withdraw the plan, longshore unions have threatened a series of rolling strikes beginning on Feb. 20. During the strikes, work would stop every other hour.

The dispute centers on current rules under which port operators hire longshore workers from a single company.

In 2014, the European Court of Justice labelled this arrangement a violation of European Union laws on freedom of establishment and ordered Spain to open the system to competition.

The unions had offered to work with the government to draft a plan to present to the court. Instead, the government announced the decree.

“We understand from our Spanish affiliate unions that they have been told by the government that it intends to approve a law which seeks to aggressively and destructively liberalize the port labor market,” Crumlin said.

“Unbelievably, it even seeks to dismantle the current dockers’ registration system in breach of Spain’s international obligations under International Labor Organization Convention 137.”

“To add to the sense of the damaging, unnecessary and aggressive intent’” he added, “the proposed law ignores the agreements reached a few weeks ago between the employers’ association and the unions.”

“The Spanish government is acting beyond sense and potentially beyond international law,” Crumlin says.

“Thankfully Spanish unions are mobilizing to resist… They are absolutely assured of our international support.”

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The Chamber of Shipping of America (CSA) is accepting entries for its Ship Safety Achievement and Jones F. Devlin Award programs.

Entries for the calendar year ending Dec. 31, 2016, will be accepted through Friday, March 31.

Devlin Awards are given to vessels that have operated for two full years or more without a crew member losing a full turn at watch because of an occupational injury. A vessel is recognized for the number of qualifying years beyond the basic two-year award, with many vessels receiving awards for operating five years or more without a loss-watch injury.

To qualify for a Devlin Award, a vessel must be in operation with a full crew. Days in protracted lay-up resulting in crew reduction are not considered days in operation.

The Safety Achievement Awards are for Avessels that have performed “outstanding feats of safety” during the course of a calendar year.

The awards will be presented at the Annual Safety Awards Luncheon at the Hilton New Orleans Hotel – Riverside, Two Poydras Street, New Orleans, LA 70130 on Wednesday, June 7.

The programs are open to all companies, including members and non-members of CSA. All vessel owners and operators are encouraged to participate.

To nominate a ship, go to and click on “News and Events” at the top of the page.

For more information, please e-mail:

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An explosion aboard the cruise ship EMERALD PRINCESS killed a member of the crew on Feb. 8.

A spokesperson for Princess Cruise Lines said the man had been killed while working on a hydraulic system for launching tenders.

But images of the scene showed a broken high pressure gas cylinder lying on the dock.

Journalists who interviewed passengers reported that the crewmember had been working on the ship’s inflatable boats using a 100-pound nitrogen gas cylinder.

Passengers said they heard “a massive explosion” and saw the cylinder spinning on the pier immediately afterwards.

The explosion was reportedly heard nearly a mile away.

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The Communications Workers of America (CWA) is escalating efforts to organize employees in the retail banking industry, reports Josh Eidelson of Bloomberg Business News.

The union, which represents workers at AT&T, Verizon and a number of industries outside communications, says the campaign has been fueled by the public’s anger at predatory lending, high fees and aggressive selling in branches.

A CWA spokesperson says about 20,000 employees at banks including JP Morgan Chase, U.S. Bank and Bank of America have already demonstrated strong interest in union representation.

The union believes the public will benefit if retail bank personnel have a voice in sales policies.

It also says its members are demoralized by aggressive selling tactics and cost-cutting.

The organizing campaign comes on the heels of the highly publicized scandal at Wells Fargo, where the chief executive officer was forced to resign after it emerged that to meet inflated sales goals, employees had opened millions of accounts without customers’ permission.

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The MM&P Health and Benefit Plan has mailed new Identification Cards (ID) to all participants.

Participants should destroy their old ID card when they receive the new card.

Participants’ health benefits have not changed. Only their health identification number has changed.

The Plan Office has notified all health plan providers of the change and they have updated their records/files with participants’ new identification number.

Please note that receipt of the identification card does not mean that you automatically have eligibility.

If you have a question about your current eligibility, or if you have questions about the new ID card, please contact the Plan Office.

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There will be an Offshore Special Meeting in the MM&P Oakland Hall on Wednesday, Feb. 15, immediately after job call.

All MM&P Offshore members and applicants are encouraged to attend the meeting.

Upcoming negotiations will be discussed in addition to general reports. MM&P President Don Marcus will be in attendance.

The Oakland Hall is located at: 548 Thomas L. Berkley Way, Oakland, CA 94612. The phone number is: 415-777-5074.

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There will be an Offshore Special Meeting in the MM&P Seattle Hall on Thursday, Feb. 16, immediately after job call.

All MM&P Offshore members and applicants are encouraged to attend the meeting.

Upcoming negotiations will be discussed in addition to general reports. MM&P President Don Marcus will be in attendance.

The Seattle Hall is located at: 15208 52nd Ave. S., Ste. 100, Seattle, WA 98188. The phone number is: 206-441-8700.

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All MM&P union halls, the MM&P Federal Credit Union, the MM&P Plan Office and MM&P headquarters will be closed on Monday, Feb. 20, for Presidents’ Day.

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A meeting of the Offshore Shipping/Work Rules Committee is scheduled for Feb. 22-23.

The Offshore Shipping & Work Rules are posted in the Members’ Only section of

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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 Amanda Meadows, 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 – 4/17/17, 8/21/17, 10/16/17

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: 5/23/17

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 4/4/17, 8/8/17, 9/26/17

AZIPOD 2-Day – 3/6/17, 5/22/17, 10/16/17

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 4/3/17, 6/19/17, 9/25/17, 11/13/17

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 3/6/17, 5/22/17, 7/20/17, 11/14/17

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling: Contact Admissions

BRMP-Refresher – 3/8/17, 5/24/17, 7/17/17, 9/12/17, 10/18/17

BT – Basic Safety Training: 4/10/17, 8/14/17, 10/9/17

BT-Revalidation (2-day) – 3/9/17, 5/4/17, 6/22/17, 8/21/17, 9/28/17, 11/8/17, 12/14/17

BT-Refresher (3-day) – 3/9/17, 5/4/17, 6/22/17, 8/20/17, 9/28/17, 11/8/17, 12/14/17

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 5/8/17, 10/30/17

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVNAV-CMM – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): Contact Admissions

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 4/10/17, 6/12/17, 7/31/17, 10/2/17, 12/11/17

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 3/13/17, 6/5/17, 8/7/17, 9/25/17, 12/4/17

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 4/17/17, 10/9/17

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 3/27/17, 6/26/17, 8/14/17, 9/18/17

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM) 2/20/17,5/22/17, 6/19/17, 8/21/17, 9/11/17

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 4/3/17

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: 3/13/17, 7/31/17, 11/6/17

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 5/1/17, 10/30/17

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 3/6/17, 3/20/17, 4/10/17, 4/24/17, 5/8/17,6/5/17, 7/17/17, 7/31/17, 8/14/17, 9/11/17, 10/2/17, 10/30/17, 12/4/17

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 3/13/17, 3/27/17, 4/17/17, 5/1/17, 5/15/17, 6/12/17, 7/24/17, 8/7/17, 8/21/17, 9/18/17, 10/9/17, 11/6/17, 12/11/17

**SHS-ADV-I & II now approved to include SAR-CMM assessments at MITAGS effective immediately**

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 3/20/17, 10/23/17

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 5/15/17, 11/13/17

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 4/24/17, 11/6/17

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: 3/2/17

CRSMGT – Crisis Management and Human Behavior – 7/11/17

CDMGT – Crowd Management – 7/10/17

DDE – Great Lakes: 6/5/17

DPA – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-OIC – Contact Admissions

ECDIS for Pilots – 2/28/17, 5/24/17, 11/14/17

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 2/27/17, 7/10/17, 8/28/17, 10/16/17, 12/4/17

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 4/10/17, 8/14/17, 10/9/17

FF-ADV-REV – Advanced Fire Fighting Revalidation & Refresher: 3/7/17, 5/2/17, 6/20/17, 8/23/17, 9/26/17, 11/6/17, 12/12/17

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 4/4/17, 4/18/17, 9/12/17

GL-Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: Contact Admissions

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 3/6/17, 8/21/17

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 6/26/17, 8/28/17, 11/27/17

LAP- 9/11/17

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes: Contact Admissions

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License: 3/20/17, 6/5/17, 8/7/17, 12/4/17

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 3/7/17, 4/19/17, 9/13/17

LNG-TPIC – 12/4/17

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 4/3/17, 8/15/17, 9/25/17 (*2-Evening Session)

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control: Contact Admissions

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 3/20/17, 5/8/17, 7/10/17, 9/11/17, 10/23/17

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 4/24/17, 6/26/17, 8/28/17, 11/13/17, 12/4/17

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 3/20/17, 4/17/17, 5/8/17, 9/11/17, 10/23/17, 11/27/17

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 3/6/17, 5/1/17, 6/12/17 (Evening), 6/19/17, 7/16/17, 8/25/17, 9/25/17, 10/28/17, 12/11/17

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: Contact Admissions

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 2/23/17, 6/9/17, 8/9/17, 10/2/17

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control: 2/21/17, 6/7/17, 8/7/17, 10/3/17

*MSC-ENVPRO – 2/26/17, 6/4/17, 8/6/17, 10/1/17

*MSC-FF-HELO – 6/5/17, 8/13/17, 10/16/17

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 2/27/17, 6/12/17, 7/17/17, 8/13/17, 10/9/17

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – 2/24/17, 6/10/17, 8/10/17, 10/5/17

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced – 3/3/17, 6/16/17, 7/21/17, 8/12/17, 10/7/17

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force – 6/17/17, 7/24/17, 8/18/17, 10/13/17

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P – 3/22/17, 5/9/17, 6/13/17, 8/14/17, 10/2/17

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 8/17/17, 9/25/17

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 2/22/17, 3/8/17, 3/22/17, 4/5/17, 4/19/17, 5/3/17, 5/10/17, 5/17/17, 6/7/17, 6/21/17, 7/12/17, 7/26/17, 8/9/17, 8/23/17, 9/20/17, 10/4/17, 10/18/17, 11/1/17, 11/8/17, 11/15/17, 11/29/17, 12/6/17, 12/13/17

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 7/31/17

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue – 4/10/17, 10/16/17

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 2/20/17, 5/15/17, 8/28/17, 10/23/17

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day – 2/20/17, 5/1/17, 6/26/17, 9/25/17, 11/27/17

SMS – Contact Admissions

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 8/7/17

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 7/10/17

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 5/8/17, 8/7/17

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – Contact Admissions

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: Contact Admissions

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 4/17/17, 5/22/17, 7/13/17, 9/6/17

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): 2/20/17

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 3/20/17

Back to Stories Covered


Winter-Spring 2017

For registration, please contact our registrar, Mary McGhee, at 206.838.1126 or You can also view our schedule and enroll online at

February 2017

20-24 Leadership & Managerial Skills
20-24 Medical Care Provider
21-23 Integrated Electronic Navigation
27-2 Advanced Firefighting

March 2017

2nd Radar Renewal
4-6 Basic Training Refresher
6th Leadership & Teamworking Skills
6-10 Radar Observer Unlimited
6-10 Basic Training
13th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties
13-16 Advanced Firefighting
13-17 ECDIS
13-17 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
13-17 Meteorology – Operational Level
18-20 Basic Training Refresher
20-24 Engine Resource Management
20-24 Basic Construction and Stability
21st Radar Renewal
21-23 Security Officer – Vessel, Company, and Facility
22-24 Integrated Electronic Navigation
27th Flashing Light
27-31 Leadership & Managerial Skills
28-31 ARPA

April 2017

3-4 ECDIS for Pilots
3-7 Search & Rescue / Emergency Procedures
3-14 GMDSS
8-10 Basic Training Refresher
10-14 Basic Training
10-14 Medical Care Provider
10-21 Medical Person-In-Charge
10-21 Watchkeeping – Operational Level
17th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties
17-20 Advanced Firefighting
18th Radar Renewal
22-24 Basic Training Refresher
24-28 Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation (VPEN)
24-5 GMDSS

May 2017

2-4 Rating Forming Part of a Navigational Watch
6-8 Basic Training Refresher
8-12 ECDIS
8-12 Basic Training
8-12 Marine Propulsion Plants
15th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties
15-18 Advanced Firefighting
15-19 Able Seaman
15-26 Watchkeeping – Operational Level
15-26 Celestial Navigation
16-18 Integrated Electronic Navigation
20-22 Basic Training Refresher
23rd Radar Renewal
30th Leadership & Teamworking Skills
31-2 Security Officer – Vessel, Company, and Facility

June 2017

5-9 Medical Care Provider
5-9 Basic Shiphandling
5-16 Medical Person-In-Charge
10-12 Basic Training Refresher
12-16 Basic Training
12-16 Cargo Handling and Stowage – Operational Level
19th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties
20th Radar Renewal
19-22 Advanced Firefighting
19-23 Advanced Watchkeeping
19-23 Leadership & Managerial Skills
24-26 Basic Training Refresher
26-30 Engine Resource Management
27-29 Integrated Electronic Navigation

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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 © 2017. Articles can be reprinted without prior permission if credit is given to The MM&P WheelhouseWeekly. For subscriptions, address changes or messages to the editor or to MM&P headquarters, e-mail Back issues of The Weekly are posted on