News

Wheelhouse Weekly – April 07, 2005

April 7th 2005


 
 


THE MASTERS, MATES & PILOTS’
WHEELHOUSE WEEKLYonline

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

Volume 9 . . . . . Number 14 . . . . April 7, 2005


STORIES COVERED

ALSO

REMINDERS




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




MM&P-CREWED MSC SHIPS SAIL TO ASSIST EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS

The US Navy’s Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS MERCY and MSC combat stores ship USNS NIAGARA FALLS were ordered to get underway from East Timor to Nias Island, Indonesia, March 30 to provide disaster relief and humanitarian assistance following the 8.7 magnitude earthquake off the west coast of northern Sumatra on March 28. Both vessels are crewed by MM&P Licensed Deck Officers. An additional 175 US Navy medical and support personnel along with 40 non-governmental (NGO) personnel have been requested to augment the ship’s current combined crew of 337 US Navy and NGO personnel and 65 MSC civil service mariners.

MSC combat stores ship USNS SAN JOSE, en route to Guam after supporting humanitarian assistance operations in the region since Jan. 6, has also been directed to Nias Island. Four MH-60S Knighthawk helicopters from Helicopter Combat Support Squadron (HC) 5 detachments embarked on board NIAGARA FALLS and SAN JOSE will be used to transport relief supplies and patients in need of medical care to and from MERCY. MSC oiler USNS TIPPECANOE will also be on hand to provide supply replenishment support to MSC ships in the area.

“The civilian mariners aboard MERCY, as well as those aboard NIAGARA FALLS, SAN JOSE AND TIPPECANOE, are continuing their support of MERCY’s onboard Medical Treatment Facility and of the medical staff gearing up to treat the patients in Nias that await them,” said MERCY’s master Capt. Michael Leahy.
The MERCY and NIAGARA FALLS were in East Timor as part of a humanitarian aid mission being conducted as the hospital ship was en route back to her San Diego home when both ships were ordered to move towards Nias. During MERCY’s two-day visit to East Timor, the ship’s medical staff saw more than 1,800 patients. At a prior four-day stop in Alor, Indonesia, MERCY’s medical team saw more than 6,200 patients.

The MERCY sailed from San Diego on Jan. 5 in response to the Dec. 26 tsunami that struck Southeast Asia. Operating off the coast of Banda Aceh from Feb. 6 to March 16, MERCY’s medical staff treated more than 9,500 patients ashore and afloat, performing 19,512 medical procedures including more than 285 surgical and operating room cases.

“We are returning to Sumatra to help our friends and neighbors in the Pacific in any way that we can.” said Capt. Mark Llewellyn, MC, USN, commanding officer of MERCY’s Medical Treatment Facility. “From our first time in Sumatra doing tsunami relief, we feel connected to the wonderful people of Indonesia. We learned many things from our first trip here. One is that earthquakes and tsunamis can damage buildings and injure the body, but they cannot destroy the spirit of a community.”
MERCY is one of two hospital ships in the US Navy. MERCY, NIAGARA FALLS, SAN JOSE and TIPPECANOE are operated by federally employed, civilian mariners who work for Military Sealift Command.



CONTACT MM&P IF YOU BEEN DENIED ACCESS TO A TERMINAL OR PORT

MM&P has received reports of terminals and port facilities improperly denying access to crewmembers and visitors to and from ships in violation of the ISPS code. We are planning to protest the practice at the national and if need be international level, but to do so, we need your help. Please send an Email to AccessControl@bridgedeck.org to report incidents of access denial, as well as cases in which a fee to access port facilities is levied on crewmembers or their visitors. Please provide the day the incident took place, the names of the port, facility and ship, and a brief description of what occurred.



 

THE PASSING OF CAPTAIN H. JAMES TITUS

The International learned yesterday that Captain H. James Titus passed on yesterday morning in the Texas area. Funeral arrangements are being made while this is being written. Captain Jim was born on September 3rd 1924 and retired from the Masters, Mates & Pilots on July 1, 1985 after serving seven years as the Port Agent for the Union in Houston. Prior to coming ashore to serve the union, Captain Titus sailed as ship’s Master with Trinidad Corporation. His last command, which terminated April 17th, 1978, was the S.S. Fort Worth.



 

SHIPPING COMPANY CEO SENTENCED TO 33 MONTHS FOR DUMPING

The chairman and CEO of Sabine Transportation has been sentenced to 33 months in prison for illegal dumping. US district judge Alan Gold also imposed a $60,000 fine on CEO Rick Stickle for directing the dumping of 442 tons of fuel-contaminated grain into the South China Sea. Stickle remains free on bond pending an expected appeal. The USCG says that the sentence handed down on April 1 is the stiffest ever given for such a violation.

The case revolves around an incident in 1999 when the crew of the 122,250 dwt JUNEAU dumped contaminated grain into the sea while returning to the US. The ship, operated by Sabine, had transported wheat to Bangladesh to be distributed by the humanitarian organization CARE. Five tons of fuel leaked into the cargo holds, contaminating the grain. The company and four other employees had pleaded guilty previously in the case, with the company agreeing to pay $2 million in fines.



 

FOREIGN-FLAG SHIP CAPTAIN PLEADS GUILTY IN ALASKA OIL SPILL

The captain of a cargo ship that broke apart in December and created Alaska’s worst oil spill since the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster has pleaded guilty of lying to federal investigators. Kailash Bhushan Singh entered his plea in US District Court in Anchorage, where Judge Ralph Beistline approved a settlement deal that the captain had reached with federal prosecutors. In exchange for his plea, Singh will serve three years of probation and cooperate with any future probe of the wreck of the Malaysian-flagged SELENDANG AYU.

The captain admitted to falsifying the ship log and deliberately reporting an inaccurate time for the engine shutdown that eventually led to the vessel’s grounding. Some critics say the wreck might have been averted if he had called for help earlier. “I accept the misstatements that were made and I sincerely apologize,” Singh, an Indian citizen, told the judge. Singh’s attorney characterized the false statement as an isolated lapse in an otherwise spotless maritime career.

The vessel split in two off the west coast of Unalaska Island in the Aleutian island chain, spilling more than 320,000 gallons of fuel oil and diesel and most of its cargo of some 60,000 tons of soybeans. Most crewmembers were evacuated shortly before the December 8 grounding, but six died when a USCG rescue helicopter was struck by a large wave and crashed. Cleanup of the spilled oil from the ship was scheduled to resume later this month and hopefully will be finished sometime this summer, officials said.

 


FOREIGN-FLAG SHIP CHIEF ENGINEER SENTENCED

The chief engineer of the Maltese-flagged bulker KATERINA has been sentenced to eight months in a US federal prison for falsifying oil discharge logs. Philippines national Edward Guinto was the first of three to be sentenced after entering guilty pleas. The case has drawn worldwide attention because 13 members of the crew were held as material witnesses for months. The ship’s former master, a Greek national, is due to be sentenced later this week and the former second engineer is scheduled to be sentenced on April 11.

During the sentencing, Guinto admitted concealing pipes used to bypass the oily-water separator and also admitted making false entries in the oil log. Sullesta also admitted to concealing one of the bypass pipes. Kallikis has confessed to instructing crewmembers to destroy incriminating telexes, telling them that the documents were to be destroyed on orders of the ship’s operator – DST Shipping of Greece. The company has pleaded guilty to two felony counts and must pay a $1 million fine in addition to having its vessels placed under heightened scrutiny in the future. =


MORE SEVERE HURRICANES FORECAST FOR US THIS YEAR

Some weather forecasters are already predicting that this year’s hurricane season will be similar to or worse than last year’s season that closed many ports, damaged oil and gas platforms and disrupted cruise ship itineraries in the Gulf of Mexico. While the official season does not begin for two months, storm forecaster William Gray has predicted another active series of 13 storms, seven of which will become hurricanes and three of those intense.

“All of the information we have collected and analyzed through March indicates that the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season will be an active one,” said Gray, a professor at Colorado State University. The long-term average is about 10 tropical storms that develop into six hurricanes, 2 of them intense. Last year, the tropics produced 15 named storms that grew into 9 hurricanes, 6 of them intense. The National Hurricane Center’s annual forecast will be released May 16.


EPA TO GET TOUGH WITH BALLAST WATER DISCHARGES IN US WATERS

Ballast water dumping in US waters is set to come under increased scrutiny after a federal judge told the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that it does not have the authority to exempt vessels from the Clean Water Act. In published reports, environmentalists are praising the decision and ship operators are taking a ‘wait and see’ attitude until the EPA issues rules on ballast discharge. Plaintiffs in the case said invasive organisms contained in dumped ballast water were harming local ecosystems and cost billions of dollars to combat. The EPA had previously held that dumping the ballast did not fall under the category of discharging pollutants because it is part of the normal operation of a vessel.


NEW STATISTICS SHOW UNION ADVANTAGE

Looking at the newest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), it’s easy to see why most workers say they would join a union if they could find a way to do it. When it comes to wages and benefits, the “union advantage” continues to increase during this time of massive shifts in the economy and out-of-control health care costs.

Here are some of the latest findings, based on a BLS survey of 4,703 private sector business establishments, representing some 102.3 million workers:

  • ” An overwhelming 89 percent of union workers have access to employer-provided medical benefits, compared with 67 percent of nonunion workers. Employers pay 83 percent of the cost of health benefits for family coverage for union workers, but only 67 percent of the costs for nonunion workers. Employers pay all costs for 43 percent of union workers, but only 21 percent of nonunion workers have coverage that is fully paid by their employer. “
  • Union workers who contribute to the cost of health care pay far less ($56.53 a month on average for individual coverage; $195.12 monthly for family coverage) than their nonunion counterparts, who pay $68.98 per month, or $273.51 for a family. Nonunion workers are paying an average $1,052.64 per year more for family coverage today than they were in 2000.
  • ” Traditional defined-benefit pension plans have become a union only benefit, for the most part. Only 21 percent of all workers are covered by such plans, and only 10 percent of all private sector establishments offer the plan. But 70 percent of union workers are covered by defined-benefit plans, while only 16 percent of non-union workers are covered.
  • ” Thanks mostly to rising health costs, total compensation costs increased 5.8 percent for union workers, compared with 3.4 percent for nonunion.


MORE ON THE USCG’S EMERGING SECURITY ROLE SINCE 9/11

Before 9/11, the USCG had no formal international or domestic maritime security program for ports, port facilities, and ships, with the exception of cruise ships. Partnering with domestic and international agencies, the USCG now has both a comprehensive domestic security program and an international security convention in place.

Both initiatives have been in force since July 1, 2004. In executing the requirements of the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) and the International Ship and Port facility Security (ISPS) code, the USCG has:
o Reviewed and approved 9,580 domestic vessel security plans and 3,119 domestic facility security plans,
o Overseen the development of 43 Area Maritime Security Plans and Committees,
o Verified security plan implementation on 8,100 foreign vessels,
o Completed domestic port security assessments for 54 of the 55 militarily and economically strategic ports, with the last assessment in the final stages of completion, and
o Visited 14 key foreign countries to assess the effectiveness of anti-terrorism measures and implementation of ISPS code requirements. An additional 21 countries are scheduled for visits by June 2005.

Besides its homeland security mission requirements last year, the USCG reports that its personnel:
o Saved the lives of nearly 5,500 mariners in distress and responded to more than 32,000 calls for rescue assistance,
o Conducted more than 115,800 recreational vessel safety checks,
o Conducted 10,000 foreign commercial vessel boardings,
o Boarded more than 4,500 fishing vessels to enforce safety and fisheries management regulations,
o Partnered with Federal and state agencies to enhance enforcement of Marine Protected Species regulations,
o Conducted more than 3,000 inspections aboard mobile offshore drilling units,
o Responded to nearly 24,000 reports of water pollution or hazardous material releases,
o Ensured more than one million safe passages of commercial vessels,
o Maintained more than 50,000 federal aids to navigation, responding to and correcting over 13,000 aids to navigation discrepancies,
o Provided 99-percent availability of Differential Global Positioning System coverage to over 95,000 miles of US waterways. =

 


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

 

CLASS OPENINGS

Between now and the end of June 2005 seats are available in the following courses:

  • AIS – Automatic Identification System: 4/29, 5/7
  • ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 5/2, 5/9, 6/13
  • AZIPOD – Azipod Propulsion System (2 day): 4/30
  • BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 6/13
  • BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 4/26, 6/13
  • BST – Basic Safety Training: 4/25, 5/23, 6/27
  • CEMS- Crew Endurance Management Coaches Training (2 day): 5/2

    CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses

  • CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 5/2
  • CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 5/9, 6/6
  • CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display and Info Systems: 5/16
  • CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 6/27
  • CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 4/18, 5/23, 6/20
  • CMM-SHS-ADV-II – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 4/25, 6/27
  • CMM-SHMGT I – Ship Management (week 1): 6/20
  • CMM-SHMGT II – Ship Management (week 2): 6/13
  • CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 4/25
  • CMM-WKP- Advanced Watchkeeping: 4/11, 6/6

 

  • CONT-PLNG – Contingency Planning: 5/6, 5/13, 6/17
  • FF-BADV – (Combined) Basic and Advanced Firefighting: 4/20, 5/23, 6/27
  • GMDSS – Global Marine Distress and Safety System: 6/20
  • HAZ – Hazardous Materials [5-day]: 4/11, 5/2, 6/6
  • LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 4/13, 4/26, 5/4, 5/10, 5/18, 6/8, 6/14
  • MEDIA-RSP – Media Response: 5/5, 5/12, 6/16
  • MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 4/23, 5/14, 6/25
  • MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 4/18, 5/9
  • MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 4/18, 5/9
  • MED-SMC – Shipboard Medical Care (4 weeks): 6/6

    MSC – Military Sealift Command

  • MSC-CBRD-1 – Chemical Biological Radiological Defense Training Orientation: 4/23, 5/19
  • MSC-DC – Damage Control: 4/18, 5/16
  • MSC-ENVPRO: Environmental Protection: 5/18
  • MSC-SMA – Small Arms Training (4 day): 5/16, 6/20
  • MSC-SMA-R – Small Arms Re-Qualification (2-day): 4/29, 5/20, 6/24
    (must have proof of passing all 3 weapons within 2 years)

 

  • ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal (5-day): 5/23
  • ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 5/2, 5/9, 6/13
  • SEC-MAR-PRO – Maritime Security Professional Train The Trainer Training [5 days], 4/11
  • SEC-OFF-PCS – Security Officer, Port, Company & Ship: 6/13
  • SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling (5-day): 5/23
  • SHS-ESH-BRMP-3: Emergency Shiphandling/Bridge Resource Management for Pilots (3-day): 5/2
  • TRAC-TUG – Water Tractor and Azimuth Stern Drive Tugs: 5/5

 


ATTENDANCE VERIFICATION & CANCELLATION IS VITAL

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

SCHEDULES, UPDATED COURSE AVAILABILITY, INFO & REGISTRATION

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




 

MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF APRIL 6, 2005 CLOSE


 D O W    N A S D A Q
 10,486.02 +27.56 for the week  1,999.14  -0.18 for the week
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
Closing
Price
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
109.14
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
30.40
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
18.81
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
15.77
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
31.00
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.35
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX)
6.23
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.13
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
17.80
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
15.81
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
37.30
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
101.19
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
42.07





~ Reminders ~




 

T-AGS OCEANOGRAPHIC SURVEY SHIPS MANNING REQUIREMENTS

REQUIRED COURSEWORK

All MM&P members are reminded that to sail aboard the T-AGS ships that MM&P-contracted Horizon Lines will be operating, you must have the required training certification and your certificates must be current in accordance with Military Sealift Command requirements. Members are also required to have had a MSC pre-employment physical and to possess Ship Security Clearance (see below).

The MSC Contract calls for all training certificates required for manning of these vessels to be no older than 5 years and that all STCW-95 courses be renewed every 5 years, or annually, as applicable.

Five-year renewable courses include, but are not limited to:

  • Advanced Fire Fighting
  • Basic Safety Training, and
  • Damage Control

Small Arms certificates must be less than 1 year old.

Members interested in applying for one of the positions onboard the T-AGS vessels are advised to make sure your certificates are up to date. If not, contact Mary Matlock or Diane Ford at MITAGS Admissions, email: admissions@mitags.org, and schedule to take the course(s) needed.

Those MM&P members interested in obtaining more information and facts about the T-AGS Oceanographic Vessels are asked to email the Director of Special Projects requesting the “facts sheet”. It will be provided by return email in an Adobe Acrobat PDF format.

Members interested in employment on the T-AGS ships are asked to provide a 1-2 page resume. Please list the desired position you are seeking along with the certificates of training you possess and their dates. Upon receipt it will be forwarded to Horizon Lines and a confirmation sent back to the member. Vessel turnover commences Oct.17, 2004 and will continue until Jan.3, 2005. Crew rotations will start beginning as early as January 2005 and will continue through as late as June 2005. Positions for all ratings remain open.

The point of contact for sending a resume for employment on the Horizon Lines T-AGS Oceanographic Vessels is Richard Plant, MM&P’s Director of Special Projects. Send resumes in an email or as a Word file attachment to him at: rplant@bridgedeck.org, by fax to 410-850-0973 or by mail to:

Richard Plant, Director of Special Projects

IOMM&P
700 Maritime Blvd.
Linthicum Heights, MD 21090



SHIP SECURITY CLEARANCE NEEDED

Members who want to sail for Horizon Lines on the T-AGS Oceanographic Survey vessels the company is set to begin operating for MSC must have Ship Security Clearance before going aboard.

Special software must be downloaded from the US Government’s Defense Security Service to complete the Security Clearance application. You must have an Internet connection and a Windows-based computer to retrieve the application and run the program.

Go to https://sclient.dss.mil/download/w9xfull.htm to download the software titled “EPSQ SUBJECT2_2”.

After the software is installed and the program is launched, select “Create” from the menu bar at the top of the screen. You will be required to enter your Social Security Number and a case-sensitive password. A window titled “Type of Form” will appear.

All Deck Officers should select the first button titled “Request for Security Clearance (SF86)” and then click “OK” to go to the next screen, “Type of Investigation”.

From the “Type of Investigation” screen:

  • Masters and Radio Officers should select the first button, “Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI)”.
  • All other Deck Officers (C/M, 2/M, 3/M) should click on the second button, “National Agency Check (NAC or NACLC)”.

After selecting the appropriate investigation type, click on “OK” to begin filling in the forms.

When complete and all information has been validated, click on “Communications” from the menu bar at the top of the screen and select “Transmit to Security Officer”. Save the file to the hard drive on your computer using your last name (surname) as the file name. Send this file as an email attachment to Mike Bohlman at Horizon Lines, Mbohlman@horizon-lines.com. His phone number is 908-259-2803. You will need to provide Mike Bohlman with your name and the case-sensitive password you assigned to the file in order for Horizon Lines to open the file and process your Security Clearance.



MSC PHYSICALS

Horizon Lines requests all mariners seeking employment aboard the T-AGS Oceanographic vessels to take their MSC Physical at specially-designated facilities only after being advised to do so by the Company. This is to assure that all requirements of the MSC Physical are properly met.

On Dec.6, MM&P members will begin manning the third of seven T-AGS ships operated by Horizon. The USNS SUMNER will be crewed-up in Portland, OR. MM&P wishes the crew a safe voyage and happy holidays.


MM&P FCU NEWS

GET NEW WHEELS OR LOWER EXISTING PAYMENTS WITH MM&P FCU VEHICLE FINANCING

Is it time to replace that car you’re driving? Vehicle loan rates are looking great at MM&P FCU.

Drive away in a new or used vehicle for a standard loan rate of:

4.75 percent for terms up to 24 months.
Standard loan rates for longer-term loans are:

5.00 percent for 25-48 months;
5.75 percent for 49-60 months ($20,000 minimum); and
6.25 percent for terms extending from 61-72 months ($25,000 minimum).
You can lower your loan rate even more — by 0.75 percent — by becoming a Preferred Borrower.

Are you paying a higher rate on your current vehicle loan at another institution? Consider refinancing your outside loan at the MM&P FCU and taking advantage of our lower loan rates.

MM&P FCU will finance up to 100 percent of your new vehicle loan, and up to 90 percent of NADA Book Value on a used vehicle. Maximum vehicle loan amount is $30,000.

PREFERRED BORROWERS GET LOWER LOAN RATES
MM&P FCU members can reduce the interest rate they pay on any new loan even further by becoming a preferred borrower. What is a preferred borrower? That’s a member who deposits at least 10 percent of the original loan amount into their MM&P FCU savings account and keeps those funds on deposit until the loan is paid in full. By doing this you save twice – first, your deposit works for you by earning our regular dividend savings rate, and second, you save money by reducing the interest rate on your loan by 0.75 percent.

Contact the MM&P FCU for full details on all loan programs by email to mmpfcu@bridgedeck.org or call 1-800-382-7777 toll-free.



 

MM&P HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN NEWS

NOTICE TO MEMBERS WHO ARE TAKING VIOXX

On Sept.30, Merck & Co. voluntarily withdrew Vioxx, a popular anti-inflammatory medication, from the market. As a result, individuals who are currently taking the drug have been asked to contact their health care professionals to discuss discontinuing use of Vioxx and possible alternative treatments.

MM&P Plans Administrator Valerie Verrecchio reports that, “We have gotten a number of calls from members who want to know what to do with their remaining supply of Vioxx and whether the Plan or NMHC will refund their co-pay for the unused portion.

“Unfortunately, neither NMHC nor the Plan was aware of the Merck decision prior to the public announcement on Sept.30. As of that date, all deliveries of Vioxx to our members was suspended in accordance with Merck’s announcement. Orders that had already been processed and were in transit could not be stopped.

“In regard to refunds, Merck has set up a website at www.vioxx.com where members can obtain information on how to recover refunds from Merck for the unused portion of medication. Members can also call following toll free number for information: 1-888-368-4699.

“We are sorry for any inc onvenience this may have caused to members currently taking this medication, however, the matter is out of the control of the Plans.”



NMHC MAIL-ORDER PRESCRIPTIONS WEBSITE UPDATED & IMPROVED

MM&P Plans Administrator Valerie Verrecchio reports, “Good news! NMHC mail has finally gotten their website upgraded and functioning properly. I went in and tested it myself and found it to be quite user friendly.”

To use NMHC’s upgraded service, go to the NMHC Mail website at www.nmhcmail.com and click on “MEMBER LOGIN” at the bottom of the screen.

First-time and Registered users may bypass the welcome screen and go directly to the log-in page at https://members.nmhcrx.com/Login/Login.aspx.

  • First-time users should then click on the link marked “NEW USER: REGISTER HERE”.
    This will take you to a page titled “MEMBER REGISTRATION” where you will need to enter demographic information and submit it by clicking on the
  • “CREATE ACCOUNT” button.

After creating your account, NMHC will email you a password to gain entry into your records. With your first sign-in, the NMHC system will prompt you to change the NMHC password to one of your own choosing.

Once you are registered at NMHC, you can check the status of open orders by logging-in to the system through the “MEMBER LOGIN” page and going into the “MAIL ORDER” menu. You can look up all prescriptions and get the price our members will pay for any medication. You can also view an order history of all of your medication transactions (both retail and mail) for the last 24 months, locate 24-hour pharmacies in your zip code region as well as access other helpful member education information.

“We hope this welcome improvement will assist our members. Although you cannot order refills on line if you don’t provide a credit or debit card number, you can phone in your refill. Once you register on the website, you will still have access to all of the other information including checking the status of your order once it is phoned in,” said Ms. Verrecchio.



WWII USCG VETERANS OUTREACH

The U.S. Coast Guard has announced an initiative to identify and collect the oral histories of its World War II veterans. Coast Guard WWII veterans, including SPARS and merchant mariners, are encouraged to record their histories online with the Library of Congress Veterans History Project at www.loc.gov/folklife/vets.

Those veterans needing assistance in recording their stories can receive help from their local Coast Guard Auxiliary public affairs contact by leaving a message at 1-877-875-6296, a toll-free call.




 

COMPANY GIVES BUCKS BACK FOR BUYING SAFE SHOES

LMS Ship Management, the company that manages vessels for Central Gulf, Sulphur Carriers and Waterman Steamship, wants to remind MM&P members that they offer their crewmembers a $75 reimbursement on the cost of purchasing certain slip-resistant shoes and boots for use aboard ship.

This offer has been in place for some time and LMS reports that “we have been pleased with the participation to date, but feel a reminder may be in order.” Their goal is for every crewmember to wear slip resistant footwear during working hours aboard their vessels.

The $75 reimbursement is available to each crewmember who provides LMS with an original receipt for the purchase of slip resistant footwear. In order for the crewmember to obtain the reimbursement, they must wear the shoes while on duty. Upon presentation of the receipt, the crewmember will be reimbursed on their pay voucher. The receipt will be retained by the Master and will remain aboard the vessel.
 
 

Vessels in the LMS footwear reimbursement program are:

  • Green Cove
  • Green Dale
  • Green Lake
  • Green Point
  • Atlantic Forest
  • Sulphur Enterprise
  • Energy Enterprise
  • SGT Matej C. Kocak
  • MAJ Stephen W. Pless, and
  • PFC Eugene A. Obregon

LMS notes that in order to receive reimbursement, crewmembers must purchase one of the following recommended brands:

  • WORX by Red Wing Slip Resistant Footwear
  • Caterpillar (must have steel toe & slip resistant sole)
  • Wolverine (must have steel toe and slip resistant sole)
  • Dunham Sierra Work Boot EH
  • Steel Toe Voyager
  • Georgia Boot 6- or 8-inch Safety Toe Boot
  • Dr. Marten’s (must have steel toe & slip resistant sole)

LOOK FOR THE UNION LABEL:

Of the boots listed above, Red Wing, Caterpillar and Wolverine boots are produced by US union labor.

Redwing’s Union-made products are: Red Wing shoes and boots, Red Wing motorcycle boots and Craftsman (Sears).

Wolverine World Wide manufactures boots under the Caterpillar brand using US union labor. (Other union made safety-shoe brands by Wolverine are the company’s Hy-Test, Durashock and Bates Military labels. The company’s Wolverine brand combat boots are also produced using US union labor.)

Most Dr. Marten’s shoes and boots are produced in the UK.

To find US, union-made products, visit the AFL-CIO Union Label Service and Trades website at www.unionlabel.org and click on “Union Made Product Search”. To shop for union-made products online, go to www.ShopUnionMade.org.




 

WEBSITE OFFERS UNION-MADE GOODS AND SERVICES

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

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

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

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

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



The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 700 Maritime Blvd., Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1941. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: iommp@bridgedeck.org. For further info or to subscribe contact John Peige at jpeige@bridgedeck.org. The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea, broadcast worldwide via FEC marine telex and is posted on our web page.