Wheelhouse Weekly – January 02, 2013

January 2nd 2013


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

Volume 17 . . . Number 1. . . Jan. 2, 2013


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


The newly elected union officials who assume the helm of the Masters, Mates & Pilots as the year begins send best wishes to all MM&P members, their families and to every reader of The Wheelhouse Weekly. We look forward to working with you in the coming year!

International President Don Marcus
International Secretary-Treasurer Steve Werse
Pacific Ports Vice President Dave Boatner
Gulf Ports Vice President Wayne Farthing
Atlantic Ports Vice President Don Josberger
United Inland Group Vice President Mike Murray
Pilots Group Vice President George Quick
Federal Employees Membership Group Vice President Randall Rockwood


The Director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, George Cohen, announced on Friday, December 28, 2012 that the coastwide master collective bargaining agreement between the ILA and USMX was extended through February 6, 2013. While important issues remain, progress was made on the container royalty issue which was a major point of contention. MM&P salutes the efforts of Harold Daggett, President of our parent organization, the ILA, and his negotiating team as well as USMX for closing the gap on the issues separating the two sides.

As February 6, 2013 approaches, MM&P will keep members informed about the negotiations via communications to MM&P-contracted ships, updates on and messages posted in MM&P union halls.


More than 33,000 people have signed the “Save Our Seafarers (SOS)” petition since it was launched in 2011. The SOS campaign is aimed at urging international governments to take more effective action against pirates. “It’s done its job… Your voice has been heard,” say Save Our Seafarers sponsors, citing what they called “a huge reduction” both in the number of pirate attacks and in the number of hostages being held by pirates.

Although signatures are no longer being collected for the online petition, visitors to can still register their names in support of the cause. Other site functions, including social media and video channels, will continue to operate.

“The fight against Somali piracy is by no means over and ship operators and the shipping industry and naval forces are all maintaining their levels of watchfulness, and preparing and training for possible pirate attacks,” the organizers said. They also underline the fact that this Christmas marks a tragic anniversary: over 1,000 days of confinement for the 22 remaining hostages who were kidnapped when the ICEBERG 1 was hijacked by Somali pirates. Two of the crewmembers aboard the ship when it was hijacked have died in captivity. “Please spare a thought for these brave seafarers from Yemen, India, Ghana, Sudan and the Philippines, and also for their suffering families,” SOS organizers say.


Capt. Christopher Mannion 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 five-year 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.

Mannion captains the Bay Cruises departing from Pier 39, as well as the commutes to and from Angel Island, Sausalito, Tiburon and Oakland/Alameda. He says he has seafaring in his blood: his great-grandfather was skipper of a fishing boat in Ireland and his grandfather served in the American Merchant Marine during World War II and later made a career on the water. Mannion says he connected with his maritime legacy as a college student when he worked as a photographer and then as a deckhand for Blue & Gold during the summers. “Once I got enough sea time, I got my captain’s license and I’ve been driving boats ever since,” he says.


Lyubomirov Sobadzhiev, a Bulgarian ship master, has been held in a Panamanian prison for 21 months, since cocaine was found aboard his ship, the MV MAAS TRADER. Panamanian authorities acting on a tip found the drugs in the vessel’s forecastle. Although the captain has consistently denied all wrongdoing and his lawyers have pointed out that the forecastle was accessible to many others aboard the ship, the rest of the crew was released shortly after discovery of the drugs, while Sobadzhiev has been locked up in Panama’s notorious La Joya prison since March 2011.

With more money being spent on shipping infrastructure in the context of the expansion of the Panama Canal and the expectation that more foreign operators will be frequenting the country, the captain’s lawyers say they hope that international pressure will convince the authorities to revisit their handling of Sobadzhiev’s case.


A meeting of the Offshore Shipping Rules Committee is scheduled for Jan. 15-16. Members who wish to submit a resolution should send it to the Office of the International Secretary-Treasurer. Please refer to Article XIII of the Offshore Shipping Rules for additional information on submitting resolutions. The Offshore Shipping Rules are posted in the Members’ Only section of


A 75-day contract ratification ballot was mailed on Nov. 30 to all members of the Offshore Group. It is very important that all members vote. If you expect to be away from your address of record for the next 75 days, please send an e-mail to that includes your name and the best mailing address for your ship. If you have questions, please contact MM&P International Comptroller Beverly Gutmann,, 410-850-8700 ext. 112 or Juli Rodriguez,, 410-850-8700, ext. 129.


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.



The credit union movement began in the 1800s with a simple idea: people can achieve a better standard of living by pooling their savings with those of their neighbors and co-workers to generate interest and make loans. Banking in the 1800s was devoted to serving the needs of the well-to-do. Working people were largely ignored by traditional financial institutions and small businessmen were at the mercy of loan sharks who charged exorbitant interest rates.

In response, weavers in Rochdale, England, created the first credit cooperative in 1844. Five years later, shopkeepers and city workers in Germany borrowed the idea and formed a credit cooperative aimed at protecting themselves from the predatory practices of loan sharks. Credit unions arrived in the United States in 1909, allowing workers a way to purchase big ticket items. At a time when only rich people had access to checking accounts and loans, they expanded the range of financial services available to the American worker.

In 1958, forty-nine years after the first credit union was established in the United States, MM&P members Anderson, Simmons, Speaks, Ripley and Brooks started the Licensed Officers Federal Credit Union in Norfolk, Va., for the members of MM&P Local 14. In 1979, it merged with another MM&P credit union in Jacksonville, Fla., to create the Masters, Mates & Pilots Federal Credit Union. Today the credit union continues to serve the members of MM&P.

The greatest difference between credit unions and banks is that YOU own YOUR credit union. It is a not-for-profit financial cooperative. Its purpose is to serve the needs of its members. As a member-owner, you reap the benefits in lower rates when you borrow and higher rates when you save. The extra money is not given to a few stockholders; it’s returned to members like you.

As MM&P changes and adapts, we offer new and innovative financial products and services to better serve our members across the nation. Providing personalized service and financial solutions to working men and women is as much a part of our philosophy today as it was in 1958.

Join the MM&P Federal Credit Union today and be a part of this tradition. To open an account, contact Kathy Klisavage at 410.691.8136 or send an e-mail to


The next time you need a pair of boots, why not buy them from a company that is as committed to supporting American workers as you are? The Union Boot Pro offers union members a selection of 125 top quality union-made boots produced by Wisconsin-based Weinbrenner Shoe Company.

The boots offered on are 100 percent American made by members of UFCW Locals #688 and #717. (Only the raw rubber is imported–by necessity–from Brazil). The Union Boot Pro offers boots in a variety of styles, with options that include steel toes, extra ankle support, waterproofing and heels that are specially made for climbing ladders.

The average price of the work boots offered on the site is $180. Plus: union members receive a lifetime discount of 27 percent off the purchase price. To take advantage of the discount, just use the code Mp1953mD at check-out. Remember to ask your company if they have a boot program to help pay for your boots.

You can order online at or call toll-free: 1-800-723-5384.

Remember: Every time you buy American, you support your friends, your neighbors and other American workers!


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 at for course descriptions associated with the course title abbreviations, and schedule revisions.


Schedule of Courses – Please also see our schedule online at 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.