Wheelhouse Weekly – Sept. 22, 2015

September 23rd 2015

Volume 20 . . . Number 38. . . Sept. 22, 2015


In this issue:



News for MM&P Members:


Job Opportunity:

Other News:


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The Navy League of the United States has asked Congress to reject a proposal that Puerto Rico be exempted from the Jones Act. The request for an exemption was included in a report issued by a committee that was established by the commonwealth’s governor to address the island’s debt crisis.

The Jones Act, which protects, directly or indirectly, the jobs of all American mariners, including every member of MM&P, requires that cargo moving between two U.S. ports be carried on U.S.-flag ships built in our country and crewed by American citizens.

The Navy League wrote in a letter to members of the House Armed Services Committee that exempting Puerto Rico from the Jones Act would have extremely serious negative repercussions on U.S. national security by undercutting the base of cargo, manpower and ships needed to crew the U.S. fleet in time of national emergency.

The committee established by Puerto Rico’s governor, Alejandro García Padilla, has called the Jones Act “an obstacle to the ease of doing business” that should be removed.

“Exempting Puerto Rico from the Jones Act would undermine national security,” the Navy League wrote. “Changing the rules in the middle of the game would cause a ripple effect that would impact the entire American shipping industry.”

In its letter, the Navy League quoted the U.S. General Accountability Office study of the Jones Act in Puerto Rico which found: “The military strategy of the United States relies on the use of commercial U.S.-flag ships and crews and the availability of a shipyard industrial base to support national defense needs” and that “according to DOD officials, to the extent that Jones Act markets are unable to sustain a viable reserve fleet, DOD would have to incur substantial additional costs to maintain and recapitalize a reserve fleet of its own.”

The letter urged congressmen to “exercise your national security jurisdiction over the Jones Act and ensure that no changes are made to this important law in the context of Puerto Rico or any other context.”

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As Congress considers legislation to lift the ban on the export of crude oil from the United States, California Congressman John Garamendi (D) has renewed his push to have at least a portion of oil exports carried on U.S.-flag, U.S.-crewed ships. Noting that Congress in 1995 required that Alaska North Slope oil exports be carried on U.S. ships, Garamendi told his Congressional colleagues that if oil is to be exported, “it should be in a way that maximizes the benefit to our national security…”

In a statement to the House Energy Committee, which has jurisdiction over the crude oil legislation, the congressman said: “Twenty years ago, Congress chose to act in this manner to safeguard U.S. national sealift capabilities through the preservation of our U.S.-flag fleet and the employment of licensed and unlicensed American mariners. It would be prudent to replicate the Alaska North Slope model today.”

Legislation to lift the ban on crude oil exports was approved by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on Sept. 17. MM&P, MIRAID and the other maritime unions and associations will be working with Garamendi and others in Congress to add a U.S.-flag shipping component to the bill.

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The failure by Congress to allow the Export-Import Bank of the United States to resume its operations is costing American workers, including American maritime workers, jobs. Most recently, General Electric (GE) announced it is bidding on $11 billion in power projects that have already received a line of credit from the French export credit agency. With no Export-Import Bank financing available, more than 500 U.S. jobs that could be going to American workers are instead going overseas. Significantly, commodities that would be shipped as a result of Ex-Im Bank financing must be carried in part on U.S.-flag vessels with American crews.

In addition to MM&P, U.S.-flag shipping companies and the other maritime unions, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and the Business Roundtable are urging Congress to renew the charter for the Export-Import Bank so it can once again provide financing for the sale of American products overseas. Supporters of Ex-Im Bank point to data which shows that in fiscal 2014, the bank provided $27.5 billion worth of U.S. export financing, supporting about 164,000 jobs including jobs aboard U.S.-flag vessels. Legislation passed by the Senate to allow the Bank to resume its operations is held up in the House of Representatives.

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Maersk Line Ltd. (MLL) has announced that the MAERSK UTAH will be flagged-out this week. The MAERSK CALIFORNIA, which had been sailing in the Waterman Steamship fleet under a charter arrangement, is entering the MLL fleet and will assume the UTAH’s slot in the Maritime Security Program. The replacement vessel is covered by all terms and conditions of the MM&P contract with MLL and is crewed by members of MM&P.

In a related development last week, after famous and heroic service under the U.S. flag, the MAERSK ALABAMA was reflagged under foreign registry.

“It has been a pleasure to have had the opportunity to work with the Maersk Line Ltd. staff over the past six years and we appreciated all the support and guidance provided,” said Captain Larry D. Aasheim, master of the ALABAMA. “I would like to pass my special appreciation to Rolf Pedersen and Arunachalam Ranganathan. They both provided the most assistance throughout the years and I want to give them my special thanks for their consistent assistance in all matters…”

“MM&P would also like to salute and thank all of our members over the years who served aboard the ALABAMA, which was surely one of the most challenging and stressful assignments in our organization,” said MM&P President Don Marcus. “We are very sad to see this vessel go and will do everything we can to place our members aboard other vessels.”

As a result of these changes, Central Gulf-Waterman, which had operated both the CALIFORNIA and the ALABAMA for Maersk Lines, is now seeking two vessels to assume the MSP slots in its fleet formerly held by those vessels. The replacement vessels for Central Gulf-Waterman have not been selected yet.

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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who once compared members of labor unions to terrorists, announced yesterday that he is abandoning his bid to become the Republican nominee in the 2016 Presidential race. Walker, who had based his campaign almost entirely on crusading against labor unions, had proclaimed himself to be the front-runner in the race in March, months before even officially declaring as a candidate.

Only last week, he released a position paper that listed the steps he would take if elected President: eliminate the National Labor Relations Board; eliminate all public employee unions; make every state in the union a “right-to-work” state in which free riders in the workplace could benefit from union contracts without paying dues; repeal the Davis-Bacon Act and end prevailing wage agreements on federal projects.

Walker had recently seen his ratings plummet: his national support had dropped to 0.5 percent in a poll released over the past weekend and his campaign was reportedly struggling to find donors.

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Working people are achieving significant victories through the most expansive period of collective bargaining in modern labor history, according to a new report published by the AFL-CIO’s Center for Strategic Research.

“This country is having an important debate about raising wages and tackling income inequality,” says AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “The report provides clear evidence that joining a union and bargaining with your employer is the most effective way to give workers the power to raise their own wages. When working people speak with one voice, our economy is stronger, and all workers do better.”

The AFL-CIO report is a comprehensive look at the advantages of being in a union in a period when an estimated 5 million American workers will bargain for new contracts.

According to the report, working people who bargained for new contracts in the first half of 2015 saw their wages increase by an average of 4.3 percent, an increase of $1,147 a year for an average wage earner in the United States. These increases are up from 2.9 percent in the first half of 2014, with substantial wage wins occurring in sectors from nursing and oil to airline pilots and teachers.

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In a major victory for organized labor in Missouri, Republicans in the state legislature failed Sept. 16 to override the Democratic governor’s veto of a bill that would have allowed workers who do not pay union dues to take advantage of all the benefits of union-negotiated contracts. The so-called “right-to-work” bill, aimed at crippling labor unions by starving them of funds, failed when Republicans who had championed it fell 13 votes short of the total needed to override the veto by Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat. It is expected, however, that anti-labor politicians in the state will continue to push for passage of the bill.

Unions call such measures “right-to-work-for-less” laws because they are associated with drops in standards of living in the states that have enacted them. “This bill does not help a single Missouri worker,” said State Rep. Jacob Hummel (D-St. Louis). “All it does is divide us.” He said right-to-work bills lower wages and erode worker skills and safety.

“Today’s bipartisan action by the legislature to uphold my veto of this divisive, anti-worker bill is a victory for workers, families and businesses here in Missouri and across the country,” the Missouri governor said in an official statement that was released after the vote.

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Remember: the MM&P Communications Department is always looking for photos of MM&P members and the ships they sail. If you have photos that you would like to share, please send them

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As a member of a labor union that belongs to Union Plus, you have energy benefits that you might not be aware of. As a Union Plus member, you get exclusive benefits from Heat USA for your home heating oil. You can save an average of $300-$500 a year by joining.

Heat USA negotiates superior terms and conditions on behalf of its members from local oil suppliers. By offering to bring thousands or even millions of gallons of new business to a supplier, Heat USA is able to secure benefits for its members that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to negotiate on their own.

As a union member, you will receive: a free service contract* that covers parts and labor; 24-hour emergency service; a cleaning and tune-up; plus an average discount of 15-25 cents off the fuel oil price.

Call today to see how much you can save! 1.888.HEATUSA or 1.888.432.8872.

*Free or discounted service contract is dependent upon area; contract and cleaning coverage requires a minimum consumption of 600 gallons a year.

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The monthly membership meeting will be held at the New York/New Jersey Union Hall on Wednesday, Oct. 14, immediately after job call. All members in the area are encouraged to attend the meeting. Remember that the New York/New Jersey Union Hall is now located at 570 Broad St., Newark, N.J., 07102. The phone number and fax number are the same as before the move.

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The Offshore Familiarization Course will be held starting at 0900 on Oct. 13-14, Tuesday andWednesday, in the New York/New Jersey Union Hall at 570 Broad St., Newark, N.J., 07102. The course will also be held in the Los Angeles/Long Beach Union Hall on Nov. 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 New York/New Jersey Hall is (201) 963-1900. The phone number for the Los Angeles/Long Beach Hall is (310) 834-7201.

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The Maritime Institute of Technology & Graduate Studies (MITAGS) is seeking a full-time instructor for the NAV Systems & License Advancement Department. The instructor is responsible for developing courses in the maritime field and providing quality classroom instruction to students. He or she will ensure course content is current, consistent with latest directives from regulatory authorities and practices in the maritime industry.

Qualifications include maritime command experience, license at the captain and chief mate level, experience with bridge systems and teaching, computer skills, outstanding presentation skills before a variety of groups, supervisors, peers and students. For more information, send an e-mail or call 443-989-3258.

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MITAGS-PMI is seeking a program manager to work under the director of the Workboat Academy in Seattle. The program manager provides operational and managerial support to the programs at both campuses. He or she maintains confidential records, edits and proofreads, acts as the main contact person during the absence of the director, maintains the filing system, maintains a tracking system of responses to proposals, updates databases and mailing lists and helps in the orientation of new cadets, among other tasks.

Qualifications include office admin skills, ability to mentor young people and a passion for helping the next generation of mariners reach their full potential, five years of sea service on near coastal or ocean going vessels, license as mate/master 1600 near coastal or oceans license or equivalent military rank. If you are interested, please send a resume to or call 443-989-3258.

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Another confined space accident, this one in the Port of Shenzhen aboard a Chinese tanker, has killed two men and seriously injured another. The accident, which was reported in The Maritime Executive and by Chinese media, took place Sept. 7 aboard the China-flagged tanker JIN WANG YOU 9.

The story is a familiar one: two crewmen aboard the tanker reportedly went to check up on one of their colleagues who had been instructed to inspect the forepeak tanker and had not returned.

After the two crew members who had been sent to find the first mariner also did not return, another member of the crew called rescuers.

Rescue crews pulled the three out of the tank. One was already dead. The other two were rushed to a local hospital where a second man died.

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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 – 10/12/15, 4/18/16

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: Contact Admissions

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 9/22/15, 1/26/16, 4/5/16

AZIPOD 2-Day – 10/1/15, 2/29/16

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 10/19/15, 2/1/16, 4/4/16

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 11/9/15, 2/29/16

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling: 9/28/15, 3/2/16

BT – Basic Safety Training: 10/5/15, 1/25/16, 2/22/16

BT-Revalidation –11/3/15

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 10/26/15

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

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

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 9/28/15, 1/25/16, 3/28/16

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 10/19/15, 1/4/16, 3/7/16

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 10/5/15

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 10/5/15, 11/2/15, 11/30/15, 12/7/15, 1/11/16,2/22/16, 3/21/16

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM) 9/28/15,10/26/15, 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

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

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: 10/12/15, 3/28/16

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): Contact Admissions

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 10/5/15, 11/9/15, 11/30/15, 1/11/16, 2/8/16,3/14/16

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 10/12/15, 11/16/15, 12/7/15, 1/18/16, 2/15/16,3/21/16

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

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 11/9/15

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 11/9/15

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

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

DDE – Great Lakes: 2/1/16

DPA – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-OIC – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-Pilots – 11/12/15, 3/2/16

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

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 10/5/15, 1/25/16, 2/22/16

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

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

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

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

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

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

LNG-TPIC – 12/7/15

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 10/19/15

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

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

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 9/28/15, 2/1/15, 3/14/16

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 10/12/15, 12/7/15, 1/4/15, 2/15/16, 3/21/16

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

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

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

*MSC-ENVPRO – 10/31/15, 2/28/16

*MSC-FF-HELO – 2/22/16

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 10/19/15, 10/31/15, 1/4/16, 2/29/16

*MSC-Security Watch Basic –10/17/15, 2/26/16

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced –10/23/15, 10/30/15, 1/8/16, 3/4/16

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

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

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 9/30/15, 10/14/15, 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

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

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue – 10/19/15

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

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day: 9/28/15, 1/25/16, 3/7/16

SMS – Contact Admissions

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

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

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

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – Contact Admissions

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: Contact Admissions

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 10/7/15, 10/17/15, 2/15/16

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): 9/28/15, 3/21/16

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 2/29/16

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

September 2015

28-30 Security Officer – Vessel, Company, and Facility
28-2 MEECE

October 2015

5th Radar Renewal
5-9 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
5-9 Medical Care Provider
5-9 Basic Shiphandling
5-9 Engine Resource Managemet
12-16 ECDIS
12-16 Leadership & Managerial Skills
12-23 GMDSS
19-23 Radar Observer Unlimited
19-23 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
19-23 MEECE
26-30 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)

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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