Wheelhouse Weekly – September 11, 2012

September 11th 2012


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

Volume 16 . . . Number 37. . . Sept. 11, 2012


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


The International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) and the U.S. Maritime Alliance (USMX) will return to the negotiating table next week in the presence of a federal mediator. “The parties have agreed to resume negotiations under our auspices during the week of September 17,” said Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Director George H. Cohen in an official statement. “Due to the sensitivity of this high-profile dispute and consistent with the agency’s longstanding practice, we will not disclose either the location of the meeting or the content of the substantive negotiations that will take place.”


AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka received a standing ovation at the Alaska AFL-CIO convention in Anchorage in August when he issued a call to “take back America” for the country’s middle and working class. “It honestly doesn’t matter if an elected official has a ‘D’ or an ‘R’ behind his or her name,” Trumka told the crowd. “I don’t give a darn about who belongs to your party… What I care about is whether or not a leader will work with America’s working families, whether or not a leader cares about responsibility and honest work, whether or not a leader will fight to keep the American dream alive,” he said.

The MM&P United Inland Group Vice President, the MM&P Juneau Branch Agent and MEBA Alaska Branch Agent Ben Goldrich met with Trumka following the speech to discuss some of the problems facing members of the nation’s maritime unions.

During his speech, Trumka took aim at the 2010 Citizens United Supreme Court decision, in which the court held that the First Amendment of the Constitution prohibits the government from restricting independent political expenditures by corporations and unions. Trumka said that because of that decision, this year and in 2014, “you will see an avalanche of vicious ads like you have never seen before, and those who try to do bipartisanship, they will try to take them out in the primaries. They will try to take them out in the general election. It’s happening all over the country right now.”

Trumka praised President Barack Obama for coming into office during “the worst recession we were ever in, hemorrhaging 700,000 jobs a month, and yet he has created over four million jobs in the worst of times.” He also praised Obama for calling on Congress to end tax cuts for America’s wealthiest citizens, bring jobs home and introduce incentives for creating jobs here rather than sending them overseas. “And the 1 percent has been attacking him and pounding him ever since,” he added.

Trumka criticized Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, whom he said “created and ran a company that pioneered the practice of offshoring good jobs to China and anywhere else he can get cheap labor.”

Trumka started out working in the Pennsylvania coal mines. He served as president of the United Mine Workers of America and became head of the AFL-CIO in 2009.


Authorities in Venezuela on Monday agreed to drop all charges against the captain of a U.S.-flag tanker, MV OCEAN ATLAS, who had been removed from his ship after local law enforcement officials found weapons in the vessel’s arms locker. The weapons on the tanker were apparently brought on board for self-protection when the ship transited the Indian Ocean and were placed in a secure locker when the ship departed the high-threat area. The stand-off began last week, when Venezuelan government officials searched the vessel and then ordered it detained in the port of Maracaibo. The situation was resolved through diplomatic channels.


The National Maritime Center (NMC) has agreed to resume posting the complete pool of answers to questions on Coast Guard administered exams for merchant mariner credentials. The agency took the action in response to an appeal filed in November by the National Mariners Association (NMA), a merchant mariner advocacy group. “This is a victory for merchant mariners,” said NMA Secretary Richard A. Block. The agency said it had agreed to resume posting the answers on its website under the terms of a recent Supreme Court decision regarding the Freedom of Information Act.


Workers in Mississippi and Brooklyn, N.Y., and registered nurses in West Virginia and Ohio have won a voice at work with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and National Nurses United (NNU). More than 780 AT&T Mobility retail store workers in Louisiana joined CWA after they signed recognition cards under a neutrality agreement between CWA and AT&T. The company had agreed to recognize the workers’ choice to join a union. 

Also joining CWA are 46 workers at Brooklyn Cablevision contractor Vision Pro, who voted overwhelmingly in an election for union representation. They join the 282 technicians directly employed by Brooklyn Cablevision who voted for the CWA earlier this year.

Meanwhile, 200 registered nurses in Bluefield, W. Va., and 250 in Massillon, Ohio, last week voted to join the NNU. The nurses, who work at two different hospitals, are now preparing to begin negotiating their first collective bargaining contract.


Crowley Petroleum Services Inc. has immediate openings in the Pacific Northwest for Articulated Tug Barge Third Mates who belong to the MM&P United Inland Group or the MM&P Offshore Group. These jobs may become permanent positions. Minimum qualifications: Mate 1600 Gross Tons, Oceans Mate of Towing Vessels or completed TOAR (preferred); Current GMDSS, ECDIS ARPA, Radar and Advanced Firefighting certificates; First Aid/CPR; valid STCW with all required endorsements (including, but not limited to: Mate, GMDSS, and Advanced Firefighting); TWIC; valid passport: must be able to travel internationally with no felonies, DUI, or other convictions which would restrict entry into Canada or other nations; PIC Barge [DL].

Preferred minimum experience: familiarity with ATB or conventional tug barge; familiarity with multi-grade and/or chemical cargo transfer experience; familiarity with all aspects of cargo and ballast operations and regulations; prior experience with inert gas or nitrogen system operations preferred; candidate will be required to show competence in supporting deck and engineering operations.

If you are interested in applying for these jobs, please send your resume and documents to or fax them to: 904-805-1653.


A memorial service for Bernadette Hertel, who worked as Dispatcher/Representative in the union’s Wilmington Hall, will be held at 11:00 on Saturday, Sept. 15 at St. John Fisher Catholic Church on Crenshaw Blvd. and Crest in Rancho Palos Verdes. MM&P extends condolences to her family.


A recent Harris Interactive poll found that 4 out of 5 Americans are concerned about buying a new home because of worries about the economy and concern about the long-term stability of their own financial situation. But there’s good news for union members. With the Union Plus Mortgage program provided by Chase and created especially for union members, their parents, and children, you can buy or refinance your home with confidence. The Union Plus Mortgage Program offers $495 savings on closing costs, and provides safeguards that help you pay your mortgage when you need it most. And if you are a first-time homebuyer, you may be eligible for a $500 award. Here’s what Joseph L. of Utility Workers Local 1-2 said: “I was recently locked out by Con Ed. After 28 years I had no work, but Union Plus helped me make my mortgage payment. It was instant relief.” Over 200,000 union members have home mortgages–and peace of mind–through the Union Plus Mortgage program. To find out more, call 1-800-630-0480 or go to


Nigeria’s navy last Wednesday retook an oil tanker that had been hijacked off the coast of Lagos on Sept. 4, freeing 23 Indian crewmembers. None of the mariners was hurt in the hijacking of the Singapore-flagged MT ABU DHABI STAR. The pirates fled when they saw the naval ship on the horizon. It was not immediately clear whether they had stolen any of the ship’s cargo. The crew sent distress signals as the ship was being boarded, with their last message indicating they had locked themselves inside the citadel.


The monthly membership meeting for the port of New York/New Jersey has been cancelled.


A membership meeting will be held at MM&P headquarters on Tuesday, Sept. 11, starting at 6:15 p.m. The MM&P International Secretary-Treasurer and the Atlantic Ports Vice President will participate. All members in the area are encouraged to attend.


The Ship Operations Cooperative Program (SOCP) invites maritime industry representatives to participate in the SOCP Fall 2012 Meeting to be held at Rhode Island Convention Center (RICC) & Westin Providence Hotel Oct. 22-24. The meeting will be held in conjunction with the annual Society of Naval Architects & Marine Engineers (SNAME) meeting Oct. 24-26.

The meeting will focus on the impact of standards/rules/enforcement/compliance and regulatory changes in the areas of safety, environment and training in the maritime industry. The agenda includes presentations and panel discussions on a broad range of topics, including Vessel General Permit, ballast water regulations, human factors and mariner safety, North American ECA, vessel response plans, work force development and STCW.

All industry representatives are welcome to attend. You must, however, register to attend this event using the links on the SOCP website at under Upcoming Events or on the SNAME site at SOCP members can register to attend the SNAME meeting at the SNAME Member rate using the same link. This is a single registration process for both these meetings using options.


The Offshore Familiarization Course, formerly called the D-Book Membership Course, will be held at regular intervals throughout 2012.

The schedule is as follows (but please note that course dates may change depending on the number of participants who sign up): Oct. 9-10 in New Jersey; Oct. 17-18 in Los Angeles; Nov. 7-8 in Houston.

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.

AB – Able Bodied Seaman: 10/15

AIS-1 – Automatic Identification Systems (one day): 10/10

ARPA – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 9/25, 10/23, 12/3

AZIPOD (2-DAY) for Pilots: 10/11, 11/12

BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 10/19

BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots:  11/29

BST – Basic Safety Training: 10/8

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 11/12

CMM-ADVNAV – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): 10/22

CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 10/1, 12/17

CMM-CHS – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 10/8

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

CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 11/26

CMM-SHMGT – Ship Management (2 weeks): 9/17, 12/3

CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 9/24, 10/22, 11/5, 11/26, 12/10

CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 9/17, 10/1, 10/29, 11/12, 12/3, 12/17

CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 11/5

CHS-BAS – Basic Cargo Handling & Stowage: 10/22

CNAV – Celestial Navigation: 11/5

CONSTAB – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 12/15

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning: 11/10

ECDIS-ENAV (2 DAY) for Pilots: 10/11

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

EP – Emergency Procedures: 10/17

FF-BADV – Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 10/8

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

LAP – License Advancement Program for Chief Mate & Master: 9/17

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 10/10, 11/29

MEDIA RSP – Media Response Workshop: 11/6

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 9/17, 10/15, 12/3

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

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 9/17, 10/15, 10/29, 12/3

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 9/22, 10/20, 12/8

MSC -SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 10/1, 11/12

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (4 Evenings): 10/1

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 10/5

RFPNW – Rating Forming Part of a Navigational Watch: 10/1

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 9/14, 10/3, 10/17, 10/31, 11/14, 12/5, 12/12

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 9/24, 10/11

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal: 10/7, 11/26

SAR – Search & Rescue: 10/15

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

SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 10/8, 11/16

SHS-ESH-BRMP3 – Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots:  10/8

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling:  10/15

WX-BAS – Basic Meteorology: 9/17

WKP-BAS – Watchkeeping Basic (2 weeks): 10/1

… 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.

September 2012

17-21   Basic Construction and Stability
17-28   GMDSS
24-27   ARPA
24-28   Able Bodied Seaman
24-28   Medical Care Provider
28thRadar Renewal

October 2012

1-5          Train the Trainer
8-12       ECDIS
8-12       Tankerman PIC
9th         Flashing Light
15-26     GMDSS
22-26     Radar Observer Unlimited
29th       Radar Renewal
29-2       Basic Construction and Stability

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


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 9-11-2012 at 12:20 p.m.

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
13,332.35 3,110.04 1,434.85

Mutual Funds (Live)

Click a mutual fund for more information.
Click the right or left arrow on the right side of the ticker to browse the mutual funds.

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