Wheelhouse Weekly – May 06, 2014


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

Volume 18 . . . Number 18 . . . May 6, 2014


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


Congressman Duncan D. Hunter (R-Calif.) is the 2014 recipient of the U.S. Propeller Club’s prestigious Salute to Congress Award. Hunter is chairman of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation. The third-term congressman, a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, is a strong supporter of the American Merchant Marine.

Hunter is an advocate for the Jones Act, the Maritime Security Program and cargo preference laws, including the PL 480 Food for Peace Program. He says delivery of international food aid on U.S.-crewed ships is essential to maintaining America’s defense and sealift capability. “People understand that as a country’s merchant fleet and navy go, so goes the nation,” Hunter says. “If you lose your maritime capability, your ability to project naval power or economic power can wither on the vine.”


The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is interfering with the collective bargaining agreement between the New York Shipping Association (NYSA) and the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA), according to an official statement released by the union. In an April 28 letter to the executive director of the Port Authority, ILA President Harold Daggett said the agency, which is charged with facilitating port operations and attracting cargo, had repeated “obviously false statements to the public at large” regarding the NYSA-ILA Recruitment and Hiring Plan, including the hiring of U.S. veterans. “It is obvious that your office is merely serving as a lap-dog and using a press release to repeat misstatements that were force-fed to your office by the Waterfront Commission,” Daggett wrote.  “If your agency was seriously concerned about our industry, we would have expected you to have taken the time to contact us before repeating these obviously false statements…”

In a press release issued last week, the Port Authority had chastised the NYSA and the ILA for what it said were excessive delays in adding veterans to the workforce. The union said such interference is illegal and has only served to slow the hiring process for all new workers. It said delays in hiring are mainly due to the length of time necessary for all candidates for employment, including veterans, to prequalify for and receive the federally mandated Transportation Worker Identification Cards, which are issued by the Transportation Security Administration/Department of Homeland Security.


The State University of New York is seeking experienced merchant marine officers for this year’s summer training cruise aboard the TS EMPIRE STATE. Positions for watch standers and instructors are available in the Engineering Department. Salary is commensurate with experience. Employment on the summer training cruise offers an opportunity to assist with the at-sea, practical training of the mariners of tomorrow, as well as to travel on a great itinerary. MM&P has a labor referral agreement with SUNY for medical and MITAGS coverage. The FULL Cruise appointment will begin May 1, 2014 and end Aug. 13, 2014. However, you may apply for and be considered for: Cruise A (anticipated May 1 – June 26); Cruise B (anticipated June 23 – Aug. 13); Full cruise (May 1 – Aug. 13). Naval orders can be issued for MMR Officers. Requirements: senior licenses preferred and recent sea experience required along with medical clearances. For more information, contact Captain Richard S. Smith Master, Training Ship EMPIRE STATE, or (718) 409-7350.


Former U.S. Congressman James Oberstar, who represented Minnesota’s 8th congressional district for over a quarter of a century, died suddenly on Saturday at the age of 79. “Congressman Oberstar fought on behalf of American maritime workers from the moment he was first elected to Congress and began serving on the Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee,” said MM&P President Don Marcus. “His leadership was indispensable to the passage of every major piece of maritime legislation that was enacted during his tenure.”

“We have lost a close friend and a champion of transportation workers,” said Edward Wytkind, president of the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department (TTD). Oberstar was elected in 1974 as a member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, known as DFL, and held his seat from 1975 to 2011. Minnesota’s longest-serving member of Congress, he became chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in 2006.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that contributions in his memory be made to: SOME (So Others May Eat), 71 O Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001 and Safe Routes to School National Partnership, 2323 Broadway Avenue, Suite 109B, Oakland, CA 94612.


Construction to expand the Panama Canal came to a halt on April 30 when workers declared a strike over wages. Construction had been blocked for two weeks in February in a dispute over who would pay for approximately $1.6 billion in cost overruns on the project, which is now about a year behind schedule. Suntracs, the union representing the workers, has called for wage increases of 20 percent. The canal is used by 13,000 to 14,000 ships each year. The expansion will add a third set of locks and allow the canal to accommodate larger ships, helping to reduce transport costs for commodities such as liquefied natural gas.


Tens of thousands of employees at a factory that produces shoes for Nike and Adidas returned to work on Friday after receiving concessions from their employer, coupled with what strikers said were threats from China’s central government. One striker has reportedly been arrested and is still being held on charges of causing a disturbance after posting information about the strike in an online forum.

The factory is operated by the world’s largest manufacturer of athletic shoes, a Taiwanese company called Yue Yuen Industrial Holdings. More than 40,000 workers at Yue Yuen’s multi-factory complex in the southern Chinese city of Dongguan went on strike in early April to protest underpayment of social security and housing benefits.

Thousands of workers protested in the streets for several days before being beaten back into the factory compound by police. “Our demands are not large. We simply ask for our social security payments and rent expenses to be paid for us,” said one worker who was interviewed by a journalist working for the Indian broadcaster NDTV. The company has reportedly promised a housing allowance of 230 yen monthly and to make up for the unpaid social security contributions.

Nike Chief Executive Mark Parker said on Thursday the company was considering shifting its production within China because of the strike. He said Nike was in contact with the company and with representatives of the workers to determine if the labor conditions at the factory “violate Nike’s workplace standards.”

The strike at Yue Yuen, which started April 14, is being called the largest labor protest to take place in China since market reforms were introduced in the 1970s.


The Coast Guard announced last week it had published the following Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circulars (NVICs) to provide guidance on the implementation of the final rule titled “Implementation of the Amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978 (STCW), as Amended, and Changes to National Endorsements” (78 FR 77796): Master/Chief Mate 3,000 GT or More [NVIC 10-14]; Master/Chief Mate 500 GT to 3,000 GT [NVIC 11-14]; Officer in Charge of a Navigational Watch [NVIC 12-14]; Master/OICNW Less Than 500 GT Near Coastal [NVIC 13-14]; Able Seafarer-Deck [NVIC 14-14]; Chief Engineer/ Second Engineer Officer 4,000 HP or More [NVIC 15-14]; Chief Engineer/Second Engineer Officer 1,000 to 4,000 HP [NVIC 16-14]; Officer in Charge of an Engineering Watch [NVIC 17-14]; Able Seafarer-Engine [NVIC 18-14]; and Qualified Assessor [NVIC 19-14]. To access these publications, please see STCW Rule NVICs, which can be found by selecting STCW Rule on the National Maritime Center Home Page, or send an e-mail to


Sailors’ Snug Harbor (SSH) provides grants and other assistance to retired merchant mariners who need financial help. SSH is a non-profit whose mission is to aid retired career mariners. It assists mariners in their home communities where they are more likely to be near family and friends. SSH no longer operates its own retirement community.

The group offers support to mariners who can demonstrate they need financial assistance and meet the following requirements: 3650 days of deep sea time proven through discharge papers (50 percent on U.S.-flagged ships); 65 years of age or older (exceptions may be made in rare cases); a proven need for financial assistance; assets may not exceed $50,000 (primary residence excluded); all public benefits available to an eligible mariner must be accessed before any  subsidy from SSH is approved (e.g., VA benefits, Medicaid). Interested mariners must complete an application that requires detailed information about present living arrangements and financial history.

If you have questions or are in need of assistance, please call our Mariner Counselor at 1-888-257-5456. The web site includes our application. If you do not have access to a computer, please call and we will send you one.

We look forward to hearing from you. Sailors’ Snug Harbor was incorporated in 1806 as the result of a bequest made by Captain Robert Richard Randall, a wealthy New York merchant and sea captain. It was Captain Randall’s desire to have his estate used to assist “aged, decrepit and worn-out seamen.” SSH is the oldest secular charity in the country.


There will be membership meetings in the Boston Hall on May 13 at 1100 and in the Charleston Hall on May 15 at 1100. MM&P International Secretary-Treasurer Steve Werse and Atlantic Ports Vice President Don Josberger will attend both meetings. All members in the area are encouraged to participate.


The Ship Structure Committee, an interagency research and development group that works to promote vessel safety and longevity, will hold a two-day symposium May 19-20 at MITAGS/CCMIT in Linthicum Heights, Md. The symposium will highlight recent ship structure research focused on sustaining vessels throughout their service life in an environmentally conscious global market. Presentations in the first day’s paper track will emphasize structural longevity through extended service life of new vessels, recent fatigue studies, including forecasting, fatigue management and full scale ship instrumentation, use of lightweight materials to reduce fuel consumption and inspection techniques for composite structures. The second day will focus on engineering, including an “Introduction to Marine Composites” and a “Workshop on Aluminum Vessel Structures.” The cost of attending the two-day symposium is $125. To find out more and to register:


SUNY Maritime’s TS EMPIRE STATE VI will hold receptions in honor of Maritime Day in the Port of Baltimore and the Port of Philadelphia. The reception in Baltimore will take place on Wednesday, May 21, from 1900 to 2100. The reception in the Port of Philadelphia will take place on Friday, May 23, from 1900 to 2100. Due to limited capacity aboard the ship, please register here by May 14: There is no fee to attend the receptions. For questions, please contact Ashley Scotti at 718-409-4001 or


The annual National Maritime Day Observance and Memorial Service will be held at the American Merchant Marine Veterans Memorial and Walls of Honor, located on Harbor Boulevard at the foot of 6th Street, San Pedro, Calif., on Thursday, May 22. The ceremony begins at 1100. It will be the 25th anniversary of the construction of the American Merchant Marine Veterans Memorial and the observance of National Maritime Day in San Pedro.

National Maritime Day honors the American merchant mariners who have served their country in peace and war since the American Revolution. The observance will include speakers representing state and local organizations and the American maritime industry. A memorial service will be conducted by local clergy and veterans groups. A luncheon at Ports O’Call Restaurant at Berth 76, San Pedro, will follow the observance at 1230. For more information, please contact John Pitts at 562-716-2899 or or Paul Nielsen at or 310-325-3506.


Eleven people were missing after the Chinese cargo vessel ZHONG XING 2 and a container ship, the MOL MOTIVATOR, collided in the early hours of May 5. The ZHONG XING 2 sank. One crew member was rescued by fishermen; 11 are still missing. At the time of the collision, the ZHONG XING 2 was sailing from Hebei province with a cargo of cement. The MOL MOTIVATOR was departing Hong Kong for Yantian in Guangdong.


The Panama-flagged general cargo-ship MUNUR has been blocked in port by British authorities since a mid-April inspection by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) found serious health and safety deficiencies on board. The news was reported by Nautilus Telegraph, the publication of the British, Dutch and Swiss officers’ union. The union is calling for further action to protect exploited seafarers after the inspection showed the ship was missing navigation charts and voyage passage plans, and had defective life-saving and fire-fighting systems.

ITF inspector Darren Procter described the state of the Turkish-owned ship as “shocking.” The living conditions “are totally unacceptable,” he said, “with no hot water, poor sanitary system, a communal shower area which is basically a plumbed pipe with no shower head, non-functioning washing machine and a freezer of uncovered meat in the AB’s cabin.” Some of the crewmembers were owed two to three months’ wages, Procter said. The ITF also discovered “evidence to suggest that several crew members had paid for their positions on board.”


If you are interested in attending the Offshore Familiarization Course, please contact your MM&P Vice President to request that one be scheduled in your area. An Offshore Orientation Course is now scheduled for Los Angeles/Long Beach on Oct. 8-9. If you are interested in participating in the course, please contact the Los Angeles/Long Beach Hall: 310-834-7201 or 310-834-6667 (fax). There is no sea-time requirement to take the course. All Offshore applicants, potential transferees from other membership groups and other interested Offshore members are encouraged to take the course as soon as possible.


The 2006 Maritime Labor Convention (MLC) entered into force on Aug. 20. It has been described as the fourth pillar of international shipping regulations along with SOLAS, MARPOL and STCW.  The International Labor Organization consolidated a number of previous conventions in MLC 2006. It establishes minimum standards on conditions of employment, accommodations, health and safety, medical care, crew welfare, recruitment, working conditions and social security protection. MLC will be strictly enforced during port state control inspections, including the potential for more detailed inspections and possible detention where hazardous conditions may exist if ships are not to be in compliance. Visit for more information or to register for the MLC course.


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 –8/11/14, 10/13/14

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: Contact Admissions

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 8/5/14, 9/23/14, 11/18/14

AZIPOD 2-Day – 5/7/14, 7/10/14, 10/9/14

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 6/2/14, 8/25/14, 10/13/14

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 5/22/14, 7/24/14, 8/20/14, 9/22/14, 11/20/14

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling:  7/7/14, 10/6/14

BST – Basic Safety Training: 6/9/14, 8/11/14, 10/6/14

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 10/27/14

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVNAV-CMM – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): 6/2/14, 8/4/14, 11/10/14

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 6/23/14, 9/22/14

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 6/16/14, 9/8/14

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 7/7/14, 9/29/14

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 6/2/14, 7/14/14, 8/4/14, 10/20/14, 11/10/14

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 7/23/14, 11/19/14

MCL-CMM – Management, Communication, & Leadership (Management Level): 5/19/14, 9/15/14

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants:  7/21/14, 10/27/14

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 8/18/14, 10/13/14

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 6/9/14, 8/4/14, 9/8/14, 9/22/14, 10/20/14, 11/3/14, 12/1/14

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 6/16/14, 8/11/14, 9/15/14, 9/29/14, 10/27/14, 11/10/14, 12/8/14

TRAC-TUG-2: 7/21/14

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 6/9/14, 8/11/14, 11/17/14

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 7/28/14, 11/3/14

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 11/3/14

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications:  10/7/14

DDE – Great Lakes: Contact Admissions

DPA – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-OIC –9/8/14

ECDIS-Pilots – Contact Admissions

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 6/9/14, 8/11/14, 10/6/14

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep & Medications:  5/21/14, 11/19/14

GL Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: Contact Admissions

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 8/18/14

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 6/23/14, 9/15/14, 11/17/14

LAP- 9/8/14

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross Ton License: 6/2/14

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 5/21/14, 7/8/14, 10/7/14, 11/20/14

LNG-TPIC – Contact Admissions

MCL-OIC –Management, Communications, and Leadership OICNW level: 9/5/14, 10/7/14

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 6/16/14, 9/8/14, 11/3/14, 12/1/14

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 5/12/14, 8/4/14, 10/13/14

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 6/16/14, 9/8/14, 10/20/14, 11/3/14, 12/1/14

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 6/21/14, 8/3/14, 9/13/14, 10/12/14, 11/8/14, 12/6/14

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: 5/5/14 (PM), 8/4/14 (PM), 10/6/14 (PM)

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 6/6/14, 8/22/14, 10/3/14

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (4 Evenings): 6/2/14, 8/18/14, 9/29/14

MSC-ENV – Contact Admissions

MSC-FF-HELO – Contact Admissions

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification:  6/2/14, 8/18/14, 9/29/14, 11/10/14

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – Contact Admissions

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced – Contact Admissions

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force – Contact Admissions

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 8/4/14, 9/22/14, 11/17/14

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 5/7/14, 5/14/14, 6/5/14, 6/11/14, 6/18/14, 7/9/14, 7/24/14, 8/6/14, 8/20/14, 9/10/14, 9/17/14, 10/1/14, 10/15/14, 10/29/14, 11/12/14, 12/3/14, 12/10/14

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 7/28/14, 11/10/14

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue –10/13/14

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling:  5/12/14, 6/16/14, 8/18/14, 11/17/14

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day: 7/14/14, 10/6/14

SMS – Contact Admissions

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 8/4/14

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 7/7/14

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge:  8/25/14

TTT – Train the Trainer: Contact Admissions

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: 8/5/14, 10/7/14

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 5/7/14, 8/6/14, 9/2/14, 10/8/14, 10/22/14

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level) : 9/29/14

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

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

Check the MITAGS website at for course descriptions associated with the course title abbreviations, and schedule revisions.


Please also see our schedule online at For registration, call our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen, at (206) 838-1126.

May 2014

12-16     ECDIS
12-16     Tankerman Person-In-Charge
19-21     Vessel Security Officer
19-23     Train the Trainer

June 2014

2-6          Basic Meteorology
9th         Radar Renewal
9-20       GMDSS
9-27       Terrestrial and Coastal Navigation
11-13     Vessel Security Officer
16-20     ECDIS

July 2014

7-11       Radar Observer Unlimited
7-18       GMDSS
14th       Radar Renewal
14th       Flashing Light
15-18     ARPA
21-25     Bridge Resource Management
28-1       ECDIS
28-1       Medical Care Provider

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

© 2014, 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: For changes of address, contact Lisa Rosenthal at