Wheelhouse Weekly – Nov. 18, 2014

November 19th 2014 ,

Volume 18 . . . Number 46 . . . Nov. 18, 2014


In this issue:



News for MM&P Members:

Upcoming Events:

Other News:


Did you miss a week? Back editions of the Wheelhouse Weekly are available in the archives section.


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. 27 and 28, for Thanksgiving. The MM&P San Juan Hall will be closed on Wednesday, Nov. 19, for Puerto Rico Discovery Day.

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MM&P will assert members’ rights to the fullest as long-time employer Horizon Lines is broken up and sold, said MM&P President Don Marcus, speaking for the MM&P Offshore Advisory Committee (OAC), in a communication that was disseminated last week to all Licensed Deck Officers serving aboard Horizon Lines ships. “The professionalism, economic sacrifice and dedication of Horizon Lines officers” were undoubtedly factors in staving off what had been seen as inevitable in view of multiple sales that had stripped the company of equity and loaded it with excessive levels of debt, he said.

Horizon Lines will terminate its East Coast-Puerto Rico service and sell off its Alaska and Hawaii operations if the deal is approved. Under the agreement, the Pasha Group will acquire Horizon’s Hawaii operations for $141.5 million. Horizon and MM&P-contracted Matson would then engage in a merger under which Matson would buy Horizon’s Alaska operations. The transactions would become final next year, subject to regulatory approval.

The vessels now sailing in the Hawaii trade include the HORIZON ENTERPRISE, HORIZON PACIFIC, HORIZON RELIANCE and HORIZON SPIRIT. The Horizon vessels in the Alaska run include the HORIZON ANCHORAGE, HORIZON KODIAK and the HORIZON TACOMA. As well as purchasing Horizon’s Alaska operations, Matson would also assume all the company’s “non-Hawaii business liabilities.”

As part of the wind-down, Horizon Lines says it will end its liner service to Puerto Rico by the end of 2014 because of “continuing losses without the prospect of future profitability.” The MM&P-crewed vessels currently sailing in the Puerto Rico trade are the HORIZON NAVIGATOR and the HORIZON TRADER.

“We have submitted a formal demand to bargain over effects with (Horizon Lines) and request for information regarding the details of the pending sale,” the OAC said. “Until we learn more details, the full impact of the sale aboard each vessel and with members’ employment will not be clear. This is a fluid situation and more information will be provided to members as it is learned.”

“What all of our members can take pride in is your and your shipmates’ perseverance and determination to do your jobs under difficult circumstances,” Marcus said. “Please take pride in your professional work that has kept this company afloat as long as it has despite the odds. As has been proven over many decades of ups and downs, our membership will overcome this challenge as we have countless others.”

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The members of International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) Local 333 have voted by an overwhelming margin to merge with Masters, Mates & Pilots (MM&P). The vote was 423 in favor and 182 opposed, with six ballots judged invalid. A parallel vote by MM&P members on proposed constitutional changes related to the merger will be tallied on Dec. 4.

“We are grateful for the confidence that the membership of Local 333 has placed in our union,” said MM&P President Don Marcus. “Now that the ballots have been cast, we can join forces to build better working conditions for mariners in New York Harbor and all along the Atlantic Seaboard.”

Both MM&P and Local 333 are affiliates of the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA). Local 333 represents 1,300 New York and New Jersey based mariners who operate tugboats, dredges, tourist boats and ferries. MM&P represents professional mariners sailing offshore, on inland lakes and waterways, on ferry boat systems, on the Great Lakes, on dredges and as marine pilots.

“This is a win-win for both groups,” said Local 333 Secretary-Treasurer Ron Tucker. Affiliation will give the New York harbor mariners access to the MM&P training facility, credit union, legal services, financial and lobbying support, but the members will “still maintain local control,” Tucker said.

MM&P Secretary-Treasurer Steve Werse said he feels extremely confident that MM&P members will vote in support of the merger. “Our membership has not expressed one negative comment about (the merger),” he said. From the feedback from our groups, we feel that the vote is going to be incredibly positive.” After the votes of MM&P members are tallied, Local 333 will become the new Atlantic Maritime Group, an independent division within the MM&P United Inland Group.

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Trade deals such as the one involving Canada and the European Union that would punch holes in our northern neighbor’s version of the Jones Act may be moving to the front burner in the United States as well in the wake of the Nov. 4 mid-term Congressional elections. Republicans, who won control of the Senate and increased their majority in the House of Representatives, have in fact identified the trade deals as one of the few areas in which they might find common ground with President Obama.

The media have been full of reports about how the election results have created an opening for approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Pact (TTIP). Opponents of the deals, on the other hand, including labor unions, consumer rights advocates and environmental groups, are claiming momentum as more details of the secret deals are leaked to the public and opposition grows. For the third year in a row, government negotiators for the 12 Pacific Rim countries that are partnering with the United States in the TPP deal have missed an internal deadline to reach agreement, a fact opponents say is indicative that the growing wave of public protest is beginning to be felt.

“The reason the Obama administration keeps missing deadline after deadline, year after year, is that it’s pushing an extremely unpopular agenda that benefits a handful of big corporations at the expense of the economy, environment and public health in each TPP country and beyond,” Arthur Stamoulis, executive director of the Citizens Trade Campaign, an advocacy group that opposes the TPP, told journalist Carey L. Biron for a report that was published Nov. 11 by the Inter Press Service (IPS) News Agency. “People and parliaments across the Pacific Rim are starting to realize that the TPP would be bad news for their countries.”

Parties to the TPP negotiations say sticking points include worker protections and labor laws, the sale of agricultural products, prescription drug pricing and environmental impact. Another particularly controversial section of TPP, the Canada-European Union partnership and similar deals would allow corporations to override national laws in cases in which they assert that localities or states are impinging on their ability to realize profits. A central provision of the deals would establish a system of special courts that would override the legal system in each country, including the United States. These investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) tribunals would have the final say on most matters involving conflicts with foreign investors.

In addition to establishing this extra-legal structure, the deals would also limit the ability of national and state governments to impose workplace safety regulations, food safety measures, Internet privacy rules and environmental protections.

President Obama, like other U.S. presidents in the past, is pushing for “fast track” authority to move the accords forward, without giving Congress the opportunity to amend its separate parts. Lawmakers would get only a single up-or-down vote at the end of the process.

The coming months will be decisive as proponents and opponents of the deals in many countries, including the United States, increase their efforts to influence the outcome of the debate.

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Before you put together your Thanksgiving dinner shopping list, check our list of union-made in America food and other items that are essential to a traditional family Thanksgiving feast. Speaking of thanks, a big “thank you” to the Union Label and Service Trades Department (ULSTD), Union Plus and the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor’s resource site, Labor 411, for compiling their extensive catalogs of union-made products.

Here are some of the best union-made Thanksgiving eats and cookware from the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers (BCTGM); Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastics and Allied Workers (GMP); Machinists (IAM); United Steelworkers (USW); and United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW).

Appetizers: Kraft/Nabisco crackers; Keebler (Kellogg) crackers. Turkey: Boar’s Head; Butterball; Foster Farms; Thumann’s. Side dishes: Ocean Spray whole berry cranberry sauce; Birds Eye vegetables. Bread: Pillsbury crescent rolls, frozen and ready to bake rolls/breads; Pillsbury pie crusts; Stroehmann bakery products (for stuffing). Desserts: Sara Lee pumpkin and apple pie; Mother’s Kitchen cheesecakes; Rich Products pies and cakes. Cookware/Cutlery: Cutco knives; All-Clad cookware; Corningware; Fiestaware; Anchor Hocking.

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The Plan Office has received approval to close the year-end Internal Revenue Service and company reports and to process Vacation and PRO payments for 2014 no later than Monday, Dec. 29, at 1:00 p.m. EST. All requests for 2014 Vacation and PRO payments received after this date and time will be held until Friday, Jan. 2, 2015 for processing and payment, and will therefore be taxable in 2015. If you have any questions, contact Ken Ryan at 410-850-8617.

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Holiday parties are being scheduled in the MM&P union halls. We will publish more information when it becomes available. For now, the schedule is as follows:

Pacific Ports: San Francisco-Oakland, Friday, Dec. 5; Seattle, Wednesday, Dec. 10; Los Angeles, Friday, Dec. 12; Honolulu, Tuesday, Dec. 23, 1200 to 1600. The Seattle Christmas Party will be held at 1200, at Billy Baroo’s Restaurant at Foster Golf Links, 13500 Interurban Ave S. Tukwila, WA 98168. When times and locations are not listed please call the local union hall for more information.

Atlantic Ports: Charleston, Monday, Dec. 8, at 1300, at The Kickin’ Chicken West Ashley, 1179 Sam Rittenberg Blvd. (please RSVP by Dec. 3 to Allexis Underwood, or call (843) 766-3565); Norfolk, Thursday, Dec. 11 in the Norfolk Hall, at 1100 local time; San Juan, Friday, Dec. 12, at Restaurant Aire Libre, Calle Aldea, San Juan, at 1600 local time; Boston, Monday, Dec. 15, at 1230 in the Boston Hall; New York-New Jersey, Wednesday, Dec. 17.

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There will be a membership meeting at the Boston Hall on Monday, Dec. 15 at 1100, prior to the holiday party. There will be a membership meeting at the San Juan Hall at 1100 on Friday, Dec. 12.

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A Bangkok court has dismissed a defamation suit against a British researcher who exposed what many are calling “modern-day slavery” in the country’s canned fruit and fishing industry. The suit was one of four legal actions pending against human rights activist and filmmaker Andy Hall.

The defamation suit was dismissed at the end of October. The case is the first of several civil and criminal suits brought against Hall by Natural Fruit Company in response to his documentation of the exploitation and abuse of migrant workers and children in its factories. Hall published his findings in a report, “Cheap Has a High Price,” in January 2013. He was hit with a libel suit a month later.

International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) Acting General Secretary Steve Cotton said Hall should be “praised, not prosecuted” for his expose on working conditions in the Thai canning and fishing industries, adding “Thailand’s attorney general must act now to disallow this case, which is an example of blatant victimization of someone for no greater crime than telling an unacceptable truth.”

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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 Kelly Michielli, 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 – 4/13/15, 8/17/15, 10/12/15

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: Contact Admissions

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 1/20/15, 3/31/15, 8/4/15, 9/22/15

AZIPOD 2-Day – 2/2/15, 4/6/15

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 1/26/15, 3/23/15, 5/18/15, 8/3/15, 10/19/15

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 2/4/15, 3/2/15, 4/13/15, 5/20/15, 6/17/15, 7/16/15, 11/9/15

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling: 3/4/15, 4/8/15

BT – Basic Safety Training: 1/19/15, 2/9/15, 4/6/15, 6/8/15

BT-Revalidation –8/5/15, 11/3/15

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 4/13/15, 10/26/15

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

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

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 1/19/15, 4/20/15, 6/15/15, 7/27/15, 9/28/15

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 1/12/15, 4/13/15, 6/1/15, 8/3/15, 10/19/15

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 4/27/15, 10/5/15

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 12/1/14, 1/5/15, 4/6/15, 6/8/15, 8/17/15, 11/2/15, 12/7/15

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM): 12/8/14, 1/26/15, 2/16/15, 3/30/15,6/22/15, 8/10/15, 10/26/15, 11/30/15

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 3/2/15, 11/16/15

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 3/9/15, 9/14/15

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 12/1/14, 2/2/15, 3/9/15, 3/30/15, 4/13/15, 5/4/15, 6/1/15, 7/13/15,8/10/15, 8/24/15, 10/5/15, 11/9/15, 11/30/15

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 12/8/14, 2/9/15, 3/16/15, 4/6/15, 4/20/15, 5/11/15, 6/8/15, 7/20/15, 8/17/15, 8/31/15, 10/12/15, 11/16/15, 12/7/15

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 3/23/15

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 5/11/15, 11/9/15

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 4/27/15, 11/9/15

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: 7/9/15

DDE – Great Lakes: 1/26/15, 6/1/15

DPA – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-OIC – 2/16/15

ECDIS-Pilots – 3/2/15, 6/15/15, 7/14/15, 11/12/15

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 12/1/14

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 1/19/15, 2/9/15, 4/6/15, 6/8/15, 8/10/15, 10/5/15

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 4/15/15, 5/19/15, 7/6/15, 9/15/15, 11/11/15

GL Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: 1/23/15

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 3/16/15, 8/24/15

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 6/22/15, 8/31/15, 11/16/15

LAP- 4/6/15, 9/14/15

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes: 1/26/15

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License: 1/5/15, 3/2/15, 6/1/15, 8/3/15, 11/30/15

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 3/3/15, 4/15/15, 5/20/15, 7/16/15, 9/16/15, 11/10/15

LNG-TPIC – Contact Admissions

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 3/30/15

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 12/1/14, 1/5/15, 3/16/15, 4/20/15, 6/15/15, 8/24/15, 12/7/15

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 3/2/15, 5/11/15, 7/27/15, 9/28/15

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 12/1/14, 1/5/15, 3/16/15, 4/20/15, 6/15/15, 8/24/15, 10/12/15, 12/7/15

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 12/6/14, 1/10/15, 1/24/15, 3/21/15, 4/25/15, 6/20/15, 7/25/15, 8/28/15, 11/5/15, 12/12/15

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: Contact Admissions

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 2/26/15, 8/19/15, 11/1/15

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (4 Evenings): 2/23/15, 8/17/15, 10/26/15

*MSC-ENVPRO – 2/15/15, 8/16/15, 10/31/15

*MSC-FF-HELO – 2/10/15, 8/3/15, 11/2/15

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 2/16/15, 8/8/15, 10/23/15

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – 2/20/15, 8/6/15, 10/21/15

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced – 2/22/15, 8/12/15, 10/27/15

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force – 2/23/15, 8/13/15, 10/28/15

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 1/19/15, 3/30/15, 8/3/15, 9/21/15

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 12/3/14, 12/10/14, 1/7/15, 1/14/15, 1/28/15, 2/4/15, 2/18/15, 3/6/15, 3/18/15, 4/1/15, 4/15/15, 4/29/15, 5/6/15, 5/13/15, 6/3/15, 6/17/15, 7/8/15, 7/22/15, 8/5/15, 8/19/15, 9/2/15, 9/16/15, 9/30/15, 10/14/15, 10/28/15, 11/18/15, 12/2/15, 12/10/15

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 1/12/15, 2/2/15, 3/23/15, 6/1/15, 7/27/15

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue – 4/6/15

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 2/16/15, 5/11/15, 6/22/15, 11/2/15

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day: 1/19/15, 3/2/15, 4/27/15, 7/27/15, 9/28/15

SMS – Contact Admissions

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 1/26/15, 8/3/15

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 1/5/15, 7/6/15

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 2/23/15, 8/3/15

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – Train the Trainer: Contact Admissions

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: Contact Admissions

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 2/4/15, 5/20/15, 6/22/15, 9/9/15, 10/7/15

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): 3/2/15, 9/28/15

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 2/23/15, 9/14/15

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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 © 2014. Articles can be reprinted without prior permission if credit is given to The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly. For new subscriptions or address changes, send an e-mail to Back issues of The Weekly are posted on