Wheelhouse Weekly – October 30, 2012

October 30th 2012


– Bridging the Information Gap With E-News You Can Use –

Volume 16 . . . Number 44. . . October 30, 2012


Did you miss a week? Back editions of the Wheelhouse Weekly are available in the section.

MM&P New York/New Jersey Hall Closed All Week; Boston Hall Standing By

The MM&P New York/New Jersey Hall will be closed all week because of damage suffered as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Cell phones are also down in the New Jersey area. Neither the MM&P Atlantic Ports Vice President nor any New York/New Jersey Hall employees are able to receive e-mails or phone calls. If members need to ship/clear or have questions, they should contact the Boston Hall (617-671-0769). Considering the circumstances, the Boston Hall will be handling most member requests over the phone. We will keep you updated as we receive additional information.


All MM&P union halls, the MM&P Health & Benefit Plans, the MM&P Federal Credit Union and MM&P headquarters will be closed on Monday, Nov. 12 for Veterans Day.


The Presidents of six major maritime labor unions announced Monday their endorsement of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden for re-election. The maritime labor unions endorsing the President are: the American Radio Association, the Inlandboatmen’s Union, the International Longshoremen’s Association, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots and the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association.

The members of the Maritime Labor Alliance are united in our conviction that the rights of our members under the law must be protected. We cannot and will not stand on the sidelines and remain silent as those who espouse anti-union and anti-worker policies put themselves forward as champions of middle class families. Weakening existing labor laws and weakening the right of American workers to organize and to bargain collectively will only serve to deny American workers the wages and benefits they deserve.  

We appreciate the strong support President Obama and his Administration have shown for the American worker and for the rights of these workers under the law. In contrast, the repeated statements made by his opponent calling for a weakening of these rights and the expansion of right-to-work laws clearly evidence an anti-union bias that should be rejected.

The members of the Maritime Labor Alliance are fully committed to the future growth and economic viability of the U.S.-flag shipping industry and to the jobs of the American maritime workers we represent in all segments of our industry. We are committed to strong federal health and safety standards to protect the lives and health of our members and support the right of our unions to bargain fair contracts free from intrusive government intervention.

We strongly support the President’s initiatives to increase American exports, to enforce existing buy and ship American policies, to fund and implement the Maritime Security Program and to ensure that our nation has a fleet of U.S.-flag vessels necessary to meet the economic, homeland and military security requirements of our Nation. In contrast, we are disappointed by the complete lack of any statement from the President’s opponent recognizing the strategic and economic importance of our industry to the United States.

We understand that there is much at stake in this election for our industry and for the rights and economic well-being of American maritime and other workers. For this reason, we are proud to enthusiastically endorse the re-election of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. 

Alan Cote, President, Inland Boatmen’s Union Harold Daggett, President, International Longshoremen’s Association Floyd Hepting, President, American Radio Association Mike Jewell, President, Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association Don Marcus, Secretary-Treasurer, International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots Robert McEllrath, President, International Longshore and Warehouse Union


International Shipholding Corporation (ISH) has announced the purchase of a 1999-built Leader Class Pure Car Truck Carrier (PCTC). The vessel is a sister ship to the MV GREEN LAKE, the MV GREEN RIDGE and the MV GREEN DALE. Purchase of the ship was funded by a $3.5 million cash payment and the sale of the company’s 1994-built PCTC GREEN COVE to the seller in a transaction valued at approximately $27.5 million.

The newly purchased PCTC, which will be reflagged U.S. and renamed GREEN COVE, will commence a long-term charter with a strong, creditworthy counterparty. The re-flag MM&P Master is Captain Thomas P. Sullivan and the MEBA Chief Engineer is George Tebbe.

“We are pleased to have enhanced our fleet with a modern, higher specification PCTC which will provide us with expanded capability and flexibility in the transportation of cargoes,” said ISH President Erik L. Johnsen. “This transaction further demonstrates management’s ability to realize value and increase the commercial potential of the fleet for the benefit of shareholders.”

ISH currently owns and operates seven PCTCs. Earlier this month, the company announced an agreement to acquire Tampa, Fla.-based United Ocean Services in a $111 million deal.


Representatives of the U.S.-flag maritime industry gathered in New York on Oct. 26 to honor MM&P members for acts of heroism and to recognize the achievements of Niels M. Johnsen, chairman and chief executive officer of International Shipholding (ISH) Corporation, parent company of Central Gulf/Waterman. Also honored at the annual “Admiral of the Ocean Seas (AOTOS)” awards ceremony was Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu, a staunch advocate for America’s merchant mariners and the U.S.-flag fleet.

Johnsen said he was accepting the award on behalf of all the company’s employees. “The prize also goes to them,” he said. “Their safe and efficient operation of our ships is critical to our success,” he said, adding, “American mariners are the best-trained in the world.” Johnsen seized the opportunity to encourage those present at the ceremony “to continue to defend the Jones Act and to fight for a level playing field for U.S.-flag operators.”

The officers and crew of HORIZON RELIANCE received the AOTOS mariners’ plaque for saving the lives of three people whose sailboat was adrift in the Pacific Ocean in a violent night-time storm. Accepting the award on behalf of the officers and crew was HORIZON RELIANCE Master James Kelleher Jr. MM&P members who also participated in the dramatic rescue were Chief Mate Steven Itson, Second Mate Mark Lloyd and Third Mate Scott Phelps.

The officers and crew of Military Sealift Command Hospital Ship USNS MERCY were also honored at the event. MM&P member Capt. Jonathan Olmstead, MERCY’s master, accepted the AOTOS 2012 Special Recognition Award for the accomplishments of MERCY’s civil service mariners during a five-month humanitarian mission to Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia.

On hand to congratulate all the awardees were MM&P officials including the International Secretary-Treasurer, the Atlantic Ports Vice President, the Federal Employees Membership Group Vice President and the United Inland Group Vice President.


Military Sealift Command has accepted delivery of its newest dry cargo/ammunition ship, USNS CESAR CHAVEZ. The ship is crewed by civil service mariners who include members of the MM&P Federal Employees Membership Group (FEMG). The ship was named in honor of Cesar Chavez, the American farm worker, labor leader and civil rights activist who co-founded the National Farm Workers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers.

The CHAVEZ is the 14th and final dry cargo/ammunition ships. It will be used by MSC’s Combat Logistics Force, to deliver ammunition, food, fuel and other supplies to U.S. and allied ships at sea, enabling the Navy to maintain a worldwide forward presence.

“The delivery of CHAVEZ marks a significant milestone for MSC,” says MSC Commander Rear Adm. Mark Buzby. “We are now at full capacity with our dry-cargo and ammunition ships and stand ready to support a wide-range of Department of Defense requirements. “The T-AKEs and the professional mariners who operate them, are a true testament to MSC’s ability to operate forward and provide an unprecedented level of service and support to our warfighters worldwide.”


Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) is the recipient of the American Maritime Partnership (AMP) 2012 Champion of Maritime award. AMP represents the domestic maritime industry across the United States, including labor unions, American ship operators and shipyards. Both MM&P and MIRAID are members of AMP. 

There are approximately 8,234 domestic maritime industry-related jobs in Mississippi that generate an annual economic impact in excess of $1.5 billion, according to a recent study. In addition there are a substantial number of jobs related to the defense shipyard industry in Mississippi. “An active and viable maritime industry is critical to our nation’s national and economic security,” Wicker said in an official statement. “Mississippi continues to play a proud and prominent role, and I look forward to continuing my work in the U.S. Senate on important maritime priorities.” Wicker sits on two Senate panels that oversee the maritime industry, the Armed Services Committee and the Commerce, Science and Technology Committee, and is a member of each of those panels’ maritime subcommittees.


Wee Heavy Scotch Ale, which is brewed in Chippewa Falls, Wis., by members of the United Auto Workers (UAW), was last week’s featured brew in Todd Haefer’s online column “Beer Man.” Wee Heavy Scotch Ale is part of Leinenkugel’s Big Eddy series. “It’s a somewhat sweet beer with flavors of caramel, toffee, rum and brown sugar,” Haefer writes. “Cherrywood malt gives it smokiness.”  He goes on to describe it as “a total malt bomb… with a solid body and enough carbonation to keep it from being syrupy.”

When you’re reaching for a beer, why not buy union-made? For a brief list of beers and ales made by members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the UAW and the United Food and Commercial Workers, go to  For a list of union-brewed beer delivered to your cell phone, text BEER to 22555.


Important issues pertaining to the MM&P Offshore Pension Plan will be among the items discussed at membership meetings through the end of the year.

There will be a meeting at the Honolulu Hall on Nov. 7 with the MM&P Pacific Ports Vice President.

The MM&P International Secretary-Treasurer will join one of the Offshore Vice Presidents at the following meetings: Jacksonville Hall, Monday, Nov. 5; Charleston Hall – Wednesday, Nov. 7 at 11:00 a.m.: Houston Hall – Thursday, Nov. 8. A meeting will also be held at the Norfolk Hall on a date to be decided. All members in the vicinity are encouraged to attend the meetings.


Members of MM&P’s United Inland Group-Pacific Maritime Region are encouraged to attend the following meetings, which will be held at the MM&P Hall in Edmonds, Wash.: Tuesday, Nov. 6, at 10:00 a.m. and Tuesday Dec. 11, at 10:00 a.m. All MM&P members are encouraged to attend these meetings. If you have specific questions for the Union that may need to be researched, please e-mail the question prior to the meeting date to the MM&P Regional Representative:


The Offshore Familiarization Course, formerly called the D-Book Membership Course, will be held at the MM&P Houston Hall on Nov. 7-8.

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 urged to attend.

If you want to attend the course, please RSVP to the local hiring hall where the class is offered or, in the case of a course planned for headquarters, to MM&P Membership Secretary Mary Seidman:


Try our on-line calendar to register for class:

For class availability or information on courses and programs, contact MITAGS Admissions Coordinator Kelly Michielli toll free at 866-656-5568 or e-mail her at

Between now and the end of September, the following courses are scheduled at MITAGS.

ARPA – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 12/3

AZIPOD (2-DAY) for Pilots: 11/12

BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots:  11/29

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 11/12

CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 12/17

CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information Systems: 11/12

CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 11/26

CMM-SHMGT – Ship Management (2 weeks): 12/3

CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 11/5, 11/26, 12/10

CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 10/29, 11/12, 12/3, 12/17

CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 11/5

CNAV – Celestial Navigation: 11/5

CONSTAB – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 12/15

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning: 11/10

ENVIRO-Regs Permit – Environmental Regulations Permit: 11/8

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 11/26

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 11/29

MEDIA RSP – Media Response Workshop: 11/6

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 12/3

MED-PIC -R– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 11/12

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 12/3

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 12/8

MSC -SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 11/12

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 10/31, 11/14, 12/5, 12/12

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal: 11/26

SEC-VCF – Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 11/7

SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 11/16

… Remember: If you can’t make the class, make the call. Be courteous, don’t be a “no show.”

Check the MITAGS website at for course descriptions associated with the course title abbreviations, and schedule revisions.


Schedule of Courses – Please also see our schedule online at For registration, call our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen, at (206) 838-1126.

November 2012

5-9         Bridge Resource Management w/ Simulation
6-9         ARPA
7-9         Z-Drive / Tractor Tug Training
12-16     ECDIS
26-30     Radar Observer Unlimited
26-7       GMDSS

December 2012

3rd         Radar Renewal
3-7         Medical Care Provider
3-14       Medical PIC
10-14     ECDIS
17th       Flashing Light

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The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 700 Maritime Blvd. Suite B, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1953. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: For further info or to subscribe contact Lisa Rosenthal at The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea and is posted on our web page.

© 2012, International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots. All the material contained in this publication is protected by copyright. For permission to reprint text from the Weekly, contact the MM&P Communications Department: For changes of address, contact Lisa Rosenthal at