Wheelhouse Weekly – November 14, 2002

November 14th 2002


– Bridging the Information Gap WithE-News You Can Use –

Volume6 . . . . . Number 46. . . . . November 14, 2002





MM&P International President Capt. Tim Brown received the coveted AdmiralOf The Ocean Seas (AOTOS) Award at the annual United Seamen’s Service galaheld in New York City on Friday evening Nov.8.

In accepting the award, Capt. Brown said he was surprised and deeplyhonored when he learned that he was one of the two 2002 AOTOS award recipients.He took the occasion to reflect on his own seagoing career that began inthe summer of 1962 as a US Merchant Marine Academy cadet  sailingto South America onboard the Delta Lines DEL ORO.

He recounted walking up the ship’s gangway for the first time convincedthat he knew more about seafaring than anyone else onboard consideringhis year of training at Kings Point. He said that following his graduation,his first trip as a newly licensed deck officer was on a Victory ship enroute to Vietnam.

After many years of sailing the world’s oceans, on a Saturday morningin Jacksonville in 1983, he found himself making his first trip as a ship’sMaster. As I was drinking coffee early that morning in my quarters, herecalled, I realized that after over 15 years before the mast, I didn’tknow a damn thing about seafaring. However, we had a KP Cadet aboard andhe knew everything so I figured that I would probably do all right, Capt.Brown told those attending the awards banquet.

He continued by saying that, On this occasion, I would like to thankmany people, some who are not with us tonight and some who are. I, alongwith a great number of other people in this room, am thankful to MalcolmMcLean for starting a container revolution that allowed me to make seafaringa vocation when I graduated from Kings Point. As I talk with many companyofficials and other sailors, I find that more than a passing number hadtheir start in the industry with Sealand and with Malcolm.

Among others, he also thanked two Irishmen, Captains
Thomas F. O’Callaghan and Richard G. Connelly for providing him withan interest in Unionism and a desire to serve the Masters, Mates and Pilotsmembership; Ernest Cohen, former International Counsel of MM&P, andGene McCormick, former President of Lykes Lines, for teaching him the valueof networking and viewing problems from several vantage points; Dave Tolan,former Labor Relations Vice President at Sealand, for the lessons he learnedat the bargaining table when they negotiated.

He also thanked ILA President John Bowers for teaching him the valueof having a team in place that could provide service to the membershipas well as having someone at the helm of the ILA who would listen to theproblems that the MM&P faces.

For this I am deeply thankful. Finally, I would like to thank all thepeople that I work with at International Headquarters, particularly AudreyScharmann and Diane Chatham, the two executive secretaries that I havethe pleasure of working with on a daily basis and without them I most assuredlywould not be here tonight. I also want to thank the MMP General ExecutiveBoard that provides the leadership for the MM&P. Without their efforts,the MM&P would be a little poorer.

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly


In commenting on the state of the US-flag Merchant Marine during his AOTOSacceptance speech, Capt. Brown noted that, It is said that a person whohas a passionate belief in something can communicate that belief successfullyto others. I believe in the American Merchant Marine. I believe in Americansailors. I believe in the ability of American Capitalism to find ways tomake the American Merchant Marine prosper.

I find it very discouraging that the American passenger markets areserved with foreign-flag carriers who hire foreign crews, who pay littleor no taxes, pollute the environment and sometime sail lacking what theUS Coast Guard would call minimum safety standards.

All of us in this room have done a very poor job in making the Americanpublic aware of how important the marine industry is. So, I want to issuea strong challenge to us all to dedicate ourselves and our resources tothe promotion of our industry so that we can finally increase the public’sawareness of our American Merchant Marine.

There is an overwhelming lack of knowledge about our merchant marineamong the general population. Sadly, it takes a job action on the WestCoast for the majority of Americans to realize that consumer products don’tjust magically appear on Wal-Mart’s or Target’s shelves.

There are, in fact, too many people both in and out of government whonever focus on how our foreign trade moves. These same people have absolutelyno idea how great the threat of economic blackmail is if we become totallydependent on foreign-flag vessels and foreign crews to carry the exportsand raw materials that drive our economy.

This lack of public awareness even extends to the role we play in thedefense of our country. People have forgotten that our merchant marineis our nation’s fourth arm of defense or that our merchant marine is anational asset that needs and deserves the support of all Americans. Itis our challenge and our responsibility to make sure they learn that theonly way to ensure that American vessels and American crews will be availablein time of war is to support a peacetime merchant marine.

The companies and firms represented here tonight spend thousands ofdollars promoting their name, their service, and their performance. Theunions represented here tonight, including my own, spend a like amountpromoting their schools, their history of service, and the qualificationsof their members. The associations represented here spend freely to promotethemselves, and to recruit more members for their organizations.

This is all well and good. In fact, such advertising is the Americanway. We spend money to make more money.
But we all need to do more; to do a much better job of educating theAmerican people. We all need to be more farsighted and to be less parochialwhen we spend our advertising dollars.

Individually and collectively, we have to spend our dollars to makesure the public knows that it can depend on the US-flag merchant marineto deliver the goods. They need to know that the US-flag merchant marineis the critical supply line linking their sons and daughters stationedand fighting overseas with the tools they need for success.

We need to pound our message across. The answer may be simple to eachof us. But as I said, it is time that we give everyone else the informationthey need to reach the same conclusion. It will not be easy; nor will itbe quick.

But it is a challenge that we must face head-on, and I assure you thatthe MM&P stands ready to join with all of you so that together, wecan develop the industry we all know our country needs and should have.

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly



MM&P International Comptroller John Gorman reports that the Shippingand Work Rules Ballot Committee has finished the ballot count. The ballotcontained 16 shipping rules questions and one work rule question. All ofthe shipping rules passed by large margins as did the one work rule. The only closevote was on Item 4 of the Shipping Rules where Option 2 beat Option 1 by 16 votes. For further info contact John Gorman at:

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly



MM&P HQ has sent a letter to all applicants, to retirees who retiredwithin the last 3 years, and retirees that retired within the last 4-7years to ascertain, among other things, their current address, the validityof their license, whether or not they have STCW-95.

This info is needed since it is anticipated that merchant marine personnelwill be one of the key assets needed to conduct any large scale operationin the Middle East. The Maritime Administration and the Military SealiftCommand are currently focusing on deployment needs.

Plans are underway to provide a fast-track STCW-95 course as well asproviding assistance in revalidating a mariner’s license if it has expired.Retirees will be able to return to covered employment without the fearof exceeding the earnings limitation for health care.

Further info is available by contacting Assistant to the President MikeRodriguez at MM&P HQ at phone: 410-850-8700 ext. 23; Email: info is available on the Wheelhouse Weekly page of the MM&Pwebsite under Reminders at

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly



The Pacific Maritime Institute (MITAGS West) will be offering a two-dayprogram in the Operational Use of Maximo as used by CSX Lines. This coursewill be appropriate for any Master, Mate or Engineer who sails on CSX Vessels.

It will be particularly relevant for those who are sailing as permanentor relief, Chief Mate, or First Engineer. If you have found yourself ina position of using AmosD on a CSX Vessel, you will now be using Maximoand could benefit from this course.

The training course will consist of a general introduction to Maximofollowed by a specific description of how CSX uses the program. Each areaof use will be covered such as, Consumables and Spares ordering, Work OrderGeneration (used by the Deck Department to request Deck repairs), Maintenancetracking, Preventive Maintenance, and Spares tracking.

For those who already have had some exposure to Maximo, this coursewill provide a better understanding for the overall program as well assupply much valuable practice time on a test database resembling the oneused by CSX.

PMI will be offering the Maximo Training on the following dates: Nov.18�19and Dec.2-3. Contact Ms. Rita Nalette at 206-441-2880 or toll-free at 888-893-7829to schedule. PMI requires a six-student minimum to run these courses, soplease schedule as far in advance as possible.

CSX will be covering transportation to and from Seattle for all eligibleMM&P and MEBA Members. Please contact PMI if you have questions regardingeligibility. For more info visit the PMI website at

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly



The MM&P was saddened to learn of the death of William Rich Jr., alongtime member of the MITAGS family. He was 79 and died at his home inLong Branch, NJ. A graduate of the US Merchant Marine Academy, Capt. Richassumed the command of his first merchant vessel at 23. Among his manyaccomplishments, Capt. Rich commanded merchant vessels during 14 invasionsin World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

During World War II, German submarines torpedoed two of his ships in1942. The first attack occurred in the North Atlantic while his ship, the CITY OF NEW YORK, was returning from Russia.The second time was in the South Atlantic while his ship, the AFRICAN STAR,was returning from Rio De Janeiro. The first time he was in a lifeboatfor 13 hours, the second time for 32 days. He weighed 69 pounds when rescued.He received many medals for his wartime activities.

During peacetime, Capt. Rich was a Master with Grace Lines where helater became a Port Captain. He also served as a delegate to the United Nations Maritime Committee. Capt. Rich also served as Training Director at MITAGS during the 1970s and was also active in government affairs. Letters of condolences may be sent to the family at:

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly



Class Openings

Plenty of seats remain in Advanced Fire Fighting, BST, Computer, and GMDSSclasses between now and the end of the year.

Basic Shiphandling class beginning December 2 still has 3 open slots.

DOT Training for D&A

The 1-day course satisfying the new DOT requirements for Breath AlcoholTechnician (BAT) and Screening Test Technician (STT) will be presentedat MITAGS:

  • December 14, 17, 18, 19, and 20

Contact admissions for seat availability.

Schedules, Course Info & Registration

You can now check schedules, review detailed course descriptions and registeron-lineor contact Admissions at admissions@mitags.orgor 443-989-3226.

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly



Class Openings through November:

  • 11/18-19: MAXIMO
  • 11/18-22: RADAR

PMI will be providing DOT Training for D&A on the following dates andlocations: Nov.15: Seattle;
Dec.9: Houston; Dec.13: Seattle; Dec.16: San Fran, Dec.17: Los Angeles;Jan.13: Honolulu; Jan.17: Seattle.

PMI will be running the programs necessary to upgrade from Able Seamanto Mate in Jan. 2003. In order to attempt
to fill their first courses, they are offering a 40-percent discountto mariners wishing to start their training in
Jan. For the latest up-to-date info on class schedules, visit the PMIwebsite at

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly



 D O W
 N A S D A Q
-372.60 for the week
 -57.65 for the week
 Vanguard 500 IndexFund (VFINX)  81.64
 Vanguard Extended MarketIndex Fund (VEXMX) 18.50
 Vanguard InternationalGrowth Fund (VWIGX)  12.21
 Vanguard Morgan GrowthFund (VMRGX)  11.31
 Vanguard Windsor IIFund (VWNFX)  20.63
 Vanguard GNMA Fund(VFIIX) 10.74
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX) 13.34
 Fidelity Asset Manager(FASMX) 13.80
 Fidelity Growth andIncome (FGRIX)  30.49
Fidelity Magellan Fund (FAGX)  80.44
 Spartan US Equity IndexFund (FUSEX)   31.34


MM&PWheelhouse Weekly

~Reminders ~




MM&P International President Capt. Tim Brown and Executive Asst. MikeRodriguez recently attended a meeting with the US Coast Guard, the MaritimeAdministration and the Military Sealift Command focusing on the assetsneeded to conduct an operation in the Middle East.

Deployment and time frames are still being discussed. Below is whatthe Union knows as of this time.

It is anticipated that merchant marine personnel will be key to thisoperation. MM&P, MEBA and AMO have a cooperative agreement so thatif any of the unions’ contracted vessels need personnel and the contractedunion cannot supply licensed marine officers, one of the other unions willstaff these billets.

Within the next few days, MM&P will be sending a letter to all MM&Papplicants, to retirees who retired within the last 3 years, and retireesthat retired within the last 4-7 years. The purpose of the letter willbe to ascertain your current address, the validity of your license, whetheror not you have STCW-95, and other personnel data.

There are plans underway to provide a fast track STCW-95 course forthose needing it as well as providing assistance in revalidating your licenseif it has expired.

In the case of retirees, you will be able to return to covered employmentwithout the fear of exceeding the earnings limitation for health care.However, no additional pension credits will be provided for any servicethat you may render to your country during this emergency employment.

Since Desert Shield/Desert Storm, American Merchant Mariners have beenprovided with re-employment rights. These rights will insure that yourpresent employer will give your current employment position back when youreturn from service with the MM&P in this type of deployment.

More details will be forthcoming in future issues of the WheelhouseWeekly as they become known.

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly




This is a reminder that effective October 1, 2002, the MM&P Plan’scontract with Prudential Dental expired. Prudential was purchased by Aetna/USHealthCare in 2001 and could no longer offer the Plan the same type offee-for-service arrangement as before.

In order to continue to offer Plan Participants an in-network dentalbenefit option, the Plan reviewed proposals from organizations that providenetwork dental services. After review, the Trustees approved a contractwith Delta Dental, the largest provider of dental services in the US.

The Delta Dental Claims Processing Center in Mechanicsburg, PA, willhandle claims administration for all MM&P eligible participants anddependents. This includes claims submitted by out of network dentists aswell as those who are Delta Dental providers.

Plan participants who choose to go to a contracted provider will pay10 percent of the contracted amount and the Plan will pay 90 percent. Participantswill have access to all Delta providers in the Delta Premier Network optionthat includes over 133,000 dentists nationwide.


~ Where Does My Dentist Submit My Claims?

Effective October 1, 2002, all dental claims with dates of service on orafter October 1, 2002, from both in and out-of-network providers, shouldbe sent directly to: Delta Dental, One Delta Drive, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055-6999.Participants will receive a claim form in the mailing sent out by the PlanOffice on August 11. Your dentist can copy this form and use it to submitall dental claims incurred on or after October 1, 2002.

~ How Do I Find A Delta Dentist?

You can locate participating dentists in your area in two ways. You cancall 1-800-932-0783 from 8 AM to 8 PM Eastern Time, Monday-Friday, or youcan sign on to the Delta website at you have signed on to the website, key on the bar marked “Pennsylvania”.(MM&P Plan members are enrolled in the Delta Premier Option throughDelta Dental of Penn.) Next enter the search criteria to find participatingDelta dentists in your area or enter your own dentist’s name to find outif he/she participates with the Premier network.


Delta Dental will coordinate with the Plan Office to transition all billingfor “work in process”. This means that all root canals, orthodontia workand other staged procedures that are not completed under the old arrangementwill be carried over and the remaining balance billing, for work performedon or after October 1, 2002 will be processed by Delta Dental.

It is important to remember that all work that has been pre-determinedby Prudential/Aetna must be completed and billed with a billing date onor prior to September 30, 2002, in order to assure that your co-pay willremain the same as quoted in the initial pre-determination.

Any work started under the old Plan but billed for date of service onor after October 1, 2002 will be reimbursed according to whether the dentistis participating in the Delta Dental network. If your dentist is not aparticipating dentist, the balance billing will be paid at the out-of-networkrate of 80 percent of the Plan’s UCR schedules.


All questions about any dental claims incurred on or after October 1, 2002,including claims submitted by out-of-network providers, should be directedto Delta Dental at 1-800-932-0783. You have been provided with a Deltaclaim form to forward to your dentist, however, your dentist may submitany standard dental billing form as long as the bill is sent directly toDelta at the above listed address.


Participants will be receiving a brochure in early October that will includea perforated generic identification card. This card lists the telephonenumber and the billing address for Delta. You are not required to carryan identification card because your social security number and birth datewill identify you as an eligible participant in the Delta Dental Network.

It is important to remember that MM&P claims will be processed byDelta Dental of Pennsylvania. You or your dentist can access your eligibilityby calling either the Plan Office or Delta Dental at 1-800-932-0783.

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly




MM&P’s General Executive Board met on October 3-4. One item of particularnote is that the Offshore Advisory Committee established quotas for admittanceto the Offshore Membership Group.

Effective October 4, 2002, no member of any membership group, includingthe Offshore Unlicensed Membership Group, may transfer into the OffshoreLicensed Membership Group without having been a member of the organizationfor at least as long as the length of time that the lowest applicant admittedinto membership has in the organization.

Please see your local Offshore Vice President for additional information.

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly



MM&P has established a Fund to receive donations on behalf of GiseleSchmidt, the daughter of Brother Gary Schmidt. Gisele, who is 21, was renderedparalyzed as the result of a tragic auto accident in March.

Please Note: The fund is open only through December 31, 2002.

Contributions may be made payable to the:

Gisele Schmidt Fund c/o MM&P 700 Maritime Blvd. Linthicum Heights, MD 21090
MM&PWheelhouse Weekly



A memorial fund has been established in the memory of recently deceasedMM&P member Jerry Backman. Jerry shipped out of San Francisco and was49-years old at the time of his tragic death as the result of an auto accidentlast month.

He will be affectionately remembered as a loyal union brother, outstandinglicensed deck officer and a fine person. Jerry leaves a widow, a 22-yearold daughter and a 15-year old son.

Donations on behalf of Jerry will be used to assist with the educationof his children. The Backman family is privately managing the fund. Theyare most appreciative of all the messages expressing sympathy and the positivestories from his shipmates and friends.

Contributions can be sent to:

The Jerry B. Backman Memorial Fund c/o Bank of the West 2900 Railroad Avenue Pittsburg, CA 94565    
MM&PWheelhouse Weekly



Members are reminded that the Masters, Mates & Pilots Federal CreditUnion is offering vehicle loans as low as 5.25 percent. Rates range from5.25 to 6.99 percent for terms of 24 to 60 months. It doesn’t matter ifit’s for a new, used or a refinanced vehicle.

These rates are also in effect for new or used recreational vehicles,motorcycles or boats. Limited funds available at this rate, certain termsand conditions apply.

MM&P Federal Credit Union membership is open to all MM&P members,to all MM&P, MITAGS, MIRAID and Plans staff, and to their immediatefamilies.

Rates and terms of offer are subject to change. Call Kathy Klisavage,Credit Union Manager, toll free 1-800-382-7777 or Email mmpfcu@bridgedeck.orgfor all the details.

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly

The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the officialelectronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates,and Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 700 Maritime Blvd., Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1941.Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: further info or to subscribe contact John Peige at Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vesselsat sea, broadcast worldwide via FEC marine telex and is posted on our webpage.
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