Wheelhouse Weekly – July 21, 2015

July 22nd 2015

Volume 20 . . . Number 29. . . July 21, 2015


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International and national labor leaders and members of Congress were among the speakers who addressed delegates to the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) 54th Convention now underway in San Juan. A filmed recap of each day’s proceedings is posted on the ILA’s Facebook page.

Among the speakers on Day One: ILA Executive Vice President Bennie Holland, a 55-year veteran of the union who has been nominated by ILA President Harold Daggett to serve as Executive Vice President Emeritus; Congressman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Congressman Gene Green (D-Texas); Jose Rodriguez Baez, president of the Puerto Rico Federation of Labor; International Dockworkers Council General Coordinator Jordi Aragunde; MM&P President Don Marcus; Tom Mackell, special advisor to the ILA President; and Ed Wytkind, president of the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department.

Wytkind drew a standing ovation when he said that the 32 transportation unions that belong to TTD are united in support of America’s longshore workers, who are increasingly being targeted by anti-labor politicians. “Corporate America has a plan,” Wytkind said. “Their plan is to break this union. I got news for anyone in the corporate lobby who thinks they’re going to do it. We’re going to be there to stop them.” TTD is a powerful advocate in Washington, D.C., for the interests of transportation union members, including those who belong to MM&P.

Congressmen Bennie Thompson and Gene Green both pledged their support to the ILA. Green, who represents the City of Houston, Texas, said he has been a union member since 1968. Both he and Thompson said they oppose pending international trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which are being negotiated in secret by the United States. TPP is opposed by organized labor as well as by environmental and consumer groups.

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The ties that bind the longshore workers and merchant mariners of the world may well be the most successful demonstration of global trade unionism today, says MM&P President Don Marcus. A prime example: Thanks to solidarity among longshoremen and mariners, International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) collective bargaining agreements now cover at least 40 percent of the seafarers on flag-of-convenience ships.

“Of course this is cold comfort to the thousands of mariners in the traditional maritime nations who have been displaced by lower wage seafarers,” he added, “but if we cannot bring up the standards of all workers in seafaring and in other global industries, there will be no future for many of us.”

By the same token, Marcus said, the battle to defend what remains of the national fleets of Australia, Canada, the United States and other countries against a barrage of well-funded attacks on cabotage laws will hinge on the strength of the ties that bind the maritime workers of the world.

The MM&P President made the remarks yesterday at the 54th International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) Convention in San Juan.

He hailed the work of international labor leaders and union members in many countries to oppose pending trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Comprehensive Trade and Economic Agreement (CETA). “These secretly negotiated trade agreements make NAFTA look like child’s play,” Marcus said. “They threaten to further weaken the rights of labor, national sovereignty and the ability of working people to prosper in our economic system.”

He warned that based on the experiences of merchant mariners, the fight against such accords will only intensify.

“What has been perfected in ocean commerce—an international system where national sovereignty means next to nothing and where capital is free to seek the lowest cost labor, is what we are about to have for the rest of our national industries under the latest series of trade agreements,” he said.

Marcus cited a series of bills introduced in the U.S. Congress to undercut collective bargaining in the nation’s ports as an example of the kind of attacks that can be expected to proliferate. “The powers that hold up the flag-of-convenience system as the ideal of economic efficiency are working hard to bring us their laundry list of so-called ‘free-trade’ trade agreements,” he said. “And lo and behold, they also have plans for longshoremen.”

One of the bills now pending in Congress would allow state governors to step into port labor disputes. Another would task the federal government with collecting and disseminating data on “port productivity” before, during and after contract negotiations.

MM&P, Marcus said, would stand side-by-side with the ILA in fighting off these and similar attempts to undercut American workers. “We take pride in our honest and time-honored profession,” he said. “We are determined to leave it and the working conditions that those who came before us fought to establish to the next generation of American men and women.”

“We salute the achievements of President Harold Daggett and the ILA in protecting and advancing the economic security of the membership during the union’s last contract battle,” said MM&P President Don Marcus. “Our commitment to the ILA and to the principles that bind us together as union members could not be stronger.”

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To address substantive issues on behalf of Military Sealift Command (MSC) Civil Service mariners represented by the MM&P Federal Employees Membership Group (FEMG), union officials met last week at MM&P headquarters with a group of MSC managers.

Participating in the meeting were: MM&P Chief of Staff Klaus Luhta; MM&P Federal Employees Membership Group (FEMG) Vice President Randall Rockwood; MM&P Government Fleet Representative Randi Ciszewski; MSC Counsel Dave Townsend; MSC Director of Total Force Management Mike Morris; MSC Deputy Director of Manpower and Personnel Afloat Frank Cunningham; and MSC LER Division Head Joe Huotari.

The discussion covered issues of ongoing concern including: Senior Deck Officer shortages; recruitment; retention; mission creep; and liberty and alcohol restrictions. “We are all committed to continuing to communicate on these topics and to working together for the best solutions,” said FEMG Vice President Randall Rockwood.

“Whenever MSC takes the time to sit down with MM&P representatives, the results are always fruitful,” said MM&P Chief of Staff Klaus Luhta. “MSC is a valued partner and our MM&P members aboard these vessels consistently answer the call of duty without complaint. We are very pleased to begin resolving some of the persistent issues that affect them.”

“It remains the union’s position that the most efficient and effective way to achieve positive change and tangible results is through pre-decisional involvement,” said MM&P Government Fleet Representative Randi Ciszewski. “If MM&P has a voice early on in agency decision-making, it gives union officials the information needed to address any concerns with proposals and offer alternative solutions to resolve problems before they develop.”

“By involving MM&P from the start, agency management gains the flexibility to pursue policy alternatives before the commitment of resources and resulting work products make it impossible to change course,” she added. “Pre-decisional involvement complies with 5 USC 5348, which requires MSC to mirror deep-sea prevailing practices as far as is practicable. It will also lead the agency to better decision-making, ultimately saving both costs and time. Only through a relationship based on trust and transparency can the efficiency of the federal government be improved.”

“The time is now to set aside any past differences, begin genuine pre-decisional involvement on all topics in accordance with Executive Order 13522, and get our labor-management forum successfully working with our next Forum scheduled for Fall 2015,” she added.

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Rep. Susan W. Brooks (R-Ind.) has introduced the Merchant Marine of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act (HR 2992). The bill calls for the award of a Congressional Gold Medal, collectively, to merchant mariners of World War II in recognition of their dedicated and vital service. The medal is the highest civilian honor that Congress can bestow.

“The brave actions of the Merchant Marine during World War II proved instrumental in securing victory for the Allied Powers,” Brooks said in introducing the bill. “These loyal and courageous men put their lives on the line for the cause of freedom and selflessly answered their nation’s call to duty. Unfortunately, their sacrifice is commonly overlooked, and there are fewer surviving merchant mariners every year. It is time for Congress to honor their service before we miss the opportunity to properly recognize these heroes.”

During war, merchant mariners serve as an auxiliary to the Navy and are responsible for the transoceanic transport of military and civilian personnel as well as combat equipment, fuel, food, commodities and raw materials. During World War II, risking their lives to provide the needed supplies for battle, Merchant Mariners bore a higher per-capita casualty rate than any other branch of the U.S. Armed Forces. In total, hundreds of mariner ships and thousands of men were lost to enemy combatants during the course of the war.

Brooks is also a cosponsor of HR 563, “Honoring Our WWII Merchant Mariners Act of 2015,” introduced by Rep. Janice Hahn (D-Calif.). The bill would provide surviving World War II merchant mariners with a one-time $25,000 benefit. Merchant mariners never received full veteran benefits. That legislation would provide modest benefits to the nearly 5,000 surviving World War II merchant mariners.

“Recognizing the World War II Merchant Marine veterans is one of my highest priorities,” Hahn said. “I applaud Congresswoman Brooks for introducing legislation to honor these unsung heroes with the Congressional Gold Medal and am happy to cosponsor her legislation. I also appreciate her co-sponsorship of HR 563, legislation I introduced to give long overdue compensation to the Merchant Marine World War II veterans.”

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The controversial business lobby known as The American Legislative Exchange Council, or “ALEC,” is now expanding its focus to include the passage of anti-worker measures in cities and counties. ALEC is an extremely well-funded lobby that produces “model legislation” targeting labor unions and other groups it opposes. The organization says it introduces about 1,000 bills a year, of which 20 percent are eventually enacted.

Until recently, the group has pushed its bills primarily at the state level. This year, however, it is drilling down in a much broader attempt to compress wages and interfere with unions’ ability to collect dues and organize. In Michigan, for example, a measure that unions call “the Death Star bill” was signed into law on June 30. It blocks any local government or municipality from taking any action in the area of employer-employee relationships. Examples of measures now prohibited under the law are rules on fair scheduling of work shifts and the minimum wage.

ALEC has been fighting unions with its “right-to-work” policies since at least 1979. Right-to-work rules make it mandatory for unions to extend the benefits of their contracts to free riders in the workplace who do not pay dues. Cookie-cutter ALEC “right-to-work” bills popped up in several states this year. In March, with the passage of a word-for-word copy of ALEC’s bill, Wisconsin became the 25th “right-to-work state.” ALEC “right-to-work” bills were proposed in New Hampshire, Missouri, New Mexico and West Virginia.

The group’s local offshoot, the American City-County Exchange, is now pushing to implement municipal right-to-work ordinances. In Kentucky, for example, its state-level bill has run into opposition from Democrats in the state legislature. But 11 counties have so far introduced the local version of the “right-to-work” bill. (The counties are being sued by Kentucky-based labor unions.)

Laws that require that prevailing wages be paid on public contracting projects are also coming under attack. This year several states have passed laws weakening or limiting their prevailing wage standards, including West Virginia, Nevada, Tennessee, Ohio and Oklahoma. At the local level, ALEC is now pushing bills such as the “Living Wage Preemption Act,” that blocks local governments from raising the minimum wage. The group was also instrumental in the spread of laws in 19 states blocking local governments from enacting municipal broadband programs.

States that have implemented laws drafted by ALEC have experienced sharp drops in public sector union membership. A study published in Perspectives in Politics, a peer-reviewed academic journal, shows that such laws cause, on average, a drop in union membership of three percentage points annually, for a total so far of nearly 10 percent of public sector union membership for the United States as a whole.

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Members of the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA)-CWA have been fighting for more than two years to secure a contract with United Airlines. “Profits at United have soared and the share price has grown 162 percent since we started negotiating,” says AFA-CWA International President Sara Nelson. United’s 2015 income will be more than five times higher than it was in 2013. Operating profit in 2015-17 is expected to be $5 billion a year. The company reports $7 billion in cash on its balance sheet. But despite giving huge raises to its executives, “United refuses to put the required economic resources into a Flight Attendant Contract,” Nelson says.

Thousands of United flight attendants held demonstrations last Thursday at Washington Dulles and airports in London, Frankfurt, Boston, New York, Newark, Chicago, San Francisco, Denver, Seattle, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Honolulu, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Guam.

“United Airlines needs to invest in the workers who help make this company profitable and successful,” said Ed Wytkind, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, who joined picketing flight attendants at Dulles. “Until management understands that and flight attendants at United secure a fair contract, I’ll be standing with you fighting for what’s right.” MM&P is one of the 32 transportation sector unions that belong to TTD.

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Whether camping at your favorite spot or just in your own backyard, now is the time to enjoy the call of the great outdoors with union-made camping essentials.

Protect yourself from the elements with clothing from Polartec, Windjammer and Carhartt. Proper footwear makes hikes more enjoyable, and union-made Wolverine, Red Wing and Wood N’ Stream do the job!

Don’t forget to keep your skin sunburn-free with Coppertone and Bain de Soleil products.

The right tools can fix camping equipment when you have lost those trusty tent set-up instructions. Buying union products from Channellock, Craftsman, Stanley Hand Tools, Black & Decker and SnapOn will have you camping in style in no time.

It would not be camping without s’mores, would it? Honey Maid graham crackers topped with Ghirardelli or Made in the USA Hershey bars and a big gooey marshmallow, and you’re ready to go, even if just roasting them over your Weber grill.

Finally, wake up from your peaceful night in the great outdoors with some piping hot coffee from Eight O’Clock Coffee, Folgers or Maxwell.

Enjoy your summer camping and keep supporting American-made, union-made products! By making the choice to spend your money on products and services that are made in our country by workers who are treated fairly and paid a living wage, you can help protect the middle class, strengthen our national economy and build a stronger America. Go to today to find out more.

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The next Offshore Membership Meeting at the Los Angeles/Long Beach Hall will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 5 after the 1100 job call.

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The SOCP Summer Webinar & META Workshop will take place tomorrow, July 22, from 0900 to 1400 (EDT) at MITAGS and 1400 to 1630 (EDT) via Webinar. To participate in the Webinar, please contact for call in number and agenda. For more information: Daniel Yuska, Office of Environment, U.S. Department of Transportation, MARAD, Daniel.Yuska@dot.govor (202) 366–0714.

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Eight additional sessions of Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM) have been added to the MITAGS Course Schedule for the period August – December. The new sessions will be held: 8/17/15, 8/31/15, 9/7/15, 9/21/15,11/2/15, 11/9/15, 12/7/15 and 12/14/15. For class availability or information on MITAGS courses and programs, contact Elisabeth Cruz, Admissions Coordinator, toll-free at 866-656-5568 or by e-mail:

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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 Kelly Michielli, 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 – 8/17/15, 10/12/15

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: Contact Admissions

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 8/4/15, 9/22/15, 1/26/16

AZIPOD 2-Day – 10/1/15

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 8/3/15, 10/19/15, 2/1/16

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 11/9/15

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling: 9/28/15

BT – Basic Safety Training: 8/10/15, 10/5/15, 1/25/16

BT-Revalidation – 8/4/15, 11/3/15

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 10/26/15

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

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

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 7/27/15, 9/28/15, 1/25/16, 3/28/16

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 8/3/15, 10/19/15, 1/4/16, 3/7/16

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 10/5/15

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 8/17/15, 9/21/15, 10/5/15,11/2/15, 12/7/15, 1/11/16, 2/22/16, 3/21/16

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM):8/10/15, 8/17/15, 8/31/15, 9/7/15, 9/21/15, 9/28/15, 10/26/15, 11/2/15, 11/9/15,11/16/15, 11/30/15, 12/7/15, 12/14/15, 1/18/16, 2/15/16, 3/14/16

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 11/16/15

SEC-APPS – Practical Security Applications: 8/24/15, 10/12/15, 3/28/16

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 9/14/15

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 8/10/15, 8/24/15, 10/5/15,11/9/15, 11/30/15, 1/11/16, 2/8/16, 3/14/16

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 8/17/15, 8/31/15, 10/12/15,11/16/15, 12/7/15, 1/18/16, 2/15/16, 3/21/16

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 11/30/15, 2/29/16

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 11/9/15

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 11/9/15

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: Contact Admissions

DDE – Great Lakes: 2/1/16

DPA – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-OIC – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-Pilots – 11/12/15

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 8/24/15, 9/21/15, 10/19/15, 11/9/15, 12/14/15,1/4/16, 2/8/16, 3/21/16

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 8/10/15, 10/5/15, 1/25/16, 2/22/16

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 9/15/15, 11/11/15

GL Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: 1/22/16

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 8/24/15, 3/7/16

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 8/31/15, 11/16/15

LAP- 9/14/15

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes: 1/25/16

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License: 8/3/15, 11/30/15, 3/7/16

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 9/16/15, 11/10/15

LNG-TPIC – 12/7/15

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 9/21/15

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control: 8/17/15, 9/14/15, 10/12/15, 11/2/15, 12/7/15, 1/11/16, 2/22/16, 3/28/16

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 8/24/15, 12/7/15, 1/4/16

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 7/27/15, 9/28/15, 2/1/15, 3/14/16

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 8/24/15, 10/12/15, 12/7/15, 1/4/15, 2/15/16

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 7/25/15, 8/28/15, 11/5/15, 12/12/15, 1/9/15, 1/31/16

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: Contact Admissions

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 8/19/15, 10/29/15, 3/8/16

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (4 Evenings): 8/17/15, 10/27/15, 3/5/16

*MSC-ENVPRO –8/16/15, 10/31/15, 2/28/16

*MSC-FF-HELO –8/3/15, 11/2/15, 2/22/16

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 8/8/15, 10/19/15, 1/4/16, 2/29/16

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – 8/6/15, 10/17/15, 2/26/16

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced –8/12/15, 10/23/15, 1/8/16, 3/4/16

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force –8/13/15, 10/24/15, 1/10/16, 3/5/16

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 8/3/15, 9/21/15, 1/25/16

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 7/28/15, 8/5/15, 8/19/15, 9/2/15, 9/16/15, 9/30/15, 10/14/15, 10/28/15, 11/3/15, 11/11/15, 11/18/15, 12/2/15, 12/10/15, 1/6/16, 1/13/16, 2/3/16

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 7/27/15, 1/18/16, 2/1/16

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue – 10/19/15

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 11/2/15, 2/15/16

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day: 7/27/15, 9/28/15, 1/25/16

SMS – Contact Admissions

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 8/3/15, 2/8/16

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 1/4/16

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 8/3/15

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – Contact Admissions

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: Contact Admissions

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 9/9/15, 10/7/15, 10/17/15, 2/15/16

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): 9/28/15, 3/21/16

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 9/14/15, 2/29/16

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

July 2015

20-23 ARPA
27-31 Radar Observer Unlimited
27-31 MEECE
27-31 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)

August 2015

3rd Flashing Light
3-7 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
3-7 Engine Resource Management
4-7 ARPA
10-14 ECDIS
10-21 GMDSS
17-21 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
17-21 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
17-21 Rules of the Road
24th Radar Renewal
24-28 MEECE
24-28 Bridge Resource Management
25-26 Designated Person Ashore
31-4 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
31-4 Basic Meteorology

September 2015

8th Leadership & Teamworking Skills
9th OICNW Assessments
10th Radar Renewal
14-18 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
14-18 Basic Cargo Handling
14-18 Medical Care Provider
14-25 Medical Person-In-Charge
14-25 GMDSS
21-25 ECDIS
21-25 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
21-2 Celestial Navigation
28-30 Security Officer – Vessel, Company, and Facility
28-2 MEECE

October 2015

5th Radar Renewal
5-9 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
5-9 Medical Care Provider
5-9 Basic Shiphandling
5-9 Engine Resource Managemet
12-16 ECDIS
12-16 Leadership & Managerial Skills
12-23 GMDSS
19-23 Radar Observer Unlimited
19-23 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
19-23 MEECE
26-30 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)

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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 © 2015. Articles can be reprinted without prior permission if credit is given to The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly. For address changes, send an e-mail to Back issues of The Weekly are posted on