News

Wheelhouse Weekly – August 04, 2006

August 4th 2006

 

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

Volume 10 . . . . . Number 31. . . . August 4, 2006

STORIES COVERED

Also

REMINDERS

T-AGS Oceanographic Survey Ships Info

Required Coursework

Security Clearances

MSC Physicals

MM&P Health & Benefit Plan News

Notice to Members who are taking Vioxx

NMHC Mail-Order Prescriptions Website Updated & Improved

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.





 

VALERIE VERRECCHIO, MM&P PLANS ADMINISTRATOR, RESIGNS

MM&P International President Capt. Tim Brown reports that on July 20th, Valerie Verrecchio informed the Chairman and Secretary of the Plan that she would be leaving as the Administrator of the MM&P Plan before the next regularly scheduled Trustees Meeting to pursue a new career opportunity in Portland, OR. “As most of you already know, Valerie and John Schaeffner, MM&P Branch Agent in Portland, were married at the International on May 22, 2004. This new opportunity presented a chance for Valerie to be with her husband in Portland and still continue to work with Taft-Hartley Plans, her particular area of expertise. Speaking for all members of the Board of MM&P Trustees, while we are sorry that Ms. Verrecchio is leaving, we wish her continued success in her new position,” Capt. Brown said.

“Following consultation with the employers’ representatives on the MM&P Trust Plan, it was the unanimous decision to promote Patrick McCullough, currently the Deputy Director of the MM&P Plans, to the Administrator’s position following Ms. Verricchio’s departure later this summer. Mr. McCullough, a 30-year employee of the MM&P Plans, has a wealth of experience with our Plans as well as serving as the Deputy Administrator under the two previous Administrators. I know you will all join me in wishing Patrick McCullough well in this new position,” concluded Capt. Brown.




 

SENATE CONFIRMS CONNAUGHTON AS NEW MARAD ADMINISTRATOR

On August 3rd, the Senate confirmed Sean T. Connaughton, of Virginia, to be Administrator of the Maritime Administration. Connaughton was nominated on June 28th to replace acting MARAD Chief Julie Nelson who has served in an interim role. Connaughton, 45, is the President’s second nominee for the MARAD post. His first nominee, David Sanborn, withdrew his nomination during the Dubai port controversy. Connaughton is a graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy, a Coast Guard veteran and currently serves as chairman of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors. Senator George Allen (R-VA) praised him as being, “particularly well qualified for this position.” As the new MARAD Chief, Connaughton will lead an agency with a budget of more than $500 million and nearly 1,000 people.


81ST MM&P CONVENTION TO CONVENE AUGUST 22ND AT MITAGS

Members are reminded that a regular convention of the MM&P will be convened at 1000 hrs on Tuesday, August 22nd at MITAGS, 692 Maritime Boulevard, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090. For further info, contact Diane Chatham at dchatham@bridgedeck.org.


RESUME FORM FOR MATSON’S GOVERNMENT GROUP ON MM&P WEB SITE

If you are interested in potential employment with Matson Navigation Company as Master or Chief Mate on a Watson Class LMSR, just go to www.bridgedeck.org, click on ‘What’s New?’ and scroll to the bottom of the page to download a copy of the Matson Navigation Co. resume form as a PDF file. As previously reported, Matson is actively pursuing new opportunities aboard government contract vessels and the company needs to identify a qualified pool of MM&P senior Licensed Deck Officers.

MM&P members and applicants who have Master and/or Chief Mate experience, particularly aboard LMSR or other government-contract vessels, are urged to send their resume info to Teri Sullivan at the address listed below. Please note that resumes should be in the format recommended by Matson and the Military Sealift Command that is now posted on the MM&P Web site. The resume template may also be obtained from Pacific Ports offices, or from Richard Plant or Mike Rodriguez at MM&P HQ.

Address resumes to:
Teri Sullivan, Office Manager,
Matson Navigation Government Services
1521 Pier “C” Street, 4th Floor
Long Beach, CA 90813
Email: tsullivan@matson.com


MATSON’S 2ND-QUARTER OPERATING INCOME DOWN 37 PERCENT

Honolulu-based Alexander & Baldwin Inc., has reported that its US-flag operator Matson Navigation’s second quarter operating profit dropped 37 percent to $24.4 million, from $38.7 million a year ago. MM&P-contracted Matson’s revenue for the quarter improved 10 percent to $243.3 million, compared to $221 million in the second quarter 2005. The operating income decrease was a result of “expense increases that more than offset revenue gains, primarily an increase in vessel operating and overhead expenses due to higher fuel costs and the China service startup, and increased terminal handling costs due to higher rates,” A&B reported.

Matson’s Hawaii second quarter container volumes were flat at 44,600 units “reflecting primarily a reduction in eastbound volumes, including lower shipments of agricultural products and lower military-related household good movements.” Hawaii automobile volumes were down 22 percent to 33,800 units due “primarily to the impact of reduced auto manufacturer incentives for rental car agencies, which resulted in lower rental car turnover, as well as competitive pressures.” Matson’s Guam container volume declined 7 percent to 3,900 units. Volume for the carrier’s new China service was 7,500 units. For the year-to-date, Matson’s operating profit dropped 38 percent to $42.7 million, compared to $68.4 million after the first six months of 2005. Ocean transportation revenue in the first half was $462.9 million, up 8 percent from $427.2 million posted in the year-earlier period.


HORIZON LINES POSTS $6.4 MILLION SECOND QUARTER PROFIT

MM&P-contracted Horizon Lines announced last week that it posted a second quarter net income of $6.4 million, compared to a net loss of $4.1 million in the same quarter last year. The Charlotte, NC-based carrier’s operating income in the latest quarter increased 86.6 percent to $22.4 million from $12 million. Revenue improved 7.1 percent to $289.8 million from $270.5 million. “Freight rate and cargo mix improvements more than offset some modest volume softness in the second quarter of 2006 compared to 2005,” Horizon Lines said. For the year to date, Horizon Lines reported a net income of $8.8 million, compared to deficit of $10.7 million after six months last year. Operating income jumped 142 percent to $38.3 million from $15.8 million last year. Revenue improved 7 percent to $564.8 million from $528.1 million.


MERPAC SEEKS APPLICANTS AS IT PLANS TO MEET AT MITAGS IN SEPTEMBER

The US Coast Guard is seeking applications for appointment to membership on the Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee (MERPAC). MERPAC provides advice and makes recommendations to the agency on matters related to training, qualification, licensing, certification, and fitness of seamen serving in the US merchant marine. Applications should be submitted by October 15. For further information contact: Mark C. Gould, Assistant to the Executive Director, telephone 202-372-1409, fax 202-372-1926.

MERPAC and its working groups, sponsored by the US Coast Guard, will meet at MITAGS on September 12-14. Topics on the agenda include the standard of competence on tanker safety; a voluntary training program for entry level mariners; and a national training program including integration of the STCW Code into the USCG license examination process.


VICE ADM. ANN RONDEAU SET TO BECOME USTRANSCOM DEPUTY COMMANDER

Navy Vice Adm. Ann Rondeau has been nominated for assignment as deputy commander, US Transportation Command. She currently serves as director, Navy Staff, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Pentagon, Washington, DC. Rondeau will take over from Army Lt. Gen. Robert T. Dail, who has been nominated to become director, Defense Logistics Agency, Ft. Belvoir, VA.

USTRANSCOM’s mission is to provide air, land and sea transportation for the Department of Defense in time of peace and time of war. As the single manager of defense transportation, USTRANSCOM moves troops, equipment and supplies wherever needed and continues to provide transportation support to sustain forces for as long as necessary.


USCG REC NEW ORLEANS POSTPONES OPENING UNTIL AUGUST 9TH

The Coast Guard Regional Examination Center (REC) in New Orleans will now reopen on August 9th rather than July 28th as the USCG previously announced. The limited services currently provided by the REC will continue as staff dislocated by Hurricane Katrina return to the New Orleans area over the coming weeks. REC New Orleans will offer fingerprinting, examinations, and identification verification services for merchant mariner applications. The new address of REC New Orleans is:
Commander, Sector New Orleans
Regional Examination Center
201 Old Hammond Hwy.
Metairie, LA 70005
504-219-2719
Additional info on program changes may be obtained on the Internet at http://www.uscg.mil/stcw/index.htm.


SUSPECTED JIHADIST TARGETS US MERCHANT VESSEL

In an article published in the August 3rd MarEx e-newsletter, Joseph Tenaglia, Director and CEO of Tactical Defense Concepts (TDC), a maritime security consulting firm, reported the following incident that originated from a vessel security officer (VSO) serving aboard a US vessel homeported on the East Coast that is involved in the telecommunications industry.

As the ship prepared for departure, the VSO noticed unusual behavior by an OS of Middle Eastern descent that had never before shipped out. As the ship rigged for departure the VSO noticed a new ordinary seaman (OS) in the fueling port, which is an unusual place for the OS to be. He mentally noted the incident, but consequently forgot about it.

Two days later, several crewmembers pulled the VSO aside and said that the same OS had asked where the water tanks were on the ship. The OS was insistent and asked three times. The OS also asked about the ship’s ventilation system. The VSO again made a mental note of the incident.

The VSO then asked the Bosun if he observed anything unusual about the OS. The Bosun indicated the OS asked if there was ever a check of baggage. Again, this was considered an unusual request. The VSO notified the Master of his concerns and a room inspection was conducted. The search revealed the OS had in his possession life lifesaving equipment, an emergency escape breathing apparatus, survival guide, and some Islamic books. On the following day, while conducting his rounds, the VSO discovered some damage to the ship’s emergency equipment including a broken lock on the CO2 actuator panel. The unusual event had no logical explanation.

The VSO casually noted the behavior of the OS, who did not associate with the other crew and did not engage in casual conversation. He also did not make eye contact and said few words. When asked why he decided to start shipping his flat response was “It was time”. The OS was a US citizen but a check of his passport revealed he had visited countries in the Middle East. Based on his observations, the VSO contacted his Company Security Officer (CSO) via e-mail. Due to the sensitive nature of this incident, action was taken by US authorities.

TDC Analysis of the incident pointed to the overriding lesson that the maritime industry is a target. The behavior of the crewmember in question was textbook “suspicious behavior” that deserved attention and reporting. The VSO acted in a prudent and responsible manner and could possibly have saved the vessel from an unknown calamity. It was not easy for him, he had to act on his “gut feeling” that something was wrong and he did the right thing. All subsequent information indicated that the OS was not really interested in pursuing a maritime career.

Note: CDR Joseph Tenaglia USN (Ret) is a former Special Operations Officer with a specialty in Explosive Ordnance Disposal (bomb disposal). His firm, TDC, conducts maritime security training, security assessments of ships and marine terminals and other related consulting tasks.


MERCHANT SHIPPING ADVISED TO RAMP UP ON BOARD SECURITY MEASURES

The worsening Israeli-Lebanon conflict is affecting maritime traffic in the region and the likelihood of increased premiums for war risk insurance for vessels operating in the area is a great cause for concern among ship operators. The European Mediterranean Trade Agreement, a 12-member trade group, has issued the following statement: “In the event that extra costs do arise for war risk insurance, the lines wish to inform their customers that they will have no option but to pass these on to customers by way of a war risk surcharge with immediate effect.”

The IMO and various Flag-states have issued their own directives and warnings, addressing matters of evacuation operations from Lebanon and instructions to raise security levels in accordance with ISPS Code requirements, when transiting affected areas. Port cities of Haifa in Israel, and Beirut in Lebanon, have both come under attack. A failure to bring the conflict to a quick resolution will probably mean a premium increase.


THREE FLAG STATES ADDED TO USCG BLACK LIST

The flag states of Portugal, Russia and Sweden have been added to the US Coast Guard targeted flag state list. The list reflects those flag states, which the Coast Guard says have poor safety records, based on their detention ratios. All three were added last month. At the same time, Belize, India and Turkey were removed from this year’s list.

Both Russia and Portugal scored seven points for having a detention ratio twice the three-year overall average,
which this year is 2.00%, down from 2.3% last year. Sweden’s detention rate was just above average. The Coast Guard’s system dictates that the more points a ship has through flag and class ratings, among others, the more likely it is to be targeted. No other flag states were added to this year’s list.

The USCG list was updated almost concurrently with the Paris MOU PSC regime release of its updated black, white and grey lists. In contrast to USCG findings, Sweden and Portugal are on the MOU PSC white list of best-performing flags but Russia is on the average-performing grey list. Belize moved from the black to the grey list.


LOAN GUARANTEES APPROVED BY SENATE PANEL

New funding for American shipbuilders may be on the way as the Senate Appropriations Committee recently approved $30 million for commercial ship construction loan guarantees. Also added by the committee was $15 million for Maritime Administration grants to small shipyards. The proposed funds still have to be resolved with
House recommendations that reflect only the $3.3 million requested by the President for Title XI loans. A statement issued by the American Shipbuilding Association says that “Title XI Loan Guarantees allow small and medium sized ship operating companies to secure affordable financing for the construction of cargo ships in American Shipyards.” ASA also said that the new funds would create thousands of jobs in the domestic shipbuilding industries.


EPA AWARDS GRANT TO PORT OF LOS ANGELES FOR AIR MONITORING

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has awarded a $250,000 grant to the Port of Los Angeles to help monitor air quality around the port. The grant will enhance the Port of Los Angeles’ capability to monitor air toxics, especially polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, a product of incomplete combustion. The overall goal is to significantly reduce port related air emissions. The project, which was initiated by the port in October 2005, is expected to last 18 months and will cost $1.25 million.


MARAD FACES MORE CONCERNS IN DISPOSAL OF GHOST FLEET SHIPS

The US Maritime Administration (MARAD) continues to be impacted by layers of environmental regulations in its attempt to dispose of obsolete “Ghost Fleet” reserve vessels. Located at three National Defense Reserve fleet sites, Congress has ordered that the old ships be scrapped as they are considered to be eyesores, safety hazards, and potential pollution risks. Now comes word that the ships must be cleaned of any “aquatic growth” attached to their hulls before being moved for recycling.

Environmentalists have cited the example of the Zebra mussel, which has worked its way into the Great Lakes from the hulls and ballast of merchant vessels as a prime reason for the new program. And, although MARAD has agreed to address the issue, they have not yet conceded that there is data to support that a problem actually exists. The US Coast Guard requires that hulls be cleaned before ships can be relocated from one port to another. Violators can be prosecuted under federal law.

Invasive species are a serious problem in the Great Lakes, where industry and governments have spent millions to mitigate the introduction of unwanted and harmful organisms. Now, all “Ghost Fleet” vessels are being sampled and tested. In September, the results of these tests will be used to develop a new protocol for handling the disposal of the decrepit ships.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

 

CLASS OPENINGS: Between now and the end of October 2006, seats are available in the following courses:


ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 9/12, 9/26, 10/10, 10/24
AZIPOD-KAM-2 – Two-Day Azipod and Kamewa Steering and Propulsion Systems: 9/19, 9/23, 10/2

BRMP – Bridge Resource Mangement for Pilots: 8/7, 9/27, 10/10
BST – Basic Safety Training: 8/28, 9/25, 10/30

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
*WX-BASREF-2 – Two day Basic weather refresher, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED PREP for Advanced Meteorology: 10/26
*CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 9/11, 10/30
CMM-ADVSTB – 8/21, 9/11, 10/2
CMM-CHS I – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 9/25
CMM-CHS II – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 9/18
CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart and Display Information System: 9/18, 10/16
CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 8/7, 10/30
CMM-SHMGT-I – Ship Management I (week 1): 8/21
CMM-SHMGT-II – Ship Management II (week 2): 8/14
CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 8/21
CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 10/9
CMM-WKP – Watchkeeping: 8/28

CONT-PLNG – Contingency Planning: 10/13

CSE-AASE – Confined Space Entry: 8/28

FF-BADV – Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 8/28, 9/25, 10/30

HAZ-Hazardous Materials (5-day): 9/11

MEDIA-RSP – Media Response: 10/12

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 8/12, 9/24, 10/22
MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 8/14, 10/16
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 8/14, 9/11, 10/16


[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-CBRD-1 (Chemical Biological Radiological Defense Orientation): 8/23, 10/25
MSC-DC (Damage Control): 8/24, 10/26
MSC-SMA – Small Arms Training: 8/28,10/30
MSC-SMA-R – Small Arms Re-Qualification (2-day): 9/1, 11/3 (must have proof of passing all 3 weapons within 2 years)

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal (5-day): 8/28
ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 9/25, 10/2, 10/9, 10/23

SEC-OFF-VCF – Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 10/9
SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 10/23
SHS-EMR – Emergency Shiphandling: 8/28, 10/30

TPIC – Tankerman Person-In-Charge: 9/25


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 Email: admissions@mitags.org.


PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

Summer – Fall 2006

August 2006
7-11 ECDIS
7-11 Basic Safety Training
7-11 Meteorology – Basic
8-11 Survival Craft / Lifeboatman
14-18 Able Bodied Seaman
14-18 Basic and Advanced Firefighting
14-25 GMDSS
14-25 Shiphandling – Advanced
21-25 Ship Construction & Basic Stability
21-25 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
28-1 Sep Cargo Handling & Stowage – Basic

September 2006
5-9 (tu-sa) Medical Care Provider
5-9 (tu-sa) Emergency Shiphandling 5-day
5-15 Medical Person-In-Charge
11-12 Search and Rescue
11-15 Basic Safety Training
11-23 100 Ton OUPV
12-15 Survival Craft / Lifeboatman
13-15 Emergency Procedures
18-22 Radar Observer Unlimited
18-22 Shiphandling – Basic
18-22 Able Bodied Seaman
18-6 Oct Terrestrial & Coastal Navigation with Compasses
25th Radar Recertification
25-29 ARPA
25-2 Oct Watchkeeping & BRM

October 2006
10/2-4 Ship Security Officer
10/2-4 Basic Safety Training
10/2-13 Shiphandling – Advanced
10/9-13 ECDIS
10/9-13 Radar Observer Unlimited
10/9-20 GMDSS
10/10-13 Survival Craft / Lifeboatman
10/16-20 Basic & Advanced Firefighting
10/23 Flashing Light
10/23-27 ARPA
10/23-27 Cargo Handling & Stowage – Basic
10/24-25 Simulation Assessment

For registration call Jennifer Fowler 888-893-7829

PMI MERCHANDISE FOR SALE!!!

High quality with embroidered PMI logo.
Navy or Khaki Hats : $16 / includes tax
———————————-
Button Down Long Sleeve Dress Shirts
Blue or Khaki: $38 / includes tax
———————————-
Pocket t-shirts with Logo: $12 / includes tax
————————————
15oz. Cobalt Blue Ceramic Mug: $8 / includes tax

Call DeeDee Lazik 206-838-8328 or e-mail dlazik@mates.org.


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 8-3

 

 D O W  N A S D A Q  S & P 500
11,242.59 +142.16 for the week 2,092.34 +37.87 for the week 1,280.27 +17.12 for the week

 

Fund Name & Trading Symbol
Closing
Price
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
118.09
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
35.17
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
23.37
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
17.60
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
33.01
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.07
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX)
6.04
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
9.84
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
19.09
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
16.10
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
34.18
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
84.89
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
21.43
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
77.98
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX) 45.37
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
29.86

 






~ 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.
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:

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 and is posted on our web page.