Wheelhouse Weekly – May 10, 2016

Volume 21 . . . Number 19. . . May 10, 2016


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The WETA Board of Directors has approved a five-year extension of the contract with Blue and Gold. Members of the MM&P United Inland Group-Pacific Maritime Region operate the Blue and Gold ferries, maintenance, customer service and ticket sales operations. The new contract term begins after Dec. 31, 2016 and runs through the end of 2021.

“Customer feedback over the five years has been overwhelmingly positive regarding the professionalism of vessel crew members and customer service representatives,” WETA staff reported to the board in the course of its deliberations.

“WETA directors also praised Blue and Gold and our crews, and the vote was unanimous,” said Veronica Sanchez, who works closely with MM&P Representatives Ray Shipway and Sly Hunter to support our members at Blue and Gold and other Bay Area maritime employers.

“This is certainly a credit to the hard work of Ray and Sly in the contract negotiations with the company last year so they could present WETA with a financially viable extension,” she said.

“This is welcome recognition of the professionalism of our members who work for Blue and Gold,” said MM&P United Inland Group Vice President Mike Murray.

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The six unions that make up the Maritime Labor Alliance (MLA)—the International Longshoremen’s Association, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots, the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association, the Inland Boatmen’s Union and the American Radio Association—met with the leadership of the United States Maritime Alliance (USMX) and the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA).

The union leaders expressed the hope that through the MLA both management and labor will have a vehicle to facilitate collective bargaining and contract administration and provide a forum to resolve disputes across different crafts before they result in a major disruption of the smooth flow of commerce.

Each of the labor organizations in attendance expressed their respective positions on issues of concern affecting their memberships’ job conditions.

Throughout the discussions, the union leaders emphasized the changes and challenges facing the industry, the joint interests of both labor and management and the need for unity between the parties.

The management representatives responded to the concerns expressed by the unions and a very healthy discussion ensued with the parties agreeing that they would meet periodically to discuss the commonality of interests.

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In a show of solidarity, the European Transport Workers Federation (ETF) and the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) have united to condemn the recent sentencing of Apostolos Mangouras, the captain of the oil tanker PRESTIGE, to two years in prison.

The PRESTIGE sank off Spain’s northwestern coast in 2002, covering thousands of miles of coastline in fuel oil. This past January, Spain’s Supreme Court overturned a finding of innocence by a lower court and sentenced the captain to two years in prison for “recklessness.”

The ETF and ECSA say they stand ready to show their full support for Mangouras and are willing to travel to Greece to meet with him and make it publicly clear they remain determined to stand firm against the trend in criminalization of seafarers.

“Judges have now convicted Mangouras of gross negligence for his decisions during the voyage and his actions as events unfolded,” the ETF and the ECSA said in an official statement. “But this decision is nothing less than a further proof of the ill-treatment of seafarers that began as early as the time of accident and which, in the case of Mangouras, has continued for an agonizing period of fourteen long and stressful years of judicial harassment.”

A Provincial Court in Galicia had earlier found Mangouras innocent, saying that he and the chief engineer had “bravely fulfilled” their professional duties in attempting to save the ship. The officers aboard the ship were confronted with a refusal by the Spanish authorities to give the PRESTIGE a place of refuge where an oil spill could have been contained. The master, the chief engineer and the chief mate remained on board the ship, risking their lives, when the hull was breached.

The PRESTIGE eventually broke in two and sank.

We “cannot accept that seafarers should have to pay such a heavy price whilst the Maritime Authority, who had been exempted from any liability, ordered the vessel away from any port of refuge, with well-known catastrophic effects upon the natural environment,” the ETF and the ECSA said in their official statement.

“It is beyond dispute that seafarers are too often used as easy scapegoats upon whom to shift all the responsibility for possible environmental damages, and unfairly sued, sometimes in flagrant breach of their fundamental rights.”

The two said the ruling and others like it have an extremely negative effect on efforts to recruit qualified young people to maritime careers.

Others in the industry, including MM&P, have spoken out strongly and repeatedly against the criminalization of Captain Mangouras, who is now 81 years old.

“The case of the PRESTIGE is an example of a systemic failure,” says MM&P Chief of Staff Klaus Luhta. “The master should not be jailed.” He said the sentence is yet another example of unjust criminalization of a professional mariner for what was essentially a tragic accident.

InterManager has described the decision as “abhorrent” and has called on the shipping industry to support Mangouras, who over the course of the past 14 years has been constantly subjected to fines, detention and legal proceedings.

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Bipartisan legislation introduced in the House of Representatives would stop Norwegian Air International’s bid to expand its controversial cut-rate air service throughout the United States and the European Union.

Last month, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) gave NAI—which has been branded “a flag-of-convenience airline” because its crews are sourced in low-wage countries and employed on temporary labor contracts—tentative approval to move forward.

The new legislation is backed by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), ranking member of the Transportation Committee; Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.), chairman of the aviation subcommittee; Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.), ranking member of the aviation subcommittee; and Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.)

Twenty-six other lawmakers, including four Republicans, have also co-sponsored the measure so far.

Additionally, Reps. John Garamendi (D-Calif.) and Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) are circulating a letter urging U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and President Obama to reverse DOT’s order and deny NAI’s application.

“This airline is ‘Norwegian’ in name only,” DeFazio says. “It’s a virtual airline set up to undercut competition by exploiting cheap labor. Our bipartisan legislation sends a strong message to DOT: we must stop this race to the bottom and protect the open and fair transatlantic aviation market.”

For years, the bargain-basement carrier has been seeking a license to use airports covered under the U.S. and EU’s Open Skies agreement through a subsidiary based in Ireland, a member of the EU.

Critics say NAI’s “workaround,” which allows it to avoid Norwegian labor and tax laws while benefiting from Ireland’s EU membership, will undercut working conditions throughout the European and U.S. airline industries.

The new bill, HR 5090, would bar DOT from allowing a foreign air carrier to operate between European countries and the United States unless the carrier complies with basic U.S. or EU labor standards.

It would do so by requiring the agency to determine whether applications are consistent with a clause in the U.S.-EU air travel agreement that says “opportunities created by the Agreement are not intended to undermine labor standards or labor-related rights.”

“In my view, granting NAI an air carrier permit would violate the agreement we have in place to protect our aviation system stakeholders from unfair labor practices,” Larsen said in an official statement.

“NAI and its attempt to launch a flag-of-convenience airline has once again drawn a strong bipartisan rebuke from lawmakers who have long held that our government should not give operating authority to foreign airlines that violate our trade rules and threaten U.S. airline jobs,” said Ed Wytkind, president of the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department (TTD), which represents 32 U.S. transportation sector unions, including MM&P.

“We applaud Reps. LoBiondo, DeFazio, Larsen and Westmoreland for introducing legislation that aims to hold DOT accountable for enforcement of the labor provisions it negotiated as part of the U.S.-EU Air Transport Agreement.”

Wytkind said NAI’s business model “will destroy fair competition and extinguish middle-class airline jobs here and in Europe.”

“When an airline company like NAI scours the globe for the cheapest labor it can find, evades the social and employment laws of its own country, and uses a rogue business model in violation of our trade agreements and laws, our government should not reward that airline with new rights to seize our markets, compete unfairly with our air carriers and kill our members’ jobs,” he added.

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Two container ships collided Saturday off the coast of east China. One of the ships, the SAFMARINE MERU, caught fire. The second ship, the NORTHERN JASPER, was severely damaged. No casualties have been reported. Authorities said they are investigating the collision.

The Hong Kong-flagged SAFMARINE MERU is operated by Denmark-based Maersk Line. The Liberian-flagged NORTHERN JASPER is German-owned. The collision took place off the eastern Chinese coast port of Ningbo.

Maersk reported that SAFMARINE MERU, deployed in the company’s TP18 service and traveling south from Qingdao, had fewer than 400 full containers on board when the accident took place.

“The collision caused severe damage to the SAFMARINE MERU and a fire broke out,” Maersk Line said in an official statement. “The SAFMARINE MERU’s crew of 22 people abandoned the vessel shortly after. It is too early to comment on the circumstances surrounding the collision and fire.”

The ship is now afloat and anchored near the accident site, with the intervention team focusing on putting out the fire and assessing the overall damage to the ship and cargo. “We are very relieved that our crew are safe and have not suffered any serious injuries. The safety of our people, at sea and on shore, is paramount to us,” said Palle Brodsgaard Laursen, head of ship management at Maersk Line, told the press.

In a separate incident, China detained the 20 crew members of the Maltese bulk carrier CATALINA after it collided last week with a Chinese fishing boat about 80 nautical miles from Ningbo.Two men aboard the fishing vessel are confirmed dead; 17 are missing.

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MM&P Atlantic Ports union halls will be closed on Monday, May 23 for National Maritime Day. All MM&P union halls, the MM&P Plan Office, the MM&P Federal Credit Union and MM&P headquarters will be closed on Monday, May 30, for Memorial Day.

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Atlantic Ports Vice President Don Josberger will hold the monthly Offshore Membership Meeting at the New York/New Jersey Hall at 1100 on Wednesday, May 18.

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On Sunday, May 22, the annual National Maritime Day Observance and Memorial Service will be held at the American Merchant Marine Veterans Memorial at Harbor Boulevard and 6th Street in San Pedro at 1000.

The service is hosted by the American Merchant Marine Veterans Memorial Committee. It honors American Merchant Mariners who have served their country in peace and war since the American Revolution–when they acted as our first Navy–until the present day.

Among the speakers will be MM&P President Don Marcus.

Organizations wishing to send wreaths to be displayed during and after the services are requested to have them delivered to the memorial site by 0900 on Sunday, May 22. Massey’s Florist on Western Avenue in Lomita (310-325-8222) has provided very good service and is the preferred florist of the committee.

The committee is again planning to have an interesting program, with national, state, and city officials invited to participate as speakers.

The committee is seeking sponsors to help us this year by purchasing an advertisement in our 2016 program booklet.

A luncheon will be held immediately following the National Maritime Day Observance at the Ports O’Call Restaurant located at Berth 76 in Ports O’Call Village. A no host bar will open at 1100 hours, with lunch being served at approximately 1130 hours. Parking is available in Ports O’Call with transportation provided to and from the memorial service.

The committee cordially invites all sponsors and the general public to attend the National Maritime Day Observance and luncheon. For more information, please contact Paul Nielsen at (310) 325 3506.

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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 Elisabeth Cruz, 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 – 8/22/16, 10/17/16

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: 5/27/16, 7/22/16

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 8/9/16, 9/27/16

AZIPOD 2-Day – 5/23/16, 11/14/16

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 8/8/16, 10/31/16

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 05/23/2016, 7/18/16, 11/14/16

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling: 04/19/16

BT – Basic Safety Training: 06/27/16, 8/15/16, 10/10/16

BT-Revalidation (2-day) – 8/22/16, 10/31/16

BT-Refresher (3-day) – 10/30/16

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 11/14/16

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

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

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 06/20/16, 8/1/16, 10/17/16

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 06/06/16, 8/8/16, 11/7/16

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 10/24/16

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 6/6/16, 06/13/16, 7/25/16, 8/15/16,9/12/16, 10/10/16, 11/28/16, 12/19/16

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM – 5/16/16,5/23/16, 6/13/16, 6/27/16, 7/11/16, 7/25/16, 8/1/16, 8/8/16, 8/15/16,8/22/16, 9/12/16, 10/3/16,10/31/16, 11/14/16,11/28/16, 12/5/16, 12/12/16, 12/19/16

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 9/19/16

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: 6/20/16, 8/1/16, 10/31/16

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 10/3/16

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 06/13/16, 7/18/16, 8/15/16, 9/12/16,10/24/16, 11/7/16, 12/5/16

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 05/16/16, 06/20/16, 7/25/16, 8/22/16,9/19/16, 10/31/16, 11/14/16, 12/12/16

**SHS-ADV-I & II now approved to include SAR-CMM assessments at MITAGS after August 1, 2016. Both weeks must be taken together in order to complete SAR-CMM**

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 9/12/16

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 9/26/16

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 10/24/16

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: 7/19/16

DDE – Great Lakes: Contact Admissions

DPA – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-OIC – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-Pilots – 05/25/16, 7/20/16, 11/14/16

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 7/18/16, 8/22/16, 9/26/16, 10/24/16, 11/14/16, 11/28/16,12/5/16, 12/12/16, 12/19/16

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 06/27/16, 8/15/16, 10/10/16

FF-ADV-REV – Advanced Fire Fighting Revalidation & Refresher: 8/24/16, 11/2/16

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 5/16/13, 6/1/16, 6/15/16, 9/20/16

GL Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: Contact Admissions

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 8/22/16

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 6/27/16, 8/29/16, 12/5/16

LAP- 9/19/16

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

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License: 06/06/16, 8/8/16, 12/5/16

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 7/19/16, 9/21/16, 11/15/16

LNG-TPIC – 12/5/16

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 7/12/16, 9/26/16, 10/26/16*, 11/14/16*, 12/19/16* (*Evening Session)

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control: 5/16/16, 7/11/16, 8/29/16, 9/19/16, 10/17/16, 11/7/16, 11/28/16, 12/5/16, 12/12/16, 12/19/16

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 05/16/16, 7/11/16, 11/7/16, 12/12/16

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 8/29/16, 10/3/16

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 05/16/16, 11/7/16, 11/28/16, 12/12/16

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 05/14/16, 8/28/16, 11/12/16, 12/17/16

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: Contact Admissions

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 6/10/16, 8/10/16, 10/17/16

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control: 6/8/16, 8/8/16, 10/18/16

*MSC-ENVPRO – 6/5/16, 8/7/16, 10/16/16

*MSC-FF-HELO – 6/6/16, 8/22/16, 10/31/16

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 6/13/16, 7/18/16, 8/14/16, 10/23/16

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – 6/11/16, 8/11/16, 10/20/16

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced – 6/17/16, 7/22/16, 8/13/16, 10/22/16

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force – 6/18/16, 7/25/16, 8/18/16, 10/27/16

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P – 5/23/16, 7/26/16, 10/25/16

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 8/8/16, 9/26/16

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 05/18/16, 06/08/16, 06/22/16, 7/13/16, 7/27/16, 8/10/16, 8/24/16, 9/21/16, 10/5/16, 10/19/16, 11/2/16, 11/9/16, 11/16/16, 11/30/16, 12/7/16, 12/14/16

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 8/1/16

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue – 11/7/16

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 06/27/16, 8/29/16, 10/17/16

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day: 8/1/16, 10/3/16, 11/28/16

SMS – Contact Admissions

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 8/8/16

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 7/11/16

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 8/8/16

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – Contact Admissions

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: Contact Admissions

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 7/13/16, 9/7/16, 10/22/16

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): 10/3/16

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 9/19/16

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Please also see our schedule and enroll online at For registration contact our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen: 206.838.1126 or

May 2016

16-20 ECDIS
23-27 Leadership & Managerial Skills
23-27 MEECE

June 2016

1-2 Risk Based Internal Auditing
1-3 Security Officer – Vessel, Company & Facility
6-10 ECDIS
6-10 Leadership & Managerial Skills
6-10 Engine Resource Management
6-10 Bridge Resource Management w/ Simulation
13th Radar Renewal
13-24 License Preparation
13-24 GMDSS
13-1 Terrestrial & Coastal Navigation w/ Compasses
15-17 Bridge Resource Management and Emergency Shiphandling for Pilots
20-24 MEECE
20-24 Train the Trainer
27-1 Leadership & Managerial Skills

July 2016

5th Flashing Light
6-8 Security Officer – Vessel, Company & Facility
11-15 Radar Observer Unlimited
11-15 Leadership & Managerial Skills
11-15 Engine Resource Management
11-22 GMDSS
18th Leadership & Teamworking Skills
18-22 ECDIS
25th Radar Renewal
25-29 Leadership & Managerial Skills
25-29 Engine Resource Management
25-29 MEECE
26-29 ARPA

August 2016

1-5 Leadership & Managerial Skills
1-5 Bridge Resource Management
8-12 Basic Meteorology
8-12 Engine Resource Management
15th Radar Renewal
15-19 Leadership & Managerial Skills
22-26 ECDIS
22-26 MEECE
22-2 GMDSS
29-2 Leadership & Managerial Skills

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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 © 2015. Articles can be reprinted without prior permission if credit is given to The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly. For address changes, send an e-mail to Back issues of The Weekly are posted on