Wheelhouse Weekly – Apr. 7, 2015

April 7th 2015

Volume 19 . . . Number 14 . . . April 7, 2015


In this issue:


News for Union Members:

Job Opportunity:


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


A ruling by Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) that certain forms of gasoline blending create “new and different” products that can legally be shipped out of the United States and back on foreign-flag vessels widens the reach of a Jones Act exemption that had previously been established by the agency. The new ruling, which focuses on the relationship between offshore fuel blending and the Jones Act, is likely to affect petroleum product shipping practices. A similar CBP ruling issued a year ago led Jones Act advocates in Congress to write to the agency expressing their concern.

The Jones Act limits transportation of goods between two U.S. ports to American-flag vessels constructed in the United States and crewed by American mariners. If the goods in question are shipped back to our country from a foreign port, both portions of the voyage are covered by the Jones Act.

In the past, CBP has argued that when products are “transformed” into something new, they can be shipped abroad and then back to the United States on foreign-flag vessels. An example is refined oil, which the CBP has ruled can be shipped out as crude from Alaska, refined abroad and then shipped back on foreign-flag vessels to the United States. Like last year’s CBP ruling, which led Jones Act advocates Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.) and Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) to write the agency to express their concern, the new ruling does not involve refining.

Instead, the agency ruled that reformulated gasoline blend stock and similar specified blending products are “new and different” and are thus exempt from the relevant Jones Act requirements.

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GOP politicians posturing for a 2016 run at the White House have taken a stand against the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank. By statute, a portion of the U.S.-produced goods exported with Ex-Im Bank financing move on U.S.-flag vessels crewed by American mariners. Reauthorization of the bank is backed by the business community—including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers—as well as by many Republican members of Congress and by probable Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

But after years of bipartisan support, Ex-Im Bank has become a political hot potato, in particular for the GOP. In recent weeks, Republican presidential hopefuls have spoken out against the bank, siding with Tea Party groups such as Heritage Action which depict the bank as an example of “corporate welfare.” The bank will close June 30 unless Congress votes to extend its charter.

Likely Republican presidential candidates including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker have all attacked the bank in recent speeches. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who have already announced their candidacies, have also come out against the bank. Bush has said it should be phased out. Carly Fiorina, the former head of Hewlett-Packard and another possible GOP presidential candidate, told a journalist in an interview that she would “probably not” reauthorize the bank.

In the House of Representatives, in the meantime, the fourth highest ranking Republican lawmaker, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), has said she is “optimistic” the bank will be reauthorized. On the Senate side, Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) have introduced bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the bank through September 2019. Most observers expect the measure can pass in the Senate. “Republicans and Democrats who truly want to support small businesses… have reinforced the need to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank,” Heitkamp said in introducing the bill. “Standing up for small businesses shouldn’t be a political issue and I hope opponents of the bank take the time to review our bipartisan, compromise bill.”

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As Congress prepares to consider Trade Promotion Authority, also known as Fast Track, the AFL-CIO, community allies and their members, including national leaders like former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, are taking action. Working families have been holding events, writing their members of Congress, making phone calls and signing petitions. The level of grassroots activity against giving President Obama fast track authority shows workers’ fear of yet another bad trade deal that lowers wages and sends jobs overseas while undermining labor, health and environmental standards.

Over the past few months, tens of thousands of Americans have raised their voices in opposition to Fast Track: over 86,000 calls have been made to members of Congress and more than 40,000 people have signed a national petition. Over 400 events have been organized in Congressional districts around the country. The pace will pick up during the week of April 13, leading to a National Day of Action on April 18.

Ever since NAFTA was passed 20 years ago, we’ve heard the rhetoric about trade deals that create jobs only to be hit with the reality later, the AFL-CIO says: these deals are about keeping wages low by trading U.S. jobs to the lowest bidder and protecting the profits of corporations. Labor groups say corporate CEOs now have their sights set on the biggest trade deal of all: the Trans-Pacific Partnership, also known as the TPP. It includes countries like Vietnam, where clothing manufacturers employ child labor and the minimum wage is 28 cents an hour.

Won’t you join the campaign? Please tell your members of Congress to vote NO on Fast Track. Dial 1-888-804-8311 now to be connected to your legislators.

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The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) caucus representing dockworkers at West Coast ports has voted to recommend a “yes” vote to its members on the contract reached over months of negotiations with the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA). The tentative agreement is still subject to ratification by the union’s rank-and-file members.

“This agreement required ten months of negotiations–the longest in recent history,” said ILWU International President Bob McEllrath, “but we secured a tentative agreement to maintain good jobs for dockworkers, families and communities from San Diego to Bellingham. Longshore men and women on the docks will now have the final and most important say in the process.”

The agreement between the ILWU and the PMA on a five-year contract was reached on Feb. 20 with the help of a federal mediator and intervention by U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez. Perez was sent to California by President Obama to mediate the stalled talks. “With their vote to recommend ratification of the contract between shippers and dockworkers at the West Coast ports, leaders of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union have taken an important step toward finalizing the agreement,” Perez said in a statement on Friday. “I am optimistic that the rank and file membership will recognize the contract as a fair resolution, and will vote to approve the contract.”

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Spring is finally here and that means it’s time for some spring cleaning. Emma Bombeck once said, “My idea of spring cleaning is to sweep the room with a glance.” Unfortunately most of us don’t get off that easy. If you plan to join in the ritual, here are some union-made cleaning products to help you make your home sparkle and shine. The following products are made by union members who belong to the IUE-CWA, the UFCW, the IBT, the USW, the IAMAW, the IBB, the CWUC and the GCC-IBT.

Ajax laundry detergent and cleaning powder; ALL laundry detergent; Arctic Bright bleach, Blanco bleach and HiLex bleach, Clorox products including bleach tabs and disinfecting wipes; Dynamo and Fab laundry detergents; Fiberguard carpet cleaners; J.R. Watkins laundry detergent and naturals; Lysol; Love My Carpet; Mini Safe Scour; Miniwax; Mop & Glo; Mountain Pine; Palmolive and Purex products; Snuggle; Spic n’ Span clean wipes; Soft Scrub; Sunlight; Tide, Top Job household bleach and Wisk.

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MM&P Atlantic Ports Vice President Don Josberger has scheduled a membership meeting at the Norfolk Hall on Thursday, April 16 at 1000. MM&P President Don Marcus and Secretary-Treasurer Steve Werse will participate in the meeting. All members in the area are encouraged to attend.

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The St. Lawrence Seaway Pilots Association is growing and accepting applications for current and future openings for applicant/trainee pilots. Its area of operation is District 1, consisting of the St. Lawrence River from Massena, N.Y., to Cape Vincent, N.Y., and Lake Ontario. For more information, write or email: St. Lawrence Seaway Pilots Assoc., PO Box 274 Cape Vincent, NY 13618; Requirements include 24 months’ licensed sea service (Master, Mate or Pilot) on vessels of at least 4,000 gross tons. Complete qualification requirements can be found in CFR 46, subpart b, sections 401.210 and 401.211.

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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: 8/4/15, 9/22/15

AZIPOD 2-Day – 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: 4/8/15, 9/28/15

BT – Basic Safety Training: 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: 6/8/15, 8/17/15, 11/2/15, 12/7/15

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM): 4/20/15, 5/11/15, 6/22/15, 7/13/15,8/10/15, 8/31/15, 9/28/15, 10/26/15, 11/16/15, 11/30/15

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): 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): 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: Contact Admissions

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 – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-OIC – Contact Admissions

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

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 5/4/15, 6/15/15, 7/20/15, 8/24/15, 9/21/15, 10/19/15, 11/9/15, 12/14/15

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 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: 8/24/15

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

LAP- 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): 9/21/15

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control: 4/27/15, 6/8/15, 7/6/15, 8/17/15, 9/14/15, 10/12/15, 11/2/15, 12/7/15

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 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: 4/20/15, 6/15/15, 8/24/15, 10/12/15, 12/7/15

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 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: 8/3/15, 9/21/15

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 4/15/15, 4/29/15, 5/6/15, 5/13/15, 6/3/15, 6/10/15, 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: 6/1/15, 7/27/15

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue – 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 – Contact Admissions

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 – Contact Admissions

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

April 2015

13-17 Leadership and Managerial Skills
13-17 Medical Care Provider
13-17 Basic Shiphandling
13-24 GMDSS
20-24 Leadership and Managerial Skills
27-29 Security – Vessel, Company, and Facility
27-1 Bridge Resource Management

May 2015

4-8 Train the Trainer
4-8 Leadership and Managerial Skills
4-15 GMDSS
11-15 Leadership and Managerial Skills
11-15 Medical Care Provider
18-22 Leadership and Managerial Skills
26th Radar Renewal
27-29 Bridge Resource Management and Emergency Shiphandling for Pilots

June 2015

1-3 Security – Vessel, Company, and Facility
1-5 Medical Care Provider
1-12 Medical Person-In-Charge
8-12 Leadership and Managerial Skills
15-19 ECDIS
15-19 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
22-26 Leadership and Managerial Skills
22-26 Basic Meteorology
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 new subscriptions or address changes, send an e-mail to Back issues of The Weekly are posted on