Wheelhouse Weekly – January 2nd, 2018

January 3rd 2018

Volume 23… Number 1… Jan. 2, 2018


In This Issue:



News for MM&P Members:


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Military Sealift Command has accepted delivery of USNS CITY OF BISMARCK.

The vessel is the ninth in the fleet of twelve expeditionary fast transport ships.

Licensed deck officers represented by the MM&P Federal Employees Membership Group (FEMG) will be in the wheelhouse of USNS CITY OF BISMARCK.

The engineers are represented by the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA) and the unlicensed personnel are represented by the Seafarers International Union (SIU).

The 10th and 11th vessels in the EPF Spearhead class, now under construction, will be named the USNS BURLINGTON and the USNS PUERTO RICO.

The EPFs are 338-foot-long aluminum catamarans.

They have a crew of 26 civil service mariners, with airline-style seating for 312 embarked troops and fixed berthing for an additional 104 military personnel.

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The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), now with a Republican majority, is quickly rescinding rules passed under the Obama administration that sought to level the playing field for workers and unions.

The NLRB is an independent board tasked with enforcing fair labor practices and collective bargaining rights.

In December, it overturned three Obama-era rules, including one that had changed the definition of “joint employer” so that large corporations could potentially be held liable for labor law violations committed by their subcontractors and franchisees.

The Obama-board said it had based the change on the fact that many large companies play a big role in determining working conditions in franchise operations.

The new labor board said in December however that it is returning to a standard that requires companies to have “direct, immediate control” over labor conditions before they can be held liable for violations.

Workers’ rights advocates say the new board is issuing rulings with unprecedented haste.

Marni von Wilpert, associate labor counsel for the Economic Policy Institute, said the new board has not given the public a chance to comment and that some of the rules it has changed had not even been challenged in court.

“That’s a precedent that’s really troubling for an agency that’s supposed to uphold workers’ rights,” she said.

AFL-CIO General Counsel Craig Becker said that in the past, the board has routinely given interested parties a chance to weigh in on proposed changes.

But Becker noted that the newest board member appointed by President Trump, William Emanuel, decided the joint-employer case without any briefing or argument, and despite the fact that an appeal has been pending before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals for the past nine months.

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The Trump administration should immediately release the specifics of its plan to make massive cuts in the size of the federal workforce, says Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), the lead Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

“The degradation of the federal workforce–particularly among those who dedicate their lives to protecting our national security, our environmental safety, and our health and wellness–should not occur in darkness,” Cummings said in a December letter to Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Under an executive order signed by President Trump last January, all federal agencies were required to submit to the White House far-reaching reorganization plans including both short- and long-term workforce cuts.

The White House says that details of the cuts will be made public only in its fiscal 2019 budget.

“The Trump administration is now in the midst of one of the largest reorganizations in decades with virtually no oversight by Congress,” Cummings said.

“As members of this committee, we believe it is our job to analyze the administration’s plans to determine if, and to what extent, these massive reductions in staffing will impact the services the American people rely on every single day.”

The cuts, Cummings said, should take place “in the open and with proper oversight.”

He asked that he be given the specifics of the plan by Jan. 3.

There has, however, been no response from OMB to a Freedom of Information Act request asking whether it plans to meet that deadline.

A panel of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has held two hearings to examine the reorganization plans but OMB officials declined to testify at both.

Federal employee unions and their advocates in Congress have criticized the White House for developing the plans in secret and without any input from frontline personnel.

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A total of 5,190 U.S. workers died last year because of injuries sustained on the job, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

That total translates into 14 deaths each day.

The agency said the figure represented a 7 percent increase over the previous year.

It was the third consecutive annual increase and the first time since 2008 that more than 5,000 deaths were recorded.

Transportation-related fatalities were the most common type of fatal event in 2016, accounting for 40 percent of the total.

Fatal injuries from falls, slips or trips continued a general upward trend that began in 2011, increasing 6 percent to 849 in 2016–up by 25 percent overall since 2011.

Fatalities due to exposure to harmful substances rose by 22 percent.

The data “show a tragic trend with the third consecutive increase in worker fatalities in 2016–the highest since 2008,” said Loren Sweatt, deputy assistant secretary for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

“America’s workers deserve better.”

OSHA is “committed to finding new and innovative ways of working with employers and employees to improve workplace safety and health,” she said.

“For many groups of workers in this country, work is becoming more dangerous and deadly,” said Peg Seminario, AFL-CIO director of safety & health.

She said that OSHA now has fewer than 800 inspectors and can inspect workplaces on average only once every 159 years because its budget has declined since 2010 and had previously been frozen for years.

Republican lawmakers in the House of Representatives are now seeking large, additional cuts to the OSHA budget for 2018.

“Fewer resources and less oversight will mean more injuries and workplace deaths,” Seminario said.

“Workers need more safety and health protection, not less.”

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Think about the last time you or a family member flew on a commercial airplane.

It may surprise you to learn that there is a good chance that the aircraft had maintenance performed at a repair station located in a foreign country and operating under different safety standards than maintenance stations in the United States.

A 2016 survey by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that anywhere from 58 to 64 percent of U.S. airline maintenance repair work is outsourced, either domestically or abroad.

And foreign repair stations do not need to meet the same security, safety and oversight rules as U.S.-based repair stations.

For example, foreign mechanics are allowed to work on U.S. aircraft without meeting the same rigid drug and alcohol testing rules as their U.S.-based counterparts.

Congress has directed the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to fix this problem, but to date the agency has not taken the required action.

Foreign mechanics also do not have to undergo any meaningful security threat assessments or background checks—although their counterparts in the United States do.

While FAA inspectors make frequent surprise visits to U.S. repair stations, inspections are only required once a year at foreign stations, and the host country is given a heads-up, allowing stations to fix problems that exist.

From a safety and security perspective, “the system makes zero sense,” says Larry Willis, president of the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department (TTD).

“It also incentivizes the outsourcing of good-paying American jobs.”

“Congress must exercise its oversight role to ensure mandates already passed are implemented and that safety and security issues are no longer ignored,” Willis says.

“The Trump Administration has an opportunity–and quite frankly, an obligation–to do what past administrations have failed to do: ensure that foreign aircraft repair stations are subject to the same strict safety and security measures as domestic repair stations. Passengers and aviation workers deserve no less.”

This year, MM&P and the rest of TTD’s 32 affiliate unions plan to step up the campaign to end the double standard that benefits foreign airplane repair shops.

As part of the campaign, the Transport Workers Union—also a TTD member union–has engaged former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge to assess the safety and security risks of the more than 700 foreign repair stations now servicing U.S. carriers’ planes.

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South Korea has seized two ships suspected of the ship-to-ship transfer of oil to a North Korean vessel in violation of international sanctions.

The Panama-flagged tanker KOTI was seized at Pyeongkaek-Dangjin port, on South Korea’s west coast.

The move followed news last week that South Korea had seized a Hong Kong-flagged vessel in November for the same reason.

In the meantime, Reuters news agency, citing unnamed Western European security sources, has reported that Russian tankers have also fueled North Korean ships at sea on at least three occasions in violation of the sanctions, which have been imposed on North Korea for its missile testing.

Both China and Russia have denied the reports that their ships violated the sanctions.

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The Coast Guard is seeking members for the Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee (MERPAC).

The committee advises the Department of Homeland Security on matters related to personnel in the U.S. Merchant Marine including training, qualifications, certification, documentation and fitness standards.

Applicants are being sought for a total of eight positions.

There are three positions open for representatives of deck officers: one licensed for inland or river route with limited or unlimited tonnage; one licensed for oceans any gross tonnage; and one with an unlimited tonnage master’s license and significant tanker experience.

For information on the other positions that are open and to find out more about MERPAC, go to Federal Register/Vol. 82, No. 247/Wednesday, December 27, 2017/Notices, pages 61311-61312.

The deadline for submitting an application to the Coast Guard is Feb. 26.

If you are interested, send a cover letter expressing interest in a MERPAC appointment, specifying which category you would represent and including a resume detailing your experience.

You can also apply: by email to, Subject Line: The Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee; by fax to (202) 372–8382, or by mail to Davis J. Breyer, Alternate Designated Federal Officer, MERPAC Commandant (CG–MMC– 1), U.S. Coast Guard Stop 7509, 2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. SE., Washington, DC 20593–7509.

For further information contact Davis Breyer at (202) 372–1445, fax 202–372–8382 or

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There will be a membership meeting in the MM&P Oakland Hall on Wednesday, Jan. 10, immediately after job call.

All members in the area are encouraged to attend the meeting.

The Oakland Hall is located at: 548 Thomas L. Berkley Way, Oakland, CA 94612.

The phone number is: 510-808-7068.

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The MM&P Hawaii Hall will be closed on Tuesday, Jan. 2 for Jack Hall Day.

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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 – 4/16/18, 8/27/18, 10/15/18

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: 5/23/18, 8/29/18

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 1/16/18, 4/3/18, 9/25/18

AZIPOD 2-Day – 5/21/18, 10/15/18

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 2/26/18, 6/18/18, 9/24/18, 10/29/18

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 1/16/18, 2/22/18, 3/29/18, 5/21/18, 7/16/18, 12/19/18

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

BRMP-Refresher – 3/26/18, 5/23/18, 7/18/18, 9/11/18

BT – Basic Safety Training: 1/15/18, 4/9/18, 8/13/18, 10/22/18

BT-Revalidation (2-day) (Must have 1 year of seatime in last 5 years) – 2/7/18, 3/6/18, 4/2/18, 4/30/18, 6/18/18, 7/31/18, 8/27/18, 9/26/18, 10/31/18, 12/18/18

BT-Refresher (3-day) – 2/7/18, 3/5/18, 4/29/18, 7/30/18, 9/26/18, 12/17/18

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 5/7/18

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 1/29/18, 4/2/18, 6/11/18, 7/30/18, 9/24/18, 12/10/18

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 1/22/18, 3/12/18, 6/4/18, 8/6/18, 9/17/18, 12/3/18

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 4/9/18, 10/1/18

CM-OPS 1 – Chief Mate Operations – Week 1: 3/5/18, 6/4/18, 8/6/18, 10/1/18

CM-OPS 2 Maersk – Chief Mate Operations II Maersk Specific: 3/12/18, 6/11/18, 8/13/18, 10/8/18

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information Systems: 1/15/18, 3/26/18, 6/25/18, 8/13/18, 11/12/18

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM): 1/8/18, 2/19/18, 5/14/18, 6/18/18, 8/20/18, 11/26/18

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 3/5/18, 10/15/18

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: 3/12/18, 10/1/18

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 4/23/18, 10/29/18

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 1/15/18, 2/5/18, 3/5/18, 3/19/18, 4/9/18, 4/23/18, 5/7/18, 6/4/18, 6/18/18, 7/16/18, 7/30/18, 8/13/18, 9/10/18, 10/1/18, 11/5/18, 11/26/18

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 1/22/18, 2/12/18, 3/12/18, 3/26/18, 4/16/18, 4/30/18, 5/14/18, 6/11/18, 6/25/18, 7/23/18, 8/6/18, 8/20/18, 9/17/18, 10/8/18, 11/12/18, 12/3/18

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

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 3/19/18, 10/22/18

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 5/7/18, 9/10/18

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 4/23/18

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: 2/19/18

CRSMGT – Crisis Management and Human Behavior – 7/12/18

CDMGT – Crowd Management – 7/13/18

CSE – Confined Space Entry: 1/15/18, 7/23/18

CSE-AWR – Confined Space Entry Awareness: 5/24/18, 7/26/18

DDE – Great Lakes: 1/22/18, 6/4/18

DPA – Contact Admissions

ECDIS for Pilots – 2/20/18, 5/24/18, 8/27/18, 12/17/18

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 4/23/18, 7/9/18, 11/26/18

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 1/15/18, 4/9/18, 8/13/18, 10/22/18

FF-ADV-Rev (1-day) (Must have 1 year of seatime in last 5 years) – Advanced Fire Fighting Revalidation: 2/6/18, 3/8/18, 4/4/18, 5/2/18, 6/20/18, 8/2/18, 8/29/18, 9/25/18, 10/30/18

FF-ADV-REF (2-day) – Advanced Fire Fighting Refresher: 2/10/18, 3/3/18, 4/27/18, 7/28/18, 9/29/18, 12/15/18

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 1/16/18, 4/17/18, 9/11/18

GL-Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: 1/19/18

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 3/5/18

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 5/21/18, 8/20/18, 12/10/18

IEN – Integrated Electronic Navigation – Contact Admissions

LAP – 2/26/18, 7/9/18, 9/17/18

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes: 1/22/18

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License: Contact Admissions

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 1/17/18, 3/28/18, 4/18/18, 5/8/18, 9/12/18

LNG-TPIC – 12/3/18

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 5/21/18

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control Equipment (Assessments not included): 2/12/18, 4/30/18, 7/16/18, 12/3/18

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 1/22/18, 3/19/18, 5/7/18, 7/9/18, 10/8/18, 11/26/18

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 1/8/18, 4/23/18, 6/25/18, 8/20/18, 9/17/18

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 1/22/18, 3/19/18, 4/16/18, 5/7/18, 10/8/18, 11/26/18

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 1/13/18, 1/27/18, 2/5/18, 3/9/18, 4/5/18, 5/3/18, 5/12/18, 6/21/18, 7/14/18, 8/30/18, 9/24/18, 10/13/18, 10/29/18, 12/1/18, 12/21/18

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: Contact Admissions

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 2/23/18, 5/24/18, 6/8/18, 8/8/18, 9/12/18, 11/14/18

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control: 2/21/18, 5/22/18, 6/6/18, 8/6/18, 9/13/18, 11/12/18

*MSC-ENVPRO – 2/25/18, 6/3/18, 8/5/18, 11/4/18

*MSC-FF-HELO – 6/4/18, 8/13/18, 10/31/18

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualifications: 1/8/18, 2/26/18, 5/14/18, 6/11/18, 7/16/18, 8/12/18, 9/17/18, 11/5/18

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – 2/24/18, 5/13/18, 6/9/18, 8/9/18, 9/15/18, 11/2/18

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced – 1/12/18, 3/2/18, 5/18/18, 6/10/18, 7/15/18, 8/10/18, 9/16/18, 11/3/18

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force – 1/13/18, 3/3/18, 5/19/18, 6/15/18, 7/20/18, 8/17/18, 9/21/18, 11/9/18

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P – 1/22/18, 1/24/18, 3/29/18, 4/23/18, 4/25/18, 6/25/18, 6/27/18, 7/31/18, 8/2/18, 8/28/18, 8/30/18, 11/12/18, 11/14/18, 12/17/18, 12/19/18

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 1/15/18, 9/24/18

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 1/10/18, 1/31/18, 2/7/18, 2/21/18, 3/7/18, 3/21/18, 4/4/18, 4/18/18, 5/2/18, 5/9/18, 5/16/18, 6/6/18, 6/20/18, 7/11/18, 7/25/18, 8/8/18, 8/22/18, 10/3/18, 10/17/18, 10/31/18, 11/7/18, 11/14/18, 11/28/18, 12/5/18, 12/12/18, 12/19/18

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 1/8/18, 9/17/18

SAR – Search & Rescue – (Now with OIC and CMM assessments): 5/22/18, 12/17/18

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 1/29/18, 5/14/18, 8/27/18, 10/22/18

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day – 2/19/18, 3/12/18, 4/2/18, 5/21/18, 7/23/18, 9/24/18, 10/29/18, 12/10/18

SMS – Contact Admissions

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 1/22/18

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 1/29/18

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 2/12/18, 4/16/18, 7/9/18

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – Contact Admissions

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: 4/12/18

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 2/14/18, 4/9/18, 7/9/18

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): 2/19/18

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 3/19/18

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

January 2018
5th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
6-7 Basic Training Revalidation
6-8 Basic Training Refresher
8th Radar Renewal
8-12 Basic Training
8-12 Meteorology (Operational Level)
8-12 Emergency Shiphandling
15-19 Basic Shiphandling
16-19 Advanced Firefighting
17-19 24-Hour Hazwoper
22nd Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties (VPDSD)
22-26 Medical Care Provider
22-2 Medical Person-In-Charge
24th Hazwoper Refresher
25th Flashing Light
26th Medical DOT
26-28 Basic Training Refresher
27-28 Basic Training Revalidation
29th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation

February 2018
6th Hazwoper Refresher
8th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
9-10 Basic Training Revalidation
12th Radar Renewal
12-14 Security Officer – Vessel, Company, and Facility
12-16 Basic Training
12-23 GMDSS
19-21 24-Hour Hazwoper
20-23 Advanced Firefighting
23rd Medical DOT
24-26 Basic Training Revalidation (no class on Sunday)
26-2 Medical Care Provider
26-9 Medical Person-In-Charge
27th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
27th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties (VPDSD)

March 2018
5-9 Engine Resource Management
7th Hazwoper Refresher
8th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
9-10 Basic Training Revalidation
12th Radar Renewal
12-16 MEECE
12-16 Tankerman PIC
13-16 Advanced Firefighting
19-21 24-Hour Hazwoper
19-23 Basic Training
19-23 Leadership & Managerial Skills
23-24 Basic Training Revalidation
26th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
26th Medical DOT
26-30 Able Seaman
27th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties (VPDSD)

April 2018
3-6 ARPA
9-13 Basic Training
9-20 GMDSS
9-20 Watchkeeping (Operational Level)
9-27 Terrestrial & Coastal Navigation
11th Hazwoper Refresher
13th Radar Renewal
13-14 Basic Training Revalidation
16th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
16-18 24-Hour Hazwoper
16-20 Medical Care Provider
16-27 Medical Person-In-Charge
23rd Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties (VPDSD)
23-4 GMDSS
23-4 Watchkeeping (Operational Level)
26th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
27-28 Basic Training Revalidation
30-4 Leadership & Managerial Skills

May 2018
7-11 Radar Observer Unlimited
7-18 License Preparation
9th Hazwoper Refresher
11-12 Basic Training Revalidation
11-14 Basic Training Refresher (no class on Sunday)
14th Radar Renewal
14-18 Basic Training
14-18 Ship Construction and Basic Stability
15th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
21-23 Search and Rescue
21-25 ECDIS
23-25 24-Hour Hazwoper
25th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties (VPDSD)
29-31 Security Officer – Vessel, Company, and Facility
29-1 Advanced Firefighting

June 2018
2-4 Basic Training Revalidation (no class on Sunday)
4th Radar Renewal
4th Leadership & Teamworking Skills
4-8 Medical Care Provider
4-15 Medical Person-In-Charge
5-8 ARPA
11-14 Advanced Firefighting
11-22 GMDSS
11-22 Watchkeeping (Operational Level)
18-22 Engine Resource Management
22-23 Basic Training Revalidation
22-24 Basic Training Refresher
25th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
25-29 Meteorology (Operational Level)
25-29 Leadership & Managerial Skills
26th Medical DOT

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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