Wheelhouse Weekly – June 5th, 2018

Volume 23… Number 23… June 5, 2018


In This Issue:


News for MM&P Members:

Other News:

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Any delay in the implementation of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) 0.5 percent sulfur cap on fuel would expose seafarers to added health risks, says Nautilus, the union for British, Dutch and Swiss ships’ officers.

MM&P partners with Nautilus and a number of other maritime labor unions in the Nautilus Federation.

Unions have expressed concern that shipowners are trying to delay the IMO’s 2020 deadline for the international implementation of the 0.5 percent sulfur cap on vessel bunkers.

“The implementation of the 0.5 percent sulfur cap, which was agreed in 2008, is a welcome and necessary step which will benefit not only the seafarers who are exposed to the toxic exhaust emissions on a daily basis, but also those living in coastal communities close to busy shipping lanes,” says Nautilus Professional and Technical Officer David Appleton.

The shipowners’ trade group Intercargo says its members face “significant challenges” in meeting the 2020 deadline.

It has called for “a pragmatic approach” and “reasonable and measured enforcement” of the rules during an initial transition period.

They have pushed for a five-year delay in implementation, saying there may be shortages of low-sulfur fuel and obstacles to fitting ships with scrubbers.

Appleton cites statistics presented to the IMO that show a five-year delay in imposing the cap would result in 200,000 premature deaths from lung cancer and heart disease.

Nautilus is calling for “robust enforcement of the cap from day one to ensure a level playing field for responsible operators who take their environmental concerns seriously.”

The news was reported in the April 2018 edition of Telegraph, the Nautilus magazine.

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More than a dozen senators–both Republicans and Democrats–have called on the Trump administration to abandon plans to close two regional offices of the agency that oversees federal labor-management relations.

The Senate group says the White House “should immediately cease” preparations to close the offices.

Earlier this year, Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) members appointed by President Trump announced plans to close the agency’s Dallas and Boston offices—two out of the seven in its regional network.

As an example of the important role it plays, the FLRA provides oversight of relations between MM&P and government agencies that employ union members such as Military Sealift Command.

The proposal to close the two regional offices sparked vigorous opposition from federal labor unions and from officials who had managed the agency under previous presidents.

In the recently passed fiscal 2018 omnibus spending bill, lawmakers included language prohibiting the Trump administration from eliminating or reducing funding “for a program, project, or activity as proposed in the president’s budget request” unless specifically authorized by Congress.

The bipartisan group, which is led by Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.), says closing the FLRA regional offices is thus “prohibited unless approved by Congress following detailed reprogramming reporting by the agency.”

“Congress demonstrated support for the current FLRA structure by appropriating level funding to the agency for fiscal year 2018,” they wrote.

“With a two-year budget agreement now in place, federal agencies should focus on delivering the most effective services for their constituencies rather than harmful cuts that will reduce responsiveness.”

Twenty labor groups sent a letter to members of Congress saying that closing the two regional offices would interfere with the agency’s efforts to resolve unfair labor practice disputes and contract stand-offs.

“Closing regional offices would place FLRA staff farther away from those who rely on their service,” they wrote.

Moving FLRA staff farther from the union members who depend on them will inhibit those employees’ ability to “build relationships with parties.”

The agency has already cut funding for staff travel, interfering with staffers’ ability to conduct work critical to “safeguarding the rights of federal employees,” the unions said.

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Rich Willette, a member of the MM&P Federal Employees Membership Group (FEMG) who works out of Naval Submarine Base New London, celebrated a unique milestone recently: piloting the 4,000th ship of his career.

The Day, a newspaper that covers a 20-town region in eastern Connecticut, chronicled the event in a profile.

Journalist Julia Bergman and a photographer accompanied Willette as he piloted U.S. Navy Los Angeles-class attack sub USS PROVIDENCE through New London Harbor and the Thames River en route to the submarine base in Groton one cold February day.

A South Dakota native, Willette joined the Navy at the age of 18, serving on surface ships until he became a pilot.

Today, Willette and the other CNO Pilots handle all military vessel and submarine traffic coming in and out of the sub base and New London harbor.

Much of the job involves training junior officers, many of whom are at the conn for the first time.

Willette says “homecomings” are his favorite part of the job.

As someone who spent 20 years in the Navy, he knows what it’s like to come home after a deployment.

The crew gets “channel fever” as they get close to their home port, and when they see him aboard the submarine, that’s a cue.

“I walk in and I always hear them say, ‘It’s the pilot,’ and they know they’re close,” he says.

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Legislation has been introduced that will decrease the amount of U.S. cargo shipped under the PL 480 Food for Peace Program. Today, 100% of the U.S. taxpayer-financed food that the U.S. sends to other countries comes from the U.S. The new legislation would reduce this amount to 25%. In addition, if this bill is passed, U.S.-flag ships will carry 50% of the 25% or only 12.5%. That means foreign-flagged ships will carry 87.5% of U.S. aid to other parts of the world.

We need supporters in Congress to make sure that this bill never passes. But to do so, we need the support of every MM&P member, pensioner and employee!

Please help us fight this bill that could sink our industry. 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.

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The AFL-CIO and Union Plus have created a union-owned mortgage company that provides a range of benefits to active and retired union members, their parents and children.

Besides competitive rates on a wide range of mortgage options, the Union Plus Mortgage Company offers the following: special hardship mortgage assistance in the event of income loss due to disability, unemployment, strike or lockout; a $500 gift card after closing on a new mortgage loan or a refinance; easy online application and unionized loan officers to assist you on the phone.

If you are thinking of buying a home or refinancing your existing mortgage, call 1-855-UNION-53 to speak with a union loan officer or go to to find out more.

Union Plus also offers these related services to union members who are buying or selling a home:

— homeowners’ insurance;

— Real Estate Rewards, a program that offers union members who use an affiliated agent $50 cash back for every $10,000 in home value after closing;

— discounts on professional movers;

— budget truck rental.

To find out more, go to:

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A measure signed into law in Kentucky would bar radiologists—doctors specialized in reading X-rays—from providing evidence in black lung compensation cases.

Black lung is a fatal illness caused by exposure to coal and silica dust at underground and surface coal mines.

Miners gradually lose the ability to breathe, as they wheeze and gasp for air.

The new law would leave diagnosis of the disease almost exclusively to doctors employed by the coal companies.

Until March, when the new measure was signed into law, radiologists had also been allowed to diagnose the disease.

But the new law limits x-ray evaluations to pulmonologists, just six of whom are federally certified to work in Kentucky.

According to a report by Howard Berkes of National Public Radio, of the six, four work for coal companies and their insurers.

The companies are liable for paying compensation claims and thus have an incentive to not find evidence of the disease.

The two remaining pulmonologists have generally evaluated X-rays on behalf of sick coal miners but one is semi-retired and his federal certification expires June 1.

“I do believe the coal industry is writing this bill to exclude certain doctors that they don’t like,” Phillip Wheeler, an attorney in Pikeville, Ky., who represents coal miners seeking state black lung benefits, told NPR.

In related news, there has been a spike in cases of “complicated black lung,” the most severe form of the disease.

Experts at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) verified 60 cases of complicated black lung in a single Kentucky town in 2015 and 2016, while a previous report had put the number of cases nationwide at only 99 cases in five years.

Another recent finding is that miners are dying at a much younger age.

In the 1990s, diagnoses typically involved miners in their 60s, 70s and 80s. Now the disease strikes miners in their 50s, 40s and even 30s, who have spent fewer years mining coal.

The NPR investigation found that the likely cause of the epidemic is longer work shifts and the mining of thinner coal seams, where huge machines cut rock to reach the coal and the resulting dust contains silica, which is far more toxic than coal dust.

Coincidentally, new federal regulations intended to limit exposure to coal and silica dust were fully implemented in 2016.

The Trump administration has announced it intends to re-examine the regulations as part of its drive to cut red tape.

The announcement concerns coal miners and their advocates in Congress.

“Each case of advanced black lung disease is an entirely preventable tragedy, and represents mine operators’ unwillingness to adequately control mine dust exposures, and safety regulators failure to set, monitor and enforce standards necessary to protect miners,” says Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.).

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MM&P Pacific Ports will be closed on Monday, June 11, for King Kamehameha Day.

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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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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, 9/11/1

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: 6/11/18, 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: 6/11/18, 8/13/18,

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): 6/11/18, 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: 6/11/18, 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 – 6/10/18, 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

11-14 Advanced Firefighting

11-22 GMDSS

11-22 Watchkeeping (Operational Level)

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