Wheelhouse Weekly – Oct. 20, 2015

October 20th 2015

Volume 20 . . . Number 42. . . Oct. 20, 2015


In this issue:



Coast Guard News:

News for MM&P Members:

Upcoming Events:


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The presidents and other elected officials of the constituent unions comprising the Maritime Labor Alliance (MLA) met for their semi-annual meeting in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 14 to review the state of maritime labor in the United States and to establish priorities for the coming year.

The alliance, consisting of six of the country’s leading maritime labor organizations—American Radio Association (ARA), Inlandboatmen’s Union (IBU), International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA), International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU), Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA) and the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots (MM&P)–reflected on their success in maintaining industry labor standards in an increasingly hostile business and legislative environment and laid out plans to successfully meet the challenges ahead.

Following a discussion of anti-labor legislation proposed in the U.S. Congress to strip collective bargaining and free association rights from longshoremen as well as ongoing broadsides against the Jones Act and the proliferation of so-called “free trade” bills designed to concentrate more wealth in the hands of the few, MLA members pledged to act in solidarity on Capitol Hill as well as on the waterfront.

The need to protect the hard-fought successes of the most recent longshore contract campaigns on the East and Gulf Coasts as well as, more recently, on the West Coast, and the need to work cooperatively to organize the non-union sectors of the maritime industry, were among the many items on the agenda.

Key among the decisions was the election of a slate of executive officers and the appointment of an executive director to coordinate alliance activities. MM&P President Don Marcus was re-elected to serve as president of the alliance, MEBA Secretary-Treasurer Bill Van Loo was elected to serve as MLA Secretary-Treasurer and Dr. Thomas J. Mackell Jr. was appointed by the members of the alliance board to serve in the new position of executive director.

“Tom brings a great deal of experience to the table and knows his way around Washington,” said ILA President Harold Daggett. “Working in conjunction with the legislative representatives of all of our unions, we will make our voices heard where it counts in Washington as well as on the docks.”

An expert on employee benefit plans, former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond and author of the book “When the Good Pensions Go Away: Why America Needs a New Deal for Pension and Health Care Reform,” Mackell also serves as the ILA President’s special advisor for political, legislative and public affairs.

Discussing the current situation on the docks with regards to some of the proposed legislation in Congress, ILWU President Robert McEllrath stated that “these bills are ‘speed-up’ bills, designed to put productivity ahead of safety; they will result in more workers’ deaths, and are attacks on labor. We will fight this to the bitter end.”

The meeting was conducted at the headquarters of the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA). Participants included ARA President John Radcliffe, IBU President Alan Cote, MEBA President Marshall Ainley and other union elected officials and legislative professionals.

The board meeting concluded with the pledge of mutual support from coast to coast among the unions. Policy statements and coordinated activities will follow.

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Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) says the pending 12-nation trade agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, “is an enormous giveaway to huge corporations and CEOs and a massive sellout of American workers and jobs.”

Brown is urging voters to sign a petition demanding that President Obama immediately release the text of the TPP, which was finalized earlier this month. The Obama administration is obligated to release the full text of the agreement before any Congressional vote on the TPP, but the administration recently went to court to keep the text secret for now.

Brown says that as a legislator, he needs to see the text immediately. “My job is to represent the people of Ohio,” he says, “and that job gets a lot tougher when I don’t know the specifics of a proposal with huge potential impact on our state.”

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in an Oct. 13 letter to Obama that he fully agrees with Brown. “In my experience, when there is such good news to share, there is no need for secrecy,” Trumka wrote. “If TPP will do for the American middle class all that the U.S. Trade Representative claims, releasing the text would be the single best way to prove that.”

Corporate groups are spending tens of millions of dollars to lobby in favor of the TPP. The president and his Cabinet are intensifying their lobbying efforts with Congress to build support for passage, with votes in the House and Senate possibly early next year.

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America’s Postal Service is a valuable national asset that must be preserved, says Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). In an Oct. 13 speech to members of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), he praised the postal service for its ability to deliver mail to any customer, “whether you are a low-income elderly woman living at the end of a dirt road in Nevada or Vermont or a wealthy CEO living on Park Avenue.” It does all this, he added, at a cost “far less than anywhere else in the industrialized world.”

The Postal Service has been under attack in recent years by special interests that want to carve out for themselves the most profitable pieces of its operations.

“The beauty of the Postal Service is that it provides universal service six days a week to every corner of America, no matter how small or how remote,” Sanders said. “It supports millions of jobs in virtually every sector of our economy. It provides decent-paying union jobs to some 500,000 Americans, and it is the largest employer of veterans.”

“Yet the Postal Service is under constant and vicious attack,” Sanders said. “As a matter of fact, the same billionaires who want to privatize Social Security, Medicare and public education also want to privatize the Postal Service.”

The fundamental cause of the Postal Service’s financial difficulties is a provision in the 2006 Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act that requires it to make payments no other public or private entity must make: The USPS is required to fully pre-fund future retiree health benefits 75 years in advance over a 10-year period at a cost of $5.5 billion per year. The postal service’s “losses” are the result of the pre-funding requirement.

As a result, the service is being starved of funds. More than 140 mail processing facilities have been closed since 2012 and 82 more are scheduled to close this year. On Jan. 15, overnight delivery of first-class mail was virtually eliminated. All mail throughout the country is being delayed, the APWU says, while retail work is being outsourced to Staples. At the same time, the postal service is “chronically understaffed,” the union says. Six-day delivery is under constant threat.

“Providing fewer services and poorer quality is not the way to save the Postal Service,” Sanders says. In the last Congress, he introduced the Postal Service Protection Act. The legislation would have completely repealed the prefunding requirement and preserved six-day delivery standards. It also would have reinstated overnight delivery, which would in turn have protected against processing plant closures. The bill also aims to grow revenue by expanding business opportunities at the agency.

Sanders is among those who advocate allowing the postal service to operate in new areas, such as “post office banking,” which is offered in many countries and which used to be offered in the United States.

Post office banking would generate revenue for the USPS and help the millions of Americans who do not have bank accounts by making available postal service deposit, savings, checking and loan accounts at reasonable interest rates. Such a service would help millions of lower-income Americans avoid the excessive fees charged by predatory check cashers and payday lenders.

“At a time when more than 68 million lower-income Americans have no bank accounts or are forced to rely on rip-off check-cashing storefronts and payday lenders, allowing the Postal Service to offer these kinds of financial services would be of huge social benefit,” Sanders says.

To join the battle to save the Postal Service, go to

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Spooky fun and mounds of sweet treats are lurking just around the corner. Halloween will be here faster than you know it and Labor 411 has a great list of union-made candy for all those trick-or-treaters. There are some great new additions this year, including Dum Dums and Sour Patch Kids. Did your favorite candy make the cut? Check out this list:

5th Avenue; Abba-Zaba; Baby Ruth; Big Hunk; Butterfinger; Cadbury; Caramello; Clark Bar; Dum Dums; Ghirardelli Chocolates; Hershey’s Kisses; Hot Tamales; Jawbreakers; Kit Kat; Laffy Taffy; LOOK!; Mike and Ike; Necco; Rocky Road; Rolo; See’s Candies; Smarties; Sour Patch Kids; Toblerone; Tootsie Rolls; Zagnut.

For a full list of union-made candy, go to:

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Members of the maritime community in San Juan organized a waterside remembrance of the crew of the EL FARO that drew several hundred participants.

Among the organizers of the event were: Seafarers’ International Union Representative Amancio Crespo; the MM&P members at the San Juan Bay Pilots Corporation; MM&P Puerto Rico Regional Representative Eduardo Iglesias; Crowley Maritime; McAllister Towing; and Moran Towing.

The U.S. Coast Guard deployed four patrol boats and organized a flyover to honor the men and women who lost their lives aboard the containership, which departed from the port of San Juan before encountering Hurricane Joaquin.

“All of us who make a living at sea were devastated by the tragic news of our friends who, like us, share a love of the ocean,” said Captain Roberto Candelario, who helped organize the event along with San Juan Bay Pilots Corporation President Stephen Rivera.

“After many years of collaboration, a strong sense of camaraderie, trust and friendship had developed between the pilots and the crew of EL FARO,” he said. “It is this special friendship that will forever be remembered by all in San Juan Harbor.”

The San Juan Bay Pilots individually expressed their sympathy in a letter to the families and friends of the crew. Signing the letter were: Rivera; Candelario; Kenneth Diaz; Jacob Elmstrom; Richard Flynn; Patrick Lopez; Jorge Maffioli; Cesar Montes; Daniel Montes; and Carlos Ramos.

Among the participants in the remembrance were Puerto Rico’s Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi and Puerto Rico State Sen. Carmelo Rios.

“Everyone who chooses this industry is aware of the risks,” said MM&P Regional Representative Eduardo Iglesias. “We feel it is our duty to honor and remember our fellow mariners.”

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Over a hundred inspectors working for the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) gathered in Panama City last week for the ITF worldwide inspectors’ seminar. The entire inspectors’ network is brought together every three years to develop new skills and strategize on how to achieve the ITF objectives of decent pay and working conditions for all seafarers.

Inspectors are union officials working in ports all over the world on issues related to the ITF flags of convenience campaign. Their role is to ensure mariners are treated fairly by carrying out inspections on ships calling in their ports. They also assist with actions to protect seafarers’ rights.

“Ship owners have gone from simple and stable ‘making a profit’ to trying to maximize the growth of profit through cost-cutting and so-called optimizing, and it’s always the seafarer who pays the price,” said Heikki Karla from the Finnish Seafarers’ Union, who joined the ITF as an inspector last year.

“The only way for seafarers to have decent pay and conditions is through a system of collective bargaining that respects human rights and takes into account the nature of work at sea,” she said.

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Attention all mariners with memories of the MM&P Hall in Old San Juan. MM&P member Bert Haney is writing a book about the glory days of Horizon Lines in Puerto Rico and the happenings at the hall and environs between the late 1970s and December 2014.

Topics to be covered in the book include: Navieras Lines, Horizon Lines, Sealand, the Port O’Call Bar and the Black Angus.

Please send your reminiscences to Bert: or call him at 727-389-4772.

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As of Oct. 1, the U.S. Coast Guard has implemented the new CG-719 series of forms (B, C, K, K/E, P and S) that replace forms displaying a June 30, 2012, expiration date.

The Coast Guard will not stock the CG-719 series of forms in paper format. These forms may be obtained electronically in a PDF-fillable format on the National Maritime Center (NMC) website. The agency said that updates to the website will occur “as quickly as possible to reflect the new forms.”

The Coast Guard said it is encouraging providers and applicants to purge the old forms from inventory and to begin using the new forms as soon as possible. To avoid penalizing mariners who have already completed their forms, the NMC says it will continue to accept the old forms for several months.

With the exception of forms K and K/E, the Coast Guard will not accept outdated CG-719 forms after April 1, 2016. For the K and K/E, forms signed by a physician after Dec. 31, 2015, must be the new form version. In accordance with 46CFR10.304(d), the K or K/E must be submitted within 12 months of the date signed by a licensed medical professional. Therefore, the agency said, it will not accept outdated K or K/E forms after Dec. 31, 2016.

For questions, mariners and others can contact the NMC by chat, by e-mail to or by calling 1-888-IASKNMC (427-5662).

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Due to flooding in the aftermath of Hurricane Joaquin, the MM&P Charleston Hall is open but there is no phone or internet with no date for repair. If you have urgent questions, please contact the NY/NJ Hall: 201-963-1900;

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There will be an Offshore Membership meeting in the San Francisco/Oakland Hall on Tuesday, Oct. 27, immediately after the 1100 job call. MM&P President Don Marcus, Pacific Ports Vice President Dave Boatner and Coast Agent Jeremy Hope will attend the meeting. All members in the area are urged to attend.
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The Offshore Familiarization Course will be held in the Los Angeles/Long Beach Union Hall onNov. 18-19, Wednesday and Thursday.

There is no sea-time requirement to take the course. All Offshore applicants, potential transferees from other membership groups and other interested Offshore members are encouraged to take the course as soon as possible.

If you are interested in participating in the course, please contact the hall at which the course has been scheduled. The phone number for the Los Angeles/Long Beach Hall is (310) 834-7201.

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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 Kelly Michielli, 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 – 4/18/16

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: 5/27/16

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 1/26/16, 4/5/16

AZIPOD 2-Day – 2/29/16, 5/25/16

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 2/1/16, 4/4/16

BRMP -Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 11/9/15, 2/29/16, 05/23/2016

BRMP-EMR -Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling: 3/2/16,04/13/16

BT – Basic Safety Training: 1/25/16, 2/22/16, 04/11/16, 06/27/16

BT-Revalidation -11/3/15, 05/10/16

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 10/26/15, 4/25/16

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

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

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 1/25/16, 3/28/16, 06/20/16, 8/1/16, 10/17/16

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 1/4/16, 3/7/16, 06/06/16, 8/8/16, 11/7/16

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 04/04/16

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 11/2/15, 11/30/15, 12/7/15, 1/11/16,2/22/16, 3/21/16, 06/13/16, 7/25/16, 8/15/16, 9/12/16, 10/10/16, 11/28/16, 12/19/16

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM) 10/26/15,11/2/15, 11/9/15, 11/16/15, 11/30/15, 12/7/15, 12/14/15, 1/18/16, 2/15/16, 3/14/16, 4/4/16,4/11/16, 5/23/16, 6/27/16, 7/11/16, 7/25/16, 8/15/16,8/22/16, 9/12/16, 10/3/16, 10/31/16,11/14/16,11/28/16, 12/5/16, 12/12/16, 12/19/16

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 11/16/15, 05/02/16

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: 3/28/16, 6/20/16

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 04/18/16

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 11/9/15, 11/30/15, 1/11/16, 2/8/16,3/14/16, 04/18/16, 05/09/16, 06/13/16, 9/12/16

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 11/16/15, 12/7/15, 1/18/16, 2/15/16, 3/21/16, 04/25/16, 05/16/16, 06/20/16

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 11/30/15, 2/29/16, 9/12/16

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 11/9/15, 05/09/16

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 11/9/15, 05/02/16, 10/24/16

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: 3/2/16

DDE – Great Lakes: 2/1/16, 6/6/16

DPA – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-OIC – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-Pilots – 11/12/15, 3/2/16, 05/25/16

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 11/9/15, 12/14/15, 1/4/16, 2/8/16, 3/21/16, 4/18/16, 5/9/16, 7/18/16, 8/22/16, 9/26/16, 10/24/16, 11/14/16, 11/28/16, 12/5/16, 12/12/16, 12/19/16

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 1/25/16, 2/22/16, 04/11/16, 06/27/16

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 11/11/15, 1/26/16, 04/19/16

GL Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: 1/22/16

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 3/7/16, 8/22/16

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 11/16/15, 6/27/16

LAP- 4/4/16

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes: 1/25/16

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License: 11/30/15, 3/7/16, 06/06/16, 8/8/16, 12/5/16

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 11/10/15, 1/27/16, 3/1/16, 4/20/16, 5/23/16

LNG-TPIC – 12/7/15

LTS -Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 12/1/15, 1/7/16, 4/4/16

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control: 11/2/15, 12/7/15, 1/11/16, 2/22/16, 3/28/16, 4/25/16, 5/16/16, 7/11/16, 8/29/16, 9/19/16, 10/17/16, 11/7/16, 11/28/16, 12/5/16, 12/12/16, 12/19/16

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 12/7/15, 1/4/16, 3/21/16, 05/16/16

MED-PIC-REF- Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 2/1/15, 3/14/16, 05/02/16

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 1/4/15, 2/15/16, 3/21/16, 05/16/16

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 11/5/15, 12/12/15, 1/9/16, 1/31/16, 3/19/16, 05/14/16

MSA -Maritime Security Awareness: Contact Admissions

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 10/29/15, 3/8/16, 6/10/16

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control: 10/27/15, 3/5/16 (March is 4 evenings), 6/8/16

*MSC-ENVPRO – 10/31/15, 2/28/16, 6/5/16

*MSC-FF-HELO – 2/22/16, 6/6/16

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 10/31/15, 1/4/16, 2/29/16, 6/13/16

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – 2/26/16, 6/11/16

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced – 10/30/15, 1/8/16, 3/4/16, 6/17/16

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force -10/24/15, 11/4/15, 1/10/16, 3/5/16, 6/18/16

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P – 11/4/15, 12/7/15, 12/9/15

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 1/25/16, 5/9/16

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 10/28/15, 11/3/15, 11/11/15, 11/18/15, 12/2/15, 12/10/15, 1/6/16, 1/13/16, 2/3/16, 2/10/16, 2/24/16, 3/9/16, 3/16/16, 04/06/16, 04/20/16, 05/04/16, 05/18/16, 06/08/16, 06/22/16

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 1/18/16, 2/1/16

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue – 04/18/16

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 11/2/15, 2/15/16, 04/11/16, 06/27/16

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day: 1/25/16, 3/7/16, 05/02/16

SMS – Contact Admissions

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 2/8/16

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 1/4/16, 7/11/16

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 2/22/16

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – Contact Admissions

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: 4/28/16

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 2/15/16, 04/25/16

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): 3/21/16, 10/3/16

WX-OIC -Meteorology (Operational Level): 2/29/16, 9/19/16

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

October 2015

26th Radar Renewal
26-30 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
26-30 MEECE
26-30 Engine Resource Management
26-30 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)

November 2015

2-6 Basic Stability
2-6 Engine Resource Management (waitlist only)
4-6 Security – Vessel, Company, and Facility
9th Radar Renewal
9-13 Medical Care Provider
9-20 Medical Person-In-Charge
9-20 GMDSS
16-20 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
16-20 MEECE (waitlist only)
30-4 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
30-4 Engine Resource Management
30-4 MEECE (waitlist only)

December 2015

4th Radar Renewal
7-11 ECDIS (waitlist only)
7-11 Medical Care Provider
7-18 GMDSS
14-18 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
14-18 MEECE

January 2016

4-8 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
4-8 Engine Resource Management
4-22 Terrestrial & Coastal Navigation
11th Flashing Light
11-15 ECDIS
11-15 Train the Trainer
18-22 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
25-29 Radar Observer Unlimited
25-29 MEECE

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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 © 2015. Articles can be reprinted without prior permission if credit is given to The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly. For address changes, send an e-mail to Back issues of The Weekly are posted on