News

Wheelhouse Weekly – December 08, 2008

December 8th 2008

 

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

Volume 12 . . . . . Number 49. . . .December 8, 2008

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.


MAERSK LINE TO LAY-UP EIGHT VESSELS

Maersk Line has announced the lay-up of eight CV–65 class 6,500 TEU vessels from December 2008 to May/June 2009, predominantly in Asia. A spokesman for the company said its decision follows the recently announced changes in Maersk’s Asia–Europe, Asia–Central America and Transpacific service networks. The spokesman said the changes resulted in more direct service but also “in surplus vessel tonnage, which we will not redeploy in view of market conditions.” He said the company had made the decision because in today’s market, “laying-up the eight vessels makes better economical sense than redeploying them. Freight rates remain under severe pressure, and in several corridors the rates do not fully cover our variable costs. Rate improvements are imperative for the industry to create a sustainable environment.” The company spokesman said Maersk would continue to adjust capacity in light of market developments by “optimizing schedules, consolidating services, vessel sharing agreements, enhancing port productivity, economical sailing (reducing speed) and— unless current market conditions improve—additional laying-up of vessels.” The spokesman underlined the fact that Maersk is a financially strong group and remains committed to offering customers the highest level of service.


PIRATES ATTACK CRUISE SHIP; EU WARSHIPS BEGIN ANTI-PIRACY OPERATIONS; UN SECURITY COUNCIL ISSUES INTERNATIONAL CALL FOR ACTION

Pirates in small boats attacked a luxury cruise liner, the MS NAUTICA, in the Gulf of Aden last week. When they fired at the vessel, the captain gave the order to accelerate, and the attackers were left behind. Passengers on the NAUTICA said that, to ward off the attackers, the crew used a long-range acoustic device that emits a deafening sound wave.

Last week pirates freed a hijacked Yemeni cargo ship and its eight crew members, reportedly without receiving any ransom. The ship had been seized in October in the Arabian Sea. Somali clan elders reportedly were able to convince the pirates to release this particular ship on the basis of the fact that it routinely brings food and other commercial goods to inhabitants of the region.

Last week, the European Union (EU) announced that a flotilla of member nation ships will begin anti-piracy operations off the coast of Somalia. A spokesman said six EU warships and three maritime reconnaissance aircraft will replace a NATO naval force that has been patrolling the region and escorting cargo ships carrying relief aid to Somalia since the end of October. The EU spokesman said the warships will operate under “very robust rules of engagement.” On Tuesday, the U.N. Security Council extended for another year its authorization for countries to enter Somalia’s territorial waters, with advance notice, and use “all necessary means” to stop piracy and armed robbery at sea. The council called on all countries and regional organizations with the necessary capacity to deploy naval ships and military aircraft off the Somali coast to fight “rampant piracy that is impeding United Nations’ efforts to feed millions of hungry civilians.”

The pirates are now holding 250 mariners and 13 ships, including a Saudi supertanker filled with $100 million worth of crude oil and a Ukrainian ship loaded with 33 tanks.


RICHARD HORNER OF MM&P-CONTRACTED AHL SHIPPING INTERVIEWED IN MARINE LOG MAGAZINE

Richard Horner, president and chief executive officer of MM&P-contracted AHL Shipping Company (AHL), was featured in a recent article in “Marine Log” magazine. Horner speaks at length in the article about the company’s construction of three, shallow-draft, 49,000-DWT Jones Act and OPA90-compliant tankers in connection with a charter agreement with Shell Trading Company.

“First, we started with a blank sheet of paper and said, ‘Let’s build a tanker that fits the domestic trade,’” Horner said. “Versatility is the key to these ships, versatility in the cargo carried and the way in which they load and unload. These ships are purpose-built to go from the Mississippi River to Florida–they are purpose-built for this route.”

The three vessels will be the first Jones Act tankers to be constructed under the common structural rules adopted by the International Association of Classification Societies, which came into effect in April 2006. They will also be the first vessels of this size to be built in the United States using the modular construction concept. The vessels will go on long-term time charter to Shell Trading in 2009-10. “Shell Trading’s commitment to this endeavor through a long-term time charter agreement has helped to make this important project a reality,” Horner said.

AHL currently operates a fleet of four U.S.-built Jones Act OPA90-compliant tankers serving crude and chemical customers throughout the coastal United States. All current AHL vessels were transformed into double hull vessels between 1995 and 1997, making AHL’s ships the first OPA90-compliant refined product vessels in the industry. All shipboard employees of AHL are members of MM&P.


JOBS AVAILABLE ON T-AGS VESSELS

There are three positions currently open on the T-AGS oceanographic survey ships: Chief Mate on the USNS HENSON (30-40 day job), Second Mate on the USNS JOHN MCDONNELL and Second Mate on the USNS MARY SEARS. The jobs can be bid with a port relief card instead of regular shipping card. Mariners on vacation can also take these jobs. If you are interested in taking one of these jobs, please immediately contact Charlie Moy in MM&P’s New York/New Jersey Hall, 201-963-1918 or nynj@bridgedeck.org.


MM&P PORT HOLIDAY PARTY SCHEDULE

MM&P members, their families and friends are invited to the holiday parties taking place in December in MM&P union halls, or other locations, as specified below.

ATLANTIC COAST PORTS

New York/New Jersey: Wednesday, Dec. 10.
Boston: Tuesday, Dec. 16, at the Knights of Columbus in Charlestown, Mass., starting around noon. Please contact the Boston Hall for more information.
San Juan: Friday, Dec. 19.

GULF PORTS: Gulf Port Parties will take place at the respective halls according to the following schedule.

New Orleans: Wednesday, Dec. 10, noon.
Houston: Thursday, Dec. 11, noon.
Jacksonville: Friday, Dec. 12, noon. Joint with members of the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA).
Port Everglades: Tuesday, Dec. 16, 11:00.

PACIFIC PORTS: All MM&P Pacific Port parties are being held together with the members of MEBA.

Honolulu: Sunday, Dec. 7, in the 1st Floor Meeting Room at the Seaman’s Home, from  10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. 
San Francisco: Thursday, Dec. 11 at 12:30
Los Angeles: Friday, Dec. 12 at 12:00
Seattle: Friday, Dec. 19 at 12:30


SPECIAL FROM MARITIME EXECUTIVE: TO THE SHORES OF TRIPOLI�HOW THE UNITED STATES DEALT WITH PIRATES IN THE 1800s

The following article is reprinted in its entirety, with permission, from “Maritime Executive.”

For centuries the four Barbary States of North Africa—Morocco, Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli—had plundered commercial shipping. The European powers, with great fleets and powerful navies, paid tributes to the Barbary powers for safe passage of their ships. For years, the Barbary pirates demanded tribute money, seized ships and held crews for ransom or sold them into slavery.

After the revolution, the young American nation had lost British protection while continuing to trade in the Mediterranean. At that time, most of the nation’s warships had been captured, sold off, or sunk, and now the United States could scarcely defend its own coastline. The French had promised to protect American ships, citizens and goods with its navy on the Mediterranean seas, but France lost interest after realizing that in doing so it was helping American tradesmen compete with the French. Without French protection, the American ships became easy prey for the pirates from North Africa.

In 1784, the BETSY, an American-owned 300 ton brig, was boarded by pirates with sabers between their teeth and pistols in their belts. Two months later, two more ships were captured. Twenty-one U.S. crewmen were taken and put into a dungeon and fed a mere fifteen ounces of bread per day. The ransom asked was $60,000 dollars, and although the U.S. Ambassador to France, Thomas Jefferson, said that paying the ransom would only encourage more attacks, the Congress chose bribery. The United States paid Algiers its ransom and as much as $1 million each year for the next fifteen years until 1800. The amount was nearly 10 percent of U.S. government revenues, considering federal revenues were only $10 million in 1800.

In 1801, after Jefferson’s inauguration as president, the Pasha of Tripoli demanded $225,000. The new president refused. The Pasha declared war with the United States by cutting down the flagstaff in front of the U.S. consulate in Tripoli. Soon, Morocco, Algiers and Tunis joined Tripoli as allies against America. Without declaring war on the Barbary States, Jefferson sent a group of frigates into the Mediterranean, and on Aug. 1, the USS ENTERPRISE defeated the flag ship TRIPOLI, sending it home battered, and with a single sail.

From 1801 through 1803, the United States had seven warships maintaining a blockade on the Barbary ports and attacked the pirate ships with a vengeance. In 1804, the USS PHILADELPHIA was captured after it ran aground while patrolling Tripoli harbor. Efforts by the Americans to float the ship while under fire from shore batteries and Tripoli’s navy were unsuccessful. The ship, its captain, William Bainbridge, other officers and crew were taken hostage. A series of inconclusive naval battles were fought in 1804. A turning point in the war came in 1805, at the Battle of Derna, fought by a combined force of U.S. marines and Arab, Greek and Berber mercenaries. This action by the Marine Corps was commemorated in their hymn by the words “to the shores of Tripoli.” The marines wore leather around their necks as protection from sabers, which led to their being nicknamed “leathernecks.”

On June 10, 1805, the Pasha signed a treaty ending hostilities with the United States. Article 2 of the treaty reads: “The Pasha of Tripoli shall deliver up to the American Squadron now off Tripoli all the Americans in his possession; and all the subjects of the Pasha of Tripoli now in the power of the United States of America shall be delivered up to him; and as the number of Americans in possession of the Pasha of Tripoli amounts to 300 persons, more or less; and the number of Tripolino subjects in the power of the Americans to about 100 more or less, the Pasha of Tripoli shall receive from the United States of America, the sum of $60,000 as a payment for the difference between the prisoners herein mentioned.”

The U.S. paid the ransom, buying its sailors out of slavery in exchange for ending the war. — Copyright 2008, Maritime Executive


TWIC COUNTDOWN: 128 DAYS UNTIL ALL MARINERS MUST HAVE A TWIC

Reminder: April 15, 2009 is the deadline for all mariners and other maritime industry workers to obtain the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC).


COAST GUARD TWIC STATEMENT CAUSES CONFUSION

The Coast Guard has issued a Policy Advisory Council statement (PAC 07/08) Change 2 that incorrectly states that the deadline for mariners to have a Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC) is Dec. 22. As previously reported in MM&P publications and elsewhere, the actual deadline for mariners to obtain a TWIC is April 15, 2009. MM&P has contacted the Coast Guard to request clarification of the intent of the PAC. The remainder of the PAC discusses the impact of the power outage on TWIC activations. It says all activation appointments have now been rescheduled and that enrollment, pre-enrollment, and status checks remained operational during the power failure and its aftermath.


NAVSAC TO MEET IN WASHINGTON ON DEC. 10

The Navigation Safety Advisory Council (NAVSAC) will meet in Washington Dec. 10 to discuss various issues relating to the safety of navigation. The meeting will be open to the public. The meeting begins at 8:00 a.m. on Dec. 10. It is scheduled to end at 5:00 p.m. and to continue the next day, Thursday, Dec. 11, at 8:00 a.m. The meeting may close before 5:00 p.m. if all business is finished. For more info, contact Mike Sollosi, the Designated Federal Officer (DFO) of NAVSAC, (202) 372-1545 or by e-mail at mike.m.sollosi@uscg.mil, or John Bobb, the ADFO, (202) 372–1532, fax (202) 372-1929 or e-mail at john.k.bobb@uscg.mil. The meeting will be held at the Courtyard by Marriott Capitol Hill/Navy Yard, near the Navy Yard metro station.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

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

AB � Able Bodied Seaman: 1/5
ARPA � Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 1/5
BRM � Bridge Resource Management: 2/16
BRMP � Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 2/9
BST � Basic Safety Training: 2/16

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVSTAB � Advanced Stability: 2/2
CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 1/19
CMM-CHS I � Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 2/9
CMM-CHS II � Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 12/15, 2/16
CMM-MPP � Marine Propulsion Plants: 1/26
CMM-SHMGT I � Ship Management (week 1) : 2/23
CMM-SHMGT II � Ship Management (week 2) : 3/2
CMM-SHS-ADV-I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 1/5, 2/2, 2/16
CMM-SHS-ADV-I I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 2/9, 2/23

CSE-AAES � Confined Space Entry � Atmospheric Analysis of Enclosed Spaces: 2/26
FF-BADV � Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting Combined: 1/26, 2/16
GCC-LG � Gas Carrier Course-Liquefied Gases: 2/2
GMDSS � Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 2/23
HAZ � Hazardous Materials (5 Day): 1/5
LEG � Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 1/20

MEDIA RSP – Media Response: 2/27
MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 1/5, 2/2
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 1/5, 2/2
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 1/10, 2/7, 2/26

[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-CBRD-1 � CBRD Orientation: 2/25
MSC-DC � Damage Control: 2/23

[OICNW � Officer in Charge of a Navigation Watch Courses]
OICNW-CHS-BAS � Basic Cargo Handling and Stowage: 1/12
OICNW-CONSTB � Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 2/9
OICNW-EP � Emergency Procedures: 1/21
OICNW-SAR � Search and Recue: 1/18
OICNW-TCNAV/CO � Terrestrial and Coastal Navigation / Compasses: 1/12

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 1/5
ROP-5 � Radar Observer Original or Renewal: 2/2

SEC-VCF – Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 2/23
SEC-VSO-R � Vessel Security Officer Refresher (1 day): 1/21, 2/26
SHS-BAS � Basic Shiphandling: 1/26, 1/23
SHS-EMR � Emergency Shiphandling: 2/9
SHS-ESH-BRMP3 � Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 2/11

TPIC � Tankerman Person in Charge (Dangerous Liquids): 2/2

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

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


PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

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

FOR REGISTRATION CALL JENNIFER PITZEN: 206 838-1126

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

December 2008
9-11 SEC VCF
8 & 18 Security Refresher
15-19 TPIC

January 2009
7-11ENAV
7-11STB BAS
8-11ARPA
14-18WX BAS
14-25GMDSS
14-18ROP
14-2/1TC NAV
21-2/1WKP
21ROR
22-25ARPA
28-2/8GMDSS
28-2/1MED PRO

February 2009
4-8ROP
12ROR
11-12SAR
12-15ARPA
13-15EP
16FL
18-22ENAV
18-22MED PRO
18-22SHS BAS
18-29MED PIC
25-3/7 CNAV
25ROR

March 2009
3-14GMDSS
10-11SAR
10-12SEC VCF
12-14EP
17-28GMDSS
24-4/4 GMDSS
24ROR
25-28ARPA

For registration call Jennifer Pitzen 888-893-7829

PMI MERCHANDISE FOR SALE!!!

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


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 12-5-2008

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
8,376.24 1,509.31 876.07
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
41.01
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
81.12
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
22.49
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
12.06
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
10.91
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
18.61
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.44
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
19.60
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
3.90
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
13.02
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
15.49
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
12.06
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
14.73
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
9.74
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
9.46
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
9.11
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
9.04
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
9.34
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
9.92
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
21.06
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
13.68
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
10.41
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
12.77
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
8.89
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
42.37
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
12.29
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
37.22
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
13.14
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
25.62
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
19.02
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
14.74
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
9.41
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
10.14
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
10.26
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
9.85
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
9.46
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
5.39
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
6.19
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
8.91
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
21.51
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
31.11
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
18.71





~ 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.

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