Wheelhouse Weekly – January 15, 2013

January 15th 2013


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

Volume 17 . . . Number 3. . . Jan. 15, 2013


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


All MM&P union halls, the MM&P Plan Office, the MM&P Federal Credit Union and MM&P headquarters will be closed on Jan. 21 for Martin Luther King’s Birthday. The Nobel Prize laureate and civil rights activist was assassinated in 1968 while on a trip to Memphis in support of a strike by sanitation workers.


As the contract negotiations with USMX continue, the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) enjoys the complete, unyielding support of its five partners in the Maritime Labor Alliance (MLA), the umbrella labor group established last year to protect the jurisdictional rights of its members. Besides the ILA and MM&P, the MLA includes the American Radio Association (ARA), the Inlandboatmen’s Union (IBU), the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA).

The ILA has been involved for months in tough negotiations with employers. The contract is now set to expire on Feb. 6. ILA President Harold Daggett and other longshore union leaders are fighting an attempt by the employer group to impose “revolutionary changes” in work practices in the ports, says ILA spokesperson James McNamara.

On Monday, five Maritime Alliance partner unions presented Daggett with a letter pledging “full support to the ILA in its struggle to achieve a contract… The members of our organizations stand ready aboard ship and ashore to assist your efforts,” said MM&P International President Donald Marcus, ARA President Floyd Hepting, IBU President Alan Cote, ILWU President Robert McEllrath and MEBA President Michael Jewell.


Talks between the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Pacific Northwest Grainhandlers’ Association (PNGHA) ended Dec. 12 with no agreement. On Dec. 21 and 22, ILWU members voted to reject what PNGHA called its “final offer.” At that point, three PNGHA employers announced they would impose their terms: Louis Dreyfus Commodities, a Dutch company that owns grain elevators in Seattle and Portland; Marubeni Corp., a Japanese company that owns Columbia Grain in Portland; and Mitsui & Co., a Japanese company that owns United Grain in Vancouver.

Beginning Dec. 27, union longshore workers at these terminals continued to show up for work, but without a union contract. They’re free to strike at any time, but the employers are also free to replace them, and they’re reportedly prepared to do so, with strikebreakers and nonunion tugboats said to be standing by.


Among the Obama Administration Cabinet members who have announced their intention to step down as the President begins his second term is Labor Secretary Hilda Solis. “Secretary Solis has been an unwavering champion of workers’ rights and their safety on the job,” said AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department (TTD) President Edward Wytkind in an official statement. “Her legacy will always be defined best by her aggressive commitment to protect and grow the middle class and make sure our government is on the side of working people.”


The Coast Guard seeks applications for membership on the Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee (MERPAC). This committee advises the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security on matters related to American merchant mariners, including training, qualifications, certification, documentation and fitness standards. Applicants should submit a cover letter and resume in time to reach the Alternate Designated Federal Officer (ADFO) on or before March 11, 2013.

Applicants should send their cover letter and resume to the following address: Commandant (CG-OES-1), ATTN MERPAC, US Coast Guard, 2100 2ND ST SW STOP 7126, WASHINGTON DC 20593-7126; or by faxing (202) 372-1926; or by emailing to For more information, contact Davis J. Breyer, ADFO of MERPAC; telephone 202-372-1445 or email at


Since 1992, the Union Plus Scholarship Program has awarded more than $3.4 million to students of working families who want to begin or continue their post-secondary education. Over 2,200 families have benefited from the Union Plus commitment to higher education.

The Union Plus Scholarship Program is offered through the Union Plus Education Foundation. In 2012, some 129 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 2013 Scholarship application is now available. A complete application must be received on or before 12:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) on Thursday, Jan. 31. Scholarship amounts range from $500 to $4,000. These one-time cash awards are for study beginning in the fall of 2013. Students may re-apply each year.

This is a competitive scholarship. Applicants are evaluated according to academic ability, social awareness, financial need and appreciation of labor. A GPA of 3.0 or higher is recommended. Scholarship applicants are judged by a committee of impartial post-secondary educators. The Scholarship Committee will determine recipients of scholarship awards by May 31 of each year. To find out more, go to and click on “Education.”


Three men held captive by Somali pirates since their ship was hijacked in 2010 have finally been freed. A Somali government official said no ransom was paid for the release of the three, who are natives of Syria. The ship, the Panama-flagged MV ORNA, was hijacked 400 nautical miles northeast of the Seychelles in December 2010 and released on Oct. 22, 2012. The pirates were said to have obtained $400,000 in exchange for release of the ship. They decided to detain six crewmembers, one of whom they later killed, in an attempt to obtain more money. International maritime authorities report that successful hijackings have fallen steadily since 2010 thanks to patrols by an international coalition of warships and the use of armed private security guards aboard commercial ships.


The Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA) wrapped up 2012 with the announcement that it has surpassed 50,000 active members. The announcement came at the end of a year in which union hunters and fishermen and other supporters of the organization raised nearly a million dollars through its popular shooting program, organized conservation projects across the country and aired two seasons of an award-winning TV show.

The alliance was launched in 2007 with the idea that the more than six million AFL-CIO union sportsmen and sportswomen across North America needed an outdoor organization that combines their union and outdoor lifestyles and provides an opportunity to directly confront the challenges facing America’s outdoor sporting heritage.

In 2012, the organization made great strides in the area of conservation. Its Boots on the Ground program brings together union members willing to volunteer their time to tackle conservation projects that improve and enhance public access, wildlife habitat and outdoor experiences. Last year, USA coordinated 10 successful projects in seven states that ranged from breaking ground on a youth shooting facility in Tennessee to helping young people enjoy a day of fishing in Illinois, Ohio and Wisconsin, to introducing kids to the shooting sports in Minnesota and building feral hog traps in Illinois. For more information on the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance, visit


Given the number of required company training courses, it is extremely important for new members to request a transcript review to determine whether they meet the course equivalency requirements.

The courses that are eligible for equivalency are listed in the MITAGS Trust Student Guide located on in the MM&P Member Section. You may also request a copy from Diane Ford ( or call 443-989-3238). Remember, the dispatcher in the union hall cannot assign you a job unless you meet the company’s training requirements!

Did you know that you can view your course history on Just go to the “Members Only” section and click the “Course History” tab. You can print the course list yourself.


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: 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): 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): 1/28/2013, 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: 2/18/13, 3/18/13

MED-PIC -R– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 1/28/2013

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 2/18/2013, 3/18/2013

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 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: 1/23/2013, 2/6/2013, 2/20/2013, 3/6/2013, 3/20/2013,

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 1/21/2013, 3/25/2013

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

23-25 Vessel Security Officer
28th Med DOT
28-1Radar Observer Unlimited

February 2013

4th Flashing Light Exam
11th Radar Renewal
11-15Tankerman Person-In-Charge
11-15Bridge Resource Management
18-22 ECDIS
20-21 Environmental Regulations in the Maritime Industry / Vessel General Permit
25-1 Medical Care Provider
25-8Medical Person-In-Charge

March 2013

4-15 Celestial Navigation
11th Radar Renewal
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 (1-15-13 at 1:00 p.m.)

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
13,501 3,109 1,470

Mutual Funds (Live)

Click a mutual fund for more information.
Click the right or left arrow on the right side of the ticker to browse the mutual funds.