News

Wheelhouse Weekly – December 28, 2009

December 28th 2009

 

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

Volume 13 . . . . . Number 52. . . .December 28, 2009

STORIES COVERED

REMINDERS

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.


MM&P HOLIDAY CLOSING SCHEDULE

MM&P Headquarters, MM&P Plans and the MM&P Federal Credit Union will be closed on New Year’s Day, Jan. 1. MM&P port offices will be closed Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. Happy holidays and best wishes for the New Year!


U.S. PORT TRAFFIC SET TO INCREASE IN EARLY 2010

After almost three years of falling volumes, cargo arriving at U.S. container ports is expected to show three months of gains in early 2010. The forecast was made by the National Retail Federation and IHS Global Insight as part of its “Port Tracker” report. Although January 2010 is expected to continue the year-over-year decline, the negative trend should reverse itself in February. The ports included in the survey are Los Angeles/Long Beach, Oakland, Seattle and Tacoma on the West Coast; New York/New Jersey, Hampton Roads, Charleston and Savannah on the East Coast; and Houston on the Gulf Coast.


PRESIDENT OBAMA NOMINATES NEW COAST GUARD COMMANDANT

The White House and the Department of Homeland Security have announced the nomination of Vice Adm. Robert J. Papp Jr. as the next Coast Guard Commandant. Papp now serves as the operational commander for all Coast Guard missions within the eastern half of the world. His official title is commander of the Coast Guard Atlantic Area (LANTAREA) and Defense Force East. Prior to assuming command of LANTAREA, he was Coast Guard Chief of Staff in Washington. If approved by the Senate, Papp will become the 24th commandant, relieving Adm. Thad Allen.


APL SHIPS WILL COLD IRON IN OAKLAND

MM&P-contracted employer APL has announced plans to modify five of its containerships so they can use shore power rather than shipboard diesel generators when they are docked in the port of Oakland. APL made the announcement at a Dec. 18 event organized in conjunction with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. MM&P San Francisco/Oakland port agent Bill McKinley, himself a former APL captain, represented the union at the event.

APL says it will spend $11 million to allow the five ships as soon as next year to run on electric power when they call at its terminal in Oakland. To help cover the costs of making the switch, the company received $4.8 million in grant money from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. The grant will be used to electrify APL’s Global Gateway Central terminal.

Regulations that mandate cold-ironing will take effect in California in 2014. A spokesman for APL said the company will schedule modification of its other ships once work on the first five is completed. He said it will cost about $1.5 million to modify each ship.

According to the Bay Area Air Quality and Management District, on an annual basis, cold-ironing at Oakland will cut more than 1,500 pounds of particulate matter and 50,000 pounds of nitrogen oxides emissions. APL will be the first carrier and terminal operator to cold-iron vessels in Oakland.


NTSB INVESTIGATES FATAL CRASH OF COAST GUARD VESSEL AND PLEASURE BOAT

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has launched an investigation into the crash of a Coast Guard vessel and a pleasure boat during last week’s “Parade of Lights” on San Diego Bay. An eight-year-old boy who was a passenger on the pleasure boat was killed in the crash. Five other passengers were injured. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, the boy’s father told a reporter that the Coast Guard vessel was traveling at 35-45 mph, while his own boat was traveling at 3 mph or less.

Coast Guard officials, who declined official comment, said the patrol boat was in the area because of reports of a grounded vessel. A spokesman for the NTSB said investigators were waiting for the results of alcohol and drug tests administered to the five crewmembers aboard the Coast Guard patrol boat. He said investigators also planned to download electronic information from the patrol boat’s navigation system to “determine the time, track (position) and speed” of the craft when it collided with the pleasure boat.


DOZENS LOST WHEN CATTLE SHIP SINKS OFF LEBANON IN STORM

Forty people are missing and presumed dead after a cargo ship sank off the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli on Thursday, Dec. 18. The British captain of the Panamanian-flagged freighter, DANY II, was among those killed. A United Nations official said more than 80 people were on board, along with a cargo of thousands of sheep and cattle, when the ship was engulfed in a severe thunderstorm.

Thirty people were rescued, most of them citizens of Pakistan and the Philippines. Twelve bodies have been recovered. The rescue operation included nine Lebanese Navy boats, three vessels belonging to the UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon, one Italian ship and two German vessels, as well as a British helicopter and a Syrian Navy vessel. An official at the port of Tripoli said the DANY II had left Montevideo on Nov. 23 with about 10,000 sheep and almost 20,000 cattle aboard, bound for Tartus, Syria, but that bad weather had forced it to change its course toward Tripoli.


NINE MISSING AFTER FIRE ABOARD GREEK CARGO SHIP

Nine people were missing Friday after a Greek cargo ship caught fire 103 miles north of the coast of Venezuela. Four other members of the crew were slightly injured. The AEGEAN WIND was carrying a cargo of iron ore from Brazil to Houston when a blaze broke out in the mess hall. The missing crewmembers, six Filipinos and three Greeks, were all in the mess hall when the fire started. After three days of searching, a helicopter, a hydroplane and several ships sent by Venezuela were unable to locate the missing crewmembers.


DEC. 28 LAST DAY FOR PROCESSING 2009 VACATION AND PRO PAYMENTS

Monday, Dec. 28 is the last day for processing Vacation and PRO Payments for 2009. The Plan Office has received approval to close the year-end Internal Revenue Service and company reports and to process Vacation and PRO payments for 2009 no later than Monday, Dec. 28 at 4:30 EST. All requests for 2009 Vacation and PRO payments received after this date will be held until Monday, Jan. 4, 2010 for processing and payment, and will therefore be taxable in 2010. If you have any questions, contact Ken Ryan at 410-850-8617.


MAREX NEWSLETTER CONTINUES SERIES ON CARGO AND CONTAINER SECURITY PROGRAMS

The United States should take additional measures to guarantee the security of operations relating to ship transport of cargos and containers, according to a series of articles published in MarEx newsletter. The series, “A Report Card on DHS Security Policies, Standards and Programs,” is written by Jim Giermanski of the consulting firm Powers Global Holdings Inc. It examines standards and policies implemented by Congress and Customs and Border Protection, with particular attention to eight standards against which security decisions are made.

In last week’s installment, Giermanski writes that the United States needs to do more to coordinate the current “amalgam of disparate programs and models… which do not constitute a standard.” He notes that the rest of the world has developed a standard to secure international trade, ISO 28000, and that the European Union has launched a research program, Seventh Framework Program (FP7), to develop a service platform capable of continuous control of containers so as to achieve high-level chain security. “It should be noted that the United States has not been invited to participate [in FP7], nor has interest been shown by the United States in participating. Thus, the United States really follows no global or single U.S. cargo or container security standard, and its security programs have obvious gaps in them.” The series continues next week.


DRUG AND ALCOHOL TESTING COURSE AT PMI ON JAN. 21, 2010

A DOT Drug and Alcohol testing course will be conducted at the Pacific Maritime Institute (PMI) in Seattle on Thursday, Jan. 21, 2010. The class will run from 0900 to 1500. This course will satisfy the original certification and five-year renewal requirement for licensed officers who are required to administer drug and alcohol tests aboard ship. Interested members are urged to contact their local MM&P union hall to sign up.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

NOTE: No courses during the week of December 28th.

CLASS OPENINGS: Between now and the end of February 2010, seats are available in the following courses:

AB- Able Bodied Seaman: 2/8

ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 1/5

AZIPOD-KAM-3: Azipod and Kamewa Propulsion Systems: 2/1

BST – Basic Safety Training: 2/1

BRM � Bridge Resource Management: 2/8

BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 1/18

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

CMM-ADVSTB � Advanced Stability: 2/8

CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 1/18

CMM-CHS I � Advanced Cargo Operations (week 11): 01/04

CMM-CHS II – Advanced Cargo Operations (week 2): 1/11

CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information Systems: 1/25

CMM-SHMGT I – Ship Management (week 1) : 2/22

CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1):  1/25, 2/1, 2/15

CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 01/04, 1/25, 2/1, 2/22

CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 2/1

CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 2/15

CONSTB � Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 2/15

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: 1/28

ENVRO-REGS PERMIT – Environmental Regulations In The Maritime Industry / Epa General Permit For Commercial Vessels:  1/13

FSM � Fatigue, Sleep & Medications: 1/19

FF-BADV – Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting Combined: 2/1

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety Systems: 2/22

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5-Day) course: 1/18

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 1/19, 2/22

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 1/9, 2/20

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 2/15

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 01/04, 2/15

MEDIA RSP – Media Response Workshop: 1/29

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original or Renewal: 2/8

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 1/04

SEC-VCF – Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 1/25

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling: 2/15

TC/NAV – Terrestrial/Coastal Navigation: 1/11

TPIC – Tankerman Person-In-Charge: 2/8

…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 e-mail: admissions@mitags.org.


PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

Schedule of Courses – Please also see our schedule online at www.mates.org

For registration, call our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen, at (206) 838-1126

January 2010

4          Radar Renewal
11         Security Refresher
11-12   Intro to Environmental Regulations/NPDES
11-29   Terrestrial & Coastal Navigation
11-22   GMDSS
12-14   Security VCF
25-29  Medical Care Provider
25-5    Medical Person-in-Charge

February 2010

1-3       Emergency Procedures
4-5      Search & Rescue
8-12    Radar Observer Unlimited
8-12    Tankerman Person-In-Charge
22        Radar Renewal

March 2010

1          Security Refresher
2-4      Security VCF
8-12    Electronic Navigation
16-19   ARPA
15-26  GMDSS
15        Flashing Light
22        Radar Renewal
23-9    Celestial Navigation

April 2010

5-9      Tankerman Person-In-Charge
12-16   ECDIS
12-16   Medical Care Provider
12-16   Basic Stability
12-23  Medical Person-In-Charge
19-23  Basic Cargo Handling
26-30 Basic Shiphandling
26-7    GMDSS


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 12-24-2009

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
10,544.58 2,294.68 1,129.62
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
48.63
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
104.34
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
33.17
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
16.99
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
15.50
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
23.92
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.73
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
27.60
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.46
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
15.32
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
19.95
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
13.42
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
18.03
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
11.28
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
11.65
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
11.65
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
11.95
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
12.36
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.36
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
27.74
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
15.75
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
13.89
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
16.24
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.17
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
64.93
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
16.61
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
58.00
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
16.51
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
38.35
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
27.98
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
24.00
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
10.88
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
11.66
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
12.90
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
12.95
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
12.77
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
7.38
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
8.60
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.47
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
30.84
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
39.82
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
26.52





~ Reminders ~



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.

© 2009, 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.