Wheelhouse Weekly – November 20, 2012

November 20th 2012


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

Volume 16 . . . Number 47. . . November 20, 2012


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


MM&P members trying to renew their Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) say the process is often extremely frustrating and painfully slow. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is offering those who already have a TWIC the option of replacing their expiring card with a new one that costs $60 instead of $129.75, requires only one trip to an enrollment center and expires in three years instead of five. The new option, which is called an extended expiration date (EED) TWIC, entails only one visit to an enrollment center because existing cardholders can start the renewal process over the telephone. TSA said it was offering the EED to save people time and money. The number to call is 1-866-347-8942, and the hours are Mon–Fri, 8AM to 10PM Eastern Time

The problem, according to MM&P members trying to renew their TWICs, is that many times no one answers the phone call that is supposed to begin the process, or the line is constantly busy. In the event that someone does answer, the cardholder is frequently put on hold, in some cases for 90 minutes, until the line drops. “It seems that up until a month or so ago, the telephone method of applying for an extended card was a very easy process,” one member reports. But those who have applied recently say they have been unable to get through to an operator, disconnected or put on hold for hours.


International Longshoremen’s Association President Harold Daggett has pledged to continue the fight to protect ILA members’ best interests in ongoing negotiations with waterfront employers who belong to the U.S. Maritime Alliance (USMX). “USMX has continually played one port against the other but that strategy will not succeed,” Daggett said. “We stand united and will put a full contract package together that meets all our goals at all ports.”

For more than a year, the ILA and USMX have been engaged in Master Contract negotiations that will likely continue during the week of Dec. 10. Daggett and the other ILA negotiators remain firm on issues that include automation, container chassis work and jurisdiction, and the union says it will not cede ground on employers’ attempt to eliminate the eight-hour guarantee and overtime provisions.

When negotiations did not produce an agreement near the Sept. 30 deadline, the ILA and USMX agreed to a 90-day extension to continue negotiations with the assistance of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. The end date of that extension is now fast approaching.  

Daggett’s success on the tentative automation agreement is being used as a framework by dockworker unions around the world, including in Australia. “I pledged to my rank-and-file members that I would not agree to anything in the Master Contract that would take away any of our hard won gains of the past,” Daggett says. “We have important and significant work in front of us to get a contract in place by the end of December, but I know we will achieve success because of the unity and solidarity of the ILA.”


Numerous MM&P-crewed vessels were among those honored by the Chamber of Shipping of America (CSA) at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 13. Among the MM&P-contracted companies whose ships were recognized were AmNav Maritime Services, Crowley, Farrell Lines, Horizon Lines, Maersk Lines, Ltd., Marine Transport Management and Patriot Contract Services. The average number of years operating without incident for ships entered in the program was 6.9 years.

“The great record evidenced by the ships is due to the dedication of the seafarers working on board and the support of shore operating personnel,” said CSA Vice Chairman Charles W. Parks. “In today’s world, it seems our industry only gets front-page news when spills or other environmental problems occur,” said CSA President Joseph Cox. “It is encouraging to see how many vessels go for years achieving environmental excellence. It should be clear to the American public that we in the maritime industry take our stewardship of the marine environment very seriously.”


An analysis of the outcome of the 2012 Congressional elections shows that numerous candidates of both political parties who received support from the MM&P Political Contribution Fund (PCF) have won their races. In the House of Representatives, 91 percent of the candidates who received contributions from the MM&P PCF won their races. In the Senate, all but one of the Senate candidates that the MM&P PCF supported won. Your contributions to the PCF make a difference! If you are interested in finding out which candidates received support from the PCF in this election cycle, go to and enter the Members Only site. If you have questions about MM&P and MIRAID’s advocacy work in Washington on behalf of MM&P members, send an e-mail to


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has issued a North Atlantic right whale information guide to help ships avoid striking the severely endangered marine mammals. The southeast U.S. Seasonal Management Area (SMA) regulations came into effect on Nov. 15. Vessels of 65-feet or greater in length are restricted to speeds of 10 knots or less while transiting the active SMA. Vessels of 300 gross tons or greater entering the active SMA are required to participate in mandatory ship reporting.


MM&P licensed deck officers aboard USNS GRAPPLE were hard at work off the coast of Corsica in October and November, excavating the underwater wreckage of a B17 that crashed during World War II. The ship’s mission was to locate the remains of two American gunners who died when the plane crashed near Calvi in 1944. The five-week operation, which ended earlier this month, was conducted by a 25-person team, including U.S. Navy divers, an archeologist and members of the MM&P Federal Employees Membership Group (FEMG).

The operation did not involve moving the wreckage, which is resting at a depth of 28 meters and has become a popular dive site. The sole objective, according to a U.S. Embassy spokesperson, was to recover the remains of the service members who perished. “Our government has made a promise to each member of the U.S. Armed Forces that no one will be left behind,” he said. “This is why we deploy worldwide to bring home our fallen heroes.”


Eighteen thousand workers are slated to lose their jobs in the latest bankruptcy filing by the Hostess Company, which produces snacks that include the iconic “Twinkie.” For the second time in eight years, the baked goods company has accrued more debt than it can manage.

Hostess CEOs are trying to put the blame on employees who belong to the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union (BCTGM). The union, for its part, cites a succession of substantial concessions in wages and benefits agreed to by employees following the company’s first bankruptcy in 2004. And a government agency that has intervened in the conflict reports that Hostess CEOs have planned to give improper bonuses totaling $1.75 million to top management as part of the liquidation process. The situation is currently under the oversight of a federal bankruptcy court.


U.S. tanker operator Overseas Shipholding Group Inc. (OSG) has filed for bankruptcy. The company owns or operates 111 vessels that transport oil, refined products and natural gas worldwide. Analysts attribute the bankruptcy to a drop in global shipping rates, a slowdown in the demand for oil, increased competition in the tanker market and OSG’s failure to win a $241.8 federal loan guarantee. A company spokesperson said it would use Chapter 11 protection to reorganize.


Palermo’s Pizza workers have been on strike for more than five months, fighting for a voice on the job and a safer workplace. On Oct. 24, they set off on a Striker Truth Tour to spread the word about the national boycott of Palermo’s Pizza and to keep the pressure on Costco, a retailer of the product, to get Palermo’s to reinstate fired workers and recognize their union. The tour visited cities all across the country with its final stop in Seattle on Nov. 16 at Costco’s headquarters. To get involved on social media or send Costco an e-mail, go to


Somali piracy has dropped to its lowest level since 2009, according to a report issued by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) in late October. Ninety-nine attacks in the waters off Somalia occurred in the first nine months of this year, resulting in 13 hijackings, according to an Oct. 22 report by the U.N. Secretary-General to the Security Council. This compares with 269 attacks and 30 hijackings in the same area in the first nine months of 2011. The IMB credits the reduction to the actions taken by international navies. “It’s good news that hijackings are down, but there can be no room for complacency: these waters are still extremely high risk and the naval presence must be maintained,” said IMB Director Pottengal Mukundan.

In related news, authorities in Sri Lanka have deployed what they call “a floating armory” to support ships trying to fend off pirate attacks. The “armory” is actually a tug fitted with an arms storage container and manned by armed guards, known as “sea marshals.” The Sri Lankan Navy protects the modified tug and supervises the transfer of sea marshals and weapons to commercial ships in transit.


Hurricane Sandy has brought hardship and suffering to many of our members living in New Jersey and New York. Approximately 200 active and retired MM&P brothers and sisters and their families live in the affected areas. For many, recovery will be long and hard. To help our members, applicants, retirees and employees in distress, the MM&P General Executive Board (GEB) has activated the Masters, Mates & Pilots Disaster Relief Fund. The GEB has approved committing $25,000 from the union treasury to the Disaster Relief Fund. The Fund is also accepting contributions from members, applicants, retirees, our contracted companies, or any individual interested in providing assistance directly to our brothers and sisters and their families.

Please join us in helping the members of our MM&P family most affected by this disaster. One-hundred percent of your donation is considered a charitable donation by the IRS and is fully deductible on your income taxes. You can mail a check made payable to The Masters, Mates & Pilots Disaster Relief Fund to The Masters, Mates & Pilots Disaster Relief Fund, 700 Maritime Blvd., Suite B, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1953. You can also make a secure donation online in the Members Only section of Please note that we are unable to accept donations of goods. Questions on applying for aid should be directed to International Comptroller Beverly Gutmann,, 410-850-8700 ext. 112.


Information regarding the new MM&P Offshore Adjustable Pension Plan has been posted in the Members’ Only section of To view the information, go to, enter the Members’ Only site and click on “Offshore Pension Plan Information” at the top of the page.


Applications for the 2013-14 Offshore Scholarship Program are now available for eligible dependent children of eligible Offshore members and co-pay pensioners in good standing. Scholarship applicants must be high school seniors during the 2012-13 school year. Please contact Madeline Petrelli at the Plan Office at 410-850-8615 to request an application packet. Completed applications must be returned to the Plan Office by Nov. 30 in order for them to be submitted for review and processing by the Scholarship Recognition Award Program in Princeton, N.J. The Scholarship Recognition Award Program will review the qualifications of all applicants and then select the winners. The names of the winners will be presented to the Trustees for final approval at the Board’s June 2013 meeting.


There is an Open Enrollment Period Nov. 1-Dec. 1 for MM&P Health & Benefit Plan participants who: missed the Open Enrollment when it was offered last year; missed the 60-day notification requirement for the addition of a dependent after becoming eligible for coverage as a result of marriage, birth of a child, adoption of a child or placement of a child for adoption or under legal guardianship; or loss of other health insurance coverage. 

For information, call the Plan Office toll free at 1-877-667-5522 and ask for Lynn or a benefit advisor. You will be mailed the forms that must be completed and returned to the Plan Office by Dec. 31, 2012.


Join us to celebrate! All MM&P members, employees, their families and friends are encouraged to attend the holiday parties now being scheduled in our union halls.

MM&P East Coast holiday party schedule:

– Boston, Monday, Dec. 10, from 1200 to 1500 in the Boston Hall, 12 Channel St., S. Boston (617) 671-0769;

– New York/New Jersey, Friday, Dec. 7, from 1100 to 1500, in the New York/New Jersey Hall;

– Norfolk, Thursday, Dec. 6, from 1300, jointly with MEBA at the new Norfolk Hall;

– San Juan, Friday, Dec. 14, at El Camaron Restaurant, from 1600 to 1930 (last call is 1925).

MM&P Gulf Coast holiday party schedule:

— New Orleans, Tuesday, Dec. 11, at noon, at Portobellos, 400 East William David Parkway, Metairie;

— Houston, Thursday, Dec. 13, noon, at Brady’s Landing, 8505 Cypress Street, Houston;

— Pompano, Friday, Dec. 14, at 1300 in the union hall;

— Jacksonville, Friday, Dec. 14, at 1300 in the union hall.

MM&P West Coast holiday party schedule for members of ALL MM&P Membership Groups:

— Honolulu, joint MM&P-MEBA party, Tuesday, Dec. 18, from 1000 to 1400, in the MM&P Honolulu Hall;

— Offshore, UIG and PMR party, with members of MEBA, in the Los Angeles/Long Beach Hall, Friday, Dec. 14, at 1300;

— Offshore, UIG and PMR party, with members of MEBA, in the San Francisco/Oakland Hall, Friday, Dec. 7, at 1300;

— Offshore, UIG and PMR party, Seattle, Thursday, Dec. 6, Billy Baroo’s/Foster Golf Links, 13500 Interurban Avenue, S, Tukwila, Wash., 98168. Please be sure to RSVP to the Seattle Hall (206) 441-8700 by Dec. 4 and let us know whether you are bringing a guest. Check with the hall if you need directions to Billy Baroo’s.

Come one, come all. Please join us to celebrate!


There will be membership meetings at the Charleston Hall on Nov. 29 and the Norfolk Hall on Nov. 30. Both meetings will be held at 1100. The MM&P International Secretary-Treasurer will join the MM&P Atlantic Ports Vice President at both meetings. As at other recent meetings at MM&P halls, the new MM&P Offshore Adjustable Pension Plan will be discussed.


Members of MM&P’s United Inland Group-Pacific Maritime Region are encouraged to attend a meeting at the MM&P Hall in Edmonds on Tuesday Dec. 11, at 1000. All MM&P members are encouraged to attend. If you have specific questions that may need to be researched, please e-mail the question prior to the meeting to the MM&P Regional Representative:


Try our on-line calendar to register for class:

For class availability or information on courses and programs, contact MITAGS Admissions Coordinator Kelly Michielli toll free at 866-656-5568 or e-mail her at

Between now and the end of March 2013, the following courses are scheduled at MITAGS.

Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 1/22/2013, 3/26/2013

AZIPOD (2-DAY) for Pilots: 3/20/2013

BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 1/14/2013, 3/18/2013

BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots:  11/29/12, 1/21/2013, 2/7/2013, 3/7/2013

BST – Basic Safety Training: 1/21/13

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 1/21/2013

CMM-ADVNAV – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): 1/7/2013, 3/18/2013

CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 12/17/2012, 2/18/2013

CMM-CHS – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 2/25/2013

CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 3/11/13

CMM-SHMGT – Ship Management (2 weeks): 12/3/12, 2/4/13

CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 12/10/2012, 1/14/2013, 1/28/2013, 2/18/2013, 3/4/2013

CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 12/17/2012, 1/21/2013, 2/4/2013, 2/25/2013, 3/11/2013

CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 1/28/2013

DDE: Designated Duty Engineer: 1/28/2013

ENVIRO-Regs Permit – Environmental Regulations Permit: 3/5/2013

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep and Medications:  3/7/13

FF-BADV – Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 1/21/13

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 11/26/12, 2/11/13

LAP – License Advancement Program for Great Lakes: 1/28/2013

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 11/29/2012, 3/6/2013

MCL – Management, Communications and Leadership, 3/25/2013

MEDIA RSP – Media Response Workshop: 3/8/2013

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 12/3/12, 1/7/13, 2/18/13, 3/18/13

MED-PIC -R– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 1/28/2013

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 12/3/2012, 1/7/2013, 2/18/2013, 3/18/2013

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 12/8/2012, 1/12/2013, 1/26/2013, 2/23/2013, 3/23/2013

MSC -SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 3/11/13

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (4 Evenings): 3/11/13

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 3/15/13

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 12/5/2012, 12/12/2012, 1/9/2013, 1/23/2013, 2/6/2013, 2/20/2013, 3/6/2013, 3/20/2013,

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 1/21/2013, 3/25/2013

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal: 1/14/13

SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 11/26/12, 1/28/13, 3/25/13

SEC-VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 3/4/2013

SHS-ESH-BRMP3 – Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 3/4/13

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling: 2/11/13

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge:  2/25/13

… 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.


Schedule of Courses – Please also see our schedule online at For registration, call our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen, at (206) 838-1126.

November 2012

26-30     Radar Observer Unlimited
26-7       GMDSS

December 2012

3rd         Radar Renewal
3-7         Medical Care Provider
3-14       Medical PIC
10-14     ECDIS
17th       Flashing Light

MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 11-20-2012 at 10:40 a.m. EST

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
12,782.99 2,916.24 1,387.50

Mutual Funds (Live)

Click a mutual fund for more information.
Click the right or left arrow on the right side of the ticker to browse the mutual funds.

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.

© 2012, 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