News

Wheelhouse Weekly – September 23, 2004

September 23rd 2004


THE MASTERS, MATES & PILOTS’
WHEELHOUSE WEEKLYonline

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

Volume 8 . . . . . Number 39 . . . . September 23, 2004




STORIES COVERED

ALSO

REMINDERS




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




 

MAERSK CONTRACT MEETING UPDATE

MM&P’s three offshore Vice Presidents along with rank and file committee members Bob Lamb, Greg Oelkers and Darren Collins met at MM&P HQ with Maersk for a collective bargaining agreement for three days last week. At the end of the meeting, MM&P submitted contract proposals to Maersk that are now under review by the company. When more info becomes available it will be published in future editions of the Wheelhouse Weekly.

 



 

PATRIOT FILES PROTEST OVER LMSR AWARD TO AMSEA

MM&P-contracted Patriot Contract Services has filed a formal protest with the General Accountability Office (GAO) challenging the Military Sealift Command’s award of the 9 LMSRs to American Overseas Marine (AMSEA). The protest was filed last Friday, Sept.17.

Patriot, which currently operates 11 LMSRs under MSC contract award, sent senior management and executives to MSC’s headquarters recently for a “bidder debriefing” regarding the award to AMSEA and walked away determined to retain the contract and to move forward on all fronts: operational, contractual, legal and political.

Patriot said that it expects that the protest “will delay the implementation of the Award and turnover for several months at least.” The company also acknowledged that, “it is a difficult task to overturn a government contract award. We have been successful in protests in the past and understand what must be done.”

While a Patriot spokesman said that “we recognize that this is a difficult uphill fight,” he also noted that, “our labor partner leaders and Patriot executives have continued to meet with MSC staff, MSC executives and elected and appointed government officials in order to make our concerns with this award known. This effort has been energetic and effective, with significant support being offered from concerned officials.”

On another front, Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Diane Feinstein (D-CA) plus Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), leader of the Democratic Party in the House of Representatives, have also joined in the protest. In a letter dated Sept.13, Pelosi criticized the MSC for “lack of clarity about the process and the criteria” and asked Navy Secretary Gordon England to “provide a complete explanation”.

The award was not to have been based on price alone but also on performance history. Pelosi pointed out that Patriot had scored top marks for performance and was just $700,000 higher than AMSEA on price. She also said the award will put 61-percent of the Navy’s surge sealift fleet in the hands of one operator and cost the San Francisco Bay area 1,500 maritime-related jobs.

During a GAO probe, performance on the contract is often stopped for the 90 to 120 days it takes to reach a finding, which would give the incumbent, in this case Patriot, that many more days operating the vessels. The MSC can, however, insist that the contract go ahead in the interest of national security. Future editions of the Wheelhouse Weekly will contain more details as they develop.



 

MATSON SEEKS RESUMES FROM MM&P MEMBERS

Matson Navigation Company is actively bidding on MSC and MARAD government contracts, including: Maritime Pre-positioned Fleet (MPF), Fast Sealift Ships (FSS), and Ready Reserve Force (RRF) vessels. Matson is seeking experienced, highly motivated, and qualified personnel, especially with prior RRF, LMSR, or other Government contract vessel experience in the following positions:

  • Master, unlimited
  • Chief Mate, unlimited
  • Port Captain (to be located in California)

Interested candidates should either Email (attachment) or fax a signed (required) copy of their current resume and a copy of their license to: Capt. Tom Stapleton, Government RFP Projects Manager, Office: (510) 628-4058, Fax: (510) 628-7349, Email: TStapleton@Matson.com .



 

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE ON MSC T-AGS SHIPS

MM&P-contracted Horizon Lines will soon take over the operation and maintenance of seven oceanographic ships (T-AGS) for the Military Sealift Command (MSC). The mission of these vessels is to support the Naval Oceanography Program. MM&P will represent the deck officers.

For members and applicants interested in employment possibilities on these ships, contact MM&P HQ by calling 410-850-8700 x36 or by Email at: rplant@bridgedeck.org. For more info about the ships and the MSC’s Special Mission Program, visit www.msc.navy.mil/pm2.



 

GULF PORTS STILL CLEANING UP AFTER HURRICANE IVAN

Pensacola, Mobile, Pascagoula and most other upper Gulf of Mexico ports sustained significant damage when Hurricane Ivan, with winds of 130 mph, roared through the area last week. The USCG, Corps of Engineers and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are continuing efforts to assist the region’s ports.

Hurricane Ivan has left more than 110 dead and millions of dollars worth of damage in its wake. While most channels are clear of silting, many are obstructed by the hundreds of pleasure craft and fishing boats that sank during Ivan’s onslaught last week. The USCG reports that virtually every aid to navigation in the region was either off-station, damaged or destroyed.

As this edition of the Wheelhouse Weekly was readied for distribution, Ivan has reconstituted itself as a tropical storm and will now bring locally torrential flooding rains into parts of Texas this weekend. Meanwhile, Hurricane Jeanne has started on a westward track that could bring it into the northern Bahamas on Saturday and into the Florida Peninsula as early as Sunday. Then, Jeanne could turn northward to target Georgia and the Carolinas the first part of the coming week.



 

LACK OF MARITIME SECURITY LEAVES US PORTS OPEN TO ATTACK

General Ed Eberhart, Commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command and US Northern Command recently said that “I believe that it is just a matter of time until the terrorists try to use a seaborne attack, a maritime attack against us.”

Gen. Eberhart said that a maritime attack could come in any form, from terrorists sailing into harbor with high explosives or a weapon of mass destruction to terrorists launching an unmanned aerial vehicle or cruise missile from a distance. Such attacks are possible, he said, because the nation’s situational awareness of the sea is not as mature or sophisticated as its awareness of air space.

That said, the general noted that the US has come a long way “in terms of securing our seas and ports” since Sept.11, 2001. Those security efforts include deploying law enforcement to check cargo ships before they depart the port of origin as well as the increased level of collaboration and cooperation between the Joint Harbor Operations Centers in San Diego, CA, and Norfolk, VA, that Eberhart said now serve as a “prototype” for other ports.

As NORAD Commander, Eberhart is ultimately responsible for protecting the nation against threats coming from inside and outside of the nation. As commander of USNORTHCOM, he is responsible for homeland defense and coordinating military assistance to civilian authorities during a presidential declared emergency or disaster.

The mission of USNORTHCOM is to deter, prevent and defeat threats and, if something does happen, to mitigate the circumstances. But Americans expect and deserve “more than mitigation,” said Eberhart. “They deserve us to be out there protecting them by deterring, preventing and defeating (enemy forces).”



 

USCG TARGETS SOME FOREIGN VESSELS FOR INCREASED BOARDINGS

The USCG has issued a list of countries whose vessels will be targeted for increased boardings because of two months of below average compliance with international security standards.

“Approximately 200 vessels call on US ports every day,” said Adm. Thomas Collins, USCG Commandant. “We must focus our resources on those ships that present the greatest risk. The past compliance of vessels from these countries shows us that they haven’t implemented basic security measures, increasing the security risk posed to our ports when they arrive here.”

The USCG examined the results of its July and August security compliance boardings to determine which countries’ vessels had a higher than average rate of compliance problems that resulted in a detention, denial of entry or other major control action.

Targeting vessels from these countries for increased boardings helps the USCG focus its attention on vessels that present a higher risk, and is one element of a larger matrix that helps Coast Guard field commanders consistently target vessels for boardings. Other elements include the past performance of the individual vessel, its ship management company, recognized security organization and the security in its last five ports of call.

Vessels are also targeted for boardings based on intelligence info, or on a random basis. The list will be updated on a monthly basis until the first annual report is issued, expected to be in April 2005, at which point countries will be targeted for an entire year.

The new international security standards, the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code, came into full effect on July 1, and required vessels that travel internationally to implement basic security procedures, such as identification checks and securing of restricted areas. Starting on July 1, the USCG has boarded every foreign vessel on its first port call to the US.

More info on the USCG’s port state control program, including the list of targeted countries can be found at: www.uscg.mil/hq/g-m/pscweb.



 

SEAFARERS AND SHIPPERS SOUND ALARM IN WORLD’S PORTS

The international shipping industry will sound an alarm that post 9/11 security measures are criminalizing innocent seafarers when ships around the world sound their horns and whistles at 12:00 local time on World Maritime Day, Sept.30. On that day, delegations of trade unionists, shipowners and chaplains deliver letters to US Ambassadors asking the US government to allow fair shore leave to seafarers who may have spent months at sea.

These letters explain that: “The most acute problems have been experienced in the US, where in addition to the frequent denial of shore leave some companies have even been required to hire armed guards to prevent foreign seafarers from leaving their ships. However the problem is widespread, with many other countries no longer adhering to the principle that seafarers should not be required to obtain visas in order to enjoy shore leave.”

The letters from shipowners and operators to trade unionists and religious aid organizations, also ask the US to ratify ILO Convention 185, which establishes a universal seafarers’ ID document that addresses security concerns.

More details on World Maritime Day events can be found on the ITF’s main webpage at www.itf.org.uk .



 

NEW WEBSITE OFFERS UNION-MADE GOODS AND SERVICES

The Union Label recently went digital with a new website offering shoppers an array of union-made gifts, from clothing and chocolates to computers, games and greeting cards.

The website, www.shopunionmade.org, launches on the eve of the fall and winter holidays, when shoppers will spend an estimated $1 trillion on gifts, food, drinks and other seasonal items, explained Matt Bates, Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO Union Label & Service Trades Department. The all-union shopping site, however, will be a year-round operation because that is what consumers demand, he added.

“Shoppers spent $56 billion in Internet sales last year, and on-line spending is doubling every two to three years. Everyday we receive Email and calls from people who want to support good jobs by buying union-made goods and services. The website will reach millions of people, 24 hours a day, with a quick convenient way to shop union,” Bates said.

“The public is ready for this. People have seen millions of good jobs disappear and they are looking for ways to take a stand and make a difference,” he added.

The AFL-CIO will target the peak of the holiday shopping season by promoting “Buy Union Week” Nov. 26 through Dec. 5. The newly-launched, all-union shopping site will be a cornerstone of that campaign. MM&P has a link to the Shop Union Site on this website under “Links and Other Sources”.



 

AFL-CIO VOTER EDUCATION WEBSITE

The following AFL-CIO website has some good links regarding the upcoming national elections in November: www.votenov2.com



 

MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

NEW AT MITAGS

Complete Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting in a combined one week course, offered September 20th.

 

CLASS OPENINGS

Between now and the end of November, seats are available in the following courses:

  • AIS-1 – Automatic Identification System: 10/4, 10/19
  • AIS-1/PPU – Auto ID System/Portable Pilot Unit: 11/1, 11/5
  • ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 9/27, 10/18, 11/1
  • AZIPOD – Azipod Propulsion System: 10/2, 11/1
  • BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 10/05
  • BST – Basic Safety Training: 9/13, 10/25, 11/08


CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses

  • CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 10/25
  • CMM-SHS-ADV II – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 9/27
  • CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 9/27, 10/25
  • CMM-CHS I – Cargo Handling & Stowage (week 1): 11/01
  • CMM-CHS II – Cargo Handling & Stowage (week 2): 11/08
  • CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display and Info Systems: 11/01
  • CMM-MMP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 10/18
  • CMM-SHMGT-I – Ship Management (week 1): 11/08
  • CMM-WKP – Watchkeeping: 11/15
  • CONT-PLNG – Contingency Planning: 10/15, 10/27, 10/29, 11/05
  • CSE-AAES – Confined Space Awareness-Analysis: 11/08
  • CSE-AWR2 – 2-day Confined Space Seminar: 9/30, 11/18
  • FF-BADV – (Combined) Basic and Adv Firefighting: 11/08
  • FSM – Fatigue, Sleep and Medications: 11/03
  • FL – Flashing Light: 9/27
  • GMDSS – Global Marine Distress & Safety System: 10/25
  • HAZ – Hazardous Materials [5-day]: 11/01
  • LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 11/3, 11/10
  • MEDIA-RSP – Media Response: 10/14, 10/27, 10/29, and 11/04
  • MED-DOT-DA – DOT Drug & Alcohol Testing: 10/16
  • MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 10/25
  • MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 10/25

MSC – Military Sealift Command

  • MSC-CBRD-1 – Chemical Biological Radiological Defense Training Orientation: 9/29, 10/25, 11/3, and 11/17
  • MSC-DC – Damage Control: 9/27, 10/21, 11/15
  • MSC-SMA-R – Small Arms Renewal (2-day): 10/26, 10/28
    (must have proof of passing all 3 weapons within 2 years)

 

  • ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original & Renewal: 10/11
  • ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 9/27, 10/02, 10/18, 11/01

 

  • SEC-FSO – Facility Security Officer: 9/28, 11/08
  • SEC-OFF-PCS – Security Officer: Port, Company, Ship: 10/11, 11/01
  • SEC-PLT – Security Training for Pilots: 11/02
  • SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 10/11
  • SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling (5-day): 11/15

 

  • TPIC – Tankerman Person-In-Charge: 11/15
  • TRAC-TUG – Water Tractor and Azimuth Stern Drive Tugs: 11/04

 

ATTENDANCE VERIFICATION & CANCELLATION IS VITAL

If you are scheduled for a course, call, write, or Email admissions to advise whether or not you will attend. Many classes are in demand and maintain a Standby List. “No Shows” are missed training opportunities for other members.

 

SCHEDULES, COURSE INFO & REGISTRATION

Courses are subject to change. Check the MITAGS website for up-to-date course descriptions associated with all course title abbreviations, and for schedule revisions and updated course availability. You can also check future schedules, review detailed course descriptions and register on-line or contact Admissions at admissions@mitags.org or by calling toll-free, 1-866-656-5568.

 


 

PMI MARITIME TECHNOLOGY & CAREER CENTER ACADEMIC SCHEDULE

All the courses below will be conducted at the new Pacific Maritime Institute facility located in Seattle at 1727 Alaskan Way South, Pier 34. The new facility features a state-of-the art Ship Simulator that has to be experienced. PMI phone numbers remain the same. Come see the new facility at PMI’s “Maritime Technology and Career Center”.

October 2004

  • 10/4-8: Basic Safety Training
  • 10/4: Flashing Light (OIC)
  • 10/4-6: Emergency Shiphandling
  • 10/11-22: GMDSS
  • 10/11-22: Advanced Shiphandling
  • 10/11-15: ARPA
  • 10/11: Radar Recertification
  • 10/11-13: Ship/Company Security Officer
  • 10/25-29: Basic and Advanced Firefighting
  • 10/25-29: ECDIS
  • 10/25-29: Able Bodied Seaman

November 2004

  • 11/01-02: RFPNW
  • 11/01-05: Radar Observer Unlimited
  • 11/01-05: Basic Shiphandling
  • 11/08-19: GMDSS
  • 11/08-12: ARPA
  • 11/08-12: MEDPRO
  • 11/08-19: MEDPIC
  • 11/08: Radar Recertification
  • 11/15-17: Emergency Shiphandling
  • 11/15-17: Tankerman Person-In-Charge
  • 11/15-19: Basic Safety Training

Contact DeeDee Lazik at 206-441-2880 or 888-893-7829 (toll free) for registration or visit the PMI website at mates.org.


 

MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF SEPTEMBER 22, 2004 CLOSE

 D O W    N A S D A Q
 10,109.18 -203.18 for the week  1,885.71  -10.81 for the week

Fund Name & Trading Symbol

Closing
Price
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)

103.26
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)

27.46
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)

16.71
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)

14.67
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)

28.18
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)

10.48
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX)

6.36
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)

10.36
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)

15.88
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)

15.66
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)

35.84
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)

96.98
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)

39.64



~ Reminders ~




 

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE, MEMBER INFO NEEDED FOR T-AGS VESSELS

MM&P-contracted Horizon Lines recently won the bidding to manage MSC’s seven oceanographic ships (T-AGS) to support the Naval Oceanography Program. The Licensed Deck Officer billets will be filled by MM&P members. MM&P needs to hear from members and applicants interested in working aboard these ships. Vessel assignments may be permanent.

The T-AGS ships will pay competitive wages and will have 15-for-30 vacation, pension, health & welfare, IRAP and training contributions made on the employees’ behalf. Members and applicants selected to sail aboard the T-AGS ships will be required to have a US Government-issued Secret clearance. The Company will assist the mariner in obtaining this clearance.

All interested members and applicants are requested to send a resume to your local area Offshore Vice President or to International Headquarters in care of the Director of Special Projects at 700 Maritime Blvd., Linthicum Heights, MD 21090; Fax: 410-850-0973. Calls with questions may be directed to 410-850-8700 x36. Resumes or questions may also be sent by Email to rplant@bridgedeck.org.



 

SECURITY OFFICER COURSE REQUIRED TO SAIL ON HORIZON VESSELS

MASTERS AND CHIEF MATES

Masters and Chief Mates sailing on Horizon vessels must have successfully completed the 3-day Security Officer: Port, Company, Ship (SEC-OFF-PCS) course before December 31, 2004.

 

SECOND AND THIRD MATES

All Second and Third Mates that desire to ship off-the-board on Horizon vessels must have completed the SEC-OFF-PCS course before December 31, 2005.

This course is taught at both MITAGS and at PMI. These training requirements are contained in the latest Horizon contract MOU that is available for review at all MM&P Offshore Hiring Halls.



 

USCG JOB OPENINGS OF INTEREST TO RETIRED MM&P MEMBERS

The U.S. Coast Guard has a number of jobs that might be of interest to retired MMP members. Go to the USCG website at www.uscg.mil then click on the link for “Coast Guard Jobs” in the lower left column, then “Jobs/Careers”, then “Civilian Careers” and then “Current Job Openings”.



 

MAIL-ORDER Rx PLAN UPDATE

MM&P Health & Benefit Plan Participants should have received information in the mail in early August a letter from NMHC regarding the mail order benefit through the Plan. Effective August 15, NMHC Mail will take over the mail order portion of the pharmacy benefit currently handled by Eckerd Pharmacy Services. This change in providers does not affect your prescription benefit.

For members with existing prescriptions on file with EPS, NMHC Rx has coordinated all MM&P member information with EPS so that all of your prescriptions with remaining refills will be automatically transferred to NMHC Mail. Simply call NMHC Mail at 1-800-456-4803 or visit the website at www.nmhcmail.com to request your prescription refill.

As always, if you should have any questions, please contact the Plan Office at 410-850-8500.

 
NOTICE REGARDING ELIGIBILITY

When you or your provider use the IVR system at the Plan Office to check eligibility, remember that the Plan Office updates eligibility on a monthly basis. This does not mean that your eligibility will terminate at the end of the month simply because the system states that you are eligible until a certain date. Individual contracts have different extension of eligibility rules and the only way we can provide accurate eligibility information for the membership is to download a new eligibility tape on a monthly basis.



 

BRIAN HOPE PAINTING RAFFLE TO RAISE FUNDS FOR PCF

Raffle tickets for a chance on winning an original painting of the SEAWANHAKA by MM&P member, Maryland Pilot and artist Capt. Brian Hope commissioned by the MM&P are available at $25 each, 5 for $100. Proceeds will benefit the Masters, Mates & Pilots Political Contribution Fund. (The fire aboard the SEAWANHAKA and the scapegoating of Capt. Charles Smith are the beginnings of the MM&P.)

Ticket purchases should be made payable to the MM&P PCF with a notation for the raffle in the memo line, and mailed to the:

MM&P Political Contribution Fund 700 Maritime Blvd. Linthicum Heights, MD 21090

Members making PCF contributions through the Members Only section of the MM&P website, noting that the contribution is for the raffle, can also obtain tickets. Raffle tickets will also shortly be available through MM&P port offices.

Cutoff for ticket purchases is December 31, 2004. Drawing for the prize will take place at Noon on January 7, 2005 at MITAGS. Also available at a later date will be a limited number of prints of this painting, numbered and signed by the artist, for a $50 contribution to the PCF designated for the print.

 

The fine print:

Raffle tickets are available only to those individuals who are otherwise eligible to make a contribution to the MM&P PCF.

No double dipping: Contributions in exchange for raffle tickets or for a signed and numbered print do not qualify for other PCF contribution incentive premiums.

All contributions to the MM&P PCF, including contributions in exchange for raffle tickets, are voluntary contributions for political purposes and no physical force, job discrimination, financial reprisals or threat thereof has been or will be used in any way to secure such contributions. PCF contributions are not deductible for tax purposes.



 

MM&P ELECTION PERIOD PUBLICITY GUIDELINES

Members are reminded that for the duration of the MM&P election period the name or likeness of any known candidate for any elected MM&P position will not be referred to by name or photo in any MM&P publication. Reference may be made by title or in contact information such as an email address when it is directly relevant to the communication.

As example, the Master of a MM&P-contracted ship who has declared himself to be a candidate for a MM&P elective position was recently quoted in an article appearing in the “Master, Mate & Pilot”, but was referenced as the Master of the vessel and not by name. Similarly, this member’s likeness was not included in a photo published with the article. This same rule was applied within the same publication with regard to two other members employed by MM&P at Union headquarters who are candidates for elective position.

This rule has been put into effect to ensure that publications by the MM&P to MM&P members are not used on behalf of any candidate for campaign purposes. These exclusions will end upon completion of the election.

Members wanting to know more about this policy may contact International Counsel John Singleton at 410-850-8700 x19, email: jsingleton@bridgedeck.org, or Communications Director Karl Schwartz at 410-850-8700 x27, email: communications@bridgedeck.org.


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., Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1941. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: iommp@bridgedeck.org. For further info or to subscribe contact John Peige at jpeige@bridgedeck.org. The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea, broadcast worldwide via FEC marine telex and is posted on our web page.

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