Wheelhouse Weekly – Mar. 1, 2016

March 1st 2016

Volume 21 . . . Number 9. . . March 1, 2016


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News for MM&P Members:

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The Maritime Labor Alliance (MLA), comprised of six major maritime unions in North America and representing 120,000 members, held its semi-annual meeting in San Diego last week.

The group approved an ambitious program to collectively strengthen all member unions and expand their influence in maritime legislation, organizing, negotiations and jurisdiction. The MLA meeting was held in conjunction with the Winter Meetings of the AFL-CIO.

The presidents of all six MLA unions–International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA), International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots (IOMM&P), Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA), American Radio Association (ARA) and Inlandboatmen’s Union–including upwards of 25 officers and staff from the MLA-affiliated unions, attended the San Diego meetings.

Each union reaffirmed its commitment to the mission of the MLA, calling on all unions to provide mutual assistance to affiliated unions in collective bargaining, protecting industry standards and promoting the organization of unorganized maritime workers, and to collaborate on political, legislative and jurisdictional issues affecting the maritime industry.

MLA members provided updates on their respective negotiation schedules. The MLA may arrange to bring employers into meetings with the group to demonstrate solidarity and the group’s commitment to support each other’s collective bargaining. The MLA will support historical jurisdiction claims by all its member unions and work together to protect each union’s jurisdiction.

The group discussed the U.S. Presidential campaign and other important national and state elections, as well as legislation that might adversely affect maritime unions.

The MLA agreed to expand its use of social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, to promote its message and mission to a greater audience.

The six MLA unions expressed optimism for continued growth and influence as they begin their fourth year of existence and continue as “the one true voice of Maritime Unions in North America.”

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MM&P officers are now in the wheelhouse of the APL GUAM. As reported in The Wheelhouse Weekly, a National Labor Relations Board arbitrator recently ruled in favor of MM&P, the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association, the Sailors’ Union of the Pacific and the Marine Firemen’s Union in a breach of contract grievance over the crewing of the APL GUAM.

The ship has assumed the Maritime Security Program slot of the APL CYPRINE, which was reflagged in early December. The unions will meet with APL soon to negotiate a settlement on back pay and damages. The parties have also agreed to resume the contract negotiations that had been suspended while the case was pending.

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Officials of MM&P and the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA) met on Feb. 17 to discuss the Merchant Officers’ Labor Alliance (MOLA), which was instituted by the two in 2010 to pursue objectives such as network rationalization and cost-sharing.

The meeting took place at MEBA headquarters. Participants were MM&P President Don Marcus, Secretary-Treasurer Steve Werse and Pacific Ports Vice President Dave Boatner, MEBA President Marshall Ainley, Executive Vice President Adam Vokac and Secretary-Treasurer Bill Van Loo.

Topics covered included contracts, the pass-through agreement, the sharing of union halls, the Maritime Labor Alliance, the recent APL arbitration victory and membership in the Nautilus Federation, which helps further the unions’ international reach.

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The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has praised the progress made at the maritime meetings of the International Labor Organization (ILO) in Geneva Feb. 10-12.

One result of the proceedings: an amendment to ILO Convention 185 on Seafarers’ Identity Documents which should eventually make it easier for mariners to take shore leave in foreign ports.

The group approved Annexes to ILO Convention 185 that would ensure that the seafarers’ identity documents called for under the convention conform to all the mandatory requirements for other electronic machine-readable travel documents, such as e-passports.

“We amended the ILO Convention 185 Annexes to incorporate the latest ICAO 9303 Standard,” said ITF Seafarers’ Section Chair Dave Heindel. “The convention was based on a standard that has been superseded. We hope that this will make the convention the success we aspired to when it was adopted in 2003, and that it will secure further ratification–finally facilitating access to shore leave without a visa, and transit to and from vessels.”

ILO 185 requires ratifying nations to issue resident mariners with seafarers’ identity documents and to facilitate the entry of foreign seafarers holding such documents into their territory for the purposes of shore leave, transfer and transit. (The United States has yet to ratify ILO Convention 185.)

Since its adoption in 2003, the convention has failed to achieve widespread implementation, in large part because the technical standards have been superseded by the technologies and infrastructure now used for issuance and verification of e-passports.

During the deliberations, the ILO Ad Hoc Tripartite Committee, which comprises shipowner, seafarer and government representatives, unanimously proposed and adopted a resolution on the facilitation of access to shore leave and transit of seafarers.

“It’s great to see these two meetings–the ILO Maritime Labor Convention Special Tripartite Committee and the Ad Hoc Tripartite Maritime Committee for the amendment of Convention 185–build on the existing provisions,” said Heindel, who is also the spokesperson for the ILO Seafarers’ Group.

“On the MLC developments, one of the wins has been achievement of a resolution to establish a working group to prepare proposals for an amendment to protect seafarers’ wages when they are held captive, on or off the vessel, as victims of a criminal act.”

“The possibility of temporarily extending the MLC certificate for up to five months was also agreed,” he said. “We have ensured that the new certificate will be dated from the original expiry, thus ensuring that certificates are only valid for five years, as intended.”

The amendments will enter into force one year after their adoption by the 105th Session of the International Labor Conference, which will take place in June 2016.

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The ITF has issued a factsheet to help seafarers protect themselves from the Zika virus, which is circulating in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific.

The virus is transmitted primarily by the Aedes mosquito, but there have also been reports of contagion through blood transfusion and sexual contact.

Zika usually causes a mild fever, rash and conjunctivitis that lasts from two to seven days. It is particularly dangerous for pregnant women because it has been linked to serious birth defects. There is no specific treatment or vaccine currently available.

“Our business is helping to protect the health and safety of seafarers,” says ITF maritime coordinator Jacqueline Smith. “They are a particularly vulnerable group to this type of disease because they are in transit a lot of the time and there are a number of major trade routes passing through areas impacted by the Zika virus.”

“The reality for seafarers is that if they’re going to be able to take any precautions against contracting the virus–things like sleeping under mosquito nets, using repellent, wearing light covering clothing–they need to prepare in advance, before they are at sea for a number or weeks or even months,” she says.

If you get infected by the Zika virus: rest; drink plenty of fluids; treat pain and fever with common medicines. If your symptoms worsen, alert the ship’s master and seek medical care and advice from the ship’s medical officer.

The best way to prevent Zika (and other diseases transmitted by mosquitoes) is to avoid getting bitten: use insect repellent; wear clothes (preferably light-colored) that cover as much of the body as possible; use physical barriers such as screens, closed doors and windows; sleep under mosquito nets; cover or eliminate standing water.

If you have Zika, prevent mosquito bites during the first week of infection as the virus can be found in the blood and spread to other people through mosquito bites.

Until more is known about the potential link between Zika virus in pregnant women and microcephaly in babies, if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, you should take extra care to protect yourself from mosquito bites.

If you are pregnant and suspect that you may have Zika, consult the ship’s medical officer for close monitoring during your pregnancy, or seek medical advice in port.

Some countries have advised women to consider postponing planned pregnancies.

The ITF will continue to monitor the situation and keep seafarers up-to-date.

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The American Merchant Marine Museum at Kings Point, N.Y., is planning a new exhibit that commemorates the sinking of the SS ROBIN MOOR on May 21, 1941.

The SS ROBIN MOOR was the first American ship torpedoed in World War II. The deck officers were MM&P members Edward Myers, master; Melvin Mundy, chief mate; Robert Taylor, second mate; and John Banigan, third mate.

Please send an e-mail to if you know of descendants of the men who would like to attend the opening reception for the exhibit on May 20.

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MM&P is seeking masters and chief mates. If you are interested, please send your resume to MM&P Secretary-Treasurer Steve Werse (, Atlantic Ports Vice President Don Josberger ( or National Director of Collective Bargaining Lars Turner ( Tanker and general cargo experience is desired.

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Until this Thursday, March 3, the Union Boot Pro is offering union-made boots at a 30 percent discount. The sale includes four new waterproof, made-in-the-USA styles: three new loggers and a steel-toe wedge. Go to today to view the boots! Use discount code NEW16XD to make your purchase. For more information, call 1-800-723-5384.

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The U.S. Coast Guard’s Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee (MERPAC) will meet on March 16-17 in Jacksonville, Fla. Topics on the agenda include: competency requirements for the polar regions; mariner occupational health risk study; and fatigue mitigation and management. To find out more, go to:

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An Offshore membership meeting has been scheduled for Friday, March 4, at 1100 in the Boston Hall. All members in the area are encouraged to attend the meeting.

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The MM&P Houston Hall will be closed on Wednesday, March 2, for Texas Independence Day.

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Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has reportedly contacted Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to demand a formal investigation into the murder of Giulio Regeni, a young academic who was in Egypt to research independent trade unions.

The 28-year-old postgraduate student at Britain’s Cambridge University disappeared on Jan. 25 while heading to a subway station. His body was found nine days later in a ditch along the main road between Cairo and Alexandria. Authorities in Egypt originally said he had been hit by a car.

A second autopsy in Italy determined that Regeni had instead been murdered after being tortured. Suspicion has focused on Egypt’s security forces.

“We want those who are really responsible to be found out, and be punished on the basis of law,” said Italy’s Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni in an interview published in La Repubblica newspaper.

Giulio’s academic colleagues have organized online campaigns and the trade union movement is also demanding the arrest and prosecution of those responsible.

Please add your voice to the call for justice:

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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 Elisabeth Cruz, 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 – 4/18/16, 8/22/16, 10/17/16

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: 5/27/16, 7/22/16

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 4/5/16, 8/9/16, 9/27/16

AZIPOD 2-Day – 5/25/16, 11/14/16

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 4/4/16, 8/8/16, 10/31/16

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 05/23/2016, 7/18/16, 11/14/16

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling: 3/2/16, 04/13/16

BT – Basic Safety Training: 04/11/16, 06/27/16, 8/15/16, 10/10/16

BT-Revalidation – 05/10/16, 8/22/16, 10/31/16

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 4/25/16, 11/14/16

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

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

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 3/28/16, 06/20/16, 8/1/16, 10/17/16

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 3/7/16, 06/06/16, 8/8/16, 11/7/16

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 04/04/16, 10/24/16

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 3/21/16, 06/13/16, 7/25/16, 8/15/16, 9/12/16,10/10/16, 11/28/16, 12/19/16

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM) 3/14/16, 3/28/16,4/4/16, 4/11/16, 5/16/16, 5/23/16, 6/27/16, 7/11/16, 7/25/16, 8/15/16,8/22/16, 9/12/16,10/3/16, 10/31/16, 11/14/16,11/28/16, 12/5/16, 12/12/16, 12/19/16

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 05/02/16, 9/19/16

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: 3/28/16, 6/20/16, 8/1/16, 10/31/16

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 04/18/16, 10/3/16

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 3/14/16, 04/18/16, 05/09/16, 06/13/16,7/18/16, 8/15/16, 9/12/16, 10/24/16, 11/7/16, 12/5/16

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 3/21/16, 04/25/16, 05/16/16, 06/20/16, 7/25/16, 8/22/16, 9/19/16, 10/31/16, 11/14/16, 12/12/16

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 9/12/16

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 05/09/16, 9/26/16

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 05/02/16, 10/24/16

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: 3/2/16, 7/19/16

DDE – Great Lakes: 6/6/16

DPA – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-OIC – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-Pilots – 05/25/16, 7/20/16, 11/14/16

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 3/21/16, 4/18/16, 5/9/16, 7/18/16, 8/22/16, 9/26/16, 10/24/16, 11/14/16, 11/28/16, 12/5/16, 12/12/16, 12/19/16

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 04/11/16, 06/27/16, 8/15/16, 10/10/16

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 04/19/16, 9/20/16

GL Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: Contact Admissions

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 3/7/16, 8/22/16

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 6/27/16, 8/29/16, 12/5/16

LAP- 4/4/16, 9/19/16

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes: Contact Admissions

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License: 3/7/16, 06/06/16, 8/8/16, 12/5/16

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 4/20/16, 5/23/16, 7/19/16, 9/21/16, 11/15/16

LNG-TPIC – 12/5/16

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 4/4/16

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control: 3/28/16, 4/25/16, 5/16/16, 7/11/16, 8/29/16, 9/19/16, 10/17/16, 11/7/16, 11/28/16, 12/5/16, 12/12/16, 12/19/16

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 3/21/16, 05/16/16, 7/11/16, 11/7/16, 12/12/16

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 3/14/16, 05/02/16, 8/29/16, 10/3/16

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 3/21/16, 05/16/16, 11/7/16, 11/28/16, 12/12/16

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 3/19/16, 05/14/16, 8/28/16, 11/12/16, 12/17/16

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: Contact Admissions

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 3/8/16, 6/10/16, 8/10/16, 10/17/16

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control: 3/5/16 (March is 4 evenings), 6/8/16, 8/8/16, 10/18/16

*MSC-ENVPRO – 6/5/16, 8/7/16, 10/16/16

*MSC-FF-HELO – 6/6/16, 8/22/16, 10/31/16

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 6/13/16, 8/14/16, 10/23/16

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – 6/11/16, 8/11/16, 10/20/16

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced – 3/4/16, 6/17/16, 8/13/16, 10/22/16

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force – 3/5/16, 6/18/16, 8/18/16, 10/27/16

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P – 5/23/16, 7/26/16, 10/25/16

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 5/9/16

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 3/9/16, 3/16/16, 3/29/16, 04/06/16, 4/13/16, 04/20/16, 05/04/16, 05/18/16, 06/08/16, 06/22/16, 7/13/16, 7/27/16, 8/10/16, 8/24/16, 9/21/16, 10/5/16, 10/19/16, 11/2/16, 11/9/16, 11/16/16, 11/30/16, 12/7/16, 12/14/16

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 8/1/16

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue – 04/18/16, 11/7/16

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 04/11/16, 06/27/16, 8/29/16, 10/17/16

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day: 3/7/16, 05/02/16, 8/1/16, 10/3/16, 11/28/16

SMS – Contact Admissions

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 8/8/16

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 7/11/16

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 8/8/16

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – Contact Admissions

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: 4/28/16

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 04/25/16, 7/13/16, 9/7/16, 10/22/16

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): 3/21/16, 10/3/16

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 9/19/16

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

March 2016

7-11 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
14-18 MEECE (waitlist only)
15th Leadership & Teamworking Skills
16-17 Security Officer – Vessel, Company, and Facility
21-25 ECDIS (waitlist only)
21-25 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
21-25 Engine Resource Management (waitlist only)
28-8 Celestial Navigation
30-31 Leadership for Shoreside Managers

April 2016

4-8 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
4-8 Engine Resource Management (waitlist only)
11th Radar Renewal
11-22 GMDSS
18-22 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
18-22 Medical Care Provider
18-22 MEECE (waitlist only)
25-29 ECDIS
27-29 Bridge Resource Management & Emergency Shiphandling for Pilots

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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