News

Wheelhouse Weekly – December 15, 2008

December 15th 2008

 

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

Volume 12 . . . . . Number 50. . . .December 15, 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.


PENDING LEGISLATION AND THE MM&P PENSION PLAN: A NOTE FROM THE MM&P INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT

As many of you may have already heard, on Dec. 11, the U.S. Senate passed a bill that provides temporary relief from the requirements of the Pension Protection Act (PPA), including a provision that allows pension plan trustees to “freeze on green” for one year. The same measure had earlier been passed by the House. President Bush is expected to sign the bill when it reaches his desk. What this means is that because the MM&P Pension Plan was certified by the Plan’s actuaries to be in the “green zone” for 2008, the Plan may also be certified to be in the “green zone” in the certification due by March 31, 2009.  It is anticipated that the new Congress, when it convenes in January, will reexamine the PPA’s requirements in light of this year’s crisis in world financial markets. From a practical standpoint, the signing of this legislation would mean that the MM&P Plan would not have to alter the program of benefits currently provided for in the Plan. Specifically, “buy-out” would still be allowed. We remain hopeful that the stock and bond markets will improve and we continue to closely monitor the condition of the Plan. The full text of the bill, HR 7327, has been posted on www.bridgedeck.org under “What’s New.”


DEC. 29 LAST DAY FOR PROCESSING VACATION AND PRO PAYMENTS FOR 2008

The Plan Office has received approval from the Offshore Advisory Committee (OAC) to close the year-end Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and company reports and to process Vacation and PRO payments for 2008 no later than Monday, Dec. 29 at 4:30 EST. All requests for 2008 Vacation and PRO payments received after this date will be held until Friday, Jan. 2, 2009 for processing and payment, and will therefore be taxable in 2009. If you have any questions, contact Ken Ryan at 410-850-8617.


NEW SAN FRANCISCO FERRY CHRISTENED

On Friday, the San Francisco Bay Area Water Emergency Transportation Authority (WETA) held a christening ceremony for GEMINI, the first of a new fleet of Blue and Gold ferries which will be crewed by licensed deck officers who belong to MM&P’s United Inland Group (UIG). The vessel was christened in the Port of San Francisco in the presence of MM&P UIG Vice President Mike Murray and San Francisco Representative Ray Shipway, as well as government officials including Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Metropolitan Transportation Commission Chairman Bill Dodd, California Governor’s Office of Homeland Security Director Michael Bettenhausen and WETA Board President Charlene Haught Johnson.

The 149-passenger GEMINI sets a new national emission standard: its exhaust is 85 percent cleaner than EPA emission standards for Tier II (2007) marine engines and ten times cleaner than that of existing Bay Area ferries. Significant air emissions reductions are achieved by incorporating selective catalytic reduction and solar (renewable energy) technology and by using a blend of biodiesel and ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel. Other innovative additions aimed at protecting bay and marine life include: low wake, low wash hulls and sonar for avoiding whale strikes and floating debris.

WETA is expecting delivery of its next ferry, PISCES, in March 2009. In late 2009, two other vessels are scheduled for delivery. WETA’s four new vessels will launch the South San Francisco-Oakland service in late 2010 and/or the Berkeley/Albany to San Francisco route. Environmental and design studies are underway for new ferry routes to Berkeley, Redwood City, Hercules, Richmond, Antioch and Martinez.


INTERNATIONAL PROTEST AFTER HEBEI SPIRIT OFFICERS CONVICTED

A South Korean court has sentenced the master and chief officer of the HEBEI SPIRIT, a crude carrier that was struck last year by a runaway barge, to jail terms and hefty fines. Captain Jasprit Chawla was sentenced to 18 months and Chief Officer Syam Chetan was sentenced to eight months for alleged criminal negligence in a decision that the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) has branded “incomprehensibly vindictive.” The court found that the master did not do enough to prevent the oil spill, including failing to go full astern to drag the anchor, while the chief officer was found to have been “insufficiently vigilant.” Further, the court found that the ships’ officers should have listed the vessel by 10 degrees to prevent spillage. Both were also criticized for use of inert gas, which the court said increased spillage. In addition, the officers and the shipowner were fined.

The two men have been refused permission to leave Korea since the December 2007 incident, despite an international campaign of support and despite their having been cleared of all charges of breaking Korea’s anti-pollution laws when their anchored ship was hit by a Samsung Heavy Industries-owned barge.

“This is not justice,” said ITF Maritime Coordinator Stephen Cotton. “What we have seen today is scapegoating, criminalization and a refusal to consider the wider body of evidence that calls into question the propriety of the court.” Cotton said the decision will have an impact on all professional mariners. He concluded: “The one thing we can promise today is that this isn’t over. The campaign to free these men will go on growing until the justice that was so glaringly absent in this court today is done.”


HORIZON LINES WARNS EMPLOYEES OF POSSIBLE LOSS OF PERSONAL DATA

Horizon Lines has contacted a number of employees, including some MM&P members who sail on Horizon Lines vessels, to warn that some of their personal information, including Social Security numbers, may have inadvertently been “lost” by Federal Express during transfer of a Horizon Lines computer server. Horizon Lines advises employees to monitor their credit reports and consider taking other steps to guard against identity fraud while FedEx tries to locate the missing server. The entire letter from Horizon Lines to affected employees has been posted in the “What’s New” section of www.bridgedeck.org. The numbers of the credit bureaus, which employees may want to contact to put a temporary or permanent “freeze” on the release of their credit information, are included in the letter. (Please note that the phone number for the Experian credit bureau is: 1-888-397-3742. The phone number listed in the official Horizon Lines letter on the MM&P site is missing the last digit.) The phone numbers of the other two credit bureaus are: Equifax (1-800-525-6285) and TransUnion (1-800-680-7289).


PIRATES ATTACK DUTCH CONTAINER SHIP

Eight pirates in speed boats attacked a Dutch container ship 450 nautical miles east of Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, last weekend. The pirates fired semi-automatic weapons and a grenade from a rocket-propelled launcher. Although the vessel caught fire, it was able to escape after the captain took evasive action. The most recent attack took place as the European Union prepared to launch its own naval patrol, with six warships and three surveillance planes, near the Horn of Africa. Following last Saturday’s attack, the International Maritime Bureau issued an alert to all ships off the coast of Tanzania to keep a strict anti-piracy watch.


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, 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.


JOB OPENINGS FOR MM&P MEMBERS ON THE GREAT LAKES

There are job openings on the Great Lakes for MM&P members. Our contracted employers are seeking engineers and licensed mates with pilotage. Retirees are also encouraged to apply. The rules of the MM&P Pension Plan allow pensioners to accept without penalty employment–other than Covered Employment–aboard vessels covered by collective bargaining agreements with MM&P membership groups, on condition that the employment is first approved by MM&P. Interested parties should call 216-776-1667 or e-mail cmalue@bridgedeck.org.


UPDATED 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

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.

Port Everglades: Tuesday, Dec. 16, 11:00.

PACIFIC PORTS: All MM&P Pacific Port parties are being held together with the members of MEBA.
Seattle: Friday, Dec. 19 at 12:30


INTERNATIONAL MARITIME ORGANIZATION COMMENDS HORIZON FALCON

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has issued a certificate commending the officers and crew of the containership HORIZON FALCON for heroism. The vessel and its crew were nominated by the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), for skill, perseverance and courage in saving two survivors from the bulk carrier HAI TONG NO. 7 in July of 2007.


CONTAINER CAPACITY CONTINUES TO DROP

As a result of the world economic crisis, every week since August, ocean container carriers have cut capacity on the three main east-west liner trade routes by 6.7 percent, or 61,000 TEUs, according to the “Journal of Commerce.” The magazine quotes statistics provided by a French consulting firm, AXS Alphaliner, that show that capacity on the routes linking Asia, Europe and North America fell from 916,000 TEUs a week to 855,000 TEUs a week in the four months ending Dec. 1. The Far East- Europe-Mediterranean trade saw the biggest drop, according to the author of the article, Bruce Barnard. Weekly capacity in the Far East-Europe-Mediterranean trade was down nine per cent, from 418,000 TEUs to 380,000 TEUs. 


2008 MM&P ELECTION VOTE TALLY

Detailed results for the 2008 MM&P election appear below.

International President: 1,326 Timothy A. Brown; 380 Fred H. Schick

International Secretary-Treasurer: Glen P. Banks (1,473)
Vice President – Atlantic Ports: Richard W. May (993)
Vice President – Gulf Ports: Robert H. Groh (961)
Vice President – Pacific Ports Donald J. Marcus (1,008)
Vice President – Pilotage: George A. Quick (209)
Vice President United Inland Membership Group: C. Michael Murray 210; David W. Lawton 163

Offshore Membership Group Delegates
844 Glen M. Paine
790 Richard M. Plant
655 David H. Boatner
651 Peter H. Bailey
641 Peter S. Smith
619 John P. Kelley
611 William D. Good Jr.
609 William C. Mack
608 Thomas D. McDorr
598 Paul F. McQuarrie
598 Lawrence T. Lyons
594 Michael K. Welch
588 Steven E. Werse
584 D. Scott Putty
557 Michael F. Cotting
550 Michael J. McCormick
547 Paul T. Schulman
515 Thomas A. Delamater
349 Fred H. Schick
346 Kevin P. O`Halloran
265 Robert C. McCarthy
251 Kris J. Karandy
232 Eugene A. Spaulding

Offshore Membership Group Alternate Delegates
671 Kenneth T. Ryan
600 Michael J. Rodriguez
597 George M. Darley
541 D. Wayne Farthing
528 James P. Brennan
527 Thomas P. Sullivan
527 James K. Boak IV
523 John “Jake” O`Boyle, Jr.
516 Kenneth J. Halsall
514 Peter W. Mitchell
506 Donald F. Josberger
480 Robert C. Beauregard
479 Ted E. Bernhard
475 Thomas A. Bagan

At Large – Convention Delegate: Brian H. Hope (180)
East Coast Regional Representative: Timothy Ferrie (187)
East Coast Alternate Convention Delegate: Peter G. Rooss (184)
Gulf Coast Regional Representative:  Richard D. Moore (177)
Gulf Coast Alternate Convention Delegate Ellen K. Werner (178)
West Coast Regional Representative: Kenneth “Kip” Carlson, Jr. (184)
West Coast Alternate Convention Delegate: Paul D. Amos (182)

United Inland Membership Group Delegates
155 Darrell R. Kimmerly
121 Raymond W. Shipway
103 Michael A. Santini
91 Charles W. Malue
89 Kenneth J. Grieser
88 M. Scott Macaulay
82 Ronald L. Bressette, Jr.
80 Eduardo E. Iglesias
73 Scott E. Adams
73 Michael E. Cahill
68 Bruce H. Cornwall
58 James A. Mackrow
55 Joseph G. Heaney


DID YOU SERVE ON THE SS TRANSGLOBE?

The SS TRANSGLOBE, a vessel manned by MM&P, MEBA and the SIU, is being inducted into the National Maritime Hall of Fame. The vessel and its crew will be honored at a luncheon at the American Merchant Marine Museum on Jan. 31. If you served on the ship and would like to attend the ceremony, please contact the MM&P Communications Department at 410-850-8700 ext. 27 or by sending an e-mail to lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org.

The vessel had a singular and renowned history in both World War II and the Vietnam War. Originally designed for Lykes Brothers Steamship Company, she was taken over by the Maritime Commission and modified at Sun SB &DD, in Chester, Pa., as a C4-S-B2 hospital transport. After her World War II service, she was put in lay-up circa 1946. In 1960, she was taken out of lay-up, sold to Globe Waterways Inc., and converted into a roll-on roll off vessel. On July 18, 1962, she began a new career under charter to the government carrying military cargo between the Brooklyn Army Base and Bremerhaven.
On Feb. 12, 1966, she departed New York under reassignment to Vietnam, where she was placed on “shuttle- service” between Naha, Danang and Saigon. Her Vietnam service continued until 1972. She became the most decorated of all U.S. merchant vessels during the Viet Nam Conflict.

On Oct. 27, 1968,  Maj. General Horner, CG 2ND Logistics Command presented the vessel’s master with a plaque depicting Four Battle Stars and the Purple Heart with Three Clusters acknowledging service under fire on four occasions and the loss of a crewmember. Her twice monthly presence on the Saigon River, with flak-jacketed crew, sandbagged bridge and engine room console, armed marines at bow and stern, swift boats alongside and helicopters overhead, made her a most desirable target for the Viet Cong. During the attack that resulted in the critical injury and subsequent death of a crewmember, a hair-raising helicopter rescue was made from the vessel’s hydraulic stern cargo ramp, lowered parallel to the water as the vessel continued along the river at dead slow ahead. During her six years of continuous service, she was never off-hire and never failed to meet her schedule. She typically delivered to Saigon and Danang upwards of 130 semitrailers, tanks, half tracks, and other military vehicles loaded in Naha, and returned fully loaded with damaged military vehicles for repair. Her record for cargo delivery was unsurpassed by any vessel in the Vietnam Conflict, just as her WWII record was unsurpassed for the numbers of troops, repatriated prisoners and passengers carried.


TWIC COUNTDOWN: 121 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).


USCG ISSUES GUIDE TO NEW MEDICAL NVIC

The Coast Guard has released a new publication, “A Mariner’s Guide to NVIC 04-08, Medical and Physical Evaluation Guidelines for Merchant Mariner Credentials.” The publication contains a list of frequently asked questions, such as, “Why does it take so long for medical review?” And “What is the appeal process if I disagree with the decision?” The guide is posted online at http://www.uscg.mil/nmc/Whats_new_to_NMC/Guide%20to%20Medical%20NVIC%2004-08.pdf


COAST GUARD SETS 2009 MINIMUM RANDOM DRUG TESTING RATE AT 50 PERCENT

The Coast Guard has set the calendar year 2009 minimum random drug testing rate at 50 percent of covered crewmembers. The minimum random drug testing rate is effective Jan. 1 through Dec. 31.


CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES IN SUIT OVER QUEEN MARY II PROPULSION SYSTEM

Carnival Cruise Lines has sued Rolls Royce over claims that the company supplied a defective propulsion system for Queen Mary II. The lawsuit was filed in Miami Federal Court. Carnival, and the ship’s operator Cunard Line contend Rolls Royce’s Mermaid pod electric motors, which drive the propellers, were experimental and not ready for commercial use. Carnival is requesting a jury trial and more than $100 million in damages. Rolls-Royce denies the claims and says it will make its case in court.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

CLASS OPENINGS: Between now and the end of March, 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): 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, 3/23
CMM-SHS-ADV-I I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 1/12
CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 3/9
CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 3/23

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: 2/10

MEDIA RSP – Media Response: 2/27
MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 1/5, 2/2, 3/2
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 1/5, 2/2, 3/2
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 1/10, 2/7, 2/26, 3/7

[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-CBRD-1 � CBRD Orientation: 2/25, 3/27
MSC-DC � Damage Control: 2/23
MSC-SMA � Small Arms Training: 3/23

[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-ENAV � Electronic Navigation: 3/9
OICNW-EP � Emergency Procedures: 1/21
OICNW-SAR � Search and Recue: 1/18
OICNW-TCNAV/CO � Terrestrial and Coastal Navigation / Compasses: 1/12
OICNW-WX BAS � Basic Meteorology: 3/23

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, 3/27
SHS-BAS � Basic Shiphandling: 1/26, 2/23
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
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 12-12-2008

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
8,629.68 1,540.72 879.73
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
41.31
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
81.51
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
22.99
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
12.98
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
11.02
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
18.84
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.53
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
19.70
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
3.92
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
13.16
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
15.76
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
12.16
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
14.95
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
9.86
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
9.63
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
9.28
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
9.22
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
9.53
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.02
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
21.23
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
13.33
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
10.58
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
12.69
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
8.95
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
43.51
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
12.33
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
37.59
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
12.86
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
25.71
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
20.21
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
15.08
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
9.46
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
10.20
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
10.40
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
10.00
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
9.62
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
5.49
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
6.31
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
8.97
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
21.97
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
31.27
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
18.82





~ 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.

© 2008, International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots. All the material contained in this publication is protected by copyright. For permission to reprint text from the Weekly, contact the MM&P Communications Department: lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org. For changes of address, contact Lisa Rosenthal at lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org.