News

Wheelhouse Weekly – May 09, 2011

 

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

Volume 15 . . . . . Number 19. . . . May 9, 2011

STORIES COVERED

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


U.S.-FLAG MARITIME INDUSTRY’S CONGRESSIONAL SAIL-IN ONCE AGAIN A SUCCESS

Almost 200 representatives of the U.S.-flag maritime industry, including officers, staff and members of all the maritime unions, took part in 160 Congressional meetings last week to boost awareness of the importance of our industry to the nation’s economy and defense. By all accounts, the Sail-In was a great success, due in large part to the expertise that the participants brought to their groups and meetings on Capitol Hill. 

The second annual Sail-In involved a wide array of maritime industry representatives from throughout the United States, including MM&P International Secretary-Treasurer Don Marcus, MM&P Vice Presidents Dave Boatner, Wayne Farthing, Mike Murray and Steve Werse, and MM&P Director of Government Relations Klaus Luhta.

During meetings held throughout the course of the day, the group explained to members of Congress and their staffs how U.S. mariners and American maritime companies are working to boost the economy and keep our country safe. The discussions centered on the importance of fully funding the Maritime Security Program and maintaining the Jones Act, as well as on continuing the Food for Peace Program, increasing port dredging and paving the way for short sea shipping by eliminating the double taxation of waterborne cargo under the Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT).

More information about the Sail-In, including photographs, will be posted on the Sail-In web page, http://www.maritimeindustrysailin.com/.


FLORIDA WILL ELIMINATE REDUNDANT STATE ID CARDS

After years of controversy, the Florida State Legislature has finally approved legislation that would eliminate state-based security clearance at local ports, including the redundant Florida Unified Ports Access Credential (FUPAC) card that was introduced in 2000. The FUPAC system required, among other things, fingerprint-based criminal background checks for port employees and other people who routinely enter restricted areas, a measure that became completely redundant when the federal government introduced the “Transportation Workers Identification Credential.” Florida port workers and employers have been arguing for years that the state rules were useless and expensive.
 


UNION OFFICE SUPPLY PROVIDER WORKS TO CREATE JOBS IN THE UNITED STATES

The state of Wisconsin is home to a new company that makes union organizing a fundamental component of its business model. Union Office Solutions is the nation’s only 100 percent unionized provider of office supplies, office furniture, phone systems and equipment. Its mission is to provide fair prices and superior service to labor organizations throughout the United States, Canada, Guam and Puerto Rico–and to unionize workers at the vendors it comes into contact with along the way. The company is based in Westby, Wis., and has recently expanded to Maryland and Ohio.

Union Office Solutions CEO Rod Eitland encourages his employees to help organize other companies and their workers, while on-the-clock. “At the end of the day it’s not how much I make, it’s about what we’re doing right out there,” he says. Last year, the International Association of Machinists presented Eitland with an award for helping it to organize almost a thousand new members.

Union Office Solutions seeks to leverage its purchasing power to benefit unionized businesses in its supply chain. The company sells copiers made by Sharp, a company that employs members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). This type of relationship strengthens vendors and can also help them expand their client base: United Leasing of Brookfield, Wis., a company that leases copiers and phone systems, increased its business by 42 percent over the past two years, after it became a supplier to Union Office Solutions.

Union Office Solutions sells only to unions and their local affiliates, giving them the best price possible for the products and equipment. With an online catalog of 35,000 office products, not everything will be union made, or made in the United States. But the company’s priority is to sell union-made products, or at least try to find products made in the United States.


ILWU MEMBERS AT RITE AID DISTRIBUTION CENTER WIN THREE-YEAR CONTRACT

The 500 workers at Rite Aid’s distribution center in Lancaster, Calif., have overcome a five-year anti-worker campaign to gain a tentative contract and union recognition. Rite-Aid employees decided to seek a voice through ILWU Local 26 more than five years ago. Rite Aid responded by hiring an expensive team of union-busting consultants and threatening and even firing workers who supported the union. A spokesman for the ILWU said the new three-year agreement, which was reached during the first week in May, guarantees fair health insurance rates, job security, a worker voice in production standards and wage increases in each of the next three years.


HOOTS AND DERISION GREET WISCONSIN AND OHIO GOVERNORS’ PUBLIC EMPLOYEE APPRECIATION CAMPAIGNS

Last week Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker and Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich, who have targeted public sector workers relentlessly over the course of the past six months with the elimination of collective bargaining rights and cuts to pensions and health care benefits, have launched public relations campaigns they say will show their appreciation of state workers.

“On behalf of all of the people of Wisconsin, I want to say thank you to the thousands of men and women who work each day as public servants here in the state of Wisconsin,” Walker said in a video that has been posted on YouTube. “We can’t say thank you enough. From one end of the state to another, from one state agency to another, day in and day out you provide professional service to the people of the state of Wisconsin. To recognize that, we’re not only saying thank you right now, we’re putting in place a new state employee recognition system.” He said awards would be given to public employees showing “outstanding innovation” or “exceptional service” or “ongoing dedication.”

A spokesman for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees denounced the initiative as “self-serving, aggrandizing and patronizing,” adding, “We are incredulous that this governor is two-faced enough to try and pretend he is concerned about state employees and what they do. If he was really committed to public service, he would not be assaulting their rights every day and he would not be constantly attacking the unions that represent these public employees.”

Ohio Gov. John Kasich issued a proclamation announcing “Public Service Appreciation Week” and lauding “the positive impact public servants have on our communities.” A spokesman for the Ohio AFL-CIO called the campaign “superficial” and “disingenuous.”

These are “shallow, completely meaningless exercises,” said Gilbert Johnson, a clerical worker at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and president of AFSCME Local 82. “The thing that really benefits state workers is being able to bargain as a collective unit,” said Alex Hanna, co-president of the Teaching Assistants’ Association at University of Wisconsin-Madison. “I think state workers see this as a slap in the face.”


WISCONSIN GOVERNOR ELIMINATES MILWAUKEE’S PAID SICK LEAVE ORDINANCE

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has signed into law a measure that strikes down a Milwaukee City ordinance requiring employers to offer workers several days of paid sick leave each year. The Milwaukee ordinance had been passed by voters in a referendum and was recently upheld by the state Court of Appeals. The bill Walker signed into law pre-empts localities from requiring businesses to provide paid sick leave to employees for family, medical or health issues. “The override of the Milwaukee sick days law is an assault on democracy, local control and working families,” said a spokeswoman for the National Association of Working Women, the group that led a coalition to pass the paid sick days law.


UNION PLUS LAUNCHES STATE BATTLES FUND

Union Plus, the AFL-CIO affiliate that offers a wide range of benefits and discounted services and products to union members, will donate $100,000 to a new fund created to support workers who are fighting attempts to eliminate collective bargaining rights, health care and pension benefits. “Union Plus supports the rights of workers to organize and collectively bargain for fair wages, a safe work environment, and to have a strong voice in the workplace,” said a Union Plus spokesperson. “We are proud to back up our stance with a $100,000 donation to the America Votes State Fund.”

Union members can help Union Plus reach its donation goal by using Facebook and Twitter:

— For every NEW Facebook fan, Union Plus will donate $25 to the America Votes State Battles Fund. Union members can become a fan at Facebook.com/UnionPlus.

— Union Plus will match donations to the America Votes State Battles Fund. To find out more and to donate, go to: http://www.unionplus.org/stand-up-for-workers

— For every new tweet with the #UnionPlus hashtag that includes @UnionPlus in the tweet, Union Plus will donate $25. For example, you can tweet “Stand UP for Workers: @UnionPlus just donated $25 to the State Battles Fund on my behalf just by tweeting this hashtag: #UnionPlus” 

The money donated will go toward opposing legislation that weakens pensions, reduces health benefits, or eliminates fundamental collective bargaining rights. Union Plus opposes these attacks which hurt an already shrinking middle class. Contributions to America Votes State are not tax deductible. It is expected that all contributions will be used for nondeductible lobbying expenditures and political activity.

We urge all MM&P members to become a Facebook fan of Union Plus and to send a tweet that includes “@UnionPlus” and a “#UnionPlus” hashtag.


PIRATES HIJACK ONE SHIP, RELEASE ANOTHER

On April 30, pirates hijacked the Singapore-flagged product tanker MV GEMINI approximately 180 nautical miles east of Malindi, Kenya. The ship and its crew of 25 were on the way to Mombasa from Malaysia when the attack occurred. One day later, Somali pirates released the Indonesian-flagged MV SINAR KUDUS in exchange for a $4.5 million ransom. Pirates had been holding the vessel and crew since March 16. After the release, Indonesian Special Military Forces killed four pirates who were departing the ship in a speedboat.


MM&P MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS IN NEW JERSEY AND NORFOLK IN MAY

MM&P Atlantic Ports Vice President Steve Werse will hold a union meeting in the New Jersey Hall on Thursday, May 12, and in the Norfolk Hall on Wednesday, May 18. The Norfolk meeting is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. but the time may change based on airline schedules. Please call ahead to confirm the time. All MM&P members in the area are encouraged to attend. 


NATIONAL MARITIME DAY COMMEMORATION IN SAN PEDRO ON MAY 22

The American Merchant Marine Veterans Memorial Committee invites you to the National Maritime Day Observance and Memorial Service, Sunday, May 22. The service begins at 11:00 a.m. at the foot of Sixth Street at the American Merchant Marine Veterans Memorial in San Pedro, Calif. We invite you to join us after the service for a luncheon at 12:00 p.m. at the nearby Ports O’ Call Restaurant, Berth 76, $40 per person or $400 for a table of ten. For luncheon reservations, please respond by May 17 to 310-830-7899.


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.

Tuesday, May 10 – United Steelworkers Hall in Anacortes: 1000-1200 and 1500-1700

Thursday, June 9 – Edmonds Office: 1000-1200


USS UNITED STATES CONSERVANCY GALA JUNE 24 IN PHILADELPHIA

A gala evening to benefit restoration of the USS UNITED STATES is planned for June 24 at the Corinthian Yacht Club in Philadelphia. A private non-profit group purchased the SS UNITED STATES, the vintage flag-ship of United States Lines, for $3 million. The vessel was navigated throughout her four decades of service by MM&P masters and mates. The non-profit that purchased the ship, SS United States Conservancy, is seeking funds to restore her, possibly in the context of a waterfront redevelopment project in Philadelphia, Miami or New York. A spokeswoman for the organization said complete restoration of the ship could cost more than $200 million. The SS UNITED STATES was completed in 1952. On her maiden voyage on July 4, 1952, she broke the transatlantic speed record by more than 10 hours. Since 1996, she has been docked at Pier 83 on the Delaware River in Philadelphia. Evening dress is requested for the June 24 event; 1950s attire if possible. To find out more, go to http://www.ssunitedstatesconservancy.org/


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): 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, potential transferees from other membership groups and other interested Offshore members 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 Mary Seidman at mseidman@bridgedeck.org.


DOCKWORKERS IN CHILE REFUSE TO UNLOAD SHIP THAT HAD DOCKED IN JAPAN

Dockworkers in Chile refused for several days to unload cars from a South Korean ship which had stopped in the Japanese ports of Osaka and Yokohama because customs officials found some vehicles had tested positive for a low level of radioactivity. Most of the workers returned to the job after authorities said the levels of radioactivity were so low as to pose no risk to human health. The cars were part of a delivery of more than two thousand used vehicles aboard the HYUNDAI NO.106 cargo ship. Twenty-one of the cars tested positive for low levels of contamination that were within Chilean safety standards.


SEAMEN’S CHURCH INSTITUTE OPENS RENOVATED SEAFARERS CENTER IN NEWARK

The Seamen’s Church Institute (SCI) will reopen its renovated International Seafarers’ Center in Port Newark on May 17. The facility serves the Port of New York and New Jersey. The center offers business services and recreation facilities for transportation workers, including access to the Internet, telephones, lounges and food services.


COURSE EQUIVALENCIES FOR REQUIRED COMPANY TRAINING

Given the number of required company training courses, it is extremely important for new members to request a transcript review to determine whether they meet the course equivalency requirements.  The courses that are eligible for equivalency are listed in the MITAGS Trust Student Guide located on www.mitags.org in the MM&P Member Section. You may also request a copy from Diane Ford (dford@mitags.org or call 443-989-3238). Remember, the dispatcher in the union hall cannot assign you a job unless you meet the company’s training requirements!


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: 6/13
AIS – Automatic Identification Systems: 5/12
ARPA – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 5/16

BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 6/6
BST – Basic Safety Training: 6/27

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

ENVIRO-Regs Permit � Environmental Regulations Permit: 5/24

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

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

LAP-ORG 3rd � License Advancement Program for Original 3/Mate: 6/6

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 6/6

MEDIA-RSP � Media Response Workshop: 5/13
MED-PIC – Medical Person In Charge: 6/13
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 6/13
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 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: 6/6

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 5/11, 5/25, 6/16, 6/28
ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Day Class: 6/16

SHS-BAS � Basic Shiphandling: 6/20
SHS-EMR3 � Emergency Shiphandling for Pilots: 6/8

TPIC � Tankerman Person in Charge: 5/16

…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

May 2011

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

July 2011

5-15     GMDSS
7-8      Vessel Security Officer
11-15   Radar Observer Unlimited
11-15   Medical Care Provider
11-22   Medical Person-In-Charge
16th    Medical DOT
18th    Radar Renewal
18-22  ECDIS
18-22  Management, Communication, and Leadership
19-21   Security – Vessel, Company, and Facility
25-29  Basic Construction and Stability

August 2011

1-12     GMDSS
8-12    ECDIS
15-19   Tankerman PIC
15-19   Basic Meteorology
22nd   Radar Renewal
22-26  Medical Care Provider
27th    Medical DOT
22-2    Medical Person-In-Charge
23-26  ARPA


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 5-6-11

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
12,638.74 2,827.56 1,340.20
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund (VAARX)
58.55
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
123.60
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
44.66
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
20.35
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
19.34
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
27.83
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.89
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
33.57
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.87
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
16.96
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
23.38
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
14.43
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
20.57
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
12.21
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
13.03
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
13.31
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
13.90
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
14.34
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.71
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
33.77
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
18.54
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
16.05
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
19.43
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.70
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
75.15
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
73.89
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
19.48
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
48.48
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
31.59
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
30.18
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.56
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
12.26
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
14.13
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
14.46
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
14.44
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
8.43
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
9.91
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.91
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
40.70
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
47.49
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
32.16



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.