News

Wheelhouse Weekly – December 24, 2007

December 24th 2007

 

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

Volume 11 . . . . . Number 51. . . .December 24, 2007

STORIES COVERED

Also

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.


REMINDER: MM&P CLOSED FOR HOLIDAY

All MM&P union halls, MM&P headquarters, MM&P Plans and the MM&P Federal Credit Union will be closed Dec. 24, 25 and Jan. 1. In addition, the Pacific Ports will be closed Dec. 31. Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve are longshore holidays in the Pacific. Christmas Day and New Year’s Day are MM&P-contracted holidays. We wish you a happy holiday.


BIG WIN FOR MM&P IN SUIT INVOLVING MEMBERS AT WESTAR, BRUSCO

MM&P has agreed to resolve, for over $5.2 million, a suit against the California Department of Transportation (CALTRANS) in favor of MM&P members employed by Westar Marine Towing and Brusco Tug & Barge.

The settlement resolves claims that prevailing wage laws are applicable to MM&P employees on public works projects contracted by CALTRANS and that both companies failed to pay the established prevailing wages on construction projects involving bridges in the San Francisco Bay area.

The union has been pursuing the claims, which benefit approximately 100 members, for several years, through both administrative proceedings and court hearings against CALTRANS, the California Department of Industrial Relations and both maritime companies.

MM&P reasoned that the workers on vessels who bring employees to work sites, as well as workers on barges transporting materials needed for the construction projects, should be paid under the laws applicable to construction workers on the projects. The union won a decisive ruling in the California state courts about a year ago which paved the way for the lawsuit for wages.

MM&P United Inland Group (UIG) Vice President Mike Murray seized the opportunity to commend Ray Shipway, UIG San Francisco representative, for his contributions to resolving the case. “His dedication and hard work, along with the expert guidance received from MM&P International Counsel John Singleton, were fundamental in achieving this victory for our members,” Murray said.

Singleton worked with San Francisco law firm Leonard Carter and its counsel, Emily Morton, to prosecute the claims. A private Bay area attorney, Gary Goyette, also represented some members on the wage collection portion of the litigation. 
“Our greatest thanks to our attorneys Eleanor Morton and Beth Ross for their amazing work,” Shipway said. He also singled out for special recognition MM&P UIG members Jack Hutchinson, Scott Adams, Zane Hogan and Dan Deforge. “Without their help, patience and tenacity, the original writ, forcing the court to address the issue of prevailing wage for all our members, would not have happened,” Shipway said.


HORIZON LINES RETAINS RIGHT TO APPLY TONNAGE TAX IN PUERTO RICO TRADE

With strong support from MM&P and MIRAID, Horizon Lines has succeeded in its bid to retain the right to apply the tonnage tax on its Puerto Rico trade. The news came at the last minute before the congressional holiday recess, when legislators removed language from the Technical Corrections Act that would have foreclosed that option to Horizon Lines and other domestic carriers. In an official statement, Horizon Lines said it would now be free to devote its attention to expanding and enhancing various aspects of its U.S.-flag service, including the development of short sea shipping initiatives along with the coast. 


YEAR-END FUNDING MEASURE SUPPORTS MARITIME SECURITY PROGRAM

The omnibus legislation to fund federal programs in fiscal year 2008 that was passed by Congress and signed by the President immediately prior to the congressional Christmas recess contains full funding for the Maritime Security Program (MSP). As authorized by Congress, the program requires $156 million to fully support the 60-ship MSP fleet in fiscal year 2008. This is the amount contained in the funding bill and ensures that each vessel participating in MSP will be eligible to receive the $2.6 million necessary to help offset the cost of doing business under the U.S.-flag resulting from U.S.-government imposed rules, regulations and tax obligations.

The Maritime Security Program and its maritime security fleet have played a critical role in support of America’s military and defense-related operations throughout the world, including Operation Iraqi Freedom and the War on Terror.

“It has become increasingly apparent that fully funding and implementing the Maritime Security Program is one of the best ways our nation has of truly supporting our troops overseas,” said MM&P International President Tim Brown. “Without this program, and without the U.S.-flag vessels and their U.S. citizen crews, American troops would be totally dependent on foreign-flag vessels and foreign crews to bring them the supplies, equipment and material they need. This would put American troops at risk and threaten their ability to protect and advance our nation’s interests.”


MORE TWIC ENROLLMENT CENTERS OPEN; MM&P MEMBER OFFERS TIPS ABOUT PRE-ENROLLING ONLINE

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced that enrollment centers for the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) will open as follows:  Dec. 27–Memphis, New York/New Jersey, Wilmington; Dec. 28—Buffalo, Duluth-Superior, Jacksonville, New Orleans; Jan. 3 — Hilo; Jan. 4 – New York/New Jersey-South Hackensack; Jan. 16–Huntington, International Falls, Morehead City, Ontonagon.
TSA has been recommending that mariners pre-enroll by logging on to www.tsa.gov. But an MM&P member has contacted the union to say that the main site did not have any direct links for merchant mariners or for the TWIC card. After several searches, he found a link that takes applicants directly to the pre-enrollment site. Below, he shares a step-by-step description of the process. 

  1. Log on to www.tsa.gov/twic.
  2. Click on “Pre-enrollment.”
  3. Click on “Apply for a TWIC,” or “Register.”
  4. Fill out form with personal information. 
  5. Create a user ID and password. (Tip: Read password rules and follow instructions carefully.)
  6. Complete the pre-enrollment form and print out the receipt.  (REMEMBER: Bring the receipt, which includes your name and a bar code, to the enrollment center.)
  7. A welcome page with your name appears, along with instructions on how to set up an appointment.
  8. Click on “Find an Enrollment Center.” Fill out your address, then click “find.”
  9. A list of the nearest enrollment center sites will pop up, along with their addresses. Select a site. Click on “Address” for directions.   
  10. A one week-calendar will appear, with highlights indicating appointment times available between 7:30 a.m. and 5:10 p.m. Select date and time. (Appointments can only be made online or in-person. There are no phone numbers listed for any of the enrollment centers.)
  11. The next screen summarizes appointment information. Click on “Make Appointment” to confirm.
  12. The Appointment Confirmation Card pops up. Print this document and bring it to the enrollment center. 
  13. For more information, click on, “What to Bring to the Enrollment Center.”



CONGRESS, WHITE HOUSE, PUSH SHORT SEA SHIPPING

Omnibus energy legislation passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bush Dec. 19   contains unprecedented incentives for the development of a short sea shipping marine highway system. The short sea shipping provisions, strongly supported by MM&P, MIRAID and others in our industry, would direct the Secretary of Transportation to “designate short sea transportation routes as extensions of surface transportation systems to focus public and private efforts to use the waterways to relieve landside congestion along coastal corridors.” 
Enactment of the measure is the first time that the federal government has officially recognized the importance of a short sea shipping network and has taken action to achieve benefits from the use of U.S.-flag, U.S.-built vessels to operate along the coasts of the United States. 
Equally important, the legislation gives American companies the opportunity to use the money they had deposited into a Capital Construction Fund (CCF) to build and rebuild vessels in the United States for short sea shipping operations. Prior to enactment of this legislation, CCF money could only be used to build vessels for the foreign trades, not for the domestic trades. This change further demonstrates the federal government’s commitment to short sea shipping and, most importantly, gives American shipping companies that have Capital Construction Funds, such as Horizon Lines, the opportunity to use these funds to build vessels for the domestic trades.

Responding to enactment of the legislation, MM&P International President Tim Brown praised congressional sponsors of the short sea shipping provisions, including: Congressman Jim Oberstar, chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee; Congressman Elijah Cummings, chairman of the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee; and Congressman Steve LaTourette, ranking Republican on the Coast Guard Subcommittee. “These representatives and their colleagues in the House of Representatives and Senate deserve our thanks for acting decisively to promote the development of a new U.S.-flag industry that will provide much-needed work for American shipyards and jobs for American mariners and longshoremen,” Brown said.


SENATORS WEIGH RISK OF SPILLS FROM NON-TANK VESSELS

The Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee heard testimony Dec. 18 on the risk of oil spills from non-tank vessels.  The hearing was called to address concerns over the potential for large spills following the COSCO BUSAN incident.

Witnesses at the hearing included USCG Commandant Adm. Thad Allen.  The subcommittee focused on raising the limits of liability for spills, the slow pace of USCG rulemakings, and the USCG’s authority to declare emergencies and control shipping.

Sens. Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein have introduced two pieces of legislation they say will reduce the risk of spills. The Maritime Emergency Prevention Act aims to improve maritime safety by giving USCG’s VTS operators the authority to order ships to change course and speed and requiring pilots to carry laptop navigation systems. The Oil Spill Accountability Act would raise the limits of liability for non-tank vessels.

MM&P has been closely monitoring legislators’ work on these issues and will continue to keep readers informed.



MARITIME INDUSTRY URGES CONGRESS TO SUPPORT NATIONAL LAW REGULATING BALLAST WATER DISCHARGE

Maritime unions, labor leaders, waterway operators and shipping companies are urging Congress to develop national standards for treating ballast water so ships will not be subject to various discharge requirements imposed by individual states. In a letter to Congress, an alliance of U.S. and international shipping organizations called for passage of the Ballast Water Management Act of 2007. The law is aimed at preventing unintentional transportation of invasive marine species and would set a national treatment technology standard.

MM&P, member companies and other seafaring unions belong to the Ballast Water Industry Coalition, a proponent of the legislation. 

“The United States needs a single standard for vessels to meet so they can install the necessary treatment technology and know that it will be acceptable in whatever U.S. port they call,” the letter states. Regulating ballast water under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDS), a mechanism under the Clean Water Act, will adversely impact international trade and result in ports being dropped from vessel schedules. The letter also said subjecting ships to different permit requirements would discourage companies from developing ballast water treatment technologies.

Finally, the letter states, regulating ballast water discharge through the Clean Water Act is an approach which is incompatible with the “emerging international legal regime regulating ballast water.”  The legislation being proposed by the Coalition is consistent with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) treaty, the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments. 

Michigan recently adopted a law requiring oceangoing vessels operating in Michigan ports to get a state permit to ensure they avoid ballast discharges or that they properly treat ballast water before it is discharged. Shipping companies tried to block the Michigan law. On Aug. 15, the United States District Court dismissed the suit, upholding the constitutionality of state law. The following month, Michigan’s Attorney General Mike Cox, along with counterparts in five other states, wrote a letter urging the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation to oppose the bill, claiming that its passage would prevent states from imposing tougher ballast water treatment requirements which would endanger the Great Lakes natural resources.



NEW OPTICAL BENEFIT CYCLE BEGINS

A new two-year optical benefit cycle begins Jan. 1. EyeMed, which has acquired Cole Vision, will become the provider of the MM&P Plan’s vision benefits starting the same day. EyeMed has access to a larger network of vision benefit providers, including Sears, JC Penney, Target and  most Pearle Vision outlets. The optical program otherwise remains the same. You may still go to a doctor or optical provider of your choice. If you go to a participating EyeMed provider and remain within the contract allowances, you may not have to pay anything out of pocket and EyeMed will bill the Plan directly. For more information, visit their web site at www.enrollwitheyemed.com/select


PRESCRIPTION DRUG BENEFIT UPDATE

As a reminder, the Health & Benefit Plan’s Prescription Benefit Manager, PharmaCare, will changes its name Jan. 1 to Caremark. If you call after Jan. 1, their representatives will identify themselves on the phone as employees of Caremark. You can continue to use your current Plan-issued ID card along with the same phone numbers and web site www.pharmacare.com/members. Participants will receive a letter from PharmaCare explaining the name change this week.


IRAP PLAN AMENDMENT TO THE 401(K) ARRANGEMENT

In September, at their most recent meeting, the IRAP Trustees approved the following amendment in principle to the 401(k) arrangement. Effective Oct. 1, 2007, a former IRAP participant in the 401(k) arrangement shall be treated as “retired,” and may apply for his/her benefit even though he/she might be still employed afloat in the maritime industry, as long as: the employment is not “covered employment” under the IRAP (i.e., the company they are currently working for is not participating in the IRAP), and he or she has not yet attained age 59 ½; and he or she has had a bona fide severance from employment of not less than 90 days from all employers participating in the IRAP. Please contact Ken Ryan at MM&P Plans if you have any questions. 


DRUG AND ALCOHOL TESTING CLASS AT MITAGS IN JANUARY AND AT PMI IN JANUARY AND FEBRUARY

“MED-DOT” classes will be held at MITAGS on Jan. 12 and on Feb. 16, and at the Pacific Maritime Institute (PMI) in Seattle on Jan. 9. The course fulfills the federal requirements for initial training and “refresher” training for drug and alcohol testing aboard ship. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations require that refresher training be completed every five years. Members interested in taking the PMI course should contact the Seattle Hall at (206) 441-8700, or by e-ail:kmoran@bridgedeck.org. Members interested in the MITAGS course should contact the MITAGS Admissions Office at 866-656-5568 or by e-mail: admissions@mitags.org.


AFTER JAN. 1, 2008, AN EXTRA POINT PER DAY FOR APPLICANTS WORKING ON T-AGS OCEANOGRAPHIC VESSELS

MM&P is offering an extra point per day to applicants who work on the T-AGS oceanographic vessels after Jan. 1. If you are interested in working on the T-AGS vessels, please contact MM&P Atlantic Ports Vice President Rich May at rmay@bridgedeck.org or 201-963-1900.

The jobs can be taken on a PRO card. If mariners are on vacation, they can come back, leaving banked vacation days, and take the jobs.

To facilitate the process, Horizon Lines has provided the union with the SF-86 form, which can serve as a template to help gather one’s personal information in preparation for filling out the final security application online. The form is being distributed to all ports and will be posted on www.bridgedeck.org. Access to the Horizon Lines E-QIP program is provided by the company once mariners have actually been assigned to a vessel.


MARK YOUR CALENDAR: MM&P 2008 CONVENTION DATES ANNOUNCED

The 82nd Convention of the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots will be held June 23-25 in Linthicum Heights, Md. The convention will kick off at 1000 on June 23. Only members in good standing for two continuous years in payment of their union dues are eligible to run for elected office. The two-year period for good-standing as far as nominations is April 1, 2006, through March 31, 2008. Members in good standing as of June 30, 2008, are eligible to vote.


IONIA MANAGEMENT FINED $4.9 MILLION IN OIL DUMPING CASE

A Greek tanker manager, Ionia, has been fined $4.9 million for the falsification of records in an overboard dumping case. The company was found guilty of concealing waste oil dumping from the MT KRITON. The court assigned a special master to oversee the company’s record keeping. Under the terms of the sentence, vessels owned by Ionia will not be allowed into American ports without special monitoring equipment on board.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

CLASS OPENINGS: Between now and March 3, 2008, seats are available in the following courses:

AIS ECDIS 3 for Pilots � Automatic Identification System and Electronic Chart Display Information System (3 day) for Pilots: 1/28
ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 1/14

BRM � Bridge Resource Management: 2/18
BRMP � Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 1/31
BST � Basic Safety Training: 2/4

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVWX � Advanced Meteorology: 1/21
CMM-CHS I � Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 2/4
CMM-CHS II � Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 2/11
CMM-MPP � Marine Propulsion Plants: 2/18
CMM-SHS-ADV-I-Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 1/7, 1/21, 2/4, 2/25
CMM-SHS-ADV-II-Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 1/28, 2/11
CMM-SHMGT-I � Ship Management (week 1): 2/25
CMM-SHMGT-II� Ship Management (week 2): 3/3
CMM-VPEN � Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 1/14

CONT PLNG � Contingency Planning Workshop: 1/25

FF-BADV � Combined Basic & Advanced Fire Fighting: 2/4

HAZ � Hazardous Materials (5 day) Course: 1/7

LEG � Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 1/30

MED-PIC � Medical Person-In-Charge: 1/7, 2/11
MED-PRO � Medical Care Provider: 1/7, 2/11
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 1/12, 2/16
MEDIA RSP � Media Response: 1/24

[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-CBRD-1 � CBRD Orientation: 1/26
MSC-DC � Damage Control: 1/24

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 1/14, 2/18

SEC-VCF � Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 1/21
SHS-BAS � Basic Shiphandling: 2/18
SHS-ESH- BRMP � Emergency Shiphandling & Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 1/28

TPIC – Tankerman Person-In-Charge Dangerous Liquids: 2/11

�and 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 Email: admissions@mitags.org.


PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

Winter 2008

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.

FOR REGISTRATION CALL JENNIFER FOWLER: 206 838-1126

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

January 2008
7-11ENAV
7-11STB BAS
7-11TPIC
7-11BST
8-11ARPA
8-11LFBT
14-18AB
14-18WX BAS
14-18SHS BAS
14-25GMDSS
14-1TCNAV
21-1WKP
22ROR
28-1MED PRO
28-2GMDSS
28-8MED PIC
28-1FF ADV
28-29FF BAS

February 2008
4-8 ROR
4-8 BST
4-8 AB
11-15TPIC
12-15LFBT
11ROR
11-12SAR
11-15TPIC
12-15ARPA
12-15LFBT
13-15EP
16FL
18-22ENAV
18-22MED PRO
18-29MED PIC
18-22SHS BAS
25ROR
25-29ARPA
25-29ECDIS
25-7CNAV

March 2008
3-7BST
3-14GMDSS
4-7LFBT
10-11SAR
10-12SEC VCF
10-14AB
12-14EP
17-21TPIC
17-28SHS ADV
17-28GMDSS
24-28ECDIS
24-28FF ADV
24-4GMDSS
27-28FF BAS

April 2008
7          ROR
7-11     STB BAS
7-11     SHS EMR
7-11     BST
8-11     ARPA
14-18  CHS BAS
14-18  SHS ADV
21-25  ROP
22-25  AFF
28-5/2 WX BAS
28-5/2 SHS BAS
28-5/16 TCNAV

May 2008
5-9       MED PRO
5-9       SHS EMR
8-9       BFF
12-15   SHS BAS
12-16   ECDIS
12-16   BST
12-16   ROP
12-15   TPIC
19-23   WKP BAS
19-23   ROP
26        ROR
27         FL
27-30  ARPA
27-29  AFF
27-31  WKP BAS/BRM
28-30 CHS BAS

June 2008
2          FL
2-20    TCNAV/CO
2-6      ROP
2-6      SHS ASSESS
3-5      AFF
9         ROR
9-13    SHS ASSESS
9-13    BST
9-20    GMDSS
10        FL
10-13  ARPA
16-20  MED PRO
16-20  SHS BAS
16-20  BST
16-27  MED PIC
23-25  SEC VCF
23-27  ROP
23-27  BAFF

For registration call Jennifer Fowler 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 12-21-2007

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
13,450.655 2,691.99 1,484.46
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
68.00
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
136.59
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
40.48
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
24.54
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
19.75
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
31.61
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.32
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
33.57
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.89
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
17.39
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
25.59
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
14.44
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
21.68
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
12.38
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
13.42
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
14.08
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
14.99
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
15.48
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.10
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
35.76
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
20.87
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
15.50
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
27.41
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.10
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
94.05
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
19.05
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
75.81
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
23.17
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
44.52
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
39.36
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
29.99
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.58
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
12.87
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
15.31
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
16.36
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
17.00
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
10.06
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
11.71
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.27
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
38.76
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
52.46
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
32.32






~ 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:

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.

© 2007, 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.

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