Wheelhouse Weekly – November 08, 2010

November 8th 2010


– Bridging the Information Gap With E-News You Can Use –

Volume 14 . . . . . Number 45. . . .November 8, 2010


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


All MM&P union halls, MM&P Health & Benefit Plans, the MM&P Federal Credit Union and MM&P headquarters will be closed on Thursday, Nov. 11, for Veterans’ Day.


Among those who fell victim to the anger and frustration that dominated voting in last Tuesday’s Congressional elections are three tireless advocates for the U.S.-flag merchant marine and American maritime labor: Congressmen Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.), Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) and Gene Taylor (D-Miss.). 

Oberstar has been chairman of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.  Most recently, he steered legislation through Congress that addresses a number of issues important to maritime labor, including those relating to medical review requirements, shoreside access, piracy and the TWIC card. As chairman of the Armed Services Committee, Skelton was the leading advocate for the Maritime Security Program, working each year to ensure that the MSP was fully funded. Taylor, chairman of the House Seapower Subcommittee, was often the most vocal supporter and fighter for the Jones Act in the House of Representatives.

MM&P International President Tim Brown expressed the deep appreciation that members of MM&P have for the persistent, tireless efforts of Congressmen Oberstar, Skelton and Taylor in support of a strong U.S.-flag merchant marine. “These three members of Congress were integral to preserving, implementing and funding the programs and policies important to our union and to our industry,” Brown said. “They stood with us time and again to ensure that our nation had a U.S.-flag merchant marine protecting the military and economic security of the United States. Their advice, counsel and support will be sorely missed and never forgotten.”


The fight for working families will continue unabated in the wake of the mid-term elections, says AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “We are asking the President and every member of Congress to have the courage to act to create jobs, to stand up to corporate influence in our democracy, and to take bold steps to build an economy that works for everyone,” Trumka said in an official statement released the morning after the elections.

Jobs and the economy were by far the top issues for all voters, according to exit polls and an AFL-CIO survey conducted Tuesday night by Hart Research Associates. The AFL-CIO survey of voters in 100 swing Congressional districts found that 89 percent want to see tax credits for companies that create jobs in this country and 77 percent favor creating jobs through investments in roads, bridges, schools and energy. “Let’s be clear,” Trumka said. “Working people think there wasn’t enough done to help average people, not that there was over-reach. They wanted results and they didn’t see them.”

“The election results were extremely disappointing for the millions of union families who voted in this election, and for the hundreds of thousands of union volunteers who spent hours working for working family candidates,” Trumka said. But he also pointed to union voters as the firewall in crucial Senate victories in Nevada, California and West Virginia. Union members voted 64 percent – 36 percent for union-endorsed candidates in the House. They voted for the re-election of Sen. Harry Reid by a 40-point margin, for Gov. Joe Manchin by a 24-point margin and for Sen. Barbara Boxer by a 44-point margin. 

The AFL-CIO grassroots campaign was huge: 200,000 union volunteers knocked on 8.5 million doors, distributed 19.4 million flyers at worksites and made tens of millions of phone calls. Starting immediately, Trumka said, union members will shift their grassroots mobilization from election efforts into a renewed fight to create good jobs and restore the middle class. “We have an energized membership that’s ready to fight, and we’re going to give it everything we have,” he said.


NOAA has announced the continuation of seasonal vessel speed restrictions along the U.S. East Coast where right whales travel to protect them from being injured or killed by collisions with ships. The restrictions–the same as those imposed last year–require vessels 65 feet or longer to travel at 10 knots or less in key right whale areas. “These speed restrictions are in place when we know right whales are in areas where they are vulnerable to being hit by ships,” said Eric Schwaab of NOAA Fisheries. North Atlantic right whales are among the most endangered animals in the world: scientists estimate there are only between 300 and 400 left.

The 10-knot speed restriction extends out to 20 nautical miles around major mid-Atlantic ports. According to NOAA researchers, about 83 percent of right whale sightings in the mid-Atlantic region occur within 20 nautical miles of shore. The speed restriction also applies in waters off New England and the southeastern United States, where whales gather seasonally. A two-page guide to complying with the restrictions and additional information on reducing vessel collisions is available at

The recently announced seasonal speed restrictions apply in the following approximate locations from Nov. 1 through April 30, times when whales are known to be in these areas: Block Island Sound; ports of New York/New Jersey; entrance to the Delaware Bay (includes ports of Philadelphia and Wilmington, N.C.); entrance to the Chesapeake Bay (includes ports of Hampton Roads, Va. and Baltimore, Md.); ports of Morehead City and Beaufort, N.C.; and a continuous area from 20 miles from shore between Wilmington, N.C., to south of Savannah.

From Nov. 15 through April 15, the same restrictions apply in an area extending from north of Brunswick, Ga. to south of Jacksonville.

NOAA routinely calls for temporary voluntary speed limits in other areas or times when a group of three or more right whales is confirmed.

Ship speed restriction rules are part of NOAA’s broader effort to help the right whale population recover. NOAA efforts include surveying whale habitat by aircraft, mandatory ship reporting systems that provide advisories and information on right whale locations to mariners, modified shipping lanes into Boston, recommending shipping routes into other coastal areas to prevent collisions and regulations to prevent entanglement in fishing gear.


The Coast Guard has announced two new officer endorsements applicable to the Western Rivers: the new endorsements are called Mate (Pilot) or Master of Towing Vessels upon Western Rivers Restricted from Transiting Locks.

In making the announcement, the Coast Guard said many mariners with years of experience on towing vessels operating on the Western Rivers never navigate on any portion of the rivers that require transiting locks. The agency also said new mariners in training on towing vessels may be employed by companies not engaged in operations which necessitate the transiting of locks.

To allow these mariners to continue advancement of their maritime careers, the Coast Guard established the two towing vessel officer endorsements limited to operations on Western Rivers in which the transiting of locks is not applicable. The two new officer endorsements are Mate (Pilot) of Towing Vessels upon Western Rivers – Restricted from Transiting Locks and Master of Towing Vessels upon Western Rivers – Restricted from Transiting Locks.

The professional requirements to advance from Apprentice Mate (Steersman) upon Western Rivers to Mate (Pilot) and eventually to Master of towing with regards to sea service, physical examination, drug testing and, if applicable, examination(s), have not changed. All applicants must submit an application with a completed Towing Officer Assessment Record (TOAR) for Western Rivers signed by an NMC approved Designated Examiner with the exception of the four maneuvering elements involving locks: D.16 Enter lock with upstream approach; D.17 Enter lock with downstream approach; D.18 Leave lock with upstream departure; D.19 Leave lock with downstream departure.

Mariners holding Mate or Master of inspected vessels greater than 200 gross registered tons may apply for Mate (Pilot) or Master of Towing Vessel upon Western Rivers – Restricted from Transiting Locks by obtaining 90 days training and observation on Western Rivers and completing the limited TOAR. For more information, contact your local MM&P representative, send an e-mail to IASKNMC@USCG.MIL or contact A.S. Lloyd at the National Maritime Center: (888) 427-5662 (phone) or (304) 433-3416 (fax).


Many MM&P members are not aware that they can save significant amounts of money on a wide range of goods and services through an AFL-CIO program called Union Plus. All members of all AFL-CIO unions, including of course MM&P, are eligible for benefits that include: discounts of up to 25 percent on rental cars and trucks; hefty discounts on prep courses for college testing such as the SAT; a $500 bonus when you open a 529 savings account for a son or daughter under the age of 12; discounts on wireless phone service for families and on telecommunications equipment for local union offices; discounts on home heating oil; even a roadside assistance plan that costs significantly less than AAA and also gives you rebates on gasoline.

All MM&P members are eligible to save through these programs! You do not need a Union Plus credit card to take advantage of these discounts. To find out more, go to or read on.

One of the most popular Union Plus programs is discounted wireless phone service for union members, their families, and the offices of union locals. To read about the equipment union locals can purchase, as well as the discounts on wireless service for union members and their families, go to:

Another popular Union Plus program gives union members discounts on Avis, Budget and Hertz rental cars. Go to to find out how you can get discounts on car rentals and at the same time support union members who work for Avis, Budget and Hertz.

And in closing, as the winter season approaches, why not check out the Union Plus home heating oil discount program? It offers union members annual average savings of $200 to $300. No long-term contract; you may discontinue the service at any time.

Visit and select MM&P as your union in the drop-down menu to learn about these benefits and the many others available to MM&P members.


The MM&P Communications Department is always looking for photos of members at work and MM&P ships to post on and print in The Master, Mate & Pilot. If you would like to send us photos, please keep the following guidelines in mind.

If you are using a digital camera, you must ensure that it is set to the highest possible resolution; pictures taken with the default setting cannot be reproduced in the magazine because the resolution will be too low. If you are using a film camera, please scan in the images at a resolution of 300 dpi or higher or mail us your originals and we will scan them and return them to you.

If people appear in your photo, please ensure that everyone pictured is identified in a caption in the e-mail attachment. If you are sending a hard copy, please affix your photo to a piece of paper on which the name of each person pictured appears.

Please send your photos as attachments to an e-mail message addressed to or by mail to: Communications Department, MM&P, 700 Maritime Boulevard, Suite B, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1953.

If you have any questions, please send an e-mail to


The MM&P Offshore Atlantic Ports meeting for the month of November will be held in Norfolk, VA, at 1300 on Nov. 10. MM&P Federal Employee Membership Group members are welcome to attend this meeting, at which MM&P Atlantic Ports Vice President Steve Werse and MM&P International Secretary-Treasurer Don Marcus will be present.

Please note that the Norfolk meeting will take place at the new MM&P Norfolk Hall. The address is: Norfolk Commerce Center III, 5425 Robin Hood Road, #204, Norfolk, VA 23513. The telephone number of the Norfolk Hall is: 757-489-7406.

Please also note that there will not be a monthly meeting in November in the MM&P New York/New Jersey Hall.


The D-Book Membership class will be held in the MM&P Los Angeles Hall on Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 9-10. All applicants should complete the D-Book Membership Class as soon as possible to avoid delays in becoming members. Applicants should take the course before completing 360 days of covered employment. For more information and to sign up for the Nov. 9-10 course, please contact the Los Angeles Hall at 310-834-7201.


Tom Crowley, Jr., chairman, president and CEO of MM&P-contracted employer Crowley Maritime, has been awarded the Navy League’s Vincent T. Hirsch Maritime Award for outstanding leadership. The award is named for a past president of the Navy League. Rear Adm. Mark H. Buzby, commander of Military Sealift Command, presented the award to Crowley last week. A spokesman for the Navy League said Crowley had been chosen because he has provided “exceptional service as an active participant of joint industry and Department of Defense groups working to provide strategic sealift for the United States in times of national need.”


Young workers are worse off this year than they were in 2009: they are more likely to be working part-time, if at all, and have fewer resources to fall back on. The results are contained in a survey of American workers under the age of 35 which was conducted recently by the AFL-CIO.

The survey found that only 52 percent of workers under the age of 35 have enough savings to cover their living expenses for two months or more. Not surprisingly, 60 percent report being concerned about their futures—a statistic which has increased by 50 percent since last year. The survey, entitled, “Young Workers: A Lost Decade-One Year Later,” also reports on global youth unemployment, which has reached record levels.

The AFL-CIO is in the process of establishing a National Young Worker Advisory Council to advise it on how best to reach out to young people. Other steps include developing a mentoring model for bringing experienced union leaders and young workers together to learn from each other. In partnership with the American Federation of Teachers and other unions, the AFL-CIO will develop new ways to include curricula about unions in classrooms around the country, build a stronger presence on college campuses and help students understand the value of collective action connected with union membership.  


The Associated Press has reported that the Girl Scouts of America is considering outsourcing production of uniforms, possibly to China. The move would end the organization’s relationship with a small company in New Jersey called Jackie Evans Inc. and force it out of business. “It is very surprising that an American organization, which was founded in 1912 and represents 2.4 million girls in all 50 states, would even consider sending this work to China,” says Bill Pascrell Jr., the New Jersey Democrat who represents the district in which the company currently producing the uniforms is located. Jackie Evans Inc. has produced sashes and vests under contract for the Girl Scouts for 10 years.

“I am dismayed that an organization like the Girl Scouts of America, which prides itself on honesty and fairness, would even think of moving their business from a family-run and veteran-owned small business in New Jersey to China… It is well known that the quality of that product may suffer and that the product itself may be produced under questionable labor standards. To be quite blunt, if you decide to transfer production of these uniforms abroad it is not at all inconceivable to think that our American Girl Scouts could soon be wearing uniforms made abroad in part by young girls who would be deemed not old enough to work in the United States.”


Between now and the end of January 2011, the following courses are scheduled at MITAGS.  For class availability or information on MITAGS courses and programs, contact admissions toll free at 866-656-5568 or e-mail:

AB � Able Bodied Seaman: 1/10
ARPA � Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 11/30, 1/25

BRM- Bridge Resource Management: 12/13
BRMP � Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 11/29, 1/24
BST � Basic Safety Training: 1/24

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVWX � Advanced Meteorology: 1/10
CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 1/17
CMM-CHS I – Advanced Cargo Operations (week 1): 1/31
CMM-CHS II � Advanced Cargo Operations (week 2): 11/15
CMM-ECDIS � Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems: 11/15, 12/13
CMM-MPP � Marine Propulsion Plants: 11/29, 1/24
CMM-SHMGT I – Ship Management (week 1): 12/6
CMM-SHMGT II – Ship Management (week 2): 12/13
CMM-SHS-ADV-I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 11/29, 1/10, 1/31
CMM-SHS-ADV-I I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 12/6, 1/17
CMM-VPEN � Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 12/6
CMM-WKP � Advanced Watchkeeping: 11/29

CONSTAB � Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 1/10

ENVIRO-Regs Permit � Environmental Regulations Permit: 11/10

FF-BADV � Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 1/24
FSM � Fatique, Sleep and Medications for Pilots: 12/1

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 11/29

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 11/29, 1/24

MCL – Management, Communications and Leadership: 12/6
MED-PIC – Medical Person In Charge: 1/10
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 1/10
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 11/13, 1/15

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 11/17, 12/1, 12/15, 1/12, 1/26
ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Day Class: 11/29, 1/24
ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal: 11/15, 1/17

SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 11/15, 12/13
SHS-EMR3 – Emergency Shiphandling for Pilots: 12/1, 1/26

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial and Coastal Navigation and Compasses: 1/31

…remember: If you can’t make the class, make the call.  Be courteous, don’t be a “no show.”

Check the MITAGS website at for course descriptions associated with the course title abbreviations, and schedule revisions. For class availability or info on MITAGS courses and programs, contact admissions toll-free at 866-656-5568 or e-mail:


Schedule of Courses – Please also see our schedule online at

For registration, call our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen, at (206) 838-1126

November 2010

8-12    ECDIS
8-19    GMDSS
15-19   Basic Construction & Stability
15-17   Fast Rescue Boat
29        Radar Renewal

December 2010

6-10    Medical Care Provider
6-17     Medical Person-in-Charge
6-17     GMDSS
7-9      Security VCF
11         Med DOT
13-15   Emergency Shiphandling
20       Radar Renewal

January 2011

10-14  ECDIS
24th    Radar Renewal
24-28 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
25-28  ARPA
31-4    Medical Care Provider
31-11   Medical Person-In-Charge

February 2011

5th      Med DOT
7th      Radar Renewal
7-8      Tractor Tug for Pilots
14th    Fatigue, Sleep, and Medications (Pilot Training Course)
15-16   Bridge Resource Management for Pilots
17-18   Azipod (Pilot Training Course)


D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
11,434.84 2,577.34 1,225.85
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund (VAARX)
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)

The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 700 Maritime Blvd. Suite B, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1953. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: For further info or to subscribe contact Lisa Rosenthal at The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea and is posted on our web page.

© 2010, International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots. All the material contained in this publication is protected by copyright. For permission to reprint text from the Weekly, contact the MM&P Communications Department: For changes of address, contact Lisa Rosenthal at