Wheelhouse Weekly – March 29, 2001

March 29th 2001


Bridging the Information Gap With E-News You Can Use

Volume 5. . . . . Number 13. . . March 30, 2001




MM&P-contracted Grand River Navigation Company has just announced the purchase of two vessels, the CALCITE II and the MYRON C. TAYLOR, that will be crewed top-to-bottom by MM&P members. The two vessels are self-unloaders engaged in the aggregate and coal trade throughout the Great Lakes. They were previously crewed by AMO LDOs and engineers.

Positions available on these vessels are LDOs, engineers and unlicensed ratings including QMEDs, OSs, and ABs. STCW certification is not required on the Great Lakes. With the new additions Grand River Navigation, which has offices in Buffalo, NY and Rodgers City, MI, will operate a three vessel fleet.

For further info on these positions, contact Bill Rabatsky, VP Great Lakes and Rivers Maritime Membership Group at Voice: 216-228-8111; Fax: 216-228-8113; or Email:

“Congratulations to Bill Rabatsky, on his efforts to acquire, negotiate and man this contract. It’s a great victory for the MM&P,” said Richard Plant, MM&P Director of Special Projects.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


MM&P elected officials and Union Representatives from all MM&P membership groups, and Headquarters, Plans, MIRAID and MITAGS staff met at MM&P HQ for an intensive two-day training session on Tues. and Wed. The training was designed update the attendees on the latest developments within the maritime community so that they might best serve the interests of all MM&P members.

Legal issues were covered by International Counsel John Singleton and Associate Counsel Gabriel Terrasa. An overview of relevant labor and employment laws included the concept of the duty of fair representation with regard to the role and responsibilities of Union representatives. In the grievance processing and contract law section of the seminar, areas covered included the proper processing of grievances; the right to relevant information; contract interpretation and past practice; and disciplinary cases and just cause. Supervisory issues were also examined.

An introduction to National Labor Relations Board practices as they applied to Union activities was delivered by Al Palewicz, Regional Attorney for NLRB Region 5.

USCG Laws which affected the licensing of mariners was covered by nationally respected maritime attorney Bill Hewig.

MITAGS Executive Director Glen Paine briefed the attendees on the numerous improvements that are being made to the school.

Union financial matters, including the numerous reporting requirements of the Dept. of Labor, were covered by Al Garappolo of the accounting firm of Thomas Havey and Associates.

The Jones Act as it relates to maritime injuries was discussed by Baltimore-based attorney Matt Darby.

Current legislative initiatives were discussed by MIRAID President Jim Patti.

Union communications were covered by Communications Director Karl Schwartz.

The MM&P Federal Credit Union operations were discussed by Federal Credit union Manager Kathy Klisavage.

A comprehensive update on the latest developments regarding the MM&P Health and Benefit Plans was delivered by Plans Administrator Valerie Verrecchio. All attendees were provided with packets including samples of the Plans latest forms and info on membership benefit programs. Look for more coverage on recent changes and improvements to the MM&P Health and Benefit Plans in next week’s Wheelhouse Weekly.

On the second day of the program, negotiating collective bargaining agreements was discussed by International Counsel John Singleton. Costing out agreements was presented by Offshore VP Pacific Don Marcus and Mike Rodriguez, Assistant to the President.

Also covered on the second day was job organizing strategies by Ron DeJuliis, Business Manager, International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 37.

The Labor Management Reporting and Disclosure Act was covered by Steve Willertz, Supervisory Investigator, US Dept. of Labor.

An in-depth presentation on organizing included presentations on pre and post election issues before the NLRB; volunteer recognition and card checks, pre-hire agreements and current organizing activities by MM&P Director of Special Projects Richard Plant.

An update on the current issues of concern to the Government Employees Membership Group was delivered by Union Rep. Randi Ciszewski.

The intensive two-day training session was coordinated by International Counsel John Singleton who also served as program moderator.

The training session was attended by all elected MM&P officials and many members of the HQ staff. Those attending from MM&P port offices included:

  • A&G: Luis Ramirez, Jimmy Avera, Pedro Ocasio, Jerry Donnelly, Don McGrady.
  • Government: Randi Ciszewski
  • GL&R: William Rabatsky
  • PMR: Steve Demeroutis, Sheri Schermerhorn, Ray Shipway.
  • Pilots: George Quick
  • Pensioner Rep.: Dave Goff
  • Offshore:
    • Boston: Dan Cartmill, John Connor
    • Charleston: Erick Cox
    • Jacksonville: Robert Groh, Liz Pettit
    • Hawaii: Carmela Gomez
    • Houston: Wayne Farthing, Nell Wilkerson
    • LA: Bernadette Hertell, Dave Boatner
    • New York: Rich May, Gerry Gordon, Jay Tripaldi, Marilyn Brunner
    • New Orleans: Sue Bourcq
    • Norfolk: Patricia Powell
    • Port Everglades: Duane Koran
    • Puerto Rico: Frank Reyes
    • Seattle: Kathy Randrup, Don Marcus
    • San Fran: Sandy Candau, Keith Hunter, Frank Madeiros
    • Tampa: Laura Chewning

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


Beginning April 1, the MM&P Federal Credit Union will offer new promotional certificate rates. Credit Union Manager Kathy Klisavage advises that this special is for new deposits only.

The certificate rates are good for new deposits between $5,000 and $7,000 and for terms ranging 13 to 18 months. Certificates with maturities of 13-15 months will earn 5.9%; 16-18 month certificates will earn 6.1%.

Terms of the offer are limited and are subject to change. Call or Email the Credit Union for all the details. Kathy Klisavage may be reached toll-free at 1-800-382-7777; at 410-850-8700 x43, or by Email to

Credit Union membership is open to all MM&P members and their families, and to all MM&P and MM&P-affiliated employees and their families.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


Paul Nielsen, MM&P’s recently retired Offshore VP Pacific was honored last week in San Pedro, CA by ILWU’s Harry Bridges Institute for his work in the maritime labor movement. The Cesar Chavez Labor Tribute is the Institute’s annual award banquet recognizing those who have made outstanding contributions to the labor movement.

Dave Boatner, Agent Pacific Ports, Paul Nielsen’s family, and a dozen members and their families were present at this function which was also attended by many notables from the ILWU and other leaders in maritime labor and local politics.

MM&P Offshore Pacific VP Don Marcus introduced Paul Nielsen and paid tribute to his dedication to MM&P members and maritime labor in general. Paul gave a passionate speech thanking MM&P and the labor movement for the fine working life that provided for him and his family.

Paul stated that “every pair of shoes and socks that he and his family ever owned was thanks to the Union” and he urged all of us to hold politicians accountable to support the union movement. He praised the Harry Bridges Institute as one of the few places that taught working people the history of labor and how to fight to improve their lives in an era where hundreds of think-tanks are teaching managers how to undermine their workers.

Congratulations to Paul Nielsen for his devotion to the labor movement and to the MM&P membership.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


Openings in classes through the end of June follow:

  • 4/9-13: COMP-MAR, FF-ADV
  • 4/16-19: SMA
  • 4/21-22: MSC-DC
  • 4/23-27: BST
  • 4/30-5/2: SHS-EMR-3
  • 4/30-5/4: BST
  • 5/7-11: BST
  • 5/14-18: TPIC, EINS
  • 5/14-17: SMA
  • 5/14-25: GMDSS
  • 5/21-25: BRM-3, DCS, FF-ADV, BST
  • 6/4-8: BRM-3, WX-HWA, BST
  • 6/11-15: COMP-MAR
  • 6/11-14: SMA
  • 6/18-22: BST, COMP-NET, FF-ADV
  • 6/25-29: ARPA, BST
MSC Classes

The next Damage Control class at MITAGS will be weekend of April 21-22. With Small Arms beginning on April 16, this is an opportunity to get Small Arms and Damage Control back to back. To sign-up for MSC courses contact Mike Wein at 443-989-3238 or Email

Original License Program

The 10-week program, which unfortunately had to be canceled in January, generated a high level of interest. A shorter “test” program, linked to the standard MITAGS LAP course, will be run this spring. Upon completion of the program at the end of May, an evaluation will be conducted and a decision made on how to proceed. Decision should be announced about June 1st. The slots available for the “test” program have been filled.

Schedule through Dec. 2001 is being maintained on the website. Hard copy schedule updates are also provided to the halls. Check the MITAGS website at: for up-to-date info. For additional course info, contact Mary Matlock at voice: 443-989-3226 or Email:

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


The Pacific Northwest Maritime Institute has updated their blind pilotage labaratory. Students are now placed in a blind pilotage environment utilizing four seperate ownships each with the Navisailor 2400 ECDIS and ARPA Display. The school currently utilizes the Furuno 2110, Furuno 2800, Raytheon Mk34, Sperry Rascar, and the Decca Bridgemaster Arpa Displays.

Course openings are as follows:

  • GMDSS: 4/2-13
  • BRM: 4/9-11
  • ARPA: 4/23-27
  • BRM: 4/23-25
  • ECDIS: 4/30-5/4
    • (Note: Currently the ECDIS course satisfies the EINS Requirements.)

For more info on their new ECDIS Course or the PNMI, please visit their website at

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


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MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly

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., Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1941. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: For further info contact John Peige at The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea, broadcast worldwide via FEC marine telex andis posted on our web page under “News” at:

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