News

Wheelhouse Weekly – December 15, 2006

December 15th 2006

 

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

Volume 10 . . . . . Number 50. . . . December 15, 2006

STORIES COVERED

Also

REMINDERS

T-AGS Oceanographic Survey Ships Info

Required Coursework

Security Clearances

MSC Physicals

MM&P Health & Benefit Plan News

Notice to Members who are taking Vioxx

NMHC Mail-Order Prescriptions Website Updated & Improved

WWII USCG Veterans Outreach

Company Gives Bucks Back for buying Safe Shoes

Website Offers Union-Made Goods and Services




Did you miss a week? Back editions of the Wheelhouse Weekly are available in the section.





 

USCG EXTENDS DEADLINE ON PHYSICAL EXAM RESULTS FOR PILOTS

The US Coast Guard issued a notice stating that it has extended until April 11, 2007, the deadline by which all first class pilots on vessels greater than 1600 gross registered tons and other individuals who “serve as” pilots on certain types of vessels greater than 1600 GRT must submit the most recent copy of their annual physical examination. The original deadline was December 27th. For further info contact: Stewart Walker, National Maritime Center, by email: Stewart.A.Walker@uscg.mil or phone: 202-493-1022.




 

USCG PROPOSES CHANGE TO MARINER CERTIFICATE OF DISCHARGE

The US Coast Guard proposes to change the Certificate of Discharge to Merchant Mariners from a booklet format using carbon copies to one that can be downloaded from the Internet. The new version would still require signatures of the vessel master and the discharged mariner. Its availability on the Internet would alleviate access issues. Comments on this effort to update the discharge process should be submitted to the USCG by Jan. 16th. For more info, contact Arthur Requina at 202-475-3523.



MATSON’S NAVIGATOR DELIVERS TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS

Supply chain event management software, Navigator, is further underscoring the “express” in MM&P-contracted Matson’s China-Long Beach Express by adding greater visibility and speed in delivering key shipment information. In its first nine months of operation, Matson’s China – Long Beach Express has been consistently delivering premium service, with fast transit times, reliable on time arrivals, and efficient throughput on the West Coast, resulting in next day cargo availability.

Matson’s overall service package is further strengthened by its world class technology that provides customers with the tools to manage complex overseas supply chains. “Visibility and event management programs such as Navigator offer our customers an efficient, convenient way to monitor the progress of a shipment through e-mail alerts of key milestones in the supply chain process,” said Dave Hoppes, senior vice president, ocean services.

“We’ve found technology is increasingly important to our China customers,” said Peter Weis, vice president and chief information officer. “The early adoption phase involved dozens of customers and the response has been overwhelmingly positive.” The launching of Navigator is part of a broader Matson technology investment strategy that will ultimately benefit Matson’s customers in its other key trade lanes, particularly Hawaii.


DUBAI-BASED DP WORLD AGREES TO SELL US TERMINAL OPERATIONS

DP World, the parent of P&O Holdings, announced earlier this week that they had reached an agreement to sell their US assets and marine terminal operations business to AIG Global Investment Group. The price of the transaction was not disclosed. Industry analysts have said that the deal is worth at least $700 million. DP World said that the deal, subject to various regulatory approvals, is expected to close in the first quarter of 2007.

The announcement was well received in Washington, where lawmakers expect the resale of DP world’s terminal operations at American seaports to AIG to receive broad support. When completed, the sale will put an end to the political controversy surrounding DP World’s acquisition of the leases and operating contracts for some US ports when it purchased Peninsular and Oriental Holdings, for $6.8 billion. That deal erupted into an immediate political firestorm when US lawmakers claimed that DP world’s involvement with US port operations would threaten national security. Eventually, DP World agreed to seek a buyer for their US-based operations.

The failed nomination of DP World executive David Sanborn as Maritime Administrator was perhaps the most visible casualty in the DP World marine terminal operations flap. His nomination came at a bad time in view of the storm of controversy boiling in Washington about the fitness of Dubai-owned DP World to provide operations for US ports. Although he received a friendly reception in Washington in his February confirmation hearings, his nomination was ultimately doomed when the DP-World deal storm erupted and continued to escalate.

DP World said that while they were disappointed to be leaving the US markets, that they had also received a fair price for their businesses and assets. The Dubai-based firm is one of the world’s largest marine terminal operators with 51 terminals located in 24 countries.


MORE DHS GRANTS FOR PORT SECURITY INITIATIVES

More than $168 million will be provided for port security grants to create sustainable, risk-based efforts for the protection of critical port infrastructure from terrorism. Fifty out of 100 eligible ports contained on the USCG’s most critical seaport list, plus one additional port not contained on that list but was eligible in 2005, will receive funding for projects to enhance security measures at critical port facilities.

The ports were grouped into four tiers, with Tier 1 representing the highest risk to Tier 4 representing the lowest risk. Funding was awarded for specific projects within each port area based on that port’s relative risk and the relationship of each project to identified port security priorities. These 101 eligible seaports represent 95 percent of the foreign waterborne commerce of the United States. The USCG using commercial, demographic and geographic data from various sources developed the list. The infrastructure protection grants considered threat, vulnerability and consequences, and recognized the unique characteristics of our nation’s seaports, transit systems and other critical infrastructure assets. For info on allocations, visit www.dhs.gov


MAERSK LINE OPTIMIZES TRANSATLANTIC NETWORK

Maersk Line has announced an optimized transatlantic network, which it expects to become effective in January. Maersk will replace the present TA3 (Newark Shuttle) and TA6 (Oceania Pendulum) services with a revised TA3 service. In combination with the TA1/TA2, the new TA3 service will offer direct coverage from the main load ports in Europe to all main US East Coast ports. The new TA3 service will be a pendulum string with the recently announced TP12, which will establish direct links to/from the US West Coast.

The full rotation will be: Bremerhaven – Felixstowe – Rotterdam – Le Havre – Newark – Charleston – Miami – Los Angeles – Oakland – Pacific loop – Oakland – Los Angeles – Savannah – Charleston – Newark -Bremerhaven – Felixstowe – Rotterdam – Le Havre. The current TA2 service will remain unchanged, with the exception of the eastbound Charleston call. Instead, Maersk will include this call in the TA3 rotation to better meet customer demand.


LA, LONG BEACH TO STUDY USE OF MAGNETIC LEVITATION TRAINS

Los Angeles, Long Beach Harbor officials are planning to study whether magnetic levitation trains could be used to ferry cargo containers moving through the nation’s largest port complex. The so-called maglev trains are seen as a possible way to ease traffic congestion and cut down on air pollution near the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Researchers at California State University, Long Beach, are studying three proposals for using maglev trains to move cargo.

The Southern California Association of Governments and officials at the two ports are planning to launch their own studies in coming months. “If we are going to get serious about cleaning up the port, we need to bring electric power into the transportation system. We need to be emission-free if we are going to grow,” said S. David Freeman, president of the Los Angeles Harbor Commission. “Maglev is one of several options we are looking at. It has a lot going for it.”

Maglevs are propelled along magnetic fields generated by guide rails on the ground. They can reach speeds of up to 300 mph. Two maglev train systems transporting passengers are operating in China and Japan. No one has yet to adapt the maglevs to carry freight, however. General Atomics in San Diego is developing a system for cargo containers.

Among the maglev projects being studied is a 4.7-mile system between the Port of Los Angeles and the proposed Southern California International Gateway, a rail terminal to the north.

Building the project would cost roughly $575 million and $9.2 million a year to operate. A 100-mile maglev network linking inland cargo distribution centers to the ports is projected to cost around $8.5 billion. Another maglev proposal under review involves a 20-mile line running by the Long Beach Freeway.


MAINE MARITIME ACADEMY HONORS ALUM DEBORAH DEMPSEY

Maine Maritime Academy (MMA) recently honored its best and brightest at its annual Celebration of Achievement ceremony that formally recognized alumni success and achievement. Among those recognized was MM&P member Capt. Deborah Doane Dempsey of Bellingham, WA who is a MMA Class of 1976 graduate and a Colombia River Bar Pilot. At the ceremony, she was inducted into the college’s Wall of Honor.


QUESTIONS RAISED IN MASS MARITIME TRAINING SHIP CONVERSION

The MarEx on-line newsletter reports that a self-described “white paper” which was written and posted on the Internet by a group called the Friends of Massachusetts Maritime Academy (FOMMA) has drawn the interest of the US Maritime Administration (MARAD), among others. The white paper raised questions regarding the ability of the 2002 ship conversion of the T.S. ENTERPRISE (formerly the CAPE BON) to meet the Academy’s current and future educational enrollment needs.”

The paper summarizes the need for the MMA administration to press Congress for the additional funds necessary to complete what FOMMA describes as deferred conversion work on the training ship. The vessel is the primary teaching platform for guiding MMA’s license track cadets who eventually will be certified as US Merchant Marine officers. The vessel, like similar ships at the four other state-run maritime academies, is on loan from MARAD. But funds for conversions and upgrades do not come from MARAD’s budget.

According to the MarEx article, the maritime schools are responsible for lobbying Congress for those funds. MARAD’s budget is sufficient for annual maintenance, but not for upgrades. In the case of Mass Maritime, two consecutive FY appropriations of $12.5 million each were obtained, which then led to a $25 million funding of the ENTERPRISE conversion. Bender Shipyard performed the work in 2002 in Mobile, AL.

The FOMMA document alleges that among other things, that MARAD’s ship manager was “inefficient” in overseeing work on the conversion. The FOMMA document states that decisions were made that MMA did not agree with and as a result, issues were identified that could not be rectified. In reaction to the paper, Admiral Richard Gurnon, President of the 115 year-old Academy, said that he has continued to lobby Congress for the additional funding for the training ship. He also said that FOMMA is a separate organization from MMA, made up primarily of MMA alumni and that they do not speak for the Academy on any issue.

The MarEx e-newsletter reported that the differences of opinion on the training ship highlight a quiet rift between some old-school MMA alumni and the current Administration. The reality of training future merchant marine officers in a climate of declining US-flag shipping platforms has forced most of the maritime academies to expand curriculum far beyond the traditional deck (marine transportation) and engine (marine engineering) degrees. This, in turn, has resulted in discussions as to the wisdom of allowing “non-regiment” cadets and students who have no intention of ever going to sea onto the campuses of the five state maritime schools. Educators – and some alumni themselves – say that the changes are necessary for the schools to survive, while continuing to have a license-track curriculum for those that want it.


JAXPORT PORT INKS 25-YEAR LEASE WITH APM TERMINALS

The Jacksonville Port Authority has reached an agreement on a new 25-year lease with APM Terminals North America, one of the port’s biggest and longest-tenured tenants. The new deal will keep APM at the port through 2031, with an additional five-year mutual option. APM will operate from a 60-acre site at the Blount Island Marine Terminal. Last year APM handled 1.4 million tons of cargo at Blount Island, the most of any single Jaxport tenant, generating more than $3.5 million in revenue for the port.

“We see Jacksonville as a growing and important location,” said Tony Scioscia, president of APM. “Together with Jaxport we are looking forward to expanding the business in and out of Jacksonville’s port.” APM and its predecessor, SeaLand Service Inc., has provided stevedoring and terminal operations services at Jaxport since 1960.


CONSORTIUM CREATED FOR DOD VESSEL BUILDING OPPORTUNITIES

Earlier this week, Bollinger Shipyards announced that an agreement was reached to form an international consortium to respond to a Department of Defense (DoD) acquisition program for the Joint High Speed Vessel (JHSV). The JHSV program brings together Navy, Army, Marines, and SOCOM to pursue a multi-use maritime platform. The JHSV is a new generation, multi-use platform capable of transporting troops and their equipment, supporting humanitarian relief efforts, the ability to operate in shallow waters and can reach speed in access of 35 knots fully loaded.

The consortium is led by Louisiana-based Bollinger Shipyards, and consists of Australian-based shipyard INCAT, Australian-based design group Revolution Design, two Washington State shipyards Nichols Brothers and Kvichak, and Massachusetts-based shipyard Gladding-Hearn (Duclos Corp). Chris Bollinger, Executive Vice President for Bollinger Shipyards said, “Bollinger Shipyards is pleased to bring together the expertise of premier aluminum shipbuilders from the West Coast, East Coast and Gulf Coast along with the world leader in HSV design and construction, Incat Tasmania and Revolution Design.”


SEARCH FOR WOMAN SWEPT OVERBOARD IN ATLANTIC SUSPENDED

An extensive search of the Atlantic Ocean by the US and Canadian Coast Guard for the daughter of hockey great Bob Gainey has ended. The aerial search was suspended earlier this week, three days after she was swept overboard in the Atlantic during a storm. The 25-year-old woman, Laura Gainey, was working on the tall sailing ship PICTON CASTLE, headed for the Caribbean.

During the search, US and Canadian Coast Guard C-130 aircraft scoured an area of 3,175 square miles, using specific grid patterns, night vision, infrared sensors and radar during the operation. The USCG also advised that computer models estimated Gainey’s likely survival time to be about 36 hours. Montreal Canadiens general manager Bob Gainey issued a statement thanking searchers. A star in his playing days and a member of the hockey Hall of Fame, Gainey’s teams won five Stanley Cups with Montreal during his 16-year career. He also won a championship as general manager of the Dallas Stars.


MERCY SHIPS SEEKS VOLUNTEER DECK OFFICERS

Mercy Ships, a non-profit, Christian organization that operates a fleet of hospital ships, bringing free medical aid to people in developing countries around the world. Because of their status as a non-profit, 501(c) organization, all of their workers are volunteers who raise their own support in order to work onboard Mercy Ships. Mercy Ships has a need to recruit Licensed Deck Officers to serve onboard their vessels. For further info, contract Chris Rowley, Marine Recruiter at Mercy Ship Marine Operations by email at rowleyc@mercyships.org or by fax at: 903-882-0498.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

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


AIS – Automatic Identification System: 3/23
ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 1/16, 2/6, 3/6

BRM Bridge Resource Management: 1/22, 2/19, 3/26
BST – Basic Safety Training: 2/5, 3/12

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 1/22
CMM-ADVSTB – 1/29
CMM-CHS I – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 2/12
CMM-CHS II – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 2/5
CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart and Display Information System: 3/19
CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 2/19
CMM-SHMGT-I – Ship Management II (week 1): 2/26
CMM-SHMGT-II – Ship Management II (week 2): 3/5
Available on a “Stand-By Basis Only”: CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 1/8, 2/5, 3/12
Available on a “Stand-By Basis Only”: CMM-SHS-ADV-II – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 1/15, 2/12
CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 3/26
CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 3/12

CONT-PLNG – Contingency Planning: 1/26

CSE-AASE – Confined Space Entry: 1/15

FF-BADV – Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 2/5, 3/12

HAZ-Hazardous Materials (5-day): 1/8, 2/12

MEDIA-RSP – Media Response: 1/25, 3/22

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 1/13, 2/17, 3/3
MED-PIC – Medical Person In Charge: 1/8, 2/12, 2/26
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 1/8, 2/12, 2/26

[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-CBRD-1 (Chemical Biological Radiological Defense Orientation): 1/20, 3/30
MSC-DC (Damage Control): 1/18, 3/22
MSC-SMA – Small Arms Training: 3/26
MSC-SMA-R – Small Arms Re-Qualification (2-day): 3/30 (must have proof of passing all 3 weapons within 2 years)

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal (5-day): 1/29, 3/26
ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 1/15, 2/5, 3/5

SEC-OFF-VCF – Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 1/22, 3/19
SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 1/22, 2/19, 3/26
SHS-EMR- Emergency Shiphandling: 2/26
SHS-EMR- BRMP-3- Emergency Shiphandling & Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 3/19
TPIC-DL – Tanker Person-In-Charge, Dangerous Liquids: 2/12


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

Fall and Winter: 2006-2007

MATE 500/1600 TONS Program Begins January 2007
Due to the high demand for this program, PMI has now scheduled another that is already close to full enrollment for its 2007-start date. See the PMI Web site at www.mates.org for more info on this new development.

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

December 2007
12/18-22 ECDIS
12/18-22 ARPA
12/18-22 Medical First Aid Provider
12/19 Radar Recertification

January 2007
1/2 Mate Program Begins/Orientation
1/8-1/26 Ratings Forming Part of a Navigational Watch
1/22-1/26 Terrestrial and Coastal Navigation
1/22-1/26 Tankerman Person in Charge
1/22-1/26 Emergency Shiphandling
1/29-2/2 Medical First Aid Provider
1/29-2/2 Radar Observer Unlimited
1/29-2/9 Medical Person in Charge
1/29-2/9 GMDSS

For registration call Jennifer Fowler 888-893-7829

PMI MERCHANDISE FOR SALE!!!

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

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


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 12-14

 

 D O W  N A S D A Q  S & P 500
12,445.52 +165.08 for the week 2,457.20 +29.51 for the week 1,427.09 +19.58 for the week
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
Closing
Price
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
131.96
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
39.46
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
26.23
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
19.79
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
36.54
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.24
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX)
6.21
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.03
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
19.71
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
17.20
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
31.82
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
90.52
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
21.18
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
81.08
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
50.70
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
33.67

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~ 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.

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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.

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MM&P FCU NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

.



 

MM&P HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN NEWS

NOTICE TO MEMBERS WHO ARE TAKING VIOXX

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

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

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

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

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



NMHC MAIL-ORDER PRESCRIPTIONS WEBSITE UPDATED & IMPROVED

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



WWII USCG VETERANS OUTREACH

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

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




 

COMPANY GIVES BUCKS BACK FOR BUYING SAFE SHOES

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

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

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

Vessels in the LMS footwear reimbursement program are:

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

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

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

LOOK FOR THE UNION LABEL:

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

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

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

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

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




 

WEBSITE OFFERS UNION-MADE GOODS AND SERVICES

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

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

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

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

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



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

C 2006, 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 John Peige at jpeige@bridgedeck.org.

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