Wheelhouse Weekly – Jan. 20, 2015

January 21st 2015 ,

Volume 19 . . . Number 3 . . . Jan. 20, 2015


In this issue:

News for Union Members:

Job Opportunities:

Upcoming Events:


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


MM&P has joined U.S.-flag shipping companies, shipbuilders and other maritime unions in slamming a proposal by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to repeal the Jones Act “build” requirement and effectively shutter the shipbuilding industry in the United States. The union has written to members of Congress asking that they oppose McCain’s bill. “If Senator McCain’s amendment were to pass,” MM&P President Don Marcus wrote in a Jan. 14 letter, “vessels built in foreign shipyards by foreign workers would be granted unprecedented access to carry domestic cargo between America’s ports. Today, America’s domestic shipping statutes (i.e., the Jones Act) generate approximately 400,000 jobs for American workers engaged in the construction, maintenance and repair of vessels for the domestic trades, the operation of vessels under the U.S. flag and in related service and supply industries.”

“Were this amendment to pass, these economic benefits would instead accrue to foreign countries, foreign companies and workers, forcing thousands of American maritime workers into the ranks of the unemployed.”

The Jones Act is the foundation of the American domestic maritime infrastructure—vessels, mariners, and shipyards—that is critical to military sealift. The same is true of homeland security, where American workers on American vessels work closely with local, state and federal agencies to perform a critical domestic protection function.

Supporters of the U.S.-flag fleet in Congress have spoken out strongly in opposition to McCain’s proposal, which comes in the form of an amendment to a bill that would authorize the Keystone XL Pipeline. “After years of stagnation, the American maritime industry is investing a record amount in new ship construction with American shipyards building many modern, state-of-the art vessels,” said Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.). “The production of these vessels provides stable, high-paying manufacturing jobs for American workers and contributes $36 billion to gross domestic product. This amendment would stifle that progress and the associated economic benefits.”

“The Jones Act promotes national security and American job creation,” said Rep. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii). “Senator McCain’s amendment would specifically knock out the Jones Act provision that requires U.S. flagged ships be built in the United States, jeopardizing good-paying, middle class jobs. The U.S. shipbuilding industry is rebounding,” she said. “Repealing the Jones Act is a step in the wrong direction… I ask my colleagues to stand with me and nearly half a million middle class Americans and vote against this amendment if is brought up for a vote.”

“As the Senate considers legislation on the Keystone pipeline and other energy and security measures, I urge you to oppose efforts to weaken the Jones Act,” wrote Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), chair of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, in a Jan. 15 letter to Sen. Lisa Murkowski, chair of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, and Sen. John Thune, chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. “The Jones Act keeps jobs, ships and a maritime skill base in the United States, and any effort to diminish this longstanding law is sure to negatively impact America’s maritime industry and its significant contributions to the national economy,” Hunter said.

The AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department (TTD) has also contacted legislators to urge them to reject the McCain proposal. “This ideologically driven amendment, which seeks to repeal components of the Jones Act, would outsource American jobs; jeopardize our domestic shipping industry; undermine our nation’s economic, national and homeland security and has no place during a debate over energy policy,” wrote TTD President Ed Wytkind. “Put simply, Senator McCain is hijacking a debate on energy policy in service of an ideological agenda with the hope of ending cabotage protections to the benefit of foreign shipping interests.”

We will keep members updated on the status of the legislation in future editions of The Wheelhouse Weekly and via posts on the MM&P website,

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It took less than one month from the beginning of the new Congress for our opponents to throw down the gauntlet and level their first attack against our industry. This time Sen. John McCain, the new chairman of the all-important Senate Armed Services Committee, and his allies are trying to repeal the Jones Act through an amendment to pending legislation to authorize the Keystone Pipeline. Caring more about opening America’s domestic shipping market to foreign companies than they care about American companies, American shipyards and American jobs, Sen. McCain and his cohorts have little if any regard for the impact their amendment would have on America’s economic and military security. Apparently, advancing their anti-United States, “free trade” philosophy is more important to them than the thousands of American maritime and related jobs that would be sent overseas if their effort were to succeed.

MM&P, MIRAID and our colleagues and partners in the maritime industry are working hard to make sure that members of Congress–especially newly elected members of Congress–understand how important the Jones Act and the domestic maritime industry are to our country. Defeating the McCain amendment is a challenge we are ready to accept. To be successful, we need every member of our union, regardless of membership group, to make an immediate contribution to our Political Contribution Fund (PCF). This time, the jobs of members working on Jones Act vessels are at risk. But as we know, those of us working aboard vessels operating in the foreign trades have been, and will continue to be, subject to similar attacks.

Individuals like Sen. McCain clearly do not care about putting you out of work. They won’t stop. In fact, they only have to win once, while we have to beat them at every turn. Unless we have a stronger, larger Political Contribution Fund, we will not be able to help those members of Congress who support us to fight back against those who oppose us. If you have given to our PCF, thank you for your support and we ask that you make another contribution. If you have not yet contributed to the MM&P PCF, we ask that you do so now so that together, we can keep our ships sailing and MM&P members working. The challenge we face is real. This battle is critical to our survival. The time for all MM&P members to stand and be counted–to contribute to our Union’s PCF–is now.

If you want additional information about the PCF and how to contribute, please go to or contact headquarters.

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Crowley Maritime says it will increase the capacity of its mainland to Puerto Rico service in the wake of Horizon Lines’ decision to exit the trade. In an official announcement on Jan. 19, a spokesperson for Crowley’s liner services group said the company will add a flat-deck barge, with a capacity of 400 40-foot equivalent units (FEU), to its South Atlantic-Puerto Rico service in the first quarter of 2015 and increase sailings between Jacksonville and San Juan to four per week. In the North Atlantic-Puerto Rico trade, the company says it will replace its 580-foot, triple-deck barges with recently modified 730-foot, triple-deck barges sailing between Pennsauken, N.J., and San Juan. The plan is expected to boost capacity in the lane by more than 40 percent.

In a related development, Sea Star said it will move up the launch of a new weekly barge service between Jacksonville, Fla., and San Juan to Jan. 22, 2015. The service, using two barges with combined 800-FEU capacity, previously had been set for a Jan. 29 launch.

MM&P members are encouraged to attend local membership meetings or contact their area VPs for updates on the sale of Horizon Lines.

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Federal employees have lost significant buying power as a result of budget sequestration and years of pay freezes. To address the problem, MM&P has joined with other member unions of the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE) in calling on Congress to approve legislation that would grant government workers a 3.8 percent increase in 2016. The bill, which was introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) and nearly two dozen co-sponsors, is called the FAIR Act. Sens. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.) are working to introduce a companion bill in the Senate.

“NFFE strongly supports Congressman Connolly’s bill to provide federal employees a well-earned and much-needed 3.8 percent pay adjustment in 2016,” says NFFE President Bill Dougan. “In the past two years, Congress and the President have enacted woefully insufficient one percent pay adjustments that were preceded by three years of pay freezes. In the last five years, federal employees have lost a significant amount of buying power due to pay adjustments failing to keep up with basic inflation. Congressman Connolly and the long list of bipartisan co-sponsors of the Federal Adjustment of Income Rates (FAIR) Act of 2015 are working to address this significant problem. NFFE thanks Congressman Connolly, and we will work with the Congressman to provide this relief to a federal workforce that has had Congress attempt to balance the federal budget on their backs in recent years.”

Federal employee unions note that the pay disparity between federal and private sector workers is now 35 percent and growing. “After being treated like a punching bag for years by too many members of Congress, it is no wonder that the federal employee viewpoint survey is showing decreasing workplace morale,” Dougan says. “Raising morale through legislation like the FAIR Act will allow the government to recruit and retain top-tier candidates, which results in better services to the citizens of our country.”

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Nearly 12,000 Delta Air Lines flight attendants have signed authorization cards seeking union representation by the Machinists (IAM). More than two dozen Delta flight attendants hand-delivered the cards to the headquarters of the National Mediation Board (NMB) in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 13. Once the NMB validates the signatures—a process that will take between four and six weeks–the agency will set an election date for the airline’s 20,000 flight attendants. “We are the reason Delta is the world’s most profitable carrier and leads the industry in almost every financial and operational measure,” said flight attendant Gabe Perez, who has worked for the carrier for more than three decades. “Yet, we lag the industry in wages, benefits and work rules. That will change once we win our election and negotiate the industry-best contract we deserve.”

“These flight attendants are an inspiration to the entire labor movement,” said IAM General Vice President Sito Pantoja. “The IAM will make every effort to ensure that they achieve their goal of negotiating an industry-leading contract.”

The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA) supports the Delta flight attendants campaign to win a voice with the IAM and says a victory would lift standards for all flight attendants. AFA-CWA and Delta flight attendants were unsuccessful in previous campaigns.

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Over the past 22 years, Union Plus has awarded more than 3.6 million scholarships to union members and their families. The 2015 scholarship application is now available. In 2014, 116 union members and union family members were awarded $150,000 in scholarships ranging from $500 to $4,000. The students selected for university, college, trade school or technical scholarships represent a wide sampling of backgrounds, union affiliations, goals and accomplishments. The selection process is very competitive since Union Plus receives over 5,000 applications each year.

The deadline for submitting an application for this fall is Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015 at 1200 EST. The one-time cash awards range from $500 to $4,000. Applicants are evaluated according to academic ability, social awareness, financial need and appreciation of labor. A GPA of 3.0 or higher is recommended. The required essays can account for up to half of an applicant’s total score.

Scholarship applicants are judged by a committee of impartial post-secondary educators. The awards are announced byMay 31 of each year. During the first two weeks of June, award recipients are individually notified by mail, and all applicants will be sent an e-mail with notification that the award list is posted at Due to the volume of applications, Union Plus cannot provide information on the status of an application before award announcements are made.

To find out more and to apply, go to, click on Education & Legal and then on Scholarships. Visit the Union Plus College Planning Center to find the right college, learn about paying for it and much more. Also, check out Union Plus College Test Prep Discounts with The Princeton Review. To receive mobile text alerts about education-related deadlines and information, text STUDENT to 22555*.

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SUNY Maritime College is seeking instructors for the following classes: Marine Electrical Systems; Manufacturing Processes I Lab; Ship Systems IV. Please contact SUNY Engineering Department Chair Joseph C. Hoffman if you are interested:; phone 718-409-7411; fax: 718-409-7421.

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The Offshore Familiarization Course will be held at the MM&P New York/New Jersey Hall on Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 3-4, at 0930. If you are interested in participating in the course, please contact the hall: 201-963-1900. There is no sea-time requirement to take the course. All Offshore applicants, potential transferees from other membership groups and other interested Offshore members are encouraged to take the course as soon as possible.
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The Offshore Familiarization Course will be held at the MM&P San Francisco/Oakland Hall on Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 4-5. If you are interested in participating in the course, please contact the hall: 415-777-5074. There is no sea-time requirement to take the course. All Offshore applicants, potential transferees from other membership groups and other interested Offshore members are encouraged to take the course as soon as possible.

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Atlantic Ports Vice President Don Josberger will hold a membership meeting at the MM&P New York/New Jersey Hall at 1100 on Wednesday, Jan. 14. All members in the area are encouraged to attend the meeting.

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The Offshore Familiarization Course will be held at the MM&P San Francisco/Oakland Hall on Feb. 4-5. If you are interested in participating in the course, please contact the hall: 415-777-5074. There is no sea-time requirement to take the course. All Offshore applicants, potential transferees from other membership groups and other interested Offshore members are encouraged to take the course as soon as possible.

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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 – 2/2/15, 4/6/15, 10/1/15

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 1/26/15, 3/23/15, 5/18/15, 8/3/15, 10/19/15

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 2/4/15, 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: 2/9/15, 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): 1/26/15, 2/2/15, 2/16/15, 3/9/15,3/30/15, 6/22/15, 8/10/15, 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): 2/2/15, 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): 2/9/15, 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: 1/26/15, 5/27/15

DPA – 3/19/15

ECDIS-OIC – 2/16/15

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: 2/9/15, 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: 1/26/15

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: 1/24/15, 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 – 2/15/15, 6/6/15, 8/16/15, 10/31/15

*MSC-FF-HELO – 2/10/15, 6/9/15, 8/3/15, 11/2/15

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 2/16/15, 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: 1/28/15, 2/4/15, 2/18/15, 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: 2/2/15, 3/23/15, 6/1/15, 7/27/15

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

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 2/16/15, 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: 1/26/15, 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: 2/4/15, 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

January 2015

26-30 Radar Observer Unlimited
26-30 Leadership and Managerial Skills

February 2015

2nd Flashing Light
3-7 ARPA
9-13 ECDIS
9-13 Leadership and Managerial Skills
9-13 Medical Care Provider
16-20 Rules of the Road
16-27 GMDSS
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