Wheelhouse Weekly – Mar. 3, 2015

March 4th 2015

Volume 19 . . . Number 9 . . . March 3, 2015


In this issue:


Corporate Earnings:


Job Opportunity:

Upcoming Events:


News for MM&P Members:


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


MM&P Atlantic and Gulf Ports Union Halls, MM&P Headquarters and the MM&P Federal Credit Union will be closed on Tuesday, March 17, for Gleason’s Birthday, an International Longshoremen’s Association holiday.

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MM&P has submitted final comments on the Coast Guard’s proposed rule requiring terminals to implement a system that provides seafarers with access between vessels and the facility gate in a timely manner and at no cost to the individual.

“Shore leave and access to the ship are a major issue not only for seafarers, but for the entire maritime industry,” the union wrote. “It affects the ability of ships to be maintained, supplied with stores and bunkers, undertake voyage repairs, have equipment serviced, change crews, and carry out tasks that can only be efficiently performed while a ship is moored at a port facility. With a global shortage of seafarers it affects the recruitment and retention of seafarers who are treated like potential criminals and terrorists rather than the professionals that the international maritime transportation system and the global economy are dependent upon.”

In the context of its comments, the union recognized the efforts of Coast Guard personnel tasked with developing the proposed rulemaking, saying they had demonstrated “a good understanding of the issues” and “given considerable thought to the solution.” To read the comments in their entirety, go to and click on the link under “Latest News.”

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The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a massive trade deal involving the United States and Europe, could compromise working standards in the maritime industry, say critics of the pact. The Maritime Labor Convention and SOLAS could be undercut by a provision of TTIP and similar pending trade deals that allows businesses access to special international courts where they can challenge any barrier to their ability to maximize profits. For multinationals, the main barriers to profitability are of course labor standards and environmental protections. “This should immediately set alarm bells ringing,” says John Hilary, author of an article on TTIP that was published in the February 2015 issue of Nautilus, the publication of the British, Dutch and Swiss maritime officers’ union.

“TTIP sets the basic principle of free trade as being that there can be no terms or conditions attached to the way in which business operates in a global economy,” Hilary says. “This means that safeguards to protect workers’ rights will be further eroded. These safeguards include health and safety, collective bargaining and pay.” Targets, he says, could eventually include the Maritime Labor Convention, the International Bargaining Forum and even global safety legislation such as SOLAS, since complying with the standards they set has business costs.

Much of the problem with TTIP and similar agreements is that they are negotiated behind closed doors and only published once agreed. The maritime industry was blindsided by the Canada-Europe trade pact (CETA), which calls for an end to Canada’s cabotage law. In the United States, the Jones Act has already been targeted by TTIP negotiators, with Europe calling on the United States to scrap the legislation. In a December statement to the European Parliament, European Union Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem said the EU sees “no reason” why maritime services should be excluded from TTIP negotiations.

Can Fast Track and the trade deals it is designed to promote be stopped? The answer, says the AFL-CIO, is a resounding “YES.” In 1998, Fast Track was voted down in Congress in a bipartisan vote (171 Democrats and 71 Republicans). This time around, a coalition of 100 groups is working together to stop Fast Track in the United States. To join the campaign, go to: or tweet #nofasttrack #stopfasttrack #nomorenaftas #notanothernafta.

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All MM&P members are advised to check the STCW expiration date on their U.S. Coast Guard Medical Certificate. Remember: your USCG medical certificate must be renewed every two years. A valid medical certificate is required to ship.

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The A.P. Moller-Maersk Group has reported profits of $5.2 billion profit for 2014. The figure, a company record, represents a 38 percent increase over the results reported for the previous year. In an official statement, the company said its performance reflected increased contributions from Maersk Line, which benefited from lower fuel prices and cost containment, thanks primarily to economies of scale linked to deploying ever larger ships. Despite a decline in freight rates, Maersk Line reported profits of $2.3 billion, 50 percent higher than in the previous year. The group said Maersk Line expects an even stronger result in 2015.

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Matson Chief Executive Officer and President Matt Cox said the company is reporting significantly higher profits for 2014. For the full year 2014, Matson reported a profit of $70.8 million, compared with $53.7 million in 2013. “Performance improved in all of our business lines, buoyed by demand for our expedited China service, modest market growth in Hawaii and Guam, and continued improvements in logistics operations” and the company’s terminal joint venture, Cox said in an official release to the press. “2014 was a good year for Matson, punctuated by a strong fourth quarter,” he said. With signs of stronger growth for Hawaii and the U.S. economy as a whole, prospects for the company look even better for the current year, market analysts said.

Although Matson’s pending buyout of the Alaska segment of Horizon Lines has not been fully factored into the financial forecasts for 2015, the company is expected to reap significant rewards from its entry into the Alaska market through efficiency gains and greater economic diversification from having two separate markets to serve.

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Americans who are members of labor unions are generally happier than people who do not belong to a union, according to a multiyear study cited in an article published in the opinion pages of The New York Times. “For those who belong to a union, membership seems to bring a benefit that perhaps surpasses better wages or generous health insurance: higher life satisfaction,” writes John Guida, editor of Op-Talk, in a Jan. 13 article entitled “Want to Be Happy? Join a Union.”

“Simply put, if one goal of labor unions is to boost the quality of life for their members, our study provides empirical evidence that they are succeeding,” say the authors of the study, Patrick Flavin, an assistant professor at Baylor University, and Gregory Shufeldt, an assistant professor at the University of Arkansas, Little Rock. The two based their findings on five years of data collected in the United States between the early 1980s and the mid-2000s as part of the World Values Survey, a research project focusing on people’s beliefs.

Flavin and Shufeldt hypothesized that the increased life satisfaction reported by union members might be attributed to one or more of the following factors: “having greater satisfaction with one’s experiences while working, feeling greater job security, being afforded numerous opportunities for social interaction and integration, and enhancing the participatory benefits associated with more engaged democratic citizenship.”

The two found that in statistical terms, the positive impact of union membership was independent of other factors including income, self-reported health, education, gender, age, marital status and employment status. They also found that it had a higher impact on happiness than an increase in income… but a lower impact than getting married.

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The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) is joining the Maritime Union of New Zealand (MUNZ) in celebrating the signing of a new collective bargaining agreement for workers at the Ports of Auckland. The longshoremen’s union had been involved in a labor dispute with port employers since 2011. In recent days, members of the union voted unanimously to ratify a new collective bargaining agreement, which has since been signed. “I congratulate the Maritime Union of New Zealand and its members for sticking to their guns and staying strong in their quest for a collective agreement,” said ITF President Paddy Crumlin, who is also chair of the ITF dockers’ section and national secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia. “This is a victory for the good guys.”

“The four-year dispute put enormous strain on workers and their families at Ports of Auckland and I’d like to congratulate them for their strength and resolve,” said MUNZ National Secretary Joe Fleetwood. He also thanked the ITF and the international trade union community for the rallies and actions of solidarity and support for the dock workers that were held outside New Zealand embassies and consulates in a number of countries.

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Texas A&M Maritime Academy is seeking to fill one full-time, fully licensed chief mate’s position with at least two years’ operational experience as an unlimited chief mate. The successful candidate must be able to assist the master in the safe operation of the TS GENERAL RUDDER during the 95-day summer cruise. Since the ship is owned by the Maritime Administration (MARAD), the chief mate will be working closely with MARAD representatives as well as university representatives. The chief mate is responsible for vessel maintenance, ship operations and crew management as designated by the master. Applicants must submit a cover letter, resume, an application, an affirmative action form and contact information from three professional references. For more information about this position and how to apply, go to or send an e-mail to

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The Maritime Administration (MARAD) has issued a notice announcing that the seventh annual Women on the Water (WOW) Conference will be held at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy March 25-7. Registration is now open. To find out more about the conference, and to register:

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The Maritime Institute of Technology & Graduate Studies is offering a new five-day course designed to provide mariners and pilots with the skills necessary to defend themselves and others in the event of an onboard security incident or an attack ashore in port. The course, Practical Security Applications (SEC-APPS), will be offered in conjunction with Specialized Security Solutions, a maritime security firm.

The 35-hour program includes instruction in the defensive use of firearms as well as live range practice, de-escalation techniques, survivor mindset strategies, ways to respond to sudden violence, unarmed self-defense and security incident management. Participants will learn how to deal with an aggressive incident onboard a vessel or shore-side.

“To help conduct the unarmed self-defense component of the course, we are fortunate to have Sean Riley of Delaware Dragon Martial Arts,” says MITAGS Training Director Eric Friend. Riley is a Sixth Degree Black Belt in Taekwondo affiliated with Coach Greg Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts Curriculum. The techniques he uses have been taught to law enforcement officers and special forces personnel worldwide. The course will be offered March 23-7, June 15-21, Aug. 24-30 and Oct. 12-18 only. More information about the course is posted on the MITAGS website.

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The Workboat Academy, a unit of the MM&P training institute MITAGS-PMI, has been awarded the Lloyd’s List 2015 North American Maritime Award for Training. The award honors a company or institution for distinction in its course offerings and for contributing to improved educational standards across the maritime industry. The director of the Workboat Academy, Marja van Pietersom, accepted the award on behalf of her colleagues and staff at the 2015 Lloyd’s List North American Maritime Awards Dinner in Houston on Feb. 18.

The two-year workboat program, which is offered in Seattle, Baltimore and New Orleans, is aimed at the entry-level mariner. The academy offers five programs a year and works with over 40 partner companies which provide internships for the cadets. As part of its overall outreach effort, the Workboat Academy, MITAGS-PMI and a number of community colleges are now working toward earning a Department of Labor National Grant for Engineering Apprenticeships.

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Planning to visit your local MM&P union hall? In case of severe weather, please call ahead to confirm port hours of operation. The MM&P directory, which includes the numbers of all the union’s port offices, is included in each issue of The Master, Mate & Pilot, and posted under “Contact Us” on

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MM&P Atlantic Ports Vice President Don Josberger will be at the Boston Union Hall for a short meeting at 1200 on Thursday, March 5, weather permitting.
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MM&P Atlantic Ports Vice President Don Josberger will hold a membership meeting at 1100 on Wednesday, March 11, weather permitting. All members in the area are encouraged to attend.

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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 – 4/13/15, 8/17/15, 10/12/15

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: 6/19/15, 7/13/15

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 3/31/15, 8/4/15, 9/22/15

AZIPOD 2-Day – 4/6/15, 10/1/15

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 5/18/15, 8/3/15, 10/19/15

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 4/13/15, 6/17/15, 7/16/15, 11/9/15

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling: 3/4/15, 4/8/15, 9/28/15

BT – Basic Safety Training: 4/6/15, 6/8/15, 8/10/15, 10/5/15

BT-Revalidation –8/4/15, 11/3/15

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 4/13/15, 10/26/15

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

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

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 4/20/15, 6/15/15, 7/27/15, 9/28/15

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 4/13/15, 6/1/15, 8/3/15, 10/19/15

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 4/27/15, 10/5/15

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 4/6/15, 6/8/15, 8/17/15, 11/2/15, 12/7/15

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM): 3/9/15, 3/30/15, 4/20/15, 5/11/15,6/22/15, 7/13/15, 8/10/15, 8/31/15, 10/26/15, 11/30/15

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

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 3/9/15, 9/14/15

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 3/9/15, 3/30/15, 4/13/15, 5/4/15, 6/1/15, 7/13/15, 8/10/15, 8/24/15,10/5/15, 11/9/15, 11/30/15

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 3/16/15, 4/6/15, 4/20/15, 5/11/15, 6/8/15, 7/20/15, 8/17/15, 8/31/15,10/12/15, 11/16/15, 12/7/15

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 3/23/15

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 5/11/15, 11/9/15

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 4/27/15, 11/9/15

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

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

DDE – Great Lakes: 5/27/15

DPA – 3/19/15

ECDIS-OIC – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-Pilots – 6/15/15, 7/14/15, 11/12/15

ERM – Engine Resource Management: Contact Admissions

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 4/6/15, 6/8/15, 8/10/15, 10/5/15

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 4/14/15, 7/6/15, 9/15/15, 11/11/15

GL Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: Contact Admissions

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

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 6/22/15, 8/31/15, 11/16/15

LAP- 4/6/15, 9/14/15

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

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License: 6/1/15, 8/3/15, 11/30/15

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 4/15/15, 6/17/15, 7/16/15, 9/16/15, 11/10/15

LNG-TPIC – 12/7/15

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 3/30/15, 9/21/15

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 3/16/15, 4/20/15, 6/15/15, 8/24/15, 12/7/15

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 5/11/15, 7/27/15, 9/28/15

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 3/16/15, 4/20/15, 6/15/15, 8/24/15, 10/12/15, 12/7/15

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 3/21/15, 4/25/15, 6/20/15, 7/25/15, 8/28/15, 11/5/15, 12/12/15

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: Contact Admissions

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 6/5/15, 8/19/15, 10/29/15

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (4 Evenings): 6/2/15, 8/17/15, 10/27/15

*MSC-ENVPRO – 6/6/15, 8/16/15, 10/31/15

*MSC-FF-HELO – 6/9/15, 8/3/15, 11/2/15

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 5/26/15, 8/8/15, 10/19/15

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – 5/30/15, 8/6/15, 10/17/15

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced –6/1/15, 8/12/15, 10/23/15

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force – 6/2/15, 8/13/15, 10/24/15

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 3/30/15, 8/3/15, 9/21/15

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 3/6/15, 3/18/15, 4/1/15, 4/15/15, 4/29/15, 5/6/15, 5/13/15, 6/3/15, 6/17/15, 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

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 3/23/15, 6/1/15, 7/27/15

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue – 4/6/15, 10/19/15

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 5/11/15, 6/22/15, 11/2/15

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day: 4/27/15, 7/27/15, 9/28/15

SMS – 3/17/15

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

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 7/6/15

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

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – 3/23/15

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: 5/21/15

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 4/18/15, 5/18/15, 7/22/15, 9/9/15, 10/7/15, 10/17/15

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): 9/28/15

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

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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 2015

9th Radar Renewal
9-20 Celestial Navigation
16-20 Leadership and Managerial Skills
16-20 Medical Care Provider
16-27 GMDSS
16-27 Medical Person-In-Charge
23-27 ECDIS
30-3 Leadership and Managerial Skills

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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 new subscriptions or address changes, send an e-mail to Back issues of The Weekly are posted on