News

Wheelhouse Weekly – December 15, 2005

December 15th 2005


 


THE MASTERS, MATES & PILOTS’
WHEELHOUSE WEEKLYonline

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

Volume 9 . . . . . Number 50 . . . . December 15, 2005


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.





 

NEW CONTRACT FOR THE ASPHALT COMMANDER

MM&P has reached agreement with Sargeant Marine on a new three-year contract for the ASPHALT COMMANDER. Gulf Ports Vice President Bob Groh, assisted by Atlantic VP Rich May, Houston Port Agent Wayne Farthing and Captain Manny Kelakios (Master of the ASPHALT COMMANDER), reached this agreement in which wages were raised substantially in the first year of the contract for both the licensed and unlicensed personnel.

Other improvements in the contract were made as follows and will take effective January 1, 2006:

  • Licensed deck officers’ vacation increased by 7 days per month; IRAP established at 6 percent plus Feinberg.
  • Unlicensed personnel vacation increased by 9 days per month; IRAP established at 11 percent plus Feinberg.
  • All hands (licensed and unlicensed) will receive a 3 percent increase in wages effective January 1, 2006 and again on January 1, 2007 and again on January 1, 2008.
  • All hands (licensed and unlicensed) will receive an additional vacation day on January 1, 2007 and again on January 1, 2008.

 




 

UPDATE ON PENSION CHANGES

Both the Union and the Plans have received numerous inquiries regarding the effect of the pension plan changes established by the trustees on December 8th. Captain Brown, Captain Banks, Captain May, Captain Groh and Captain Marcus will be visiting the union halls over the next three months to explain what the changes mean and how they may affect individuals. In the meantime, should you have any questions or need direction, it is suggested that you contact Ken Ryan at the MM&P Plans for advice. His phone number is 410-850-8500 ext. 617.


MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR REMAINING PORT HOLIDAY PARTIES

Boston – 12/15; Houston – 12/15; Jacksonville – 12/19; Los Angeles – 12/16; Miami/Pompano Beach – 12/21; Norfolk – 12/16; San Francisco – 12/15; Seattle – 12/20 Tampa – 12/27.


HOUSE BILL TO ASSIST MERCHANT MARINERS AND USCG MEMBERS

Earlier this week, the US House of Representatives unanimously approved legislation to provide relief to merchant mariners and members of the USCG as disaster recovery efforts in the Gulf Coast area continue. HR 4508, the Coast Guard Hurricane Relief Act of 2005, was introduced in the House by Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman Don Young (R-AK), Committee Ranking Member James Oberstar (D-MN), Coast Guard & Maritime Transportation Subcommittee Chairman Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) and Subcommittee Ranking Member Bob Filner (D-CA).

“As this body’s only licensed mariner, I understand the lengths to which our nation’s mariners and vessel owners go to obtain or renew their required licenses and documents,” said Full Committee Chairman Young. “This bill will allow merchant mariners and vessel owners in the Gulf Region to continue normal operations under existing merchant mariner documents, licenses and certificates of vessel inspection. The Coast Guard has done a remarkable job to restore most services in the Gulf Region despite suffering significant damage to Coast Guard facilities,” Young said.

Among other things, the bill authorizes the Coast Guard to temporarily extend the expiration of licenses and documents for mariners that were affected by Hurricane Katrina and certificates of inspection and compliance for vessels that are inspected by marine safety offices that are located in the impacted region. The temporary extension will allow the merchant mariner community to maintain normal operations in the region while the Coast Guard continues to recover documents that were damaged by flood waters at the Service’s Regional Examination Center in New Orleans.

The legislation also recognizes that many servicemen and women were called to duty when they otherwise would have been on leave. The bill preserves up to 90 days of accumulated leave that would otherwise be lost at the end of this calendar year for Coast Guardsmen who were detailed to operations in response to Hurricane Katrina.


SUPERVISORS SUPPORT RETENTION OF MM&P ON ALCATRAZ FERRIES

Last week, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted a resolution supporting the retention of San Francisco maritime union jobs aboard the Alcatraz ferry service and urged the San Francisco Port Commission to consider the economic and traffic impacts of moving ferry service away from Fisherman’s Wharf. The action comes in the wake of the National Park Service’s decision to award the Alcatraz Ferry concession to an operator of dining yachts.

The resolution pointed out that MM&P members, along with members of the Inlandboatmen’s Union (IBU), have crewed the Alcatraz Ferry Boats since the Island was opened to the public as a National Park Visitor destination in 1973. Over 1.3 million visitors per year are transported to Alcartraz on the ferries that currently operate out of Pier 41 in the heart of Fisherman’s Wharf. The resolution also notes that, “Highly trained and skilled union crews have contributed to the Alcatraz Ferry Service success by providing a safe and reliable operation that has received awards from the National Park Service for performance and its environmental record.”

On September 27, the National Park Service awarded the right to negotiate the Alcatraz Ferry concession to non-union Hornblower Yachts over the MM&P- and IBU-contracted Blue & Gold Fleet, the longtime operator of the Alcatraz service. Blue & Gold is the largest single ferry operator in the San Francisco Bay area and is protesting the award through the US Court of Federal Claims. A decision is expected by March 1.


MATSON TO RAISE FUEL SURCHARGE BY TWO PERCENT

MM&P-contracted Matson Navigation Company has announced that it will raise its fuel surcharge in its Hawaii and Guam/Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) services from 13 to 15 percent, effective January 1. “Bunker fuel prices continue to be at or near record high levels,” said Dave Hoppes, Matson’s senior vice president, ocean services. “In the past three months, bunker fuel prices have risen over 21 percent, necessitating this new adjustment. In total, the price that Matson has paid for fuel has risen 68 percent in the past year. We are anticipating a continued rising trend in fuel prices over the next quarter.”


COMPANY TO PAY $1 MILLION FINE IN US OIL POLLUTION CASE

Foreign-flagged Karlog Shipping Company pled guilty last month in US District Court to obstructing justice by concealing the release of oil into the ocean from the M/V FRIENDSHIP. As a result, the Environmental Protection Agency has ordered Karlog Shipping to pay a $1 million fine, develop a fleet-wide court-monitored environmental management system and serve three years probation.

In addition, the ship’s chief engineer also pled guilty in connection with his role in ordering crew members to make false statements to the USCG regarding discharges of oil from the ship. He was sentenced to 30 days in prison and three years probation. In November 2004, a routine USCG investigation discovered evidence that a bypass pipe had been used on the vessel to route oil around the ship’s oil-water separator. Evidence also indicated that a false oil record book was being kept to make it appear that the ship was being operated properly.


CALIFORNIA OFFICIALS VOTE TO REGULATE SHIP POLLUTION

California officials have approved new regulations to curb air pollution from cargo ships, cruise liners and other large vessels that enter its ports, making California one of the first states to regulate emissions from oceangoing ships. The California Air Resources Board also passed new rules to reduce emissions from the cranes, fork lifts, tractors and trucks that move cargo at state ports. Both sets of regulations are scheduled to take effect in 2007.
Ship operators are questioning whether California has the right to regulate ships beyond state waters.

The regulations will restrict emissions of particulates and gases such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides from the 1,900 oceangoing vessels that make 10,000 stops at California ports each year. Ships will be required to switch from large diesel engines to smaller auxiliary engines that run on cleaner-burning fuel once they come within 24 miles from the California coast. The regulations were projected to reduce particulates by 75 percent and sulfur dioxides by more than 80 percent in 2007.


CALIFORNIA PORTS VULNERABLE TO TSUNAMIS

If not done in by air pollution, a newly issued report indicates that California’s ports would be devastated if hit by a tsunami because the facilities are designed to withstand earthquakes but not giant waves. The study released by the state Seismic Safety Commission revealed that a tsunami could result in the loss of millions of tons of open-stored dry and break-bulk products and miles of railroad and highway infrastructures. The report estimated that about 60 large vessels and several thousand smaller ships would also be lost.

Ports specifically cited as being “at risk” from the tsunami threat are Los Angeles-Long Beach, San Diego, Oakland and Richmond. The report notes that 82 possible or confirmed tsunamis have occurred in Californian waters overall with the worst following the 1964 Alaska earthquake that killed 12 people and caused $15 million in damage. The study predicts that a tsunami-caused two-month shutdown of Los Angeles/Long Beach would see an economic impact of $60 billion.


TITANIC WENT DOWN FASTER THAN PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT

Researchers say the discovery of two large bottom pieces of the TITANIC’s hull on the ocean floor indicates the luxury liner sank faster than previously believed. A naval architect that analyzed the newly discovered hull pieces said that after they broke free, the ship’s bow and stern split apart. The stern most likely sank within 5 minutes, not 20 minutes as formerly thought. That means the sinking was quicker and more merciful for the doomed passengers in the stern. The newly found hull sections were examined during an expedition sponsored by The History Channel for a documentary scheduled to be aired on February 26th.

 


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

NEW COURSE: *WX-BASREF-2 – Two day Basic weather refresher, offered prior to Advanced Meteorology. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED PREP, see guidelines below.

CMM Advanced Meteorology IS AN ADVANCED COURSE. Students should register for the basic Weather Refresher course prior to CMM-WXADV if they do not have a foundation of weather knowledge that includes the following:

— Knowledge of the atmosphere and its properties, including change of state of water vapor.
— Atmospheric stability: the atmospheric profiles that are conducive to fog and thunderstorm formation.
— Atmospheric pressure and understanding of diurnal variations versus weather system passages.
— Wind: Be able to estimate wind speed from the Beaufort scale and from observations at sea.
— Be able to calculate geostrophic approximation from isobaric pattern on synoptic charts and convert to true wind speed.
— Be able to calculate true wind speed and direction given ships own course and speed.
— Knowledge of the basic cloud groups and their causes.
— Knowledge of the global wind and pressure systems over the oceans both summer and winter.
— Understanding basic weather systems depicted on synoptic weather charts.
— Understanding of shipboard observations. Determine when and why shipboard observations do not agree with synoptic analyses and forecast charts.
— Be able to revise and construct your own 24 hour weather forecasts based on your local observations and facsimile weather chart information.

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

ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 1/9, 2/13
AZIPOD-KAM – Azipod and Kamewa Steering and Propulsion Systems: 1/24

BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 2/13
BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 2/8
BST – Basic Safety Training: 1/30

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-CHS I – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 2/20
CMM-CHS II – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 2/27
CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display and Info Systems: 1/9, 1/30
*WX-BASREF-2 – Two-day Basic weather refresher, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED PREP for Advanced Meteorology: 2/4
*CMM- ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology 2/6
CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 1/16
CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 2/13
CMM-SHMGT I – Ship Management (week 1): 1/9, 2/6, 2/27
CMM-ADVSTAB – Advanced Stability: 2/13
CMM-WKP – Watchkeeping: 1/20

CONT-PLNG – Contingency Planning: 1/20, 2/10

HAZ-Hazardous Materials (5-day): 1/9

LAP – License Advancement Program: 1/9
LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 2/8

MEDIA-RSP – Media Response: 1/19, 2/9
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 1/14, 2/11
MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 1/9, 2/6
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 1/9, 2/6


[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-SMA – Small Arms (4-day): 1/30
MSC-SMA-R – Small Arms Re-Qualification (2-day): 2/3 (must have proof of passing all 3 weapons within 2 years)

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal (5-day): 1/16
ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 1/9, 2/13

SEC-OFF-VCF – Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 1/16, 2/6
SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 1/9, 2/20
SHS-EMR-Emergency Shiphandling: 2/20

TPIC – Tankerman Person-In-Charge: 2/13


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

PMI is offering a USCG Crew Endurance Management Coaches Seminar in Seattle from October 26-27 in addition to its regular course offerings listed below. This training is designed to provide commercial mariners the knowledge and skills to develop, deploy, and assess Crew Endurance Management Systems (CEMS) within their companies.

As a Crew Endurance Coach, the employee is critical to the success of CEMS implementation. Coaches provide education and guidance on the principles of light and sleep management, assist with changes to the work and rest environment, make recommendations on schedule changes, and help create personal endurance plans for each crewmember. Once successfully completing the training the Coach will have the necessary training to educate personnel on a vessel, and the processes and practices specific to the USCG Crew Endurance Management Program. The training session spans two full days and includes a written exam. Cost: $425 per person To Register: Call Pacific Maritime Institute at 206-441-2880 or toll free 888-893-7829.

December 2005

12/19-21 Ship Security Officer
12/19-23 ARPA
12/19-23 Basic Shiphandling
12/26-30 Emergency Shiphandling 5-day

12/27-29 Ship Security Officer

January 2006

1/ 2-6 BST
1/9-27 TCNAV
1/9-12 Lifeboat/Survival Craft
1/9-13 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
1/9-20 GMDSS
1/9-21 100 Ton OUPV
1/16-20 ECDIS
1/16-20 ARPA
1/16-20 Emergency Shiphandling 5-day
1/23-27 MEDPRO
1/23-2/3 MEDPIC
1/30-2/1 Ship Security Officer
1/30-2/3 RADAR Observer Unlimited
1/30-2/10 GMDSS

February 2006

2/6-10 BST
2/6-9 Lifeboat/Survival Craft
2/6-10 ARPA
2/6 Radar Renewal
2/13-17 ENAV
2/20-3/3 CNAV
2/20-3/3 Advanced Shiphandling
2/20-3/4 100 Ton OUPV
2/27-3/3 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
2/27-3/3 ARPA
2/27 Radar Renewal

March 2006

3/6-10 BST
3/6-9 Lifeboat/Survival Craft
3/6-10 Basic Meteorology
3/6-18 100 Ton OUPV
3/13-24 GMDSS
3/13-17 CONSTB
3/20-24 CHS BAS
3/27-31 MEDPRO
3/27-31 ARPA
3/27 Radar Renewal
3/27-4/7 MEDPIC

For registration call Jennifer Fowler 888-893-7829

PMI Merchandise for Sale: High quality with embroidered PMI logo. All prices include tax. Navy Caps: $18.00; Button Down Long Sleeve Dress Shirts Blue or Khaki: $38.00; Coming Soon: Navy, Burgundy, Khaki T-shirts, high quality thick Hanes shirt with pocket $22.00; 15 oz. Beautiful Cobalt Blue Ceramic Mug $10.Call DeeDee Lazik 206-838-8328 or e-mail dlazik@mates.org.


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 12-14

 

 D O W  N A S D A Q  S & P 500
10,883.51 +72.60 for the week 2,262.57  +10.58 for the week 1,272.74  +15.37 for the week

 

Fund Name & Trading Symbol
Closing
Price
Change
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
117.70
+1.45
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
35.14
+.44
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
21.62
+.52
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
18.05
+.23
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
32.92
+.44
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.27
+.06
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX)
6.16
+.16
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.03
+.04
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
19.76
+.36
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
16.62
+.16
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
38.66
+.56
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
107.45
+1.34
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
23.87
+.48
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
76.47
+1.05
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
45.21
+.56

 





~ Reminders ~




 

T-AGS OCEANOGRAPHIC SURVEY SHIPS MANNING REQUIREMENTS

REQUIRED COURSEWORK

All MM&P members are reminded that to sail aboard the T-AGS ships that MM&P-contracted Horizon Lines will be operating, you must have the required training certification and your certificates must be current in accordance with Military Sealift Command requirements. Members are also required to have had a MSC pre-employment physical and to possess Ship Security Clearance (see below).

The MSC Contract calls for all training certificates required for manning of these vessels to be no older than 5 years and that all STCW-95 courses be renewed every 5 years, or annually, as applicable.

Five-year renewable courses include, but are not limited to:

  • Advanced Fire Fighting
  • Basic Safety Training, and
  • Damage Control

Small Arms certificates must be less than 1 year old and MUST NOT expire during your tour of duty.

Members interested in applying for one of the positions onboard the T-AGS vessels are advised to make sure your certificates are up to date. If not, contact Mary Matlock or Diane Ford at MITAGS Admissions, email: admissions@mitags.org, and schedule to take the course(s) needed.

Those MM&P members interested in obtaining more information and facts about the T-AGS Oceanographic Vessels are asked to email the Director of Special Projects requesting the “facts sheet”. It will be provided by return email in an Adobe Acrobat PDF format.

Members interested in employment on the T-AGS ships are asked to provide a 1-2 page resume. Please list the desired position you are seeking along with the certificates of training you possess and their dates. Upon receipt it will be forwarded to Horizon Lines and a confirmation sent back to the member. Vessel turnover commenced Oct.17, 2004. Positions for all ratings remain open.

The point of contact for sending a resume for employment on the Horizon Lines T-AGS Oceanographic Vessels is Richard Plant, MM&P’s Director of Special Projects. Send resumes in an email or as a Word file attachment to him at: rplant@bridgedeck.org, by fax to 410-850-0973 or by mail to:

Richard Plant, Director of Special Projects

IOMM&P
700 Maritime Blvd.
Linthicum Heights, MD 21090



SHIP SECURITY CLEARANCE NEEDED

Members who want to sail for Horizon Lines on the T-AGS Oceanographic Survey vessels the company is set to begin operating for MSC must have Ship Security Clearance before going aboard.

Special software must be downloaded from the US Government’s Defense Security Service to complete the Security Clearance application. You must have an Internet connection and a Windows-based computer to retrieve the application and run the program.

Go to https://sclient.dss.mil/download/w9xfull.htm to download the software titled “EPSQ SUBJECT2_2”.

After the software is installed and the program is launched, select “Create” from the menu bar at the top of the screen. You will be required to enter your Social Security Number and a case-sensitive password. A window titled “Type of Form” will appear.

All Deck Officers should select the first button titled “Request for Security Clearance (SF86)” and then click “OK” to go to the next screen, “Type of Investigation”.

From the “Type of Investigation” screen:

  • Masters and Radio Officers should select the first button, “Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI)”.
  • All other Deck Officers (C/M, 2/M, 3/M) should click on the second button, “National Agency Check (NAC or NACLC)”.

After selecting the appropriate investigation type, click on “OK” to begin filling in the forms.

 



MSC PHYSICALS

Horizon Lines requests all mariners seeking employment aboard the T-AGS Oceanographic vessels to take their MSC Physical at specially-designated facilities only after being advised to do so by the Company. This is to assure that all requirements of the MSC Physical are properly met.

 


MM&P FCU NEWS

GET NEW WHEELS OR LOWER EXISTING PAYMENTS WITH MM&P FCU VEHICLE FINANCING

Is it time to replace that car you’re driving? Vehicle loan rates are looking great at MM&P FCU.

Drive away in a new or used vehicle for a standard loan rate of:

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

5.00 percent for 25-48 months;
5.75 percent for 49-60 months ($20,000 minimum); and
6.25 percent for terms extending from 61-72 months ($25,000 minimum).
You can lower your loan rate even more — by 0.75 percent — by becoming a Preferred Borrower.

Are you paying a higher rate on your current vehicle loan at another institution? Consider refinancing your outside loan at the MM&P FCU and taking advantage of our lower loan rates.

MM&P FCU will finance up to 100 percent of your new vehicle loan, and up to 90 percent of NADA Book Value on a used vehicle. Maximum vehicle loan amount is $30,000.

PREFERRED BORROWERS GET LOWER LOAN RATES
MM&P FCU members can reduce the interest rate they pay on any new loan even further by becoming a preferred borrower. What is a preferred borrower? That’s a member who deposits at least 10 percent of the original loan amount into their MM&P FCU savings account and keeps those funds on deposit until the loan is paid in full. By doing this you save twice – first, your deposit works for you by earning our regular dividend savings rate, and second, you save money by reducing the interest rate on your loan by 0.75 percent.

Contact the MM&P FCU for full details on all loan programs by email to mmpfcu@bridgedeck.org or call 1-800-382-7777 toll-free.



 

MM&P HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN NEWS

NOTICE TO MEMBERS WHO ARE TAKING VIOXX

On Sept.30, Merck & Co. voluntarily withdrew Vioxx, a popular anti-inflammatory medication, from the market. As a result, individuals who are currently taking the drug have been asked to contact their health care professionals to discuss discontinuing use of Vioxx and possible alternative treatments.

MM&P Plans Administrator Valerie Verrecchio reports that, “We have gotten a number of calls from members who want to know what to do with their remaining supply of Vioxx and whether the Plan or NMHC will refund their co-pay for the unused portion.

“Unfortunately, neither NMHC nor the Plan was aware of the Merck decision prior to the public announcement on Sept.30. As of that date, all deliveries of Vioxx to our members was suspended in accordance with Merck’s announcement. Orders that had already been processed and were in transit could not be stopped.

“In regard to refunds, Merck has set up a website at www.vioxx.com where members can obtain information on how to recover refunds from Merck for the unused portion of medication. Members can also call following toll free number for information: 1-888-368-4699.

“We are sorry for any inc onvenience this may have caused to members currently taking this medication, however, the matter is out of the control of the Plans.”



NMHC MAIL-ORDER PRESCRIPTIONS WEBSITE UPDATED & IMPROVED

MM&P Plans Administrator Valerie Verrecchio reports, “Good news! NMHC mail has finally gotten their website upgraded and functioning properly. I went in and tested it myself and found it to be quite user friendly.”

To use NMHC’s upgraded service, go to the NMHC Mail website at www.nmhcmail.com and click on “MEMBER LOGIN” at the bottom of the screen.

First-time and Registered users may bypass the welcome screen and go directly to the log-in page at https://members.nmhcrx.com/Login/Login.aspx.

  • First-time users should then click on the link marked “NEW USER: REGISTER HERE”.
    This will take you to a page titled “MEMBER REGISTRATION” where you will need to enter demographic information and submit it by clicking on the
  • “CREATE ACCOUNT” button.

After creating your account, NMHC will email you a password to gain entry into your records. With your first sign-in, the NMHC system will prompt you to change the NMHC password to one of your own choosing.

Once you are registered at NMHC, you can check the status of open orders by logging-in to the system through the “MEMBER LOGIN” page and going into the “MAIL ORDER” menu. You can look up all prescriptions and get the price our members will pay for any medication. You can also view an order history of all of your medication transactions (both retail and mail) for the last 24 months, locate 24-hour pharmacies in your zip code region as well as access other helpful member education information.

“We hope this welcome improvement will assist our members. Although you cannot order refills on line if you don’t provide a credit or debit card number, you can phone in your refill. Once you register on the website, you will still have access to all of the other information including checking the status of your order once it is phoned in,” said Ms. Verrecchio.



WWII USCG VETERANS OUTREACH

The U.S. Coast Guard has announced an initiative to identify and collect the oral histories of its World War II veterans. Coast Guard WWII veterans, including SPARS and merchant mariners, are encouraged to record their histories online with the Library of Congress Veterans History Project at www.loc.gov/folklife/vets.

Those veterans needing assistance in recording their stories can receive help from their local Coast Guard Auxiliary public affairs contact by leaving a message at 1-877-875-6296, a toll-free call.




 

COMPANY GIVES BUCKS BACK FOR BUYING SAFE SHOES

LMS Ship Management, the company that manages vessels for Central Gulf, Sulphur Carriers and Waterman Steamship, wants to remind MM&P members that they offer their crewmembers a $75 reimbursement on the cost of purchasing certain slip-resistant shoes and boots for use aboard ship.

This offer has been in place for some time and LMS reports that “we have been pleased with the participation to date, but feel a reminder may be in order.” Their goal is for every crewmember to wear slip resistant footwear during working hours aboard their vessels.

The $75 reimbursement is available to each crewmember who provides LMS with an original receipt for the purchase of slip resistant footwear. In order for the crewmember to obtain the reimbursement, they must wear the shoes while on duty. Upon presentation of the receipt, the crewmember will be reimbursed on their pay voucher. The receipt will be retained by the Master and will remain aboard the vessel.
 
 

Vessels in the LMS footwear reimbursement program are:

  • Green Cove
  • Green Dale
  • Green Lake
  • Green Point
  • Atlantic Forest
  • Sulphur Enterprise
  • Energy Enterprise
  • SGT Matej C. Kocak
  • MAJ Stephen W. Pless, and
  • PFC Eugene A. Obregon

LMS notes that in order to receive reimbursement, crewmembers must purchase one of the following recommended brands:

  • WORX by Red Wing Slip Resistant Footwear
  • Caterpillar (must have steel toe & slip resistant sole)
  • Wolverine (must have steel toe and slip resistant sole)
  • Dunham Sierra Work Boot EH
  • Steel Toe Voyager
  • Georgia Boot 6- or 8-inch Safety Toe Boot
  • Dr. Marten’s (must have steel toe & slip resistant sole)

LOOK FOR THE UNION LABEL:

Of the boots listed above, Red Wing, Caterpillar and Wolverine boots are produced by US union labor.

Redwing’s Union-made products are: Red Wing shoes and boots, Red Wing motorcycle boots and Craftsman (Sears).

Wolverine World Wide manufactures boots under the Caterpillar brand using US union labor. (Other union made safety-shoe brands by Wolverine are the company’s Hy-Test, Durashock and Bates Military labels. The company’s Wolverine brand combat boots are also produced using US union labor.)

Most Dr. Marten’s shoes and boots are produced in the UK.

To find US, union-made products, visit the AFL-CIO Union Label Service and Trades website at www.unionlabel.org and click on “Union Made Product Search”. To shop for union-made products online, go to www.ShopUnionMade.org.




 

WEBSITE OFFERS UNION-MADE GOODS AND SERVICES

The Union Label recently went digital with a new website offering shoppers an array of union-made gifts, from clothing and chocolates to computers, games and greeting cards.

The website, www.shopunionmade.org, launches on the eve of the fall and winter holidays, when shoppers will spend an estimated $1 trillion on gifts, food, drinks and other seasonal items, explained Matt Bates, Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO Union Label & Service Trades Department. The all-union shopping site, however, will be a year-round operation because that is what consumers demand, he added.

“Shoppers spent $56 billion in Internet sales last year, and on-line spending is doubling every two to three years. Everyday we receive Email and calls from people who want to support good jobs by buying union-made goods and services. The website will reach millions of people, 24 hours a day, with a quick convenient way to shop union,” Bates said.

“The public is ready for this. People have seen millions of good jobs disappear and they are looking for ways to take a stand and make a difference,” he added.

The AFL-CIO will target the peak of the holiday shopping season by promoting “Buy Union Week” Nov. 26 through Dec. 5. The newly-launched, all-union shopping site will be a cornerstone of that campaign. MM&P has a link to the Shop Union Site on this website under “Links and Other Sources”.



The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 700 Maritime Blvd., Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1941. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: iommp@bridgedeck.org. For further info or to subscribe contact John Peige at jpeige@bridgedeck.org. The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea, broadcast worldwide via FEC marine telex and is posted on our web page.