Wheelhouse Weekly – Nov. 17, 2015

November 17th 2015

Volume 20 . . . Number 46. . . Nov. 17, 2015


In this issue:


Call to Action:


News for MM&P Members:

Other News:


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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 Thursday and Friday, Nov. 26 and 27, for Thanksgiving.

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In an extremely positive development, the Senate last week passed the defense authorizations bill that contains the $24 million bump-up in Maritime Security Program (MSP) funding for Fiscal Year 2016.

The bill has now been passed by both the House and Senate and has been cleared for action by the President. The President had earlier vetoed similar defense authorizations legislation but it is believed he will sign this bill, largely because of the new budget deal.

Once signed, the increase in MSP will be legally authorized, allowing the appropriators to actually make the $24 million available. If they do, for Fiscal Year 2016, each MSP ship will receive $3.5 million rather than $3.1 million.

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MM&P licensed deck officers were among those recognized for heroism Nov. 13 at the prestigious United Seamen’s Service Admiral of the Ocean Sea (AOTOS) awards ceremony in New York City.

On behalf of the officers and crew of the Alaska Marine Highway System ferry MV MALASPINA, Captain Scott Macaulay and Chief Mate Dave Turner accepted the Honored Seafarers’ Plaque for the rescue of a fisherman from a boat that sank off British Columbia in the early morning hours of Oct. 18, 2014. Macaulay, Turner and the other licensed deck officers employed by the Alaska Marine Highway System are members of the MM&P United Inland Group-Pacific Maritime Region (UIG-PMR).

Captain James White accepted the Honored Seafarers’ Plaque on behalf of the officers and crew of the Military Sealift Command vessel USNS MCLEAN for the rescue of two people aboard the sailboat SOLARUS on May 14 of this year. White is a member of the MM&P Federal Employees Membership Group (FEMG), which represents all the licensed deck officers aboard the vessel.

The awards were presented by Rear Adm. Thomas K. Shannon, commander, Military Sealift Command, and Ed Morgan, president of United Seamen’s Service. MM&P President Don Marcus, UIG Vice President Mike Murray and FEMG Vice President Randall Rockwood were on hand to congratulate the awardees. “It’s an honor and a privilege to attend an event that specifically recognizes the heroism of merchant mariners,” Rockwood said.

Recipients of the AOTOS awards for leadership in the U.S.-flag maritime industry were Matthew J. Cox, president and chief executive officer of long-time MM&P employer Matson, Anthony A. Chiarello of TOTE and James C. McKenna of the Pacific Maritime Association.

Cox said he was accepting the award “on behalf of Matson customers, unions and employees, and U.S.-flag ships, proudly crewed by U.S.-citizen mariners, who I consider to be the best in the world.” During his remarks, he repeatedly recognized as fundamental to the company’s success “the hard work and professionalism” of the entire Matson management team.

The keynote speech was given by Gen. Darren McDew, head of U.S. Transcom. McDew assumed the reins of the powerful military transport organization in August. He used his speech to underline the critical role played by America’s mariners in our nation’s sealift capability and to urge that sufficient resources be devoted to keeping the U.S.-flag fleet at its requisite levels.

“It gives me pause that we are below the needed 60 ships in the Military Sealift Program (MSP) that would be required to get our army to the next fight,” he said. “The world is not getting any safer.”

Speaking to the audience of U.S.-flag mariners and ship operators, he added, “You represent our ability to achieve our national objectives. I just want you to know how much I value you, who you are and what you do.”

“Our MSP is a bargain for this country no matter what the [per-ship] stipend is,” said MSC Commander Shannon, “and in my opinion, it should be higher.”

The evening concluded with a solemn remembrance of the crew of the EL FARO. Anthony Chiarello, chairman of TOTE, which operated the EL FARO, dedicated the award to the 33 men and women who lost their lives when the vessel sank in October.

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“On Friday night, the people of Paris were attacked,” said International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) General Secretary Steve Cotton. “The attacks were as vile and abhorrent as the aims and methods of those who perpetrated them. We, and all decent men and women worldwide, reject and condemn them and offer our help and sympathy to those affected.”

“Innocent men and women of a democratic state have been slaughtered through pre-planned and closely timed bombing and shooting attacks while they were at their leisure and in their most vulnerable moments,” said ITF President Paddy Crumlin.

“All people, particularly working men and women and their trade unions, must act. These atrocities have been done in the name of political and religious extremism and sectarianism representing values of racism, hatred and contempt for human and civil rights and the moral understandings and obligations that underpin them.”

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The ITF is urging multi-billion-dollar American corporation Alcoa to reassess its decision to fire 40 Australian seafarers engaged in coastal trade.

The ITF–which represents 4.7 million transport workers worldwide–has expressed its concern that Alcoa is trying to exploit local laws and circumvent workers’ rights, and that the company is attempting to whittle down wages to boost already healthy profits.

Mariners aboard the MV PORTLAND, which trades exclusively between the states of Western Australia and Victoria, were told that they were being fired because the ship was being scrapped. But it emerges that the company now intends to maintain the route with a flag-of-convenience (FOC) ship crewed by non-citizen workers.

ITF Maritime Coordinator Jacqueline Smith called the move “a direct attack on cabotage” and “a case of social dumping.”

“The principle of cabotage is important for a number of reasons, including retaining and nurturing maritime skills, national security, sovereignty and the right to work in one’s own country,” she said.

“This is a very important campaign for the ITF,” she added. “It’s very upsetting that a hugely profitable company like Alcoa would engage in a race-to-the bottom by using an FOC ship on a domestic route.”

“It shows little regard for Australia’s environment, safety and workers’ rights, as FOC operators are notorious for flaunting local and international laws around taxation, workers’ welfare and environmental safety,” she added.

ITF President and Maritime Union of Australia National Secretary Paddy Crumlin said Alcoa’s product had been moved around the Australian coast for more than 50 years on Australian ships with Australian crews.

“Alcoa has profited off the back of Australian workers for many decades and is now using a loophole in Australia’s Coastal Trading Act to undermine cabotage,” he said.

It’s a contemptible act by the company that the loyal, hard-working seafarers are being scrapped in order to save a couple of bucks.”

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As previously reported, the U.S. Trade Representative has released the full text of the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Publication of the 30-chapter, 12-nation pact on Nov. 5 starts a 90-day period before President Obama can sign the deal and send it to Congress for an up or down vote.

Labor unions, human rights, environmental and consumer groups have said the final version of the pact is even worse than expected.

Among the provisions singled out by the AFL-CIO: rules on the origin of automobiles and parts that would allow a car or truck that is majority “Made in China” to qualify for TPP tariff benefits; watered down “Buy American” purchasing rules that would mean, for example, that the U.S. government would be required to treat bidders from every TPP country as if they were U.S. bidders when making many purchasing decisions; the lack of any enforceable currency manipulation rules; a provision that would allow more than 9,000 foreign companies to bypass U.S. courts and access a private justice system called Investor-State Dispute Settlement.

This system allows companies to file suit over U.S. federal, state and local government policies they call “unfair.” There is no limit on taxpayer funds that can be won by foreign companies in these cases.

MM&P members who want to register their opposition to the pact can find draft language on, as well as contact information for their members of Congress. Just go to, click on “About,” then on “DC Action, and then on “Tell It to Congress”.

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Holiday parties have been scheduled at the MM&P union halls. The schedule is as follows:

Atlantic Ports:

Norfolk, Thursday, Dec. 10, 1200-1500, at “Dockside,” 3311 Shore Drive (at Lynnhaven Inlet), Virginia Beach, VA 23451, (757) 481-4545;

Charleston, Friday, Dec. 11, 1200-1500, at “the Kickin Chicken” (same as last year), 1179 Sam Rittenberg Blvd., Charleston, SC 29407;

Boston, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 1100-1500, at the MM&P/MEBA Boston Hall;

New York/New Jersey, Thursday, Dec. 17, 1200-1600, at the Noble Maritime Collection (same as last year), 1000 Richmond Terrace Building D, Staten Island, NY. This event will include both the Offshore Group and the Atlantic Maritime Group.

Gulf Ports:

Houston, Thursday, Dec. 17, 1200-1500, Brady’s Landing Turning Point Room;

Miami/Port Everglades, Friday, Dec. 17, 1200, Miami/Port Everglades Union Hall;

New Orleans, Wednesday, Dec. 9, 1200, Portabello Catering.

Pacific Ports:

San Francisco-Oakland, Joint party with UIG and MEBA, Friday, Dec. 4, at 1230, in the Oakland Union Hall;

Los Angeles-Long Beach, Joint party with UIG and MEBA, Friday, Dec. 11 at 1230, in the LA/LB Union Hall;

Seattle, Joint party with UIG, Thursday, Dec. 17, at 1200, downstairs in the Seattle Union Hall.

Please note: if you are planning to attend the Seattle party, you must call the hall so enough food can be ordered. The phone number of the Seattle Hall is: 206-441-8700.
Honolulu, Joint party with MEBA, Friday, Dec. 11, 1100 to 1400, at the Honolulu Union Hall.

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The regular Offshore Division union meeting in the Port of Los Angeles/Long Beach has been rescheduled to Tuesday, Nov. 18, directly after 1100 job call. All members in the area are encouraged to attend the meeting.

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The Offshore Familiarization Course will be held in the Los Angeles/Long Beach Union Hall on Nov. 18-19, Wednesday and Thursday.

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.

If you are interested in participating in the course, please contact the hall at which the course has been scheduled. The phone number for the Los Angeles/Long Beach Hall is (310) 834-7201.

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South Korea’s Supreme Court ruled last week that the captain of the ferry that capsized in 2014 with the loss of 304 lives should spend the rest of his life in prison. The court found Lee Jun-seok “guilty of murder through willful negligence” for failing to give the order to evacuate the SEWOL, which sank on April 14 of last year about a mile off the coast of South Korea.

“While he could have easily informed the passengers of the urgent situation and reduced the number of casualties, Lee fled the ferry without doing so,” said Chief Justice Yang Seung-tae. The judge said Lee, “being totally indifferent to the passengers’ safety,” had also failed to notify the coast guard, although “he must have been aware” that the passengers would drown.

Survivors said that shipboard intercom announcements had advised passengers to stay in their cabins and await help. The captain and some members of the crew either departed the ferry in lifeboats or were the first to board rescue boats. Several members of the crew drowned.

The ruling is expected to be the last in the string of trials stemming from the tragedy. Fourteen other members of the crew have received jail sentences ranging from two to 12 years.

Accident investigators reported that the SEWOL was routinely overloaded and that the crew emptied ballast water to compensate. It was found that ferry operators and regulatory officials were aware of the routine overloading and took no action to address it. Government workers and company officials have also been found guilty and sentenced to jail terms for their involvement in the tragedy.

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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 – 4/18/16, 8/22/16, 10/17/16

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

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 1/26/16, 4/5/16, 8/9/16, 9/27/16

AZIPOD 2-Day – 2/29/16, 5/25/16, 11/14/16

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 2/1/16, 4/4/16, 8/8/16, 10/31/16

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 2/29/16, 05/23/2016, 7/18/16, 11/14/16

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling: 3/2/16, 04/13/16

BT – Basic Safety Training: 1/25/16, 2/22/16, 04/11/16, 06/27/16, 8/15/16, 10/10/16

BT-Revalidation – 05/10/16, 8/22/16, 10/31/16

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 4/25/16, 11/14/16

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

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

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 1/25/16, 3/28/16, 06/20/16, 8/1/16, 10/17/16

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 1/4/16, 3/7/16, 06/06/16, 8/8/16, 11/7/16

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 04/04/16, 10/24/16

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 11/30/15, 12/7/15, 1/11/16, 2/22/16, 3/21/16,06/13/16, 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) 11/30/15, 12/7/15,12/14/15, 1/18/16, 2/15/16, 2/29/16, 3/14/16, 4/4/16, 4/11/16, 5/23/16, 6/27/16, 7/11/16, 7/25/16,8/15/16,8/22/16, 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: 05/02/16, 9/19/16

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: 3/28/16, 6/20/16, 8/1/16, 10/31/16

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 04/18/16, 10/3/16

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 11/30/15, 1/11/16, 2/8/16, 3/14/16, 04/18/16, 05/09/16, 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): 12/7/15, 1/18/16, 2/15/16, 3/21/16, 04/25/16, 05/16/16, 06/20/16, 7/25/16, 8/22/16, 9/19/16, 10/31/16, 11/14/16, 12/12/16

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 11/30/15, 2/29/16, 9/12/16

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 05/09/16, 9/26/16

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 05/02/16, 10/24/16

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: 3/2/16, 7/19/16

DDE – Great Lakes: 2/1/16, 6/6/16

DPA – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-OIC – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-Pilots – 3/2/16, 05/25/16, 7/20/16, 11/14/16

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 12/14/15, 1/4/16, 2/8/16, 3/21/16, 4/18/16, 5/9/16, 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: 1/25/16, 2/22/16, 04/11/16, 06/27/16, 8/15/16, 10/10/16

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 1/26/16, 04/19/16, 9/20/16

GL Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: 1/22/16

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 3/7/16, 8/22/16

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

LAP- 4/4/16, 9/19/16

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes: 1/25/16

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License: 11/30/15, 3/7/16, 06/06/16, 8/8/16, 12/5/16

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 1/27/16, 3/1/16, 4/20/16, 5/23/16, 7/19/16, 9/21/16, 11/15/16

LNG-TPIC – 12/7/15, 12/5/16

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 12/1/15, 1/7/16, 4/4/16

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control: 12/7/15, 1/11/16, 2/22/16, 3/28/16, 4/25/16, 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: 12/7/15, 1/4/16, 3/21/16, 05/16/16, 7/11/16, 11/7/16, 12/12/16

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 2/1/15, 3/14/16, 05/02/16, 8/29/16, 10/3/16

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 1/4/15, 2/15/16, 3/21/16, 05/16/16, 11/7/16, 11/28/16, 12/12/16

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 12/12/15, 1/9/16, 1/31/16, 3/19/16, 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): 3/8/16, 6/10/16, 8/10/16, 10/17/16

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control: 3/5/16 (March is 4 evenings), 6/8/16, 8/8/16, 10/18/16

*MSC-ENVPRO –2/28/16, 6/5/16, 8/7/16, 10/16/16

*MSC-FF-HELO – 2/22/16, 6/6/16, 8/22/16, 10/31/16

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 1/4/16, 2/29/16, 6/13/16, 8/14/16, 10/23/16

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – 2/26/16, 6/11/16, 8/11/16, 10/20/16

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced – 1/8/16, 3/4/16, 6/17/16, 8/13/16, 10/22/16

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force – 1/10/16, 3/5/16, 6/18/16, 8/18/16, 10/27/16

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P – 12/7/15, 12/9/15

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 1/25/16, 5/9/16

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 12/2/15, 12/10/15, 1/6/16, 1/13/16, 2/3/16, 2/10/16, 2/24/16, 3/9/16, 3/16/16, 04/06/16, 04/20/16, 05/04/16, 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: 1/18/16, 2/1/16, 8/1/16

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue – 04/18/16, 11/7/16

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 2/15/16, 04/11/16, 06/27/16, 8/29/16, 10/17/16

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day: 1/25/16, 3/7/16, 05/02/16, 8/1/16, 10/3/16, 11/28/16

SMS – Contact Admissions

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 2/8/16, 8/8/16

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 1/4/16, 7/11/16

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 2/22/16, 8/8/16

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – Contact Admissions

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: 4/28/16

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 2/15/16, 04/25/16, 7/13/16, 9/7/16, 10/22/16

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): 3/21/16, 10/3/16

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 2/29/16, 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

November 2015

30-4 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
30-4 Engine Resource Management
30-4 MEECE (waitlist only)

December 2015

4th Radar Renewal
7-11 ECDIS (waitlist only)
7-11 Medical Care Provider
7-18 GMDSS
14-18 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
14-18 MEECE

January 2016

4-8 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
4-8 Engine Resource Management
4-22 Terrestrial & Coastal Navigation
11th Flashing Light
11-15 ECDIS
11-15 Train the Trainer
18-22 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
25-29 Radar Observer Unlimited
25-29 MEECE

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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