News

Wheelhouse Weekly – December 22, 2005

December 22nd 2005


 


THE MASTERS, MATES & PILOTS’
WHEELHOUSE WEEKLYonline

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

Volume 9 . . . . . Number 51 . . . . December 22, 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.





 

HOLIDAY MESSAGE FROM DEPUTY MARAD ADMINISTRATOR

Holiday Greetings to mariners serving on US-flag ships worldwide. Special thanks to members of the Ready Reserve Force and Maritime Administration training ships serving in OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM, APF operations, and in hurricane recovery.

Peace on Earth, and to those of you who travel the Earth’s oceans and serve on the Gulf Coast: Season’s Greetings.

We honor you this season for answering the call from the armed services, and from the people of the United States, for your hard work and your unique capabilities. We thank you for your work that takes you away from your loved ones and friends, and appreciate your mission supporting the security of all of us.

We send our wishes for:
Hope as you remember your families and friends,
Joy as you share a special meal with your shipmates,
Remembrance for at least one quiet moment during the season, Good health, and a safe return and prosperity in the New Year!

In closing, I offer my thanks for the loyal service and dedication of the men and women of the American Merchant Marine this Holiday Season.

John Jamian
Deputy Maritime Administrator

 




 

HORIZON LINES ANNOUNCES HANDY AS NEW EXECUTIVE VP

Charles (Chuck) Raymond, President and Chief Executive Officer of MM&P-contracted Horizon Lines has announced that John Handy is joining Horizon Lines as Executive Vice President. Reporting to him will be John Keenan, Senior Vice President and Chief Transportation Officer, Ken Privratsky, Vice President and General Manager, Alaska, Gabriel Serra, Vice President and General Manager, Puerto Rico, and Mar Labrador in his new position as Vice President and General Manager, Hawaii/Guam.

Handy’s major responsibilities will be the continued enhancement of trade lane profitability and system service integrity, the leadership of strategic business development and the further development of the Company’s management team as the next generation of leadership. He is a retired four-star Air Force general who most recently served as Commander of USTRANSCOM, which is the single manager for air, land and sea transportation for the US Department of Defense, and the US Air Force Air Mobility Command. Handy will report directly to Raymond.

Raymond also announced that John Keenan will serve as Senior Vice President and Chief Transportation Officer where he will have primary responsibility for the acquisition and phase-in of new vessel tonnage. Mark Urbania will continue as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Brian Taylor has been promoted to Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing. Mar Labrador will be promoted to Vice President and General Manager, Hawaii/Guam. Kevin Gill will serve as Vice President, Marketing. Glen Moyer has been promoted to Vice President and General Manager-Ocean Transportation Services. He will continue to be responsible for the operation of Horizon Lines’ fleet of 16 container ships.

“I believe these promotions and realignments of management responsibilities position Horizon Lines smartly to grow and sharpen its core business, to develop new related capabilities and earnings streams, to deploy appropriate resources to expand and deepen its investor base and to plan for its emerging senior management needs in the years to come. These changes also address the personal needs of the very talented people on our senior management team.” Raymond said.


SAN FRANCISCO PILOT TRAINEE PROGRAM OPENING

The Board of Pilot Commissioners is accepting applications for the Pilot Trainee Program. Minimum requirements:
USCG License: Master, 1600 tons with unlimited radar endorsement, Experience: 2 years command on vessels over 1600 tons and/or towing vessels engaged in ship assist or towing vessels with combined GRT of 1600 tons within the last 5 years (one year’s experience must be within the last 3 years).

For details go to www.calregs.com Title 7, Sections 213 & 214. Obtain further information and applications from www.pilotcommission.org or write to Board of Pilot Commissioners, Pier 9, Suite 102, San Francisco, CA 94111. Telephone: 415-397-2253, fax 397-9463, e-mail: pilots@earthlink.net. Applications must be received by March 15. Written Examination administered at California Maritime Academy, Vallejo on May 1. Simulator Examination administered to successful candidates May 4-6.


MM&P-CONTRACTED AHL TREASURER DIES AT 57

It is with great sadness to report that MM&P-contracted AHL Shipping’s Treasurer, John Schwab, suddenly passed away this week. Schwab, who joined AHL as Assistant Treasurer in 1996, suffered a massive heart attack. He was 57 years old.


DISASTER RELIEF FUND APPROVED AS TAX EXEMPT ORGANIZATION

As the 2005 tax year comes to a close, members are reminded that the MM&P Disaster Relief Fund has officially been approved as a tax-exempt organization. The tax-exempt status means that all contributions are deductible. Since its inception in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the fund has raised over $100,000.


WEATHER DELAYS COSTLY FOR US-FLAG LAKES FLEET IN NOVEMBER

A stormy November took its toll on the movement of dry-bulk cargos on the Great Lakes in US-flag vessels. With 60 vessels idled more than 5,000 hours during the month, the major US-flag carriers moved only 9.5 million tons of dry-bulk cargo in November, a drop of 16 percent compared to a year ago. The iron ore trade suffered the greatest decline in November. Loadings fell more than 21 percent. For the year, US-flag carriage on the Great Lakes stands at 98.4 million tons, a decrease of 3.3 percent compared to the same point in 2004, but slightly ahead of the 5-year average for the January-November timeframe.


USCG ADDING ENVIRONMENTAL HARM TO MARINE CASUALTY REPORTING

The US Coast Guard is amending its regulations governing marine casualty reporting requirements by adding “significant harm to the environment” as a reportable marine casualty. The new regulations will also require certain foreign flag vessels to report marine casualties that occur in waters subject to US jurisdiction, but beyond US navigable waters, when those casualties involve material damage affecting the seaworthiness or efficiency of the vessel, or significant harm to the environment. These changes are required by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. This final rule becomes effective on January 17, 2006.


SHIP COMPANY TO PAY $10.5 MILLION FOR COVERING UP POLLUTION

MSC Ship Management, a Hong Kong-based container ship company, has agreed to plead guilty to charges that it engaged in conspiracy, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence, false statements and violated the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, the Department of Justice announced earlier this week. As part of a plea agreement, MSC Ship Management will pay $10.5 million in penalties.

According to the plea agreement, MSC Ship Management will plead guilty to charges that a specially fitted steel pipe, referred to as the “magic pipe,” was used on the MSC ELENA to circumvent required ship pollution prevention equipment and discharge oil sludge and oil contaminated waste directly overboard. Upon the discovery of this bypass equipment during a US Coast Guard inspection in Boston Harbor on May 16, 2005, senior company officials in Hong Kong directed crew members to lie to the Coast Guard. Additionally, senior ship engineers ordered that documents be destroyed and concealed.

“This is the largest fine involving deliberate pollution from a single ship in a long series of similar prosecutions that have been brought as part of a vessel pollution initiative,” said Sue Ellen Wooldridge, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “Deliberate vessel pollution is a serious and persistent problem which we will prosecute to the full extent of the law.”


LYKES NAME GONE, CP SHIPS GOING, AND SEALAND NAME TO GO

Hapag-Lloyd Container Line has announced that it will phase out the CP Ships brand name following its recent $2.3 billion acquisition of the Anglo-Canadian shipping line. The Hapag-Lloyd purchase of CP Ships makes the new venture world’s fifth-largest ocean container carrier, with a merged fleet of about 414,000 TEUs. CP Ships itself has just recently ended its multiple-brand strategy and stopped using historical names such as “Lykes”. Next February, AP Moller-Maersk will no longer use the name “Sealand” or “P&O Nedlloyd” following its takeover of the two carriers.


PORT OF LA REPORTS THAT IT IS FREE OF CONGESTION

Night cargo operations and the use of new technologies at the Port of Los Angeles helped relieve port congestion that has paralyzed the port’s system over the past few years during the peak shipping season. Port officials state that the port system has not experienced any congestion this year. Southern California ports suffered gridlock last year when container ships were delayed for up to 10 days due to congestion. Since then, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, have hired nearly 2,000 full-time dock workers.


CONGRESSMAN QUESTIONS CRUISE SHIP CRIME STATISTICS

According to one US congressman, statistics on cruise ship crime cannot be trusted and he wants to compel lines worldwide to supply correct data on theft, assaults, murders and other incidents. Christopher Shays (R-CT) held a hearing of his national Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations subcommittee last week to investigate charges that cruise lines are mishandling crime aboard and then covering up the incidents.

Shays was particularly interested in passengers who go missing aboard ship and families of several missing passengers attended the hearing. An FBI witness testified that the agency had investigated 305 cases of “crime on the high seas” during the past five years. Shays questioned “voluntary” submission of statistics and asked if lines, worldwide, could be compelled to provide mandatory and accurate crime statistics.


LIFEWORKS CAN HELP RELIEVE HOLIDAY STRESS

A note from the MM&P Plan’s EAP Provider at LifeWorks that may help all those members and their spouses, families and loved ones at home (and working!) during the holidays: Make your holidays shine this year, with help from LifeWorks.

Feeling overwhelmed by the holidays? If thoughts of shopping, cooking, family visits and travel leave you feeling stressed out, take a minute to get in touch with LifeWorks. You’ll find professional, caring consultants on the phone who can help you refocus, put things in perspective, and find new ways to make the holidays a happy time for you and your family. Call any time and you’ll get lots of ideas, advice and resources to help you handle a wide range of issues, from managing your time to managing your budget.

You can also go to www.lifeworks.com anytime to use a quick online tool, How Resilient Are You? or to read or download articles including the following:
— Blending Traditions During the Holidays
— Shopping Tips to Save Time and Money
— Enjoying the Holidays with Your Children
— The Holiday Season and Your Older Relative
— 10 Ways to Bounce Back

Make this year’s holiday season the best ever. Call LifeWorks at 877-234-5151 anytime to speak with a LifeWorks consultant. To read or download articles, visit the LifeWorks web site at www.lifeworks.com (user id: mmp; password: 5100) and click on This Month’s Feature. You can also order free materials or Email a consultant.

 


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 March 2006, seats are available in the following courses:

ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 2/13, 3/20
AZIPOD-KAM – Azipod and Kamewa Steering and Propulsion Systems: 1/24, 3/14

BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 2/13
BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 2/8
BST – Basic Safety Training: 1/30, 3/6

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-CHS I – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 2/20, 3/20
CMM-CHS II – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 2/27, 3/27
CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display and Info Systems: 1/9, 1/30, 3/20
*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, 1/23
CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 1/23, 2/13, 3/13, 3/27
CMM-SHS-ADV-II – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 1/16, 1/30, 3/20
CMM-SHMGT I – Ship Management (week 1): 1/9, 2/6, 2/27
CMM-SHMGT II – Ship Management (week 2): 3/6
CMM-ADVSTAB – Advanced Stability: 2/13
CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 1/30, 3/27
CMM-WKP – Watchkeeping: 2/20, 3/13

CONT-PLNG – Contingency Planning: 1/20, 2/10, 3/24

FF-BADV – Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 3/6

HAZ-Hazardous Materials (5-day): 1/9, 3/27

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

MEDIA-RSP – Media Response: 1/19, 2/9, 3/23
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 1/14, 2/11, 3/18
MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 1/9, 2/6, 3/13
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 1/9, 2/6, 3/13


[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
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, 3/27
ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 2/13, 3/8, 3/20

SEC-OFF-VCF – Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 1/16, 2/6, 3/20
SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 1/9, 2/20
SHS-EMR-Emergency Shiphandling: 2/20, 3/27

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.

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 12-21

 

 D O W  N A S D A Q  S & P 500
10,849.58 -33.93 for the week 2,237.03 -25.54 for the week 1,264.91 -7.83 for the week

 

Fund Name & Trading Symbol
Closing
Price
Change
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
116.79
-.99
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
34.75
-.39
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
21.67
+.05
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
17.18
-.87
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
31.67
-1.25
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.27
NC
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX)
6.16
NC
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.01
-.02
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
19.63
-.13
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
16.06
-.56
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
34.80
-3.86
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
106.84
-.61
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
19.79
-4.08
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
76.12
-.35
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX) 43.94 -1.27
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
30.33

 





~ 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.