1 Volume 70 SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA, MARCH 21, 2014 No. 3 Attacks on Jones Act continue Lawmakers from Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico and Guam are teaming up to pressure the U.S. government for relief from the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, commonly referred to as the Jones Act. Representatives from the impacted states and territories recently discussed the issue in a videoconference. The Jones Act was designed to protect the domestic shipping industry. It states that only U.S.-flag ships, made in the U.S., in service with American citizen crews can deliver goods between U.S. ports. Hawaii State Senator Sam Slom is part of a bipartisan group of Hawaii lawmakers pushing Congress to reconsider the Jones Act or to consider a waiver for noncontiguous states and territories. The highly delusional Slom believes that the Hawaiian cost of living is 49 percent higher than the U.S. mainland because of Jones Act shipping costs and therefore punishes the people of Alaska, Puerto Rico, Guam and Hawaii. Representative Gene Ward of Hawaii said the state isn t asking for much, just a waiver from the rules, because, having something made, flagged, and owned by America is obsolete. This bizarre mentality doesn t end with Slom and Ward. Hawaii House of Representatives Speaker Joe Souki is among seven legislators supporting a resolution that asks Congress to give Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico an exemption from the Jones Act. Other members joining the resolution include Representatives Tom Brower, Romy Cachola, Richard Creagan, Cindy Evans and Bert Kobayashi. Alaskan lawmakers, led by State Senator Fred Dyson, have made a similar request to Congress, but the state has not yet seen results. Most of Alaska s goods move along the coast and freight rates would be reduced if the state could use foreign ships. The Puerto Rico Senate passed a resolution calling for an investigation of the economic impact of the Jones Act. Puerto Rico Senator Rossana Lopez Leon believes that elimination of the the implementation of the Jones Act in Puerto Rico will create jobs and boost economic development. The territory of Guam is currently exempt from the Jones Act, but because natural shipping lanes pass through Honolulu, the law affects Guam. The American Maritime Partnership, a coalition that represents vessel owners and operators, unions, equipment yards and vendors, says the Jones Act is critical for economic and security reasons. It says the domestic maritime industry is responsible for nearly 500,000 jobs and more than $100 billion in annual economic output. Labor compensation associated with the domestic fleet exceeds $29 billion annually with those wages spent in virtually every corner of the United States. The American domestic fleet consists of over 40,000 vessels. Every job in a domestic shipyard results in four additional jobs elsewhere in the U.S. economy. Opponents of the Jones Act want Administration requests a weak $658 million for MarAd Proving once again its general disregard for things maritime, the Obama Administration s fiscal year 2015 budget request for the U.S. Maritime Administration is a paltry $658 million. The budget requests $148 million to support the United States Merchant Marine Academy, the state maritime academies and Maritime Administration operations and programs. Of this, $79.4 million is requested for the Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, NY, to continue to support the highest standards of excellence in education for the midshipmen and to make critical capital improvements to the Academy s physical campus. Another $17.7 million is requested to support the state maritime academies, including $3.6 million for direct support payments to each of the six schools, $2.4 million for student tuition support, $11.3 million for maintenance and repair of the school ships and $350 thousand for the Mariner Service Compliance System. For Maritime Administration operations and programs, $51.0 million is requested to provide operational support for the agency s programs. This request includes $3.0 million to maintain environmental program activities. The President s fiscal year 2015 budget requests $4.8 million to support continued obsolete vessel disposal actions, with priority emphasis on the worst condition non-retention vessels in the Maritime Administration s three reserve fleet sites. The budget requests $186 million for the Maritime Security Program to ensure the maintenance of a commercial fleet capable of supporting a U.S. presence in foreign commerce, while also ensuring the military s ability to obtain assured access to these commercial vessels, intermodal facilities and mariners. The $186 million authorized level will fund $3.1 million for each of the 60 ships enrolled in the program. $25 million is also included as a component of reforms proposed for P.L. 480 Food Assistance to mitigate the impact these reforms will have on sealift capacity and mariner jobs. The budget reflects a direct transfer of $291 million from the Department of Defense to support the Ready Reserve Force fleet of ships that provide surge sealift capacity and transport Department of Defense cargo in the event of war or national emergency. For 2014, $299 million was actually enacted. This year, again, nothing is requested for the Assistance to Small Shipyards program. Holidays Observed foreign-built, foreign-operated, foreign-manned, and foreign-owned vessels to operate on American waters. The U.S. Navy understands the foolishness of the anti-jones Act crowd. The Navy position is clear: repeal of the Jones Act would hamper the nation s ability to meet strategic sealift requirements and Navy shipbuilding. Over the past several decades the Navy has consistently opposed efforts to repeal or modify key U.S. maritime laws. America s domestic fleet is an important part of the national maritime infrastructure that helps ensure there will be ample U.S. sealift capacity to defend our nation. American ships, crews to man them, ship construction and repair yards, intermodal equipment, terminals, cargo tracking systems and other infrastructure can be made available to the U.S. military at a moment s notice in times of war, national emergency, or even in peacetime. In addition, during a major mobilization, American domestic vessels move defense cargoes to coastal ports for overseas shipments. During Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, U.S.-flag commercial vessels, including ships drawn from the domestic trades, transported 90% of all military cargoes moved to Afghanistan and Iraq. The Defense Department has consistently emphasized the military importance of maintaining a strong domestic shipbuilding industry. A study by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Export Administration, reached a similar conclusion: The U.S. shipbuilding and repair industry is a strategic asset analogous to the aerospace, computer, and electronic industries. Frontline warships and support vessels are vital for maintaining America s national security and for protecting interests abroad. In emergency situations, America s cargo carrying capacity is indispensable for moving troops and supplies to areas of conflict overseas. A domestic capability to produce and repair warships, support vessels and commercial vessels is not only a strategic asset but also fundamental to national security. Homeland security is enhanced by the requirement for American vessels that operate in full accordance with U.S. laws and with the consistent oversight of the U.S. government. In that respect, the Jones Act is as effective a homeland security measure as any federal agency could ever write and enforce. There is considerable uncertainty about what laws would apply to a foreign shipping company operating in U.S. domestic commerce if the Jones Act were repealed. However, it is certain that the task of monitoring, regulating, and overseeing potentially tens of thousands of foreign-controlled, foreigncrewed vessels in internal U.S. commerce would be difficult at best and fruitless at worst. Repeal or modification of the key domestic maritime laws would make America more vulnerable and less secure. Anthony Poplawski, president of the Marine Firemen s Union, which represents unlicensed engineers aboard U.S.-flag ships, stated, The sellout of the American worker has been going on for decades. The coup de grace will be the elimination of American ships and American mariners from the domestic shipping lanes and waterways. And then there is the issue of homeland security. Those who oppose the Jones Act need to have their heads examined. ILO sets new minimum wage for seafarers The International Labor Organization (ILO) monthly minimum wage for able-bodied seamen will be raised to $592 in January 2015 and $614 in January The decision was agreed at a meeting of maritime employer representatives in Geneva, in cooperation with the International Shipping Federation (ISF) and the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF). During the proceedings, an ISF spokesman, who cited various UN publications highlighting instability in the global economy and particularly in shipping, said that we believe the decision taken is an appropriate one that gives ship owners adequate notice to be prepared for the impact of agreed changes going forward to Cesar Chavez Birthday The MFOW hiring halls on the West Coast will be closed on Monday, March 31, 2014, in observance of Cesar Chavez Birthday. It is a longshore holiday under the ILWU Master Agreement and therefore a recognized MFOW holiday aboard APLMS and Matson vessels in West Coast ports. It is not a holiday at sea. For members working under the MFOW Maintenance Agreements, this holiday shall be observed in accordance with local custom and practice. Harry Bridges Memorial Day in Honolulu The MFOW Honolulu hall will also be closed on Monday, March 31, in observance of Harry Bridges Memorial Day (March 30), which is an ILWU Local 142 holiday and is therefore a holiday for vessels in Hawaii ports on that day and for members working in Hawaii under the MFOW-Matson Maintenance Agreement. It is not a holiday in West Coast ports. Good Friday All MFOW hiring halls on the West Coast will close at noon on Good Friday, April 18, The Honolulu Branch will be closed all day, as it is an ILWU Local 142 holiday. Therefore, it is a holiday for Matson ships in port and for those working under the Matson-MFOW Maintenance Agreement.
2 Page 2 THE MARINE FIREMAN FRIDAY, MARCH 21, 2014 The Marine Fireman Published Monthly By The Pacific Coast Marine Firemen, Oilers, Watertenders and Wipers Association ORGANIZED 1883 Affiliated with the Seafarers International Union of North America, AFL-CIO Yearly subscription rate: $10 first class, $25 overseas air Postmaster: Send address changes to The Marine Fireman, 240 2nd Street, San Francisco, CA Requirements for all Marine Firemen s Union seagoing employment 1. Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) United States Passport (A foreign passport may suffice in some situations) SIU-PD Medical Center annual physical exam Q card Department of Transportation-approved drug screen (within six months of start date) Department of Transportation Drug and Alcohol Verification Form U.S. Coast Guard-issued Merchant Mariner s Credential (MMC) STCW Basic Training (BT) endorsement includes Basic Firefighting, First Aid and CPR,... Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities and Personal Survival Techniques 8. STCW Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties (VPDSD) and Security... Awareness (SA) endorsements Marine Firemen s Union Document Checklist 9. STCW Two-Year Medical Certificate... Requirement for ships calling ports in China 10. Chinese VISA... Requirement for the QMED ratings of Oiler, Fireman/Watertender and Junior Engineer 11. STCW Rating Forming Part of an Engineering Watch (RFPEW) endorsement... Requirement for the QMED rating of Refrigerating Engineer 12. Environmental Protection Agency Section 608 Universal Technician Certificate... Requirements for Military Sealift Command billets 13. Damage Control (DC) Certificate Basic Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense (CBRD) Certificate Marine Environmental Programs (MEP) Certificate Anti-Terrorism Force Protection (ATFP) - Level One Certificate Helicopter Fire Fighting (on certain vessels) Military Sealift Command Physical Exam Tuberculosis Screening Vaccination Card Patriot Contract Services Crew Data Forms HR-145 and CL SF85 Security Clearance Application and Fingerprint Cards for CAC... This is a guide for most dispatch situations. Other document and shipping requirements may apply in certain situations. Remember to check your documents and expiration dates often!!! Reduced electric rates help improve port air quality The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved reduced electric rates at the Port of Long Beach for the next 24 years and a program for Southern California Edison (SCE) to install major electric infrastructure at no cost to the port or its tenants, so that the port and its tenants can proceed with critical electrification and environmental improvement projects. The new rates and electric infrastructure are the result of an intensive effort by the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners, its Harbor Department staff and City Attorney Charles Parkin, in coordination with Mayor Bob Foster, to win support for electrifying more Port operations to improve air quality and increase productivity. With a reliable, reasonably-priced supply of electricity and modern electric infrastructure, the port and its tenants will be able to invest to continue to improve productivity and efficiency. The port, the second-busiest in the nation and a major economic engine for the region, is facing stiff competition for its business and jobs from other U.S. ports and ports in Canada and Mexico. Port-related international trade supports 30,000 jobs in Long Beach and 300,000 jobs in Southern California. The new rates are projected to save maritime operators at the Port of Long Beach an estimated 15 percent each year on their electric bills over the 24-year term of the CPUCapproved reduction or approximately $350 million as compared with the current rates. SCE will also be installing millions of dollars of new electric lines with voltage increased to 66 kilovolts and new substations as needed to serve the growing load at no cost to the port and its tenants. In addition, port tenants served at 66 kilovolts qualify for lower SCE rates, rather than higher rates at the existing 12 kilovolts. This development follows several other important milestones in the effort to electrify the Port of Long Beach and as a result, improve air quality and increase competitiveness: Following years of negotiations, the Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners last summer entered into a 25-year contract with SCE which, among other things, required SCE to support the Port s application for reduced rates, install new electric lines and to provide electric service and establish procedures for additions and modifications of SCE facilities at the Port. Long Beach Harbor Department staff and the Long Beach City Attorney s office obtained a ground-breaking CPUC tariff rule (later copied and adopted statewide), which permits the port to provide shore power to ships at berth, allowing them to shut down their diesel generators and reduce air emissions, and eliminates a costly separate SCE electric demand charge for each vessel call, reducing overall demand charges by 90% and saving vessels and maritime operators $85 million per year. Long Beach Harbor Department staff and the Long Beach City Attorney s office established that activities at the Port of Long Beach were legally classified as essential facilities, and not subject to power interruptions by SCE; this is critical to reliable around-the-clock port operations. Marine Firemen s Union Directory HEADQUARTERS 240 Second Street San Francisco, CA Tel: (415) /4593/4594 Fax: (415) Dispatcher-Tel: (415) Dispatcher-Fax: (415) General Anthony Poplawski President/Secretary-Treasurer I. "Cajun" Callais Vice President Karen Mohr, Controller Sandra Serrano, Secretary/Training MFOW Trust Funds Sylvia Hurd Optical and Death Benefits Esther Hernandez HMO Eligibility Amanda Salinas Medical Claims Tel: (415) / Fax: (415) Peggy Artau Money Purchase & Pension Benefits Tel: (415) Fax: (415) WILMINGTON BRANCH 533-B Marine Avenue Wilmington, CA Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1237 Wilmington, CA Tel: (310) Fax: (310) H. "Sonny" Gage, Port Agent HONOLULU BRANCH 707 Alakea Street Honolulu, HI Tel: (808) Fax: (808) Mario Higa, Port Agent PORT SERVICED SEATTLE nd Avenue West Seattle, WA Tel: (206) Fax: (206) Vince O Halloran, Representative
3 FRIDAY, MARCH 21, 2014 THE MARINE FIREMAN Page 3 Port of Redwood City happy to receive funds The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) recently delivered to Congress its fiscal year 2014 (FY14) work plans for the Army civil works program, including $7.7 million to dredge the Port of Redwood City s navigation channel. Port officials lauded U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein for her role in helping efforts to raise the amount by an additional $5,015,000 over what was initially budgeted. The Port of Redwood City navigation channel is currently at 24 feet, well short of the authorized depth of 30 feet. Channel depth is a critical factor in determining operating costs and the price of materials shipped through the port. Port customers told the USACE and Senator Feinstein that their businesses transporting construction materials to Silicon Valley and throughout the Bay Area were being adversely hindered because of the channel s depth. To compensate for the shallower channel, ships are typically light loaded by shifting materials to shallow draft barges within the bay. In addition to light loading, companies respond to the inadequate channel depth by offloading at other ports farther north and then truck materials to Silicon Valley. This adds to highway congestion and emissions throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. In fact, every ship that does not call on the Port of Redwood City adds about 1,600 trucks to Bay Area highways. According to the USACE San Francisco District, $8 million is required to restore the channel to full project depth. The President s budget request and therefore the FYl4 omnibus appropriations bill included $2.75 million for the Redwood City project, meaning that $5.25 million in additional funding is needed to restore the channel to full project depth. The bill included additional funding for projects that will enhance national, regional or local economic development and takes into consideration lack of alternative means of freight movement, and savings over alternative means of freight movement. Dredging could start this September and take two months. SLNC Pax first U.S. vessel classed by ClassNK Classification society ClassNK has announced its first United States-flagged ship. The vessel, newly named MT SLNC Pax, owned by Schuyler Line Navigation Company, LLC, is classified as an oil and chemical tanker and is operating in the U.S.-flag cargo preference service. ClassNK opened its first U.S. office in New York in It was granted the authorization to carry out statutory survey for U.S.-flag ships from the United States Coast Guard for the first time in 2011 for load line and tonnage. It was granted extended authorization on December 2012, enabling ClassNK to render a full range of services for survey and certification for the SOLAS, MARPOL and AFS conventions, as well as to Port of San Diego celebrates shore power installation The Port of San Diego has successfully switched on its new shorepower system at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal, which will improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by allowing cargo vessels to plug in rather than run their diesel engines while in port. Construction on the $4.25 million project began in mid-2013 and was funded by the port s Capital Improvement Program (CIP). On February 24, a ribbon cutting ceremony was held at the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal, celebrating the completion of the Port of San Diego s shore power project. The installation of shore power has substantial environmental benefits: Reduces greenhouse gas emissions by over 50% (more than 2,000 metric tons) per year, equivalent to greenhouse gas emissions from about 1,500 cars per year Reduces emissions of nitrogen oxides by approximately 95% or 70 tons per year, equivalent to emissions from over 4,000 cars per year perform ISM audits on behalf of the United States flag administration. This service commenced with the classification of the MT SLNC Pax. The MT SLNC Pax is operated by Patriot Contract Services and employs Marine Firemen s Union unlicensed engineers. Speakers at the ribbon cutting ceremony also included U.S. Congressman Scott Peters, City of San Diego Interim Mayor Todd Gloria, Dole Vice President Stuart Jablon and Environmental Health Coalition Executive Director Diane Takvorian. The new shore power system will allow refrigerated cargo ships including those from Dole Fresh Fruit to plug in and use electrical power from SDG&E instead of relying on diesel fuel engines while at berth. This will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality around Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal, with the community of Barrio Logan being the closest impacted neighborhood. This project fulfills a mandate set forth by the California Air Resources Board requiring California ports and terminals to provide shore power to container, passenger and refrigerated-cargo ships. The Port of San Diego is already equipped to provide shore power to cruise ships that berth at both its B Street Pier Cruise Ship Terminal and Broadway Pier. Newly-elected MFOW Vice President Cajun Callais began covering the Oakland waterfront on March 11. Search underway for Port of Los Angeles executive director Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the launch of a global executive search to fill the top post at the Port of Los Angeles. Under Garcetti s direction, the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners established an ad hoc search committee to oversee the process, which is comprised of Harbor Commission President Vilma Martinez and Commission Vice President David Arian. The Port of Los Angeles is a critical economic driver of our region and plays a central role in L.A. s reputation as a global city and leading Pacific Rim trade gateway, said Garcetti. We are seeking a highly experienced and dynamic leader with a strong track record of success a true collaborator and visionary who can lead the port s growth and international trade efforts in the years ahead. The Port operates in a fiercely competitive global economy and international trade arena, said Board President Martinez. We will be searching for that uncommon executive who can embrace this dynamic and challenging environment, and help assure our continued position as the number one container port in the U.S. The executive recruitment firm Ralph Andersen & Associates has been retained to recruit and screen prospective qualified candidates. The ad hoc committee will conduct interviews and help narrow the field of candidates. Port of Oakland rejects new coal export terminal The Port of Oakland Board of Commissioners voted to reject proposals to build a new dirty, dangerous coal and petroleum coke export facility at the Charles P. Howard Terminal in Oakland. Citing environmental problems, public health hazards, economic pitfalls and public opposition to the project, the Port Commissioners voted unanimously to reject two proposals that would have opened the Bay Area up to additional fossil fuel export facilities. Commissioners said the proposed coal export facilities would threaten Bay Area families by further polluting the West, East and Fruitvale communities of Oakland. The Port of Oakland received bids in December 2013 from two developers to construct a coal and fossil fuel export facility at the 50-acre Howard Terminal site. One of the potential developers had projected to construct an 8.3 million ton per year bulk export facility, including over 4 million tons of coal and 1 million tons of petroleum coke. Another group of investors also placed a bid for a facility with a likely fossil fuel export component. A third proposal involved metal recycling. Coal dust and diesel particulate matter from the numerous open top mile-long trains to transport these commodities would have posed significant air and water quality threats to Bay Area families. Coal breaks apart easily to create dust and contains mercury, arsenic, uranium and hundreds of other heavy metal toxins harmful to fish and human health. Earlier this month, the Port of Oakland staff recommended that the Port Commissioners reject the proposals due to air quality and environmental concerns, as well as the climate impacts of burning coal abroad. The decision dealt an added blow to two of the potential developers, as both companies had previously proposed to construct coal export terminals elsewhere on the West Coast. In 2013, one company abandoned its plans to build a coal export terminal at the Port of St. Helens, Oregon along the Columbia River. Similarly, another walked away from plans to construct a coal export terminal in Coos Bay, Oregon. In addition to the Howard Terminal proposal in Oakland, there are potential proposals to develop additional coal and coke export facilities at the Oakland Army Base, other berths at the Port of Oakland, and the Port of Richmond. There are currently two existing coal export facilities in the Bay Area at the privately owned Levin-Richmond Terminal and at the Port of Stockton. Coal companies have increasingly sought a massive expansion in their exports of coal particularly from the West Coast as declining U.S. markets for fossil fuels have sent companies searching abroad for new markets. Coal companies have proposed the construction of six coal export terminals in Washington and Oregon. Since their proposal, three of the projects are either dead or tabled as thousands have mobilized across the region to oppose the projects.
4 Page 4 THE MARINE FIREMAN FRIDAY, MARCH 21, 2014 By ANTHONY POPLAWSKI MFOW ELECTION The Marine Firemen s Union Coastwise Balloting Committee convened on February 10. Following the provisions of Article V, Section XV of the MFOW Constitution, the Committee visited the neutral depository at 182 Howard Street, San Francisco, to remove the ballots mailed in by the membership. At Headquarters, the Committee checked the eligibility of all members who exercised their right to vote and concluded the count in one day. The Committee Chairman Roger Brucks, #3468; Josh Patricio, #3820; John Bjerken, #3864; Walter Washington, #3548 (assistant) and Aaron McTaggart, JM-5004 (assistant) also certified the results of the ballot count on February 10. The complete report of the Balloting Committee was sent to the Branches for review and was submitted for membership approval at the March Headquarters and Branch meetings. New officials began service on Tuesday, March 11. WATSON-CLASS LMSR VESSELS We anticipate that the legal challenges against the Military Sealift Command award to Patriot Contract Services to operate the Watson-class LMSR vessels will finally conclude this month. If all goes well, crewing of the vessels is expected to begin by April 1. The eight-ship contract will provide excellent employment opportunities for all qualified members over the next five years in the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans as part of the U.S. Navy s Prepositioning Program. President Obama s budget for fiscal year 2015 (FY15) includes $4.561 billion in gross discretionary funding for the civil works program of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), which is offset in part by a proposal to cancel $28 million in unobligated carryover of funds previously appropriated. The budget continues the administration s emphasis on maintaining the nation s coastal channels and inland waterways, reducing flood risks to the American public and restoring large ecosystems through targeted investments that fund the development, management, restoration, and protection of the nation s water, wetlands and related resources. The budget funds the planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance of projects, and focuses on the highest performing work within three main civil works mission areas: commercial navigation, flood and coastal storm damage reduction and aquatic ecosystem restoration. It funds programs that contribute to the protection of the nation s waters and wetlands, the generation of low-cost renewable hydropower, the restoration of certain sites contaminated as a result of the nation s early efforts to develop atomic weapons and emergency preparedness and training to respond to natural disasters. New federal funding in the civil works budget consists of $3.517 billion from the general fund, $915 million from the harbor maintenance trust fund, $85 million from the inland waterways trust fund, and $44 million from special recreation user fees. The funding will be distributed among the appropriation accounts as follows: Operation and maintenance $2.6 billion Construction $1.125 billion Mississippi River and tributaries $245 million Regulatory program $200 million Expenses $178 million Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program $100 million Investigations $80 million Flood control and coastal emergencies $28 million Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for civil works $5 million The civil works program is also provided $398 million in funding from three additional sources bringing the total program funding to $4.959 billion. This includes approximately $300 million in cost-sharing contributions to the rivers and harbors contributed funds account from non-federal partners. Additionally, $20 million in federal permanent appropriations will be available to the USACE in FY15, and $78 million will be available from the coastal wetlands restoration trust fund for the work of several federal agencies including USACE, overseen by an interagency federal-state task force led by USACE. The administration s proposed Opportunity, Growth and Security Initiative would support USACE efforts to increase the resilience of water resources infrastructure to a changing climate. This would include investments in small floodrisk reduction projects that use nonstructural or natural approaches to risk reduction. It would also provide technical assistance to non-federal, state and local agencies to assist and enable their development and implementation of nonstructural actions to reduce flood risks; and an interagency study by USACE and the Bureau of Reclamation to develop more resilient approaches to improve management of their existing infrastructure and the strategies that they use in planning for future capital investments. The budget supports the modernization of federal water resources infrastructure processes to address water resources needs through policies and procedures that govern federal water resources development and strategies for both managing existing infrastructure and restoring aquatic ecosystem functions affected by past investments. The administration is considering additional proposals to advance efforts already underway and to build the foundation of a comprehensive strategy for MFOW President Anthony Poplawski was sworn-in as a member of the Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee (MERPAC) on March 12 at the AMO STAR Center in Dania Beach, Florida. The Prepositioning Program is an essential element in the U.S. military s readiness strategy. Afloat prepositioning strategically places military equipment and supplies aboard ships located in key areas to ensure rapid availability during a major theater war, a humanitarian operation or other contingency. The ships provide quick and efficient movement of military gear between operating areas without reliance on other nations transportation networks and give U.S. regional combatant commanders the assurance that they will have what they need to quickly respond in a crisis. BOARD OF TRUSTEES MEETING Article III, Section VIII of the MFOW Constitution provides that regular meetings of the Board of Trustees shall be held once every year at Headquarters in San Francisco and on call of the President or any four members. The meeting is usually scheduled in the month of March and includes participation by the Port Agents. Considering the current heavy administrative workload at Headquarters and the forthcoming heavy workload expected at all Branches related to the crewing of the Watson-class LMSR vessels, postponement of the Board of Trustees meeting was recommended until later in the year. Obama s budget for USACE civil works released water resources management and investment. The budget includes $1.825 billion for the study, design, construction, operation and maintenance of inland and coastal navigation projects. It funds capital investments on the inland waterways based on the estimated revenues to the inland waterways trust fund and assumes enactment of a new user fee to increase revenue to this trust fund to enable a significant increase in funding for such investments in the future. The investigations account funds $10 million of that total for work on proposals to deepen or widen 12 high commercial use U.S. ports: Baltimore, Boston, Charleston, Freeport, Houston, Jacksonville, New Haven, Norfolk, Long Beach, San Juan, Savannah and Seattle. The operation and maintenance program is funded at $2.752 billion, including $152 million in the Mississippi River and tributaries account. The budget emphasizes performance of existing projects by focusing on those coastal harbors and inland waterways with the most commercial traffic, as well as safety improvements at federal dams and levees based on the risk and consequence of a failure. The budget also funds maintenance work at harbors that support significant commercial fishing, subsistence or public transportation benefits. There are 25 master plans, one dredged material management plan and one water supply reallocation study funded to completion in the operations and maintenance account. The aquatic ecosystem restoration program reflects interagency collaboration to restore large ecosystems: the California Bay Delta, Chesapeake Bay, the Everglades, the Great Lakes and the Gulf Coast. US- ACE will continue to work with other federal, state and local agencies, using the best available science and adaptive management to protect and restore these ecosystems. The budget funds 68 construction projects, consisting of 12 dam safety assurance, seepage control and static instability correction projects; nine projects ranked on the basis of life-saving benefits; seven additional project completions, one new start and 39 other continuing projects. By program area, the 68 funded construction projects consist of 31 flood risk management projects, 16 commercial navigation projects, 18 aquatic ecosystem restoration projects, one hydropower project and two water supply storage projects. Among the ongoing construction projects in the budget, the highest funded projects are: Olmsted Locks and Dam, American River Watershed Folsom Dam modification, Herbert Hoover Dike, Florida seepage control; the South Florida ecosystem restoration programs which includes the Everglades, East Branch Dam, Pennsylvania; Center Hill Dam, Tennessee; Missouri River Fish and Wildlife Recovery is several states, Columbia River Fish Mitigation, Delaware River Main Channel and Upper Mississippi River Restoration. The nine construction projects funded for completion are: Cleveland Harbor, Dover Dam, Muskingum River, Ohio; Green Bay Harbor, Hamilton Airfield Wetlands Restoration, California; Lower Savannah River Basin, Muddy River, Massachusetts; New York and New Jersey Harbor, Roanoke River Upper Basin headwaters and Texas City channel 50-foot project. The construction program includes one high-priority new construction start: Louisiana Coastal Area Ecosystem Restoration. The regulatory program will improve protection of the nation s waters and wetlands and provide greater efficiency of permit processing. The FUSRAP program will continue remedial activities at 23 sites contaminated as a result of the nation s early efforts to develop atomic weapons. The investigations program will fund studies to determine the need, engineering feasibility, and economic, environmental and social return of potential solutions for water and related land resource problems. The budget funds completion of 34 studies and designs, including 15 ecosystem restoration studies, 10 flood risk management studies and nine navigation studies.
5 FRIDAY, MARCH 21, 2014 THE MARINE FIREMAN Page 5 Vice President s Report By CAJUN CALLAIS As we proceed through the Year of the Horse, the end of the first quarter has left the MFOW with a mixed bag of emotions. The Union has many reasons to fret, be proud, celebrate or even be a wee bit tipsy (off duty) and more. Lest I digress, a few of the causes are: more Coast Guard paperwork, a shallow draft tanker, the Academy Awards, March Madness, Mardi Gras, Teddy Gleason s Birthday, first day of Spring, St. Patrick s Day, possible Watsonclass LMSR contract and a successful MFOW election, to name a few! On that note, I would like to extend a hearty well done to our outgoing MFOW officials and trustees for their many years of hard work, dedication and professionalism to our great Union and wish them all the best in their continuing voyage through life. In the fashion of the Academy Awards, I would like to blah blah blah and also especially thank President/Secretary Anthony Poplawski, the office staff, the Coastwise Balloting Committee, all MFOW active and retired rank-and-file members (all branches), our Seattle representative, contracted employers, crewing specialists, fellow unions and terminal personnel (and all others) for assisting in the nearly seamless turnover of newly-elected MFOW officials and trustees (whew!). Your new Vice President, just like your new Port Agents, hit the decks running on March 11. Communications, rapport and morale are high and should only improve as the learning curve flattens. I have made all vessel port calls; no beefs. Thanks to the ships delegates for a fine job. On March 19, Matson called for two standby Wipers for the Matsonia breakout. The scuttlebutt says at least two trips to China. The Moku Pahu had some crane activity the same week. So maybe she might crew up soon as well. I attended the March monthly meetings of the Alameda County Labor Council and the Maritime Trades Department, SF Bay Area chapter. On March 18 and 19, President Poplawski and I participated in the quarterly MFOW and SIU Pension Trust meetings. All the plans are in good shape and in order. Adjustments will be made as necessary. Reminder to members: As all branches have new agents (except Seattle), when competing for a job, be sure to bring all of your documents to the window. Seafarer security certification guidance reached Guidance on training and certification requirements for ship security officers and seafarers with designated security duties has been agreed by IMO, to address practical difficulties seafarers have reportedly experienced in obtaining the necessary security certification under the 2010 Manila amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) and STCW Code. The guidance recommends that, until July 1, 2015, relevant training under section 13 (training, drills and exercises on ship security) of the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code should be accepted as being equivalent to that required under the STCW Convention and Code. The guidance was agreed by the Sub-Committee on Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping (HTW), which expressed its concern that large numbers of seafarers were reportedly unable to have access to approved training courses or were unable to be issued certification of security-related training in accordance with the STCW regulations. The Sub-Committee approved an STCW circular on advice for port state control officers, recognized organizations and recognized security organizations on action to be taken in cases where seafarers do not carry certification required in accordance with regulation VI/6 of the STCW Convention and section A-VI/6, paragraphs four and six of the STCW Code after January 1, 2014 It also approved an STCW circular on advice for port state control officers, recognized organizations and recognized security organizations clarifying training and certification requirements for ship security officers and seafarers with designated security duties, which agrees that ship security officer (SSO) training encompasses the competence requirements of the STCW Code (section A-VI/6). Therefore, holders of SSO certificates should not be required to undergo further training and obtain certification. West Africa: Shipping industry calls for joint action on piracy West Africa s coastal states need to step up coordination to beat the growing incidence of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, says an international maritime organization. Unlike Somalia, there is no failed state in the Gulf of Guinea, says the International Maritime Bureau (IMB). All the states are functioning entities. These states need to be determined and take action to wipe out piracy. IMB is quoted by an insurance company which says that although piracy is on the way to being eradicated off Somalia, the Gulf of Guinea is an emerging piracy hotspot. The Safety and Shipping Review 2014 reports that nearly one in five attacks on the world s ships last year were carried out in the Gulf of Guinea. The region accounted for 48 of the 264 incidents in Of these, Nigerian pirates and armed robbers were responsible for 31 incidents, including two hijackings, 13 vessels boarded and 13 vessels fired upon. One crew member was killed and 36 kidnapped the highest number of Nigerian kidnappings for five years. The review says the challenge in the region is different to that off Somalia. In Somalia, the model is to capture the ship and hold the crew for ransom. While in the Gulf of Guinea, the model seems to be kidnapping crew members off the ship and holding them for ransom and, in some cases, rebel groups simply attack and try to destroy a ship, particularly oil tankers who are seen as stealing the nation s wealth. Here s how to create 5.8 million jobs If the United States acted forcefully to end currency manipulation by China and other nations and there is legislation to provide the government the tools to do so it could create as many as 5.8 million jobs (40% in manufacturing) and reduce the nation s trade deficit by as much as 72.5%, according to a new report from the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). Currency manipulation is the largest single cause of the U.S. trade deficit, and the Chinese government is the world s biggest currency manipulator. It deliberately keeps the value of its currency artificially low and that artificially raises the price of U.S. exports to China and suppresses the price of Chinese imports into the United States. This artificial price advantage is one of many pull factors that encourages U.S. businesses to shut down operations here and manufacture in China instead. U.S. workers can compete with anyone in the world, but they cannot compete successfully on a lopsided playing field. Currency manipulation is a major contributing factor in our lopsided trade relationship with China. Meanwhile, U.S. manufacturing companies and workers bear the brunt of these unfair policies, says AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. Bottom of Form The EPI report finds that: Eliminating currency manipulation would reduce the U.S. trade deficit by $200 billion in three years under a low-impact scenario and $500 billion AFL-CIO on expansion of overtime pay President Obama s anticipated proposal to expand overtime protection for hard-working families is an important step towards raising wages, creating jobs and lifting the economic tide for millions. This will help to build an economy that honors work, not one that steals from workers. This is the leadership working people expect and deserve. This announcement presents a striking contrast to today s story that Wall Street is continuing to rake it in with a 15 percent jump in bonuses last year, the highest since Port of Vancouver takes security measures against truckers Port Metro Vancouver in British Colombia says it is taking immediate steps to enhance the safety of the port for working truckers, due to the prospect of continued disruption of port operations by other disgruntled container truckers. The port says it is working diligently with the federal and provincial governments, shippers and trucking companies to address trucker concerns and the continued instability of the container trucking industry. Port Metro Vancouver will be seeking continuation and expansion of their injunction to keep protestors off of port property. Additionally, they will continue a program of placing security personnel in working trucks to record events and assist drivers wanting to access port terminals. They will also enhance the presence of security at key locations and access points for traffic headed to or from the port. Independent owner-operator truck ers and truckers who are members of the union, Unifor, voted this under a high-impact scenario. This would increase annual U.S. GDP by between $288 billion and $720 billion (between 2.0% and 4.9%). The reduction of U.S. trade deficits and expansion of U.S. GDP would create 2.3 million to 5.8 million jobs, reducing the U.S. jobs deficit by between 28.8% and 72.5%. About 40% of the jobs gained would be in manufacturing, which would gain between 891,500 and 2,337,300 jobs. Agriculture also would gain 246,800 to 486,100 jobs, heavily affecting some rural areas. Bipartisan legislation in Congress (H.R and S. 1114) would crack down on currency exchange rate manipulation and hold countries that manipulate their currencies accountable. China is the largest currency manipulator. Japan has also been accused of weakening the value of the yen to benefit its auto industry. Currently Japan exports some 130 cars to the United States for every car that U.S. automakers export to Japan. One of the major reasons for that imbalance is currency manipulation. As a consequence of Japanese government currency intervention, in a market such as the United States, Japanese imports have seen several thousand dollars in effective subsidies while, at the same time, exports from the United States to Japan have seen several thousand dollars in added costs. The impact of these policies undermines American auto exports and American jobs and the investment they support. the 2008 financial crisis. While workers are denied overtime pay that they have earned, compounding flat and falling wages, the bonus pool for Wall Street grew from $1.9 billion in 1985 to $26.7 billion in 2013 an average annual increase of 14 percent in nominal terms. Americans are fed up with Wall Street, yet more hopeful than we ve been in a generation that real efforts to raise wages are being put in place. We applaud the President s courageous action to ensure that workers get paid for the work they do. month not to accept the recommended framework for returning to work agreed to by their leadership with the help of a third-party intermediary. The intermediary had met with truckers, encouraging them to return to work with the commitment to an industry review as requested by the Canadian Federal Minister of Transport. A spokesperson for the port stated they agree that truckers should be paid a fair wage, but bargaining relating to employment and contract relationships can only be done with the employer or the parties to the contract. Port Metro Vancouver is not the employer and is not party to the contract relationships. Disruption at the port has had a dramatic effect on the ability of terminal operators to move goods. The impact of truckers walking off the job is estimated to be about $885 million per week. Port Metro Vancouver is Canada s largest port and trades $172 billion in goods annually.
6 Page 6 THE MARINE FIREMAN FRIDAY, MARCH 21, 2014 Diesel-electric propulsion for offshore growing Long reserved for specialized applications such as icebreakers, diesel electric has enjoyed a rapid growth for marine propulsion in the past decade, according to MarineLink. Throughout that period, Cummins Marine has been a leader, supplying more than 900 diesel electric packages since delivering its first gen-set Early adopters of the flexible propulsion technology included the U.S. firm Rigdon Marine with 20 vessels and France-based Bourbon Offshore with over 100 vessels. The fuel economy made possible by using only the number of engines required to do the job at hand is pleasing to both owners and charterers. The flexibility in engine placement afforded by the absence of a long drive shaft between the generators and propulsion motors allows for engine placement on the main deck resulting in increased cargo capacity in the vessel s hull. There is virtually no downtime as engine servicing can be done with one or more engines off line. Modern electronic systems have made diesel electric generator sets reliable and easily managed. Brazil s Bravante Group recently took delivery of the MV Bravante VI, their second in a five vessel series of diesel-electric PSVs, from Florida s Eastern Shipbuilding. The Bravante V delivered in 2013 is already on charter in Brazilian waters. Designed by STX and designated the STX SV290 design the 284- foot by 60-foot by 24-foot vessels are built around four Cummins-powered generators. Each 16-cylinder Cummins QSK60-DM engine rated for 1825 kw at 1800 RPM powers a Marathon Model VAC generator also supplied by Cummins. A pair of 690VAC electric motors each turning nozzled fixed-pitch propellers on Schottel Combi-Drives provides main propulsion. These two propulsion motors are each rated at 2,500 kw at 750 RPM to give a total of 6700 HP. Two Schottel 1180 kw tunnel thrusters with direct coupled electric drives also draw their power from the four main Cummins QSK60-powered generators. The flexibility of the diesel electric system in providing power to both ends of the vessel as well as to a wide array of cargo pumps and general ship requirements continues to attract owners attention and orders. Bulgarian seafarer to set new Guinness world record A Bulgarian seafarer will try to make it to the Guinness Book of World Records in 2014 embarking on a circumnavigation. Ivan Dimov will set off on a journey of 28,000 miles for about 233 days without approaching land. Dimov will start from the shores of France via the Atlantic Ocean toward the South seas, and then he will make a full circumnavigation sailing through the most dangerous zones of the Cape of Good Hope in Africa, Australia s South Cape in the Indian Ocean, South American Cape New ozone-destroying gases found in atmosphere Researchers have revealed that dozens of mysterious ozone-destroying chemicals may be undermining the recovery of the giant ozone hole over Antarctica, according to article in The Guardian. The chemicals, which are also extremely potent greenhouse gases, may be leaking from industrial plants or being used illegally, contravening the Montreal Protocol which began banning the ozone destroyers in Scientists said the finding of the chemicals circulating in the atmosphere showed ozone depletion is not yesterday s story. Until now, a total of 13 CFCs and HCFCs were known to destroy ozone and are controlled by the Montreal Protocol, widely regarded as the world s most successful environmental law. But scientists have now identified and measured four previously unknown compounds and warned of the existence of many more. They are concerned that the atmospheric concentrations of two of the new compounds, while low now are actually accelerating. The new research, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, analyzed air samples captured since the mid-1970s in several ways. Air bubbles trapped in snowpack in Greenland, samples taken by scientists in Tasmania and others collected by Horn and will return to his starting point through the Atlantic Ocean. He will sail his 5.18 meter long yacht alone. He will be followed by satellite and his journey will be recorded by three cameras. He started his physical and mental training four years ago when he decided to set out on the risky journey. Ivan will have to change his regime completely, getting one hour of sleep every two hours. He will have a special diet in order to withstand the physical stress. aircraft flying 13 miles above Europe were all analyzed. The team found three new CFCs and one HCFC, none of which had been identified before. Despite the production of all CFCs having been banned since 2010, the concentration of one CFC, 113a, is rising at an accelerating rate. The source of the chemicals is a mystery but 113a may be being used as a feedstock chemical in the production of agricultural pesticides. CFCs and HCFCs were used mainly in refrigeration and aerosol sprays but, in 1985, scientists discovered the Antarctic ozone hole. It grew in size from almost nothing in 1979 to a peak of 26.6 million square kilometers in As the Montreal Protocol has taken effect, it has recovered slowly, shrinking to 21 million square kilometers in Ozone screens out harmful ultraviolet rays from sunlight that can cause cancer in humans, as well as damaging marine life, crops and animals. In December, NASA researchers revealed the discovery of a new greenhouse gas that is 7,000 times more powerful than carbon dioxide at warming the Earth and which has been in use by the electrical industry since the mid-20th century. The four newly identified compounds are also expected to trap heat thousands of times more powerfully than CO2. Federal council adopts alternatives for ocean salmon sport fisheries Three alternatives for ocean salmon fisheries, approved for public review by the Pacific Fishery Management Council (PFMC), were developed in response to projections of a higher abundance of Columbia River hatchery chinook and a significant increase in Columbia River Coho. The PFMC establishes fishing seasons in ocean waters three to 200 miles off the Pacific coast. The three alternatives establish a range of season structures and harvest quotas for ocean fisheries, while taking into account the needs of inside fisheries and ensuring that conservation objectives for wild fish are met. Two of the three alternatives include recreational mark-selective fisheries for hatchery chinook in June. If approved, this would be the fifth-straight year the ocean fishery would begin with a mark-selective fishery targeting hatchery chinook. Mark-selective fisheries allow anglers to catch and keep abundant hatchery salmon, marked with a missing adipose fin, but require that they release wild salmon. Two of the alternatives would also allow retention of hatchery chinook in the LaPush and Neah Bay areas during halibut openings in May. More than 1.6 million Columbia River fall Chinook salmon are expected back this year. If that run comes in at forecast it would be the largest since record-keeping began Satellite photographs show ice on Lake Superior beginning to diminish, with vast areas of open water along the North Shore and fissures developing across the lake. The ice cover on the Great Lakes appears to be starting to break up and recede with warm air temperatures and higher winds. Lake Superior peaked at about 95 percent ice cover, both in mid- February and again in early March. But the lake ice had diminished to an estimated 91 percent in the most recent analysis. Experts noted that lake ice developed and expanded quickly this winter when Superior appeared on the way to its first ice-over since But continued strong winds, an increasingly higher and more powerful sun angle, and a blast of warm weather thwarted those chances. Collectively, the Great Lakes dropped from a peak of about 91 percent ice cover to an estimated 84 percent in the most recent analysis. Lakes Ontario, Michigan and Superior always held large areas of open water. Lakes Huron and Erie came Commercial halibut fishers began targeting 16.7 million pounds of quota on March 8, but bad weather kept many off the fishing grounds. Individual fishing quota (IFQ) holders will take the majority of the Alaska commercial catch limit, about 15.9 million pounds, with community development quota landings from the Bering Sea areas making up the remainder of the catch. Sablefish IFQ holders have access to about 23.6 million pounds this year. Last year, IFQ holders landed about 20.8 million pounds of halibut and 25.5 million pounds of sablefish, or black cod. That was about 96 percent of the halibut limit, and 91 percent of the sablefish limit. The 2013 IFQ halibut fishery was worth about $105 million, and sablefish was worth in A portion of the run about 225,000 salmon is expected to be lower river hatchery Chinook, which traditionally have been the backbone of the recreational ocean chinook fishery. In-river fisheries will also benefit from the strong return. Additionally, the ocean abundance of Columbia River Coho is forecast to be about 964,000 fish, three times as many fish as last year s actual abundance. A significant portion of that run will contribute to the ocean fishery as well. The PFMC is scheduled to make its final decision on this year s ocean regulations and harvest quotas for recreational and commercial fisheries at its April meeting in Vancouver, Washington. The recreational fishing alternatives include the following quotas for fisheries off the Washington coast. The Alternative 1 quota is 60,000 Chinook and 193,200 Coho. The Alternative 2 quota is 58,000 Chinook and 176,400 Coho and the Alternative 3 quota is 47,500 Chinook and 159,600 Coho. Chinook and Coho quotas approved by the PFMC will be part of a comprehensive 2014 salmon fishing package, which includes marine and freshwater fisheries throughout Puget Sound, the Columbia River and Washington s coastal areas. State and tribal co-managers are currently developing those fisheries. Great Lakes ice breaking up closest to complete ice-over, with ice cover estimated at more than 95 percent. Lake ice is expected to hold fast for some time at the extreme western tip and around the Apostle Islands, as well as at the eastern tip of Lake Superior and in channels and harbors. A Coast Guard public affairs officer said harbor ice averages about 3 feet thick but was up to 4 feet thick in parts of the harbor. The Soo Locks will open March 25 and, barring any ice difficulties, upper Great Lakes vessels should be moving again by that date. Great Lakes shipping interests have predicted slow going for the first days of the shipping season because of the ice. Combined, the Great Lakes had their greatest ice coverage since the 1970s, thanks to near record low temperatures from December through February, including Duluth s second-coldest meteorological winter on record. Ice on the southerly Great Lakes generally peaks in mid-to-late February, while peaking in late February or early March on the upper lakes. Halibut opener slowed down by weather $72 million. As of March 11, 28 IFQ halibut landings were reported to the National Marine Fisheries Service, totaling about 160,974 pounds. Southeast Alaska has seen slightly more deliveries, with about 73,738 pounds in 16 vessel landings. Southcentral Alaska has had fewer landings but more total halibut delivered at 87,236 pounds. For sablefish, just 11 landings were reported, at about 136,890 pounds. The majorities were in Southeast Alaska, with about 87,565 pounds delivered in seven landings, but the locations of the remaining landings were listed as confidential. Southcentral and Southeast Alaska fishers both reported bad weather that kept boats in port.
7 FRIDAY, MARCH 21, 2014 THE MARINE FIREMAN Page 7 Marine Firemen s Union Training Plan Notice to All Participants The Marine Firemen s Union Training Plan reimburses tuition costs (not lodging, subsistence or transportation) for certain types of training taken by a participant on his own. However, preapproval of the training must be given by the Marine Firemen s Union Training Plan prior to taking the course. Any request for reimbursement without preapproval from the Marine Firemen s Union Training Plan will be denied. Hawaiian inter-island cargo shipments on the rise Intrastate cargo shipments were up 1.5 percent in 2013, up from 2012, according to a new report from Young Brothers Ltd. Some 0.6 percent of the annual increase came during the fourth quarter. For the 12 months ending December 31, 2013, all but one neighbor island port saw increased cargo shipments. Rising volume was reported at Kahului, Maui, 1.0 percent; Hilo, at 2.1 percent; Nawiliwili, Kauai, by Mersey maritime disaster memorial unveiled A new memorial to one of the worst 19th century maritime disasters has been unveiled on Merseyside, England, 162 years after the tragedy. The sinking of the troopship HMS Birkenhead entered British legend with the first recorded order of women and children first to the lifeboats, after the paddle steamer hit an uncharted rock off the South African coast. Out of 638 people onboard, only 193 survived from the accident near Gansbaai, Danger Point, South Africa, on February 26, Many victims were taken by sharks. Soldiers stood to attention as the Birkenhead-built troopship sank and this protocol was immortalized by Rudyard Kipling in his poem A Soldier An Sailor Too as the Birkenhead Drill. The memorial was unveiled on Woodside Promenade, Birkenhead, by the Mayor of Wirral and the Lord- Lieutenant of Merseyside, Dame Lorna Muirhead. They laid commemorative wreaths as did representatives of the Armed Forces. Pebbles from Gansbaai beach, where the survivors swam ashore, surround the memorial, which consists of three steel panels. The memorial, by Jemma Twigg, 18, of Birkenhead Sixth Form College, was the winning design from a competition among local art colleges. The memorial was created by Cammell Laird apprentices paid for by the company, which is the successor of the original troopship s builder, John Laird. The Mayor of Wirral said, I was particularly honored to welcome our Armed Forces to this event and to bring together the people of Wirral and South Africa in a spirit of friendship and solidarity. The memorial will take its place alongside Wirral s other important monuments to the fallen, including those at Hamilton Square and Woodside Promenade. Commodore Richard Baum, Royal Navy regional commander, said: The loss of HMS Birkenhead was the worst peace time maritime disaster before Titanic and therefore should be commemorated. Philippines seeks a year to prove its STCW reforms The Philippines is seeking an extra 12 months from the European authorities to show that the changes to its maritime administration over the last year and a half are sufficient to meet to STCW audit criteria. The Philippines implementation of STCW underwent its second audit in 2013 by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) in October, with the threat of a ban of Filipino officers from EU-flagged ships hanging over it, in a process which has been ongoing now since The results of the audit have since been sent to the Philippines government, which has made its response to the report. The report said there was not sufficient evidence to prove the Philippines had implemented all the changes that had required. In 2012 an executive order of President Benigo Aquino brought all 4.5 percent; Kaunanakai, Molokai, by 7.2 percent, and by far the smallest port by way of volume, Kaumalapau, Lanai, saw the largest percentage increase at 20.7 percent. Cargo volume dropped by 4.7 percent at the island of Hawaii s Kawaihae Harbor. Despite mixed economic reports, company executives are hopeful that there is enough fuel in the economy to continue to drive increasing cargo volumes in the various bodies in charge of maritime training and certification under the Maritime Industrial Authority (Marina), however, it lacked legal teeth to make it effective. There have been further changes over the last 12 months first the appointment of Maximo Meija as Marina administrator, bringing with him a wealth of experience from the World Maritime University in Sweden and then Jesulito Jess Manalo of Angkl (Anchor) representing the maritime industry in Congress. In just six and half months of Manalo being in Congress, a bill was passed designating Marina as the single maritime administration. Marina will take over all the roles previously held by a diverse number of government bodies when it comes STCW training and certification, a key issue for EMSA. MARINE FIREMEN S UNION TRAINING PROGRAM Interested members who meet the Training Program eligibility requirements and prerequisites outlined for each course may obtain an application online at mfoww.org or at Headquarters and branch offices. All applications must be accompanied by a copy of the member s Merchant Mariner Credential, including current endorsements and RFPEW certification. Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties (VPDSD) Training Maritime License Center, Honolulu, HI April 14 June 9 TRAINING RESOURCES, LTD. (TRL) Courses are conducted at Training Resources, Ltd. in San Diego, California, contingent on enrollment levels. Tuition, lodging and transportation are prearranged by the MFU Training Plan. * * * * * * * * Endorsement Upgrading Courses QMED-Refrigeration Engineer This two-week course will satisfy the training and examination requirements for endorsement as QMED Refrigeration Engineer, provided that all other requirements, including sea service, are also met. Prerequisite: Junior Engineer endorsement and RFPEW. April May QMED-Electrician This three-week course will satisfy the training and examination requirements of 46 CFR for the General Safety and Electrician modules, provided that all other requirements, including sea service, are also met. Prerequisites: Junior Engineer endorsement and RFPEW. April 28-May 16 QMED-Fireman/Watertender & Oiler This four-week course will satisfy the training and examination requirements of 46 CFR 12.15, Sub-Part (a) and (b) for endorsement as QMED Fireman/Watertender and Oiler, provided that all other requirements of 46 CFR subpart 12.15, including sea service, are also met. Prerequisite: Coast Guard approval letter for endorsement upgrading, certifiying sea time of six months (180 days) and completion of RFPEW assessments. April 21-May 16 July 7-August 1 Rolls-Royce wants to build ocean drones Rolls-Royce Holdings is designing unmanned cargo ships. The firm s Blue Ocean development team has set up a virtual-reality prototype at its office in Alesund, Norway, that simulates 360-degree views from a vessel s bridge. Eventually, the London-based manufacturer of engines and turbines says, captains on dry land will use similar control centers to command hundreds of crewless ships. Rolls-Royce says drone ships would be safer, cheaper and less polluting for the $375 billion shipping industry that carries 90 percent of world trade. They might be deployed in regions such as the Baltic Sea within a decade, while regulatory hurdles and industry and union skepticism about cost and safety will slow global adoption. The European Union is funding a $4.8 million study called the Maritime Unmanned Navigation through Intelligence in Networks project. The researchers are preparing the prototype for simulated sea trials to assess the costs and benefits, which will finish next year. Even so, maritime companies, insurers, engineers, labor unions and regulators doubt unmanned ships could be safe and cost-effective any time soon. While the idea of automated ships was first considered decades ago, Rolls-Royce started developing designs last year. The company s schematics show vessels loaded with containers from front to back, without the bridge structure where the crew lives. By replacing the bridge along with the other systems that support the crew, such as electricity, air conditioning, water and sewage with more cargo, ships can cut costs and boost revenue. Ships would be five percent lighter before loading cargo and would burn 12 percent to 15 percent less fuel. Crew costs of $3,299 a day account for about 44 percent of total operating expenses for a large foreign-flag container ship. The potential savings don t justify the investments that would be needed to make unmanned ships safe, said a chief executive officer of the largest company certifying vessels for safety standards. While each company can develop its own standards, the International Association of Classification Societies in London hasn t developed unified guidelines for unmanned ships. Unmanned ships are currently illegal under international conventions that set minimum crew requirements. The country where a ship is registered is responsible for regulating vessels within its own waters and for enforcing international rules. As long as drone ships don t comply with IMO rules, they would be considered unseaworthy and ineligible for insurance. The International Transport Workers Federation, the union representing about 600,000 of the world s more than 1 million seafarers, is opposed. It cannot and will never replace the eyes, ears and thought processes of professional seafarers, Dave Heindel, chairman of the ITF s seafarers section in London, said in an ed statement. The human element is one of the first lines of defense in the event of machinery failure and the kind of unexpected and sudden changes of conditions in which the world s seas specialize. The dangers posed to the environment by unmanned vessels are too easily imagined.
8 Page 8 T H E M A R I N E F I R E M A N FRIDAY, MARCH 21, 2014 HOWZ SHIPPING February 2014 San Francisco Electrician/Reefer/Jr. Engineer... 3 Reefer/Electrician/Jr. Engineer...1 Junior Engineer (Day)...1 Wiper...3 Standby Wiper...10 Standby Electrician/Reefer...5 TOTAL...23 Wilmington Electrician/Reefer/Jr. Engineer...3 Wiper...3 Shore Mechanic...6 Standby Wiper...20 Standby Electrician/Reefer...11 TOTAL...43 Seattle Electrician/Reefer/Jr. Engineer...1 Reefer/Electrician/Jr. Engineer...1 Oiler...1 Wiper...3 Standby Electrician/Reefer...2 TOTAL...8 Honolulu Electrician/Reefer/Jr. Engineer... 2 Shore Mechanic...1 Standby Wiper...14 Standby Electrician/Reefer...9 TOTAL...26 Regular membership meeting dates 2014 April 7 S.F. Headquarters 14 Branches May 5 S.F. Headquarters 12 Branches June 2 S.F. Headquarters 9 Branches July 7 S.F. Headquarters 14 Branches August 4 S.F. Headquarters 11 Branches Sept. 2* S.F. Headquarters 8 Branches October 6 S.F. Headquarters 14* Branches Nov. 3 S.F. Headquarters 10 Branches Dec. 1 S.F. Headquarters 8 Branches (*Indicates Tuesday meeting following a Monday holiday) Active MFOW members Retain your Welfare Fund eligibility. MAIL or TURN IN all your Unfit for Duty slips to: MFOW Welfare Fund 240 Second Street San Francisco, CA We dispatched 43 billets during the month of February, in the following ratings: three Electrician/Reefer/Juniors, three Wipers, six Shore Mechanics, 11 Standby Reefers and 20 Standby Wipers. Shipping has been fair here in Wilmington. I boarded all the ships contracted with the MFOW and found no real beefs to speak of. The same goes for the reefer shop as well. We currently have 46 members registered here at the Wilmington Branch, consisting of 19 A-, five B- and 22 C-seniority members. This past month I attended various meetings one with the Southern California Port Maritime Council, Maritime Trades Department, AFL-CIO and one with the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor. We also had our first meeting of the year for the Los Angeles/Long Beach Harbor Labor Coalition at the SIU hall in Wilmington, where we all agreed that last year s Labor Day Parade was a tremendous success. I m looking forward to retirement. Looking back, I can remember when I got my first ship in 1965 out of our old hall in San Pedro. I waited around for about a year before getting that one. It was aboard an old Liberty ship, the SS Horace Irvine, owned by Weyerhaeuser, a company delivering lumber from West Coast ports. The ship made its way through the Panama Canal to the Gulf of Mexico, then up the East Coast all the way to Bath, Maine. From Maine, we would head back down to Newark, New Jersey, pick up a load of iron ore and then head back to the West Coast and the Bay Area. We would offload at Alameda and then head up to Coos Bay, Oregon, where we picked up another load of lumber and started all over again. I wish I could remember all of the people I met going to sea, the good ones as well as the bad ones. I do remember one old timer whom I met, because he was the first one I talked to. He showed me to my room on my first ship. Later he said to me, You picked a fine time to start going to sea, kid. The days of the merchant marine are just about over. You ll be lucky to get your time in on this one. Well, that was almost 49 years ago, and now here I am making out my last report as the port agent for the Wilmington Branch. So there you go life is beautiful. In closing, I would like to wish all the new officers good luck. Union all the way! In solidarity, Robert Bugarin Port Agent Las Vegas hotel union prepares strike vote Las Vegas hotel workers are weighing whether to authorize union leaders to call a strike at nearly all downtown casinos and several independent Strip properties. The Culinary Union has been negotiating with 12 independent hotel casinos since contracts expired last summer. The sites employ about 6,000 union workers. In February, members voted to end a contract extension that had been put in place in June, meaning workers can now strike and picket outside workplaces. The union previously approved a dues increase to create a financial cushion in case a walkout occurs. FINISHED WITH ENGINES Elmo H. Griffith, #1729. Born March 25, 1913, Auburn, CA. Joined MFOW November 14, Pensioned April 1, Deceased March 3, 2014, Auburn, CA. During the month of February 2014, I dispatched two ERJ s to Matson. I also dispatched one shore maintenance job, three standby Electricians, six standby Reefers and fourteen standby Wipers, a total of 26 jobs. We have 23 members registered at this time: 10 As, 3 Bs, 10 Cs. The following ships arrived in the port of Honolulu: MV Manulani, MV Maunawili, MV Maunalei, MV RJ Pfeiffer, MV Manukai, SS Maui, During the month of February we shipped the following: one Electrician/Reefer/Junior, one Reefer/ Electrician/Junior, one Oiler, two Wipers and two Standby Reefer/ Electricians. We currently have nine A-, three B- and 16 C-seniority members registered for shipping. Ships checked: The Matson vessels MV Manoa and SS Maui each called twice in Seattle with little or no problems. The APL Marine Services vessels MV APL Cyprine and MV APL Pearl called in New Jersey Benefits paid during February DEATH BENEFITS Joseph Kuaoholani, P-1807 $1, James McGinn, P , Robert Torres, P , $4, Burial Benefits Joseph Kuaoholani, P-1807 $1, John Martins, P , James McGinn, P Robert Torres, P , $3, Excess Medical $7, Glasses and Examinations $ and ordered MFOW and SUP crew replacements. The Patriot Contract Services vessels USNS Gordon, USNS Gilliland, USNS Shughart and MT SLNC Pax called Seattle for MFOW and/or SUP crew members. I represented the MFOW and SUP at the King County Labor Council Executive Board, Washington State Metal Trades and Maritime Trades meetings. I also participated in a labor meeting with U.S. Congressman Jim McDermott. Congressman McDermott sailed as a U.S. merchant mariner as a teenager on the Great Lakes before joining the United States Navy during the Vietnam War. Congressman Mc- Dermott has steadfastly supported the Jones Act and the Maritime Security Program. Fraternally, Vince O Halloran Representative Political Action Fund Voluntary donations of $20.00 or more for February 2014: Manolo Colon, P $10.00 Tomas Conde, # Anthony De La Rosa, P Peter Keenan, P Earle Moen, P Jacob Sperling, P William Taylor, P MARINE FIREMAN SUBSCRIPTIONS, H&B AND VOLUNTARY PAF DONATIONS Please use the following form. NAME (Print) STREET PENSION or BOOK NO. CITY STATE ZIP Check box: U.S. & POSSESSIONS OVERSEAS Yearly Subscriptions: First Class $10.00 Air (AO) Mail $25.00 Pensioners Hospital & Burial $6.00 Voluntary Political Action Fund Donation MV Mahimahi, MV Manoa and MV Mokihana. Mahalo to all the ship s delegates for the great job they continue to do in resolving contractual problems that occur. There were no problems reported. Brother Mario Higa, #3738, will be the Honolulu Port Agent starting March 11, Aloha from Honolulu, Hawaii, Bonny S. Coloma, #3537 Port Agent HONOR ROLL Voluntary donations to General Treasury February 2014: Anthony De La Rosa, P $ Charles Stahl, P $ also a dues-paying pensioner $ Please make checks payable to: MARINE FIREMEN S UNION Address envelope to: 240 Second Street, San Francisco, CA 94105