Wheelhouse Weekly – October 25, 2016

October 26th 2016

Volume 21 . . . Number 43. . . Oct. 25, 2016


In This Issue:


News for MM&P Members:



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Members of the Panama Canal Tugboat Captains’ Union–la Unión de Capitanes y Oficiales de Cubierta (UCOC)—have voted to affiliate with MM&P.

UCOC Secretary-General Iván De La Guardia and MM&P President Don Marcus signed the affiliation agreement at an Oct. 19 press conference in Balboa, Panama.

“This is an important day for both unions,” Marcus said.

“Over the course of the past eight years, in their fight for a fair contract, UCOC members have faced many challenges that include threats to their livelihoods, working conditions and safety linked to the Panama Canal’s expansion.”

He congratulated UCOC on achieving a fair contract after the eight-year battle and pledged to support UCOC members in every way possible.

De La Guardia said that affiliation with MM&P will give UCOC “a stronger voice to face future challenges,” including those posed by private contractors that appeared on the scene because canal administrators had not acted to obtain the manpower or equipment necessary to deal with the number of ships expected to traverse the new locks.

For MM&P, Marcus said, the affiliation is particularly gratifying in that it marks a “return to our origins,” because Panama Canal captains were represented by the MM&P Atlantic & Gulf Maritime Region from 1918 until shortly after the United States turned over the canal to Panama in 1999.

“MM&P salutes the efforts of UCOC and welcomes them–essentially back–into our Organization,” he said.

“In a courageous eight-year battle with the Panama Canal Administration, UCOC single-handedly won a milestone first contract,” he added.

“That outstanding achievement puts them in a good position to protect their future. We look forward to working with Iván De La Guardia and his brothers and sisters in addressing the serious issues–including fatigue, training and outsourcing–that continue to confront them as they carry out their professional responsibilities on the Panama Canal.”

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A delegation of union officials met with Alaska Governor Bill Walker and a top aide last week in Anchorage to discuss the controversial decision by Alyeska Pipeline to outsource the jobs of Crowley Maritime workers on Prince William Sound to a Louisiana firm with a disgraceful safety record.

MM&P President Don Marcus and International Boatmen’s Union (IBU) President Alan Coté were joined at the meeting by MM&P Regional Representative Shannon Adamson and IBU Regional Director-Alaska Joshua Stephenson.

Also present was Jim Whitaker, the governor’s chief of staff. The meeting took place on Oct. 17 in the governor’s offices.

The unions are asking Alaska public officials to intervene in Alyeska Pipeline’s bid to outsource the jobs of the Crowley workers who for three decades have manned the ship assist and oil spill prevention services in Valdez.

Pipeline management wants to replace Crowley with Edison Chouest, a non-union company whose last foray into Alaskan waters ended in the grounding of an oil rig, the KULLUK, in 2012.

In a related case, in 2010 an Edison Chouest subsidiary was found guilty of knowingly discharging waste oil in Antarctica. To settle that case, the company agreed to pay a $2.1 million criminal fine.

Alongside the risks to the environment, the unions say, the loss of 250 jobs would cause significant damage to the local economy of Valdez, which is home to many of the Crowley workers.

The union representatives pressed the governor to hold public hearings to determine on what basis the decision had been made to bring in the Louisiana firm—in particular in view of its lamentable history–to replace Crowley, an incumbent with an excellent safety record.

“We are wondering why Crowley’s exemplary safety record and years of experience have been ignored,” said Coté.

“There is a disgraceful lack of transparency in the vetting process for this contract and there has been little or no input from the many stakeholders who rely on the resources of Prince William Sound.”

“The cumulative local knowledge of the current Crowley compliment of officers and deck crew and the proven capabilities of their equipment have a value far exceeding any perceived benefit of cost savings resulting from this reckless decision,” Marcus said.

In their fight to defend the jobs of union members on Prince William Sound, MM&P and the IBU have the full support of their partner unions in the Maritime Labor Alliance (MLA): the International Longshoremen’s Association, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association and the American Radio Association.

Presidents of the MLA unions have written to the Alaska Congressional delegation asking them to reverse the decision.

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Russian warships passed through the English Channel last week on their way to Syria. Royal Navy ships shadowed the Russian flotilla, which included the country’s only aircraft carrier, ADMIRAL KUZNETSOV. The Russian fleet, which is believed to be sailing to the Syrian port of Tartus, was accompanied by fighter jets.

Russia’s defense ministry said on Oct. 10 that the country was about to transform its naval facility in Tartus into a permanent base.

“It’s a show of force and a show of capabilities,” Peter Felstead, editor of Jane’s Defence Weekly, told CNN reporters Hilary Clarke and James Masters.

“In terms of strike missions, they (the Russians) could just as easily have conducted them with the land-based aircraft they already have in Syria.”

In a statement issued when the ships set out on Oct. 15, Russia’s navy said the voyage was “to ensure naval presence in the important areas of the World Ocean. Special focus will be made on safeguarding security of maritime traffic and other types of Russian maritime economic activity and also responding to new kinds of modern threats such as piracy and international terrorism.”

A NATO spokesperson and other military analysts said they believe instead that the carrier group will be used to increase attacks on the inhabitants of the embattled city of Aleppo, where 275,000 people are trapped.

The ADMIRAL KUZNETSOV is capable of carrying 50 war planes. The Russian fleet also includes a nuclear-powered battle cruiser, PYOTR VELIKIY, and two Udaloy Class Destroyers.

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Twenty-six men who had been held prisoner for four years by Somali pirates were set free last weekend. On Sunday, the men arrived in Nairobi on a United Nations humanitarian flight. From there, they will make their way back to their home countries.

Members of the crew were taken hostage in March 2012 when their fishing vessel, the Omani-flagged FV NAHAM 3, was hijacked off the Seychelles.

The men are from China, the Philippines, Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Taiwan. They were released to authorities in the northern Somali town of Galkayo on Saturday morning.

They had been held in Dabagala, near the town of Harardheere, about 250 miles northeast of the Somali capital Mogadishu. Harardheere was considered Somalia’s main pirate base at the height of the piracy crisis. The crew was reportedly brought ashore by the pirates when their ship sank in 2013.

One member of the crew was killed during the hijacking and two died in captivity. On their release, four other members of the crew were said to be in serious need of medical treatment. Their period of captivity is one of the longest among hostages seized by pirates.

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Vote your job in the upcoming election by supporting candidates who support the American Merchant Marine!

The names of the candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate who have received a contribution from the MM&P Political Contribution Fund (PCF) and/or the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) COPE, as well as the names of the others we support for election on November 8, are posted in the Members Only section of

This list is being constantly updated as the clock ticks down to Nov. 8.

To view the list, go to, enter the Members Only site and click on “Who We Support.”

As a reminder, the MM&P PCF supports candidates for political office who support the American Merchant Marine and stand with us to protect the jobs of U.S. mariners.

PCF contributions go to Democrats and Republicans, Progressives or Independents. The only factor considered in making a PCF donation to a candidate is their support for the U.S.-flag fleet.

Note: Early voting is underway in a number of states. For a list of state election dates and deadlines, go to:

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There will be a membership meeting in the Honolulu Hall on Thursday, Nov. 10, after job call. All members in the area are encouraged to attend the meeting.

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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 Friday, Nov. 11, for Veterans Day.

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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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What would YOU do with $30,000? Your chance to find out is here! Over $100,000 in prizes will be given away by Union Plus during the American Dream Sweepstakes.

Enter now through Dec. 31 to win. Prizes include $500 gift cards to 12 winners every week and a $30,000 Grand Prize to one winner.

Registration is open to existing Capital One Union Plus Credit Cardholders and current or retired members of unions participating in the Union Plus Credit Card Program.

Visit and provide a valid email address, fill out a one-time registration form and enter the sweepstakes up to 30 times per week! Good luck!

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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): 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): 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: 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: 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): 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, 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, 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: 11/2/16, 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:, 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

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