News

Wheelhouse Weekly – August 20, 2007

August 20th 2007

 

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

Volume 11 . . . . . Number 33. . . .August 20, 2007

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.


MAERSK MONTANA AND MAERSK OHIO BEGIN SERVICE

Two of the three Maersk vessels introduced to spearhead expansion of the company’s U.S.-flag capacity by enhancing service to the Middle East have made their maiden voyages. The MAERSK MONTANA and the MAERSK OHIO are already underway. The MAERSK IOWA is scheduled to be flagged in tomorrow, Aug. 21. The new tonnage, which was flagged in under the Maritime Security Program, replaces three older containerships which have been flagged out: MAERSK MARYLAND, MAERSK VERMONT and MAERSK MAINE.

The three new vessels “represent a significant investment in the U.S.-flag fleet and will shape the future of MLL’s U.S.-flag liner business,” Maersk Line President and CEO John Reinhart was quoted as saying in a prepared statement.

The vessels will operate on a 49-day voyage, calling at the ports of: New Jersey, Norfolk, Charleston, Cagliari, Port Said (Egypt), Salalah (Oman), Jebel Ali (UAE), Port Qasim (Pakistan), and Nhava Sheva (India).


SKILLED MARINERS STILL MOST IMPORTANT COMPONENT OF EFFECTIVE BRIDGE RESOURCE MANAGEMENT, SAY SPEAKERS AT MITAGS

“Remember the basics, and just look out the window,” continues to be good advice for the modern watchstander, even in this era of continuous technological advances, according to speakers at the first in a series of meetings on bridge resource management organized by the Nautical Institute. The meeting, which was hosted by the Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies (MITAGS), drew participants from as far away as India.

Speakers at the well-attended event, which was held Aug. 15, included: MM&P Offshore member Wilbur Dahn, master of the Military Sealift Command (MSC) container and roll-on/roll-off ship SS PFC EUGENE A. OBREGON; Christian Hempstead, formerly of the Pacific Maritime Institute and now ECDIS instructor at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point; and Jorge Arroyo of the U.S. Coast Guard. The panel discussion was led by George Sandberg, chairman of the Northeast Coast USA Branch of the Nautical Institute.

All the speakers and many of the participants underlined the importance of basic watchstanding skills. “One thing we stress on the OBREGON is to stay focused and look out the window,” said Dahn. He urged that in the future, new strategies be devised to incorporate input from watchstanding professional mariners into the installation of new equipment in the wheelhouse. “They’re the ones who have to use it and they know where it belongs,” he said. Dahn told the group that when he started out, “All we had was a grease pencil, a rapid radar plotting ruler and VHF.” He said he hopes that during his career he will see “integration of all the equipment in synergy with the operator.”

The Nautical Institute is an ideal forum for the exchange of professional information on cutting-edge topics, says MITAGS Executive Director Glen Paine. He said MITAGS encourages licensed mariners to join the Nautical Institute and participate in its meetings. Among those present at the Aug. 15 event were numerous students, MITAGS instructors and MM&P and MITAGS staff members, including Richard Beadon, an internationally known expert in bridge resource management who works as a consultant for the school.


 

COME TO THE MM&P LOS ANGELES LABOR DAY PARADE!

Los Angeles is the site of the largest Labor Day parade in the country. Join your MM&P shipmates and march on Labor Day, Sept. 3. Coffee and donuts will be available in the hall from 0800 until we leave for the parade at 0900. Your support of this march helps MM&P maintain our reputation in the labor and maritime community. If you have an MM&P shirt, wear it with pride. Following the parade, the Harbor Labor Coalition will give out free hot dogs and soft drinks. For more details, call the MM&P Los Angeles/Long Beach Hall at 310-834-7201.


CONTRACT NEWS FROM THE PACIFIC MARITIME REGION

MM&P’s United Inland Group-Pacific Maritime Region (PMR) has recently registered a number of important successes at the bargaining table, reports MM&P San Francisco Branch Agent Ray Shipway.

PMR recently extended, until spring 2008, the agreement with Westar covering 34 tugs. In addition, says Shipway, PMR has just written a three-year agreement, lasting until 2010, for Foss tankermen in Los Angeles. The contract with Foss covers three tank-barges and 25 people. PMR has negotiated a one-year extension of the AMNAV NorCal agreement, covering three new tractor tugs and a fleet of seven existing tugs. Finally, the group has reached a tentative five-year agreement, covering two boats, with Bay Delta. Shipway said the company is getting ready to receive two more vessels, one of which will be leased. Also in the news: a successful wage opener for Blue & Gold. “The workload never lessens, but we enjoy each and every challenge,” Shipway says.


MM&P-CREWED SHIPS FEATURED IN FOX NEWS, NAVY NEWS STATION REPORTS

Three MM&P- crewed ships were recently featured in the media in reports that highlighted their work providing humanitarian aid abroad and training naval  forces.

Fox News aired a story on July 23 on the MM&P-crewed USNS COMFORT as it embarked on a four-month mission to provide medical assistance to over 85,000 economically disadvantaged people living in South America, Central America and the Caribbean. The report shows the military hospital ship approaching the Nicaraguan shore as medical personnel prepare to step out and treat those in need of assistance. Helicopters are shown taking the most seriously ill and injured to medical facilities onboard the ship for surgery.

Navy Media Center News aired a story describing a launch and recovery mission that involved USNS GRASP. Footage shows the ship’s crew conducting exercises with Naval Special Warfare Unit 2 to recover special gear, including cradles, inflatable boats and other equipment. USNS GRASP Master Jose Delfaus and Chief Mate James Morrissey describe the ship’s supporting role in the launch and recovery training exercise, which was called “Flexible Leader 2007.” The report also mentions MM&P-crewed USS MOUNT WHITNEY, which hosted the joint force maritime command center.


APPEALS COURT DECISION IS SETBACK TO UNIONS’ EFFORTS TO REIN IN GOVERNMENT PERSONNEL RULES

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has rejected a request by  labor unions to review  a May decision issued by a panel of judges on personnel rules which allow the Pentagon to implement a program that curtails collective bargaining rights for Defense Department employees. The controversial system, called the National Security Personnel System (NSPS), aims to change the way federal employees are paid, promoted and disciplined.

The coalition of labor unions is expected to take the case to the Supreme Court. Under recent court rulings, NSPS can remain in effect until 2009, at which point the Defense Department must revert to the labor practices outlined in the 1978 Civil Service Reform Act.

In the meantime, the House has approved an amendment to a spending bill that protects the collective bargaining and appeal rights of Defense Department employees, but the Senate has yet to take action on its version of the legislation. MM&P members and other civilian mariners are excluded from the human resource and appeal provisions of NSPS, but not from the portions related to labor relations.



DISCOUNTS ON PRODUCTS, SERVICES THROUGH UNION PLUS

MM&P members can take advantage of discounts on car rentals, credit cards and other services through Union Plus, a benefit program extended to members through MM&P’s affiliation with the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA). Members can save 5% off regular monthly rates for any Cingular individual or family phone plan and up to 25% on Avis, Budget and Hertz car rentals. Mortgage assistance, tax return assistance and educational scholarships are also offered through Union Plus. To view a full list of benefits, visit www.unionplus.org, then enter Masters, Mates & Pilots in the pop-up box.


HOUSTON SHIP CHANNEL SECURITY PLAN BECOMES LAW

The governor of Texas has signed a bill that authorizes creation of the “Houston Ship Channel Security District.” Texas Governor Rick Perry called the new law, which aims to safeguard the petrochemical installations that line the 52-mile Houston Ship Channel, “an essential step toward our ability to protect the vital resources of our state.” Proponents of the law hope that the secure channel concept, which was developed as a joint venture between the public and private sectors, will serve as a model for ports nationwide intent on tightening security.

Under the terms of the plan, at least eight directors from the petrochemical, chemical and refinery industries will be selected to represent the individual security zones that comprise the channel. The other directors will include a representative of the port authority, a director appointed by the county, and a director appointed by the Harris County Mayors and Councils Association.

The Department of Homeland Security has had input into the formulation of the plan in the context of the national port security grant program. Among the security programs that will be put in place to guard the channel are closed circuit TV cameras, “virtual fences” and patrol boats.


IS YOUR SHIP RECEIVING THE MASTER, MATE & PILOT MAGAZINE?

All MM&P members and all MM&P-contracted vessels should be receiving The Master, Mate & Pilot every two months. Is your vessel receiving the magazine? If so, is the number of copies sufficient for all MM&P members on board? If not, please contact the MM&P Communications Department at communications@bridgedeck.org. Please include: the full name of your vessel, the number of copies you want and the complete mailing address to which they should be sent. Be sure to include your contact information in case we have any questions.


DETACHED BOW OF MSC NAPOLI TOWED TO BELFAST

The bow of MSC NAPOLI, the beached vessel that has kept British maritime authorities busy since mid-January, has finally been removed from Lime Bay, Branscombe. On Jan. 18, while en route to Portugal from Belgium, the U.K.-flagged NAPOLI was damaged by a windstorm. High waves and gale-force winds cracked the vessel’s side and flooded its engine room. Royal Navy helicopters rescued the crew. Authorities initially decided to tow the ship about 140 miles to Portland Harbor, Dorset. As the list increased, however, it was determined that it would be best to rebeach it. The ship was rebeached at high tide on July 12. Three rounds of cutting charges were exploded—on July 18, 19 and 20—before it finally broke in two. The bow of the 62,000-ton ship arrived in Belfast for recycling on Aug. 14. The stern remains grounded at Branscombe Bay.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

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

CLASS OPENINGS: Between now and the end of October 2007, seats are available in the following courses:

ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 9/18

BRMP � Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 10/17
BST � Basic Safety Training: 10/8

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVWX � Advanced Meteorology: 8/27
CMM-CHS I � Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 9/17
CMM-CHS II � Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 9/24
CMM-MPP � Marine Propulsion Plants: 10/1
CMM-SHS-ADV-I-Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 9/10
CMM-SHMGT-I � Ship Management (week 1): 10/15
CMM-SHMGT-II� Ship Management (week 2): 10/8
CMM-VPEN � Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 10/8
CMM-WKP � Advanced Watchkeeping: 10/22

COMP-OPSYS � Basic Computer Operating Systems: 10/8
CONT PLNG � Contingency Planning: 9/21
CSE-AAES � Confined Space Entry, Atmospheric Analysis of Enclosed Spaces: 9/24

FF-BADV � Combined Basic & Advanced Fire Fighting: 10/8

LEG � Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 10/17 (evening class)
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 9/15
MED-PRO � Medical Care Provider: 9/10
MEDIA RSP � Media Response: 9/20

[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-CBRD-1 � CBRD Orientation: 10/28
MSC-DC � Damage Control: 10/26
MSC-SMA – Small Arms Training: 10/22
MSC-SMA-R – Small Arms Re-Qualification (2-day): 10/26 (must have proof of passing all 3 weapons within 2 years)

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 8/27, 9/17, 10/15
ROP-5 � Radar Observer Unlimited (Original/Renewal): 10/1

SEC-VCF � Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 9/17
SHS-BAS � Basic Shiphandling: 10/15
SHS-EMR5 � Emergency Shiphandling: 10/22

TPIC � Tankerman Person-In-Charge: 9/10
TTT � Train the Trainer (Instructor training): 9/17

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 2007

Due to the high demand for this program, PMI has now scheduled another that is already close to full enrollment for its 2007-start date. See the PMI Web site at www.mates.org for more info on this new development.

FOR REGISTRATION CALL JENNIFER FOWLER: 206 838-1126

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

August 2007
20-24 AB
20-31 SHS ADV
20-24 CHS BAS
27-31  BAFF
27-31  ENAV
27-31  MED PRO
27-8    GMDSS
27-29  CSO/SSO

September 2007
4-7      LFBT
4-8      WX BAS
4-8      TCNAV
10th    RADAR RENEWAL
10-14  BST
10-14  AB
10-14  MED PRO
10-14  TCNAV
10-14  SHS BAS
17-21  MED PRO
17-21  ARPA
17-21  SHS BAS
17-21  TCNAV
17-28  GMDSS
19-21  AFF
24-5    WKP
24-28 ROP
26-28 AFF

October 2007

1-3      BRM
1-5      ARPA
2-5      LFBT
2-5      AFF
8-19    GMDSS
8-12    SHS EM5
8-12    BST
8-12    AB
15-19  ECDIS           
15-19  MED PRO
15-26  MED PIC
17-19  SEC VCF
15-19  BAFF
22        FL
23-24 SHS ASSESS
25-26 SHS ASSESS
29-2    TPIC
29-9    SHS ADV

November 2007
5-16    SHS ADV
6-9      LFBT
13        ROR
12-16  BST
12-16  AB
13-15  SEC VCF
26-7    GMDSS
26-30 ROP
26-30 MED PRO
26-30 SHS BAS

December 2007
3-7      ARPA
3-7      SHS EM5
3-7      BAFF
3-14    CNAV
4-7      LFBT
11        ROR   
10-14  BST
10-14  AB
17-21  ENAV
17-19  SEC VCF
17-21  ARPA
17-21  TPIC
17-21  SHS BAS

For registration call Jennifer Fowler 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 8-10-2007

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
13,079 2,505 1,446
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
66.27
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
133.50
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
39.76
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
24.57
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
19.75
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
35.66
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.11
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
30.97
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.90
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
16.86
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
24.43
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
14.05
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
20.75
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
11.82
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
12.83
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
13.45
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
14.31
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
14.77
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
9.89
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
34.87
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
19.93
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
16.33
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
31.30
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.10
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
89.65
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
22.08
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
83.95
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
24.00
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
46.16
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
38.01
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
32.68
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.45
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
12.51
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
14.63
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
15.52
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
16.06
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
9.50
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
51.29
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
33.33

 

.






~ 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”.



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