News

Wheelhouse Weekly – August 24, 2009

August 24th 2009

 

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

Volume 13 . . . . . Number 34. . . . August 24, 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.


INTERNATIONAL MARITIME ORGANIZATION PROCLAIMS 2010 THE YEAR OF THE SEAFARER

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has designated 2010 “the year of the seafarer.” The IMO says its goal is to offer “an opportunity to pay tribute to the world’s seafarers for their unique contribution to society and in recognition of the risks they shoulder in the execution of their duties in an often hostile environment.”

The IMO says the events planned to honor seafarers next year will dovetail with an international campaign, launched in 2008, to attract young people to the maritime industry. “The unique hazards confronting the 1.5 million seafarers of the world—including pirate attacks, unwarranted detention and abandonment—coupled with the predicted looming shortage of ships’ officers, make it ever more incumbent to take immediate and effective action to forestall a situation from developing in which ships are not manned with sufficient skilled personnel,” says IMO Secretary-General Efthimios Mitropoulos.


THREE-YEAR MOKU PAHU CONTRACT SIGNED

MM&P and Matson Navigation Company have signed a new, three-year contract for the ITB MOKU PAHU. The new agreement was negotiated jointly with the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA). “Cooperation between MM&P and MEBA is essential to protecting and improving our wages and working conditions, just as in the case of the Matson liner agreements negotiated earlier this summer,” said MM&P Pacific Ports Vice President Don Marcus. In addition to thanking MEBA officials and committee members, MM&P is grateful for the excellent work of MM&P Agent Pacific-Ports Dave Boatner and the rank-and-file members of our negotiating committee: MOKU PAHU Captain Gerry Anderson and Second Mates Oliver Hickman and Zack Kellerman.  


LIGHT LOADING CONTINUES TO CUT INTO PRODUCTIVITY OF GREAT LAKES SHIPPING, SAYS LAKE CARRIERS’ ASSOCIATION

Decades of inadequate federal funding for dredging of Great Lakes ports and waterways continued last year to cause ships to forfeit 10 percent or more of their carrying capacity for each trip, according to the Lake Carriers’ Association (LCA) 2008 Annual Report. “Light loading” translates into “lost jobs and squandered opportunities,” the LCA says. The organization is urging government officials to make sure Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund monies are used for their intended purpose of “fully funding dredging needs at the nation’s deep-draft ports and waterways.”

“The need to restore the Great Lakes navigation system to project dimensions has never been greater,” wrote LCA President James H.I. Weakley. Weakley said the amount of cargo left behind varies with the size of the vessel. “When low waters have amplified the lack of dredging, the largest vessels have forfeited as much as 12,000 tons, or 17 percent, of their trip-carrying capacity,” he said. “The economic stimulus effort is going to be hampered by lack of adequate dredging on the Great Lakes,” he added.

Weakley said an Army Corps of Engineers report found that, when compared to land-based modes, Great Lakes shipping saves customers $3.6 billion a year in transportation costs. “Imagine what the savings would be if the vessels could carry full loads!” he said.


MARINERS URGED TO ATTEND SEPT. 22-23 MERPAC MEETING AT NATIONAL MARITIME CENTER

The next meeting of the Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee (MERPAC) will be held Sept. 22-23 in Martinsburg, W. Va., at the Coast Guard’s National Maritime Center (NMC). A major focus of the meeting will be NMC’s performance in processing mariners’ document requests, including licenses, upgrades and medical reviews.

MM&P has been very active in MERPAC, including in the long debate over the USCG’s medical evaluation process. The union has appeared before Congress and taken its concerns to the Coast Guard Commandant. Members are strongly encouraged to attend this meeting. If you are planning to attend, there are several hotels in the area. The phone number of The Comfort Inn, which has 109 rooms, is 304-263-6200.


SEVENTY U.S. SHIPYARDS WILL RECEIVE GRANTS UNDER OBAMA STIMULUS PROGRAM

The Department of Transportation has announced that 70 grants, for a total of $98 million, will be allocated to small shipyards throughout the United States under President Obama’s stimulus package, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).  The funds, which are being awarded through the Maritime Administration’s “Assistance to Small Shipyards” program, will help create and preserve jobs, provide employment training and make much-needed improvements to shipyards across the country. The Small Shipyards Grant program provides up to 75 percent in ARRA funds for a project and requires the remainder be matched by the shipyard. To monitor how stimulus funds are being allocated, go to www.recovery.gov.


MYSTERY CONTINUES AFTER MISSING CARGO SHIP IS FOUND OFF AFRICAN COAST

Crewmembers of the missing cargo ship ARCTIC SEA were rescued last week by a Russian naval vessel near the Cape Verde Islands. A spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry said eight hijackers also found aboard the ship had been arrested and were being questioned. The pirates were reportedly of Estonian, Latvian and Russian nationality. Journalists reported that the hijackers had surrendered without a fight. The Swedish and Finnish police are apparently in possession of photos of assaulted crewmembers that were taken while the ship was under the control of the pirates.

The 4,700-deadweight-ton cargo ship was carrying a load of lumber destined for Algeria. According to Russian authorities, after boarding the ship on July 24, the hijackers forced the crew to shut down the navigational equipment and change course. The U.K. Coast Guard made contact with the vessel on July 28. The ship was sighted off Brest, France, on July 30, but then was not seen again until it was found off the coast of Africa.

There are still many questions about what happened on the ship during the past four weeks and why it had taken so long to locate it.


AMERICAN MERCHANT MARINE VETERANS CHINA COASTERS CHAPTER SEEKS NEW MEMBERS!

The American Merchant Marine Veterans China Coasters Chapter is seeking new members. The only requirement to join is a Merchant Mariners Document. Meetings are held on the third Saturday of each month. Discussion focuses on a variety of maritime-industry related topics, including the Jones Act, cargo preference and the campaign to achieve fair compensation for World War II merchant mariners. For more information, please send an e-mail to chinacoasters@earthlink.net, write to American Merchant Marine Veterans, China Coasters, 440 North Avalon Blvd., Wilmington, CA 90744 or call or fax 310 834 2488.


D-BOOK MEMBERSHIP CLASSES IN NEW YORK AUG. 27 AND SAN FRANCISCO SEPT. 30-OCT. 1

D-Book Membership classes will be held at the NY/NJ Hall on Aug. 27 and the San Francisco Hall on Sept. 30-Oct. 1. Classes begin at 0900. All applicants should complete this course as soon as possible to avoid delays in becoming members. Applicants should take the course before completing 360 days of covered employment. For more information and to sign up, please contact the NY/NJ Hall at 201-963-1900 or the San Francisco Hall at 415-777-5074.


MARITIME INDUSTRIES ACADEMY HIGH SCHOOL IN BALTIMORE SEEKS INSTRUCTOR

The Maritime Industries Academy, an urban public school in Baltimore that serves approximately 450 students in grades 9-12, is looking for a full-time faculty member to teach the 9th grade introductory course, “Maritime Professional Studies.” The full-time teaching position will require curriculum development, maritime program coordination and direct instruction. In most cases, minimum qualifications will include a bachelor’s degree in an appropriate discipline related to maritime studies, excellent communication and leadership skills, mastery of Microsoft Office and USCG license as Third Mate or Third Assistant Engineer. However, exceptional candidates with significant maritime experience who do not meet minimum qualifications may be considered. Salary is commensurate with the education and experience of the individual. A background investigation is required prior to employment. Applicants should submit a letter of interest, resume and the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of at least three professional references. Send application documents by e-mail, fax or regular mail to Joy Pinder Savage, Principal, 5001 Sinclair Lane, Baltimore, MD 21206, jsavage@bcps.k12.md.us, 410-396-0242 or 410-396-0085 (fax).


DO YOU KNOW WHAT NPDES AND VGP MEAN?

If not, you may want to take the two-day seminar designed by MITAGS to keep you abreast of recent changes in the environmental regulations that apply to our industry. The first day of the seminar offers a detailed overview of recent changes in domestic and international regulations. The second day focuses on how to develop and submit an EPA vessel general permit (VGP).  The VGP is now required for most vessels operating in U.S. waters. Ample time will be available during the seminar to discuss operational questions. For more information, visit www.mitags.org. If you are interested in taking the seminar, you can enroll on line, or by contacting Mary Matlock in the Admissions Office: admission@mitags.org and 866-656-5568.


SEPT. 1 DEADLINE FOR D-BOOK APPLICANTS TO SUBMIT PAPERWORK TO NEXT GEB MEETING

The deadline for D-Book applicants to submit material for consideration at the Sept. 8 meeting of the MM&P General Executive Board (GEB) is 5:00 p.m. East Coast time, Tuesday, Sept. 1. As has been previously mentioned in MM&P publications, a one-week deadline for D-Book document submission is now in effect. All back-up paperwork for the application, including a copy of the “D” Certificate for the D-Book membership class, four letters of recommendation from senior officers and a copy of the discharge (if the applicant got off a ship just before or on the deadline date) must be received by the MM&P Membership Department by close of business, 5:00 p.m. East Coast time, one week before the GEB meeting in question. Applicants’ initiation fee must also be paid in full. The final two GEB meetings for 2009 will be held on Sept. 8-9 and Dec. 1-2. The deadline for submitting material to the Dec. 1 meeting is COB 5:00 p.m. East Coast time, Tuesday, Nov. 24.


COAST GUARD INVESTIGATING DELAWARE RIVER GROUNDING

The Coast Guard is investigating the grounding of the JILL JACOB, a 749-foot tanker, in the Delaware River near Wilmington, on Sunday, Aug. 16. The tanker, with 4.4 million gallons of vacuum gas oil aboard, ran aground about a half mile south of the Delaware Memorial Bridge. With the assistance of three tugboats, the tanker’s crew was eventually able to refloat the ship. There were no reports of injuries or pollution.


NINE MISSING AFTER MALACCA STRAIT TANKER FIRE

Nine men were missing after rescuers succeeded in extinguishing a fire aboard the Taiwanese-owned, Liberian-registered, MT FORMOSA PRODUCT BRICK, which had burned for two days in the Malacca Strait. The vessel, which was transporting 58,000 tons of naphtha, was bound for South Korea when it collided with a Greek-managed bulk carrier, MV OSTENDE MAX. The bulker sustained only light damage. Sixteen members of the MT FORMOSA PRODUCT BRICK were rescued from the burning ship. The collision occurred under clear skies and calm seas. The captain of the tanker told investigators that the collision caused the ship’s fuel compartment to rupture and then he heard a series of explosions. He said within minutes the ship was engulfed with flames. 


COSCO BUSAN SHIP OPERATING COMPANY PLEADS GUILTY

Hong Kong-based ship management firm Fleet Management Ltd. has pleaded guilty to a criminal violation of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 for its role in the COSCO BUSAN accident. The company also pleaded guilty to felony obstruction of justice for creating false and forged documents with intent to deceive the Coast Guard. If the plea terms are approved by the court, Fleet has agreed to pay a $10 million criminal penalty. Two million dollars of this amount would be devoted to marine environmental projects in San Francisco Bay.

As part of the plea agreement, Fleet admitted “that it was a cause of a discharge of a harmful quantity of oil into the navigable waters of the United States, that it acted negligently and that its negligence was a proximate cause of the discharge of oil…” According to Fleet, the crew: was not adequately familiar with ship-specific navigational equipment; did not engage in a berth-to-berth passage planning process or prepare written berth-to-berth passage plans; did not conduct an adequate Master–Pilot exchange of information; and did not fully use or operate the ship’s radar and electronic chart system. Fleet admitted that after the ship hit the Bay Bridge, it concealed records and created materially false, fictitious and forged documents with an intent to influence the Coast Guard investigation. In particular, a false berth-to-berth passage plan for the day of the crash was created after the incident at the direction of shore-side supervisors and with the knowledge of the ship’s master. Additionally, a ship officer falsified the ship’s official navigational chart to show fixes that were not actually recorded during the voyage. Sentencing has been scheduled for Dec. 11.


LIBERIAN REGISTRY CREATES BEST PRACTICES ANTI-PIRACY PROGRAM

The Liberian Registry says it has developed a program to help users comply with industry recommendations to prevent piracy. Spokespeople for the registry said the program is approved by insurance companies as a measure for active risk reduction. Self-guided training can be carried out on board, without interfering with the daily routine of the crew, a spokesperson said.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

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


ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 9/22, 10/6, 11/16

AZIPOD – (2-Day) Azipod Propulsion Systems: 10/1

BST – Basic Safety Training: 10/5

BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 9/14, 11/16

BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 12/3

CNAV – Celestial Navigation: 10/19

CHS-BAS – Basic Cargo Handling & Stowage: 10/5

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning:  9/17

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 9/21, 11/16

CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 9/29

CMM-CHS II: 10/12

CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 11/2

CMM-SHMGT I – Ship Management (week 1) : 9/7, 11/30

CMM-SHMGT II – Ship Management (week 2) : 9/14

CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1):  8/31, 10/12, 10/26, 11/9, 11/30

CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 8/31, 10/5, 10/19, 11/2, 11/16

CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 8/31, 11/9

EP – Emergency Procedures: 11/4

ENAV – Electronic Navigation: 9/7

ENVRO-REGS PERMIT – Environmental Regulations In The Maritime Industry / Epa General Permit For Commercial Vessels:  10/7, 11/11

FF-BADV – Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting Combined: 10/5

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5-Day) course: 8/31, 10/12

LAP – License Advancement Program (Chief Mate & Master Only): 09/14

LAP – License Advancement Program (Original Third Mate Only): 11/30

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 9/28, 12/2

LNG AWAR – Liquefied Natural Gas Awareness: 8/18

MEDIA RSP – Media Response Workshop: 9/18, 11/19

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 10/17, 11/14

MED-PIC – Medical Person In Charge: 10/12, 11/9

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider:  10/12, 11/9

[MSC – Military Sealift Command]

MSC-CBRD-1 – CBRD Orientation: 11/20

MSC-DC Damage Control: (Special Evening Course: 11/16 – 19/09)

MSC-SMA – Small Arms Training: 9/14, 11/16

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original or Renewal: 8/31

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 9/21, 10/5, 11/9, 11/16

SAR – Search & Rescue: 11/2

SEC-VCF – Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 9/14, 11/13

SEC-VSO-R – Vessel Security Officer Refresher (1 day):  11/13

SHS-EMR-5:  Emergency Shiphandling: 10/12

SHS-EMR-BRMP3 – Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 9/28, 11/30

TPIC – Tankship Dangerous Liquids Person In Charge: 8/31

WKP BAS – Basic Watchkeeping: 9/21

WX BAS – Basic Meteorology: 9/14

…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 e-mail: admissions@mitags.org.


PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

Schedule of Courses – Please also see our schedule online at www.mates.org

For registration, call our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen, at (206) 838-1126

September 2009

31-4     Electronic Navigation
14-18  Basic Cargo Handling
21        Radar Renewal
21-2    Celestial Navigation
22-25  ARPA
21-25  Medical Care Provider
21-2    Medical Person-In-Charge

October 2009

5-9 Basic Stability
12-16   Basic Meteorology
12        Security Refresher
19-30  GMDSS
19-23  Tankerman Person In Charge
26        Radar Renewal
26-30 Medical Care Provider
27-29  Security VCF

November 2009

2-13    Watchkeeping with BRM
2-6      Radar Observer Unlimited
9          Radar Renewal
9-13    Medical Care Provider
9-20    Medical Person In Charge
10-12  Security VCF
16-20  Tankerman Person In Charge
20       Flashing Light
30       Security Refresher

December 2009

7          Radar Renewal
8-11     ARPA
14-16   Security VCF


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 8-21-2009

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
9,350.05 2,020.90 1,026.13
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
45.82
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
94.89
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
29.91
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
15.88
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
13.74
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
21.89
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.65
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
24.53
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.10
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
14.57
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
18.35
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
12.99
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
16.83
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
10.70
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
10.86
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
10.74
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
10.91
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
11.28
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.28
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
25.30
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
14.66
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
13.00
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
15.01
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
9.95
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
59.24
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
14.68
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
52.67
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
15.41
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
33.46
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
26.18
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
21.43
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
10.43
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
11.08
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
12.02
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
11.93
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
11.68
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
6.73
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
7.81
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.20
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
28.00
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
36.39
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
23.78





~ 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.




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