Wheelhouse Weekly – May 21st, 2019

Volume 24… Number 21… May 21, 2019


In This Issue:

Labor News:

MM&P Members:

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The Senate Committee on Commerce, under the leadership of Chairman Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Ranking Member Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), has sent to the full Senate legislation that addresses a number of extremely important issues affecting the Maritime Security Program (MSP).

As approved by the committee, the legislation would continue and authorize MSP for an additional ten-year period. As it now stands, MSP would expire at the end of FY ‘25.

The committee extends the program through FY ‘35, which allows the Department of Defense (DOD) to go forward with its strategic planning with the knowledge that our industry will continue to provide the commercial sealift readiness capability that DOD needs.

In addition, the bill corrects a budgetary issue that would cause an arbitrary reduction in the funding authorized for MSP in FY ’22-FY ‘25 from the current $300 million to $222 million.

It is unclear when the full Senate will consider the legislation.

The House of Representatives Committee on Armed Services is working on its own draft of MSP legislation.

The House legislation is also expected to address the need to extend MSP at a funding level that will ensure its viability and guarantee the continued availability of the U.S.-flag, U.S.-crewed maritime security fleet.

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Multiple news outlets have reported that the U.S. believes Iran to be responsible for the May 13 sabotage of four oil tankers off the coast of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Iran has denied any involvement in the attacks and is calling for an independent investigation.

Although there is no evidence that Iran played a direct role, multiple news outlets have reported that the United States believes Iran encouraged those who carried out the attacks.

Two of the vessels were identified as the VLCC AMJAD and the tanker AL MARZOQAH, both owned by Saudi shipping firm Bahri.

The other two were the UAE-flagged fuel bunker barge A. MICHEL and the Norwegian-registered oil products tanker MT ANDREW VICTORY.

The attack took place near Fujairah, one of the world’s largest bunkering hubs, located just outside the Strait of Hormuz.

Tensions in the region are increasing, in particular since the United States pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal and began tightening sanctions against the country to reduce its oil exports.

U.S. maritime authorities have advised U.S.-flag ships of “threats from Iran in a geographic area that includes the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz, the Gulf of Oman, the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Aden, Bab-el-Mandeb and the Red Sea.”

U.S. commercial vessels operating in the area are advised to review U.S. Maritime Advisory 2019-004.

The Strait of Hormuz sees roughly 18.5 million barrels of oil flow in and out each day.

Some 20 percent of the world’s gas travels through the strait as well.

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American mariners are being honored this week at National Maritime Day commemorations in cities, towns and ports across the United States.

Government officials, members of the military and representatives of the maritime unions and U.S.-flag shipping companies attended ceremonies in Washington, D.C., Norfolk, Va., and other cities.

The Captain Richard Phillips-Lane Kirkland Maritime Trust has planned a National Maritime Day Reception and Dinner, with all proceeds going to fund scholarships for individuals pursuing careers in maritime or related industries.

National Maritime Day was established by Congress in 1933 to recognize the men and women who keep the maritime industry strong and to salute those who have sacrificed their lives in defense of the United States.

Details of the Maritime Day events will be published in the May 28 issue of The Wheelhouse Weekly.

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The Italian shipping group Grimaldi is urging new controls on shipped containers and vehicles following fires aboard two of its RO/ROs, the GRANDE AMERICA and the GRANDE EUROPA.

The GRANDE AMERICA caught fire on March 10 and sank two days later in the Bay of Biscay. In a statement, the company attributed that fire to “cargo carried on the ship.”

Two fires broke out on another of its ships, the GRANDE EUROPA, last Wednesday.

Grimaldi said in a statement that a preliminary investigation showed the fires aboard the GRANDE EUROPA had started in two new vehicles.

The company is asking for tighter controls on cargo, in particular car batteries, and a complete ban on any personal effects in second-hand vehicles carried on RO/RO vessels.

It has called for an International Maritime Organization regulation making it mandatory that a classification society certify containers carrying hazardous materials as being correctly packed and identified.

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A group of House lawmakers is seeking to reverse an attempt by the Trump administration to increase its power over America’s 19,000 administrative law judges (ALJs).

ALJs are appointed by, and work for, the federal government, delivering rulings in many areas of statutory law.

At the Coast Guard, for example, they may be asked to rule on cases brought by merchant mariners who object to actions taken against them by the agency.

The president’s executive order gives his office and agency heads significant new authority over the ALJ appointment process.

Previously, ALJs were required to pass a written exam, submit peer references and be interviewed by a panel of experts.

Under the executive order, by contrast, federal agency heads can pick any active lawyer to be an ALJ.

The bipartisan bill–the ALJ Competitive Service Restoration Act (HR 2429)–would require prospective judges to again submit to a vetting process based on technical qualifications.

“[ALJs’] decisions have a significant impact on [Americans’] Social Security, Medicare, workers’ compensation and veterans’ benefits, as well as claims of discrimination, unfair labor practices and securities fraud,” the bill’s cosponsors said in a joint statement.

“Lives would be disrupted if independent adjudicators were replaced by partisan judges whose appointments were based on politics.”

“Congress would not be fulfilling its constitutional duty of oversight if it allowed the politicization of the corps of independent adjudicators who are responsible for protecting the due process rights of the American people.”

The Association of Administrative Law Judges (AALJ) has also criticized the president’s executive order.

AALJ President Marilyn Zahm suggested the real intent of the order was to give agency heads broad authority to select ideological judges.

Among the bill’s sponsors are Reps. Elijah Cummings, D-Md.; Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa.; Richard Neal, D-Mass.; Rodney Davis, R-Ill.; Gerry Connolly, D-Va.; Danny Davis, D-Ill.; Bobby Scott, D-Va.; John Larson, D-Conn.; and Tom Cole, R-Okla.

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The keel for the future USNS JOHN LEWIS (T-AO 205), the Navy’s first John Lewis-class fleet replenishment oiler, was laid at General Dynamics-National Steel and Shipbuilding Company in San Diego on May 13.

Keel-laying is a ceremony that marks the start of a ship’s construction.

During the course of the event, Rep. John Lewis, the ship’s namesake, and the ship’s sponsor, actress Alfre Woodard, etched their initials into a ceremonial keel plate.

USNS JOHN LEWIS will be operated by the Navy’s Military Sealift Command (MSC).

It is the first of what will be a class of ships named after Congressman Lewis, a civil rights leader and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The vessel is expected to be delivered to MSC in late 2020.

The John Lewis-class ships will be based on commercial design standards.

The Navy says the new vessels, which will be part of the Navy’s Combat Logistics Force, will “recapitalize today’s T-AO 187-class fleet replenishment oilers to provide underway replenishment of fuel to U.S. Navy ships at sea.”

The licensed deck officers aboard USNS JOHN LEWIS will be represented by the MM&P Federal Employees Membership Group (FEMG).

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Rank-and-file members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Canada have voted by an overwhelming margin to authorize a strike against the British Columbia Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA).

The union has been negotiating with employers for 18 months to replace the contract that expired on March 31 of last year.

ILWU Canada rank-and-file members voted overwhelmingly on May 10 to give their full support to union leaders: 98.4 percent of members voted in support of strike action.

“After more than 17 months since negotiations began, your negotiating committee needs your support more than ever to get a fair deal,” ILWU Local 500 President Rino Vico wrote members.

Local 500 is one of several ILWU Locals representing dockworkers in British Columbia.

Together, the Locals represent about 6,000 Canadian dockers.

“Voting yes to a strike does not mean you are voting to go on strike now. It means the union can go on strike in the next 60 days with 72 hours’ strike notice to the employer.”

International longshore unions meeting in Genoa, Italy, last week sent a strong message of solidarity to ILWU Canada.

“The ITF Dockers’ Section Committee, representing over 420,000 longshore workers worldwide, offers full support to the ILWU Canada as they enter into the eighteenth month of negotiations with the British Columbia Maritime Employers Association (BCMEA),” the ITF Dockers’ Section said in a statement.

“The BCMEA has failed to negotiate in good faith with the ILWU Canada on key issues facing dockers and the broader community, including the impact of technology and automation in the ports.”

“It is unacceptable for the BCMEA to refuse to negotiate on key issues, including the introduction of any new technologies that could impact and/or result in job losses.”

The ITF Dockers’ Committee said job cuts caused by automation “have repercussions on and off the waterfront including less economic spending power in the community, which leads to a reduction in tax revenue that can be used for public schools and other essential services.”

“We send a strong and clear message of solidarity that there will be no introduction of automation and new technologies without negotiation and meaningful consultation with the ILWU Canada,” the ITF Dockers’ Section said in a statement.

ITF Dockers’ affiliates will take “whatever action is necessary to support the ILWU Canada,” the committee said.

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The Jones Act survived a scare and remains in effect–for now.

The effort to extend the Maritime Security Program is moving forward, despite opposition from outside groups and their Congressional allies.

“Ship American” is still the law of the land, yet federal agencies continue to avoid the U.S.-flag shipping requirements.

The battle to strengthen and grow our industry and to keep American maritime jobs is in full swing.

Congressional friends and supporters of the U.S.-flag merchant marine are fighting non-stop to prevent well-financed foreign shipping interests from sending more of our jobs overseas.

Without your help–without the involvement of each and every one of us–our supporters will lose their seats in Congress to our opponents.

If that happens, American mariners will lose their jobs as well.

We ask every MM&P member and pensioner to dig deep and contribute to our union’s Political Contribution Fund (PCF).

Your support for our PCF will give us the resources we need to help keep U.S.-flag ships sailing and U.S.-citizen mariners employed.

For more information about the MM&P PCF, go to

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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 27, for Memorial Day.

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MITAGS-PMI is interested in receiving photo submissions from MM&P members for use on the official MITAGS-PMI social media platform.

The goal is to document members’ voyages and promote the maritime industry. As suggestions, photos can be of events and sights onboard, crewmembers at work or scenic locations.

If you are interested in sharing photos, please send them with caption information to MITAGS-PMI’s marketing manager, Lindsay Moran, at

Be sure to tell us whether you would like to be credited for the photo.

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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:

For Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) processing, MMC problem resolution advice, STCW compliance and VA GI-Bill questions, contact MITAGS-PMI Student/Instructional Services Manager Jennifer Pitzen at 206-739-0720 (direct line); (888) 893-7829 (toll free); or by e-mail:

Please include your Mariner Reference Number, date of birth and the last four digits of your social security number in all emails.

\\Classes are 5-day unless otherwise noted\\

Class dates followed by an * are full

AB – Able Seaman – 9/9/19

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation (1-Day): 8/14/19

ARPA-OIC (4-Day) – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 9/24/19

AZIPOD (2-Day) – 9/30/19

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 8/5/19, 10/28/19

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots (2-Day): 7/15/19, 7/29/19, 9/30/19

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling – (Now also included in BRMP-Refresher) (3-Day): 7/17/19, 10/2/19

BRMP-Refresher (Now including Emergency Shiphandling for Pilots) (3-Day) – Not currently scheduled

BT – Basic Safety Training: 8/12/19, 10/14/19

BT-Revalidation (2-day) (Must have 1 year of sea service in last 5 years) – 6/18/19, 7/30/19, 8/26/19, 9/25/19, 10/30/19, 12/17/19

BT-Refresher (3-day) – 7/29/19, 9/25/19, 12/16/19

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 10/21/19

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 6/10/19, 7/29/19, 9/23/19, 12/16/19

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 6/3/19, 8/5/19, 9/30/19, 12/9/19

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (10 Days): 10/7/19

CM-OPS 1 – Chief Mate Operations – Week 1: 8/5/19, 12/2/19

CM-OPS 2 Maersk – Chief Mate Operations II Maersk Specific: 8/12/19, 12/9/18

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information Systems: 9/9/19, 12/2/19

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM): 8/19/19, 12/16/19

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 11/4/19 (DCS-1 available on request – contact Admissions)

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: Not Currently Scheduled

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management: 10/28/19

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 6/3/19*, 6/17/19*, 7/15/19, 8/12/19*, 9/9/19, 9/30/19, 10/14/19, 11/4/19, 12/2/19

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 6/10/19*, 6/24/19*, 7/22/19, 8/19/19*, 9/16/19, 10/7/19, 10/21/19, 11/11/19, 12/9/19

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

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 10/21/19

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 9/16/19

WX-HW-ATL – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Atlantic Ocean (2-day) – 6/10/19, 9/23/19

WX-HW-IND – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Indian Ocean (2-day) – 6/14/19, 9/27/19

WX-HW-PAC – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Pacific Ocean (2-day) – 6/12/19, 9/25/19

CIW-DPA/IA – Continual Improvement Workshop: Designated Person Ashore & Internal Auditor (3-Day) ** This course is NOT covered by the MATES Program ** – 6/25/19, 11/12/19

CIW-SMS – Continual Improvement Workshop: Successful Safety Management –7/16/19, 10/15/19

CNAV-OIC (15-Day) – Celestial Navigation: 11/4/19

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications (1-Day): Not currently scheduled

CRSMGT – Crisis Management and Human Behavior (1-Day) – 7/11/19

CDMGT – Crowd Management (1-Day) – 7/12/19

CSE – Confined Space Entry (3-Day): 8/19/19

CSE-AWR – Confined Space Entry Awareness (2-Day): 8/22/19

CY-MAR – Cyber-Skilled Mariner ** This course is NOT covered by the MATES Program ** – 8/5/19

DDE – Great Lakes (20-Day): Not currently scheduled

ECDIS for Pilots (2-Day) – 8/12/19, 11/21/19

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 8/12/19, 12/9/19

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 8/12/19, 10/14/19

FF-ADV-Rev (1-day) (Must have 1 year of sea service in last 5 years) – Advanced Fire Fighting Revalidation: 6/20/19, 8/1/19, 8/28/19, 9/24/19, 10/29/19, 12/19/19

FF-ADV-REF (2-day) – Advanced Fire Fighting Refresher: 7/27/19, 9/28/19, 12/14/19

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications (1-Day): 9/17/19

GL-Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization (2-Day): Not currently scheduled

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (10-Day): 8/19/19

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 8/26/19, 11/18/19

IEN – Integrated Electronic Navigation (3-Day) – Not currently scheduled

LAP – License Advancement Program for Mate to Master (20-Day): 7/29/19*, 10/21/19

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes (20-Day): Not currently scheduled

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License (15-Day): 6/3/19

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage (1-Day): 9/18/19

LNG-TPIC (10-Day) – Not currently scheduled

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC) (1-Day): 9/23/19

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control Equipment (Assessments not included): 8/5/19, 12/2/19

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge (10-Day): 7/8/19*, 9/30/19, 12/2/19

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 6/24/19, 8/19/19, 10/21/19

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 9/30/19, 11/18/19

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing (1-Day): 6/17/19, 7/14/19, 8/29/19, 9/23/19, 10/5/19, 10/28/19, 12/7/19, 12/20/19

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic) (1-Day): 6/5/19 (evening), 8/7/19, 9/12/19 (evening), 11/1/19 (evening)

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (2-day): 6/5/19, 8/5/19, 9/12/19, 11/1/19

MSC-ENVPRO (1-Day) – 6/2/19, 8/4/19, 11/3/19

MSC-FF-HELO (2-Day) – 6/3/19, 8/10/19, 10/30/19

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualifications (4-Day): 6/9/19*, 7/15/19, 8/11/19, 9/16/19, 11/4/19

MSC-Security Watch Basic (1-Day) – 6/7/19, 8/8/19, 9/14/19, 11/4/19

MSC-Security Watch Advanced (1-Day) – 6/8/19*, 7/14/19, 8/9/19, 9/15/19, 11/8/19

MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force (3-Day) – 6/13/19*, 7/19/19, 8/16/19, 9/20/19, 11/9/19

NDMS-ENAV – Navigational Decision Making Series – Best Practice in eNav – 11/18/19

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P (2-Day) – 6/24/19*, 6/26/19*, 7/25/19*, 7/29/19*, 8/26/19*, 8/28/19, 11/18/19, 11/20/19, 12/16/19, 12/18/19

RFPNW – Ratings Forming Part of a Navigational Watch (3-day) – Not currently scheduled

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal (1-Day): 9/23/19

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes (1-Night): 6/5/19*, 6/12/19, 6/19/19*, 7/10/19, 7/24/19, 8/1/19*, 8/7/19, 8/21/19, 8/28/19, 9/17/19, 9/18/19, 10/2/19, 10/16/19, 10/30/19, 11/6/19, 11/13/19, 12/4/19, 12/18/19

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 7/29/19

SAR – Search & Rescue – (Now with OIC and CMM assessments) (3-Day): 12/2/19

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 8/26/19, 10/28/19

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling (5 Day) – 6/17/19*, 8/5/19*, 9/23/19, 11/18/19, 12/16/19

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 8/5/19

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses (15-Day): 7/8/19

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 7/8/19

TRAC-TUG-2 (2-Day): Contact Admissions

TTT – ** This course is NOT covered by the MATES Program ** Not currently scheduled

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties (1-Day): Not currently scheduled

VSO – Vessel Security Officer (3-Day): 7/8/19, 9/4/19

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level) (10-Day): 10/7/19

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

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For registration, contact our admissions department: 206.441.2880 or

Please also see our schedule and enroll online at

May 2019
20-24 Basic Training
28-30 Search & Rescue
31st Leadership & Teamworking Skills

June 2019
3-5 Security Officer – Vessel, Company, & Facility
3-21 Celestial Navigation
3-28 License Advancement Preparation (Chief Mate/Master Level)
10-13 Advanced Firefighting
17-21 Basic Firefighting
24-28 Meteorology (Operational Level)
21-25 Basic Training Refresher (no class on weekend)
24-25 Basic Training Revalidation
26th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
28th Medical DOT

July 2019
8-12 Advanced Meteorology
8-26 Terrestrial & Coastal Navigation w/ Compasses
9th Radar Renewal
10-11 Basic Training Revalidation
10-15 Basic Training Refresher (no class on weekend)
12th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
15-19 Basic Shiphandling
15-19 Advanced Stability
16-18 Advanced Firefighting Refresher
22-25 Advanced Firefighting
22-26 Cargo Handling & Stowage
22-26 Advanced Shiphandling I
29-31 Security Officer – Vessel, Company, & Facility
29-2 Advanced Shiphandling II

August 2019
5-8 Advanced Firefighting
12-13 Basic Training Revalidation
14th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
12-30 License Preparation (Mate Level)

September 2019
4th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
5-6 Basic Training Revalidation
6th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties (VPDSD)
9th Radar Renewal
9-13 Basic Training
9-13 Marine Propulsion Plants
16-19 Advanced Firefighting
16-20 Ship/Shipboard Management
23-27 Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation
30-1 ECDIS
30-1 Leadership & Managerial Skills

October 2019
2nd Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
3-4 Basic Training Revalidation
7-11 Engine Resource Management
7-11 Basic Training
7-11 Advanced Shiphandling I
8th Radar Renewal
14-18 Management of Electrical & Electronic Control Equipment (MEECE)
14-18 Advanced Shiphandling II
15-18 Advanced Firefighting
18th Medical DOT
21-25 Advanced Meteorology
21-25 Ship Construction & Basic Stability
28-1 Advanced Stability
28-15 Celestial Navigation

November 2019
4-8 Advanced Cargo Operations
4-15 Basic Training
12th Radar Renewal
13th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
14-15 Basic Training Revalidation
18-19 Advanced Firefighting Refresher
18-20 Security Officer – Vessel, Company, & Facility
18-22 Radar Observer Unlimited
18-22 Advanced Watchkeeping
25-27 Search & Rescue

December 2019
2-6 Leadership & Managerial Skills
2-20 License Preparation (Mate Level)
3-6 Advanced Firefighting
9-12 ARPA
9-13 Basic Training
13th Radar Renewal
16th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
17-18 Basic Training Revalidation

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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 © 2019. 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