Wheelhouse Weekly – May 23, 2017

Volume 22…Number 21…May 23, 2017


In This Issue:


Mark Your Calendar:


Never miss an issue!
Click here to subscribe to the Wheelhouse Weekly mailing list.
Did you miss a week?
Back editions of the Wheelhouse Weekly are available in the archives section.


American mariners were honored Monday 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.

President Donald Trump issued the traditional Presidential Maritime Day Proclamation, which read in part:

“On National Maritime Day, we recognize the important role the United States Merchant Marine plays in supporting our commerce and national security. We honor the proud history of our merchant mariners and their important contributions in strengthening our economy….”

“Today, the men and women who crew ships remain essential to our Nation’s prosperity and security. Those in the maritime industry, including merchant mariners, promote our economic growth, facilitating the export of more than $475 billion in goods just last year and sustaining our critical defense industrial base.”

“Merchant mariners also actively protect our homeland, serving as our eyes and ears on the seas. They serve with distinction and courage, heading into war zones, and too often sacrificing their own lives for our protection…”

Congress declared May 22 National Maritime Day in 1933 to focus attention on America’s proud maritime heritage and to honor the men and women of the American Merchant Marine.

Among the speakers at the official National Maritime Day ceremony were U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, and Acting Maritime Administrator Joel Szabat.

Back to Stories Covered


“Since the days of the Revolutionary War, civilian mariners and port workers have played a critical role in keeping our country safe and secure and our economy strong,” says Ed Wytkind, president of the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department (TTD).

“Their work is difficult, dangerous and underappreciated, yet these men and women–backed by strong unions–have always risen to the occasion.”

“Mariners, who often spend months at sea away from their families, serve as an auxiliary for the U.S. military and support vital humanitarian missions.”

“Port workers facilitate the efficient movement of cargo and materials that drives our economy while spending their workdays exposed to the elements.”

“Without the contributions of mariners and port workers, our economy could not function and our military would not be nearly as strong,” Wytkind says.

“Yet, the jobs and livelihoods of these men and women are continually threatened by backwards political forces that seek to erode their rights and dismantle the industries for which they work.”

“That is why on National Maritime Day–and every day–we stand firm in our commitment to fight for policies and programs that protect these workers and secure the port and maritime industries as hubs for good, middle-class jobs.”

MM&P is one of the 32 transportation sector unions that belong to TTD.

Back to Stories Covered


Matson has welcomed the MATSON ANCHORAGE back to Alaska following three months of work to upgrade the vessel, including installation of new equipment that virtually eliminates particulate matter and sulfur from engine exhaust.

The company says the upgrades make the ships in its fleet among the cleanest operating in Alaska.

The ANCHORAGE was the last of Matson’s three D-7 Class containerships serving Alaska to receive the new equipment.

Sister ships MATSON KODIAK and MATSON TACOMA underwent the same upgrades and were returned to service last year.

The state-of-the-art hybrid “wet scrubber” exhaust gas cleaning technology they employ is unique.

When operating within 12 miles of the coastline, it uses a closed loop system which sprays fresh water treated with sodium hydroxide into the vessel’s exhaust system and then collects and treats the wash water to neutralize harmful compounds.

The wash water is then off-loaded in port for disposal in accordance with strict environmental standards and the company’s zero-solid-waste policy.

Matson says the system reduces sulfur dioxide and particulate matter in emissions to levels well below limits set by federal and state environmental regulations.

Testing of the equipment in recent months has shown fleet sulfur emissions below those of vessels using low-sulfur fuel.

Matson worked closely with the U.S. Coast Guard and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to certify the effectiveness of the new system.

“The Coast Guard and the EPA have been enthusiastic about the environmental benefits and worked closely with our engineers to develop and certify our new system,” said Matson President Ron Forest.

“It has become a good example of public/private sector partnership in bringing environmental innovation to the marketplace.”

Matson’s Alaska fleet upgrades were part of more than $50 million the company has invested in new equipment and upgrades to its Alaska operations in its first 18 months in the market, including two additional ships it keeps ready as reserve vessels principally for Alaska service to provide increased or replacement capacity should the need arise.

Matson Inc. acquired the Alaska operations of Horizon Lines in 2015 with a commitment to continue Horizon’s 50-year operating history in Alaska.

Back to Stories Covered


Defense Department employees are considerably less willing to undertake long-term travel since DOD implemented drastic cuts to the per diem reimbursement rates for expenses, a government watchdog has found.

The policy, denounced by DOD personnel and labor unions such as MM&P that represent government employees, was introduced as part of an effort to reduce travel costs across the federal government.

It was implemented in 2014 with little or no input from those affected.

The policy cut reimbursements for long-term temporary duty travel by 25 percent for trips 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.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) says that the committee tasked with formulating DOD’s travel policies did a poor job of predicting the impact of the controversial cuts.

Not surprisingly, GAO found employees were less willing to volunteer for long-term TDY under the new policy.

GAO also said the committee approved the change despite a 2011 report that found that Defense travelers would be unable to secure long-term travel at 55 percent of the government-wide per diem rate without a formal negotiated rate program in place.

Last month, Sens. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) introduced legislation that would repeal the policy in its entirety 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 said.

Back to Stories Covered


Graduate students at Yale University took to the streets at Monday’s commencement to protest the refusal by officials at the Ivy League school to negotiate a first contract with their union, UNITE HERE Local 33.

Like many colleges and universities, Yale relies on graduate students, adjunct professors and other low-paid “contingent faculty members” to teach much of its coursework.

Today, contingent faculty members make up about 70 percent of the instructors in higher education in the United States.

Contingent faculty work entirely on labor contracts. Besides being poorly paid, they lack access to affordable health care, job security and a voice in their working conditions.

At Yale, grad students say, their pay was cut last year to an average of just $16,000.

In addition, 54 percent of female grad students at Yale say they have been sexually harassed since arriving on campus, a problem that is exacerbated by the fact that they have no assurance they will not be fired if they report an incident.

Officials at Yale have gone to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on several occasions to appeal the results of the union election.

Eight Yale graduate students began a fast on April 25 to call attention to the situation, planning only to stop if a doctor said their health was at risk of permanent damage.

When doctors said the first eight could not continue the protest, others stepped in to carry the fast forward.

The students erected a shelter in front of the offices of Yale’s president to protest the university’s refusal to recognize the union.

Students who were fasting took posts there each day, wrapped in blankets. Some used wheelchairs as they became too weak to walk. At night, they slept in a nearby church.

“In the past few years,” says grad student Alyssa Battistoni, “we have submitted petition after petition and marched time and time again, asking each time for an honest conversation with Yale about the conditions of our work. Instead, Yale has ignored us. When we finally filed for NLRB elections, Yale hired the notorious union-busting firm Proskauer Rose to take us to court, where they spent a month arguing their case.”

The NLRB ruled against the school. The students now say Yale is stone-walling in hopes that the new administration in Washington will appoint anti-labor board members to the NLRB.

According to the Coalition of Graduate Employee Unions (CGEU), a total of 32 graduate employee unions currently exist in the United States.

Most of these unions were formed at large public universities.

Last August, the NLRB ruled that graduate student teachers at private universities are employees and therefore also have the right to collective bargaining.

Yale is just one of the Ivy League schools using high-priced consultants and law firms to block unionization efforts.

Harvard, Columbia, Duke, New York University, Emory and Barnard have all retained union-busting law firms.

“When we win our union,” a Yale grad student says, “we will be more empowered and economically secure. Desperation for work, wages and health insurance will not serve as now to intensify our reliance on our professors. And we will have a direct mode of redress and protection in the form of a fair, neutral grievance procedure.”

Please sign the petition urging Yale officials to bargain with the graduate students’ union at Yale:

Back to Stories Covered


The MM&P Offshore Familiarization course will be held in the Los Angeles/Long Beach Hall onJune 14 and 15.

Please call Los Angeles Dispatcher Wendy Karnes to save your space: 310-834-7201 or

The hall is located at 533 N. Marine Ave., Suite A, Wilmington, CA 90744-5527.

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 encouraged to take the course as soon as possible.

Back to Stories Covered


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 29, for Memorial Day.

Back to Stories Covered


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, 1/16/18

AZIPOD 2-Day – 10/16/17

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 6/19/17, 9/25/17, 11/13/17, 2/26/18

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 7/20/17, 11/14/17, 1/16/18, 2/22/18, 3/29/18

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling: Contact Admissions

BRMP-Refresher – 7/17/17, 9/12/17, 10/18/17

BT – Basic Safety Training: 8/14/17, 10/9/17, 1/15/18

BT-Revalidation (2-day) – 6/20/17, 8/21/17, 9/26/17, 11/8/17, 12/12/17

BT-Refresher (3-day) – 6/19/17, 8/20/17, 9/25/17, 11/8/17, 12/11/17

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 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, 1/29/18

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 6/5/17, 8/7/17, 9/25/17, 12/4/17, 1/22/18, 3/12/18

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, 1/15/18,3/26/18

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM) 6/19/17,8/21/17, 9/11/17, 1/8/18, 2/19/18

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 11/27/17, 3/5/18

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: 7/31/17, 11/6/17

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 10/30/17

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 6/5/17, 7/17/17, 7/31/17, 8/14/17, 9/11/17,10/2/17, 10/30/17, 12/4/17, 1/15/18, 2/5/18, 3/5/18, 3/19/18

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 6/12/17, 7/24/17, 8/7/17, 8/21/17,9/18/17, 10/9/17, 11/6/17, 12/11/17, 1/22/18, 2/12/18, 3/12/18, 3/26/18

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

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 10/23/17, 3/19/18

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 11/13/17

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 11/6/17

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: 2/19/18

CRSMGT – Crisis Management and Human Behavior – 7/11/17

CDMGT – Crowd Management – 7/10/17

CSE – Confined Space Entry: 7/26/17, 1/15/18

DDE – Great Lakes: 6/5/17, 1/22/18

DPA – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-OIC – Contact Admissions

ECDIS for Pilots – 11/14/17, 2/20/18

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, 1/15/18

FF-ADV-REV – Advanced Fire Fighting Revalidation & Refresher: 6/22/17, 8/23/17, 9/28/17, 11/6/17, 12/14/17

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 9/12/17

GL-Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: 1/19/18

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 8/21/17, 3/5/18

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 6/26/17, 8/28/17, 11/27/17

LAP- 9/11/17, 2/26/18

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes: 1/22/18

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: 7/17/17, 8/14/17, 10/23/17, 12/11/17

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 7/10/17, 9/11/17, 10/23/17, 1/22/18, 3/19/18

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 6/26/17, 8/28/17, 11/13/17, 12/4/17, 1/8/18

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 9/11/17, 10/23/17, 11/27/17, 1/22/18, 3/19/18

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 6/12/17 (Evening), 6/24/17, 7/16/17, 8/25/17, 9/30/17, 10/28/17, 12/16/17, 1/13/18, 1/27/18, 3/5/18

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: Contact Admissions

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 6/9/17, 8/9/17, 10/2/17, 2/23/18

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control: 6/7/17, 8/7/17, 10/3/17, 2/21/18

*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: 6/12/17, 7/17/17, 8/13/17, 10/9/17, 1/8/18, 2/26/18

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – 6/10/17, 8/10/17, 10/5/17, 2/24/18

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced – 6/16/17, 7/21/17, 8/12/17, 10/7/17, 1/12/18, 3/2/18

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force – 6/17/17, 7/24/17, 8/18/17, 10/13/17, 1/13/18, 3/3/18

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P – 6/13/17, 6/19/17, 7/31/17, 8/14/17, 10/2/17, 1/22/18, 1/24/18

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 8/17/17, 9/25/17, 1/15/18

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 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, 1/10/18, 1/31/18, 2/7/18, 2/21/18, 3/7/18, 3/21/18

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 7/31/17, 11/27/18, 1/8/18

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue – 10/16/17

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 8/28/17, 10/23/17, 1/29/18

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day – 6/26/17, 8/7/17, 9/25/17, 11/27/17, 2/19/18

SMS – Contact Admissions

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 8/7/17, 1/22/18

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 7/10/17, 1/29/18

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 8/7/17, 2/12/18

TRAC-TUG-2: 6/29/18

TTT – Contact Admissions

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: 5/25/17

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 7/13/17, 9/6/17, 2/14/18

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): 10/2/17, 2/19/18

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 9/11/17, 3/19/18

Back to Stories Covered


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

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

Back to Stories Covered

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