Wheelhouse Weekly – July 12, 2016

July 13th 2016

Volume 21 . . . Number 28. . . July 12, 2016


In This Issue:

Important Regulatory Safety Updates:

News for MM&P Members:


Other News:


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The MM&P Constitutional Convention will take place on Monday, July 18. It will be followed by the 86th Regular Convention July 19-21.

The authority of our union is vested in the members, acting by and through their elected Convention delegates.

As stated in the MM&P International Constitution: “Such Convention is the source of all true and legitimate authority over the Organization and possesses as such supreme and absolute power over same and all channels leading thereto. It shall, while in session, have the sole and exclusive power to grant charters to affiliate bodies; to suspend or revoke for cause any charter so granted; to hear and determine all appeals; and to enact rules and establish regulations to settle grievances from the Membership Groups or Members thereof, in order to carry out, in the most effective manner, the objectives and purposes of this Organization.”

Follow the MM&P Conventions on Facebook: @IOMMP; on Twitter @MMP_UNION; and on Instagram: BRIDGEDECK.ORG.

Complete coverage of the Conventions will be published in the July 19 Wheelhouse Weekly and in The Master, Mate & Pilot’s Special Convention Issue.

Important Reminder: the MM&P Headquarters Staff will be assisting at the Constitutional and 86th Conventions July 18-22.
If members are planning to use HQ services (including company assignments) if possible please do so by July 15.

You will be able to reach HQ staff by e-mail during the Conventions but members are advised not to leave important messages on staff voice mail during this period and not to come to HQ July 18-22 in person unless prior arrangements have been made.

Normal office hours will resume July 22.

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Tens of thousands of members of the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) joined millions of longshore workers in 50 countries July 7 in a “Global Day of Action.”

At ports around the world, longshore workers sought to draw attention to the contributions they make to the world economy and to the risks involved in their work.

“Dockers everywhere are standing together to bring attention to health and safety issues; recognition of the precarious work our members do; respect for collective bargaining rights and agreements; protection of labor standards in our global economy and automation and social justice,” said ILA President Harold Daggett.

Many ILA Locals used the observance to memorialize waterfront workers who have lost their lives on the job.

“It’s a Day of Observance and a Day of Remembrance” as well as a Day of Action, Daggett said, noting that over the past decade, 33 longshore workers have died in workplace accidents.

Participating along with the ILA and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) were dockworkers’ unions in countries including Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Benin, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, India, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jordan, Malta, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Senegal, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Togo, Turkey, United Kingdom, Uruguay and Venezuela.

The Global Day of Action was organized by the International Dockworkers’ Council (IDC); the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF); and the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF).

Under the slogan “Defend Dockers’ Rights,” participants called for: improved health and safety in the workplace, respect for bargaining rights and collective agreements, universal labor standards and social justice.

“This day is a reaction to the fact that attacks on dockers aren’t going away–they’re escalating all the time all over the world,” said ITF President Paddy Crumlin.

“The international dockers’ community isn’t going to stand for poor conditions, automation without union consultation or downgrading of the professional status of dockworkers.”

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The chairman of Danish shipping and oil conglomerate A. P. Moller-Maersk says a reorganization of the highly diversified group into separate companies is among the strategies management is considering to boost efficiency and profits in the medium term.

Michael Pram Rasmussen, chairman of the A.P. Moller-Maersk Group, told a Danish news outlet recently that a strategic breakup of the vast corporation was one of the options on the table.

“The question is whether we should be a large group, or whether we should be a number of independent companies,” he told the Danish online news outlet Finans in remarks that have been widely reported by the international business press.

The board of directors has asked for analysis of “the strategic and structural options to further increase agility and synergies,” Rasmussen added.

The company has said it will report on its conclusions by the end of the third quarter of 2016.

Besides its stake in the container shipping business, including ownership of MM&P-contracted U.S.-flag MLL, the Maersk Group operates in freight forwarding, container terminal operations, and oil and gas, among other industries.

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The American Great Lakes Ports Association and the U.S. Great Lakes Shipping Association have joined a suit by six Canadian and European shipping firms against the U.S. Coast Guard over higher pilotage rates.

The Coast Guard has not yet filed a response to the suit, but the pilots’ associations issued a joint statement in support of the raise. The news was reported last week in MarEx newsletter by maritime publisher Maritime Executive.

The Coast Guard sets pilotage rates for the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Great Lakes, and this year it raised fees, citing the need to recruit and train additional pilots.

The Coast Guard framed the raise as a safety and efficiency measure, noting that a shortage of trained pilots for relief could lead to issues with fatigue; the agency says that that the pilotage system was underfunded by $20 million over the past ten years, “leading to pilot shortages and traffic delays.”

But shipowners and allied associations contend that higher wages aren’t needed for recruitment and training, and say the raise would “effect a dramatic increase in costs for all vessel owners… in particular on certain routes.”

The consortium asserts that the new cost structure will raise effective rates by more than 50 percent, and erode “the competitive position of the Great Lakes Seaway navigation system.”

The Coast Guard, for its part, estimates the net cost increase at about $1.9 million this year, plus an additional one-time $1.7 million for hiring and training new pilots.

“If the Coast Guard remains insensitive to these costs, we will see shipping on the Great Lakes atrophy and that will mean job losses at our ports,” Steven Fisher, executive director of the American Great Lakes Ports Association, was quoted by MarEx as saying.

On July 5, the presidents of the Lakes Pilots, Western Great Lakes Pilots and the St. Lawrence Seaway Pilots Associations issued a joint statement outlining the issue in terms of safety.

“It was extremely disappointing that these foreign corporations have decided to challenge [the rate increase], knowing that the changes they have demanded would save them money but undermine safety and environmental protection,” they said.

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The Coast Guard has circulated a policy letter (CG-ENG Policy Letter No. 01-14) on testing lifeboat release mechanisms after they have been replaced.

The policy letter implements SOLAS regulation III/1.5 and IMO Circular MSC.1/Circ. 1392.

The policy letter offers post-installation testing guidance after replacement of release hooks for lifeboats and rescue boats on all ships subject to SOLAS Chapter III.

One of the post-installation tests required is a demonstration that the lifeboat or rescue boat can be launched from a ship proceeding ahead at a speed of not less than 5 knots in calm water and on an even keel (the “5-knot test”).

Not all replacements of release hooks necessitate completion of the 5-knot test, the Coast Guard says. An example is a case in which the geometry of the launching arrangement (e.g., angles of fall, length between hooks) has not changed. The agency says that CG-ENG 4 approval letters for the fitting of new release hooks contain a definitive statement regarding any change in geometry.

In some instances, the 5-knot test may be infeasible due to sea conditions and other external factors. It may have to be substituted or postponed. In this case the Officers in Charge, Marine Inspection (OCMI) may use their discretion to either defer the test or use an alternative test, the agency says.

The 5-knot test or an acceptable alternative must be witnessed by a Coast Guard Marine Inspector.

Regardless of whether or not the 5-knot test or an alternative is required, all remaining post-installation testing should be completed in its entirety any time release hooks are replaced, the agency says.

Ships’ officers are advised to read the USCG policy letter on the 5-knot test, which is posted at:

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A new regulation that requires ships to carry and use an appropriate portable atmosphere testing instrument is now in effect.

The rule, XI-1/7 Atmosphere Testing Instrument for Enclosed Spaces in the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), requires that ships carry an instrument or instruments capable, at a minimum, of measuring concentrations of oxygen, flammable gases or vapors, hydrogen sulfide and carbon monoxide, and that the equipment be used prior to any entry by mariners into an enclosed space.

Enclosed spaces are defined as having limited openings for entry and exit. They have inadequate ventilation and are not designed for continuous worker occupancy.

The atmosphere in any enclosed space may be oxygen-deficient or oxygen-enriched and/or contain flammable and/or toxic gases or vapors, thus presenting a risk to life. Seafarers may be called upon to enter enclosed spaces on ships to manage or obtain equipment, assist a colleague or to inspect vital engine parts.

Accidents in confined spaces are one of the most frequent causes of death in the maritime industry.

The new regulation entered into force on July 1.

Enclosed spaces covered by the regulation include, but are not limited to, cargo spaces, double bottoms, fuel tanks, ballast tanks, cargo pump-rooms, cofferdams, chain lockers, void spaces, duct keels, inter-barrier spaces, boilers, engine crankcases, engine scavenge air receivers, sewage tanks, and adjacent connected spaces. The list is not exhaustive and enclosed spaces should be identified and listed on a ship-by-ship basis.

Similar requirements for offshore drilling units have also entered into force.

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The MM&P Charleston Hall has moved. The phone and fax numbers remain unchanged but are repeated below. The new address is:

1481 Tobias Gadson Blvd Suite 2C
Charleston, SC 29407-4794
Phone: 843-766-3565
Fax: 843-766-6352

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In today’s maritime world, Deck Officers have to keep track of a myriad of professional documents.

To assist members in maintaining their documents, the MM&P computer system has begun sending automatic e-mail notifications of expiring documents to active Offshore members and applicants.

Once the system is fully implemented, you will receive one e-mail 60 days and one e-mail 30 days prior to the expiration of each of your professional documents.

Members are encouraged to keep the system updated with their current e-mail address.

Initially only a small group of documents will be checked but we hope to have the system completely functional with all documents being checked in the coming days.

Please notify your local dispatcher if you encounter any problems with the system.

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The MM&P union halls in Seattle, San Francisco/Oakland and Los Angeles/Long Beach are closed on Thursday, July 28, for the holiday that commemorates the birthday of International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) founder Harry Bridges.

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About 70 Walmart store workers staged a wildcat strike in a city in southeastern China earlier this month to protest the company’s new “flexible scheduling system.”

Some strikers walked out while others marched inside the Nanching Walmart store chanting slogans. The news was reported by Kevin Lin in the July 5 edition of Labor Notes.

Walmart moved into China’s retail market in 1996. It now operates 433 retail stores which employ more than 100,000 people.

The majority of Walmart workers in China are full-time, but the number of part-timers is significant and has been growing.

The new scheduling system that management is seeking to implement allows Walmart store managers to assign workers any number of hours per day or per week, as long as each worker’s total adds up to 174 hours per month.

Workers say the system will have an immediate downward impact on take-home pay because people scheduled to work more than eight hours a day will not get overtime compensation as long as they are assigned to work fewer than 174 hours over the course of the rest of the month.

They also say that because of the variable schedule, they will be unable to work the second or third part-time jobs on which they rely to supplement their Walmart earnings.

Walmart wages in China net of social security contributions are frequently less than minimum wage, union organizers say.

The strike, on July 1 at a store in the southeastern city of Nanchang, was preceded by small-scale symbolic protests. A day earlier, a few Walmart workers in protest T-shirts leafleted inside a store in the southern city of Shenzhen.

Employees have expressed fear that the new scheduling system will open the door to replacing more full-time jobs with part-time slots, as has happened in Walmart stores in the United States.

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The first line of attack against the devastating scourge of ocean plastic is… the beach, according to a new report.

More than 80 percent of the yearly flow into the ocean of plastic trash–such as drink bottles and packaging–comes from land-based sources. The remainder comes from plastics released at sea, including lost and discarded fishing gear.

The study was conducted by U.K.-based Eunomia Research & Consulting and reported by the daily online news services EcoWatch and Truthout.

Eunomia estimates that the annual global emission of “primary” microplastics–such as microbeads, fibers or pellets–ranges from 0.5 to 1.4 million tons.

Vehicle tires are the biggest problem: they are responsible for releasing 270 thousand tons of debris into the world’s waterways each year.

Microplastics are found in ice cores, across the seafloor, vertically throughout the ocean and on every beach in the world. Of major concern is the fact that these tiny, non-biodegradable pieces of plastic, which absorb the chemicals they float in, are ingested by plankton and fish, and then by humans.

The report found that 94 percent of the plastic that enters the ocean ends up on the ocean floor, with an estimated 70 kilograms of plastic per square kilometer of sea bed. And contrary to the rumored existence of an extensive plastic garbage patch floating on the water, barely 1 percent of marine plastics float at or near the ocean surface, Eunomia reports.

The scientists at Eunomia conclude that beach cleanups are one of the best ways to fight ocean plastic. They say policies aimed at cutting plastic use, such as taxes on everyday plastic items and recycling incentives, could help stop the waste at the source.

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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 – 8/22/16, 10/17/16

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: 7/22/16

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 8/9/16, 9/27/16, 1/24/17

AZIPOD 2-Day – 11/14/16, 3/6/17

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 8/8/16, 10/31/16, 1/30/17

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 7/18/16, 11/14/16, 3/6/17

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

BT – Basic Safety Training: 8/15/16, 10/10/16, 1/23/17

BT-Revalidation (2-day) – 8/22/16, 10/31/16, 3/9/17

BT-Refresher (3-day) – 10/30/16, 3/9/17

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 11/14/16

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVNAV-CMM – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): Contact Admissions

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 8/1/16, 10/17/16, 1/16/17

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 8/8/16, 11/7/16, 1/9/17, 3/13/17

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 10/24/16

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 7/25/16, 8/15/16, 9/12/16, 10/10/16,11/28/16, 12/19/16, 1/23/17, 3/27/17

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM – 7/25/16,8/1/16, 8/8/16, 8/15/16,8/22/16, 8/29/16, 9/12/16, 10/3/16, 10/31/16, 11/14/16,11/28/16, 12/5/16,12/12/16, 12/19/16, 1/30/17, 2/20/17

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 9/19/16

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: 8/1/16, 10/31/16, 3/13/17

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 10/3/16

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 7/18/16, 8/15/16, 9/12/16, 10/24/16,11/7/16, 12/5/16, 1/16/17, 2/6/17, 3/6/17, 3/20/17

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 7/25/16, 8/22/16, 9/19/16, 10/31/16,11/14/16, 12/12/16, 1/23/17, 2/13/17, 3/13/17, 3/27/17

**SHS-ADV-I & II now approved to include SAR-CMM assessments at MITAGS effective immediately. Both weeks must be taken together in order to complete SAR-CMM**

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 9/12/16, 3/20/17

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 9/26/16

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 10/24/16

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: 7/19/16, 3/2/17

DDE – Great Lakes: 1/30/17

DPA – 8/2/17

ECDIS-OIC – Contact Admissions

ECDIS for Pilots – 7/20/16, 11/14/16, 2/28/17

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 7/18/16, 8/22/16, 9/26/16, 10/24/16, 11/14/16, 11/28/16, 12/5/16, 12/12/16, 12/19/16, 2/27/17

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 8/15/16, 10/10/16, 1/23/17

FF-ADV-REV – Advanced Fire Fighting Revalidation & Refresher: 3/7/17

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 9/20/16, 10/3/16

GL-Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: 1/6/17

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 8/22/16, 3/6/17

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 8/29/16, 12/5/16

LAP- 9/19/16, 2/13/17

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes: 1/9/17

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License: 8/8/16, 12/5/16

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 7/19/16, 9/21/16, 11/15/16

LNG-TPIC – 12/5/16

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 9/26/16, 10/26/16*, 11/14/16*, 12/19/16*, 2/13/17 (*Evening Session)

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control: 8/29/16, 9/19/16, 10/17/16, 11/7/16, 11/28/16, 12/5/16, 12/12/16, 12/19/16

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 11/7/16, 12/12/16, 1/9/17, 3/20/17

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 8/29/16, 10/3/16, 1/30/17

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 11/7/16, 11/28/16, 12/12/16, 1/9/17, 3/20/17

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 8/28/16, 11/12/16, 12/17/16, 1/14/17, 3/6/17

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: Contact Admissions

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 8/10/16, 10/17/16, 2/23/17

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control: 8/8/16, 10/18/16, 2/21/17

*MSC-ENVPRO – 8/7/16, 10/16/16, 2/26/17

*MSC-FF-HELO – 8/22/16, 10/31/16, 3/9/17

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 7/18/16, 8/14/16, 10/23/16, 1/9/17, 2/27/17

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – 8/11/16, 10/20/16, 2/24/17

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced – 7/22/16, 8/13/16, 10/22/16, 1/13/17, 3/3/17

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force – 7/25/16, 8/18/16, 10/27/16, 1/16/17

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P – 7/26/16, 10/25/16

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 8/8/16, 9/26/16, 1/23/17

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 7/27/16, 8/10/16, 8/24/16, 9/21/16, 10/5/16, 10/19/16, 11/2/16, 11/9/16, 11/16/16, 11/30/16, 12/7/16, 12/14/16, 1/11/17, 2/1/17, 2/8/17, 2/22/17, 3/8/17, 3/22/17

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 8/1/16, 1/16/17

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue – 11/7/16

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 8/29/16, 10/17/16, 2/20/17

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day: 8/1/16, 10/3/16, 11/28/16, 2/20/17

SMS – Contact Admissions

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 8/8/16, 1/9/17

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 1/30/17

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 8/8/16, 2/13/17

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – Contact Admissions

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: Contact Admissions

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 9/7/16, 10/22/16, 2/14/17

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): 10/3/16, 2/20/17

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 9/19/16, 3/20/17

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Please also see our schedule and enroll online at For registration contact our registrar, Mary McGhee: 206.838.1126 or

July 2016

11-15 Radar Observer Unlimited
11-15 Leadership & Managerial Skills
11-15 Engine Resource Management
11-22 GMDSS
18th Leadership & Teamworking Skills
18-22 ECDIS
25th Radar Renewal
25-29 Leadership & Managerial Skills
25-29 Engine Resource Management
25-29 MEECE
26-29 ARPA

August 2016

1-5 Leadership & Managerial Skills
1-5 Bridge Resource Management
8-12 Basic Meteorology
8-12 Engine Resource Management
15th Radar Renewal
15-19 Leadership & Managerial Skills
22-26 ECDIS
22-26 MEECE
22-2 GMDSS
29-2 Leadership & 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 © 2016. 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