Wheelhouse Weekly – November 28th, 2017

November 29th 2017

Volume 22… Number 48… Nov. 28, 2017


In This Issue:

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News for MM&P Members:

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After more than four years of detention, members of the crew of the MV SEAMAN GUARD OHIO have been acquitted by a court in India and are set to be released from prison.

All 35 crewmembers on board the floating anti-piracy platform were sentenced to five years of forced labor for carrying unlicensed firearms after their ship strayed into India’s territorial waters in October 2013.

After a series of trials and appeals, they were sent to Chennai, a violent, overcrowded prison.

The ship operator, Advanfort, has not paid the men since their arrest and has never paid any legal fees.

The men are now waiting to see whether authorities in India will appeal the latest decision and block their departure.

Loved ones of the six former British soldiers who worked aboard the vessel have been campaigning for their release.

In a Facebook post, the families said they were “understandably delighted” at the news and that “justice has prevailed.”

“The Government, from the Prime Minister down, has worked hard for over four years to support the men and their families and we share their happiness at the court’s decision to give a full acquittal,” said a spokesperson for British Prime Minister Theresa May.

“We are now working with the Indian authorities to discuss the next steps. We will continue to offer the men and their families consular assistance for as long as it is needed.”

The latest appeal concluded on Nov. 20 in a hearing which saw the captain of the vessel, Dudnyk Valentyn of Ukraine, repatriated.

“While justice has not been done to these men, it is gratifying to see that the outrageous suffering that has been inflicted upon them by callous Indian government authorities appears to be drawing to a close,” said MM&P President Don Marcus. “At least they can now finally get on with their lives.”

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The Chamber of Shipping of America (CSA) has awarded Certificates of Environmental Achievement to more than 1,800 vessels that have achieved “environmental excellence” over a period of at least two years

Many MM&P-contracted companies received awards.

They include American Ship Management, AmNav, Crowley, Marine Transport Management, Matson Navigation, Moran Towing, Patriot Contract Services, Reinauer Transportation and Waterman.

“In today’s world, it seems our industry only gets front-page news when spills or other environmental problems occur,” said CSA President Kathy Metcalf in a statement.

“It is encouraging to see how many vessels go for years achieving environmental excellence. We in the maritime industry take our stewardship of the marine environment very seriously.”

For vessels that received awards, the average number of years operating without incident was 8.1.

Two hundred and ninety-nine had logged more than ten years of environmental excellence, while 286 had logged 16 or more years.

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After a detailed review of its practices, the U.S. Navy is introducing new measures aimed at avoiding accidents such as the two crashes in the Asia Pacific region involving its warships and commercial vessels.

One of the recommendations of the report, entitled “Comprehensive Review of Recent Surface Force Incidents,” is the creation of “an objective, standardized assessment program to periodically assess individual seamanship and navigation skills over the course of a Surface Warfare Officer’s career.”

“This process should be informed by the MITAGS Navigation Skills Assessment Program (NSAP) principles to assess Surface Warfare Officer seamanship and navigation skills at every career milestone, including an objective assessment by SWOS prior to initial qualification as Officer of the Deck,” the report continues.

The Navy published the 177-page report following collisions with commercial ships by the USS FITZGERALD and the USS JOHN MCCAIN, in which a total of 17 sailors lost their lives.

Several other incidents involving the U.S. Seventh Fleet have occurred since then, including the crash last week of a C-2A Greyhound cargo plane, with the loss of three people.

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A navy spokesperson says that water entered the snorkel of the Argentine submarine ARA SAN JUAN, causing its battery to short-circuit before it disappeared on Nov. 15.

Since the SAN JUAN had only a seven-day oxygen supply when it lost contact, there appears to be little hope of finding the vessel in time to save the 44-person crew.

An international organization, the Vienna-based Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty Organization, has also reported a sudden noise that could have been the implosion of the vessel around the time that it reported the battery problem.

The search for the diesel-electric submarine is concentrated in an area about 267 miles off Argentina’s southern coast.

Rescue personnel aboard ships and planes from countries including the United States, Russia, Brazil, Chile and Great Britain are participating.

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“I was desperate to survive,” says Nirmal Singh Rawat, an Indian mariner who lived alone for more than a year aboard an abandoned tanker, the North Korean-flagged HAMED 2, anchored off the coast of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Eight other members of the crew had agreed to sign off without being paid at the end of 2016.

But Rawat said he was determined to hold on in hopes of collecting the $2,000 in wages he had been promised, money that was desperately needed by his parents and younger brother.

“I was not given a contract even after I joined the ship,” he said.

“It was when I asked the other crew that I realized that I was being fooled because they had not been paid for 14 to 17 months.”

He resisted for an entire year, eating donations from the crews of passing ships, sleeping on deck because the humidity inside the vessel was unbearable, battling severe depression and trying to jerry-rig batteries to his cell phone so he could speak with the authorities.

“I got food, water and some diesel supplies every few days from ships that sailed past me,” he said, adding: “Once I had to stay for 50 hours without even drinking water in the peak of summer.”

Rawat said that until recently, when local authorities began supplying him with provisions, he ate only once every three days to conserve the food he received from the crews of passing ships.

He said there was no electricity on board, he didn’t have a flashlight and the fog horn was not working, factors that contributed to another ship crashing into HAMED-2 five months ago.

Rawat was rescued by officers of the UAE Federal Transit Authority on Nov. 21 and flew home the following day.

A spokesperson for the Indian Consulate in Dubai says it has helped repatriate 214 abandoned Indian sailors in the past six months.

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The board of directors of the Marseilles-based shipping company CMA CGM announced over the weekend that it had appointed Rodolphe Saadé, the current chief executive officer, to succeed his father and company founder Jacques Saadé as chairman of the board of the CMA CGM Group.

Family-owned CMA CGM is the world’s largest privately held container shipping group and the owner of Neptune Orient Lines Limited (NOL), parent company of MM&P-contracted American President Lines.

Group earnings are expected to show a “strong improvement” this year, CMA CGM also said.

It reported net income of $323 million for the quarter through Sept. 30, compared with a $268 million loss a year earlier.

It also reported a 28 percent increase in sales accompanied by a 14 percent rise in average revenue per container shipped.

CMA CGM says it has ordered nine ships that can each carry 22,000 containers.

The vessels, which will have liquefied natural gas propulsion systems, will be the biggest in operation when they are delivered starting in 2020.

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America’s labor unions say the tax plan being rushed through Congress by Republicans will massively accelerate job-outsourcing and raise taxes on working families to finance tax cuts for wealthy CEOs.

“We’ve been down this road before,” writes United Steelworkers President Leo W. Gerard in “Make America Grieve Again,” an article published by Huffington Post.

“A giant sucking sound, louder than a freight train, noisier than a tornado… It’s the terrible sound of jobs being swept out of this country,” he writes.

In the House plan, still to be reconciled with any legislation that emerges from the Senate, Republicans exempt corporations from all taxes on foreign operations.

“Under the GOP proposal, corporations can benefit from protections provided by American patents, courts and armed forces, while moving their factories from the United States to Mexico or to other low-wage countries like China,” Gerard writes.

“Once there, instead of paying the new, super-low 20 percent corporate rate Republicans propose for U.S-based producers, the expat factories will pay no taxes to the United States. Nothing. Not a cent.”

“The math behind is simple,” he writes.

“Continue manufacturing in the United States and pay a corporate income tax dramatically lowered from 35 to 20 percent. Or move to a ridiculously low-tax country and pay a measly 9 percent to that nation and nothing to the United States.”

“Republicans contend such corporations will bring those foreign profits back to the United States and invest here,” he says.

“Why would CEOs do that when any American plant they invest in would be billed taxes on profits while the same factory located in certain other countries would pay nothing?”

To read Gerard’s OpEd in its entirety, go to

An analysis of the Senate tax plan, released last week by the Joint Committee on Taxation, the official nonpartisan review agency serving Congress, showed it would give large tax cuts to corporations and millionaires while raising taxes on low-income and middle-class families earning $10,000 to $75,000.

The Republican plan “does not qualify as ‘tax reform,’” says AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

“It’s just tax cuts for rich people.”

“America’s labor movement will fight every attempt by Donald Trump to make working people pay for tax giveaways to millionaires and billionaires,” he says.

The AFL-CIO’s list of eight ways the Republican tax bill would hurt working people is posted at:

The AFL-CIO has organized a Day of Action on Wednesday, Nov. 29, to oppose the tax plan.

Call the toll free number—which is open to all–to contact your senator about the plan: 844-899-9913.

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International trade unions are calling for action over the ongoing attacks on trade unionist Nermin Al-Sharif, the general secretary of the Dockers’ and Seafarers’ Union of Libya, an affiliate of the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF).

Al-Sharif is a highly respected and passionate advocate for labor rights, both nationally and internationally.

She has been subject to a series of attacks, including a number of attempts on her life.

In the most recent incident, as she prepared to depart for an ITF event in Morocco where she was scheduled to speak, Al-Sharif was detained by authorities in Libya for several days and her passport was confiscated.

In London last week, representatives of the ITF dockers’ and seafarers’ unions called for action over the campaign of intimidation and violence against her.

“ITF Dockers and Seafarers strongly condemn the recent actions taken against prominent leader of the Libyan Dockers’ and Seafarers’ Union Nermin Al-Sharif,” they said in a statement.

“We demand that her passport be given back to her immediately so that she can travel freely. We further demand that she be allowed to continue the important work she does for working men and women in Libya and elsewhere without restriction or retaliation from any entity and that she be given the necessary protection from her government. Finally, we demand that any undue investigation against her cease.”

“Nermin Al-Sharif’s tireless work for the promotion of human rights in general, and workers’ and women’s rights in particular, must be allowed to continue without restrictions or threats to her life and health.”

“We urge every trade unionist, every ordinary working woman and man and everyone who cares about human rights and the right to freedom and justice to support this campaign,” said ITF President Paddy Crumlin.

Please join the campaign to defend Nermin Al-Sharif, a courageous advocate for labor rights:

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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 2017 no later than Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017at 3:00 p.m. EST.

All requests for 2017 Vacation and PRO payments received after this date and time will be held until Jan. 2, 2018 for processing and will therefore be taxable in 2018.

If you have any questions, please contact the Vacation Department at 410-850-8625, 410-850-8647 or Ken Ryan at 410-850-8617.

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There will be an AMG Membership meeting at Ocean Yacht Club, 370 Front St., Staten Island, NY, 10304, on Wednesday, Dec. 6, at 2:00 p.m.

All AMG members are encouraged to attend the meeting.

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The MM&P Houston holiday party will be held on Friday, Dec. 15, from 1200-1500, at Perry’s Steakhouse and Grill, 700 Baybrook Mall Drive, Suite H 110, Friendswood, TX 77546.

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Holiday parties are being scheduled at the MM&P union halls. The schedule is as follows:


Norfolk, Monday, Dec. 4, at The Dockside, 1230-1530;

Charleston, Tuesday, Dec. 5, at The Kickin Chicken, 1230-1530;

Boston, Friday, Dec. 15, in the union hall, 1100-1500;

Pompano, Monday, Dec. 18, 1230-1530, at Brew Fish Bar & Grill in Pompano Beach;

Newark, Thursday, Dec. 21, for both the Offshore Group & the Atlantic Maritime Group, at the Robert Treat Hotel, 1200-1700.


Houston, Friday, Dec. 15, 1200-1500, at Perry’s Steakhouse and Grill, 700 Baybrook Mall Drive, Suite H 110, Friendswood, TX 77546.


Honolulu, Wednesday, Dec. 6, 1000-1400, in the union hall;

San Francisco/Oakland, Friday, Dec. 8, 1215, in the union hall;

Los Angeles/Long Beach, Friday, Dec. 15, 1200, in the union hall;

Seattle, Monday, Dec. 18, 1200, in the union hall.

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The 10 days after Thanksgiving are designated by the AFL-CIO as “Buy Union” week to encourage all of us to look for union-made goods and services when we buy for the holiday season.

Click here for ideas on union-made food and gifts:

When you buy union, you’re supporting good jobs in American communities, jobs that provide living wages and benefits, safe working conditions and dignity and respect for work.

Holiday shopping traditionally kicks off on “Black Friday”–designated as such because it’s the timeframe when many retailers move from red ink to black on their balance sheets.

Shoppers will find plenty of “bargains,” but union family shoppers will want to look beyond foreign-made electronics, trendy toys and gadgets to find enduring goods that are union made, or perhaps gift cards for union-productions, such as movies or sporting events, or union-made foods.

There are many union-made candies, baked goods, spirits and specialty items to choose from.

Go to Labor 411 and Union Label today:

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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 – 4/16/18

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: 3/19/18, 5/23/18

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 1/16/18, 4/3/18

AZIPOD 2-Day – 3/22/18, 5/21/18

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 2/26/18, 6/18/18

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 1/16/18, 2/22/18, 3/29/18, 5/21/18

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

BRMP-Refresher – 3/26/18, 5/23/18

BT – Basic Safety Training: 1/15/18, 4/9/18

BT-Revalidation (2-day) (Must have 1 year of seatime in last 5 years) – 12/12/17, 2/7/18, 3/6/18, 4/2/18, 4/30/18, 6/18/18

BT-Refresher (3-day) – 12/11/17, 2/7/18, 3/5/18, 4/29/18

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

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 12/11/17, 1/29/18, 4/2/18, 6/11/18

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 12/4/17, 1/22/18, 3/12/18, 6/4/18

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 4/9/18

CM-OPS 1 – Chief Mate Operations – Week 1: 12/4/17

CM-OPS 2 Maersk – Chief Mate Operations II Maersk Specific: 12/11/17

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information Systems: 1/15/18, 3/26/18, 6/25/18

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM): 1/8/18, 2/19/18, 5/14/18, 6/18/18

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 3/5/18

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: 3/12/18

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 4/23/18

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 12/4/17, 1/15/18, 2/5/18, 3/5/18, 3/19/18, 4/9/18, 4/23/18, 5/7/18, 6/4/18,


SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 12/11/17, 1/22/18, 2/12/18, 3/12/18, 3/26/18, 4/16/18, 4/30/18, 5/14/18,

6/11/18, 6/25/18

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

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 3/19/18

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 5/7/18

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 4/23/18

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: 2/19/18

CRSMGT – Crisis Management and Human Behavior – 7/12/18

CDMGT – Crowd Management – 7/13/18

CSE – Confined Space Entry: 1/15/18

CSE-AWR – Confined Space Entry Awareness: 5/24/18

DDE – Great Lakes: 1/22/18, 6/4/18

DPA – Contact Admissions

ECDIS for Pilots – 2/20/18, 3/20/18, 5/24/18

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 4/23/18, 7/9/18, 11/26/18

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 1/15/18, 4/9/18

FF-ADV-Rev (1-day) (Must have 1 year of seatime in last 5 years) – Advanced Fire Fighting Revalidation: 12/14/17, 2/6/18,

3/8/18, 4/4/18, 5/2/18, 6/20/18

FF-ADV-REF (2-day) – Advanced Fire Fighting Refresher: 12/9/17, 2/10/18, 3/3/18, 4/27/18

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 1/16/18, 4/17/18

GL-Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: 1/19/18

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 3/5/18

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 5/21/18, 8/20/18, 12/10/18

IEN – Integrated Electronic Navigation – Contact Admissions

LAP – 2/26/18, 7/9/18, 9/17/18

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes: 1/22/18

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License: 12/4/17

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 3/28/18

LNG-TPIC – 12/3/18

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 5/21/18 (*2-Evening Session)

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control Equipment (Assessments not included): 2/12/18, 4/30/18, 7/16/18,


MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 1/22/18, 3/19/18, 5/7/18, 7/9/18, 10/8/18, 11/26/18

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 1/8/18, 4/23/18, 6/25/18

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 1/22/18, 3/19/18, 4/16/18, 5/7/18

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 12/15/17, 1/13/18, 1/27/18, 2/5/18, 3/9/18, 4/5/18, 5/3/18,

5/12/18, 6/21/18

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: Contact Admissions

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 2/23/18, 5/24/18, 6/8/18

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control: 2/21/18, 5/22/18, 6/6/18

*MSC-ENVPRO – 2/25/18, 6/3/18

*MSC-FF-HELO – 6/4/18

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualifications: 1/8/18, 2/26/18, 5/14/18, 6/11/18

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – 2/24/18, 5/13/18, 6/9/18

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced – 1/12/18, 3/2/18, 5/18/18, 6/10/18

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force – 1/13/18, 3/3/18, 5/19/18, 6/15/18

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P – 1/22/18, 1/24/18, 3/29/18, 4/23/18, 4/25/18, 6/25/18, 6/27/18

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 1/15/18

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 12/6/17, 12/13/17, 1/10/18, 1/31/18, 2/7/18, 2/21/18, 3/7/18, 3/21/18,

4/4/18, 4/18/18, 5/2/18, 5/9/18, 5/16/18, 6/6/18, 6/20/18, 7/11/18, 7/25/18, 8/8/18, 8/22/18, 10/3/18, 10/17/18, 10/31/18,

11/7/18, 11/14/18, 11/28/18, 12/5/18, 12/12/18, 12/19/18

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 1/8/18

SAR – Search & Rescue – (Now with OIC and CMM assessments): 5/22/18

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 1/29/18, 5/14/18

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day – 2/19/18, 3/12/18, 4/2/18, 5/21/18

SMS – Contact Admissions

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 1/22/18

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 1/29/18

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 2/12/18, 4/16/18, 7/9/18

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – Contact Admissions

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: 4/12/18

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 2/14/18, 4/9/18, 7/9/18

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): 2/19/18

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 3/19/18

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For registration, please contact our registrar, Mary McGhee, at 206.838.1126 or You can also view our schedule and enroll online at

December 2017

2-3 Basic Training – Revalidation
2-4 Basic Training – Refresher
4th Flashing Light Exam
4-8 Basic Training
4-8 Leadership & Managerial Skills
4-8 Medical Care Provider
4-15 Medical Person-In-Charge
4-15 GMDSS
8th HAZWOPER Refresher
11th Radar Renewal
11th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties (VPDSD)
11-15 Construction & Stability (Operational Level)
11-15 Engine Resource Management
16-17 Basic Training – Revalidation
16-18 Basic Training – Refresher
18-20 Search & Rescue
18-21 Advanced Firefighting
18-22 ECDIS
20-22 24-Hour HAZWOPER

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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 © 2017. 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