Wheelhouse Weekly – March 7, 2017

March 8th 2017

Volume 22…Number 10…March. 7, 2017


In This Issue:

Job Opportunity:


Upcoming Events:

News for MM&P Members:


Never miss an issue!
Click here to subscribe to the Wheelhouse Weekly mailing list.
Did you miss a week?
Back editions of the Wheelhouse Weekly are available in the archives section.


Representatives of the maritime labor unions, U.S.-flag shipping companies and maritime industry associations advocated for the U.S.-flag fleet on Capitol Hill last week during the eighth annual Congressional Sail-In.

The Sail-In helps establish relationships with legislators who in the past may have had only moderate awareness of maritime issues.

It also helps cement ties with members of Congress who understand the essential role the U.S.-flag fleet plays in America’s national security and economic wellbeing.

Given the change of administration and the election of many freshmen members of Congress, this year’s event was particularly important.

More than 90 people took part, making it the largest Sail-In ever.

The participants included representatives of every major U.S. seafaring union, every USA Maritime member company and association, a number of major Jones Act companies and organizations, three State Maritime Academies, the Navy League of the United States, the AFL-CIO Maritime Trades Department and the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department.

Members of the group met face-to-face with key senators, representatives and their staffs in 131 Congressional offices to provide information about the programs and policies that enable the U.S.-flag merchant marine to meet the commercial sealift requirements of the Department of Defense.

Among the topics discussed: the need to assure that the Maritime Security Program is fully funded at the level authorized by Congress; the essential role of cargo in assuring the continued operation of the U.S.-flag fleet, and in particular the need to maintain the PL-480 Food for Peace program and to restore the Export-Import Bank to full operating status by re-establishing a quorum.

Representing MM&P in the meetings with members of Congress were President Don Marcus, Secretary-Treasurer Steve Werse, Vice Presidents Don Josberger, Klaus Luhta, Tim Saffle and Lars Turner, San Francisco Coast Agent Jeremy Hope, MIRAID President Jim Patti and MIRAID Counsel Steve Wines.

More information about the Sail-In and the issues discussed with members of Congress and their staffs is posted on the Sail-In web site:

Back to Stories Covered


Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.) has introduced a bill that would require that 30 percent of U.S. strategic energy exports be carried on U.S.-flag ships.

Garamendi introduced the bill, the “Energizing American Maritime Act” with support from Republican legislators Duncan Hunter (Calif.) and John J. Duncan Jr. (Tenn.).

If passed, the three assert, the legislation would lead to the construction of new ships in the United States, a significant increase in family-supporting jobs in the maritime and shipbuilding industries and a greatly strengthened national defense capability.

Garamendi is the ranking member of the House Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee. He is a strong, consistent and eloquent advocate for the American Merchant Marine.

Under the bill, 15 percent of exported crude oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) would travel on U.S.-flag vessels starting in 2020. The requirement would increase to 30 percent in 2025.

The bill would also require that energy exporters provide training opportunities in the near term for U.S. mariners to ensure their readiness for future jobs in the field of energy transport.

In an Op-Ed published last week in the Congressional daily “The Hill,” Garamendi described how the U.S.-flag fleet has shrunk from 1,200 ships just after World War II to several hundred in the 1980s and to the incredible total of fewer than 80 today.

“Here’s another shocker,” Garamendi writes. “In 1955, a quarter of American exports traveled on U.S.-flagged ships. Today, that figure is below one percent.”

Strengthening the U.S.-flag fleet would mean an increase in family-supporting jobs in the United States, he writes, not only aboard ships but also in shipyards. “A robust maritime industry is also absolutely vital for our national security,” he notes. “The Department of Defense depends on the Merchant Marine for over 95 percent of our sealift needs in times of war or national emergency.”

“In times of war, our Army and Marine Corps routinely rely on the U.S. Merchant Marine and the Ready Reserve Force fleet of 46 ships for sealift and transport of vital equipment and support.”

“Would our military leaders feel comfortable having to rely on vessels flagged abroad and manned by foreign crews to provide this emergency sealift capacity to transport our military into hostile regions?”

“It’s time for Congress to stop ignoring the problem and make our maritime industry part of a comprehensive ‘Make It in America’ agenda,” he says.

By 2020, the United States will be the third-largest exporter of LNG, with an average export of 7.4 billion cubic feet a day. Exporting that much LNG will require about 100 specialized vessels and 5,200 mariners.

There are currently no U.S.-flagged LNG carriers, and unless Congress takes specific action, all export capacity will be on foreign-flagged ships using foreign crews.

“Congress must pay more attention to this vital industry as we work on rebuilding American infrastructure and as we contemplate a shifting national security environment in an uncertain world,” Garamendi says.

Back to Stories Covered


An American surveillance ship had what U.S. officials are calling “an unsafe encounter” with Iranian military vessels on March 4 in the Strait of Hormuz.

According to CBS News and other media outlets, the USNS INVINCIBLE was transiting the area along with three other vessels when it was forced to change course to avoid a small group of Iranian Revolutionary Guard attack boats that had positioned themselves in its path.

USNS INVINCIBLE (T-AGM-24), which is outfitted with submarine-tracking sonar and radar to monitor missile tests, is one of two such surveillance ships operated by Military Sealift Command.

The stand-off occurred two days after an Iranian navy frigate came within 150 yards of the USNS INVINCIBLE in the Gulf of Oman. That encounter was deemed by U.S. officials to be “unprofessional” but not unsafe because at the point of closest approach, the frigate maintained a parallel course with the INVINCIBLE.

The most recent encounter is also said to have caused greater concern because it involved Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard.

The incidents are part of a series that began on Jan. 9, when the Navy destroyer USS MAHAN fired multiple warning shots at Iranian patrol boats as they sped toward it in the Strait of Hormuz with weapons manned.

The crew of the USS MAHAN fired the warning shots after attempting to establish contact with the Iranians and dropping smoke flares.

At the time of the attack, USS MAHAN was escorting fleet oiler USNS WALTER S. DIEHL, which is operated by Civil Service mariners, including licensed deck officers who belong to the MM&P Federal Employees Membership Group (FEMG).

MM&P has called once again on Military Sealift Command (MSC) to adequately compensate Civil Service mariners for the dangers many of them are now facing as they carry out their jobs.

Fox News reported on Monday that Iran had test-fired two Fateh-110 ballistic missiles on March 4 and 5, including at least one launch intended to test an anti-ship variant.

The second test successfully struck a floating barge at a range of 155 miles.

Back to Stories Covered


Rolling strikes are taking place in ports across Spain as longshore workers protest a government plan to completely overhaul the hiring system for port workers.

During the strikes, longshoremen halt work every other hour.

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has joined labor unions representing longshore workers in Spain and abroad to protest the government plan, which they say would lead to the loss of 6,500 union jobs over the next three years.

The International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) has pledged its full support to Spanish dockworkers.

“The ILA is with you all the way,” ILA Executive Vice President Dennis Daggett told tens of thousands of Spanish dock workers at a recent rally in the Port of Algeciras.

Under current regulations, port employers have to hire longshore workers from designated local staffing companies, all of which are unionized.

In 2014, the European Court of Justice ruled that the system was a violation of European Union laws on freedom of establishment and ordered Spain to open the system to competition.

The unions had offered to work with the government to draft a plan to present to the court. Instead, the government announced a unilateral decree that it is moving swiftly to implement nationwide.

“The Spanish government threatens the growth of the Spanish economy and seeks to make the dockworker profession disappear from national ports,” says Jordi Aragunde, general coordinator of the International Dockworkers Council (IDC).

“The Spanish government is tearing up the rule book with a callous disregard for Spanish jobs, Spanish prestige and international conventions,” says ITF President Paddy Crumlin.

“Their plans go beyond belief.”

“Thankfully Spanish unions are mobilizing to resist… They are absolutely assured of our international support.”

Under the proposed decree, port employers would be able to phase out hiring unionized labor over a three-year period, and could substitute temporary workers or other forms of non-union labor instead.

Back to Stories Covered


Nigerian pirates on March 3 released eight crewmembers of the freighter BBC CARIBBEAN who had been kidnapped in the Gulf of Guinea on Feb. 5.

The men were said to be unharmed and in good health. They have since returned to their homes in Russia.

Russian officials are said to have negotiated with the pirates to pay a ransom of unspecified amount for their release.

The three remaining crewmembers of the freighter–the chief engineer, the second mate and a cadet–managed to evade capture and completed the vessel’s planned voyage to Las Palmas.

Back to Stories Covered


Texas A&M University at Galveston (TAMUG) is seeking a master for the training ship.

The master of the training ship, under general direction, is responsible for navigating vessel safely, ensuring readiness, maintenance and well-being of vessel and crew, and compliance with all USCG-mandated emergency drills and procedures.

Required education and experience: bachelor’s degree in maritime-related discipline or any equivalent combination of education and experience may be considered; two years post-licensure experience as ship’s master operating unlimited tonnage vessels.

Preferred education and experience: five years’ post-licensure industry experience; experience at a U.S maritime academy operating training vessels or experience at a maritime training school.

Required licenses: USCG Masters Unlimited Oceans License, GMDSS, STCW endorsements; Master, Medical PIC, VSO, TWIC; Safety Management System certification.

Preferred licenses, certifications or registrations: Additional STCW endorsements-ECDIS, Fast Rescue Boat.

To view the posting and to apply for the job, go to

Back to Stories Covered


Union members who work in AT&T’s wireless division are fighting the company’s attempts to reduce their health care benefits and outsource their jobs to cut-rate retailers in the United States and low-wage countries.

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) represents a total of about 45,000 employees of AT&T Mobility, the company’s wireless division.

The group sells phones, answers service questions and provides tech and billing support.

According to the union, since 2011, AT&T has eliminated 8,000 call center jobs in the United States.

Much of the work has been offshored to the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Mexico and the Philippines.

In February, union members at AT&T Mobility voted 93 percent in favor of authorizing a strike.

Their contract was set to expire Feb. 11, but the company and union agreed to an extension which can be canceled with 72 hours’ notice from either side.

The union is fighting to halt the continued offshoring of call center jobs as well as a push by the company to replace its AT&T corporate-owned retail stores with cut-rate shops known as “authorized retailers.”

Authorized retailers pay workers much less than AT&T’s own stores, require longer hours and pressure staff to make sales targets rather than provide service.

They refer all consumers with problems to the corporate-owned stores, a practice which cuts into the sales volumes—and wages—of people who work at the unionized stores.

All told, AT&T retail and call center workers say they are making thousands of dollars less now than in previous years.

The company controls 30 percent of the U.S. wireless subscriber market, putting it at number two behind Verizon.

AT&T made $13 billion in profits in 2016. In 2015, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson was paid $25 million in total compensation.

Back to Stories Covered


There will be a meeting of the MM&P Offshore Membership Group in the Honolulu hiring hall on Wednesday, March 8, directly after job call. All Offshore members and applicants are encouraged to attend.

The MM&P Honolulu Hall is located at 521 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 254, Honolulu, HI 96813.

The phone number of the Honolulu Hall is 808-523-8183.

Back to Stories Covered


There will be a meeting of the MM&P Offshore Membership Group on Wednesday, March 8, at 1100. All Offshore members and applicants in the area are encouraged to attend the meeting.

The New York-New Jersey Union Hall is located at 570 Broad Street, Suite 701, Newark, N.J., 07102. The phone number is: 201-963-1900.

Back to Stories Covered


MM&P headquarters, the MM&P Federal Credit Union and Atlantic Ports Union Halls including Pompano will be closed on March 17 for Gleason’s Birthday.

Back to Stories Covered


On Feb. 16, an Offshore contract ballot was mailed.

Please go to and enter the Members’ Only section to view the ballot regarding contracts at Central Gulf Lines/Waterman Steamship/Sulphur Carriers Inc. and Maersk Line, Limited and E-Ships Inc.

The voting period for the ballot is from Feb. 16, 2017 to 0900, Monday, April 17, 2017.

If you do not receive a ballot, please contact Star Dorsey,

Back to Stories Covered


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 Amanda Meadows, 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 – 4/17/17, 8/21/17, 10/16/17

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: 5/23/17

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 4/4/17, 8/8/17, 9/26/17

AZIPOD 2-Day – 5/22/17, 10/16/17

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 4/3/17, 6/19/17, 9/25/17, 11/13/17

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 5/22/17, 7/20/17, 11/14/17

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling: Contact Admissions

BRMP-Refresher – 5/24/17, 7/17/17, 9/12/17, 10/18/17

BT – Basic Safety Training: 4/10/17, 8/14/17, 10/9/17

BT-Revalidation (2-day) – 5/4/17, 6/22/17, 8/21/17, 9/28/17, 11/8/17, 12/14/17

BT-Refresher (3-day) – 5/4/17, 6/22/17, 8/20/17, 9/28/17, 11/8/17, 12/14/17

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 5/8/17, 10/30/17

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

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

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 4/10/17, 6/12/17, 7/31/17, 10/2/17, 12/11/17

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 3/13/17, 6/5/17, 8/7/17, 9/25/17, 12/4/17

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 4/17/17, 10/9/17

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 3/27/17, 6/26/17, 8/14/17, 9/18/17

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM) 5/22/17,6/19/17, 8/21/17, 9/11/17

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 4/3/17

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: 3/13/17, 7/31/17, 11/6/17

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 5/1/17, 10/30/17

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 3/20/17, 4/10/17, 4/24/17, 5/8/17, 6/5/17,7/17/17, 7/31/17, 8/14/17, 9/11/17, 10/2/17, 10/30/17, 12/4/17

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 3/13/17, 3/27/17, 4/17/17, 5/1/17,5/15/17, 6/12/17, 7/24/17, 8/7/17, 8/21/17, 9/18/17, 10/9/17, 11/6/17, 12/11/17

**SHS-ADV-I & II now approved to include SAR-CMM assessments at MITAGS effective immediately**

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 3/20/17, 10/23/17

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 5/15/17, 11/13/17

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 4/24/17, 11/6/17

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: Contact Admissions

CRSMGT – Crisis Management and Human Behavior – 7/11/17

CDMGT – Crowd Management – 7/10/17

DDE – Great Lakes: 6/5/17

DPA – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-OIC – Contact Admissions

ECDIS for Pilots – 5/24/17, 11/14/17

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 7/10/17, 8/28/17, 10/16/17, 12/4/17

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 4/10/17, 8/14/17, 10/9/17

FF-ADV-REV – Advanced Fire Fighting Revalidation & Refresher: 5/2/17, 6/20/17, 8/23/17, 9/26/17, 11/6/17, 12/12/17

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 4/4/17, 4/18/17, 9/12/17

GL-Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: Contact Admissions

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 8/21/17

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 6/26/17, 8/28/17, 11/27/17

LAP- 9/11/17

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

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License: 3/20/17, 6/5/17, 8/7/17, 12/4/17

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 4/19/17, 9/13/17

LNG-TPIC – 12/4/17

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 4/3/17, 8/15/17, 9/25/17 (*2-Evening Session)

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control: Contact Admissions

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 3/13/17, 3/20/17, 5/8/17, 7/10/17, 9/11/17, 10/23/17

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 4/24/17, 6/26/17, 8/28/17, 11/13/17, 12/4/17

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 3/20/17, 4/17/17, 5/8/17, 9/11/17, 10/23/17, 11/27/17

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 3/18/17, 5/1/17, 6/12/17 (Evening), 6/19/17, 7/16/17, 8/25/17, 9/25/17, 10/28/17, 12/11/17

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: Contact Admissions

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 6/9/17, 8/9/17, 10/2/17

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control: 6/7/17, 8/7/17, 10/3/17

*MSC-ENVPRO – 6/4/17, 8/6/17, 10/1/17

*MSC-FF-HELO – 6/5/17, 8/13/17, 10/16/17

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 6/12/17, 7/17/17, 8/13/17, 10/9/17

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

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced – 6/16/17, 7/21/17, 8/12/17, 10/7/17

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force – 6/17/17, 7/24/17, 8/18/17, 10/13/17

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P – 3/22/17, 5/9/17, 6/13/17, 8/14/17, 10/2/17

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 8/17/17, 9/25/17

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 3/22/17, 4/5/17, 4/19/17, 5/3/17, 5/10/17, 5/17/17, 6/7/17, 6/21/17, 7/12/17, 7/26/17, 8/9/17, 8/23/17, 9/20/17, 10/4/17, 10/18/17, 11/1/17, 11/8/17, 11/15/17, 11/29/17, 12/6/17, 12/13/17

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 7/31/17

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue – 4/10/17, 10/16/17

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 5/15/17, 8/28/17, 10/23/17

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day – 5/1/17, 6/26/17, 9/25/17, 11/27/17

SMS – Contact Admissions

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 8/7/17

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 7/10/17

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 5/8/17, 8/7/17

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – Contact Admissions

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: Contact Admissions

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 4/17/17, 5/22/17, 7/13/17, 9/6/17

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): 10/2/17

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 3/20/17, 9/11/17

Back to Stories Covered


Winter-Spring 2017

For registration, please contact our registrar, Mary McGhee, at 206.838.1126 or You can also view our schedule and enroll online at

March 2017

13th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties
13-16 Advanced Firefighting
13-17 ECDIS
13-17 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
13-17 Meteorology – Operational Level
18-20 Basic Training Refresher
20-24 Engine Resource Management
20-24 Basic Construction and Stability
21st Radar Renewal
21-23 Security Officer – Vessel, Company, and Facility
22-24 Integrated Electronic Navigation
27th Flashing Light
27-31 Leadership & Managerial Skills
28-31 ARPA

April 2017

3-4 ECDIS for Pilots
3-7 Search & Rescue / Emergency Procedures
3-14 GMDSS
8-10 Basic Training Refresher
10-14 Basic Training
10-14 Medical Care Provider
10-21 Medical Person-In-Charge
10-21 Watchkeeping – Operational Level
17th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties
17-20 Advanced Firefighting
18th Radar Renewal
22-24 Basic Training Refresher
24-28 Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation (VPEN)
24-5 GMDSS

May 2017

2-4 Rating Forming Part of a Navigational Watch
6-8 Basic Training Refresher
8-12 ECDIS
8-12 Basic Training
8-12 Marine Propulsion Plants
15th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties
15-18 Advanced Firefighting
15-19 Able Seaman
15-26 Watchkeeping – Operational Level
15-26 Celestial Navigation
16-18 Integrated Electronic Navigation
20-22 Basic Training Refresher
23rd Radar Renewal
30th Leadership & Teamworking Skills
31-2 Security Officer – Vessel, Company, and Facility

June 2017

5-9 Medical Care Provider
5-9 Basic Shiphandling
5-16 Medical Person-In-Charge
10-12 Basic Training Refresher
12-16 Basic Training
12-16 Cargo Handling and Stowage – Operational Level
19th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties
20th Radar Renewal
19-22 Advanced Firefighting
19-23 Advanced Watchkeeping
19-23 Leadership & Managerial Skills
24-26 Basic Training Refresher
26-30 Engine Resource Management
27-29 Integrated Electronic Navigation

Back to Stories Covered

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 © 2017. Articles can be reprinted without prior permission if credit is given to The MM&P WheelhouseWeekly. For subscriptions, address changes or messages to the editor or to MM&P headquarters, e-mail Back issues of The Weekly are posted on