Wheelhouse Weekly – May 22nd, 2018

Volume 23… Number 21… May 22, 2018


In This Issue:

Protect Your Job:


Maritime Alerts:

Supreme Court Update:

Mark Your Calendar:


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American mariners were honored Tuesday at National Maritime Day commemorations in cities, towns and ports across the United States.

In Washington, D.C., government officials and representatives of the maritime unions and U.S.-flag shipping companies attended a solemn wreath-laying ceremony organized by the Maritime Administration.

As part of the National Maritime Day observance, the Maritime Administration (MARAD) presented Maryland resident William E. Tiernan with four Merchant Marine Awards for his service during the closing days of World War II and the Gulf War.

The union was represented at the National Maritime Day Commemoration by Secretary-Treasurer Steve Werse, Gulf Ports and Government Affairs Vice President Klaus Luhta and Atlantic Maritime Group (AMG) Representative Paulina Czernek.

In Norfolk, Va., MM&P officials participated in a Maritime Day ceremony honoring the officers and crew of USNS YUMA, who rescued seven people from a small boat in distress off Key West in October of last year.

YUMA Captain David C. Gommo, a member of the MM&P Federal Employees Membership Group (FEMG), accepted the award on behalf of the officers and crew of the Military Sealift Command vessel.

Representing MM&P in Norfolk were International President Don Marcus, Atlantic Ports Vice President Don Josberger, FEMG Vice President Randall Rockwood, FEMG CNO Pilots Employee Delegate Larry McCabe and Captain Jim Dolan.

On May 18, in New York City, MM&P officials–including AMG Vice President Stephen Doherty, Representative Paulina Czernek, Representative Mike Riordan and City Representative Richard Russo—participated in a ceremony at the American Merchant Mariner’s Memorial.

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.

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“On National Maritime Day, we recognize the critical role the United States Merchant Marine plays in bolstering national security and facilitating economic growth.”

“We honor our merchant mariners for their contributions to connecting the States, supporting our military, and cementing ties among our allies.”

“Long known as the ‘Fourth Arm of Defense,’ the United States Merchant Marine has served with valor and distinction in every American conflict.”

“The important work of the Merchant Marine was never more evident than during World War II, when merchant mariners sailed dangerous seas and fought enemies as they connected our Armed Forces fighting abroad to vital supplies produced by hardworking Americans at home.”

“In the course of their valiant efforts, they endured the loss of more than 730 large vessels, and more than 6,000 merchant mariners died at sea or as prisoners of war.”

“Today, American mariners facilitate the shipment of hundreds of billions of dollars of goods along maritime trade routes for American businesses and consumers.”

“Merchant mariners are ambassadors of good will, projecting a peaceful United States presence along the sea lanes of the world and into regions of core strategic importance to our Nation.”

“Often risking their lives by sailing into war zones, our merchant mariners continue to support our troops overseas by providing them with needed cargo and logistical support.”

“They also advance humanitarian missions worldwide, including last year’s effort to ship tens of thousands of containers of lifesaving supplies to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands after they had been devastated by hurricanes.”

“The Congress, by a joint resolution approved May 20, 1933, has designated May 22 of each year as ‘National Maritime Day’ to commemorate the first transoceanic voyage by a steamship in 1819 by the S.S. Savannah.”

“By this resolution, the Congress has authorized and requested the President to issue annually a proclamation calling for its appropriate observance.”

“NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 22, 2018, as National Maritime Day. I call upon the people of the United States to mark this observance and to display the flag of the United States at their homes and in their communities. I also request that all ships sailing under the American flag dress ship on that day.”

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-first day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand eighteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-second.


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Congressman Rob Wittman (R-Va.) was honored by the International Propeller Club of the United States on May 16 for his steadfast support of the American Merchant Marine and the U.S.-flag fleet.

Wittman, who chairs the House Armed Services Committee’s Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, spoke of the need to strengthen the Ready Reserve Force with the addition of new ships.

“We are at one of those crossroads where we must recapitalize those fleets,” he said.

Wittman also expressed strong support for the “three pillars” that enable American mariners to fulfill their important role in our nation’s economy, security and national defense: the Jones Act, the Maritime Security Program and the cargo preference laws.

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The current Administration believes $210 million is enough to cover the Maritime Security Program.

Help us stand up and fight for the authorized funding level–$300 million–which is needed to fully support the 60-ship Maritime Security fleet.

We need supporters in Congress to fight the MSP budget cut proposed by the Administration.

That means we need the support of every MM&P member, pensioner and employee!

Please help us elect pro-maritime legislators to Congress who will vote to authorize the full $300 million.

Stand with your union brothers and sisters!

Support the MM&P Political Contribution Fund by making a contribution to the PCF today.

Go to and click on the “Donate Now” button in the top right-hand corner of the page.

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The Turkish shipping conglomerate Ince said last week that the May 10 explosion aboard one of its ships, the INCE INEBOLU, was caused by a missile.

A spokesperson for the company said in a statement that the INEBOLU was struck while anchored and awaiting permission to enter Saleef, Yemen, to offload a cargo of Russian wheat.

The ship had already called in Djibouti for an inspection and had received approval from United Nations’ officials to proceed.

At midnight on May 10, the spokesperson said, a missile penetrated the Number 3 topside tank and exploded inside, causing localized hull damage and a hole in the ship’s shell plating.

No one was injured in the attack.

Saudi forces arranged to bring the vessel to the port of Gizan.

Houthi rebels have recently launched attacks on Saudi-allied vessels off Hodeidah, but they have not previously attempted to strike non-allied merchant shipping.

Houthi leaders contend that the INEBOLU was struck by Saudi coalition warplanes, not rebel forces.

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U.S. maritime authorities have issued a global advisory regarding measles outbreaks on a number of continents. The advisory is as follows:

1. Reference: Centers for Disease Control Travel Health Alert Notice on Measles: (

2. Issue: The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a Travel Health Alert Notice regarding Measles Outbreaks in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Pacific.

Measles remains a common disease in many parts of the world, including areas in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Pacific.

Worldwide, 19 cases of measles per 1 million persons are reported each year; about 89,780 die. In the United States, most of the measles cases result from international travel.

3. Guidance: U.S. maritime industry stakeholders are advised to follow CDC guidelines for vaccinations.

Further updates will be provided through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at:

4. Contact Information: Any questions regarding this advisory should be directed to the CDC at:

5. Cancellation: This advisory will automatically expire on November 13, 2018.

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The Supreme Court yesterday ruled in a 5-4 decision that employers can enforce arbitration agreements that forbid workers from joining together in class action lawsuits to challenge violations of federal labor law.

The decision means that tens of millions of nonunion employees who work in the private sector will be barred from suing collectively over the terms of their employment.

The ruling came in lawsuits brought against three companies: Ernst & Young LLP, Epic Systems Corp. and Murphy Oil USA Inc.

Each company requires workers as a condition of employment to waive the right to join a class action suit.

The case took an unusual turn when the Trump administration switched sides from the position taken by the Obama administration, which had backed the workers.

Writing for the majority, Justice Neil Gorsuch said that employees who sign employment agreements to arbitrate claims may not join together in a class action to enforce violations of wage and hour laws.

In practice, the ruling means more companies will require employees to sign arbitration agreements, which are already estimated to cover over half the U.S. workforce.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, writing for the four dissenters, called the majority opinion “egregiously wrong.”

She said the 1925 arbitration law cited by the majority to justify its decision came well before federal labor laws and should not cover what she called the “arm-twisted, take-it-or-leave it” arbitration provisions that employers now insist on.

Ginsburg said workers’ claims are usually small and that many workers fear retaliation.

She wrote that “the inevitable result” of Monday’s decision will be “significant under-enforcement of federal and state laws designed to advance the well-being of vulnerable workers.”

It is up to Congress, she said, to correct the court’s action.

In her dissent, Ginsburg noted that a typical Ernst & Young employee would likely have to spend $200,000 to recover only about $1,900 in overtime pay.

Lawyers for the business community were enthusiastic about the Supreme Court ruling.

“It gives employers the green light to eliminate their single largest employment law risk with the stroke of a pen,” Ron Chapman, who represents management in labor-management disputes, said in an interview with Nina Totenberg of National Public Radio.

He said he expects businesses of all sizes to immediately impose binding arbitration on all nonunionized employees.

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“Today, five justices on the Supreme Court decided that it is acceptable for working people to have our legal rights taken away by corporations in order to keep our jobs.”

“This decision forcing workers to sign away the right to file class-action suits against such illegal employment practices as wage theft, sexual harassment and discrimination is outrageous—and it is wrong.”

“In this case, the newest justice has joined the dangerous trend of this court to side with corporations over working people.”

“We call upon Congress to immediately enact legislation making clear that no worker can be forced to give up their right to effectively challenge illegal conduct in the workplace in order to keep their job.”

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The Supreme Court will soon issue a decision in the much-discussed case known as “Janus v. AFSCME, Council 31.”

Whatever the court’s decision, the ruling will have an impact on all union members.

Below is an AFL-CIO statement that lists “frequently asked questions” about the case known as “Janus v. AFSCME Council 31.”

First, who’s behind it?

The case is just one front in an attack spearheaded by the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, a front group funded by corporate billionaires, including the notorious Koch brothers.

After their original plaintiff, the deeply unpopular and fiercely anti-worker Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner was barred from bringing the case, they found Mark Janus, an Illinois state employee and member of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 31.

On paper, the plaintiff is one man in Illinois. In reality, a web of corporations and wealthy donors who want to destroy unions and silence working people are behind it.

What’s the case about?

For decades, wealthy elites have empowered groups like the National Right to Work Foundation to chip away at the progress working people have made for themselves and their communities.

Now, they want the highest court in the land to take away the foundation of that progress: the freedom to join together in union.

Taking away this freedom is their primary goal. The tactic is to eliminate “fair share fees” for public employees.

What is a “fair share fee”?

After a majority in a workplace votes to be represented, unions are required by law to represent and negotiate on behalf of all public service workers whether or not they choose to join a union, and all of the workers represented enjoy the benefits the union negotiates.

Fair share fees cover the cost to unions of representing all employees. Without fair share fees, even the workers who contribute nothing receive all the benefits of a union contract.

What do fair share fees cover?

Fair share fees cover the union’s cost in representing everyone in the workplace. Period. By law, not one cent can be used to support a candidate’s political campaign over a nonmember’s objection. Employees have been able to opt out of such spending for decades.

The corporations and lobbyists funding this case hope a ruling in their favor will bleed unions of precious resources, taking away the ability to win progress for working people and making it easier to roll back working conditions that took decades to win.

Should the Supreme Court rule against the freedoms of workers by limiting or eliminating fair share fees, it will undoubtedly further stack the deck to favor the wealthy few.

But something is happening in America:

Working people aren’t waiting on any politician or judge to decide our fate; we’re taking matters into our own hands.

— Public approval of unions is soaring (Gallup Poll, 61 percent, the highest since 2003).

— 262,000 new union members joined the labor movement in 2017 (three-fourths of them younger than 35).

— More than 14,000 workers formed and joined unions in one week earlier this year.

— Historic teacher strikes and collective action are sweeping the country.

The fictional narrative of labor’s downfall is being upended by the reality working people are creating for themselves.

In “Janus,” the Supreme Court can either uphold decades of common-sense precedent or make it even harder for workers to get ahead.

But no matter the outcome of this case, millions of workers will continue to stand together to build a stronger, fairer America.

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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 28, 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. 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 or

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.

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 – 8/27/18, 10/15/18

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: 8/29/18

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 9/25/18

AZIPOD 2-Day – 10/15/18

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 6/18/18, 9/24/18, 10/29/18

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 7/16/18, 12/19/18

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling: **Now included in BRMP-Refresher**

BRMP-Refresher – 7/18/18, 9/11/18

BT – Basic Safety Training: 8/13/18, 10/22/18

BT-Revalidation (2-day) (Must have 1 year of sea service in last 5 years) –6/18/18, 7/31/18, 8/27/18, 9/26/18, 10/31/18, 12/18/18

BT-Refresher (3-day) – 7/30/18, 9/26/18, 12/17/18

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: Contact Admissions

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 6/11/18, 7/30/18, 9/24/18, 12/10/18

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 6/4/18, 8/6/18, 9/17/18, 12/3/18

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 10/1/18

CM-OPS 1 – Chief Mate Operations – Week 1: 6/4/18, 8/6/18, 10/1/18

CM-OPS 2 Maersk – Chief Mate Operations II Maersk Specific: 6/11/18,8/13/18, 10/8/18

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information Systems: 6/25/18, 8/13/18,11/12/18

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM): 6/18/18, 8/20/18, 11/26/18

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 10/15/18

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: 10/1/18

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 10/29/18

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 6/4/18, 6/18/18, 7/16/18,7/30/18, 8/13/18, 9/10/18, 10/1/18, 11/5/18, 11/26/18

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 6/11/18, 6/25/18,7/23/18, 8/6/18, 8/20/18, 9/17/18, 10/8/18, 11/12/18, 12/3/18

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

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 10/22/18

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 9/10/18

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: Contact Admissions

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Not currently scheduled

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: Not currently scheduled

CRSMGT – Crisis Management and Human Behavior – Not currently scheduled

CDMGT – Crowd Management – Not currently scheduled

CSE – Confined Space Entry: 7/23/18

CSE-AWR – Confined Space Entry Awareness: 7/26/18

DDE – Great Lakes: 6/4/18

DPA – Contact Admissions

ECDIS for Pilots – 8/27/18, 12/17/18

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 11/26/18

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 8/13/18, 10/22/18

FF-ADV-Rev (1-day) (Must have 1 year of sea service in last 5 years) – Advanced Fire Fighting Revalidation: 6/20/18, 8/2/18, 8/29/18, 9/25/18,10/30/18

FF-ADV-REF (2-day) – Advanced Fire Fighting Refresher: 7/28/18, 9/29/18,12/15/18

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 9/11/18

GL-Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: Contact Admissions

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: Contact Admissions

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 8/20/18, 12/10/18

IEN – Integrated Electronic Navigation – Not currently scheduled

LAP – 7/9/18, 9/17/18

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

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License: Contact Admissions

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 9/12/18

LNG-TPIC – 12/3/18

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): Contact Admissions

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control Equipment (Assessments not included): 7/16/18, 12/3/18

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 7/9/18, 10/8/18, 11/26/18

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 6/25/18, 8/20/18, 9/17/18

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 10/8/18, 11/26/18

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testinng: 6/21/18, 7/14/18, 8/30/18, 9/24/18, 10/13/18, 10/29/18, 12/1/18, 12/21/18

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: Not currently scheduled

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 6/8/18, 8/8/18, 9/12/18, 11/14/18

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control: 6/6/18, 8/6/18, 9/13/18, 11/12/18

*MSC-ENVPRO – 6/3/18, 8/5/18, 11/4/18

*MSC-FF-HELO – 6/4/18, 8/13/18, 10/31/18

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualifications: 6/11/18, 7/16/18, 8/12/18, 9/17/18, 11/5/18

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – 6/9/18, 8/9/18, 9/15/18, 11/2/18

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced – 6/10/18, 7/15/18, 8/10/18, 9/16/18, 11/3/18

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force – 6/15/18, 7/20/18, 8/17/18, 9/21/18, 11/9/18

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P – 6/25/18, 6/27/18, 7/31/18, 8/2/18, 8/28/18, 8/30/18, 11/12/18, 11/14/18, 12/17/18, 12/19/18

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 9/24/18

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 6/6/18, 6/20/18, 7/11/18, 7/25/18, 8/8/18, 8/22/18, 10/3/18, 10/17/18, 10/31/18, 11/7/18, 11/14/18, 11/28/18, 12/5/18, 12/12/18, 12/19/18

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 9/17/18

SAR – Search & Rescue – (Now with OIC and CMM assessments): 12/17/18

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 8/27/18, 10/22/18

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day – 7/23/18, 9/24/18, 10/29/18, 12/10/18

SMS – Not currently scheduled

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: Contact Admissions

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: Contact Admissions

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 7/9/18

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – Not currently scheduled

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: Contact Admissions

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: Contact Admissions

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): Contact Admissions

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): Contact Admissions

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Spring 2018

For registration, please contact our registrar, Mary McGhee, at 206.838.1126 or You can also view our schedule and enroll online at

May 2018
23-25 24-Hour Hazwoper
25th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties (VPDSD)
29-31 Security Officer – Vessel, Company, and Facility
29-1 Advanced Firefighting

June 2018
2-4 Basic Training Revalidation (no class on Sunday)
4th Radar Renewal
4th Leadership & Teamworking Skills
4-8 Medical Care Provider
4-15 Medical Person-In-Charge
5-8 ARPA
11-14 Advanced Firefighting
11-22 GMDSS
11-22 Watchkeeping (Operational Level)
18-22 Engine Resource Management
22-23 Basic Training Revalidation
22-24 Basic Training Refresher
25th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
25-29 Meteorology (Operational Level)
25-29 Leadership & Managerial Skills
26th Medical DOT

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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 © 2018. 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