News

Wheelhouse Weekly – February 02, 2009

February 2nd 2009

 

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

Volume 13 . . . . . Number 5. . . .February 2, 2009

STORIES COVERED

REMINDERS

T-AGS Oceanographic Survey Ships Info

Required Coursework

Security Clearances

MSC Physicals

MM&P FCU News

MM&P Health & Benefit Plan News

Meet Our New Prescription Benefit Manager, PHARMACARE

Notice to MM&P Health & Benefit Plan Participants

WWII USCG Veterans Outreach

Company Gives Bucks Back for buying Safe Shoes

Website Offers Union-Made Goods and Services



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


IS YOUR MEDICAL EVALUATION CAUGHT IN THE COAST GUARD BOTTLENECK?

The Coast Guard last month reported a backlog of over 4,000 medical evaluations at its National Maritime Center (NMC) in Martinsburg, W.Va. As reported in the Jan. 26, Wheelhouse Weekly, the time it takes NMC to process mariners’ medical evaluations has more than doubled—from fewer than 40 days to 89 days—since the Coast Guard introduced centralized medical vetting procedures in the second half of 2008.

Is your medical evaluation one of the thousands awaiting action at the National Maritime Center? If so, we want to know about it so we can take your concerns to Congress. Please immediately send an e-mail to communications@bridgedeck.org that specifies:

— Your name, address, e-mail and phone number;
— Number of years you have been a merchant mariner;
— License you sail under;
— Date you sent your application for upgrade or renewal to the Coast Guard;
— How long before your license was scheduled to expire you started the renewal process;
— Dates and nature of follow-up correspondence with the Coast Guard, including requests by NMC that you undergo additional medical tests;
— Any details about how long it took you to complete the additional medical tests, in particular given the need to schedule them during periods when you were not at sea.

MM&P supports legislation that was introduced in the last session of Congress by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) which would allow doctors on a designated list of qualified medical examiners to perform physical exams and certify mariners as being fit for duty. It is hoped that the legislation will be reintroduced this year and acted on swiftly by Congress. You can help by sharing your experiences with MM&P’s friends in Congress, who are aware that delays in license renewals and upgrades can compromise your ability to work and support your family.


OVER 5 PERCENT OF WORLD CONTAINERSHIP CAPACITY NOW IDLE

The Journal of Commerce reported last week that idled ocean container capacity was 675,000 TEUs at the end of January, with 255 ships laid up. The number of idled vessels, up from 210 mid-month, represents 5.5 percent of the world container shipping fleet by capacity. The data was calculated by AXS-Alphaliner, a French maritime consulting firm.


MATSON CUTTING 60 NON-UNION JOBS

Matson Navigation Co. has announced plans to reduce its non-union workforce by about 60 positions. The company said the cuts are part of its ongoing cost-reduction drive, undertaken in response to an expected continued slowdown in economic activity. “Over the past several years, Matson has been diligently implementing cost-reduction measures across the board, without undercutting the reliability of its service,” said a spokesman for the company in an official statement. Matson’s parent company, Alexander & Baldwin, announced that as part of the cost savings strategy, there would be no salary increases at some of its business units, “along with continued reductions in general and administrative expenses, and reductions in incentive award targets, profit sharing targets and workforce levels.”


PRESIDENT OBAMA APPOINTS NEW, LABOR-FRIENDLY NLRB CHAIR

Unions are praising President Obama’s nomination of Wilma Liebman as the next chairwoman of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). During eight years of service as a member of the board, Liebman consistently challenged the Bush Administration’s “war on workers.” The board’s Republican majority made it harder to form unions through majority sign-up, limited the ability of illegally fired workers to recover back pay and allowed employers to discriminate against union supporters in the hiring process. “The NLRB’s work matters, just as it did when the National Labor Relations Act was passed in 1935,” Liebman said in an official statement. “Democracy in the workplace is still basic to a democratic society, and collective bargaining is still basic to a fair economy. The statute we administer is the foundation of America’s commitment to human rights recognized around the world.” Liebman was first appointed to the NLRB by President Clinton in 1997. Her current term expires in 2011. Before joining the NLRB, Liebman served from 1994 to 1997 at the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, first as special assistant to the director and then as deputy director. She began her legal career as an NLRB staff attorney in 1974, then served on the legal staff of two unions, the Bricklayers and the Teamsters.


OBAMA REVERSES BUSH EXECUTIVE ORDERS, CREATES MIDDLE CLASS TASK FORCE

President Obama last week reversed three Bush-era anti-worker executive orders and created a Cabinet-level task force to rebuild the nation’s middle class. In a White House ceremony attended by AFL-CIO President John Sweeney and other union leaders, Obama signed three executive orders that reverse a series of orders by former President George W. Bush. The three new executive orders: require federal service contractors to offer jobs to current workers when contracts change; reverse a Bush order requiring federal contractors to post notice that workers can limit financial support of unions serving as their exclusive bargaining representatives; put a halt to government reimbursement of federal contractors’ expenses for union-busting. Obama also announced creation of the White House Task Force on Middle Class Working Families to develop and coordinate policies to rebuild the nation’s middle class and lift the poor out of poverty. Vice President Joe Biden will chair the task force. Also last week, Obama signed into law the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which strengthens laws to ensure equal pay for equal work.


UNION MEMBERSHIP INCREASED IN 2008 FOR SECOND STRAIGHT YEAR

Data released last week by the government show unions are making a comeback. Union membership rose from 12.1 percent to 12.4 percent last year, continuing a second year of growth. “The increase is remarkable given the overall decline in employment in 2008 (a loss of 900,000 jobs in the nonunion sector),” commented Larry Mishel, an economist at EPI, a Washington think tank. Union density increased in nine of thirteen major industry sectors, led by construction, public administration and education/health. In manufacturing, employment in the union sector rose by 17,000 jobs while the nonunion sector lost over 217,000 jobs. “This hardly fits the picture painted by union critics who claim that unions are destroying jobs,” Mishel said. “Today’s numbers confirm what many working people already know — that if given the chance, American workers are choosing to join unions in larger numbers,” said AFL-CIO President John Sweeney.


UPCOMING MM&P HOLIDAY CLOSINGS

On Feb. 16, MM&P headquarters, MM&P Plans, the MM&P Federal Credit Union and all MM&P port offices will be closed for the Presidents’ Day federal holiday. In addition, all Pacific Ports Halls will be closed on Feb. 12 for Lincoln’s Birthday, a contracted holiday on most MM&P vessels.


2009 MM&P MEMBER GUIDE NOW ONLINE

A new edition of the MM&P Member Guide is available in PDF format for download on MM&P’s website. To access the guide, go to www.bridgedeck.org, click on “Members Only,” and then on “Document Downloads.”


MIAMI’S NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER OPENS DOORS TO MM&P MEMBERS

MM&P members have an opportunity to tour the National Hurricane Center in Miami on Saturday, March 14. The tour will begin at 10:00 and should be finished at about 12:00. It will include the National Hurricane Center, Tropical Analysis & Forecast Branch, as well as the local Miami forecast center. The NHC tour can accommodate 25 to 30 people. NHC Director Bill Read and Executive Officer Christopher Burr will be on hand to answer questions. If you are interested, contact the MM&P Miami/Port Everglades Hall at pompano@bridgedeck.org or (954) 946-7883 by March 1. The National Hurricane Center is located with the Miami National Weather Service Forecast Office on the main campus of Florida International University, 11691 SW 17th St., about 12 miles west of downtown and eight miles southwest of Miami International Airport. Parking is available near the main entrance on the south side of the center, which faces SW 17th Street.


TWIC COUNTDOWN: 72 DAYS UNTIL ALL MARINERS MUST HAVE A TWIC

Reminder: April 15 is the deadline for all mariners and other maritime industry workers to obtain the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC).


MARAD’S LAST LIBERTY SHIP REACHES GREECE; OTHER GOVERNMENT-OWNED SHIPS TO BE RECYCLED

The HELLAS LIBERTY, formerly known as the ARTHUR M. HUDDELL, reached the port of Piraeus in Greece after leaving Norfolk, Va., on Dec. 6. Until July 2008, the World War II-era HUDDELL was the last Liberty ship in MARAD’S National Defense Reserve Fleet. Two other Liberty ships formerly in MARAD’S National Defense Reserve Fleet, the JOHN W. BROWN and the JEREMIAH O’BRIEN, are operating as museum ships. 

In other news, MARAD announced it has sold the MILWAUKEE, an AOR2-class oiler built in 1969, to Bay Bridge Enterprises for recycling. The vessel, which was built at the General Dynamics shipyard in Quincy, Mass., brought a purchase price of $56,410. The agency said it had also signed fee-for-service contracts to recycle three other obsolete ships: the HATTIESBURG VICTORY, the PIONEER CONTRACTOR and an oiler, SAVANNAH.


BAD WEATHER STRANDS THREE VESSELS ON GREAT LAKES

The ice storm that swept across the central part of the United States last week resulted in the stranding of several ships. A cargo ship and the cruise ship VACANCIER were stuck in the thick ice at the mouth of the St. Lawrence River. The Coast Guard icebreaker TERRY FOX also became icebound when it was dispatched to assist the two vessels.


MASS MARITIME RENAMES TRAINING SHIP IN HONOR OF KENNEDY FAMILY

Massachusetts Maritime Academy recently renamed its 540-foot training ship KENNEDY in honor of the Kennedy family. In a ceremony held Jan. 10, the Academy recognized the extraordinary public service contributions of the Kennedys. In attendance were Joseph P. Kennedy III, U.S. Representative William Delahunt, Massachusetts Senate President Therese Murray, Massachusetts State Senator Robert A. O’Leary and Massachusetts State Representative Susan Gifford.


PIRATES HIJACK LPG TANKER

A German LPG tanker, the MV LONGCHAMP, was boarded by pirates in the Gulf of Aden on Jan. 29. The vessel was the third ship taken in January. The tanker, which was in transit from Europe to Asia, had on board a crew of 12 Filipinos and one Indonesian. 


USMMA-AF CHESAPEAKE CHAPTER AND AMERICAN WATERWAY OPERATORS SPONSOR FEB. 18 DINNER AT MITAGS

The USMMA-AF Chesapeake Chapter and the AWO are sponsoring an evening event at MITAGS that will include a simulator tour, tabletop displays and dinner. The event will take place Wednesday, Feb. 18 at 5:30 p.m. Guest speaker will be Captain Victor Goldberg, vice president, Operations, Crowley Petroleum Services. For information, contact Gary Hicks at (410) 420-0080 or e-mail: kpchesapeake@comcast.net.


ROPE YARNS TRIBUTE TO RADM THOMAS E. BURKE

The Friends of Massachusetts Maritime Academy cordially invite you to join in a gala evening to pay tribute to Rear Adm. Thomas E. Burke, USMS. The Friends of Massachusetts Maritime Academy is a social organization comprised mostly of graduates from the school ship era of MMA. An annual “Rope Yarns” gathering has been instituted to honor a prominent alumnus, serve as a social gathering of alumni, and raise funds for cadet scholarships to be administered through the MMA Alumni Association’s scholarship program. On the evening of May 14, we will gather at Atlantica on Cohasset Harbor to honor Tom Burke. For over 50 years, Tom has served the academy and its graduates with distinction in his many volunteer roles. The evening will begin with a social hour at 1800 followed by dinner and a fun filled program of sea stories, testimonials, prizes and surprises. Cost is $100.00 per person. Directions: www.cohassetharborresort.com. Please remit check or money order in the amount $100.00 per person, made out to: Friends of MMA (in memo section, note Admiral Burke Tribute) and mail to: William J. McClellan, ‘63 / Treasurer / 10 Horizon Circle / Chatham, MA 02633. Questions or comments may be directed to: George F. Gillis ’64 / gfgillis@verizon.net / Home: 508-563-2202 / Mobile: 508-737-7074


JOBS AVAILABLE ON T-AGS VESSELS

There are positions currently open on the T-AGS oceanographic survey ships. The jobs can be bid with a port relief card instead of a regular shipping card. Mariners on vacation can also take these jobs. If you are interested, please immediately contact MM&P’s New York/New Jersey Hall, 201-963-1918 or nynj@bridgedeck.org.


APPLICANTS COURSE FOR D-BOOK MEMBERSHIP IN LOS ANGELES

The course for MM&P applicants seeking to qualify for D-Book Membership will be held in Los Angeles on Feb. 10-11. All courses start at 0900 and finish around 1530. If you are interested in participating, please call the Los Angeles Hall (310-834-7201) to reserve your seat. Class size is limited so sign up early. If you wish to be considered for D-Book status, you need to have completed this class, have four favorable recommendations, have paid the initiation fee and have at least 360 days sea time under MM&P contract. Courses may be cancelled if not enough applicants sign up.


NEW PMI COURSE ON MARINE VESSEL OPERATIONS & THE ENVIRONMENT

This course is intended for mid-level and senior vessel and operations managers, port captains, ship superintendants, deck and engineering ship officers, regulatory agency personnel and inspectors, marine safety and environmental auditors, anyone with environmental management, operational or reporting responsibilities in the maritime industry. Courses are scheduled at the Pacific Maritime Institute (Seattle) on March 16 and April 15. Courses may be arranged at other locations and additional dates – please contact Gregg Trunnell at (206) 441-2995 for information.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

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

AIS � (1-Day) Automatic Identification System: 4/2
ARPA � Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 4/13
AZIPOD � (2-Day) Azipod Propulsion Systems: 4/20
BRM � Bridge Resource Management: 2/16, 5/4
BRMP � Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 2/9
BST � Basic Safety Training: 2/16, 4/6
CONT PLNG � Contingency Planning: 5/15

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVSTAB � Advanced Stability: 4/20
CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 4/6
CMM-CHS I � Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 2/9, 4/27
CMM-CHS II � Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 2/16, 5/4
CMM-ECDIS � Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems: 3/30
CMM-MPP � Marine Propulsion Plants: 4/13
CMM-SHMGT I � Ship Management (week 1) : 2/23, 5/11
CMM-SHMGT II � Ship Management (week 2) : 3/2, 5/18
CMM-SHS-ADV-I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 3/23, 4/27, 5/11
CMM-SHS-ADV-I I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 5/4, 5/18
CMM-VPEN � Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 3/23
CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 3/9, 5/25

CSE-AWR2 � Confined Space Entry Awareness (2 day): 5/11
CSE-AAES � Confined Space Entry � Atmospheric Analysis of Enclosed Spaces: 2/26
FF-BADV � Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting Combined: 2/16, 4/6
GCC-LG � Gas Carrier Course-Liquefied Gases: 2/2
GMDSS � Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 3/2, 4/6
HAZ � Hazardous Materials (5 day): 5/4
LAP � License Advancement Program for upgrade to Chief Mate/Master: 3/30
LEG � Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 2/10, 4/22

MEDIA RSP – Media Response: 2/27
MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 3/2, 4/13
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 3/2, 4/13, 5/4
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 2/7, 2/17, 3/7, 4/3, 4/18, 5/14

[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-CBRD-1 � CBRD Orientation: 2/25, 3/27, 5/22
MSC-DC � Damage Control: 2/23, Special Evening MSC-DC Class: 5/18 to 5/21
MSC-SMA � Small Arms Training: (3/23-Standby Only), 5/18

[OICNW � Officer in Charge of a Navigation Watch Courses]
OICNW-CHS-BAS � Basic Cargo Handling and Stowage: 4/20, 5/25
OICNW-CONSTB � Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 2/9
OICNW-CNAV � Celestial Navigation: 4/20
OICNW-ENAV � Electronic Navigation: 3/9
OICNW-EP � Emergency Procedures: 5/14
OICNW-SAR � Search and Rescue: 5/11
OICNW-WKP BAS � Basic Watchkeeping: 3/30
OICNW-WX BAS � Basic Meteorology: 3/23

ROP-5 � Radar Observer Program (Original or Renewal): 5/4
ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 4/13

SEC-VCF – Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 2/23, 3/30, 5/11
SEC-VSO-R � Vessel Security Officer Refresher (1 day): 2/26, 4/21, 5/14
SHS-BAS � Basic Shiphandling: 2/23, 4/27, 5/18
SHS-EMR � Emergency Shiphandling: 2/9, 4/20
SHS-ESH-BRMP3 � Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 2/11, 4/20

TPIC � Tankerman Person in Charge (Dangerous Liquids): 2/2, 5/25

…remember: If you can’t make the class, make the call.  Be courteous, don’t be a “no show.”

Check the MITAGS website at www.mitags.org for course descriptions associated with the course title abbreviations, and schedule revisions. For class availability or info on MITAGS courses and programs, contact admissions toll-free at 866-656-5568 or by e-mail: admissions@mitags.org.


PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

PMI Web site at www.mates.org for more info

FOR REGISTRATION CALL JENNIFER PITZEN: 206 838-1126

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

February 2009
4-8ROP
12ROR
11-12SAR
12-15ARPA
13-15EP
16FL
18-22ENAV
18-22MED PRO
18-22SHS BAS
18-29MED PIC
25-3/7 CNAV
25ROR

March 2009
3-14GMDSS
10-11SAR
10-12SEC VCF
12-14EP
17-28GMDSS
24-4/4 GMDSS
24ROR
25-28ARPA

For registration call Jennifer Pitzen 888-893-7829

PMI MERCHANDISE FOR SALE!!!

High-quality clothing embroidered with the NEW PMI logo! We can ship these items also! Acceptable forms of payment are check, credit card, money order and exact cash. Call Laura Bendixen at 888-893-7829 for prices and to order. If we don’t have your size, we’ll be glad to special order for you at no extra cost.


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 1-30-2009

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
8,149.01 1,476.42 825.88
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
38.30
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
76.10
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
21.98
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
10.90
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
10.78
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
17.49
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.53
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
19.36
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
4.48
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
12.75
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
14.71
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
11.94
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
14.13
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
9.33
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
9.00
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
8.61
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
8.50
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
8.79
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.07
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
20.00
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
13.22
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
10.55
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
11.66
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
9.19
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
42.40
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
11.66
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
35.58
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
11.65
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
24.41
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
19.31
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
14.55
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
9.42
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
9.88
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
9.94
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
9.53
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
9.13
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
5.21
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
5.98
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
9.31
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
20.80
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
29.22
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
17.86





~ Reminders ~



 

T-AGS OCEANOGRAPHIC SURVEY SHIPS MANNING REQUIREMENTS

REQUIRED COURSEWORK

All MM&P members are reminded that to sail aboard the T-AGS ships that MM&P-contracted Horizon Lines will be operating, you must have the required training certification and your certificates must be current in accordance with Military Sealift Command requirements. Members are also required to have had a MSC pre-employment physical and to possess Ship Security Clearance (see below).

The MSC Contract calls for all training certificates required for manning of these vessels to be no older than 5 years and that all STCW-95 courses be renewed every 5 years, or annually, as applicable.

Five-year renewable courses include, but are not limited to:

  • Advanced Fire Fighting
  • Basic Safety Training, and
  • Damage Control

Small Arms certificates must be less than 1 year old and MUST NOT expire during your tour of duty.

Members interested in applying for one of the positions onboard the T-AGS vessels are advised to make sure your certificates are up to date. If not, contact Mary Matlock or Diane Ford at MITAGS Admissions, email: admissions@mitags.org, and schedule to take the course(s) needed.

Those MM&P members interested in obtaining more information and facts about the T-AGS Oceanographic Vessels are asked to email the Director of Special Projects requesting the “facts sheet”. It will be provided by return email in an Adobe Acrobat PDF format.

Members interested in employment on the T-AGS ships are asked to provide a 1-2 page resume. Please list the desired position you are seeking along with the certificates of training you possess and their dates. Upon receipt it will be forwarded to Horizon Lines and a confirmation sent back to the member. Vessel turnover commenced Oct.17, 2004. Positions for all ratings remain open.

The point of contact for sending a resume for employment on the Horizon Lines T-AGS Oceanographic Vessels is Richard Plant, MM&P’s Director of Special Projects. Send resumes in an email or as a Word file attachment to him at: rplant@bridgedeck.org, by fax to 410-850-0973 or by mail to:

Richard Plant, Director of Special Projects

IOMM&P
700 Maritime Blvd. Suite B
Linthicum Heights, MD 21090



SHIP SECURITY CLEARANCE NEEDED

Members who want to sail for Horizon Lines on the T-AGS Oceanographic Survey vessels the company is set to begin operating for MSC must have Ship Security Clearance before going aboard.

Special software must be downloaded from the US Government’s Defense Security Service to complete the Security Clearance application. You must have an Internet connection and a Windows-based computer to retrieve the application and run the program.

Go to https://sclient.dss.mil/download/w9xfull.htm to download the software titled “EPSQ SUBJECT2_2”.

After the software is installed and the program is launched, select “Create” from the menu bar at the top of the screen. You will be required to enter your Social Security Number and a case-sensitive password. A window titled “Type of Form” will appear.

All Deck Officers should select the first button titled “Request for Security Clearance (SF86)” and then click “OK” to go to the next screen, “Type of Investigation”.

From the “Type of Investigation” screen:

  • Masters and Radio Officers should select the first button, “Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI)”.
  • All other Deck Officers (C/M, 2/M, 3/M) should click on the second button, “National Agency Check (NAC or NACLC)”.

After selecting the appropriate investigation type, click on “OK” to begin filling in the forms.



MSC PHYSICALS

Horizon Lines requests all mariners seeking employment aboard the T-AGS Oceanographic vessels to take their MSC Physical at specially-designated facilities only after being advised to do so by the Company. This is to assure that all requirements of the MSC Physical are properly met.


MM&P FCU NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



 

MM&P HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN NEWS

MEET OUR NEW PRESCRIPTION BENEFIT MANAGER, PHARMACARE

As you know, effective July 1, 2007, MM&P will have a new Prescription Benefit Manager, PharmaCare. If you use the mail service and have not sent your Confidential Mail Service Enrollment Form to the MM&P Plan Office, you have until June 30 to do so. Otherwise, you can call PharmaCare’s customer service line and give them the information over the telephone or send the form with your first new mail prescription directly to PharmaCare. In the next couple of days, you will be receiving a letter with your new MM&P identification cards and a prescription booklet with information on how to obtain your prescriptions. PharmaCare’s customer service number is listed in the booklet. If you have any questions, please contact the MM&P Health & Benefit Plan Advisors.



NOTICE TO MM&P HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN PARTICIPANTS

As you know, MM&P Health & Benefit Plan members have a new prescription benefit manager, PharmaCare. When you first obtain a prescription at your retail drug store, please show your new Health & Benefit Identification Card with PharmaCare’s information. If you do not show your card, please inform your pharmacist of the following information so you can receive your prescriptions through the Plan. Your identification number HAS NOT CHANGED. Please provide the pharmacist with your full member identification number. You will have to also provide the following numbers. RxGrp#- Z50136968, RxBin: 610468 and RxPCN: PC2 

If your pharmacist has any questions, he or she should call PharmaCare directly at (800) 503-3241.  If you have any questions, PharmaCare members can call the company directly at (888) 364-6815.


WWII USCG VETERANS OUTREACH

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

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



 

COMPANY GIVES BUCKS BACK FOR BUYING SAFE SHOES

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

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

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

Vessels in the LMS footwear reimbursement program are:

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

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

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

LOOK FOR THE UNION LABEL:

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

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

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

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

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


 

WEBSITE OFFERS UNION-MADE GOODS AND SERVICES

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

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

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

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

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



The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 700 Maritime Blvd. Suite B, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1953. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: iommp@bridgedeck.org. For further info or to subscribe contact Lisa Rosenthal at lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org. The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea and is posted on our web page.

© 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.