Wheelhouse Weekly – June 24, 2014

June 24th 2014


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

Volume 18 . . . Number 25 . . . June 24, 2014


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


The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and employers represented by the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) continue to negotiate a new six-year master contract. The current bargaining agreement is set to expire at midnight on June 30. “Negotiations for a new labor contract covering nearly 20,000 dockworkers at 29 West Coast ports are continuing,” the ILWU and the PMA said in an official release to the press. “A media report suggesting a suspension in those talks was inaccurate. Both parties remain at the table and are working to reach agreement on a new coast-wide contract.” 

“As we always have in the past, MM&P stands in solidarity with members of the ILWU in their 2014 contract campaign,” said MM&P International President Don Marcus.

“Dockworkers are looking forward to negotiating a fair agreement that protects the good jobs and benefits that support thousands of families and dozens of communities around west coast ports,” says ILWU International President Bob McEllrath, who leads the union’s 16-member Contract Negotiating Committee. “We’ve got an excellent negotiating team and solid support from longshore and clerk members who mapped out their priorities and gave us their marching orders to secure a good contract,” he added. Among the key issues being negotiated: maintenance of health care and retirement benefits; respect for ILWU jurisdiction; fair raises; and improved safety provisions.

“Past talks have typically gone past the contract expiration date before a resolution was reached,” said ILWU Spokesperson Craig Merrilees in a telephone interview with MM&P. The 2008 agreement was reached, without any disruption, a few weeks after that contract expired. The last time the ports were closed surrounding the longshore contract was a lockout, initiated by the employers, which lasted 11 days in 2002. The last strike by workers involving this contract was 43 years ago, in 1971.


On Wednesday the International Maritime Organization (IMO) celebrates the fourth edition of its global campaign, “Day of the Seafarer,” held every year on June 25. “Seafarers are the people without whom food, clothes, gifts, gadgets or even basic needs would not reach our doors,” said IMO Secretary General Koji Sekimizu in an official release to the press. “We rely on them every day. Yet have you ever said thank you to a seafarer? Chances are you haven’t.”

For this year’s campaign, the IMO invites you to complete the sentence “Seafarers brought me… ” with a word denoting an object or something specific of your choice and if possible to supplement this with a photo, video and/or written message and post it on the platform of your choice using the social media hashtag #thankyouseafarers

Please also voice your support on the virtual wall at . The campaign objectives are to: increase awareness among the general public of the indispensable services that seafarers render to international seaborne trade, the world economy and society at large; send a clear message to seafarers that we recognize and appreciate their service and that we understand the extraordinary conditions and circumstances of their profession; redouble our efforts at the regulatory level to create a better, safer and more secure world in which seafarers can operate.


The 32 member unions of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD) are calling on Congress to express their strong opposition to eliminating Saturday mail delivery service as a condition of fixing the impending shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund. “This careless and ideologically driven attack on the employees at the United States Postal Service (USPS) should be a non-starter as it fails to offer a bipartisan plan to fund America’s immediate and longer-term surface transportation needs,” the TTD unions said in an official statement. MM&P is a member of TTD, which represents workers in every mode of transportation.

“We understand the need to secure new revenues to upgrade and expand our system and infrastructure,” the unions wrote in a letter to Congress. ”We also agree that allowing default of the Highway Trust Fund would devastate critically needed highway and transit projects across the county, idle thousands of construction and transit workers and impose self-inflicted damage to our still fragile economy. But seeking to eliminate Saturday delivery would only serve to delay and distract policy makers from considering legitimate proposals that are necessary to avoid a summer default. In fact, this misguided plan has already been condemned by key Senate and House leaders of both parties that are otherwise committed to funding our surface transportation needs.”

The Postal Service would be earning profits if not for a congressionally imposed mandate from 2006 that forces the agency to prefund decades of future retiree health costs in advance. In absence of this highly controversial mandate, which no other company or agency faces, there would be no talk of a future “bailout” of the Postal Service.

“We should not have to choose between transit systems and decent highways and six-day delivery from the Postal Service,” says TTD President Ed Wytkind. “Slowing mail delivery and weakening the Postal Service will not solve our infrastructure crisis.” Elimination of Saturday delivery would also eliminate 80,000 well-paying postal service jobs.


Unions brought America the eight-hour workday and the weekend, President Obama reminded the audience at a question and answer session with technology workers in Pittsburgh last week. “I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that our middle class was built in part because unions were able to negotiate weekends and overtime and benefits, things that now non-union workers take for granted,” the President said. “America was built by workers who over time, through a lot of struggle, got the right to bargain collectively.”

The President made the remarks in response to a question from a journeyman sheet metal worker who said he is planning to start his own business and added, “I prefer to use organized labor because I know the level of our training and the pride that we take in our work.”

“The good news is that typically union workers know how to do the job,” Obama said. “What you may lose incrementally because you’re paying slightly higher wages or higher benefits, you’re gaining in skills, reliability, productivity and if you can create a culture where employers and workers feel both are invested, companies can succeed over time and can thrive.”


The new edition of The Master, Mate & Pilot will be arriving in your mailbox soon. In the meantime, look for it online at In this issue: MM&P in affiliation talks with ILA Local 333; photographs from the Maritime Industry Congressional Sail-In and the Salute to Congress; SUNY cadets tour MM&P and MITAGS; Seafarers International House names Captain Richard Phillips and MM&P President Donald Marcus recipients of its “Outstanding Friend of Seafarers” Award; greetings from MM&P members aboard APL CYPRINE and USNS BIG HORN; MITAGS ramps up for Watson-class LMSR training.

Check out the new issue of The Master, Mate & Pilot now! And remember, we are always on the look-out for photos of MM&P members at work. Please send your photos of to:


The United Seamen’s Service’s 2014 Admiral of the Ocean Sea Awards (AOTOS) will be presented to General Secretary of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) Stephen Cotton, as well as to Joseph Cox, president of the Chamber of Shipping of America, and Frederick Harris, president of General Dynamics NASSCO. The awards will be presented at a dinner at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel in New York City on Nov. 7. 2014. Recognition will also be given to American seafarers for acts of bravery and heroism while at sea.


The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has issued a notice stating that some Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) cards were recently produced without the fingerprint template files. Workers holding these cards who need to prove their identity by biometric match will not be able to do so until their cards are replaced. TSA says it will replace improperly produced cards at no cost to the card holder. TSA has posted a 192-page list of affected cards at


President Obama released the United States Counter Piracy and Maritime Security Action Plan. The Plan, which implements the National Strategy for Maritime Security and the Policy for the Repression of Piracy and other Criminal Acts of Violence at Sea, provides guidance for counter-piracy efforts and outlines that the United States will use all appropriate instruments of national power to repress piracy and related maritime crimes. This plan supersedes the “Countering Piracy off the Horn of Africa Partnership & Action Plan” of 2008.


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. 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

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: Contact Admissions

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 8/5/14, 9/23/14, 11/18/14

AZIPOD 2-Day –7/10/14, 10/9/14

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 8/25/14, 10/13/14

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 7/24/14, 8/20/14, 9/22/14, 11/20/14

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling:  7/7/14, 10/6/14

BST – Basic Safety Training: 8/11/14, 10/6/14

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 10/27/14

[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

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 9/8/14

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 7/7/14, 9/29/14

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 7/14/14, 8/4/14, 10/20/14, 11/10/14

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 7/23/14, 11/19/14

MCL-CMM – Management, Communication, & Leadership (Management Level): 9/15/14

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants:  7/21/14, 10/27/14

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

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

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

TRAC-TUG-2: 7/21/14

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

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

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 11/3/14

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

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

DDE – Great Lakes: Contact Admissions

DPA – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-OIC –9/8/14

ECDIS-Pilots – Contact Admissions

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 8/11/14, 10/6/14

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep & Medications:  7/23/14, 11/19/14

GL Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: Contact Admissions

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 8/18/14

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

LAP- 9/8/14

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes

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

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 7/8/14, 10/7/14, 11/20/14

LNG-TPIC – Contact Admissions

MCL-OIC –Management, Communications, and Leadership OICNW level: 9/5/14, 10/7/14

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 9/8/14, 11/3/14, 12/1/14

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 8/4/14, 10/13/14

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 9/8/14, 10/20/14, 11/3/14, 12/1/14

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 8/3/14, 9/13/14, 10/12/14, 11/8/14, 12/6/14

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

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

MSC-ENV –8/23/14, 2/26/15

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

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 7/9/14, 7/24/14, 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

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 7/28/14, 11/10/14

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue –10/13/14

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling:  8/18/14, 11/17/14

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day: 7/14/14, 10/6/14

SMS – Contact Admissions

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 8/4/14

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 7/7/14

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge:  8/25/14

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

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level) : 9/29/14

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

…And remember: If you can’t make the class, make the call.  Be courteous, don’t be a “no show.”

Check the MITAGS website at for course descriptions associated with the course title abbreviations, and schedule revisions.


Please also see our schedule online at For registration, call our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen, at (206) 838-1126.

July 2014

7-11       Radar Observer Unlimited
7-18       GMDSS
14th       Radar Renewal
14th       Flashing Light
15-18     ARPA
21-25     Bridge Resource Management
28-1       ECDIS
28-1       Medical Care Provider

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. Suite B, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1953. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: For further info or to subscribe contact Lisa Rosenthal at The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea and is posted on our web page.

© 2014, 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 Lisa Rosenthal at