Wheelhouse Weekly – Sept. 9, 2014

September 10th 2014 ,

Volume 18 . . . Number 36 . . . Sept. 9, 2014


In this issue:


News for MM&P Members:

Job Opportunity:

Upcoming Events:

Other News:


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


The professional mariners who crew two hopper dredges at Weeks Marine selected MM&P as their bargaining agent and won their first contract: all in less than a year. The victory is a huge win for these 62 new members, for their families and for MM&P.

In July 2013, crewmembers aboard Weeks Marine hopper dredges–the RN WEEKS and the BE LINDHOLM–contacted MM&P. They wanted to form a union, and they wanted MM&P to represent them. MM&P officials–National Director of Collective Bargaining Lars Turner, Secretary-Treasurer Steve Werse and Atlantic Ports Vice President Don Josberger–began the organizing process.

Turner led the organizing effort and took steps to build the voluntary organizing committee. His experience working aboard MM&P-contracted hopper dredges and his studies in union organizing at the University of Massachusetts and the AFL-CIO gave him a firm foundation on which to work. The rank-and-file members of the organizing committee reached out to their shipmates and began building their union on the dredges.

Turner and MM&P Organizer Roger Lash Jr. worked closely with the members of the committee and met numerous times with the crews to explain how the union could help improve their workplace. Support grew quickly and the crews signed “pledge cards” authorizing MM&P to represent them.

MM&P filed an election petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the federal agency charged with conducting union representation elections. The vote was conducted by mail and the ballots were counted in the Newark, N.J., offices of the NLRB. The vote was 80 percent in favor of MM&P representation, a huge majority.

MM&P and Weeks Marine then began to meet to hammer out the new members’ first collectively bargained contract. The bargaining committee, chosen by the crews, consisted of six rank-and-file crewmembers: Ed “Rusty” Bradshaw (cook), Richard Marshall and Webster Wells (crew boat operators), Scott Still (mate), Tim Terrill and John Switzer (QMEDs). Lars Turner served as lead negotiator. The committee members worked hard to negotiate everything from meal menus and living quarters to health care and new wage scales.

During the eight months of bargaining, the crews remained united. Their slogan: “Together We Are Stronger.” On some crew change days, all wore MM&P shirts and hats. They showed solidarity by collectively raising money for a children’s hospital. They signed solidarity petitions in support of the bargaining committee. These actions and more showed support and strength, allowing the bargaining committee to achieve significant advances at the negotiating table with management. The new members ratified their first contract at the end of July.

“Standing together, they achieved paid health care, job security, grievance and arbitration provisions, training provisions, longevity pay and respect at work,” Turner said. “A union provides the only truly powerful mechanism to have a voice at work. When you cross paths with these members, welcome them as your new brothers and sisters.”

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The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has dismissed a controversial request by Norwegian Air International (NAI) to operate a cut-rate, contractor-based, multinational shuttle out of major U.S. cities. The proposal has been slammed by airlines, labor unions and consumer safety advocates in Europe and the United States. Although NAI calls itself an Irish airline, it has no plans to operate out of Ireland and is actually a subsidiary of a Norwegian air carrier, Norwegian Air Shuttle. The subterfuge allows it to benefit from the more “business-friendly” regulations of the Republic of Ireland and to avoid complying with Norwegian tax and labor laws. The company plans to use pilots and flight attendants based in Thailand who work for independent contractors under the legal and regulatory regimes of several other Asian countries.

MM&P President Don Marcus was among those speaking out against the plan. “Lessons learned in the U.S. maritime industry show how allowing companies to cherry pick among different national regulatory regimes can sink a great industry and with it tens of thousands of jobs,” he wrote in an opinion piece published in CQ Roll Call. “NAI’s attempt to shirk the regulatory regime of its home country would give it an unfair competitive advantage over America’s airline carriers and put thousands of U.S. taxpayers–pilots, flight attendants and mechanics—out of work.”

While NAI’s application for a permit is still pending, DOT recognized that the case presents “novel and complex issues” and that granting the company permission to operate is “not appropriate or in the public interest.” This is a big step because DOT is now under no statutory deadline to act.

While denial of the exemption is a crucial step, there is still a final decision to be made on NAI’s request for a foreign air carrier permit. “NAI must not be granted a foreign air carrier permit,” said Edward Wytkind, president of the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department. “Only by rejecting NAI’s application will the DOT send a clear message that it will enforce worker protections embodied in aviation trade agreements.”

A broad labor coalition including TTD’s 32 member unions has worked for months in opposition to the NAI application. The efforts were led by the Air Line Pilots Association, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, and the Transport Workers Union. TTD has also been joined in the effort by European labor unions and air carriers.

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MM&P has joined three other U.S. maritime unions in condemning an attempt to cripple Canada’s cabotage law as part of ongoing international trade talks. “We stand in solidarity with our Canadian counterparts, and we categorically oppose current attempts to cripple Canadian maritime law via the EU/Canada CETA negotiations,” the unions wrote in a statement that was released to the press last week. CETA is the Canadian equivalent of the Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) talks being conducted on a proposed free trade agreement between the European Union and the United States.

As part of the CETA negotiations, current Canadian law requiring carriage of shipments between Canadian ports on Canadian ships would be modified. If Canada’s parliament approves the CETA agreement, it could mean the end of Canadian-flag shipping.

“National cabotage laws exist all over the world, and for good reason,” the U.S. unions wrote. “They promote strong national economies. They help maintain vital skills and industrial bases in shipyards. They are nothing short of indispensable in preserving well-trained, reliable shipboard manpower pools… Any weakening of such laws in Canada is completely unacceptable. Considering the service and sacrifice of the Canadian Merchant Navy during the Second World War in preserving European democracy, it is appalling that representatives from some of the very same nations that benefited from that sacrifice now want to destroy the industry.”

American maritime unions consider U.S. cabotage law, as embodied by the Jones Act, indispensable in providing an additional layer of national security, especially in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. “Instead of seeking to attack Canadian cabotage, the EU should welcome a similar policy package to protect European shipping by introducing a level playing field for intra-community trades that would help to stop the downward spiral in salaries and the discriminatory practices against seafarers,” the unions wrote.

Besides MM&P, the other unions that signed on to the statement were the American Maritime Officers, the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association and the Seafarers International Union.

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MM&P and ILA Local 333 are moving forward on a planned merger within the context of their mutual affiliation with the International Longshoremen’s Association. A 90-day ballot was mailed to MM&P members on Sept. 4. A 60-day ballot will be mailed to Local 333 members on Sept. 12.

Members of Local 333 must mail their voted ballot so that it reaches Election Services Solutions, P.O. Box 9224, Garden City, NY, 11530-9608, no later than 0900 on Nov. 12.

MM&P members can vote by mail or by Internet. Mailed ballots must be received by 0900 on Dec. 4. MM&P members can vote by Internet at or the balloting agency site, If an MM&P member does not receive a ballot, or if the ballot is lost or destroyed, a duplicate may be requested by contacting MM&P by e-mail, fax or letter: Star Dorsey, 410-850-8700, Ext. 110; 700 Maritime Blvd., Suite B, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1953; fax (410) 850-0973;

If the affiliation plan is approved by members of both unions, Local 333 will become the new MM&P Inland “Atlantic Maritime Group.”

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An MM&P A-Book Member is currently preparing to write a thesis to complete an MBA in Shipping and Logistics at Middlesex University/Lloyd’s Maritime Academy. The title of the thesis is: “Safe Manning Levels, STCW Rest Hour Regulations & Fatigue: An Analysis of the Chief Officer Position.” Questionnaires have been created for the purpose of collecting primary data for the compilation of accurate statistics. The data collected for the thesis will ultimately provide hard facts about the Chief Officer position. If you would like to take part and are currently a Chief Officer sailing for MM&P or have sailed as Chief Officer, please request a questionnaire by sending an e-mail to Any and all information received will be 100 percent confidential. No names will be used in the thesis. The purpose of the survey is academic and the intent is to gather statistics only.

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The Oregon Board of Maritime Pilots and the Columbia River Bar Pilots are accepting applications to fill vacancies expected to occur over the next few years. Applicants must have at least one year of sea time as Master on ships over 5,000 GT to apply and two years’ sea time to be accepted. The Columbia River Bar Pilots are an equal opportunity organization looking for Captains with a broad range of experience capable of working in the demanding conditions of the winter bar. Successful applicants must have the command personality needed to make the wide range of decisions the job requires. They must also be willing and able to contribute to running the business side of the organization.

If you are interested, please contact: Susan Johnson, Administrator, Oregon Board of Maritime Pilots, 800 N.E. Oregon St. #15, Suite 507, Portland, OR 97232;; 971-673-1530 (phone); 971-673-1531 (fax).

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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 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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Drivers for FedEx Ground and FedEx Home Delivery are employees–not contractors–according to a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. The judges ruled Sept. 3 that FedEx had misclassified 2,300 drivers in California and Oregon as “contractors.” The decision could mean drivers are eligible for hundreds of millions of dollars in back wages and benefits.

Independent contractors are not guaranteed overtime pay under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, are not protected under state minimum wage laws and are not entitled to many other benefits accorded to workers who are classified as employees. What’s more, FedEx requires its drivers to pay for their own uniforms and for truck maintenance, as well as to rent the package scanners they use.

The court found that FedEx had the “broad right to control the manner in which its drivers perform their work,” which means they are actually employees. The company has said it will ask for a review of the decision by the full court.

Although the Sept. 3 ruling only applies to some 2,300 FedEx Ground employees in California and Oregon, if it is upheld, it could affect workers involved in numerous similar lawsuits in other states since so many companies have copied the FedEx model.

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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: 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: 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): 9/22/14, 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 – 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- 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): 10/7/14

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 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: 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): 10/3/14, 2/26/15

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

*MSC-ENV – 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 – 11/14/14, 2/20/15

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

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force –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: 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: 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: 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

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