Wheelhouse Weekly – May 2, 2017

Volume 22…Number 18…May 2, 2017


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Congressional leaders in both the House of Representatives and the Senate have agreed to a funding measure that would keep the government open until Sept. 30, 2017.

The legislation now has to be passed by the House and the Senate, and signed by the President.

If passed, funding for the Maritime Security Program would be set at $300 million, providing each vessel in the MSP with a $5 million stipend through Fiscal Year 2017.

This would represent an increase over the $210 million presently appropriated for MSP and would equal the amount already authorized by Congress for MSP to ensure that U.S.-flag vessels and their American crews remain available to meet the commercial sealift needs of the United States.

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Maersk will pay $4 billion for the German line Hamburg Süd in a transaction it expects to complete by the end of 2017, the Danish group announced last week in an official release to the press.

Maersk announced plans to buy the privately owned company late last year. It has said it will keep the new brands and corporate structures separate from those of the group as a whole.

Although the boards of both companies have voted in favor of the purchase, the acquisition remains subject to final regulatory approval.

Maersk said that following completion of the transaction, the companies will be able to realize operational synergies totaling between $350 million and $400 million annually during the first couple of years, mainly through integration of networks and purchasing.

In addition, the global portfolio of Maersk-owned APM Terminals is expected to benefit from increased volumes, specifically the many investments made in Latin America.

“Our due diligence has confirmed that Hamburg Süd is a well-run company with strong and highly respected brands,” said Maersk Chief Executive Søren Skou in an official statement.

“We have confirmed the anticipated synergies and we are convinced that our plan to maximize customer retention is the right path forward.”

“The acquisition is cementing our position as the largest and leading carrier in container shipping, and it will provide great opportunities for the employees of both companies.”

Through the combined network, the group says it can increase the number of weekly sailings and port calls, streamline transit times and reduce the need for transshipment.

Combined, Maersk Line and Hamburg Süd will have a total container capacity of around 3.9 million units and 18.7 percent of global capacity.

The joint fleet will consist of 743 container vessels.

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Members of Congress have introduced bills in the House of Representatives and the Senate to restore per diem rates for Defense Department military and civilian employees on extended government travel.

The Pentagon implemented the highly controversial rate cuts in November 2014 as part of a drive to reduce travel costs.

The rates, which include lodging, meals and incidentals, vary by locality.

The policy reduced long-term temporary duty (TDY) travel reimbursement by 25 percent for travel between 31 and 180 days, and by 45 percent for travel longer than 180 days.

The government-wide standard per diem rates in 2017 are $91 for lodging and $51 for meals and incidentals, for a daily total of $142.

That means that Defense Department workers on TDY from 31 to 180 days receive a per diem rate of about $107 in most areas.

For those on assignments longer than 180 days, the rate drops to $78.

Government workers and their unions have protested that the rates are unreasonable and serve as a disincentive to those who travel on behalf of the government.

Members of Congress have attempted to roll back the DOD rule on several occasions.

Last year’s National Defense Authorization Act included a provision allowing agency leaders and service secretaries to waive the rule for individuals if they deem the rate insufficient under the circumstances of the assignment.

S 901, introduced by Sens. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), would repeal the rule altogether for both civilian and military personnel.

In the House, Reps. Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.) and Walter Jones (R-N.C.) have introduced companion legislation.

“Military members and DOD civilians should not have to worry about potential financial burdens and red tape related to travel away from home,” Hirono said in a statement.

“This common-sense legislation will continue to allow DOD employees in Hawaii and around the world to do their jobs without jumping through unnecessary hoops.”

“This is but one small step we can take to improve the quality of life for the men and women who are selflessly defending our country,” Rounds agreed.

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The Transportation Department of New York has contracted with a Florida shipyard to build three new Staten Island ferries as replacements for older vessels in the city’s nine-ship fleet.

Members of the MM&P Atlantic Maritime Group work aboard the Staten Island ferries, the only non-vehicular mode of transportation between Staten Island and Manhattan.

Florida-based Eastern Shipbuilding Group (ESG) will build the new ferries, which are being funded by appropriations made at the city, state and federal level.

The first new ferry will be called STAFF SGT. MICHAEL OLLIS to honor the Staten Island soldier who died saving others from a suicide bomber in Afghanistan in 2013. It will replace the 52-year old JOHN F. KENNEDY.

The second and third new ferries will enter the fleet in late 2019 and 2020 and will replace the ANDREW J. BARBERI and the S.I. NEWHOUSE.

The Staten Island Ferry is one of the last remaining components of an entire ferry system that transported people between Manhattan and its future boroughs long before any bridges were built.

Today the Staten Island Ferry system provides 22 million people a year (70,000 passengers a day, not including weekends) with ferry service between St. George on Staten Island and Whitehall Street in lower Manhattan.

A typical weekday schedule involves the use of five vessels making a total of 109 daily trips.

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Thousands of union mineworkers have won a hard-fought victory: the 2017 omnibus appropriations now in Congress guarantees permanent funding for the health care of retired coal miners and their dependents.

Mining companies have used the bankruptcy laws to escape their legal obligations to retirees, many of whom suffer from debilitating conditions such as black lung disease.

“The inclusion of permanent funding for the health care of 22,600 retired coal miners, their dependents and widows in the 2017 omnibus appropriations bill is tremendous news,” said Cecil Roberts, president of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA).

“Swift passage of that bill by Congress will mean that those senior citizens and their families will finally have the peace of mind about their future that has eluded them for years.”

Roberts thanked members of Congress on both sides of the aisle who supported the miners in their quest to obtain funding for their health care.

Thousands of members of the UMWA and other unions marched, rallied, made phone calls and wrote to their representatives in Washington to achieve this result.

“Their efforts made the critical difference, and to them goes the lion’s share of the credit for getting us to this point,” Roberts said.

Retirement payments for the miners and their widows are still in jeopardy.

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The most recent edition of “Global Seafarer,” the publication of the Nautilus Federation, will soon be posted on

MM&P is part of the Nautilus Federation, an international union partnership that works to ensure that the interests of licensed officers receive due attention at forums such as the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Labor Organization (ILO).

In this issue of “Global Seafarer”:

— Rep. John Garamendi introduces bill to boost U.S.-flag fleet, calling its decline “a national security risk”;

— new calls for IMO to tackle fatigue;

— flag-out threat to Norway jobs: ferry firm’s plan to switch registers could impact 700 seafarers;

— France urged to safeguard bunker fleet.

To read the new edition of “Global Seafarer,” go to and scroll down to “Latest News.”

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The Coast Guard has confirmed that two navigational buoys located off the coast of Block Island were found damaged by bullet holes last week.

During a routine inspection of aids to navigation, the crew of Coast Guard Cutter IDA LEWIS found the Clay Head buoy, No. 7, sunk with more than 20 bullet holes in it.

The Coast Guard identified the other damaged navigation aid as buoy No. 1. Its location was not immediately known.

Buoy No. 7 became a navigational hazard “that could have easily been struck by a vessel and seriously injured or killed mariners,” said Senior Chief Petty Officer Timothy Chase, the U.S. Coast Guard officer in charge of aids-to-navigation in the vicinity of Block Island.

Damaging or tampering with federal aids-to-navigation is a crime. The maximum penalties upon conviction are up to 20 years of imprisonment and as much as $2,500 fine per day for each violation.

Due to the extensive damage, buoy No. 7—which marks a large rock three feet below the water’s surface–was taken out of service for repairs.

Coast Guard Cutter IDA LEWIS is a 175-foot buoy tender homeported in Newport, R.I. The crew services more than 200 buoys annually in southeastern New England.

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Hundreds of thousands of workers took to the streets of Brazilian cities on Friday to protest austerity measures proposed by the deeply unpopular government, which is the target of sweeping corruption investigations.

In Rio de Janeiro, police used tear gas to disperse protesters at ferry terminals and the airport. In São Paulo, protesters blocked access to highways and public buildings.

Buses and trains in many cities did not run.

Overall, about a third of the working population is said to have stayed home, either to participate in the strike or because people were simply unable to get to work.

Traffic at Brazilian ports was slowed but not halted by the strike. At the largest port, Santos, buses were set on fire and roads were blocked.

The general strike had broad support, with much of the country furious over attempts by President Michel Temer, who came to power after the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff, to impose strict austerity measures on workers while members of the government receive salaries of up to 40 times those of the average citizen.

A public opinion poll conducted in early April by the global market research firm IPSOS found that 92 percent of Brazilians believe their country is on the wrong path.

The poll found the president’s approval rating hovering around 4 percent.

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Have you ever shopped at Forever 21, Urban Outfitters, Walmart or Primark? Do you know how to find out where your clothes were made, and under what conditions?

April 24 marked the fourth anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse, which killed more than 1,100 people and injured several thousand others.

Very little has changed since then in Bangladeshi garment factories, where most workers earn just 32 cents an hour, conditions are frequently unsafe and attempts to organize unions are often suppressed with violence.

To bring about change, Human Rights Watch, the Clean Clothes Campaign and International Labor Rights Forum have launched a petition on calling on clothing companies to identify the factories that produce their goods.

So far, 17 clothing brands have taken the “Apparel and Footwear Supply Chain Transparency Pledge.”

The pledge is a crucial starting point for shedding light on who makes our clothes, and under what conditions.

Please encourage other brands to follow the good example of the 17 brands that have already signed.

Add your name to the petition at

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MM&P Atlantic Ports Vice President Don Josberger will hold a union meeting at the Boston Hall at 1200 on Tuesday, May 9.

All Offshore members in the area are encouraged to attend the meeting.

The Boston Hall is located in Marine Industrial Park, 12 Channel St., Suite 606-A, Boston, MA 02210. The phone number of the hall is 617-671-0769.

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The American Merchant Marine Veterans Memorial Committee invites you to the National Maritime Day Observance and Memorial Service in San Pedro, Calif. on, Monday, May 22.

Maritime Day honors the merchant mariners who serve our country in peace and war.

The service begins at 1100 at the American Merchant Marine Veterans Memorial at the foot of Sixth Street.

You are also invited to join us after the memorial service for a luncheon at 1200 at the nearby Ports O’Call Restaurant, Berth 76, San Pedro ($45 per person; tables are available).

To support National Maritime Day activities in San Pedro, a commemorative program is produced. Proceeds from the sale of advertising in the commemorative program also go to maintain the memorial itself.

Parking is available at the Ports O’Call Restaurant and shuttle service between the memorial and the restaurant will be provided by San Pedro Trolley.

If you would like more information about attending the event or about advertising, please contact Jerry Aspland, Vice President:; telephone/fax: 714-968-4409.

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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 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 – 8/21/17, 10/16/17

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

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

AZIPOD 2-Day – 5/22/17, 10/16/17

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 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: 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: 6/12/17, 7/31/17, 10/2/17, 12/11/17

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

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

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 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: 11/27/17

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: 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): 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): 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: 10/23/17

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

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 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: 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: 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: 6/5/17, 8/7/17, 12/4/17

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 9/13/17

LNG-TPIC – 12/4/17

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

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control: Contact Admissions

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

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

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

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 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): 5/25/17, 6/9/17, 8/9/17, 10/2/17

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control: 5/23/17, 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: 5/15/17, 6/12/17, 7/17/17, 8/13/17, 10/9/17

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – 5/14/17, 6/10/17, 8/10/17, 10/5/17

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced – 5/19/17, 6/16/17, 7/21/17, 8/12/17, 10/7/17

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force – 5/20/17, 6/17/17, 7/24/17, 8/18/17, 10/13/17

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P – 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: 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 – 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: 5/25/17

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

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

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

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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

May 2017

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

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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 © 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