News

Wheelhouse Weekly – June 19, 2002

June 19th 2002


THE MASTERS, MATES AND PILOTS’
WHEELHOUSE WEEKLY

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

Volume 6. . . . . Number 25. . . June 20, 2002

STORIES COVERED

ALSO



 

 

SENATE INVESTIGATES RIGHT TO CHOOSE UNION REPRESENTATION

On Thursday, June 20, Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) chair of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions that hearings on the failure of the nation’s laws to protect workers’ rights to choose union representation. MM&P President Capt. Tim Brown and Director of Special Projects Richard Plant represented the Union at the hearing.

This was the first such hearing in 14 years on what happens when workers try to exercise their right to organize and form unions. “For the past 25 years, businesses have been twisting, manipulating, and ignoring our country’s labor laws and getting away with it,” said AFL-CIO President John Sweeney.

In his testimony before the committee, Sweeney was joined by workers from across the country to expose employers’ shameful and often-secret tactics to keep American workers from exercising their freedom to form unions. He said this is, in part, what makes successful organizing so difficult and that labor laws need to be urgently updated to stop the outrageous abuses and scare tactics which companies increasingly employ to defeat union organizing efforts.

During the hearing it was brought out that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which reviews worker complaints, has gone from 3,000 employees in 1950 to just 2,000 today, even though the case load has tripled. This often further delays the process for years. Testimony at the hearing highlighted how companies have come to count on the delay factor as a tactic to help defeat union organizing.

Sweeney also referenced the campaign of MM&P-supported Gulf of Mexico mariners to form a union and the immense difficulties those workers have experienced. Their rights to choose union representation have been blocked by what appears to be a combined effort of all the companies that make up the offshore energy sector including the boat companies themselves, their customers and dock owners and other allied associations and groups.

The mariners facing these formidable, combined forces are working with a coalition of four maritime unions including the MM&P, MEBA, SIU and AMO. As previously reported in the Wheelhouse Weekly, these four unions have formed the Offshore Mariners United (OMU) which is a federation for mariners working in offshore oil and gas industry in the Gulf of Mexico.

Gulf mariners asked for a congressional investigation into the violations of the nation’s democratic process taking place in regard to their rights to choose union representation and that the proper steps be taken to ensure that a fair organizing process is achieved.

In addition to Senator Kennedy, other senators on the committee who attended the hearing were Paul Wellstone (D-MN), Chris Dodd (D-CT), Hillary Clinton (D-NY), John Edwards (D-NC), Patty Murray (D-WA), Tom Harkin,(D-IA) and Tim Hutchinson,(R-AR).

Senate bill S.1102, the “Right to Organize Act” was introduced earlier this Congress by Sen. Wellstone to address some of the more severe problems that were raised at the hearing.

 

Take Action! Tell ExxonMobil to Respect Workers’ Rights

For the past two years, hundreds of mariners employed by Trico Marine Services — a contractor of ExxonMobil — have been struggling to gain a voice at work. Tell ExxonMobil — Trico’s biggest customer — to tell its contractor to respect workers’ rights and stop the campaign against workers trying to form a union.

Tell me more! Click on the link to the left to find out what is at stake and to send your own message directly to the relevant decision makers.
 

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

ITF DECLARES VICTORY IN TRICO CASE

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has claimed victory in the case brought against it by US operators of Trico Marine. The offshore services provider dropped the entire legal case against the global union federation on the second day of a preliminary hearing for an injunction at the High Court in London, even before the ITF had begun its defense.

Trico had alleged that the ITF’s international solidarity campaign to support efforts by US unions to secure trade union recognition rights for Trico employees amounted to a conspiracy to damage its interests by unlawful action. The ITF strongly refuted this and agreed to circulate a statement of its existing policy on international solidarity action to all its affiliates and to the International Chemical Energy and Mineworkers’ Federation (ICEM), its sister global union federation, which has also been actively involved in the Trico campaign.

David Cockroft, ITF General Secretary, stated: “I said at the beginning that this court action involved fundamental issues of principle about international solidarity action and freedom of expression, and I am pleased that Trico has seen sense and decided to drop the action.”

Cockroft concluded by saying, “The campaign to ensure that Trico extends the same basic rights to its US employees as it does in other countries will continue. It remains to be seen how Trico continue to conduct themselves in relation to the ongoing campaign. Dialogue is always better than court action.”

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

MM&P PLANS OFFICE TO OFFER AUTOMATIC DEBIT OF HEALTH & BENEFIT CO-PAY, CONTINUATION OF COVERAGE AND COBRA PAYMENTS

You asked for it, you got it! In response to requests from members, co-pay pensioners who pay their co-pay by check will soon have the option of requesting automatic debit from their checking accounts. If you are interested, contact the Plan Office at 410-850-8600 for the necessary forms.

Catch Up Contributions-Over 50 year olds

If you are over 50 years old or if you turn 50 during the year 2002, one provision of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act (EGTRRA), allows you to make an additional $1000 “catch up” contribution to the 401K portion of the IRAP Plan. Please remember to notify your employer and direct them as to how you would like the $1000 deducted from your pay. The Plan Office will automatically forward to Fidelity up to $1000 over the Plan’s 25% of salary limitation (up to the IRS maximum contribution of $11000) as long as the age requirement is met.

July 4-5 Closings

The Plan Office will be closed on Thursday, July 4. Additionally, Plan Office Staff has selected Friday July 5th as their floater holiday. A skeleton crew will be available to issue vacation checks and answer critical questions. Health & Benefit calls, for those members and providers that do not choose to use the automated system, will be taken in turn. You may call Ken Ryan directly for vacation checks.

Direct dial numbers for individuals staffing the office on Friday, July 5 are as follows:

  • Ken Ryan: 410-850-8617
  • Valerie Verrecchio: 410-850-8603
  • Madeline Petrelli: 410-850-8615

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

TESTS ON NEW TECHNOLOGY TO SECURE CONTAINER MOVEMENT

The Dept. of Transportation recently completed the successful test of new technology that will help to secure cargo containers entering ports throughout the US.

The test, carried out through the DOT’s Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) program, involved the use of electronic seals (E-Seals), a radio frequency device that transmits shipment information as it passes reader devices and indicates if a container has been compromised.

DOT says the new technology will help to enhance the security of the nation’s transportation system by enabling the tracking of cargo shipments into the US.

A spokesman said that E-Seals are just one part of DOT’s security-focused program that applies both technology and human capital to safeguard America’s transportation system.

The E-Seals test involved cargo containers carrying in-bond shipments of auto parts destined for a Canadian assembly plant. The E-Seals were affixed by Westwood Shipping to containers in Nagano, Japan, shipped through the port of Seattle, and cleared by US and Canadian Customs at the international border crossing in Blaine, WA.

The E-Seals project is part of a multi-year effort by DOT’s ITS Joint Program Office to improve the security, safety and efficiency of freight movement through the deployment of new intermodal freight technology.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

COAST GUARD ESCORTS MOBILE-BOUND VESSEL WITH STOWAWAYS

Earlier this week, the USCG escorted the 416-foot British-flagged cargo vessel M/V SCAN GERMANIA into Mobile after 17 stowaways were found aboard the ship on its journey from the Dominican Republic to the Alabama port.

In an unexpected development, a USCG Law Enforcement Detachment aboard the Cutter VIGILANT was called into action to board the SCAN GERMANIA when the stowaways attempted to break free and threaten the crew of the vessel.

Upon arrival in Mobile, the USCG transferred custody of the stowaways to Immigration and Naturalization Service officials. The Cutter DECISIVE assisted in the incident.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

FLORIDA KEYS NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY DESIGNATED AS NDZ

On June 19, a new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule took effect that designated the state waters within the boundaries of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary as a “no discharge zone” (NDZ). EPA studies found that the Sanctuary contains unique marine ecosystems that are a State and national treasure of high ecological, educational, aesthetic, recreational and commercial value.

The rule applies to state waters only, however the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is pursuing a NDZ designation for the entire waters within the Sanctuary. The NOAA rulemaking process will be complete in early 2003. A map that delineates these areas is available on NOAA’s Web site at www.fknms.nos.noaa.gov.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

RESEARCHERS STUDY CREW REST TO OPTIMIZE PERFORMANCE

In research that could one day benefit mariners in the on-going effort to optimize job performance and minimize fatigue, Air Force crews are undergoing sleep research in hopes of finding the perfect sleep schedule for future missions.

The MM&P has long voiced its concern regarding shipboard fatigue and inadequate rest periods in the maritime industry, especially in the inland towing and workboat sectors. Dr. Bill Storm, senior research scientist from the Air Force Lab, said the Air Force has been conducting sleep studies for more than 25 years

Knowing when crews need sleep and when they will be at their maximum performance level is based on the Circadian Rhythm, according to Storm. Everyone has a Circadian Rhythm, or body clock, that runs for about 24 hours. At about the 18-hour point of being awake, a person will start to
experience performance deficit.

“At 18 hours, you’ll start feeling tired, like you need sleep,” Storm said. “There’s a reason for that. Your Circadian Rhythm is on the downside. You will start having reaction time problems, and if you stay awake that whole first day, your performance will drop by 20 or 25 percent.

A person needs between 7.5 and 8.5 hours of sleep every night, according to Storm. He said a lot of people get by on 6 hours regularly, and because of the lack of sleep, they’re not performing at their maximum level.

Storm said the sleep schedules of the aircrews being studied are recorded prior to leaving for a mission. During the mission, crewmembers wear actigraphs, watch-like sleep monitors, to record the times they are asleep. When the crews return, information from the actigraphs is downloaded.

Eventually, Storm would like to see all the research pay off in the form of user-friendly software that flight-planning officials can use while scheduling missions. With a few keystrokes, the program should be able to list the best times to sleep during any mission and what a person’s performance level will look like if they follow the recommendations.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

REMINDER: MM&P CONVENTION CALL

In accordance with Article IV, Section 2, of the International Constitution, a regular convention of the IOMM&P will be convened at 1000 hrs on Monday, July 15, 2002, at MITAGS, 5700 Hammonds Ferry Road, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090. Constitutional Amendments may also be considered at this Convention.

In accordance with Article IV, Section 6., Subsection (b), all proposed resolutions must have been forwarded to the International Secretary-Treasurer at least 30 days prior to the opening day of the Convention for inclusion on the Agenda and determination by the Convention.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

Openings in Classes Through the End of October 2002

  • 7/29-8/2: MED FIRST, BRM, ROP
  • 7/29: ROR
  • 7/30: HAZMAT, EAP
  • 7/31-8/2: MED-DOT-DA
  • 8/5-9: CSE-AAES, SHS-BAS, TPIC
  • 8/5-8: SMA
  • 8/8: ATER
  • 8/9: ENVPRO
  • 8/12-23: MED-PIC, GMDSS
  • 8/12-16: SHS-INT I, BRM, COMP-APS, ARPA, WX-HWA
  • 8/13: CBRD-1
  • 8/12: ROR, HAZMAT, EAP
  • 8/14-16: MED-DOT-DA
  • 8/19-23: VPEN, HAZ, BST, SHS INT II, COMP-MAR
  • 8/26-30: ECDIS, FF-ADV, SHS-EMR-5, BRM, ARPA
  • 9/9-13: DCS, SHS-INT I, BRM, FRB, ARPA, COMP-ABSS, VPM
  • 9/9: ROR, HAZMAT, EAP
  • 9/10: CBRD-1
  • 9/11-13: MED-DOT-DA
  • 9/16-27: MED-PIC, GMDSS
  • 9/16-20: BST, CSE-AAES, SHS-INT II, COMP-NET, ROP
  • 9/16-19: SMA
  • 9/19: ATER
  • 9/20: ENVPRO
  • 9/23-27: FF-ADV, SHS-EMR-5, BRM
  • 10/7-18: MED-PIC
  • 10/7-11: SHS-BAS, BRM, ARPA, MSC-COMMS
  • 10/7: ROR
  • 10/14-18: BST, SHS-INT I, ECDIS
  • 10/21-11/15: MED-SMC
  • 10/21: HAZMAT, EAP
  • 10/22: CBRD-1
  • 10/23-25: MED-DOT-DA
  • 10/21-11/1: GMDSS
  • 10/21-25: FF-ADV, SHS-INT II, BRM, ROP, COMP-APS, WX-HWA
  • 10/21-24: SMA
  • 10/24: ATER
  • 10/25: ENVPRO
  • 10/28-11/1: CSE-AAES, SHS-EMR5, COMP-NET

 

KEY TO COURSE ABBREVIATIONS
  • ARPA: Automatic Radar Plotting Aids
  • ATER: Anti-Terrorism Awareness Training
  • BRM: Bridge Resource Management
  • BRMP: Bridge Resource Management For Pilots
  • BST: Basic Safety Training
  • CBRD: Chemical Biological Radiological Defense Training
  • COMP-ABSS: Computer Am Bureau Ship Management Software
  • COMP-APS: Computer Application Programs
  • COMP-MAR: Computer Mariner Application Program
  • COMP-NET: Computer Network Systems
  • CSE-AAES: Confine Space Entry-Atmos. Analy of Enc Spaces
  • EAP: Employee Assistance Program
  • ECDIS: Electronic Chart Display And Information Systems
  • ENVPRO: Environmental Protection
  • FF-ADV: Advanced Fire Fighting
  • GMDSS: Global Maritime Distress Safety System
  • HAZMAT: Hazardous Materials
  • MED-DOT-DA: Dept. of Trans. Drug and Alcohol Testing
  • MED-PIC: Medical Person-In-Charge
  • MSC-COMMS: Strategic Sealift Communications
  • ROR: Radio Operator Renewal
  • SMA: Small Arms
  • SHS-EMR: Emergency Shiphandling
  • SHS-INT: Intermediate Shiphandling
  • TPIC: Tankerman Person-In-Charge
  • VPM: Vessel Personnel Management
  • WX-HWA: Heavy Weather Avoidance
MITAGS WEBSITE

Check the website routinely for up to date information on class schedules, trust student policies and procedures, and regulatory changes. Visit the home page at www.mitags.org.

 

NEW COURSE

Note that a 5-day Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation (VPEN) course has been added the week of Aug 19. This course and the ECDIS course, when taken within a year of each other, will satisfy the Advanced Navigation topic area requirements for the new Chief Mate/Master scheme. Both courses must have been completed to satisfy the requirements.

 

SCHEDULE INFO

Schedule through December 2002 is being maintained on the website. Hard copies of the June-December 2002 schedule are being mailed to the halls. Check the MITAGS website at: www.mitags.org for up-to-date info. For additional course info, contact Mary Matlock or Debbie Walton at voice: 443-989-3226 or Email: admissions@mitags.org.

 

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 

PACIFIC NORTHWEST MARITIME INSTITUTE ACADEMIC NOTES

Openings in Classes Through the End of November 2002

  • 6/24-28: RADAR; ECDIS; BAFF
  • 7/8-12: ARPA; BST; Med 1st
  • 7/8-19: MPIC
  • 7/15-17: BRM
  • 7/22-26: BAFF
  • 7/22-8/2: GMDSS
  • 8/5-9: ECDIS; BST; Med 1st
  • 8/5-16: MPIC
  • 8/12-16: TPIC Ship and Barge
  • 8/19-21: BRM
  • 8/19-23: ARPA; BAFF
  • 9/2-6: ARPA
  • 9/2-13: GMDSS
  • 9/9-13: BST
  • 9/16-20: BRM; Med 1st
  • 9/16-27: MPIC
  • 9/23-27: ARPA; BAFF
  • 9/30-10/11: ADNAV (new); GMDSS
  • 10/7-11: ECDIS; BST
  • 10/14-18: TPIC ­ B; TPIC DL (new); Med 1
  • 10/14-25: MPIC
  • 10/21-25: BAFF
  • 10/28-11/1: ARPA
  • 10/28-11/8: GMDSS

 

PMI MEDICAL COURSES

PMI is now offering two week “Medical Person in Charge” and one week “Medical First Aid Provider” course. To learn more about the STCW Requirements for Medical First Aid Provider and Medical Person in Charge, refer to PMI’s webpage at www.mates.org.

 

REGISTRATION

Register online at mates.org.

 

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


 

MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 6-19 CLOSE

 D O W

 N A S D A Q

 9,431.70

-186.00 for the week

 1,496.83

 -22.29 for the week
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)

 93.10

 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)

21.39

 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)

 14.01

 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)

 12.60

 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)

 24.72

 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)

10.55

 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)

14.83

 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)

14.41

 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)

 34.36

Fidelity Magellan Fund (FAGX)

 90.21

 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)

  35.61

 

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


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: iommp@bridgedeck.org. For further info contact John Peige at jpeige@bridgedeck.org. The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea, broadcast worldwide via FEC marine telex andis posted on our web page under “News” at: http://www.bridgedeck.org.

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