Wheelhouse Weekly – July 02, 2013


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

Volume 17 . . . Number 27. . . July 2, 2013

(Look in the archives for this weeks Special Edition.)



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 Thursday, July 4, for Independence Day. Pacific Ports will also be closed on Friday, July 5 for the ILWU holiday Bloody Thursday, in memory of the union members who were shot and killed during the 1934 strike. The Ports of Seattle, San Francisco/Oakland and Los Angeles/Long Beach will be closed on Monday, July 29, for the ILWU holiday that commemorates the birthday of visionary labor leader and ILWU founder Harry Bridges.


The Federal Workers Alliance (FWA) on Monday announced a grassroots campaign to fight the upcoming furloughs of more than 650,000 Department of Defense (DOD) civilian employees, including some members of the MM&P Federal Employees Membership Group (FEMG). FWA is a coalition of 20 unions, including MM&P and the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA), which collectively represent over 300,000 federal workers.

MM&P Government Fleet Representative Randi Ciszewski has been on the front lines in the fight against the furloughs, which are being imposed as a result of partisan gridlock in Washington, D.C. Thanks to her efforts, MM&P has succeeded in gaining exclusion for deployed civil service mariners as well as for our members employed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Civil service mariners on training or ashore, as well as CNO Pilots subject to recall, are still affected by the cuts, however. They will be forced to begin taking up to 11 days of unpaid leave starting July 8 if the furloughs cannot be stopped.
To support our brothers and sisters affected by furlough, please go to and enter your zip code. This will generate an automatic message to your member of Congress requesting action to stop the furloughs at DOD.

“Behind every good soldier is a team of dedicated Defense civilian employees,” said FWA Chairman William R. Dougan. “These are the dedicated men and women who support the mission of our troops abroad and defend our families against threats at home. We will continue to speak out as long as they are threatened by this senseless policy.”


Supporters of the American Merchant Marine in the U.S. House of Representatives will continue to defend the PL 480 Food for Peace program, says Rep. Duncan Hunter. In an interview published in the June 20 issue of IHS Fairplay, the California Republican said delivery of food aid by American mariners aboard U.S.-flag ships is vital to maintaining America’s military and sealift capability. “People understand that as a nation’s merchant fleet and its navy goes, so goes the nation,” Hunter told Fairplay’s Senior America Correspondent John Gallagher. “If you lose your maritime capability… your ability to project naval power or economic power can wither on the vine.”

Hunter was among the Congressional supporters of the American Merchant Marine who sent a strong message on June 19 when the House of Representatives rejected an amendment to implement the Obama administration’s proposal to institute a voucher plan in place of shipments of PL 480 food aid on American ships. The vote took place as the House considered amendments to the Farm Bill. The final tally against the amendment was 220-203. Since the entire Farm Bill failed on final passage, opponents of our industry may well have another opportunity to mount an attack on the Food for Peace program in the not-too-distant future.

Hunter, a Marine Corps veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, is chairman of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation. “We’re not going to let them cut the food aid program,” Hunter told Fairplay. “That’s the president’s proposal, but in the House we control the budget.”

The legislation to supplant the use of U.S.-flag ships in the Food for Peace program was submitted by Reps. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.). It would have taken half the funding for PL 480 and converted it to a cash scheme in which taxpayer money would be wired or handed to foreign interests without accountability or transparency.  The cash transfers could be used for anything, not just food, unlike the procedures in place under the PL 480 program, which requires that all funds be used for the purchase and delivery of wholesome U.S.-grown commodities. 

“It’s a military issue,” Hunter says. “During the wind down in Afghanistan there are millions of tons of cargo that are going to have to be brought back. That’s not going to be the navy, that’s going to be our merchant marine.”


Horizon Lines says it plans to convert the power plants on two of its steam turbine cargo vessels to diesel engines capable of burning conventional liquid fuels or liquefied natural gas (LNG). “We are viewing this as the first step in a repowering initiative for Horizon Lines vessels serving in the Hawaii and Puerto Rico trade lanes,” said Horizon Lines President and Chief Executive Officer Sam Woodward in an official release to the press.

The goal is to reduce fuel consumption and lower emissions. The project would include an integrated repowering solution that encompasses main engines, supporting components and LNG storage tanks. The company said requests-for-pricing (RFPs) had been issued and that the Coast Guard has ruled that the work can take place in a foreign shipyard without jeopardizing the Jones Act status of the vessels. A Horizon Lines spokesman said the company hopes work on the first vessel will begin next January and that the first two ships can be completed late that year.

“Horizon Lines is committed to a comprehensive repowering program that will improve our fleet’s fuel efficiency and environmental impact,” said Horizon Lines Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Bill Hamlin. “Doing this in a cost-effective manner, while at the same time continuing to provide outstanding service to our customers without disruption, is consistent with Horizon Lines’ commitment to its customers, the consumers in the markets we serve and our obligations as a Jones Act carrier.”


Attorney Anthony Foxx, formerly mayor of Charlotte, N.C., was sworn in today in a private ceremony as the new U.S. Secretary of Transportation. “Secretary Foxx is a skilled and respected leader who understands that America’s economy cannot thrive without a world-class transportation system and workforce,” said Ed Wytkind, president of the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department in an official statement issued on behalf of the nation’s transportation workers. “We are committed to partnering with him to advance long overdue, large-scale investments in transportation that will improve quality of life, expand the economy, boost our competitiveness and put people back to work in a still slow economic recovery.”

Wytkind said Foxx brings to the administration “a strong, firsthand knowledge of the importance of a safe, modern and efficient transportation system and infrastructure.”


There will be a membership meeting at the MM&P New York/New Jersey Hall on Wednesday, July 10, at 1300 hours, immediately after job call. MM&P President Don Marcus will attend the membership meeting at the Charleston Hall scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 14, at 1100 hours.


Now is the time that many of us will head to the stores to stock up on supplies for the summer’s top cookout event. Here are a few ideas on how you can celebrate the Fourth with a Made in America union label. Condiments: French’s Mustard, Guldens Mustard, Heinz Ketchup, Hidden Valley Ranch, Lucky Whip, Vlasic. Buns and Bread: Ottenbergs, Sara Lee, Vie de France Bakery. Sodas and Bottled Water: Bart’s, Coke, Diet Sprite, Pepsi, Sprite, American Springs, Pocono Northern Fall’s, Poland Spring. Beer: Budweiser, Bud Light, Henry Weinhard’s Private Reserve, Lionshead, Mad River, Michelob, Miller, Rolling Rock. Snacks and Dessert: Breyers Ice Cream, Flips Pretzels, Frito-Lay Chips, Good Humor Ice Cream. Buy your American flag from Artflag or Annin Flagmakers. And don’t forget: Igloo, Rubbermaid, Coppertone and Bain de Soleil brands are all made by union workers.


Employees of PepsiCo.-contracted warehouses in West Bengal are fighting for justice. They do not receive the legally mandated minimum wage and when they tried to form a union, 162 of them were fired. To replace the fired workers, Pepsi is now using employees of unlicensed third-party contractors. The Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) has launched a campaign to put pressure on PepsiCo. to recognize the workers’ right to unionize. Help support their cause by going to this link to send a letter to PepsiCo:


The State University of New York Maritime College is looking for watch officers, day workers and instructors for this year’s summer training cruise aboard the TS EMPIRE STATE. Employment on the summer training cruise offers an opportunity to assist with the at-sea, practical training of the mariners of tomorrow, as well as to participate in a great itinerary. Salary commensurate with experience. The appointment will begin as soon as possible and end on Aug. 8, 2013. Naval orders can be issued for MMR Officers. Requirements: senior licenses preferred, and recent sea experience required along with medical clearances.

For more information or to apply, please contact: Joann Sprague, Regimental Assistant/Office Manager, (718) 409-7352,


The 2006 Maritime Labor Convention (MLC) will enter into force on Aug. 20, 2013.  It has been described as the fourth pillar of international shipping regulations along with SOLAS, MARPOL and STCW.  The International Labor Organization consolidated a number of previous conventions in MLC 2006. It establishes minimum standards on conditions of employment, accommodations, health and safety, medical care, crew welfare, recruitment, working conditions and social security protection. MLC will be strictly enforced during port state control inspections, including the potential for more detailed inspections and possible detention where hazardous conditions may exist if ships are not to be in compliance. Visit for more information or to register for the MLC course.


NOTE:  New Dedicated Fax Line for Admissions Only:  Fax: 1-443-568-1928, all other MITAGS business should continue to use:  410-859-5181.

Between now and the end of September, the following courses are scheduled at MITAGS.  Please be advised that the schedule is subject to change.  For class availability or info on MITAGS courses and programs, contact Kelly Michielli, Admissions Coordinator, toll-free at 866-656-5568 or Email: Or, try our on-line calendar to register for class:

AB – 8/19/13

ARPA – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 8/13/13, 9/24/13

AZIPOD (2-DAY) for Pilots: 7/22/13

BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 8/26/13

BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots:  8/19/13, 9/23/13

BST – Basic Safety Training: 8/12/13

CONSTB – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 7/29/13

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 9/23/13

CMM-ADVNAV – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): 9/9/13

CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 8/5/13

CMM-CHS – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 8/12/13

CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 7/29/13, 9/9/13

CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 8/26/13

CMM-SHMGT – Ship Management (2 weeks): 7/22/13

CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 7/29/13, 9/9/13, 9/23/13

CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 8/5/13, 9/16/13, 9/30/13

CMM-VPEN – 9/16/13

CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 9/30/13

ENVIRO-Regs Permit – Environmental Regulations Permit: 8/26/13

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep and Medications:  8/27/13

FF-BADV – Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 7/22/13, 8/12/13

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 7/8/13, 8/19/13

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 9/16/13

LAP – License Advancement Program for C/Mate & Master: 9/23/13

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross Ton License: 8/5/13

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 7/24/13, 9/25/13

MCL – Management, Communications and Leadership: 8/19/13

MCL OICNW –Management, Communications, and Leadership OICNW level: 9/3/13

MEDIA-RSP – Media Response Workshop:  7/26/13

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 9/9/13

MED-PIC -R– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 7/29/13

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 9/9/13

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 7/28/13, 8/17/13, 9/14/13

MSC -SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 8/19/13, 9/30/13

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (4 Evenings): 8/19/13, 9/30/13

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 8/23/13, 10/4/13

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 7/10/13, 7/24/13, 8/1/13, 8/14/13, 8/28/13, 9/11/13, 9/18/13

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 8/12/13, 9/23/13

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal: 8/5/13

SEC-VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 7/22/13, 9/4/13

SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 8/12/13

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling: 8/19/13

SHS-ESH-BRMP3 – Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 7/24/13

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 7/8/13

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge:  8/26/13

WX-BAS – Basic Meteorology: 7/29/13, 9/16/13

… 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.


Please also see our schedule online at For registration, call our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen, at (206) 838-1126.

July 2013

8th         Radar Renewal
8th         Flashing Light Exam
9-12       ARPA
15-19     ECDIS
15-26     GMDSS
22-26     Bridge Resource Management w/ Simulation
29-2       Medical Care Provider

August 2013

5-16       Celestial Navigation
6-7          Successful Safety Management Systems Workshop
12th       Radar Renewal 
12th       Med DOT
12-23     GMDSS
19-23     Medical Care Provider
20th       RFPNW Assessments
26-30     ECDIS
26-30     Basic Cargo Handling and Stowage