Wheelhouse Weekly – November 22, 2016

November 22nd 2016

Volume 21 . . . Number 47. . . Nov. 22, 2016


In This Issue:


Other News:

Very Important:

News for MM&P Members:


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The “criminalization” of mariners after accidents at sea is an all-too-common occurrence.

In an international industry in which many companies hide behind flags of convenience and brass-plate operations, mariners are frequently the targets of authorities seeking someone to blame in the case of an accident or incident at sea.

To protect their members, MM&P and the other Nautilus Federation unions are creating a new network to provide ‘round the clock legal assistance to mariners.

The network, known as JASON, will be launched in January 2017.

The agreement was signed this summer during the 7th annual meeting of the Nautilus Federation, which was held at MITAGS in Linthicum Heights, Md.

“The Guidelines on Fair Treatment of Seafarers in the Event of a Maritime Accident–adopted in 2006 by the International Maritime Organization/International Labor Organization–were intended to prevent seafarers from being singled out after maritime accidents and to ensure that they receive fair treatment from the authorities,” says Mark Dickinson, general secretary of Nautilus International.

“But the adoption of these guidelines is not sufficient to ensure that seafarers are not victimized.”

“The federation is therefore establishing an international support and assistance network to enhance the available support for our respective members.”

The components of the network are already in place. The “go live” date is scheduled for January. We will keep MM&P members informed through The Wheelhouse Weekly.

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MM&P and other unions that represent federal workers are calling on congressional appropriators to adequately fund the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA).

The FLRA works to make government more effective by resolving labor disputes.

Civil Service mariners who belong to the MM&P Federal Employees Membership Group work for Military Sealift Command, the Army Corps of Engineers, Commander, Navy Installations Command, Chief of Naval Operations, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Naval Undersea Warfare Center.

The Senate and the House of Representatives are proposing a budget that falls far short of the amount needed to run the agency, the unions say.

Senate appropriators have cut $1.4 million from the figure recommended in President Obama’s budget, while appropriators in the House are pushing for a $431,000 cut.

“As organizations representing hundreds of thousands of federal workers who rely on the FLRA to provide timely and impartial resolution of labor-management disputes and to facilitate cooperative, productive and effective labor-management relations, we urge you to fully fund the FLRA,” the FWA unions wrote in a letter to Sen. Barbara Mikulski and Rep. Nita Lowey, respectively the ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee.

Mikulski and Lowey are working with others in Congress to craft a Fiscal Year 2017 Omnibus budget bill.

An adequate budget “means funding the FLRA at no less than the House-passed level of $26.631 million, and more appropriately the President’s request level of $27.062,” the FWA unions wrote.

The FLRA resolves complaints of unfair labor practices, determines the appropriateness of units for labor organization representation, adjudicates exceptions to arbitrators’ awards and legal issues relating to the duty to bargain and resolves situations in which there is an impasse in negotiations.

“Holding the FLRA to the Senate level would be devastating, forcing the FLRA to leave vacancies unfilled amounting, over the course of FY 17, to an approximately 10 percent staff cut, thereby resulting in dramatic service cuts,” the unions wrote.

“These staffing cuts would have the most dramatic impact on FLRA front-line field services, upon which both agency and union labor relations representatives depend for real-time assistance on a daily basis.”

Funding at the House of Representatives level would barely allow the FLRA to maintain current service levels, the unions say, delaying important FLRA labor-management projects that could instead proceed at the President’s requested level.

“While we appreciate the efforts of both the House and Senate appropriators, the Senate’s FLRA budget number in particular will cripple the ability of the FLRA to properly fulfill their duty,” the unions wrote.

“In fact, neither the House nor Senate number reflects the resources necessary to address the realities of the FLRA’s funding needs.”

“There are few places in the federal government where you get a better return on investment than at the FLRA,” the unions added.

“Given the reliance placed on this small agency by the Executive Branch agencies, employees, and labor organizations, we believe that a relatively small increase over the House FY17 FLRA budget number to the President’s budget request is in the public interest.”

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The Maritime Administration has issued an advisory on the risk of pirate attacks in the Sulu and Celebes seas.

The agency advises mariners to remain vigilant when transiting the area in light of recent kidnappings that have taken place between Sabah, Malaysia and the Southern Philippines.

There have been 13 kidnappings reported in the area during 2016, nine of which have been linked to the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group.

In the past, only towing and fishing vessels have been targeted, but two large commercial vessels and a private yacht have recently been attacked.

“The level of violence has been high during some of these attacks, as was demonstrated on Nov. 7, when kidnappers boarded a yacht, killed one crewmember and kidnapped the remaining crewmember,” MARAD reports.

Thus far, no U.S. vessels have been involved in incidents in the area.

Additional information, including specific recommendations for vessels transiting the area, is posted on the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships in Asia (RECAAP) web site at:

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The Kirby Marine tug NATHAN E. STEWART was raised last week, 33 days after it grounded and sank off the coast of British Columbia.

Salvors had been forced to delay recovery of the tug because of heavy weather.

Kirby says 30,000 gallons of fuel were released into the waters of the Inner Passage as a result of the grounding, which took place off the coast of British Columbia on Oct. 13.

In the wake of the disaster, local residents are calling for a complete ban on tankers in the area, which is part of the Voluntary Tanker Exclusion Zone.

The Kirby tug was not large enough to be covered under the restrictions in place for the Inner Passage. Kirby also held a waiver, which has since been revoked, allowing it to operate in the protected waters without a pilot on board.

Kirby Corporation transports bulk liquid products throughout the Mississippi River System, on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, along all three U.S. coasts, and in Alaska and Hawaii.

The company recently agreed to pay $4.9 million in civil penalties to settle claims related to the March 2014 oil spill in the Houston Ship Channel. About 160 miles of shoreline were oiled as a result of that spill, which totaled approximately 168,000 gallons.

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Members of labor unions from around the world have signed an online petition calling on the government of Iran to release Esmail Abdi, an official of the Iranian teachers’ union who was arrested in June 2015 while attempting to travel to Canada to attend an international teachers’ union convention.

The charges against him include “assembling and colluding against national security.” In reality, his only crime is advocating for teachers and for education. He has now been sentenced to six years in prison.

This case is a blatant violation of international human rights conventions, including those protecting freedom of expression and association. The authorities are attempting to silence teachers’ grievances through repression and the extended incarceration of unionists and activists.

Education International, which represents organizations of teachers and other education employees in 170 countries, is asking union members to flood the inboxes of the Tehran government with messages of protest demanding Esmail Abdi’s release.

To lend your voice to this effort, go to:

Then ask your friends, family and fellow union members to do the same.

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The Coast Guard’s Regional Examination Center (REC) in Baltimore has reported an IT system malfunction that resulted in the deletion of its mariner application e-mail inbox.

The malfunction occurred at approximately 0800 EST on Tuesday, Nov. 16.

The agency says that although the e-mail inbox has now been restored, “there may be a small number of applications that were submitted just prior to the malfunction that may be irretrievable.”

The National Maritime Center (NMC) says it has confirmed that “no personally identifiable information was compromised as a result of this IT system malfunction.”

The agency says that mariners who e-mailed applications to the REC Baltimore application e-mail address ( between 1600 EST Monday, Nov. 14, and 0800 EST Tuesday, Nov. 15, may contact the NMC’s Customer Service Center to confirm that their application was actually received.

It also says that people who received an “undeliverable” error message while attempting to submit an application to the REC Baltimore e-mail inbox should resubmit their e-mails.

To determine the status of your application, you can contact the NMC Customer Service Center using the Online Chat System, by e-mail at or by calling 1-888-IASKNMC (427-5662).

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The end of the year is the deadline for STCW-Gap Closing Training Requirements: in less than two months, the requirements go into force.

There are mandatory training requirements for operational and management deck/engine officers.

Unless the training has been completed, deck and engine officers will not be able to sail on their STCW credential after Dec. 31.

For the latest course availability for deck and engine officer training, please check the MITAGS website, send an e-mail to or call the toll free number 866-656-5568.

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Members employed or seeking employment aboard International Shipholding Corporation (ISH) vessels (Central Gulf Lines, Waterman Steamship Corporation, Sulphur Carriers) are urged to review posted notices in the hiring halls and in the Members’ Only section of

These notices were transmitted to contracted ISH vessels on Nov. 14 and Nov. 22, 2016.

MM&P and representatives of ISH and Seacor Holdings, Inc. (“SEACOR”) met and engaged in productive discussions in Washington, D.C., on Monday, Nov. 21, 2016, with regards to the Restructuring Support Agreement proposed by ISH.

In a related development, Liberty Global Logistics, LLC (“Liberty”) has filed a competing Restructuring Support Agreement Plan, seeking to displace SEACOR as the plan sponsor.

A dialogue is also underway between MM&P and representatives of Liberty. Please contact MM&P International Headquarters or your area representative for additional information.

To view the documents in the Members’ Only section of, go to, enter the Members’ Only site and click on “Document Downloads,” which is located under the “Documents” tab in the left-hand column.

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On Monday, Nov. 21, the APL contract ballot count was held at MM&P headquarters in Linthicum Heights, Md.

The Ballot Committee observed the count. The contract was approved by 98 percent of those voting.

We would like to thank the Ballot Committee for their service: Rich May, Ratawan (Jen) Phurchpean, Josh Masza, Tim Sheridan and Bob Kimball.

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The Plan Office received approval to close the year-end Internal Revenue Service and company reports and to process Vacation and PRO payments for 2016 no later than Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016 at 3:00 p.m. EST.

All requests for 2016 Vacation and PRO payments received after this date and time will be held until Jan. 3, 2017 for processing and will therefore be taxable in 2017.

If you have any questions, please contact Ken Ryan at (410) 850-8617 or by e-mail at

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Atlantic Ports:
— Norfolk, Monday, Dec. 5, at The Dockside, 12:30–3:30pm;
— Charleston, Wednesday, Dec. 7, at the Kickin Chicken, 12:30-3:30pm;
— Newark, for both the Offshore Group and the Atlantic Maritime Group, Wednesday, Dec. 14, the Robert Treat Hotel, 12pm-5pm;
— Boston, Friday, Dec. 16, MM&P Boston Hall, 11am-3pm.

Gulf Ports:
— Pompano, Monday, Dec. 19, at the Pompano Hall, 11am–2pm;
— Houston, Thursday, Dec. 8, 12pm-3pm at Brady’s Landing.

Pacific Ports:
— Los Angeles/Long Beach, Friday, Dec. 2, 12:00 noon, at the union hall;
— San Francisco/Oakland, Friday, Dec. 9, 12:00 noon, at the union hall;
— Honolulu, Thursday, Dec. 15, 10am-2pm, at the union hall;
— Seattle, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 12:00 noon at union hall.

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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. 24-25, for Thanksgiving.

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Ballots for the 2016 MM&P officer election and Constitutional amendments were mailed to all union members in September. There are two separate ballots—both of which go into the same Secret Ballot Envelope.

If you do not receive a ballot, or if you lose or destroy your ballot, you may request a duplicate ballot by contacting American Arbitration Association at 1-800-273-0726 (Monday to Friday, 0900 to 1700 ET).

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The minutes of the 86th MM&P Convention have been posted in the Members’ Only section of

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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 Amanda Meadows, 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 – 4/17/17, 8/21/17, 10/16/17

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: 5/23/17

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 1/24/17, 4/4/17, 8/8/17, 9/26/17

AZIPOD 2-Day – 3/6/17, 5/22/17, 10/16/17

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 1/30/17, 4/3/17, 6/19/17, 9/25/17, 11/13/17

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 3/6/17, 5/22/17, 7/20/17, 11/14/17

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling: Contact Admissions

BRMP-Refresher – 3/8/17, 5/24/17, 7/17/17, 9/12/17, 10/18/17

BT – Basic Safety Training: 1/23/17, 4/10/17, 8/14/17, 10/9/17

BT-Revalidation (2-day) – 3/9/17, 5/4/17, 6/22/17, 8/21/17, 9/28/17, 11/8/17, 12/14/17

BT-Refresher (3-day) – 3/9/17, 5/4/17, 6/22/17, 8/20/17, 9/28/17, 11/8/17, 12/14/17

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 5/8/17, 10/30/17

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

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

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 1/16/17, 4/10/17, 6/12/17, 7/31/17, 10/2/17, 12/11/17

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 1/9/17, 3/13/17, 6/5/17, 8/7/17, 9/25/17, 12/4/17

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 4/17/17, 10/9/17

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 11/28/16, 12/19/16, 1/23/17, 3/27/17, 6/26/17, 8/14/17, 9/18/17

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM) – 11/28/16, 12/5/16, 12/12/16, 12/19/16, 1/30/17, 2/20/17, 5/22/17, 6/19/17, 8/21/17, 9/11/17

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 4/3/17

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: 3/13/17, 7/31/17, 11/6/17

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 5/1/17, 10/30/17

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 11/28/16, 12/5/16, 1/16/17, 2/6/17, 3/6/17, 3/20/17, 4/10/17, 4/24/17, 5/8/17, 6/5/17, 7/17/17, 7/31/17, 8/14/17, 9/11/17, 10/2/17, 10/30/17, 12/4/17

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 12/5/16, 12/12/16, 1/23/17, 2/13/17, 3/13/17, 3/27/17, 4/17/17, 5/1/17, 5/15/17, 6/12/17, 7/24/17, 8/7/17, 8/21/17, 9/18/17, 10/9/17, 11/6/17, 12/11/17

**SHS-ADV-I & II now approved to include SAR-CMM assessments at MITAGS effective immediately**

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 3/20/17, 10/23/17

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 5/15/17, 11/13/17

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 4/24/17, 11/6/17

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: 3/2/17

CRSMGT – Crisis Management and Human Behavior – 7/11/17

CDMGT – Crowd Management – 7/10/17

DDE – Great Lakes: 1/30/17, 6/5/17

DPA – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-OIC – Contact Admissions

ECDIS for Pilots – 2/28/17, 5/24/17, 11/14/17

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 11/28/16, 12/5/16, 12/12/16, 12/19/16, 2/27/17, 7/10/17, 8/28/17, 10/16/17, 12/4/17

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 1/23/17, 4/10/17, 8/14/17, 10/9/17

FF-ADV-REV – Advanced Fire Fighting Revalidation & Refresher: 3/7/17, 5/2/17, 6/20/17, 8/23/17, 9/26/17, 11/6/17, 12/12/17

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 1/17/17, 4/4/17, 4/18/17, 9/12/17

GL-Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: 1/6/17

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 3/6/17, 8/21/17

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 12/5/16, 6/26/17, 8/28/17, 11/27/17

LAP- 2/13/17, 9/11/17

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes: 1/9/17

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross Ton License: 12/5/16, 3/20/17, 6/5/17, 8/7/17, 12/4/17

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 1/18/17, 3/7/17, 4/19/17, 9/13/17

LNG-TPIC – 12/5/16, 12/4/17

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 12/19/16*, 2/13/17, 4/3/17, 8/15/17, 9/25/17 (*2-Evening Session)

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control: 11/28/16, 12/5/16, 12/12/16, 12/19/16,

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 12/12/16, 1/9/17, 3/20/17, 5/8/17, 7/10/17, 9/11/17, 10/23/17

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 1/30/17, 4/24/17, 6/26/17, 8/28/17, 11/13/17, 12/4/17

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 11/28/16, 12/12/16, 1/9/17, 3/20/17, 4/17/17, 5/8/17, 9/11/17, 10/23/17, 11/27/17

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 12/17/16, 1/14/17, 3/6/17, 5/1/17, 6/19/17, 7/16/17, 8/25/17, 9/25/17, 10/28/17, 12/11/17

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: Contact Admissions

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 2/23/17, 6/9/17, 8/9/17, 10/2/17

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control: 2/21/17, 6/7/17, 8/7/17, 10/3/17

*MSC-ENVPRO – 2/26/17, 6/4/17, 8/6/17, 10/1/17

*MSC-FF-HELO – 6/5/17, 8/13/17, 10/16/17

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 1/9/17, 2/27/17, 6/12/17, 7/17/17, 8/13/17, 10/9/17

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – 2/24/17, 6/10/17, 8/10/17, 10/5/17

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced – 1/13/17, 3/3/17, 6/16/17, 7/21/17, 8/12/17, 10/7/17

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force – 1/16/17, 6/17/17, 7/24/17, 8/18/17, 10/13/17

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P – 1/25/17, 3/22/17, 5/9/17

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 1/23/17, 8/17/17, 9/25/17

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 11/30/16, 12/7/16, 12/14/16, 1/11/17, 2/1/17, 2/8/17, 2/22/17, 3/8/17, 3/22/17, 4/5/17, 4/19/17, 5/3/17, 5/10/17, 5/17/17, 6/7/17, 6/21/17, 7/12/17, 7/26/17, 8/9/17, 8/23/17, 9/20/17, 10/4/17, 10/18/17, 11/1/17, 11/8/17, 11/15/17, 11/29/17, 12/6/17, 12/13/17

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 1/16/17, 7/31/17

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue – 4/10/17, 10/16/17

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 2/20/17, 5/15/17, 8/28/17, 10/23/17

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day – 11/28/16, 2/20/17, 5/1/17, 6/26/17, 9/25/17, 11/27/17

SMS – 12/19/16

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 1/9/17, 8/7/17

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 1/30/17, 7/10/17

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 2/13/17, 8/7/17

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – 12/12/16

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: Contact Admissions

VSO – Vessel Security Officer:, 2/14/17, 4/17/17, 5/22/17

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): 2/20/17

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 3/20/17

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Please also see our schedule and enroll online at For registration contact our registrar, Mary McGhee: 206.838.1126 or

November 2016

28-2 Medical Care Provider
28-9 Medical Person-In-Charge
28-9 GMDSS

December 2016

5th Radar Renewal
5-9 Leadership & Managerial Skills
5-9 Engine Resource Management
12-16 ECDIS
12-16 Leadership & Managerial Skills
12-16 MEECE
19-23 Tankerman Person-In-Charge

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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 © 2016. Articles can be reprinted without prior permission if credit is given to The MM&P WheelhouseWeekly. For subscriptions, address changes or messages to the editor or to MM&P headquarters, e-mail Back issues of The Weekly are posted on