News

Wheelhouse Weekly – March 14, 2011

March 14th 2011

 

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

Volume 15 . . . . . Number 11. . . . March 14, 2011

STORIES COVERED

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


ATCHAFALAYA ONCE AGAIN UNDER MM&P CONTRACT

MM&P has signed a new contract with Cashman Dredging and Marine Contracting for top-to-bottom crewing of the ATCHAFALAYA. The dredge returns to the MM&P fold after several years, most recently having been operated by a non-union crew. “It’s great to welcome back a vessel that had been part of the union’s fleet for years and on which many of our members have sailed,” said MM&P Atlantic Ports Vice President Steve Werse, who spearheaded the negotiations for the new contract. “It’s a point of great pride that MM&P has taken over a non-union operation and put an excellent MM&P crew to work in the process,” Werse said.  The new contract with Boston-based Cashman Dredging and Marine has deck and engineering billets for four licensed officers and eight unlicensed crewmembers.


WISCONSIN GOVERNOR AND REPUBLICAN LEGISLATORS PUSH THROUGH BILL THAT ELIMINATES COLLECTIVE BARGAINING FOR PUBLIC SECTOR WORKERS

Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.) and his allies in the state Senate succeeded last week in pushing through a bill that strips public employees of their collective bargaining rights. To pass the measure without a quorum (the Democratic senators had left the state in an attempt to stop the bill from coming to a vote) the Republicans split Walker’s “budget repair bill” into two parts and passed only the most controversial portions, including the elimination of collective bargaining rights for public employees. Similar measures are now pending in at least five other states.

Demonstrators have packed the streets of Madison almost every day since Walker proposed the measure, but the largest crowds arrived after the governor signed it into law: Madison police estimated the crowd at 85,000 to 100,000 people, joined by a large contingent of farmers driving tractors. “This vote does nothing to create jobs, nothing to strengthen our state, and shows finally and utterly that this was never about anything but raw political power,” Mike Tate, chairman of the Wisconsin Democratic Party, told the crowd.

Representatives of public employee unions said they would challenge the legislation in court and begin efforts to recall the Republican legislators who had passed it. “Scott Walker made it crystal clear to the people of Wisconsin–and the entire nation–the extent he will go to in order to pay back billionaires such as the Koch brothers,” said SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry. “This legislative gimmick proves Walker’s attack on the middle class was never about balancing the budget; it was always about stripping workers of a voice and rewarding the cronies who helped finance his campaign.”

Demonstrations in support of Wisconsin public sector workers were held in numerous cities, including Washington, D.C., where representatives of MM&P marched with members of the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA), including MEBA Secretary-Treasurer Bill Van Loo.

Numerous polls conducted in recent weeks show that the majority of Americans oppose the attacks on public sector unions, particularly, efforts to strip workers of their collective bargaining rights. A Bloomberg National Poll taken last Wednesday found that 64 percent of respondents–both Democrats and Republicans–say public employees should have the right to bargain collectively for their wages. Two recent Pew surveys also show that the majority of respondents, when asked about collective bargaining, side with unions.


MM&P OFFICERS AT WASHINGTON STATE FERRIES NOW VOTING ON TENTATIVE AGREEMENT

After several weeks of intense negotiations conducted against a backdrop of attacks on public sector workers nationwide, MM&P’s United Inland Group and Washington State Ferries (WSF) have reached a tentative agreement that is now awaiting ratification by the membership. The tentative agreement is posted in the members’ only section of http://www.mmp-uig.org.

“This agreement is the result of extremely difficult negotiations that required concessions by every union belonging to the WSF Unions’ Coalition,” said United Inland Group Vice President Mike Murray. If the unions had not agreed to make the concessions, four bills aimed at eliminating collective bargaining would have moved forward in the Washington State Legislature. The bills would have reclassified masters and mates as management, thus denying them the right to collectively bargain their contracts. 

If the tentative agreement is not ratified, WSF and the Office of Financial Management will move under state law to enact “any changes they deem necessary” to the existing contract one year after it expires on June 30 of this year.

Members employed at WSF are asked to immediately review the tentative agreement in the members’ only section of http://www.mmp-uig.org. For additional information, members are encouraged to attend one of the meetings listed below.

The United Inland Group strongly recommends ratification of the agreement and encourages members to vote YES on the ballot they receive in the mail. Ballots must be returned by Friday, March 25.

Upcoming Meetings on the Tentative Agreement With Washington State Ferries

March 15
Sons of Norway, Poulsbo
1000-1300 and 1800-2000

March 17
MEBA Hall, Georgetown
0930-1530

March 18
Eagle Harbor, Bainbridge Island
0700-0900


U.S. BEGINS RELIEF OPERATIONS IN JAPAN

The aircraft carrier RONALD REAGAN arrived off the coast of northeastern Japan and launched relief operations Sunday in the region devastated by the 8.9 magnitude earthquake and tsunami on Friday. Officials said the United States will assist in transporting goods and personnel by making use of American military bases on Honshu, Japan’s main island. The first goal was distribution by helicopter of 30,000 prepared meals.

Besides the earthquake and the tsunami, the country is now struggling to contain the threat of multiple nuclear reactor meltdowns. As this issue of The Wheelhouse Weekly was being distributed, officials in Japan said at least 10,000 had died in the disaster.

The quake was centered approximately 100 miles east of Sendai city, Honshu. It generated a tsunami of at least 23 feet, which swept boats, cars, buildings and tons of debris miles inland. Smaller swells struck other Pacific Rim countries, causing serious but far less extensive damage. Since the initial quake, Japan has been struck by several hundred aftershocks. Geologists quoted by CNN said the earthquake was so powerful that it moved the main island of Japan by 8 feet and shifted the Earth on its axis.


HORIZON LINES TAKES IMPORTANT STEP IN DEBT REFINANCING

Horizon Lines said Friday it had entered into a new credit agreement with lenders that will give it more flexibility as it moves forward with its overall debt refinancing efforts. The amendment waives a default under the senior credit facility that would have arisen from the $45 million fine that the company has agreed to pay to settle the Department of Justice investigation. The amendment also adjusts the two financial covenants of the credit facility, providing relief from potential noncompliance.  

“We very much appreciate the support of our lender group and recognize that the amended credit agreement is a vote of confidence in the future of our company,” said Horizon Lines Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Michael Avara in an official statement. “This amendment allows Horizon Lines to effect the plea agreement without triggering a judgment default under the credit facility, and it provides additional financial covenant flexibility as we pursue a comprehensive refinancing of our existing capital structure.”

In exchange for the modification of the lending agreement, the company has agreed to pay a higher rate of interest on its credit facility, in addition to a fee. Horizon Lines says it will also not issue a dividend to shareholders this year.

“Together with our advisors, we expect to soon commence broader constructive refinancing discussions,” said incoming Horizon Lines President and Chief Executive Officer Stephen H. Fraser in an official statement. “We are confident that these discussions will result in a financially stronger company that is better-positioned for the long-term. We anticipate completing the refinancing process in the second or third quarter of 2011.”


MM&P STAFFERS ASSIST AFGE IN TSO ORGANIZING DRIVE

In one of the biggest union elections in recent years, more than 40,000 transportation security officers (TSOs) at 450 of the nation’s airports began voting last week on whether to join a union. Several MM&P headquarters staffers, including MM&P members Klaus Luhta and Lars Turner, met with TSOs at Baltimore-Washington International Airport on Wednesday to urge a vote for the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE).

Although up to now the TSOs have not had the right to collectively bargain their working conditions and pay, more than 12,000 of them have already joined AFGE locals across the country. The ballot offers three choices: AFGE, no union or an unaffiliated union. The voting ends April 19.

At its meeting last week, the AFL-CIO Executive Council approved a statement supporting the officers’ right to bargain, which said, in part: “The AFL-CIO stands in full support of AFGE and the transportation security officers in the election and renews its commitment to secure full collective bargaining rights for all federal and other public employees.”

If you travel before April 19, MM&P and the AFL-CIO urge you to speak with the TSOs you encounter in the airport and urge them to “Vote Yes for AFGE.”


WHEN YOU REACH FOR A BEER, WHY NOT MAKE IT UNION-MADE?

St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner. When you reach for a beer to celebrate, why not make it union-made?

Here’s a brief list of beers and ales made by members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), the United Autoworkers (UAW) and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW). If we’re missing any, please send an e-mail to info@unionprivilege.org.

Anheuser-Busch, Budweiser, Bud Light, Budweiser American Ale, Busch, Hamm’s, Hamm’s Draft, Hamm’s Light, Henry Weinhard’s Private Reserve, Henry Weinhard’s Blue Boar Pale Ale, Icehouse, Iron City, Labatt’s Blue, Leinenkugel’s, Lionshead, Mad River, Michelob, Mickey’s Malt, Mickey’s Ice, Miller, Miller Lite, Miller Genuine Draft, Miller Genuine Draft Light, Miller High Life, Miller High Life Light, Miller Lite Ice, Milwaukee’s Best, Milwaukee’s Best Light, Milwaukee’s Best Ice, Molson, Moosehead, Natural Light, O’Doul’s, Olde English 800, Pabst, Red Dog, Rolling Rock, Sharp’s (non alcoholic), Shock Top, Steelhead Fine Ale and Stegmaier.


SECURITY DETACHMENT ABOARD MAERSK ALABAMA TURNS BACK PIRATE ATTACK

European naval authorities report that a suspected pirate skiff that approached the MAERSK ALABAMA last Tuesday was routed by warning shots from an onboard security team. The authorities report that the vessel was approached by a skiff about 200 miles north of Madagascar. No shots were fired by the pirates. The MAERSK ALABAMA has been attacked several times in the past, most notably in the 2009 incident in which pirates boarded the ship and held MM&P member Capt. Richard Phillips hostage on a lifeboat for five days until three of the pirates who had kidnapped him were shot dead by Navy SEALs. Other MM&P members aboard the vessel at the time were Chief Mate Shane Murphy and Third Mate Colin Wright.


VESSEL SINKS AFTER PIRATES RELEASE IT

International maritime authorities received a distress call on March 9 from MV ARAK AFRIKANA, which had been released by pirates several hours earlier. The crew reported that the ship was taking on large amounts of water because of a hole in the hull. Two European Union naval warships were sent to evacuate the 25-man crew.  The vessel had been hijacked on April 11 of last year. The rescued crew members are reported to be in satisfactory condition.


SAVINGS ON WIRELESS SERVICE AND A $250 EDUCATION REBATE FOR UNION MEMBERS

Start saving on your wireless service today: you’ll be supporting union workers and their families. AT&T is the only national wireless company that is completely unionized. Some 40,000 AT&T Mobility employees are represented by the Communications Workers of America (CWA). Get started today with a $50 one-time credit with a $34.99 monthly or higher voice plan with new activations (expires 04/29/11). This offer is only available online to union members. It excludes iPhone, iPad and Tablets.

To activate new wireless service and benefit from the $50 one-time credit, MM&P members can go to http://www.unionplus.org and select Masters, Mates & Pilots in the scroll down locator on the right-hand side of the page. The wireless offer is open to all union members.

Union members who have a Union Plus credit card are eligible for another offer: an “education rebate” of up to $250 when they use their Union Plus card to make qualifying purchases that include: college text books, tuition, tutoring and school dining costs; a combination of costs for the Princeton Review college test preparation courses and registration for the SAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT, MCAT or LSAT.

And don’t forget: whether or not you have the Union Plus credit card, as an MM&P member, you are eligible for a $500 one-time credit if you open a 529 education savings account and establish a $1,000 balance in favor of a member of your family who is under 12 years of age.

To find out about these offers and more, go to http://www.unionplus.org.


DEADLINES FOR SUBMITTING MM&P MEMBERSHIP DOCUMENTS

If you are planning to submit documentation supporting your membership application for consideration by the MM&P General Executive Board (GEB), please keep in mind that the documents must be received at MM&P headquarters seven calendar days before the GEB meeting. The 2011 schedule of meetings is as follows: July 19-20, Sept. 7-8 and Dec. 6-7.


MM&P SOLICITING QUALIFIED PENSIONERS FOR POSSIBLE JOBS ON LMSRS

The union is soliciting interested pensioners for possible job opportunities on ships in the government fleet that are operated by MM&P-contracted private employers. Mariners who fill these jobs must meet Military Sealift Command training and security clearance requirements. If you would be interested in these jobs, please contact your area MM&P Vice President or Sue Bourcq at the MM&P New Orleans Hall.


COAST GUARD SEEKS MARINE FACILITY INSPECTOR IN HOUSTON

The Coast Guard is seeking applicants for the position of supervisory marine facility inspector (GS-1801-13) in the Houston Metro area. Applications must be received by March 16.  To find out more, go to: http://tinyurl.com/4teevtj or contact John Bennett, USCG, bennettj@uscg.smil.mil or bennettj@uscg.ic.gov.


 

MM&P INTERNATIONAL SECRETARY-TREASURER AT APRIL 1 BOSTON OFFSHORE UNION MEETING

MM&P Atlantic Ports Vice President Steve Werse and International Secretary-Treasurer Don Marcus will present their reports to the membership at the union’s Boston meeting on April 1 at 1200. All union members are encouraged to attend.


CAMM ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING APRIL 27-29 AT MITAGS

The Council of American Master Mariners (CAMM) will hold its Annual Meeting and Professional Development Conference April 27-29 at MITAGS. The topic of the conference is “The Master and the Burden of Regulations.” Congressman Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), ranking member of the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, will be the keynote speaker. Among the other speakers will be MM&P Pilots Group Vice President George Quick. To find out more and to register, go to http://www.mastermariner.org.


UPCOMING UNITED INLAND GROUP-PACIFIC MARITIME REGION MEETINGS

The following dates, times and locations have been selected for UIG-PMR meetings in the Puget Sound region for the first half of 2011.

Monday, April 11 – Edmonds Office: 1400-1600

Tuesday, May 10 – Anacortes (site TBD: 1000-1200 and 1500-1700)

Thursday, June 9 – Edmonds Office: 1000-1200


SCHEDULE FOR NEW HORIZON LINES MEDICAL REFRESHER COURSE

MITAGS has developed a new five-day medical refresher course for members who have already completed the STCW-95 Medical Person-in-Charge course (MED-PIC).  The new course meets Horizon Lines five-year medical refresher training requirements for chief mates and masters. It will be offered at MITAGS Sept. 12-16 and Nov. 14-18. The course will be offered at PMI beginning in 2012. Please contact the MITAGS Admissions office for more details: 866-656-5568 or e-mail admissions@mitags.org.  The course is open to any member who has completed MED-PIC in the past five years.


SCHEDULE FOR 2011 D-BOOK MEMBERSHIP COURSE

The Offshore Division Orientation Course, formerly called the D-Book Membership Course, will be held at regular intervals throughout 2011.

The schedule is as follows (but please note that course dates may change depending on the number of participants who sign up): April 1-2, June 10-11 and Oct. 21-22 at MM&P headquarters in Linthicum Heights; Oct. 13-14 in Los Angeles/Long Beach; and Nov. 8-9 in New Orleans.

There is no sea-time requirement to take the course. All Offshore applicants and potential transferees from other membership groups are urged to attend.

If you want to attend the course, please RSVP to the local hiring hall where the class is offered or, in the case of a course planned for headquarters, to Lars Turner at lturner@bridgedeck.org.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

Between now and the end of June, the following courses are scheduled at MITAGS.  For class availability or information on MITAGS courses and programs, contact Kelly Michielli, Admissions Coordinator, toll free at 866-656-5568 or e-mail: admissions@mitags.org.

AB – Able Bodied Seaman: 4/18, 6/13
AIS – Automatic Identification Systems: 5/12
ARPA – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 5/16

BRM– Bridge Resource Management: 2/21
BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 5/9, 6/6
BST – Basic Safety Training: 4/11, 6/27

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVWX � Advanced Meteorology: 6/12
CMM-ADVSTB � Advanced Stability: 4/11, 6/27
CMM-CHS I � Advanced Cargo Operations (week 1): 4/18
CMM-CHS II � Advanced Cargo Operations (week 2): 4/25
CMM-ECDIS � Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems: 5/23
CMM-MPP � Marine Propulsion Plants: 6/13
CMM-SHMGT I – Ship Management (week 1): 5/2
CMM-SHMGT II – Ship Management (week 2): 5/9
CMM-SHS-ADV-I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 3/14, 3/28, 4/18, 5/16, 6/13
CMM-SHS-ADV-I I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 3/21, 4/4, 4/25, 5/23, 6/20
CMM-VPEN � Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 5/16
CMM-WKP � Advanced Watchkeeping: 4/4, 6/20

CHS BAS � Basic Cargo Handing and Stowage: 4/11
CNAV � Celestial Navigation: 3/21, 5/2

ENVIRO-Regs Permit � Environmental Regulations Permit: 3/15, 5/24
EP � Emergency Procedures: 4/27

FF-BADV � Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 4/11, 6/27
FSM � Fatique, Sleep and Medications for Pilots: 3/18, 6/8

HAZ � Hazardous Materials (5 day): 6/13

LAP CMM � License Advancement Program of Upgrade to Chief Mate/Master: 3/28
LAP-ORG 3rd � License Advancement Program for Original 3/Mate: 6/6

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 5/9, 6/6

MCL – Management, Communications and Leadership: 3/21
MEDIA-RSP � Media Response Workshop: 5/13
MED-PIC – Medical Person In Charge: 3/21, 5/2, 6/13
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 3/21, 4/4, 5/2, 6/13
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 3/26, 5/7, 6/18

MSC-CBRD1 � Basic Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense: 6/10
MSC-DC � Damage Control: 6/6
MSC -SMA � Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 3/14, 6/6

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 3/30, 4/6, 4/13, 4/20, 5/11, 5/25, 6/16, 6/28
ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Day Class: 3/14, 6/16
ROP-5 � Radar Observer Original and Renewal: 5/2

SAR � Search and Rescue: 4/25
SEC-VCF � Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 3/14, 5/9
SHS-BAS � Basic Shiphandling: 4/18, 6/20
SHS-EMR3 � Emergency Shiphandling for Pilots: 6/8
SHS-EMR5 � Emergency Shiphandling: 5/2

TPIC � Tankerman Person in Charge: 5/16

WX BAS � Basic Meteorology: 3/28

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

Check the MITAGS website at www.mitags.org for course descriptions associated with the course title abbreviations, and schedule revisions. For class availability or info on MITAGS courses and programs, contact admissions toll-free at 866-656-5568 or e-mail: admissions@mitags.org


PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

Schedule of Courses – Please also see our schedule online at www.mates.org

For registration, call our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen, at (206) 838-1126

March 2011

8-11    ARPA
14-18  ECDIS
21-1   Celestial Navigation
21-23  Fast Rescue Boat
28th   Radar Renewal

April 2011

4-15     GMDSS
11-13   Security VCF
11-15   Basic Stability
18-22  Medical Care Provider
23rd    Medical DOT
18-29  Medical Person-in-Charge
25th    Radar Renewal
25-29  Basic Meteorology

May 2011

2-13    Basic Watchkeeping
16th    Radar Renewal
16-20  Medical Care Provider
16-27  Medical Person-In-Charge
17-18   Environmental Regulations/VGP
21st     Medical DOT
23-25  Fast Rescue Boat
23-27  ECDIS
23-27  Management, Communication, and Leadership
25th    Flashing Light

June 2011

2-3      Vessel Security Officer
6-24    Terrestrial and Coastal Navigation
13-24  GMDSS
20-22 Fast Rescue Boat
20-24 ECDIS
27-29  Emergency Procedures
30-1    Search and Rescue


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 3-11-11

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
12,044.40 2,715.61 1,304.28
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund (VAARX)
56.68
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
120.58
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
42.93
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
19.37
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
18.64
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
29.96
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.75
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
32.47
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.80
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
16.64
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
22.64
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
14.22
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
19.99
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
11.92
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
12.68
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
12.92
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
13.46
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
13.88
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.59
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
32.83
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
18.10
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
15.72
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
18.94
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.60
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
73.95
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
72.00
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
19.11
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
46.56
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
30.47
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
29.48
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.42
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
12.12
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
13.88
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
14.12
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
14.13
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
8.23
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
9.65
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.79
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
39.53
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
46.32
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
30.98



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: iommp@bridgedeck.org. For further info or to subscribe contact Lisa Rosenthal at lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org. The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea and is posted on our web page.

© 2011, 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: lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org. For changes of address, contact Lisa Rosenthal at lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org.