Wheelhouse Weekly – Sept. 2, 2014

September 3rd 2014 ,

Volume 18 . . . Number 35 . . . Aug. 26, 2014


In this issue:


News for MM&P Members:

Upcoming Events:


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


Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) employed at grain elevators in the Pacific Northwest voted last week to approve a contract with Louis Dreyfus Commodities, United Grain Corp. and Columbia Grain. The contract ends lockouts of ILWU workers from their jobs at Columbia Grain and United Grain that had lasted for over a year.

Participating in the election were members of ILWU Local 8 in Portland, Local 4 in Vancouver, Local 21 in Longview, Local 19 in Seattle and Local 23 in Tacoma. The vote was 88.4 percent in favor of a tentative agreement with the three companies that will remain in effect until May 31, 2018.

Under the terms of the agreement, ILWU members will return to work Sept. 3 and the parties have agreed to drop pending NLRB and legal actions linked to the dispute.

“MM&P congratulates the ILWU on successfully concluding an agreement under the most difficult circumstances,” said MM&P President Don Marcus.

“Acknowledgment and great thanks should also be given to our members at Shaver Transportation, who to a person honored picket lines since February 2013 during this bitter dispute. Under the courageous and unwavering leadership of Regional Representative John Schaeffner, they honored the picket lines for nineteen months at United Grain Corp. and sixteen months at Columbia Grain. They were under tremendous pressure and deserve the highest measure of respect for honoring the obligations of union membership.”

“It has been a great Labor Day for all of us as we celebrate the successful conclusion of this dispute,” Marcus said. “The achievement should go a long way towards maintaining maritime industry standards in the Pacific Northwest.”

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MM&P and the Inland Boatmen’s Union (IBU) reached out via newspaper advertisements to residents of the areas affected by the lock-outs to thank them for working to restore labor peace in the Pacific Northwest. “To all of those who helped create calm waters on the Willamette and Columbia rivers,” the unions expressed thanks. “The waters of the rivers will soon return to normal,” they wrote. “The 17-month lockout of dockworkers at two local grain terminals, United Grain Corp. at the Port of Vancouver and Columbia Grain in Portland, was rough — not only for those directly involved, but for those caught in the middle.”

“During the lockout, unprofessional crews from outside the Northwest replaced experienced local operators of tugs and barges. Safety standards and the environment were placed at risk. The lockout is now over, the dockworkers are back on the job and river traffic will once again be safely in the hands of professional crews.”

The unions thanked elected leaders, “and our thousands of neighbors and friends, especially those in the environmental community, who offered assistance, signed petitions and lent unconditional support to the mariners” affected by the stand-off.

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Members of Masters, Mates & Pilots represented the union at the Maryland State Fair in Timonium, Md., on Aug. 25, manning the AFL-CIO Baltimore-Maryland Council booth in alternation with other Maryland-headquartered labor unions and locals. The aim of the project is to inform citizens about the importance of labor unions and, in an election year such as this one, to register citizens to vote. In attendance at the booth were Jim Staples, Brian Thomas, Sean Fitzgerald and Klaus Luhta. Also assisting was Nick Barton, communications intern for MM&P.

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The AFL-CIO last week expressed grave concern over a new delay in enactment of a plan between the United States and Guatemala that is intended to curtail violent attacks on unionists in the Central American country as a condition to further opening up trade. The “Mutually Agreed Enforcement Action Plan” was signed in response to complaints filed in 2008 by the AFL-CIO and six Guatemalan unions under the labor provisions of the Dominican Republic–Central American Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA), which requires countries to “effectively enforce” their own labor laws.

“We are concerned by the announcement of another extension of the plan to improve labor law enforcement and compliance in Guatemala, but Guatemalan labor federations and the AFL-CIO remain hopeful that this will be the final delay in the arbitration process,” the AFL-CIO said in an official statement. “Workers continue to be harassed for demanding their rights under the law, fired for joining unions and murdered for daring to organize a union or demand collective bargaining.” Guatemala has been named the most dangerous country for freedom of association, as well as the deadliest country for trade unionists.

Trade unionists remain a target of violence in Guatemala, where many killings are hidden under a cloud of government impunity. In 2011 and 2012, there was a string of murders of members of the banana workers union, SITRABI. Overall, 64 trade unionists have been murdered in Guatemala since 2007 and hundreds have been systematically terrorized. The vast majority of such crimes are never prosecuted. Unionists are targeted because they represent workers’ interests, putting them at odds with powerful corporate and state institutions.

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A Liberian-flagged containership, the VEGA AURIGA, has been banned from entering Australian ports for three months. The announcement was made by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), which said it has barred the ship from using or entering any Australian port because of repeated breaches relating to seafarer welfare and maintenance. The VEGA AURIGA is a German-owned ship built in 2006 with Mediterranean Shipping Company as its listed agent. The news was originally reported in in MarEx newsletter.

The AMSA said it had detained the vessel three times since July last year 2013 over concerns for the welfare of the crew. These include improper payment of wages, inadequate living and working conditions and inadequate maintenance resulting in an unseaworthy and substandard vessel. The ship will be allowed to enter the country’s ports only after the authority is satisfied it has met its standards. “Vessels that do not meet such standards, including standards for the welfare and treatment of crew, pose an increased risk to seafarers, safe operations and the marine environment,” a spokesperson for AMSA said.

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The 2014 Congressional elections are less than three months away, and the results will go a long way in determining the fate of the most important maritime programs. Many of our strongest supporters in Congress are in extremely tight races. If they lose, our ability to obtain full funding for the Maritime Security Program, to maintain the Jones Act and to ensure U.S.-flag vessels carry a share of government cargo will be in severe jeopardy. We must protect U.S.-flag jobs. We need your help.

Without the resources to enable our friends in Congress to turn back their challengers, we won’t be able to ensure the survival of the U.S.-flag fleet and with it American jobs on ferryboats, in the international and coastal trades, on the Great Lakes, on U.S.-flag tugboats, containerships and dredges.

How much is your job worth to you? If you have already given to our Union’s Political Contribution Fund (PCF), please consider making another contribution now. If you have not contributed to the PCF in the past, now is the time to join the fight to protect your family’s future.

Please go to today and contribute to the PCF with the “One-Click PCF Contribution” button in the top right-hand corner of the home page.

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A 20-page handout summarizing changes in rules resulting from the implementation of the STCW Manila Amendments, 2010, and the USCG final rules has been posted on MITAGS-PMI.Org.

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There will be a meeting at the MM&P hall in Jacksonville on Sept. 10 at 1000. All members in the area are encouraged to attend the meeting.

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The California Maritime Alumni Association (CMA) is organizing casual, monthly, “come-if-you-can” gatherings in major cities. Dubbed “4th Thursdays,” the concept was spearheaded in the San Francisco Bay Area and Seattle and has expanded to other regions across the country. The event is conducted on the 4th Thursday of each month in cities that include Anchorage, Atlanta, Honolulu, Houston, Jacksonville, Long Beach, New Orleans, Panama City, Phoenix/Scottsdale, Portland, Sacramento, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Ventura and Washington, D.C. All take place beginning at 1730 on the Fourth Thursday of every month at popular local brewpubs and restaurants. The goal is to have the 4th Thursday events in major cities where CMA alumni are based. That way, whether at home or traveling, alumni will know on the fourth Thursday of the month, they’ll find a place near them where they can connect with fellow CMA alumni. For more information, please contact Kit Carlan,
(808) 445-0080, or

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The Offshore Orientation Course will be held at the MM&P New York/New Jersey Hall on Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 2-3. The course will begin on Tuesday at 0930. To register, please call the New York/New Jersey Hall at 201-963-1900. The Offshore Orientation Course will be held at the MM&P Los Angeles/Long Beach Hall on Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 8-9. If you are interested in participating in the course, please contact the Los Angeles/Long Beach Hall at 310-834-7201 or 310-834-6667 (fax).

There is no sea-time requirement to take the Offshore Orientation 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.

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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 – 10/13/14, 4/13/15

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: Contact Admissions

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 9/23/14, 11/18/14, 1/20/15, 3/31/15

AZIPOD 2-Day –10/9/14, 2/2/15

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 8/25/14, 10/13/14, 1/26/15, 3/23/15

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 9/22/14, 11/20/14, 2/4/15, 3/2/15, 4/13/15, 5/20/15

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling: 10/6/14, 3/4/15

BT – Basic Safety Training: 10/6/14, 1/19/15, 2/9/15, 4/6/15, 6/8/15

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 10/27/14, 4/13/15

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVNAV-CMM – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): 11/10/14

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 9/22/14, 1/19/15, 4/20/15, 6/15/15

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 9/8/14, 1/12/15, 4/13/15, 6/1/15

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 9/29/14, 4/27/15

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 10/20/14, 11/10/14, 1/5/15, 4/6/15, 6/8/15

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM): 9/15/14, 9/29/14, 12/8/14, 1/26/15, 3/30/15, 6/22/15

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 10/27/14, 3/2/15

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 10/13/14, 3/9/15

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 9/8/14, 9/22/14, 10/20/14, 11/3/14, 12/1/14, 2/2/15, 3/9/15

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 9/15/14, 9/29/14, 10/27/14, 11/10/14, 12/8/14, 2/9/15, 3/16/15

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 11/17/14, 3/23/15

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 11/3/14, 5/11/15

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 11/3/14, 4/27/15

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: 10/7/14

DDE – Great Lakes: 1/26/15, 6/1/15

DPA – 10/27

ECDIS-OIC –9/8/14, 2/16/15

ECDIS-Pilots – 3/2/15

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 9/22/14, 12/1/14

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 10/6/14, 1/19/15, 2/9/15, 4/6/15, 6/8/15

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 11/19/14, 4/15/15, 5/19/15

GL Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: 1/23/15

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 3/16/15

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 9/15/14, 11/17/14

LAP- 9/8/14, 4/6/15

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes: 1/26/15

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross Ton License: 3/2/15, 6/1/15

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 10/7/14, 11/20/14, 3/3/15, 4/15/15, 5/20/15

LNG-TPIC – 5/11/15

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 9/5/14, 10/7/14

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 9/8/14, 11/3/14, 12/1/14, 1/5/15, 3/16/15, 4/20/15, 6/15/15

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 10/13/14, 3/2/15, 5/11/15

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 9/8/14, 10/20/14, 11/3/14, 12/1/14, 1/5/15, 3/16/15, 4/20/15, 6/15/15

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 9/13/14, 10/12/14, 11/8/14, 12/6/14, 1/10/15, 1/24/15, 3/21/15, 4/25/15, 6/20/15

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: 10/6/14 (PM)

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 8/22/14, 10/3/14, 2/26/15

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (4 Evenings): 9/29/14, 2/23/15

*MSC-ENV –8/23/14, 2/27/15

*MSC-FF-HELO – 2/10/15

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 9/29/14, 11/10/14, 2/16/15

*MSC-Security Watch Basic –8/25/14, 11/14/14, 2/20/15

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced – 8/27/14, 11/17/14, 2/22/15

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force – 8/28/14, 11/18/14, 2/23/15

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 9/22/14, 11/17/14, 1/19/15, 3/30/15

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 8/20/14, 9/10/14, 9/17/14, 10/1/14, 10/7/14, 10/15/14, 10/29/14, 11/12/14, 12/3/14, 12/10/14, 1/7/15, 1/14/15, 1/28/15, 2/4/15, 2/18/15, 3/6/15, 3/18/15, 4/1/15, 4/15/15, 4/29/15, 5/6/15, 5/13/15, 6/3/15, 6/17/15

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 1/12/15, 2/2/15, 3/23/15

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue –10/13/14, 4/6/15

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 11/17/14, 2/16/15, 5/11/15

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day: 10/6/14, 1/19/15, 3/2/15

SMS – Contact Admissions

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 1/26/15

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 1/5/15

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 8/25/14, 2/23/15

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – Train the Trainer: Contact Admissions

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: 10/7/14

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 9/2/14, 10/8/14, 10/22/14, 2/4/15, 5/20/15

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): 9/29/14, 3/2/15

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 9/15/14, 2/23/15

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Please also see our schedule online at For registration, send an e-mail to our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen, at or call her at (206) 838-1126.

September 2014

8-12 Basic Cargo Handling
8-19 GMDSS
15th Radar Renewal
16-19 ARPA
22-24 Vessel Security Officer
22-26 ECDIS
29-3 Medical Care Provider

October 2014

1-3 Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling
6-10 Radar Observer Unlimited
6-17 GMDSS
13th Management and Teamworking Skills
14-17 ARPA
20-24 ECDIS
20-24 Basic Stability
20-31 GMDSS
27-29 Emergency Procedures
30-31 Search and Rescue

November 2014

3-7 Medical Care Provider
3-14 Medical Person-In-Charge
10-21 GMDSS
17-20 ARPA

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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.

© 2014, 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