Wheelhouse Weekly – July 22, 2014

July 24th 2014

The Masters, Mates & Pilots
Wheelhouse Weekly
Bridging the Information Gap
With E-News You Can Use
Volume 18 . . . Number 29 . . . July 22, 2014

In This Issue:
— MM&P Holiday Closing Schedule
— Strategic Partnerships Are Focus of MM&P Convention
— Convention Speakers, Delegates, Reaffirm Need for More Member Involvement in Legislative Arena
— Nautilus, MM&P, Pledge Close Cooperation on International Front

— Export-Import Bank Legislation Introduced

Coast Guard Safety Notice:
— Use of Proper Battery Types on Emergency Equipment

— Jaenichen Confirmed As U.S. Maritime Administrator

Upcoming Events:
— MM&P Pacific Ports Membership Meetings

Other News:
— Wet Timber in Confined Space Linked to Death of Three Aboard German Ship

Interested in Taking the MM&P Offshore Familiarization Course?
— Contact Your MM&P VP to Request That a Course Be Scheduled in Your Area

— Maritime Labor Convention Course Reminder
— MITAGS Academic Notes
— PMI Academic Notes


The MM&P San Juan Hall will be closed on Friday, July 25, for Constitution Day and on Monday, July 28, in honor of Jose Celso Barbosa, the father of the Puerto Rico statehood movement. The MM&P union halls in Seattle, San Francisco/Oakland and Los Angeles/Long Beach will be closed on Monday, July 28, for the ILWU holiday that commemorates the birthday of visionary labor leader and ILWU founder Harry Bridges.


Leaders of international and U.S. labor unions joined MM&P delegates and officials at the 85th MM&P Convention last week to reaffirm the principles of trade union solidarity and explore ways to protect the benefits and working conditions of members in an era of globalization. Central to the discussions was the need to establish meaningful domestic and international partnerships.

The unanimous vote by convention delegates to approve the proposed affiliation between MM&P and ILA Local 333, within the context of their mutual affiliation with the International Longshoremen’s Association, was a clear demonstration of the consensus on the importance of strategic partnerships. ILA Local 333 Secretary-Treasurer Ron Tucker and Delegate Paul Roura, who participated in the convention, received an enthusiastic welcome from the delegates.

Among the convention speakers: John D. Baker, assistant general organizer of the ILA; Mark Dickinson, general secretary of Nautilus, the British, Dutch and Swiss officers’ union; H. Marshall Ainley, president of the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA); and Edward Wytkind, president of the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department (TTD), who gave a rousing speech in support of maritime labor. Stephen Cotton, general secretary of the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), visited with the delegates on the eve of the convention and gave his best wishes for announcement the next morning.

“Our bonds of solidarity, our commitment to help each other in times of need and our support of our rights as trade unionists remain ever strong and the ILA reaffirms our loyalty to you,” said Baker, who conveyed greetings of ILA President Harold J. Daggett. “May our bonds of solidarity grow stronger to enable us to help those we represent achieve a better and brighter future,” the ILA President wrote in a letter that was read aloud. ILA Atlantic Coast District (ACD) officials Dennis Daggett, Clyde Fitzgerald and Benny Holland also sent greetings to convention participants.

From the West Coast, International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) President Robert McEllrath, who is engaged in Coast Longshore Division contract negotiations, also reaffirmed the need for unity. “Now more than ever it is important for us to continue to stand together in solidarity and fight for working men and women, because unions across the country are under attack,” he wrote. The ILWU was represented at the convention by Legislative Director Lindsay McLaughlin and former ILWU District President Jeff Smith.

MEBA President H. Marshall Ainley pledged in his speech to work toward a closer relationship with MM&P. “Our two unions should work together at every level and continue to share union halls where viable… We need to work in unity and solidarity for the benefit of our members,” he said.

Gunnar Lundeberg, president and secretary-treasurer of the Sailors’ Union of the Pacific, also reaffirmed the need for strategic partnerships, in particular in view of the difficult climate in Washington, D.C., where programs essential to our industry are increasingly coming under attack. “Solidarity for maritime labor is not a slogan but a necessity,” he wrote. “The survival of the U.S. Merchant Marine is at stake.”


The convention heard from speaker after speaker on the need for concerted action in Washington, D.C., to protect the programs and policies on which the American Merchant Marine depends for its existence. “This is a very, very trying time for our industry,” said C. James Patti, president of MIRAID, which advocates for MM&P members and contracted shipping companies in Washington, D.C.

Among the programs being targeted for elimination or substantial cuts: the Maritime Security Program (MSP), which is the object of a funding battle expected to continue into the fall; PL 480, the Food for Peace Program, which is targeted for elimination by a Senate bill; and the Export-Import Bank, which will cease to exist if it is not reauthorized by Sept. 30.

“Cargo preference is only as valuable as the programs it applies to,” Patti said, noting that the ongoing crusade to reduce or eliminate preference shipments will have the effect of hollowing out key programs from within. He urged MM&P members to volunteer to participate in the Maritime Advisory Committees which operate throughout the country on a local level to “provide a presence on the home front for the issues we are talking about.”

The delegates responded by passing a resolution in support of the MM&P Political Contribution Fund, pledging to increase their own support of the fund and discussing ways to increase awareness among the members of all MM&P membership groups of the extent to which their jobs depend on what happens in Washington, D.C.

“We must make sure that we tell the story of what American mariners do 24/7, 365 days a year,” said Gen. William Fraser, former head of USTRANSCOM, who took steps to keep the ships afloat when cuts were threatened to MSP under sequestration. “I have a deep appreciation for what America’s merchant mariners do, which is why I am such a staunch advocate for you,” Fraser told the convention. “I think we are at a critical juncture,” he said. “Not only sequestration last year but so many different things going on. The trend we are seeing is not a positive trend. I am deeply concerned,” he said. MM&P President Don Marcus thanked Fraser, on behalf of the entire membership, for his steadfast support for the U.S.-flag fleet.


MM&P will work closely with Nautilus, the union that represents British, Dutch and Swiss ships’ officers, to ensure that the interests of licensed officers receive due attention at forums such as the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Labor Organization (ILO). Details of the partnership were presented to MM&P convention delegates by Nautilus General Secretary Mark Dickinson and MM&P President Don Marcus.

The two unions plan to move forward on a shared agenda that will encompass international issues of importance to members, such as the push by European nations to include the Jones Act in ongoing trade talks as a first step towards circumventing U.S. cabotage law. “Our unions are cooperating to keep (the Jones Act) out of negotiations,” Dickinson said. “The free market will not guarantee a country’s national interests when it comes to merchant shipping.”

Another focus of joint efforts: the battle against the growing trend by authorities in many countries to criminalize mariners for their involvement in accidents. “We will respond to criminalization by supporting each other’s members in our respective jurisdictions,” Dickinson said.

In concrete terms, the objectives of the strategic partnership are to: fully organize member union ships in accordance with International Transport Worker Federation (ITF) policy; support each other internationally; share information, studies and surveys, on topics that include fatigue; promote progressive trade unionism; and promote seafarer welfare.


A bill to allow the Export-Import Bank of the United States to continue to function for another seven-year period has been introduced by Congressman Denny Heck (D-Wash.). Heck’s bill, HR 4950, has already been cosponsored in the House of Representatives by 201 of his colleagues. The bill is strongly supported by the Masters, Mates & Pilots. The Export-Import Bank helps finance the export of American goods and services from companies throughout the United States. As such, it helped to facilitate more than $37 billion in export sales in fiscal year 2013, which in turn supported more than 200,000 American jobs. A percentage of the products exported with Export-Import Bank financing must be shipped on U.S.-flag commercial vessels, providing a significant source of cargo for our fleet. The authorization for the Export-Import Bank’s activities expires on Sept. 30, 2014.


The Coast Guard has released a notice warning mariners and ship operators of the need to ensure that replacement parts for emergency equipment are always those recommended by the manufacturer. The warning comes following recent inspections of emergency equipment including an upright floating battery: the lanterns had been fitted with the wrong battery replacements and were thus prone to sink. Ships should always follow manufacturers’ recommendations when replacing batteries or other components of safety equipment. It is also important to be aware of the proliferation of counterfeit replacement components and safety equipment. The Coast Guard said it had issued previous alerts on the hazards of counterfeit safety products such as emergency escape breathing devices and hand portable extinguishers.


The Senate last week confirmed the nomination of Paul Nathan “Chip” Jaenichen Sr. to be administrator of the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD). Jaenichen joined MARAD two years ago as deputy administrator and became acting administrator last summer. He is a career naval official who retired after serving 30 years as a nuclear trained submarine officer.

Joel Szabat, executive director in MARAD’s Office of the Administrator, was among the speakers at the MM&P convention. Convention delegates and MM&P officials passed on to him their congratulations to Jaenichen on his confirmation.


Over a year ago Polish trade union Solidarnosc organized workers at LIDL, a budget supermarket chain based in Germany, but the company is refusing to negotiate. The union has mounted a series of protests, including slowing traffic at cash registers by paying in small coins. The company has responded by harassing union representatives and firing those it believes are involved in the drive to unionize.

Solidarnosc and UNI Global Union have asked for support in their campaign. UNI Global represents more than 20 million workers in over 900 trade unions in the fastest growing sectors in the world: skills and services. A total of 90 percent of new jobs are expected to be in these sectors in the next decade. To show your support for LIDL workers, go to

In related news, a newer and smaller union in Poland, Workers’ Initiative, has asked for help in a campaign for union rights at Warsaw’s Chopin Airport. When workers at the Aelia duty free shop joined the union in May, the company reacted by sacking their elected representative and pushing other workers to abandon their attempt to unionize. To show your support for the workers at the Warsaw duty free shop, go to


Membership meetings have been scheduled for the following dates and times in MM&P Pacific Ports Union Halls: San Francisco/Oakland, July 31; Honolulu, Aug. 5; Seattle, Aug. 12; Los Angeles/Long Beach, Aug. 13 In each case the meeting will be held in the union hall and directly after the 1100 job call, except in Honolulu where it will be directly after the 1000 job call.


The death of three mariners aboard the German cargo ship SUNTIS earlier this year was caused by suffocation, according to Germany’s Bureau of Maritime Casualty Investigation. The tragedy took place in a confined space, where investigators said moist timber had significantly depleted the oxygen in the cargo hold. The lead investigator said the three crew members had apparently not taken notice of warning signs requiring that the atmosphere be tested before entry into the hold, presumably in an attempt to try to rescue one another. The findings of the accident bureau were reported in the July 2014 issue of Nautilus Telegraph, the magazine of the British, Dutch and Swiss officers’ union.

Nautilus Senior National Secretary Allan Graves described the shipboard tragedy as “yet another preventable incident.” The SUNTIS was detained for three days after the accident because the initial inspection had also revealed deficiencies in entries, pipes, wires, navigation and manning.

Confined spaces continue to be a frequent cause of death in industrial settings. Though there are many places that can easily be labelled as “confined” or “non-confined” spaces, there are also many places where the line is not well defined. As a rule of thumb, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety defines a confined space as an “enclosed or partially enclosed space that: is not primarily designed or intended for human occupancy; has a restricted entrance or exit by way of location, size or means; and/or can represent a risk for the health and safety of anyone who enters due to the location, substance, safety hazards or the work activities being carried out in it.”


If you are interested in attending the Offshore Familiarization Course, please contact your MM&P Vice President to request that one be scheduled in your area. An Offshore Orientation Course is now scheduled for New York/New Jersey on June 10 and for Los Angeles/Long Beach on Oct. 8-9. If you are interested in participating in the course, please contact the Los Angeles/Long Beach Hall: 310-834-7201 or 310-834-6667 (fax). There is no sea-time requirement to take the course. All Offshore applicants, potential transferees from other membership groups and other interested Offshore members are encouraged to take the course as soon as possible.


The 2006 Maritime Labor Convention (MLC) entered 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.


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 –8/11/14, 10/13/14, 4/13/15

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: Contact Admissions

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 8/5/14, 9/23/14, 11/18/14, 1/20/15, 3/31/15

AZIPOD 2-Day –10/9/14, 2/2/15

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 8/25/14, 10/13/14, 1/26/15, 3/23/15

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 7/24/14, 8/20/14, 9/22/14, 11/20/14, 2/4/15, 3/2/15, 4/13/15, 5/20/15

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling: 10/6/14, 3/4/15

BT – Basic Safety Training: 8/11/14, 10/6/14, 1/19/15, 2/9/15, 4/6/15, 6/8/15

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 10/27/14, 4/13/15

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVNAV-CMM – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): 8/4/14, 11/10/14

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 9/22/14, 1/19/15, 4/20/15, 6/15/15

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 9/8/14, 1/12/15, 4/13/15, 6/1/15

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 9/29/14, 4/27/15

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 8/4/14, 10/20/14, 11/10/14, 1/5/15, 4/6/15, 6/8/15

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM): 9/15/14, 9/29/14, 12/8/14, 1/26/15, 3/30/15, 6/22/15

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 10/27/14, 3/2/15

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 8/18/14, 10/13/14, 3/9/15

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 8/4/14, 9/8/14, 9/22/14, 10/20/14, 11/3/14, 12/1/14, 2/2/15, 3/9/15

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 8/11/14, 9/15/14, 9/29/14, 10/27/14, 11/10/14, 12/8/14, 2/9/15, 3/16/15

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 8/11/14, 11/17/14, 3/23/15

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 7/28/14, 11/3/14, 5/11/15

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 11/3/14, 4/27/15

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: 10/7/14

DDE – Great Lakes: 1/26/15, 6/1/15

DPA – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-OIC –9/8/14, 2/16/15

ECDIS-Pilots – 3/2/15

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 9/22/14, 12/1/14

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 8/11/14, 10/6/14, 1/19/15, 2/9/15, 4/6/15, 6/8/15

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 11/19/14, 4/15/15, 5/19/15

GL Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: 1/23/15

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 8/18/14, 3/16/15

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 9/15/14, 11/17/14

LAP- 9/8/14, 4/6/15

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes: 1/26/15

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross Ton License: 3/2/15, 6/1/15

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 10/7/14, 11/20/14, 3/3/15, 4/15/15, 5/20/15

LNG-TPIC – 5/11/15

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 9/5/14, 10/7/14

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 9/8/14, 11/3/14, 12/1/14, 1/5/15, 3/16/15, 4/20/15, 6/15/15

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 8/4/14, 10/13/14, 3/2/15, 5/11/15

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 9/8/14, 10/20/14, 11/3/14, 12/1/14, 1/5/15, 3/16/15, 4/20/15, 6/15/15

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 8/3/14, 9/13/14, 10/12/14, 11/8/14, 12/6/14, 1/10/15, 1/24/15, 3/21/15, 4/25/15, 6/20/15

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: 8/4/14 (PM), 10/6/14 (PM)

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 8/22/14, 10/3/14, 2/26/15

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (4 Evenings): 8/18/14, 9/29/14, 2/23/15

MSC-ENV –8/23/14, 2/27/15

MSC-FF-HELO – 2/10/15

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 8/18/14, 9/29/14, 11/10/14, 2/16/15

*MSC-Security Watch Basic –8/25/14, 11/14/14, 2/20/15

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced – 8/27/14, 11/17/14, 2/22/15

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force – 8/28/14, 11/18/14, 2/23/15

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 8/4/14, 9/22/14, 11/17/14, 1/19/15, 3/30/15

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 7/24/14, 7/30/14, 8/6/14, 8/20/14, 9/10/14, 9/17/14, 10/1/14, 10/15/14, 10/29/14, 11/12/14, 12/3/14, 12/10/14, 1/7/15, 1/14/15, 1/28/15, 2/4/15, 2/18/15, 3/6/15, 3/18/15, 4/1/15, 4/15/15, 4/29/15, 5/6/15, 5/13/15, 6/3/15, 6/17/15

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 7/28/14, 11/10/14, 1/12/15, 2/2/15, 3/23/15

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue –10/13/14, 4/6/15

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 8/18/14, 11/17/14, 2/16/15, 5/11/15

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day: 10/6/14, 1/19/15, 3/2/15

SMS – Contact Admissions

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 1/26/15

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 1/5/15

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 8/25/14, 2/23/15

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – Train the Trainer: Contact Admissions

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: 8/5/14, 10/7/14

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 8/6/14, 9/2/14, 10/8/14, 10/22/14, 2/4/15, 5/20/15

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): 9/29/14, 3/2/15

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 9/15/14, 2/23/15


Please also see our schedule online at For registration, send an e-mail to our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen, at or call her at (206) 838-1126.

July 2014

28-1 ECDIS
28-1 Medical Care Provider

August 2014

4-15 Celestial Navigation
19th Radar Renewal
25-29 ECDIS

September 2014

8-12 Basic Cargo Handling
8-19 GMDSS
15th Radar Renewal
16-19 ARPA
22-24 Vessel Security Officer
22-26 ECDIS
29-3 Medical Care Provider

October 2014

1-3 Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling
6-10 Radar Observer Unlimited
6-17 GMDSS
13th Management and Teamworking Skills
14-17 ARPA
20-24 ECDIS
20-24 Basic Stability
20-31 GMDSS
27-29 Emergency Procedures
30-31 Search and Rescue

November 2014

3-7 Medical Care Provider
3-14 Medical Person-In-Charge
10-21 GMDSS
17-20 ARPA