Wheelhouse Weekly – September 18, 2012

September 18th 2012


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

Volume 16 . . . Number 38. . . Sept. 18, 2012


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


As reported in last week’s special edition of the Wheelhouse Weekly, MM&P has joined forces with five other leading maritime unions in a broad-based alliance aimed at protecting the jurisdictional rights of members. The five are the American Radio Association, the Inlandboatmen’s Union, the International Longshoremen’s Association, the International Longshore & Warehouse Union and the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association. “MM&P is proud to be a part of this important collective effort to protect the hard-earned rights and working conditions of our members,” said the MM&P International Secretary-Treasurer.

To announce the establishment of the Maritime Labor Alliance, the unions issued a statement saying the decision had been taken “to vigorously protect members’ jurisdictions, working conditions and labor rights.” They also pledged to defend each other against “attacks on bona fide labor unions by organizations intent on undercutting working conditions and displacing incumbent workers.”

International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) President Paddy Crumlin, a participant in the discussions, has pledged ITF support, calling the alliance an integral part of “a collective, global strategy to ensure that the rights and livelihoods of maritime workers are protected in the efforts to automate maritime workplaces as a means of union busting.” Establishment of the alliance assumes particular relevance in light of the protracted, hard-fought negotiations between the ILA and waterfront employers represented under the USMX umbrella.


The San Francisco Port Commission has approved an on-call water taxi service that will begin serving passengers out of three different locations on the San Francisco waterfront on Oct. 1, just in time for the 2012 America’s Cup World Series Races and Fleet Week.  MM&P members will serve as masters and deckhands aboard the two vessels that the company, Tideline Marine, plans to put into service.

“This is great news,” said the MM&P United Inland Group (UIG) Vice President. “Kudos for a job well done to the MM&P San Francisco Branch Agent and to our great friend and supporter Veronica Sanchez, who works tirelessly to secure jobs for UIG members in the Bay Area.” The 42-ft water taxis will be powered by two 275 horsepower engines and will carry up to 12 passengers. The Port of San Francisco’s agreement with the company runs for five years.

“There’s lots of excitement in the San Francisco Bay Area over the launch of this new service and we’re happy that MM&P skilled mariners are part of the venture,” said the MM&P San Francisco Branch Agent. Tideline plans to offer service from points in San Francisco to Sausalito, Tiburon and Alameda. The water taxis will also shuttle passengers from yachts to San Francisco and to the America’s Cup race site.


A Wisconsin judge last week struck down much of the anti-collective-bargaining law put in place by Republican Governor Scott Walker and the GOP-controlled Wisconsin state legislature in 2011. Local union leaders say the judge’s ruling restores collective-bargaining rights to thousands of municipal and school district employees, and possibly to state employees as well.

Dane County Judge Juan Colas issued the ruling in response to a lawsuit mounted by the Madison Teachers’ Union and Laborers Local 61. Specifically, he ruled that Walker’s law–which sparked mass protests, the occupation of the state Capitol and a series of recall elections that shifted control of the state Senate to pro-labor legislators–violates the “rights of free speech, association and equal protection.”

Under Walker’s law, known as Act 10, most protections in the state’s public employee collective bargaining law were eliminated. Workers were blocked from negotiating over benefits, pensions or workplace safety. Public employee unions were strictly limited in their ability to organize, operate and collect dues.

“As we have said from day one, Scott Walker’s attempt to silence the union men and women of Wisconsin’s public sector was an immoral, unjust and illegal power grab,” says Phil Neuenfeldt, president of the Wisconsin State AFL-CIO. “Now, a court has ruled that the essential provisions of Act 10, Scott Walker’s draconian attack on public worker’s right to collectively bargain, are unconstitutional.”

The Wisconsin State Attorney General has said he will appeal the judge’s ruling and has requested that the law remain in effect in the interim.


Capt. Burke Beardsley of San Francisco’s Blue & Gold Fleet has been profiled in “Bay Crossings,” the magazine for Bay Area commuters. Members of MM&P’s United Inland Group crew and maintain the ferries under a five-year contract with WETA, the regional public agency charged by the State of California with operating the Vallejo Baylink ferry, the Alameda-Oakland ferries and the Harbor Bay Island (Alameda) route.

Beardsley, who captains the Vallejo commuter route on weekday afternoons, has gotten to know many of the passengers who take the ferry on a regular basis. “We had a lady years ago who was terrified whenever we were in fog,” he told journalist Matt Larson. “So one day I brought her up and showed her the radar and how we navigate in fog. After that she was fine.”

“I’ve always been drawn to the water and I just love being out here,” Beardsley says. He has made a business career for himself on the bay as well, founding a company called Marine Filmworks that coordinates on-the-water movie scenes. The films he has worked on so far include “Hidalgo” and “Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.”


Members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) are still without a new contract a year into their labor dispute with telecommunications giant Verizon. The negotiations are now being conducted under the auspices of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service and all parties are abiding by the mediator’s request for a blackout on the specific details being discussed.

“Though painstaking, progress has been made on a number of major issues in the bargaining,” a union spokesman said. “Our members must continue to mobilize and we MUST let management know that we want a fair contract.” Health care and pensions are still the main sticking point in negotiations. “It’s cut and dried that they want to break us,” a CWA member told one journalist who has been covering the dispute. The negotiations come in the wake of Verizon’s second quarter earnings report, in which the company announced profits of $1.8 billion. Verizon’s top five executives have been paid $258 million over the course of the past five years.

The dispute coincides with an attempt by Verizon Wireless to bundle wireless phone service with cable providers’ wire packages. The unions assert that the deal would essentially phase out the profitable Verizon FiOS service and lead to extensive worker layoffs. “We’ve been battling a blistering attack on our union and are fighting back against one of the largest and most ruthless corporations in this country,” said a spokesman for CWA Local 1103. “Members clearly understand how this entire anti-worker agenda impacts jobs, families and communities, which is why every event, rally, and protest is well attended.”


Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS MERCY has returned to San Diego after traveling more than 20,000 miles to Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Cambodia. It was the lead vessel on a five-month humanitarian and civic assistance mission, Pacific Partnership 2012. Members of the MM&P Federal Employees Membership Group serve in the wheelhouse of the hospital ship.

MERCY’s most recent mission resulted in medical treatment for 49,000 people, including dental care and services like the distribution of eyeglasses and sunglasses. The team performed more than 900 shipboard surgeries and treated or evaluated more than 7,000 livestock and domestic animals. Medical professionals also offered courses in the four countries on topics that included first aid, nursing, cardiology, orthopedics, nutrition, disaster response, water and food safety, and public health.

MERCY’s civil service master is MM&P member Capt. Jonathan Olmsted. “My most profound memory was watching six surgeries, all of which were performed in a 30-minute timeframe, while we were anchored off the Philippines,” Olmsted said. “We saw four children and two adults receive life-changing procedures including cataract transplants, tumor removals and other corrective surgery.”


The combination of symbols following the letters “DOT” on a tire may look like gibberish, but they are actually the key to knowing whether you are buying a U.S. union-made tire.

The Department of Transportation requires that all tires sold in the United States carry the “DOT” code. The two symbols following the “DOT” indicate the company and the plant where the tire was manufactured. For example, the code DOT BE XX tells you that the tire in question was made by B.F. Goodrich in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and that it is a union-made tire.

The following is a list of all U.S. and Canadian unionized tire plants’ DOT codes: BE, BF, VE, YE, YU, 8B, D2, E3, W1, Y7, 2C, 4D, 5D, UP, UT, JU, PC, UK, DY, JJ, MD, PU, DA, JN, MJ, PY, JE, MC, PT, JT, MK, TA, JF, MM, PJ and CC.


Ballots for the MM&P election have been mailed to all union members. If you do not receive a ballot, or if you lose or destroy your ballot, you may request a duplicate ballot by contacting Beverly Gutmann or Juli Rodriguez at MM&P headquarters and filling out a request for a duplicate ballot.


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 at SOCP members can register to attend the SNAME meeting at the SNAME Member rate using the same link.


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): 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): 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

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

MEDIA RSP – Media Response Workshop: 11/6

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

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

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 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: 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

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

24-27   ARPA
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 9-18-2012 at 1:55 p.m. (EST)

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
13,548.13 3,173.04 1,457.61

Mutual Funds (Live)

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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