Wheelhouse Weekly – Nov. 25, 2014

November 26th 2014 ,

Volume 18 . . . Number 47 . . . Nov. 25, 2014


In this issue:


Only for Union Members:

Upcoming Events:


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.

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Just four hours after completing the MITAGS Medical Person-in-Charge Course, MM&P member Sean T. McNeice participated in a waterside rescue in Baltimore Harbor with MM&P member Matthew P. Hofer. The two were walking in the main portion of the waterfront shopping area when they heard people yelling. They arrived on the scene to see that a life ring had just been thrown to a man who had fallen into the water. Sean and others managed to grab hold of the man by stepping down onto the fender and hauling him up onto the concrete. Hofer went to find a blanket before retrieving the man’s personal belongings from the water. McNeice helped the man out of his wet coat and began assessing for hypothermia and gathering information about him while waiting for emergency units to arrive. When the Baltimore City Fire Department Emergency Medical Service unit arrived, McNeice and Hofer transferred care to them and helped place the man into their rescue vehicle.

“This demonstrates once again that the medical students often use what they learn in class just as much off the ship as on the ship,” said Jim Clements, head of the MITAGS Department of Marine Safety.

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Military Sealift Command (MSC) announced it received official approval at the end of October to geographically consolidate its operations at Naval Station (NS) Norfolk, Va. The news means there will be a single headquarters for operations that since 2012 have been split between Washington Navy Yard, D.C., and NS Norfolk. The consolidation is scheduled to be completed by the end of Fiscal Year 2019. MSC said consolidating staff in Norfolk will help streamline processes, maximize customer service provided to the Navy and reduce costs. The move will also put MSC headquarters in close proximity to the other U.S. Fleet Forces Command subordinate commands.

“MM&P stands ready to work with MSC leaders as they draft a blueprint for the reorganization that maximizes the benefits for all parties involved,” said MM&P Government Fleet Representative Randi Ciszewski. “Issues such as the maritime industry’s prevailing practices matter and must be considered in any reorganization that could positively or negatively change the agency’s culture,” she said. “We hope MSC will involve maritime labor in planning discussions with the goal of minimizing the impact on our members and their mission as we all strive to move the process forward as efficiently as possible.”

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The maritime industry lost a number of strong supporters as a result of the Nov. 4 midterm elections. Among those who were defeated in their reelection bids, for example, were Congressman Nick Rahall, ranking member on the House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and maritime industry stalwart Congressman Tim Bishop. Throughout their careers, both men fought with us to preserve the Jones Act, to maintain cargo preference and to fund the Maritime Security Program. They were part of a small group of recognized leaders and spokesmen for our industry on Capitol Hill, and we will greatly miss their friendship, support and counsel.

On the other side of the Hill, Sen. Mark Begich, a vigorous fighter for our industry, lost his bid for reelection. During his time in Congress, Begich became one of the “go-to” senators with in-depth knowledge of maritime issues. He, too, will be sorely missed by all who support a strong U.S.-flag merchant marine.

While it is always difficult to lose good friends, we are fortunate in that a large number of the candidates we supported won their elections. In fact, of the 58 individuals running for election to the House of Representatives on Nov. 4 who received a contribution from the MM&P Political Contribution Fund (PCF), 54 were victorious, as were 8 of the 10 individuals supported by our PCF who were running for the Senate. This means that we are able to head into the next Congress with a strong base of supporters who are ready and willing to continue to fight on behalf of our industry.

As a result of the midterms, at least 72 new members will be serving in the House of Representatives and in the Senate in the 114th Congress. This means that we in the U.S.-flag fleet must expand our efforts to educate members of the national legislative bodies, both newly elected and returning, about the importance of our industry to the military and economic security of our nation.

It also means that our involvement in the grassroots maritime advisory committee (MAC) program–along with the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA), the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA) and others, is more important than ever before. And, it means that all members and employees of our union should dig deep and support our Political Contribution Fund (PCF). The next round of Congressional elections is only two years away, and the campaigning and fundraising have already begun. We must have the resources to support our friends and to help them help us keep U.S.-flag ships sailing and American mariners working.

To find more about the PCF and to make a contribution, go to and click on “Protect Your Job,” or send an e-mail to

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A bipartisan group of legislators has urged the Department of Transportation (DOT) to deny U.S. operating privileges to a controversial airline that would undercut established air carriers by skirting national labor laws and regulations. Norwegian Air International (NAI) has applied to the United States for a foreign air carrier permit. Labor unions say its business plan–which involves hiring workers based in Bangkok through a Singaporean contractor to avoid Norway’s labor protections–is a clear violation of the U.S.-European Union Open Skies Agreement, which sets rules for aviation trade.

On the eve of a U.S.-European Commission meeting to discuss the NAI case, 188 House members, led by Reps. Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) and Albio Sires (D-N.J.), delivered a letter to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, urging him to reject the plan. “NAI’s flag-of-convenience business model does not comply with U.S. and international law,” the members of the House wrote, and “would be detrimental to the future of the U.S. aviation industry, aviation workers and our national economy.”

The bipartisan letter reaffirms what members of Congress have been saying over the past several months. This summer the House of Representatives unanimously approved an amendment that bars DOT from approving a foreign air carrier permit that violates Article 17 or U.S. law. Since then, countless senators and representatives have sent letters urging DOT to reject NAI’s application. Earlier this year, DOT dismissed NAI’s request for an exemption that would have allowed it to begin transatlantic service while its application was under review. In its decision, DOT ruled that a temporary exemption would not be “appropriate or in the public interest.”

In a meeting of labor unions on both sides of the Atlantic that was held last week, MM&P and other members of the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department (TTD) discussed next steps in the campaign to derail NAI. “The flag-of-convenience system has had a devastating effect on the U.S.-flag maritime industry and could have an equally negative impact on the global airline system,” says MM&P President Don Marcus.

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Training programs operated by labor unions, often in tandem with companies, are “the reason we have the best workers in the world,” says Vice President Joe Biden. “These partnerships provide a seamless transition so folks can go from a classroom to a job, and from job to job within the industry they’re in,” Biden said. “Unions have been doing this their entire existence.” He made the remarks in a Nov. 13 keynote address to the Career Technical Education (CTE) Workforce Development Summit. Biden attended the event, which was sponsored by the AFL-CIO and the American Federation of Teachers, with U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez. “The IBEW worker working on a high-tension wire, the UAW worker on the assembly line, the AFT teacher in the classroom learning how to organize: organized labor has been responsible for the United States becoming the greatest economic power in the 20th century and will remain so in the 21st century,” Biden told the group.

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The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issued a notice stating that the opportunity to obtain an Extended Expiration Date (EED) Transportation Worker Identification Card (TWIC) ends this year. After Dec. 31, TWIC holders will no longer be able to obtain a replacement card extending the expiration date of their current TWIC by three years, but must instead go through the normal TWIC renewal process, the agency said.

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Spread the word! The Navy League Foundation offers four-year scholarships, each worth $10,000, to the children and grandchildren of current or former members of the Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine, as well as members of the Naval Sea Cadet Corps. The Navy League Scholarship Foundation is now accepting applications from high school seniors. The process will close on March 1, 2015. For information, please go to

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The Maritime Administration (MARAD) has launched a virtual tour on its website of the GTS ADMIRAL W.M. CALLAGHAN, a MARAD Ready Reserve Force vessel currently berthed in Alameda, Calif., that is operated by MM&P-contracted Patriot for Military Sealift Command. The online 360-degree photographic tour of the vessel gives viewers the experience of walking around the bridge, engine room and surrounding spaces “and provides a window into our nation’s maritime heritage,” the agency says. Launched in 1967, the ADMIRAL W.M. CALLAGHAN is the first all-gas-turbine powered vessel with a roll-on/roll-off capability constructed for the U.S. Navy.

To view the tour, go to:

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Get a new smartphone for family members this holiday season and save up to $250 by taking advantage of Union Plus smartphone rebates. When Union Plus credit card holders upgrade to a new smartphone with an AT&T data plan, they can get a rebate of up to $100. If they move to AT&T from another provider, they’ll receive up to an additional $150 towards the cost of moving their service. Check the Union Plus website for more details:

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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 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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The National Maritime Center (NMC) Customer Service Center will close at 1400 EST on Wednesday, Nov. 26, and will reopen on Friday, Nov. 28, with modified hours of 0800 EST to 1630 EST. While the offices are closed, the agency says mariners should send an e-mail to to receive a response within 1-2 business days.

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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