Wheelhouse Weekly – June 18, 2007

June 18th 2007


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

Volume 11 . . . . . Number 24. . . .June 18, 2007




T-AGS Oceanographic Survey Ships Info

Required Coursework

Security Clearances

MSC Physicals

MM&P Health & Benefit Plan News

Notice to Members who are taking Vioxx

NMHC Mail-Order Prescriptions Website Updated & Improved

WWII USCG Veterans Outreach

Company Gives Bucks Back for buying Safe Shoes

Website Offers Union-Made Goods and Services

Did you miss a week? Back editions of the Wheelhouse Weekly are available in the section.


Members of the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA) have approved the Merchant Officers’ Labor Alliance (MOLA), which would lay the framework for closer cooperation between MM&P and MEBA. The vote count was 745 to 426. The MM&P ballots will be counted on Tuesday, June 19.


The Bush Administration is proposing a change in the foreign aid Food-for-Peace program that would have the effect of reducing the amount of food aid carried by U.S.-flag vessels under the cargo preference program. The Administration wants to end the practice of providing U.S.-produced food commodities to foreign countries and instead to provide cash that could be used by the recipients to buy commodities outside the United States. Under existing cargo preference laws, U.S.-flag vessels are entitled to transport 75 percent of Food-for-Peace cargoes, to the extent U.S.-flag vessels are available at fair and reasonable rates. There is no U.S.-flag shipping requirement associated with cash aid.

In a letter to Congress, MM&P International President Tim Brown and the presidents of the International Longshoremen’s Association, the American Maritime Officers, MEBA and the Seafarers International Union argued that “The success of the Food-for-Peace program stems from the combination of the American people’s compassion and generosity, the unparalleled productivity of our farmers and processors, the dedication of those who administer, transport and distribute the humanitarian assistance, and the benefits it provides at home in American jobs and to our economy. . . [it] is critical to the many working men and women who grow the commodities, bag and store them in our Nation’s plants, warehouses and terminals, and load and transport them on our country’s railroads, barges and U.S.-flag citizen crewed vessels.” The unions urged Congress “to oppose any legislation that would shift in-kind food aid to cash.”    The House Committee on Foreign Affairs is expected to consider the Administration’s proposal immediately prior to the Fourth of July Congressional recess.



Merchant mariners from Military Sealift Command (MSC) helped celebrate the 232nd birthday of the U.S. Merchant Marine at a ceremony hosted by the U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation in Washington, D.C. last Tuesday.

“On this, the birthday of the U.S. Merchant Marine, we pause to honor the incredible contributions mariners make every day to ensure our nation remains strong in an increasingly competitive global economy,” said Rear Adm. Robert D. Reilly Jr. in a message read at the ceremony by retired Rear Adm. Richard Buchanan, president and chief executive officer of the memorial foundation. “May we always admire their courage, determination and patriotism.” Reilly is the commander of MSC, the global U.S. Navy command responsible for sea transport of combat equipment and supplies for the Department of Defense. During the ceremony at Navy Memorial Plaza, a wreath was laid at the foot of the Lone Sailor statue in honor of America’s merchant mariners and their service to the nation.


Government officials have announced that enrollment for the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) has been put on hold until sometime in the fall. The announcement was made by officials of the Transportation Security Administration in various venues over the course of the past week. The massive access control program, which will eventually cover somewhere between 750,000 and 1.5 million transport industry workers, has been plagued with technical problems and delays since its inception.

MM&P has testified before Congress and filed written comments to the effect that TWIC should employ the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) technology standards currently in use worldwide for passports, visas and other travel documents. “We believe that one of the reasons [the TWIC program] is falling behind lies with the policy decision to use the unproven and inappropriate FIPS-201 standard, rather than the widely used and internationally recognized ICAO standards,” MM&P says. “If the TWIC program were designed to comply with the ICAO standards, then TSA and the U.S. Coast Guard would have a much greater chance of meeting the deadlines established by Congress.”

The union is also urging Congress to ensure the TWIC preempts local cards. Under the existing statute, there is no federal preemption. “If individual states and port facilities are permitted to retain their own unique access control systems, the national character of the TWIC card will be destroyed and the TWIC program will be worthless from the standpoint of mariners, ship service personnel, long haul truck drivers, rail crews and other traveling workers who require a single credential that can be used across the entire system,” MM&P says.


The Maritime Institute of Technology & Graduate Studies (MITAGS) is sponsoring a two-day program June 20-21 designed to boost the public’s awareness of the important role of the U.S.-flag Merchant Marine. The event is part of the “Tell America!” Program. Guests will include the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) Midshipmen Class of 2011 and their families, members of the Kings Point Alumni Chesapeake Chapter, Julie Nelson, deputy administrator of the Maritime Administration (MARAD), Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, chairman of the House Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee and the Honorable Helen Delich Bentley. The event includes a visit to the historic Liberty Ship SS JOHN W. BROWN, and the Maritime Institute of Technology & Graduate Studies (MITAGS) Simulator Technology Center. The hands-on exercises at the technology center will include the full-mission bridges, towing simulators, 14-station computer lab, vessel traffic system, All-Weather Navigation system and the new crane simulator. MM&P International President Tim Brown will speak on the topic of maritime careers at a luncheon for the midshipmen and their guests on June 21.


The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has issued a set of formal recommendations to the pilot commissions of 14 states as a result of its investigation into the April 2006 grounding of a container ship in New York Harbor in 2006. The news was reported in the June 14 issue of Maritime Executive newsletter.

The accident, which involved the Hong-Kong registered containership NEW DELHI EXPRESS, underlines the need for excellent bridge resource management skills, the NTSB said. The agency determined that the probable cause of the grounding was the error of the docking pilot in not using all available resources to determine the vessel’s position as he navigated the Kill Van Kull.


A House panel has approved language that would block funding for a controversial human resources system at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The vote marks a victory for unions which charge the DHS program illegally curtails collective bargaining right.

On June 5, the House Appropriations Committee unanimously passed a $3.6 billion DHS spending bill for fiscal year 2008, which supporters of the bill say will effectively “starve” the personnel overhaul system of resources. The Bush Administration requested $15 million in its proposed budget for fiscal 2008 to implement the Human Capital Operational Plan, previously known as MaxHR.

Last month, the House passed a fiscal year 2008 authorization bill which would repeal the 2002 law allowing DHS to develop a new personnel system. The White House has threatened to veto that bill.

Although MM&P members are not directly affected by the DHS rule, maritime labor is closely monitoring the situation because the Department of Defense has been working to apply other controversial personnel system reforms to a group of employees that would include civilian mariners.


Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS COMFORT, crewed by MM&P licensed deck officers, left Norfolk June 15 on a four-month humanitarian mission to Latin America and the Caribbean. COMFORT will visit Belize, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago. At each stop, U.S. military doctors and nurses from the ship’s medical treatment facility will work with a variety of embarked governmental and non-governmental agencies as well as medical professionals from host nations to treat about 1,000 patients per day, providing medical care including immunizations, general and specialty surgeries, dental care and vision services. An embarked Naval construction force of Seabees will provide engineering support at each location, including medical facility repairs and minor construction projects.


Two more ships will be departing the James River Reserve Fleet in Newport News, Va., heading to recycling yards as part of the Maritime Administration’s efforts to dispose of obsolete ships in an environmentally sensitive manner.

Bay Bridge Enterprises of Chesapeake, Va., received $851,194 to recycle the STATE, a passenger ship once touted for its futuristic, streamlined design. The CAPE CLEAR will be dismantled at Esco Marine in Brownsville, Texas, for $537,726.

Ships in the National Defense Reserve Fleet are often stripped for binnacles, engine room telegraphs and other artifacts, which are then placed in storage or loaned to museum ships, according to a MARAD spokeswoman. “We also have to document them as part of the National Historic Preservation Act with photographs, plans or other documentation,” she adds.

The remaining 43 ships at the site will be slated for disposal in the future.


The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy has announced that the keynote speaker at this year’s graduation ceremony will be Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain. Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters and MARAD Administrator Sean Connaughton will also address the graduating class and their families.


MM&P Great Lakes and Rivers Representative Charlie Malue reports that numerous jobs are available on the Great Lakes for licensed mates with pilotage, engineers, QMEDS and able-bodied seamen. Retirees are also encouraged to apply for these jobs. The rules of the MM&P Pension Plan allow pensioners to accept without penalty employment–other than Covered Employment–aboard vessels covered by collective bargaining agreements with MM&P membership groups, on condition that the employment is first approved by the Organization. Interested parties should call Charlie Malue at 216-776-1667 or e-mail him at


The Maritime Institute of Technology & Graduate Studies (MITAGS) is seeking two part-time operators for its full-mission ship simulator. This is an ideal opportunity for computer-savvy MM&P members who know how to maneuver ships in a variety of situations and environments. Applicants should enjoy computer gaming, be creative and have demonstrated the ability to master computer programs. These are ideal positions for MM&P members who want to alternate between shipboard deployments and teaching. Excellent communications and computer skills are a must. E-mail resume to or fax to HR Manager at (443) 989-3341.


CLASS OPENINGS: Between now and the end of August 2007, seats are available in the following courses:

AIS – Automatic Identification System: 7/13, 8/3
ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 7/24

BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 7/17, 8/1

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-CHS II – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 7/9
CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 7/30
CMM-SHMGT-I – Ship Management(week 1): 7/16
CMM-SHMGT-II – Ship Management (week 2): 7/23
CMM-SHS-ADV-I-Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 7/9
CMM-SHS-ADV-II-Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 7/16

CSE-AWR-2 – Confined Space Entry Awareness (2 day): 7/12

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5-day): 7/23

LAP – License Advancement Program: 7/23
LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage(Evening): 7/17, 8/1

MEDIA-RSP – Media Response Workshop: 7/12
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 7/28
MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge:  7/23
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 7/23

[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-CBRD-1 – Chemical Biological Radiological Defense Orientation: 6/28, 7/21
MSC-DC – Damage Control: 6/26, 7/19
MSC-SMA – Small Arms: 6/25
MSC-SMA-R – Small Arms Re-Qualification (2-day): 6/29 (must have proof of passing all 3 weapons within 2 years)

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 7/23, 7/30
ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original or Renewal (5 days): 7/16

SEC-OFF-VCF – Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility:  7/9
SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling:  7/23
SHS-EMR- Emergency Shiphandling: 7/30
SHS-ESH- BRMP-3– Emergency Shiphandling & Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 7/10

Check the MITAGS website at for course descriptions associated with the course title abbreviations, and schedule revisions. For class availability or info on MITAGS courses and programs, contact admissions toll-free at 866-656-5568 or Email:


Spring – Fall 2007

Due to the high demand for this program, PMI has now scheduled another that is already close to full enrollment for its 2007-start date. See the PMI Web site at for more info on this new development.


SCHEDULE OF COURSES – (Course schedule also posted online at

June 2007
18-22 ARPA
25-29 ROP
25-29 BAFF

July 2007
9th      FL
9-13    ARPA
9-13    BST
10-13  LFBT
16-20 AB
16-20 MED PRO
16-20 ENAV
23-27  SHS BAS
23-3    CNAV
30-3   ARPA
30-3   MED PRO
30-10 MED PIC      

August 2007
6-7      SAR
6-10    BST
7-10    LFBT
8-10    EP
14-17  LFBT
13-17  AB
13-17  CONSTB
13-17  SHS EM5
13-17  ECDIS
13-17  TPIC
20-24 AB
20-31 SHS ADV
20-24 CHS BAS
27-31  BAFF
27-31  ENAV
27-31  MED PRO
27-8    GMDSS
27-29  CSO/SSO

September 2007
4-7      LFBT
4-8      WX BAS
4-8      TCNAV
10-14  BST
10-14  AB
10-14  MED PRO
10-14  TCNAV
10-14  SHS BAS
17-21  MED PRO
17-21  ARPA
17-21  SHS BAS
17-21  TCNAV
17-28  GMDSS
19-21  AFF
24-5    WKP
24-28 ROP
26-28 AFF

For registration call Jennifer Fowler 888-893-7829


High-quality clothing embroidered with the NEW PMI logo! We can ship these items also! Acceptable forms of payment are check, credit card, money order and exact cash. Call Laura Bendixen at 888-893-7829 for prices and to order. If we don’t have your size, we’ll be glad to special order for you at no extra cost.



D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
13,639.48 2,626.71 1,532.91
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX)
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)


~ Reminders ~




All MM&P members are reminded that to sail aboard the T-AGS ships that MM&P-contracted Horizon Lines will be operating, you must have the required training certification and your certificates must be current in accordance with Military Sealift Command requirements. Members are also required to have had a MSC pre-employment physical and to possess Ship Security Clearance (see below).

The MSC Contract calls for all training certificates required for manning of these vessels to be no older than 5 years and that all STCW-95 courses be renewed every 5 years, or annually, as applicable.

Five-year renewable courses include, but are not limited to:

  • Advanced Fire Fighting
  • Basic Safety Training, and
  • Damage Control

Small Arms certificates must be less than 1 year old and MUST NOT expire during your tour of duty.

Members interested in applying for one of the positions onboard the T-AGS vessels are advised to make sure your certificates are up to date. If not, contact Mary Matlock or Diane Ford at MITAGS Admissions, email:, and schedule to take the course(s) needed.

Those MM&P members interested in obtaining more information and facts about the T-AGS Oceanographic Vessels are asked to email the Director of Special Projects requesting the “facts sheet”. It will be provided by return email in an Adobe Acrobat PDF format.

Members interested in employment on the T-AGS ships are asked to provide a 1-2 page resume. Please list the desired position you are seeking along with the certificates of training you possess and their dates. Upon receipt it will be forwarded to Horizon Lines and a confirmation sent back to the member. Vessel turnover commenced Oct.17, 2004. Positions for all ratings remain open.

The point of contact for sending a resume for employment on the Horizon Lines T-AGS Oceanographic Vessels is Richard Plant, MM&P’s Director of Special Projects. Send resumes in an email or as a Word file attachment to him at:, by fax to 410-850-0973 or by mail to:

Richard Plant, Director of Special Projects

700 Maritime Blvd.
Linthicum Heights, MD 21090


Members who want to sail for Horizon Lines on the T-AGS Oceanographic Survey vessels the company is set to begin operating for MSC must have Ship Security Clearance before going aboard.

Special software must be downloaded from the US Government’s Defense Security Service to complete the Security Clearance application. You must have an Internet connection and a Windows-based computer to retrieve the application and run the program.

Go to to download the software titled “EPSQ SUBJECT2_2”.

After the software is installed and the program is launched, select “Create” from the menu bar at the top of the screen. You will be required to enter your Social Security Number and a case-sensitive password. A window titled “Type of Form” will appear.

All Deck Officers should select the first button titled “Request for Security Clearance (SF86)” and then click “OK” to go to the next screen, “Type of Investigation”.

From the “Type of Investigation” screen:

  • Masters and Radio Officers should select the first button, “Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI)”.
  • All other Deck Officers (C/M, 2/M, 3/M) should click on the second button, “National Agency Check (NAC or NACLC)”.

After selecting the appropriate investigation type, click on “OK” to begin filling in the forms.


Horizon Lines requests all mariners seeking employment aboard the T-AGS Oceanographic vessels to take their MSC Physical at specially-designated facilities only after being advised to do so by the Company. This is to assure that all requirements of the MSC Physical are properly met.



Is it time to replace that car you’re driving? Vehicle loan rates are looking great at MM&P FCU.

Drive away in a new or used vehicle for a standard loan rate of:

4.75 percent for terms up to 24 months.
Standard loan rates for longer-term loans are:

5.00 percent for 25-48 months;
5.75 percent for 49-60 months ($20,000 minimum); and
6.25 percent for terms extending from 61-72 months ($25,000 minimum).
You can lower your loan rate even more — by 0.75 percent — by becoming a Preferred Borrower.

Are you paying a higher rate on your current vehicle loan at another institution? Consider refinancing your outside loan at the MM&P FCU and taking advantage of our lower loan rates.

MM&P FCU will finance up to 100 percent of your new vehicle loan, and up to 90 percent of NADA Book Value on a used vehicle. Maximum vehicle loan amount is $30,000.

MM&P FCU members can reduce the interest rate they pay on any new loan even further by becoming a preferred borrower. What is a preferred borrower? That’s a member who deposits at least 10 percent of the original loan amount into their MM&P FCU savings account and keeps those funds on deposit until the loan is paid in full. By doing this you save twice – first, your deposit works for you by earning our regular dividend savings rate, and second, you save money by reducing the interest rate on your loan by 0.75 percent.

Contact the MM&P FCU for full details on all loan programs by email to or call 1-800-382-7777 toll-free.




On Sept.30, Merck & Co. voluntarily withdrew Vioxx, a popular anti-inflammatory medication, from the market. As a result, individuals who are currently taking the drug have been asked to contact their health care professionals to discuss discontinuing use of Vioxx and possible alternative treatments.

MM&P Plans Administrator Valerie Verrecchio reports that, “We have gotten a number of calls from members who want to know what to do with their remaining supply of Vioxx and whether the Plan or NMHC will refund their co-pay for the unused portion.

“Unfortunately, neither NMHC nor the Plan was aware of the Merck decision prior to the public announcement on Sept.30. As of that date, all deliveries of Vioxx to our members was suspended in accordance with Merck’s announcement. Orders that had already been processed and were in transit could not be stopped.

“In regard to refunds, Merck has set up a website at where members can obtain information on how to recover refunds from Merck for the unused portion of medication. Members can also call following toll free number for information: 1-888-368-4699.

“We are sorry for any inc onvenience this may have caused to members currently taking this medication, however, the matter is out of the control of the Plans.”


MM&P Plans Administrator Valerie Verrecchio reports, “Good news! NMHC mail has finally gotten their website upgraded and functioning properly. I went in and tested it myself and found it to be quite user friendly.”

To use NMHC’s upgraded service, go to the NMHC Mail website at and click on “MEMBER LOGIN” at the bottom of the screen.

First-time and Registered users may bypass the welcome screen and go directly to the log-in page at

  • First-time users should then click on the link marked “NEW USER: REGISTER HERE”.
    This will take you to a page titled “MEMBER REGISTRATION” where you will need to enter demographic information and submit it by clicking on the
  • “CREATE ACCOUNT” button.

After creating your account, NMHC will email you a password to gain entry into your records. With your first sign-in, the NMHC system will prompt you to change the NMHC password to one of your own choosing.

Once you are registered at NMHC, you can check the status of open orders by logging-in to the system through the “MEMBER LOGIN” page and going into the “MAIL ORDER” menu. You can look up all prescriptions and get the price our members will pay for any medication. You can also view an order history of all of your medication transactions (both retail and mail) for the last 24 months, locate 24-hour pharmacies in your zip code region as well as access other helpful member education information.

“We hope this welcome improvement will assist our members. Although you cannot order refills on line if you don’t provide a credit or debit card number, you can phone in your refill. Once you register on the website, you will still have access to all of the other information including checking the status of your order once it is phoned in,” said Ms. Verrecchio.


The U.S. Coast Guard has announced an initiative to identify and collect the oral histories of its World War II veterans. Coast Guard WWII veterans, including SPARS and merchant mariners, are encouraged to record their histories online with the Library of Congress Veterans History Project at

Those veterans needing assistance in recording their stories can receive help from their local Coast Guard Auxiliary public affairs contact by leaving a message at 1-877-875-6296, a toll-free call.



LMS Ship Management, the company that manages vessels for Central Gulf, Sulphur Carriers and Waterman Steamship, wants to remind MM&P members that they offer their crewmembers a $75 reimbursement on the cost of purchasing certain slip-resistant shoes and boots for use aboard ship.

This offer has been in place for some time and LMS reports that “we have been pleased with the participation to date, but feel a reminder may be in order.” Their goal is for every crewmember to wear slip resistant footwear during working hours aboard their vessels.

The $75 reimbursement is available to each crewmember who provides LMS with an original receipt for the purchase of slip resistant footwear. In order for the crewmember to obtain the reimbursement, they must wear the shoes while on duty. Upon presentation of the receipt, the crewmember will be reimbursed on their pay voucher. The receipt will be retained by the Master and will remain aboard the vessel.

Vessels in the LMS footwear reimbursement program are:

  • Green Cove
  • Green Dale
  • Green Lake
  • Green Point
  • Atlantic Forest
  • Sulphur Enterprise
  • Energy Enterprise
  • SGT Matej C. Kocak
  • MAJ Stephen W. Pless, and
  • PFC Eugene A. Obregon

LMS notes that in order to receive reimbursement, crewmembers must purchase one of the following recommended brands:

  • WORX by Red Wing Slip Resistant Footwear
  • Caterpillar (must have steel toe & slip resistant sole)
  • Wolverine (must have steel toe and slip resistant sole)
  • Dunham Sierra Work Boot EH
  • Steel Toe Voyager
  • Georgia Boot 6- or 8-inch Safety Toe Boot
  • Dr. Marten’s (must have steel toe & slip resistant sole)


Of the boots listed above, Red Wing, Caterpillar and Wolverine boots are produced by US union labor.

Redwing’s Union-made products are: Red Wing shoes and boots, Red Wing motorcycle boots and Craftsman (Sears).

Wolverine World Wide manufactures boots under the Caterpillar brand using US union labor. (Other union made safety-shoe brands by Wolverine are the company’s Hy-Test, Durashock and Bates Military labels. The company’s Wolverine brand combat boots are also produced using US union labor.)

Most Dr. Marten’s shoes and boots are produced in the UK.

To find US, union-made products, visit the AFL-CIO Union Label Service and Trades website at and click on “Union Made Product Search”. To shop for union-made products online, go to



The Union Label recently went digital with a new website offering shoppers an array of union-made gifts, from clothing and chocolates to computers, games and greeting cards.

The website,, launches on the eve of the fall and winter holidays, when shoppers will spend an estimated $1 trillion on gifts, food, drinks and other seasonal items, explained Matt Bates, Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO Union Label & Service Trades Department. The all-union shopping site, however, will be a year-round operation because that is what consumers demand, he added.

“Shoppers spent $56 billion in Internet sales last year, and on-line spending is doubling every two to three years. Everyday we receive Email and calls from people who want to support good jobs by buying union-made goods and services. The website will reach millions of people, 24 hours a day, with a quick convenient way to shop union,” Bates said.

“The public is ready for this. People have seen millions of good jobs disappear and they are looking for ways to take a stand and make a difference,” he added.

The AFL-CIO will target the peak of the holiday shopping season by promoting “Buy Union Week” Nov. 26 through Dec. 5. The newly-launched, all-union shopping site will be a cornerstone of that campaign. MM&P has a link to the Shop Union Site on this website under “Links and Other Sources”.

The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 700 Maritime Blvd., Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1941. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: For further info or to subscribe contact John Peige at The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea and is posted on our web page.

C 2006, International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots. All the material contained in this publication is protected by copyright. For permission to reprint text from the Weekly, contact the MM&P Communications Department: For changes of address, contact John Peige at