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MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly

Volume 29… Number 13, March 28, 2023


In This Issue:

Mark Your Calendar:

Job Opportunities:



Pirates have boarded a product tanker anchored off the coast of the Republic of Congo.

A spokesperson for shipping company MONJASA said Tuesday that the incident was ongoing and that communications channels with the vessel were down.

The spokesperson said that all 16 crewmembers had taken refuge in a safe room aboard the Liberia-flag vessel, the MONJASA REFORMER.

The pirates boarded the vessel on the night of March 25–26, about 140 miles west of Pointe-Noire.

French and British monitoring agency Maritime Domain Awareness for Trade Gulf of Guinea issued a warning which has been followed up by additional warnings to mariners to avoid the area offshore near the southern border of Congo and Angola.

The ICC International Maritime Bureau in its annual report said there had only been 19 incidents of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea in 2022.

The U.N. Security Council says that cases of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea have fallen in recent years because local governments, aided by foreign naval ships, have increased security.
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Unions, shipping companies, ports and American food producers are asking Congressional leaders to increase funding for international food aid programs.

The coalition, which includes MM&P, MIRAID and 82 other organizations, is calling on legislators to respond to the global increase in need by boosting humanitarian shipments of American food.

Under the terms of the Jones Act and cargo preference laws, a significant portion of international food aid must be carried on privately owned, U.S.-flag vessels.

“With hunger on the rise, now is the time for America to continue its global leadership role by showing full support for U.S. international food security programs,” the coalition wrote in a March 20 letter to the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate Agriculture Appropriations subcommittees.

“These programs have enjoyed significant bipartisan support for more than 65 years.”

“We respectfully request Congress to continue to fully support these programs and that the fiscal year 2024 agriculture appropriations funding for these critical accounts be increased to at least $2.3 billion.”

The coalition noted that food assistance programs benefit U.S. economic and national security interests as well as the recipients of the aid.

“By furthering stability in fragile countries and sparking hope in countless people who are struggling to survive, U.S. strategic interests are protected and expanded,” they wrote.

“Food aid is a tangible source of hope to those in need, and American stakeholders take great pride in their support for the world’s most vulnerable people through these programs.”
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Unions representing A.P. Moeller-Maersk employees told shareholders today that over the course of the past year, they have had reason to question the group’s commitment to its stated core value of respect for labor.

The company held its annual meeting online this year, a consequence, it said, of ongoing restructuring.

The Maersk Network, which unites Maersk employee unions under the auspices of the International Transport Workers’ Federation, was invited to submit its own remarks in writing.

But union representatives from as far afield as Australia, the U.S. and The Netherlands chose instead to travel to Copenhagen and present them in person.

“Even though the company has shifted their annual meeting online this year and prevented shareholders, including unions with shares, from speaking to our concerns in the normal way, we have come to Copenhagen to deliver our message in person,” said ITF Maersk Network Coordinator Kulsoom Jafri.

The unions highlighted the following areas of grave concern:

— nine Maersk employees or contractors killed at work in 2022;

— Svitzer, Maersk’s tug division in Australia, trying to cut workers’ pay by 47 percent;

— in Argentina, Svitzer is subcontracting out tug work to undercut the wages and working conditions of its unionized workforce.

“We remain concerned that Maersk allows country managers like those running Svitzer Australia and Svitzer Argentina to make a mockery of Maersk’s values,” said ITF Maritime Coordinator Jacqueline Smith.

“You can’t have one set of values for when you’re marketing a brand as progressive on labor and climate change in Europe, and another set of values for how you really treat your workers on the other side of the world.”

“Maersk needs to know that in good times and in bad, the voice of labor is constant.”

“We will always be here to be a critical friend: holding them to account for their performance and conduct toward the working people who keep their supply chains moving,” she added.
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MM&P and the unions it partners with in the Maritime Labor Alliance met in Washington, D.C., earlier this month.

Besides MM&P, the alliance—which was founded to protect members’ jurisdictions, working conditions, and labor rights—are the American Radio Association, the Inland Boatmen’s Union, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, and the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association.

Their meeting was preceded by a discussion with Congressman Robert Garcia (D-Calif.), a newly elected legislator who represents the ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, and neighboring areas.

Before being elected to Congress, Garcia served as the mayor of Long Beach. He is currently co-chair of the Congressional Ports Caucus.

In his meeting with MLA members, he expressed his support for the Maritime Security Program and cargo preference requirements.

Later, each member union presented a report, and the MLA’s annual officer election was held.

MM&P President Don Marcus was unanimously reelected as MLA president and MEBA Secretary-Treasurer Roland Rexha was unanimously reelected as MLA secretary-treasurer.
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Sixteen Filipino seafarers went home last week after the livestock carrier on which they had worked was sold to cover unpaid wages and other debts owed by China-based Soar Harmony Shipping.

The story began when the Liberia-flagged vessel, YANGTZE FORTUNE, arrived in Portland, Australia, last September to load 5,200 head of cattle for transport to China.

Safety inspectors found serious safety and maintenance problems including cracks in the hull, and the shipowner, when notified, stopped paying the 36-person crew.

The International Transport Workers’ Federation lodged an abandonment notice on their behalf. Port fees and other financial claims began to pile up.

In January 2023, the court ordered that the vessel be sold at auction.

Several members of the crew had been on board since April 2022.

According to the ITF, together they were owed more than US $160,000 in unpaid wages.

Twenty crewmembers were allowed to return to their homes in the Philippines immediately, but the authorities required 16 others to remain on the deteriorating vessel because it had been declared a threat to the safety of those in the port.

The court offered the master a chance to be repatriated in the first group since he had been on board for so long, but he refused to go until every member of the crew had been paid and cleared for repatriation.

The ITF and the Portland Mission to Seafarers made sure the crew was fed during their long ordeal and supplied them with phone cards so they could remain in touch with their families.

ITF inspectors discovered that the YANGTZE FORTUNE, like so many substandard flag-of-convenience vessels, has a checkered past: built as a containership in 2005 and later converted to carry livestock, it has sailed for numerous owners under at least five different names.
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The Great Lakes shipping season began last week with the end of winter lay-up and the reopening of the Poe Lock.

The MacArthur Lock, located south of the Poe, is scheduled to open on April 24.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers carries out critical repairs and maintenance during the non-navigation season, the duration of which is determined in part by regulation, in part by the feasibility of moving cargo on the Lakes in icy conditions.

This year, the Corps’ projects included inspecting electrical and mechanical systems, floating plant upkeep and preventative maintenance on both the Poe and the MacArthur locks.

Contractors also performed work on the Poe Lock ship arrestor project, completing new downstream arrestor equipment buildings, installing new arrestor machinery, and replacing the arrestor boom.

This year is the 65th navigation season for the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System, the binational waterway that supports more than 237,000 jobs and generates $35 billion in economic activity in the United States and Canada.
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United Inland Group–Pacific Maritime Region Representative Nick Sorber, who represents MM&P members in the Portland area, is running for Port of Columbia County Commissioner.

“If elected, I look forward to helping increase efforts to bring good-paying jobs to the area,” Sorber says.

“Bringing in new businesses increases our tax base which provides more dollars available to provide much-needed services like law enforcement and road improvements.”

“The Port of Columbia County has some great properties and assets from Scappoose to Clatskanie that can help this happen.”

Sorber started out in the industry as a deckhand on tugs and went on to earn his 1600-ton USCG captain’s license.

He represents MM&P members who work at Brusco, Crowley, Dunlap, Shaver, and Wahkiakum County Ferry.

To find out more, go to https://sorberforport.com/
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All MM&P union halls, the MM&P Plan Office, the MM&P Federal Credit Union and MM&P headquarters will be closed on April 7 for Good Friday.
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A referral agreement between MM&P and the California Maritime Academy gives MM&P members and applicants the opportunity to work as officers aboard the TS GOLDEN BEAR during the summer sea term.

The basic provisions of the agreement provide for members and applicants to participate in the MM&P Health & Benefit Plan, IRAP, and MATES training program.

Officers who sail under the terms of the program are also eligible to earn points needed for MM&P advancement.

There are positions for watch standers, instructors, and day workers for both Deck and Engine departments.

This is a unique opportunity to assist with the at-sea, practical training of future mariners and the chance to participate in a great itinerary.

Currently seeking the following:

— 4 Third Mates (1 day worker and 3 watch standers)

— 1 First Assistant Engineer (day worker)

— 1 Second Assistant Engineer (day worker)

— 1 Third Engineer (day worker)

The cruise begins May 1 and ends July 8. Here is the tentative itinerary:

May 1: Report aboard for duty

May 5: Cadets begin cruise

May 9: Depart Vallejo

May 11-12: Long Beach/Bunker (No liberty)

May 16-19: La Paz, Mexico (Liberty)

June 5-8: Apia Samoa (Liberty)

June 11: Golden Shellback

June 17-20: Hilo, Hawaii (Liberty)

July 1-5: Astoria, Wash.

July 7: Arrive Vallejo

July 8: Cruise ends

If you are interested, please contact Melany Skippen, Pacific Ports Coast Agent: mskippen@bridgedeck.org
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Chief Mate for the LMSR fleet needed now. Security clearance required.

Tanker CM also needed.
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At Grand River Navigation, there are jobs for ABs and licensed engineering personnel.

At Weeks Marine, there are jobs for unlicensed deck personnel with unlimited mate licenses.

In addition, there are jobs at Weeks Marine for unlicensed engineering personnel and licensed engineering personnel.

If you are interested, please contact MM&P Vice President Great Lakes & Gulf Region Vice President Tom Bell, tbell@bridgedeck.org, or (216) 776-1667.
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There are openings for engineers in the MM&P Offshore fleet and the Great Lakes & Gulf Region.

For engineering jobs in the Offshore Group, contact Atlantic Ports Vice President Tom Larkin, tlarkin@bridgedeck.org, or 201-963-1900.

For engineering jobs on the Lakes, contact MM&P Great Lakes & Gulf Region Vice President Tom Bell, tbell@bridgedeck.org, or (216) 776-1667.
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For registration contact our Admissions Department: 866.656.5568 or admissions@mitags.org

\\Classes are 5-day unless otherwise noted\\

Class dates followed by an * are full
AB – Able Seaman (5-Day): 06/05/23
AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation (1-Day): Not currently scheduled

ARPA-OIC– Automated Radar Plotting Aids (4-Day): 04/03/23, 06/19/23, 09/04/23, 11/13/23

AZIPOD (2-Day) : Not currently scheduled

BRM – Bridge Resource Management (5-Day): 05/01/23, 07/24/23, 10/09/23, 12/11/23

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots (2-Day): Not currently scheduled

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling – (Now also included in BRMP-Refresher) (3-Day): Not currently scheduled

BRMP-Refresher (Now including Emergency Shiphandling for Pilots) (3-Day): Not currently scheduled

BT – Basic Safety Training (5-Day): 05/08/23, 09/11/23

BT-Revalidation (2-day) (Must have 1 year of sea service in last 5 years) –*04/24/23, 06/05/23, 09/26/23, 10/16/23, 11/15/23, 12/19/23

BT-Refresher (3-day) – *04/24/23, 06/05/23, 09/26/23, 11/15/23, 12/18/23

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic (5-Day): 09/18/23

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability (5-Day): 06/26/23, 07/24/23, 12/18/23

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology (5-Day): 04/17/23, 06/19/23, 07/31/23, 10/30/23, 12/11/23

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (10 Days): 10/16/23

CM-OPS 1 – Chief Mate Operations (5-Day): 7/10/23, 11/27/23

CM-OPS 2 Maersk – Chief Mate Operations II Maersk Specific (5-Day): 07/17/23, 12/04/23

CM-OPS 2 APL – Chief Mate Operations II APL Specific (5-Day): Not currently scheduled

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information Systems (5-Day): 04/10/23, 08/07/23, 10/02/23

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM) (5-Day): 04/24/23, 08/14/23, 10/16/23

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants (5-Day): 10/02/23

(DCS-1 available on request – contact Admissions)

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (5-Day): 05/01/23, 11/06/23

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1) (5-Day): 04/10/23, 06/05/23*, 07/10/23, 08/14/23, 09/11/23, 10/02/23, 10/30/23 12/04/23

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2) (5-Day): 04/03/23, 06/12/23, 07/17/23, 10/09/23, 11/06/23, 12/11/23

**SHS-ADV-I & II are now approved to include SAR-CMM assessments at MITAGS**

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation (5-Day): 04/10/23, 10/09/23

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping (5-Day): 09/25/23

WX-HW-ATL – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Atlantic Ocean (2-day) – Not Currently Scheduled

WX-HW-IND – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Indian Ocean (2-day) – Not Currently Scheduled

WX-HW-PAC – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Pacific Ocean (2-day) – Not Currently Scheduled

CIW-DPA/IA – Continual Improvement Workshop: Designated Person Ashore & Internal Auditor (3-Day) ** This course is NOT covered by the MATES Program **Online: Not currently scheduled

CIW-SMS – Continual Improvement Workshop: Successful Safety Management (2-Day) – Online: Not Currently Scheduled

CNAV-OIC– Celestial Navigation (15-Day): 05/08/23, 10/30/23

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications (1-Day): Not currently scheduled

CRSMGT – Crisis Management and Human Behavior (1-Day): Not currently scheduled

CDMGT – Crowd Management (1-Day): Not currently scheduled

CSE – Confined Space Entry (3-Day): 05/01/23, 08/22/23

CSE-AWR – Confined Space Entry Awareness (2-Day): Not currently scheduled

CY-MAR – Cyber-Skilled Mariner (5-Day) **NOT covered by the MATES Program ** – Not currently scheduled

Cyber-MAR-ONL – Cyber Skilled Mariner, Management of Information & Systems Security (Online Seminar) **NOT covered by the MATES Program ** – Not Currently Scheduled

DDE – Great Lakes (20-Day): Not currently scheduled

ECDIS for Pilots (2-Day): Not currently scheduled

ERM – Engine Resource Management (5-Day): 08/07/23

ADV-FF – Advanced Fire-Fighting (4-day): Not currently scheduled

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced (5-Day): 05/08/23, 07/24/23

FF-ADV-Rev (1-day) (Must have 1 year of sea service in last 5 years) – Advanced Fire Fighting Revalidation: 04/26/23, 06/07/23, 09/27/23, 10/16/23, 11/17/23, 12/21/23

FF-ADV-REF (2-day) – Advanced Fire Fighting Refresher: 04/27/23, 06/08/23, 09/29/23, 11/13/23, 12/16/23

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications (1-Day): Online; Not currently scheduled

GL-Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization (2-Day): Not currently scheduled

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (10-Day): 07/17/23

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 05/01/23, 06/19/23, 09/11/23, 11/16/23

IEN – Integrated Electronic Navigation (3-Day): Not currently scheduled

LAP – License Advancement Program for Mate to Master (20-Day): 07/10/23, 10/16/23

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes (15-Day): Not currently scheduled

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross Ton License (15-Day): 06/05/23, 11/27/23

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage (1-Day): Not Currently Scheduled

LNG-TPIC (10-Day): Not currently scheduled

LNG-BADV (3 Day): Coming Soon!

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC) (1-Day): 05/04/23

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control Equipment (Assessments not included): 04/17/23, 08/07/23, 12/04/23

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge (10-Day): 04/10/23*, 07/10/23, 08/21/23, 10/02/23, 12/04/23

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 05/22/23, 08/07/23, 11/27/23

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: (5-Day): 04/10/23*, 07/10/23, 08/21/23, 09/18/23, 10/02/23

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing (1-Day): 04/15/23, 04/23/23, 05/20/23, 06/04/23, 07/15/23, 09/24/23, 10/07/23, 10/15/23, 11/18/23, 12/09/23, 12/22/23

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic) (1-Day): 05/22/23, 06/08/23, 08/10/23, 09/07/23, 10/26/23

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (2-day): 05/23/23, 06/09/23, 08/11/23, 09/08/23, 10/27/23

MSC-ENVPRO (1-Day): 06/19/23, 08/21/23, 11/16/23

MSC-FF-HELO (2-Day): 06/06/23, 09/13/23

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualifications (4-Day): 04/17/23, 05/15/23, 06/12/23, 08/14/23, 09/11/23, 10/30/23

MSC-Security Watch Basic (1-Day/ 8-hour) – 05/13/23, 06/10/23, 08/12/23, 09/09/23, 10/28/23

MSC-Security Watch Advanced (1-Day) – 04/16/23, 05/14/23, 06/11/23, 08/13/23, 09/10/23, 10/29/23

MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force (3-Day) –04/21/23, 05/19/23, 06/16/23, 08/18/23, 09/15/23, 11/03/23

NDMS-ENAV – Navigational Decision-Making Series – Best Practice in eNav (3-Day): Not currently scheduled

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P (2-Day): 05/22/23, 05/24/23, 07/31/23, 08/02/23, 11/13/23, 11/15/23

PSC – Personal Survival Craft (Lifeboatman) (5-Day): 04/24/23, 09/18/23

PSC-REF – Personal Survival Craft Refresher (2-Day): 05/01/23, 10/02/23

RFPNW – Ratings Forming Part of a Navigational Watch (3-day): Not currently scheduled

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal (1-Day): Not Currently Scheduled

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes (1-Night): Upon Request

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 06/19/23, 08/28/23, 11/27/23

SAR – Search & Rescue – (Now with OIC and CMM assessments) (3-Day): 05/01/23, 10/23/23

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 06/26/23, 09/25/23, 12/11/23

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling (5 Day): 04/24/23, 06/19/23, 08/28/23, 10/16/23, 12/18/23

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 09/11/23

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses (15-Day): 07/31/23

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 07/10/23

TRAC-TUG-2 (2-Day): Not currently scheduled

TTT – ** This course is NOT covered by the MATES Program **: Not currently scheduled

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties (1-Day): Not Currently Scheduled

VSO – Vessel Security Officer (3-Day): 05/31/23, 06/26/23

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level) (10-Day): 04/17/23, 10/09/23,

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 07/10/23
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2023 Winter/Spring

Schedule of Courses – Please also see our schedule and enroll online at www.mitags.org

For registration contact our admissions department: 866.656.5568 or admissions@mitags.org

April 2023

10-11 Basic Training Revalidation

10-21 Watchkeeping (Operational Level)

12th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation

24-5 GMDSS

24-12 Celestial Navigation

May 2023

1-4 Advanced Firefighting

15-26 GMDSS

18-19 Advanced Firefighting Refresher

20-21 Basic Training Revalidation

20-2 Basic Training Refresher

22 Advanced Firefighting Revalidation

22-6 Basic Training (original)

23 Radar Renewal

30-1 Security Officer – Vessel, Company & Facility

June 2023

12-3 Basic Training Revalidation

14 Advanced Firefighting Revalidation

19-23 Basic Training (original)

26-30 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
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The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots, 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©2021. Articles can be reprinted without prior permission if credit is given to The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly.

For subscriptions, address changes or messages to the editor or to MM&P headquarters, e-mail communications@bridgedeck.org. Back issues of The Weekly are posted on www.bridgedeck.org