News

Wheelhouse Weekly – April 13, 2009

April 13th 2009

 

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

Volume 13 . . . . . Number 15. . . .April 13, 2009

STORIES COVERED

REMINDERS

T-AGS Oceanographic Survey Ships Info

Required Coursework

Security Clearances

MSC Physicals

MM&P FCU News

MM&P Health & Benefit Plan News

Meet Our New Prescription Benefit Manager, PHARMACARE

Notice to MM&P Health & Benefit Plan Participants

WWII USCG Veterans Outreach

Company Gives Bucks Back for buying Safe Shoes

Website Offers Union-Made Goods and Services



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


CAPTAIN PHILLIPS ESCAPES; NAVY SEALS KILL THREE OF HIS CAPTORS

Captain Richard Phillips escaped Sunday afternoon by jumping from the lifeboat on which he was being held. Navy SEALs who were on the scene then shot and killed three of the pirates who had been holding him hostage, according to U.S. government officials. Phillips is reportedly uninjured and in good condition. He was taken aboard USS BAINBRIDGE, and then flown to USS BOXER, where he was evaluated by physicians and given an opportunity to rest. At the time of the escape, the fourth pirate was aboard USS BAINBRIDGE negotiating with U.S. officials. He was immediately taken into custody.    

Captain Phillips was taken hostage last week after the pirates attempted to hijack the MAERSK ALABAMA. “I know I speak for all members and employees of the Masters, Mates & Pilots when I say that we are overjoyed that Captain Phillips is free,” said MM&P International President Tim Brown. “He is a true hero who represents the finest tradition of American maritime officers and the Masters, Mate & Pilots.”

“Maersk Line, Limited is deeply grateful to the Navy, the FBI and so many others for their tireless efforts to secure Richard’s freedom,” said MLL Chief Executive Officer John Reinhart. “We look forward to welcoming him home in the coming days.” 

The attempted hijacking of MAERSK ALABAMA, followed by the kidnapping of Captain Phillips, has placed the issue of piracy front and center on the world stage. As has been reported by media outlets worldwide, the 20-member crew succeeded in beating back the pirate attack. The U.S.-flagged, American-owned ship is operated by MM&P-contracted Maersk Line, Limited, based in Norfolk, Va. Currently deployed in Maersk Line’s East Africa service network, it was en route to Mombasa when it was attacked approximately 300 miles off the coast of Somalia. Its cargo consisted in large part of food aid for starving people in Somalia, Uganda and Rwanda.

Captain Phillips, Chief Mate Shane Murphy and Third Mate Colin Wright are all members of MM&P. The other mariners aboard the vessel are members of the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA) and the Seafarers International Union (SIU).

The MAERSK ALABAMA arrived Saturday in Mombasa with Chief Mate Murphy as acting captain. Journalists crowding around the vessel at the dock in Mombasa shouted out questions to crewmembers, who were required to remain on board during debriefing by FBI agents. The vessel itself, for the moment, has been declared a crime scene. Crewmembers were said to be “jubilant” when they learned Captain Phillips was free.


MAERSK ESTABLISHES E-MAIL ADDRESS FOR WELL-WISHERS

Messages of support for Captain Phillips, his family and the mariners aboard the vessel are pouring in from all over the world. Maersk has created an e-mail address for those wishing to express their support: maerskalabamasupport@maerskline-usa.com. There is also a link to the e-mail address at www.maersklinelimited.com


PIRATES SEIZE ITALIAN TUG

In yet another attack, Somali pirates Saturday hijacked an Italian tugboat in the Gulf of Aden. The BUCCANEER, with a crew of 16, was seized while it towed two barges. 

In the first three and a half months of 2009, there have already been more than 60 attacks off the Somali coast. More than 16 ships are now in pirates’ hands, according to a spokesman for the U.S. Navy. Insurers estimate that last year, Somali pirates made off with approximately $80 million.

The area involved, off the coasts of Somalia and Kenya as well as the Gulf of Aden, measures more than 1.1 million square miles (2.5 million square kilometers), roughly four times the size of Texas or the size of the Mediterranean and Red Seas combined. The length of the Somali coastline is roughly the same as the entire Eastern Seaboard of the United States.

MM&P International President Tim Brown called on the international community to take immediate action to combat the scourge of piracy. “The right of passage on the oceans has long been recognized by civilized countries around the world,” he said. “The pirates who seized Captain Phillips are nothing more than international thugs. MM&P calls on the international community to act as one to suppress piracy and to apprehend and prosecute those who perpetrate this crime.”


TWIC COUNTDOWN: BY WEDNESDAY, ALL MARINERS MUST HAVE A TWIC

Reminder: April 15 is the deadline for all mariners and other maritime industry workers to obtain the Transportation Worker Identification Card (TWIC).


COAST GUARD ANNOUNCES LIMITED CAPABILITIES AT NMC AND RECS ON APRIL 17

The Coast Guard says that on Monday, April 20, it will begin issuing the new consolidated merchant mariner credential. The credential replaces the license, certificate of registry, merchant mariner’s document and STCW endorsement. The agency says that to implement the change, it must take its web-based merchant mariner licensing and documentation system off-line for “a massive software update and testing period.” This means that starting at 6:00 a.m. on April 17, the system will be shut down for three days.

During this time, the Coast Guard says, “mariners will experience some disruptions” to the following services: application status checks–the Mariner Information Call Center (1-888-IASKNMC) and local REC staffs will not have access to the merchant mariner database and will not be able to provide information regarding application status; examinations–mariners who had planned to take an exam on Friday, April 17, are strongly encouraged to contact a REC as soon as possible to make necessary preparations to have the exam prepared before April 17. To schedule an exam, go to http://www.uscg.mil/nmc/rec_information.asp. The Coast Guard says service should be restored by the morning of Monday, April 20.


TWIC INTERNATIONAL HELP DESK NUMBER

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has announced the introduction of a new international TWIC Help Desk telephone number for people outside the United States: (001) 817-359-7761. For updates on the TWIC program, go to http://twicinformation.tsa.dhs.gov.


USCG SAYS ALL CREDENTIALS ISSUED AFTER APRIL 15 WILL HAVE NEW FORMAT

The Coast Guard says that all merchant mariner credentials issued after April 15 will be printed in the new consolidated Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) format, regardless of when the application was submitted. It said applications issued before April 15 will be issued in the format of a separate license, MMD, STCW Certificate or Certificate of Registry, as appropriate.

The Coast Guard also said it will accept proof that the mariner has applied for a TWIC for all MMC applications. The Coast Guard said it will assume that an MMC applicant holds a valid TWIC when TSA determines they are qualified based on the “security threat assessment.” It said it would receive the information regarding the status of a mariner’s TWIC application through electronic means directly from TSA, adding “Once we have received the information that the mariner is qualified for a TWIC, we will print the credential and send it to the mariner. In the event the mariner is not qualified for a TWIC, we will notify the mariner that the credential will not be issued due to denial of the TWIC. Mariners should note that an MMC may be received before your TWIC; however, employers are still responsible to ensure that vessels are manned by individuals holding both the MMC and a TWIC.”


MAERSK LINES RE-FLAGGING, REPLACING NINE MSP VESSELS

Maersk Lines, Limited has announced that it is replacing nine of its Maritime Security Program (MSP) containerships with nine newer and more efficient vessels. The nine ships leaving the MSP are SEALAND PRIDE, SEALAND MOTIVATOR, SEALAND COMMITMENT, SEALAND FLORIDA, SEALAND ATLANTIC, SEALAND ACHIEVER, SEALAND PERFORMANCE, SEALAND QUALITY and MAERSK ARIZONA. The company said it plans to reflag all of them to foreign registry in the next few months. The ships to be flagged into the U.S.-fleet to replace them are: SEALAND CHAMPION, MAERSK UTAH, SEALAND EAGLE, SEALAND MERCURY, MAERSK WISCONSIN, MAERSK WYOMING, SEALAND RACER, MAERSK KENTUCKY and MAERSK IDAHO. The company said its request for the change was approved and coordinated with the Department of Defense’s U.S. Transportation Command after the Maritime Administration found that the proposed replacement vessels met or exceeded the eligibility requirements of the MSP.


NUMBER OF SHIP LAY-UPS MAY HAVE STABILIZED

After five months of sharp increases in the number of ship layups, it has been reported that the number of laid-up container ships stabilized over the past two weeks. As of March 30, 485 ships of 1.42 million TEUs capacity were idled, accounting for 11.3 percent of the global fleet, according to AXS-Alphaliner, a Paris-based consultant.


WORLD-RENOWNED SCIENTIST JANE LUBCHENCO CONFIRMED AS NOAA ADMINISTRATOR

Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere. In this capacity, she will serve as the ninth administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the nation’s top science agency for climate, oceans and the atmosphere. Lubchenco is the first woman and the first marine ecologist to lead NOAA. A spokeswoman for the White House called her “an outstanding and accomplished environmental scientist with a proven ability to communicate, lead a dynamic team and inspire action.” The spokeswoman added that Lubchenco “joins a distinguished group of scientific leaders in the Obama Administration who will ensure that science plays its proper role in shaping policy.”

Lubchenco said she was honored to be chosen for the job, adding, “With hard work and the best science as our guide, NOAA can spur the creation of new jobs and industries, revive our fisheries and the economies and communities they support, improve weather forecasting and disaster warnings, provide credible information about climate change to Americans, and protect and restore our coastal ecosystems.” Among countless other achievements, Lubchenco is a recipient of the highly prestigious MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship.


VANGUARD OFFERS INTERNET SEMINAR ON STAYING CALM IN A BEAR MARKET

Vanguard is encouraging investors to participate in an “e-meeting” called “Staying Calm in a Bear Market.” Topics of discussion will include the importance of asset allocation and a look back in history at periods of market volatility. Participants in the seminar will be able to view the presentation from their computers while listening to a live narration over the phone. Participants with questions can type them in during the seminar and receive immediate answers from Vanguard retirement specialists who are standing by.

To attend the e-seminar, registration is required. After you register, you will receive an e-mail with instructions on how to participate. Reservations are available on a first-come, first-served basis. For a complete meeting schedule, go to:  https://retirementplans.vanguard.com/VGApp/pe/PubVgiNews?ArticleName=EMeetingBearMarket.

If the link is broken, you can also access the site from the MM&P home page: just go to and find the link in the online version of this article. If you miss the e-meetings, you can still view a free online presentation about bear markets. Click the following URL for access any time of the day: http://ondemand.vanguard-education.com/bearmarket


HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN REMINDER ABOUT DEPENDENT FULL-TIME STUDENTS

The MM&P Health & Benefit Plan is issuing a reminder to members with covered dependent children ages 19-23 who are full-time college students at an accredited institution of higher learning. In order for the children to continue being covered as dependents, you must provide the Health & Benefit Plan with a copy of your federal tax return for calendar year 2008 showing that you are claiming the children as dependents on your return. Please provide this information before the end of April so we can continue coverage of these dependents.


MITAGS AND PMI ANNOUNCE NEW PROGRAM: INTRODUCTION TO ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS IN THE MARITIME INDUSTRY/EPA GENERAL PERMIT FOR COMMERCIAL VESSELS

MITAGS and PMI have added the “Introduction to Environmental Regulations in the Maritime Industry/EPA General Permit for Commercial Vessels” program to the course schedule. The program has been designed as two, one-day modules. Module one is an introduction to the environmental aspects of vessel operations and the basic structure of the marine regulatory environment. It is intended to give vessel operators a broad perspective on the potential environmental impact of their operations and a greater appreciation for why a vessel general permit is required. Module two is devoted to the vessel general permit. Attendees will be given a copy of the permit. This module will involve discussion and analysis of the permit language. It will also focus on how the permit requirements apply to the specific vessels operated by the students.  Note: module one is a prerequisite for module two. The course will be held at MITAGS May 27-8; June 16-17; and July 29-30. It will be held at PMI April 15-16; May 27-28; and June 23-24. For more information or to register for the course at MITAGS, contact Robert Becker: (443) 989-3235; (866) 656-5569; rbecker@mitags.org. For more information or to register for the PMI course, contact Gregg Trunnell: (206) 838-7422; (888) 893-7829; gtrunnell@mates.org.


SHIP SECURITY OFFICER REFRESHER COURSE WILL BE HELD ON THE WEST COAST IN APRIL

MITAGS and Matson are sponsoring three, one-day VSO refresher courses on the West Coast in April. The courses are designed for members who have not yet taken a certified VSO course. Anyone who took the MITAGS or PMI VCF or PCS course after April 2003 has taken a certified course. (If you are in doubt about whether you need the refresher course, please check with Diane Ford at dford@mitags.org.)  Captain John Kessler of PMI will be presenting the course. The schedule is as follows; please call the MM&P halls at the numbers listed in parentheses to confirm your seat:  Friday, April 17, Honolulu at the Matson Terminal Tower (808-523-8183); Tuesday, April 28, Los Angeles, at the MM&P Hall (310-834-7201) and Thursday, April 30, San Francisco at the MM&P Hall (415-777-5074).


MEBA CALHOON SCHOOL WILL HOST E-SYMPOSIUM IN JULY

The Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA) Calhoon School will host the 2009 International Maritime eLearning Symposium July 20-23. Speakers at the symposium, which will take place in Easton, Md., will include DNV Marketing Manager Eric Seither, Acting Maritime Administrator James E. Caponiti, Mayte Medina of the Coast Guard Personnel Qualification Division and Dan Noonan, CMES director of online STCW courses. To register, go to http://cfp.cutwater.org.


COAST GUARD SEEKS TO HIRE MARINE INSPECTORS

The Coast Guard has announced that it is seeking to hire marine inspectors. It describes the responsibilities for the positions to be filled as follows: U.S. and foreign vessel compliance review and inspection; providing reports and evaluations; training for civilian and military marine inspectors. The Coast Guard said the position offers “travel, job security, excellent federal benefits, and training from the best and true responsibility.” Requirements include: U.S. citizenship; “good physical competence,” hearing and sight; understanding laws and regulations relating to vessel, port and pollution prevention; knowledge of classification society rules, standards of industry and professional engineering societies; knowledge of marine engineering, welding, testing and safety.


ROPE YARNS TRIBUTE TO REAR ADM. THOMAS E. BURKE

All are invited to the Friends of Massachusetts Maritime Academy gala evening tribute to Rear Adm. Thomas E. Burke, USMS. The Friends of Massachusetts Maritime Academy is a social organization comprised mostly of graduates from the school. An annual “Rope Yarns” gathering has been instituted to honor prominent alumni, serve as a social gathering for alumni, their spouses and friends, and raise funds for cadet scholarships. On the evening of May 14, the group will gather at Atlantica on Cohasset Harbor to honor Tom Burke. “For over 50 years, Tom has served the academy and its graduates with distinction in his many volunteer roles,” said a spokesman for the group. The evening will begin with a social hour at 1800, followed by dinner and “a fun-filled program of sea stories, testimonials, prizes and surprises.” The cost is $100.00 per person. For directions, go to www.cohassetharborresort.com. Please remit check or money order made out to: Friends of MMA (in memo section, note Admiral Burke Tribute) and mail to: William J. McClellan, Treasurer, 10 Horizon Circle, Chatham, MA 02633. Questions may be directed to: George F. Gillis, gfgillis@verizon.net, Home: 508-563-2202, Mobile: 508-737-7074


SUNY ADMIRAL SCHOLARSHIP DINNER MAY 5

On Tuesday, May 5, at 6:00 pm, the State University of New York Maritime College will salute the American Bureau of Shipping, Kirby Inland Marine and Professor Emeritus William Sembler, ’52, at the college’s annual Admiral’s Scholarship Dinner. The event, which will benefit the college’s scholarship fund, will be held on campus in Throgs Neck, N. Y. For tickets, call 718-409-5562 or e-mail: admiralsdinner@sunymaritime.edu.


SPANISH SHIP OPERATOR AGREES TO PAY $2.5 MILLION IN OIL POLLUTION COVER-UP

The Spanish ship operator Consultores de Navegacion, operator of the chemical tanker MT NAUTILUS, has agreed to pay a $2.5 million fine for the criminal discharge of oil-contaminated bilge water. The company pleaded guilty to conspiracy, falsification of records, false statements, obstruction and two violations of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships for failing to maintain an accurate oil record book. According to the indictment, the discharge of oily waste took place between June 2007 and March 2008. As part of the plea agreement, the company is required to implement an environmental compliance plan. Two of the ship’s chief engineers have also pleaded guilty to involvement in the scheme. They are scheduled to be sentenced on April 13. Charges against the Cyprus shipowner, Iceport Shipping Co., have been dismissed.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

CLASS OPENINGS: Between now and the end of June, seats are available in the following courses:

AIS � (1-Day) Automatic Identification System: 6/22
ARPA � Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 4/13, 6/23
BRM � Bridge Resource Management: 5/4, 6/15
BRMP � Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 6/25
BST � Basic Safety Training: 6/1
CONT PLNG � Contingency Planning: 5/15

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 6/22
CMM-CHS I � Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 4/27
CMM-CHS II � Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 5/4
CMM-ECDIS � Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems: 6/8
CMM-MPP � Marine Propulsion Plants: 6/15
CMM-SHMGT I � Ship Management (week 1) : 5/11
CMM-SHMGT II � Ship Management (week 2) : 5/18
CMM-SHS-ADV-I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 5/11, 6/1
CMM-SHS-ADV-I I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 5/4, 6/8
CMM-VPEN � Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 6/1
CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 5/25

CSE-AWR2 � Confined Space Entry Awareness (2 day): 5/14
FF-BADV � Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting Combined: 6/1
HAZ � Hazardous Materials (5 day): 5/4
LEG � Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 4/22, 6/24
LNG AWAR � Liquefied Natural Gas Awareness (2 day): 5/27

MEDIA RSP � Media Response Workshop: 6/26
MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 6/8
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 5/4, 6/8
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 5/14, 6/13

[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-CBRD-1 � CBRD Orientation: 5/22
MSC-DC � Damage Control: Special Evening MSC-DC Class: 5/18 to 5/21
MSC-SMA � Small Arms Training: 5/18

[OICNW � Officer in Charge of a Navigation Watch Courses]
OICNW-CHS-BAS � Basic Cargo Handling and Stowage: 4/20, 5/25
OICNW-CNAV � Celestial Navigation: 4/20
OICNW-EP � Emergency Procedures: 5/14
OICNW-SAR � Search and Rescue: 5/11

ROP-5 � Radar Observer Program (Original or Renewal): 5/4
ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 6/22

SEC-VCF – Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 5/11, 6/23
SEC-VSO-R � Vessel Security Officer Refresher (1 day): 4/21, 5/14, 6/8, 6/22
SHS-BAS � Basic Shiphandling: 5/18, 6/15
SHS-EMR5 � Emergency Shiphandling: 6/22
SHS-EMR-BRMP3 � Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 6/22

TPIC � Tankerman Person in Charge (Dangerous Liquids): 5/25

…remember: If you can’t make the class, make the call.  Be courteous, don’t be a “no show.”

Check the MITAGS website at www.mitags.org for course descriptions associated with the course title abbreviations, and schedule revisions. For class availability or info on MITAGS courses and programs, contact admissions toll-free at 866-656-5568 or by e-mail: admissions@mitags.org.


PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

PMI Web site at www.mates.org for more info

FOR REGISTRATION CALL JENNIFER PITZEN: 206 838-1126

SCHEDULE OF COURSES – (Course schedule also posted online at www.mates.org)

April 2009
20-24ECDIS
20-22SEC VCF
23SEC VCF REFRESHER
27ROR
28-5/1ARPA
27-5/1TPIC

May 2009
11ROR
11-22GMDSS
12-15ARPA
26SEC VCF REFRESHER
26-29SEC VCF

June 2009
1-5ECDIS
1-3Security VCF
4Security Refresher
8-19GMDSS
8-12Radar Observer Unlimited
8-12TPIC
12Flashing Light
15Radar Renewal
15-19Medical Care Provider
15-26Medical Person-in-Charge
22-24Security VCF
25Security Refresher

July 2009
6-10Basic Shiphandling
13Radar Renewal
14-17 ARPA
13-17Emergency Shiphandling

August 2009
3Radar Renewal
4-7ARPA
3-5Security VCF
10-14 ECDIS
10-14 TPIC

September 2009
21Radar Renewal
22-25ARPA
21-25Medical Care Provider
21-2Medical Person-in-Charge

For registration call Jennifer Pitzen 888-893-7829

PMI MERCHANDISE FOR SALE!!!

High-quality clothing embroidered with the NEW PMI logo! We can ship these items also! Acceptable forms of payment are check, credit card, money order and exact cash. Call Laura Bendixen at 888-893-7829 for prices and to order. If we don’t have your size, we’ll be glad to special order for you at no extra cost.


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 4-10-2009

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
8,083.38 1,652.54 856.56
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
39.82
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
78.92
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
23.81
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
11.85
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
11.48
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
17.84
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.70
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
20.57
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
4.46
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
13.05
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
15.42
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
12.09
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
14.70
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
9.64
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
9.36
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
9.01
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
8.94
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
9.25
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.07
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
20.87
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
13.20
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
11.00
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
12.45
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
9.10
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
48.88
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
12.09
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
38.71
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
12.41
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
27.16
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
20.30
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
16.11
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
9.54
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
10.07
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
10.30
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
9.94
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
9.56
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
5.45
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
6.27
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
9.33
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
22.38
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
30.30
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
19.00





~ 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 and MUST NOT expire during your tour of duty.

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 commenced Oct.17, 2004. 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. Suite B
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.



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.


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:

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

6.75 percent for 25-48 months;
7.50 percent for 49-60 months ($20,000 minimum); and
8.00 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

MEET OUR NEW PRESCRIPTION BENEFIT MANAGER, PHARMACARE

As you know, effective July 1, 2007, MM&P will have a new Prescription Benefit Manager, PharmaCare. If you use the mail service and have not sent your Confidential Mail Service Enrollment Form to the MM&P Plan Office, you have until June 30 to do so. Otherwise, you can call PharmaCare’s customer service line and give them the information over the telephone or send the form with your first new mail prescription directly to PharmaCare. In the next couple of days, you will be receiving a letter with your new MM&P identification cards and a prescription booklet with information on how to obtain your prescriptions. PharmaCare’s customer service number is listed in the booklet. If you have any questions, please contact the MM&P Health & Benefit Plan Advisors.



NOTICE TO MM&P HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN PARTICIPANTS

As you know, MM&P Health & Benefit Plan members have a new prescription benefit manager, PharmaCare. When you first obtain a prescription at your retail drug store, please show your new Health & Benefit Identification Card with PharmaCare’s information. If you do not show your card, please inform your pharmacist of the following information so you can receive your prescriptions through the Plan. Your identification number HAS NOT CHANGED. Please provide the pharmacist with your full member identification number. You will have to also provide the following numbers. RxGrp#- Z50136968, RxBin: 610468 and RxPCN: PC2 

If your pharmacist has any questions, he or she should call PharmaCare directly at (800) 503-3241.  If you have any questions, PharmaCare members can call the company directly at (888) 364-6815.


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. Suite B, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1953. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: iommp@bridgedeck.org. For further info or to subscribe contact Lisa Rosenthal at lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org. The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea and is posted on our web page.

© 2009, International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots. All the material contained in this publication is protected by copyright. For permission to reprint text from the Weekly, contact the MM&P Communications Department: lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org. For changes of address, contact Lisa Rosenthal at lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org.