Wheelhouse Weekly – October 18, 2016

October 19th 2016

Volume 21 . . . Number 42. . . Oct. 18, 2016


In This Issue:


News for MM&P Members:

Other News:


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Navy pilots who belong to the MM&P Federal Employees Membership Group (FEMG) will retain their right to collectively bargain with the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO)—the highest level of command–under a decision that was issued on Sept. 30 by the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) in Washington, D.C.

The CNO, a statutory office held by a four-star admiral in the U.S. Navy, is the most senior naval officer assigned to serve in the Department of the Navy.

The case arose when a lower level command within the Navy–Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC)—petitioned the FLRA to change MM&P members’ national level of recognition for pilots from CNO to the lower command CNIC.

MM&P Government Fleet Representative Randi Ciszewski testified on behalf of the union when the case came before an FLRA acting regional director (ARD) earlier this year. But over the union’s objections, the ARD granted CNIC’s petition, ruling that the request was a “de minimis act,” or a nominal change that did not otherwise alter the nature and scope of the bargaining unit.

Had that decision stood, the result would have been to lower the level of recognition from the most senior level to the subordinate CNIC level, taking away from MM&P and members of the CNO Pilots’ bargaining unit their access to the highest level command.

MM&P appealed the ARD’s decision to the Board-level FLRA, with the result that the FLRA reversed the ARD’s decision and dismissed the CNIC’s petition.

“This is a very significant decision that I expect will be widely cited in cases to come,” said MM&P International Counsel Gabriel Terrasa.

“Testimony by MM&P Government Fleet Representative Randi Ciszewski, and the support of MM&P FEMG Vice President Randall Rockwood, were key to the union’s victory.”

“We continue to send a clear message to local Navy officials by challenging egregious actions, and for the most part, we prevail or settle to our members’ satisfaction simply because we can escalate matters to CNO,” Ciszewski said.

“Fortunately, most CNO officials and four-star admirals see the more global view and therefore, we maintain a very positive, productive relationship with CNO.”

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The American warship USS MASON last week responded in kind to missile attacks from the Red Sea coast of Yemen.

The most recent attack, on Oct. 16, marked the third time the guided-missile destroyer had been fired on in international waters from territory in Yemen that is controlled by Iranian-aligned Houthi rebels.

According to a U.S. military spokesperson, the crew detected multiple missiles fired toward the MASON, which responded with onboard countermeasures. No damage was reported to the vessel or other ships accompanying it, and no members of the crew were injured.

The U.S. counter-strikes, which were authorized by President Barack Obama, marked Washington’s first direct military action against suspected Houthi-controlled targets in Yemen’s conflict.

The U.S. military spokesperson said the American response was aimed at radar that had enabled the launch of at least three missiles against the MASON.

Homeported in Norfolk, Va., USS MASON is deployed as part of the Eisenhower Carrier Strike Group.

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A tug owned by Texas-based Kirby Corporation grounded and sank off the coast of British Columbia on Oct. 13, leaking fuel into the pristine waters of the Inner Passage.

When the accident occurred, Kirby’s NATHAN E. STEWART was pushing fuel barge DBL 55. The articulated-tug-barge unit ran aground on Edge Reef in Seaforth Channel near Bella Bella, located on the remote central coast of British Columbia.

The tug, which was returning to Vancouver from Ketchikan, Alaska, was carrying 60,000 gallons of diesel at the beginning of the trip. The 287-foot-long fuel barge was empty. Three of the tug’s fuel tanks were breached in the accident. There were no injuries to members of the seven-person crew.

Emergency response teams from the Canadian Coast Guard and other government agencies responded to the spill. Hundreds of feet of boom were deployed within 10 hours of the accident, the Coast Guard said. A mobile skimming vessel, two boom skiffs, a workboat and tug and barge with three response trailers were dispatched to the scene.

The area in which the accident took place is part of the Voluntary Tanker Exclusion Zone, but the NATHAN E. STEWART was not large enough to be covered under restrictions in place for the Inner Passage. The tug held a waiver allowing it to operate without a Canadian pilot on board.

Environmental activists and leaders of the Heiltsuk First Nation, which maintains manila clam beds in the waters affected by the spill, said the accident threatens traditional fishery operations that bring in about $150,000 annually for tribal members.

Heiltsuk leaders said 25 species that are harvested for traditional use can be found near the site of the spill. In the days following the sinking of the Kirby tug, they called for a complete ban on all oil tankers and tanker barges along the north coast.

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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For the second time in as many months, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has detained a flag-of-convenience (FOC) ship for failing to pay or feed members of the crew.

The MARATHA PARAMOUNT, an Indian-owned, Marshall Islands-flagged bulk carrier, was detained when an inspector for the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) found that the 22-person crew had not been paid for more than two months.

“Our inspector found that the ship was pretty shoddy,” said ITF National Coordinator Dean Summers. “Nobody had received wages since the end of July.”

The inspector also found the ship was poorly maintained, and the crew was running out of food.

“There was only a very scant amount of food, I think three bags of frozen vegetables, half a bag of rice and little else,” Summers said.

In addition, he said, the water supply was tinted yellow and “looked just absolutely disgraceful.”

The MARATHA PARAMOUNT is one of the ships chartered by Pacific Aluminum, a wholly owned subsidiary of chemical giant Rio Tinto, to transport alumina from Gladstone to Newcastle.

Australian mariners who for years had worked that route have been fired under a government plan to bring FOC ships, operating on “temporary licenses,” into the domestic trades.

It is the second time this year that Rio Tinto has been linked to a foreign vessel detained for not paying crew.

In August, Australian maritime authorities detained the Hong Kong-owned FUJIAN FIVE STARS. It had been abandoned off Gladstone, along with its 20-man crew, for more than a month. The crew had barely any food and had not been paid for five months.

Australia has cabotage laws which cover trade through domestic ports and require the use of Australian-flagged and Australian-crewed vessels. The Australian senate voted in November 2015 to retain these laws, but the government has pushed ahead with issuing temporary licenses. The licenses are valid for 12 months, and the number of voyages under a license is unlimited.

When it was detained, the MARATHA PARAMOUNT was carrying cargo previously carried by the Australian ship CSL MELBOURNE. The crew of the MELBOURNE was fired and dragged off their ship by police and security guards earlier this year. The sacked crew of MV PORTLAND was forced from their ship in February and replaced by an Indian crew.

“We are calling on Australia’s department of infrastructure to withdraw the license immediately and review the conditions under which the licenses are issued to include human and workers’ rights,” Summers says.

“It is an outrage that Australian crews are dumped and replaced by vulnerable workers who aren’t even paid.”

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Officials of the six unions that make up the Maritime Labor Alliance (MLA) have formally expressed their condolences to the family of MLA Executive Director Tom Mackell, who died unexpectedly on Oct. 10.

“We are united in sadness on the sudden loss of our friend and union brother Dr. Tom Mackell,” they wrote in a letter to Tom’s wife, Eileen Flannery Mackell, and the rest of the Mackell family.

“Tom was the leader who brought us together. His eloquent, unwavering demands that American workers should have fair pensions, good health care and social justice set an example for all. His incisive mind, his social conscience and his ability to bring people together will be greatly missed. His contributions to American workers stand as wonderful lifetime achievements.”

The MLA unions are: the International Longshoremen’s Association, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots, the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association, the Inland Boatmen’s Union and the American Radio Association.

For decades, Mackell was a force in the American Labor Movement. He worked in Washington, D.C., on behalf of the ILA and the MLA to combat anti-union legislation intended to strip longshore workers of their collective bargaining rights. He was also a vocal defender of the Jones Act, which protects the jobs of American merchant mariners.

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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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Workers at Jim Beam distilleries in Kentucky authorized a strike last week after rejecting a contract proposal from Suntory Holdings Ltd., the Japanese beverage company that owns the classic American whiskey brand.

Members of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 111D voted 201-19 on Oct. 11 in favor of going on strike at Beam distilleries in Clermont and Boston, Ky. The current contract expired on Oct. 14.

A spokesperson for the company said the offer that was rejected by the workers included wage increases and other “enhancements,” including elimination of a two-tiered wage system for “almost all employees.” The company said it was working with the union to resolve the situation.

About 95 percent of the world’s bourbon is produced in Kentucky. Sales of bourbon and whisky are booming as a result of new interest worldwide in specialty cocktails.

According to a 2014 report released by the Kentucky Distillers Association, the state’s $3 billion bourbon industry was responsible for about 15,400 jobs with an annual payroll of $707 million. Last year, the state’s bourbon production grew to a nearly 50-year high, with Kentucky distilleries filling nearly 1.9 million barrels, the highest number since 1967, and 44 percent above 2014 production.

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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 – 11/14/16, 3/6/17, 5/22/17, 10/16/17

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 10/31/16, 1/30/17, 4/3/17, 6/19/17, 9/25/17, 11/13/17

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 11/14/16, 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 – 11/16/16, 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) – 10/31/16, 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) – 10/30/16, 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: 11/14/16, 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: 11/7/16, 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): 10/24/16, 4/17/17, 10/9/17

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 11/7/16, 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) –10/31/16,11/14/16,11/28/16, 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: 10/31/16, 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): 10/24/16, 11/7/16, 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): 10/31/16, 11/14/16, 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: 10/24/16, 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 – 11/14/16, 2/28/17, 5/24/17, 11/14/17

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 10/24/16, 11/14/16, 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: 11/15/16, 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): 10/26/16*, 11/14/16*, 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: 11/7/16, 11/28/16, 12/5/16, 12/12/16, 12/19/16,

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 11/7/16, 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: 11/7/16, 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: 11/12/16, 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 – 10/31/16, 3/9/17, 6/5/17, 8/13/17, 10/16/17

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 10/23/16, 1/9/17, 2/27/17, 6/12/17, 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 – 10/22/16, 1/13/17, 3/3/17, 6/16/17, 7/21/17, 8/12/17, 10/7/17

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force – 10/27/16, 1/16/17, 6/17/17, 7/24/17, 8/18/17, 10/13/17

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P – 10/25/16, 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: 11/2/16, 11/9/16, 11/16/16, 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 – 11/7/16, 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: 10/22/16, 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

October 2016

24-28 Leadership & Managerial Skills
24-28 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
24-28 MEECE
31-1 Search & Rescue
31-4 Leadership & Managerial Skills
31-4 Engine Resource Management

November 2016

7th Radar Renewal
8th Leadership & Teamworking Skills
14-18 ECDIS
14-18 Leadership & Managerial Skills
14-18 Engine Resource Management
14-18 MEECE
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