Wheelhouse Weekly – June 12th, 2018

June 13th 2018

Volume 23… Number 24… June 12, 2018


In This Issue:


Coast Guard Updates:

Protect Your Job:

Lend Your Voice:

Mark Your Calendar:


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The International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) said last week it had reached an agreement with East Coast and Gulf Coast ports to extend its Master Contract for six years.

The agreement, which is still subject to ratification by members of both organizations, ends uncertainty for dockworkers, shippers, mariners and ports well in advance of the Sept. 30 expiration date of the current contract.

In a joint statement, ILA President Harold J. Daggett and USMX Chairman David F. Adam said that the tentative agreement “is beneficial to both sides.”

The two did not provide additional details, except to say that the negotiations had been “tough.”

Port-specific talks on work rules and pensions will continue between ILA locals and port operators.

The ILA and USMX have encouraged their members to finalize local negotiations by July, in advance of a union-wide vote.

Contract talks had broken off last December over the issue of automation and job preservation.

“The ILA will not allow automation to rip apart our livelihoods and destroy our jobs and families, and the ILA intends to let management know that we are totally opposed to fully automated terminals,” Daggett said at the time.

Last week’s agreement appears to have resolved that issue for the time-being.

MM&P is the marine affiliate of the ILA.

The two partner with four other unions in the Maritime Labor Alliance.

The other members are: the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), the Inland Boatmen’s Union (IBU), the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA) and the American Radio Association (ARA).

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The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), MM&P and UCOC–the union that represents Panama Canal tug captains and associated vessel personnel—are protesting a new Panama Canal Authority (ACP) plan to further cut the crew complement of tugs operating in the NEOPANAMAX locks.

UCOC, which stands for Union de Capitanes y Oficiales de Cubierta, is an affiliate of MM&P.

The tug captains say the amount of work has doubled since the elimination of the motorized “mules” that moved ships in the old locks and the opening, two years ago, of the new locks.

For this reason, it had been standard practice for the ACP to supply an extra captain and a third deckhand aboard the tugs specifically during transits of the new locks.

But management eliminated the third deckhand position in April, despite the fact that a deckhand had been killed in November in a line-handling accident in the new locks.

A second deckhand was seriously injured on April 27, shortly after the first personnel cuts were implemented.

The authorities investigating the first accident say fatigue was a major factor.

Twelve and 13-hour days are typical for those who work aboard tugboats in the canal, says Captain Ivan de la Guardia, a UCOC official.

The ITF, for its part, has found that “overtime regularly exceeds normal working hours, with some captains forced to work more than 16 hours a day.”

Elimination of the third deckhand prompted a brief work stoppage on April 12, after which the ACP sanctioned the tugboat captains involved, threatening them with dismissal.

A lawsuit filed by the tug captains is pending.

MM&P is working with UCOC to defend working conditions on the canal.

Discussions will continue when UCOC official Carlos Paniagua attends the 87th MM&P Convention in July.

MM&P will continue to publish updates on the situation in Panama as it evolves.

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Sixty-seven Republicans and Democrats in Congress have written to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Defense Secretary James Mattis to urge the administration to support and properly enforce U.S. cargo preference laws.

In the letter, the group noted that representatives of both the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Department of Defense (DOD) had testified recently to the dangerous decline in America’s commercial sealift capability.

The shortfall of American merchant mariners needed to crew the vessels supporting our troops deployed overseas is said to be approximately 2,000.

The legislators asked that the administration move quickly to shore up the American Merchant Marine by enforcing “Ship American” laws for government-impelled cargo.

“The United States has always relied on the U.S.-flag merchant marine and its American merchant mariners to protect and enhance our economic security and national defense,” they wrote.

“American-flag vessels and their crews have always responded quickly and effectively to the call of duty, never failing to provide the commercial sealift sustainment capability and manpower needed by the Department of Defense to support America’s objectives around the world…. Without this capability under our own flag, and without a sufficient number of American mariners, we will be forced to turn over America’s security interests and the wellbeing of our overseas troops to foreign-flag, foreign-crewed vessels owned and operated by those who may not choose to support us.”

Too often, they wrote, federal agencies have added to the problem by failing to comply with U.S.-flag shipping requirements, denying American vessels the taxpayer-financed cargoes they are intended to carry and eliminating mariner jobs in the process.

“Failure to comply with cargo preference also means that American taxpayer dollars are being used to finance the costs of foreign shipping services,” they added.

The bipartisan group asked the DOT and DOD leaders to “encourage the President to affirm the Administration’s support for Ship American and to direct all Executive Branch departments and agencies to fully comply with the spirit and the letter of existing U.S.-flag cargo preference shipping requirements.”

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The U.S. maritime industry publicly recognized the American mariners responsible for safe ship operations at the Chamber of Shipping of America’s Annual Safety Awards Luncheon in New Orleans on June 5.

Over 200 people attended the event, at which 1,616 vessels with 10,501 cumulative years of accident-free operation received awards.

“CSA’s members are committed to safe operations and CSA’s involvement in safety is longstanding with our ongoing commitment to represent the industry, domestically and internationally, on safety issues encompassing every facet of ship operations,” said CSA President Kathy Metcalf in her opening remarks.

“It is only fitting that an industry so focused on safety publicly recognizes the skills and dedication of the women and men who have enabled these many years of safe operations and who are responsible for actions in keeping with the highest traditions of the sea,” she added.

As in the previous 60 years in which the safety awards have been presented, many vessels operated by MM&P-contracted employers were recognized.

CSA represents U.S.-based companies that own, operate or charter oceangoing tankers, container ships and other merchant vessels engaged in both the domestic and international trades.

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The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has banned the Philippines-flag cargo ship THORCO LUNA for consistently failing to meet international standards.

Among the deficiencies: the officers and crew of THORCO LUNA were said to be unfamiliar with the operation of navigation equipment and other critical shipboard systems.

After being detained for the third time in 2018, the vessel was finally banned.

The authorities said it will not be permitted to enter an Australian port for a period of three months.

AMSA inspected the ship five times between November 2017 and June 2018.

On three of these occasions, the ship was detained and issued with 34 deficiencies.
The authorities said the ship’s average deficiency rate was 6.8 deficiencies per inspection, nearly triple the industry average of 2.3.

The most serious deficiencies stemmed from the fact that the officers and crew were unfamiliar with the operation of critical shipboard equipment as well as navigation and fire safety procedures.

In one case, authorities said that navigating officers aboard THORCO LUNA had planned to transit a compulsory pilotage area without a pilot on board.

In another, the officers were shown to be unfamiliar with the operation of the electronic navigation systems on which they were supposed to rely.

The authorities also cited concerns regarding fire-fighting systems and alarms.

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The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved the Coast Guard’s new CG-719 series of forms, which will replace all previous versions.

The new forms can be obtained electronically in a PDF-fillable format at the National Maritime Center (NMC) website.

The Coast Guard has established a transition period during which mariners can apply for a credential using the old or new forms.

The new forms will not be stocked in paper format, the Coast Guard says.

In the following table, the Coast Guard has set out the deadlines for switching over to the new forms.

After Dec. 31, the NMC will no longer accept previous form versions.

— Form CG-719B: Applications dated after Sept. 1 must be submitted on the new form.

— Form CG-719K: Physicals signed by a physician after Sept. 1 must be on the new form.

— Form CG-719KE: Physicals signed by a physician after Sept. 1 must be on the new form.

— Form CG-719P: Drug tests collected and submitted after Sept. 1 should use the new optional form.

— Form CG-719S: Sea Service commenced after Sept. 1 should use the new optional form

— Form CG-719C: (If applicable) Disclosure Statement for Narcotics, DWI/DUI and/or other Convictions should use the new optional form for any application packages submitted after Sept. 1.

If you have questions, visit the NMC website or contact the NMC Customer Service Center by e-mailing, using the NMC online chat system or calling 1-888-IASKNMC (427-5662).

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The Coast Guard has proposed revising its credentialing regulations to remove what it says are obsolete portions of the radar observer requirements and to harmonize the radar observer endorsement with the merchant mariner credential.

Under the terms of the proposal, an active mariner who serves in a relevant position for one year in the previous five years using radar for navigation and collision avoidance purposes on vessels equipped with radar, or has served as a qualified instructor for a Coast Guard approved radar course at least twice within the past five years, would not be required to complete a Coast Guard approved radar refresher or re-certification course in order to renew his or her radar observer endorsement.

The proposed rule would not change existing requirements for mariners seeking an original radar observer endorsement or mariners who do not have either one year of relevant sea service on board radar-equipped vessels in the previous five years or service as a qualified instructor for a Coast Guard approved radar course at least twice within the past five years.

The deadline for commenting on the proposal is July 11.
You can submit a comment at:

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The National Maritime Center has permanent positions available in Martinsburg, W. Va., for professionals with shipboard deck backgrounds to serve as subject matter experts for the review of course and program submissions and development and the revision of officer and rating examinations.

More information, including lists of specific qualifications and instructions on how to apply, is available on, by selecting the links below, or by searching for the following announcements:





If you have any questions regarding these positions, contact information can be found in each announcement.

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Three organizations–Freedom Partners, Americans for Prosperity and The Libre Initiative—are calling on Congress and the Administration to repeal the Jones Act and force U.S. shipping companies to compete with foreign-flagged ships in our domestic trades.

The three say repealing the Jones Act would benefit the United States but offer no evidence to support the claim.

We need legislators in Congress to fight against the lies that these groups are spreading.
We need supporters in Congress to fight against groups like these.

But to do so, we need the support of every MM&P member, pensioner and employee!
Please help us elect pro-maritime legislators to Congress. Stand with your union brothers and sisters!

Support the MM&P Political Contribution Fund by making a contribution to the PCF today.

Go to and click on the “PROTECT YOUR JOB” button in the top right-hand corner of the page. (Mobile devices: the link is active in the 2nd bullet point on the “Members Only” site.)

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The men and women who work at DHL Express in Turkey have been on the picket line for 300 days.

Despite having received formal recognition from the government, and despite the fact that Turkish law requires DHL Express managers to open negotiations with them, the company is still refusing.

A year has passed since DHL employees in Turkey started picketing, but the situation has not changed.

Now they have turned to the international labor movement for help.

We need to send thousands of messages to the management of DHL Express to tell them to recognize the union, open negotiations, and play fair.

It will take you just a moment to send your message. Please do so now:

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All MM&P union halls, the MM&P Plan Office, the MM&P Federal Credit Union and MM&P headquarters will be closed on Wednesday, July 4, for Independence Day.

Pacific Ports will also be closed on Thursday, July 5, for the ILWU holiday Bloody Thursday, in memory of the union members who were shot and killed during the 1934 maritime strike.

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There will be an Offshore Membership Meeting in the MM&P Oakland Hall on Thursday, June 14, immediately after job call at 1100.

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

As a reminder, the Oakland Hall is located at 548 Thomas L. Berkley Way, Oakland, CA 94612.

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The Offshore Orientation Course will be held in the MM&P Oakland Hall on Wednesdayand Thursday, June 13 and 14.

The course begins at 0930 on Wednesday.

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.

If you are interested in participating in the course, please contact the MM&P Oakland Hall at 510-808-7068.

As a reminder, the Oakland Hall is located at 548 Thomas L. Berkley Way, Oakland, CA 94612.

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There will be an Offshore Membership Meeting at the MM&P New Jersey Union Hall on Wednesday, June 20, at 1100.

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

The New Jersey Hall is located at 570 Broad Street, Suite 701, Newark, NJ 07102.
The phone number is: 201-963-1900.

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The Offshore Familiarization Course will be held in the MM&P New Jersey Hall on Tuesday and Wednesday, June 19 and 20.

The course begins both days at 0930.

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.

If you are interested in participating in the course, please contact the MM&P New Jersey Hall at: 201-963-1900.

The New Jersey Hall is located at 570 Broad Street, Suite 701, Newark, NJ 07102.

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MITAGS-PMI is interested in receiving photo submissions from MM&P members for use on the official MITAGS-PMI social media platform.

The goal is to document members’ voyages. As suggestions, photos can be of events and sights onboard, crewmembers at work or scenic locations.

If you are interested in sharing photos, please send them with caption information to or

Be sure to tell us whether you would like to be credited for the photo.

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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:

For Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) processing, MMC problem resolution advice, STCW compliance and VA GI-Bill questions, contact MITAGS-PMI Student/Instructional Services Manager Jennifer Pitzen at 206-739-0720 (direct line); (888) 893-7829 (toll free); or by e-mail:

Please include your Mariner Reference Number, date of birth and the last four digits of your social security number in all emails.

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 – 8/27/18, 10/15/18

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

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 9/25/18

AZIPOD 2-Day – 10/15/18

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

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 7/16/18, 12/19/18

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling: **Now included in BRMP-Refresher**

BRMP-Refresher – 7/18/18, 9/11/18

BT – Basic Safety Training: 8/13/18, 10/22/18

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

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

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: Contact Admissions

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 7/30/18, 9/24/18, 12/10/18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 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): 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: 10/22/18

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 9/10/18

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: Contact Admissions

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Not currently scheduled

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: Not currently scheduled

CRSMGT – Crisis Management and Human Behavior – Not currently scheduled

CDMGT – Crowd Management – Not currently scheduled

CSE – Confined Space Entry: 7/23/18

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

DDE – Great Lakes: Contact Admissions

DPA – Contact Admissions

ECDIS for Pilots – 8/27/18, 12/17/18

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 11/26/18

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

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

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

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 9/11/18

GL-Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: Contact Admissions

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: Contact Admissions

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

IEN – Integrated Electronic Navigation – Not currently scheduled

LAP – 7/9/18, 9/17/18

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes: Contact Admissions

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

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 9/12/18

LNG-TPIC – 12/3/18

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): Contact Admissions

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

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 7/9/18, 10/8/18, 11/26/18

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

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 10/8/18, 11/26/18

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 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: Not currently scheduled

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

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

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

*MSC-ENVPRO – 8/5/18, 11/4/18

*MSC-FF-HELO – 8/13/18, 10/31/18

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

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – 8/9/18, 9/15/18, 11/2/18

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced – 7/15/18, 8/10/18, 9/16/18, 11/3/18

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

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P – 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: 9/24/18

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 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: 9/17/18

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

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 8/27/18, 10/22/18

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day – 7/23/18, 9/24/18, 10/29/18, 12/10/18

SMS – Not currently scheduled

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: Contact Admissions

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: Contact Admissions

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 7/9/18

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – Not currently scheduled

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: Contact Admissions

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: Contact Admissions

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): Contact Admissions

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): Contact Admissions

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Spring 2018

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

June 2018

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 © 2018. 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