Wheelhouse Weekly – June 23, 2015

June 24th 2015

Volume 20 . . . Number 25. . . June 23, 2015


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International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) President Paddy Crumlin is criticizing the conservative Australian government’s moves to deregulate the country’s shipping industry. Conservatives are pushing to eliminate cabotage laws, which protect the jobs of Australian mariners and encourage investment in the local maritime industry. Australia’s conservatives want to introduce a flag-of-convenience (FOC) shipping model throughout the country.

“FOC shipping is riddled with morally ambiguous and sometimes criminal practices,” Crumlin said, “yet the Australian government wants to make ships of shame the new normal rather than the extreme exception. The removal of cabotage would weaken labor and safety standards and threaten thousands of domestic jobs in Australia’s maritime sector.”

Cabotage laws, such as the Jones Act in the United States, require domestic freight to be handled by citizen mariners aboard ships that fly each country’s national flag. Besides Australia and the United States, Japan, China, Indonesia and the Philippines are among the nations that have cabotage laws.

At the same time, the ITF says it welcomes the Australian Senate’s decision to launch an inquiry into the FOC model following three suspicious deaths aboard an FOC ship, the Panama-flagged MV SAGE SAGITTARIUS. The legislators behind the investigation say they intend to shed light on risks to national security and the environment that may be implicit in the FOC model.

In the MV SAGE SAGITTARIUS case, three men died aboard ship in mysterious circumstances. An investigation revealed that guns were being sold on board and that crewmembers were frequently attacked and threatened. “The murky world of FOC shipping needs to be investigated,” said ITF National Coordinator for Australia Dean Summers. “Intimidation, bullying and harassment are often an unfortunate part of life onboard FOC vessels and it’s allowed to happen because of jurisdictional blurred lines and a lack of regulation.”

“The SAGE SAGITTARIUS is not an isolated incident,” he added. “Currently in Melbourne there is a Thai vessel, the TASCO AMATA, which cannot undertake the next leg of its journey because it is unfit to sail and has to undergo emergency repairs. Some of the crew are paid less than $2 an hour and until the ITF intervened they had not been paid in more than three months.” ITF inspectors also found that there was not enough food on board to last the crew for the next leg of the journey.

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General Dynamics NASSCO has delivered the USNS LEWIS B. PULLER, the third ship in the U.S. Navy’s Mobile Landing Platform program and the first to be configured as Afloat Forward Staging Base. The vessel, which will be crewed by licensed deck officers represented by the MM&P Federal Employees Membership Group (FEMG), was delivered to the Navy in San Diego during a ceremony held last Friday at the NASSCO shipyard.

The Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) AFSB variant is optimized to support a variety of maritime-based missions and further strengthens the Navy’s new sea-basing capabilities, with an added flight deck, berthing, fuel storage, equipment storage, and repair spaces. The ship is named in honor of the late U.S. Marine Corps Lieutenant General Lewis “Chesty” Puller, the most decorated Marine and the only one to be awarded five Navy Crosses. Construction of the USNS LEWIS B. PULLER began in 2013.

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Several American President Lines vessels have been transferred to new trade routes to take advantage of the upcoming peak season, the company has announced. The APL AGATE, APL CYPRINE and APL CORAL are being redeployed from the Trans-Atlantic service to the new weekly AS1–Asia Subcontinent Express service. The AS1 service links North and Southeast Asia and runs between Qingdao and Karachi with a series of stops at key Asian ports. Each of the vessels will make its next scheduled East Coast loop before the switch. The APL BELGIUM is currently transitioning into the CC3 service, sailing between the U.S. West Coast and Asia.

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Due to a lack of volume to sustain offshore shipping operations, the union plans to cease the job dispatch process in the San Juan and Jacksonville halls on July 1, 2015. Going forward, MM&P Jacksonville operations will be covered by the union hall in Pompano Beach: 540 East McNab Rd. # B, Pompano Beach, FL 33060; (954) 946-7883.

“The Officials and Members of Masters, Mates & Pilots extend to Jacksonville Dispatcher Liz Pettit the warmest thanks for all her hard work and outstanding contributions to the organization,” said MM&P Secretary-Treasurer Steve Werse. “We know how much time and energy this assignment has demanded, and we deeply appreciate all of her efforts in support of our members and the union.”

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InterManager, the 52-member international ship operators association, will study minimum safe manning levels and develop guidance aimed at reducing the growing weight of paperwork on ships’ crews. The news was reported in a recent article in Professional Mariner that was written by reporter Kevin Tester.

The trade group said it will “investigate minimum manning levels for different vessel types, trade routes and cargoes to determine whether and how these need to be reviewed, factoring in implications on safety and efficiency (including the current operating and legislative environment, onboard administrative burdens and fatigue issues).” The goal of the analysis is to ensure flag states take into account Maritime Labor Convention (MLC) rest hour requirements.

The trade association says it also wants to reduce the paperwork burden on officers and crews. “The burden of administrative tasks falling on seafarers in today’s shipping industry is significant,” InterManager President Gerardo Borromeo was quoted in Professional Mariner as saying. He added that red tape is having a significant negative effect on efforts to recruit ships’ officers and crew.

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Norwegian Air International (NAI), a contractor-operated cut-rate airline that plans to register in Ireland to circumvent European and U.S. labor laws, is now promising the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) that it will hire only European and U.S. pilots for its transatlantic flights. NAI plans to hire the rest of its flight and cabin crews as third-party contractors through a Singaporean employment agency based in Bangkok, Thailand.

NAI, a subsidiary of Norwegian Air Shuttle, has tried time and time again to gain access to the U.S. market while skirting First World labor standards. In its latest attempt, the airline has “promised” DOT that it will hire only European and U.S. pilots for its transatlantic flights. NAI further states that these workers, who will be employed under individual contracts, “will have a chance” for full employment at Norwegian 24 to 36 months down the road.

“As if the DOT, members of Congress, American air carriers and airline employees would be fooled by such smoke and mirrors,” says TTD President Ed Wytkind. “NAI’s ‘promises’ are unenforceable and do absolutely nothing to address the foundational problems with the company’s proposed flag-of-convenience business model. As the old saying goes, you can put lipstick on a pig…”

TTD member unions and the European Cockpit Association (ECA) are calling on DOT to deny the company a foreign air carrier permit. “We will continue to fight for the strong enforcement of our aviation trade agreements to ensure that U.S. airlines and airline workers are competing on a level playing field,” Wytkind says. MM&P is one of 32 U.S. transport unions that belong to TTD.

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At a time when labor laws are stacked against working people, employees in the airline industry are choosing a union voice on the job. Coming on the heels of a vote last summer by Virgin America flight attendants to join the Transport Workers Union (TWU), pilots at Virgin America overwhelmingly voted during the first week in June to join the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA).

More than 75 percent of pilots voted in favor of union representation, demonstrating their commitment to collective bargaining, safety in the workplace and better working conditions. “Today, our union is stronger. ALPA is poised to ensure that Virgin America pilots will gain a stronger voice for their future and, together, we will continue to advance our profession,” said ALPA President Tim Canoll.

In an official statement, the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department said member unions “congratulate Virgin America workers for securing a collective bargaining voice. We proudly join ALPA and TWU in carrying their voices to Washington, as we work together to fight for policies that keep our aviation system safe, secure and continue to make it an engine for good, middle-class jobs.”

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Each MM&P membership group elects delegates to the MM&P Convention, the supreme and overriding authority of our Organization. Convention delegates are voting members of Masters, Mates & Pilots who attend the MM&P Conventions and have the privilege of serving on committees, making recommendations, motions and resolutions, and voting on the business of the union. Please see the forms listed below for details regarding a “SPECIAL ELECTION” for these positions:

These forms are also available on In addition, Atlantic Maritime Group members will be receiving a hard copy by US Mail. If you have questions, please contact your local area Vice President or the Office of the International Secretary-Treasurer.

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MITAGS needs your current address! Have you moved recently? Did you remember to send MITAGS your new address for communications regarding courses? Please send your current contact information to or to the fax number below.

New dedicated fax line for Admissions only: 1-443-568-1928. For all other MITAGS business, please continue to use: 410-859-5181.

For class availability or information on MITAGS courses and programs, contact Kelly Michielli, Admissions Coordinator, toll-free at 866-656-5568 or by e-mail: . Why not try our on-line calendar to register for class:

Please note the special addition to our on-campus schedule of MSC classes marked with an asterisk (*), which are not normally scheduled to be held at MITAGS.

AB – 8/17/15, 10/12/15

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: 7/13/15

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

AZIPOD 2-Day – 10/1/15

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

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 7/16/15, 11/9/15

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

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

BT-Revalidation – 8/4/15, 11/3/15

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

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

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

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

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

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

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

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM): 7/13/15, 8/10/15, 8/31/15, 9/28/15, 10/26/15, 11/16/15, 11/30/15, 1/18/16, 2/15/16, 3/14/16

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

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

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 7/13/15, 8/10/15, 8/24/15, 10/5/15, 11/9/15, 11/30/15, 1/11/16, 2/8/16, 3/14/16

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 7/20/15, 8/17/15, 8/31/15, 10/12/15, 11/16/15, 12/7/15, 1/18/16, 2/15/16, 3/21/16

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

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

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

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: 7/9/15

DDE – Great Lakes: 2/1/16

DPA – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-OIC – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-Pilots – 7/14/15, 11/12/15

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 7/20/15, 8/24/15, 9/21/15, 10/19/15, 11/9/15, 12/14/15, 1/4/16, 2/8/16, 3/21/16

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

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 7/6/15, 9/15/15, 11/11/15

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

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

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

LAP- 9/14/15

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

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

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 7/16/15, 9/16/15, 11/10/15

LNG-TPIC – 12/7/15

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

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control: 7/6/15, 8/17/15, 9/14/15, 10/12/15, 11/2/15, 12/7/15, 1/11/16, 2/22/16, 3/28/16

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

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

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

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

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: Contact Admissions

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 7/8/15, 7/22/15, 8/5/15, 8/19/15, 9/2/15, 9/16/15, 9/30/15, 10/14/15, 10/28/15, 11/3/15, 11/11/15, 11/18/15, 12/2/15, 12/10/15, 1/6/16, 1/13/16, 2/3/16

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

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue – 10/19/15

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

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

SMS – Contact Admissions

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

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 7/6/15, 1/4/16

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

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – Contact Admissions

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: Contact Admissions

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 7/22/15, 9/9/15, 10/7/15, 10/17/15, 2/15/16

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

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

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

June 2015

29-3 Leadership and Managerial Skills

July 2015

6-24 Terrestrial and Coastal Navigation
13-17 Leadership and Managerial Skills
13-24 GMDSS
20-23 ARPA
27-31 Radar Observer Unlimited

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The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, & Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 700 Maritime Blvd. Suite B, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1953. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973. All rights reserved. The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly © 2015. Articles can be reprinted without prior permission if credit is given to The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly. For address changes, send an e-mail to Back issues of The Weekly are posted on