News

Wheelhouse Weekly – February 04, 2008

February 4th 2008

 

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

Volume 12 . . . . . Number 5. . . .February 4, 2008

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.


PRESIDENT BUSH’S 2009 BUDGET REQUEST INCLUDES FULL FUNDING FOR MARITIME SECURITY PROGRAM

The fiscal year 2009 budget submitted to Congress by President Bush includes full funding for the Maritime Security Program (MSP): $174 million. 

It is especially important that the White House has requested the full amount, because fiscal year 2009 represents an $18 million increase over the amount authorized and needed last fiscal year. If the budget request is approved by Congress, each vessel in the MSP would be eligible for $2.9 million in fiscal year 2009 (compared to $2.6 million now).

As in the past, MM&P and MIRAID are working with the other unions, associations and companies to win congressional approval of the President’s MSP funding request.


TWIC DEADLINE IS SEPT. 25: APPLY NOW IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY

The Sept. 25 deadline for the Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC) is fast approaching. If you haven’t already applied, the time to do so is now.

Although some members report that they’ve been able to get their TWIC cards without a hitch, others say the process has been fraught with unexpected problems and delays. Members have reported long waits as enrollment center staffers rummage through files for misplaced cards and technicians fiddle with malfunctioning fingerprint equipment.

One member’s experience started out like a fairy tale but turned into something quite different. After an uneventful online pre-enrollment, he reported to his local TWIC center for fingerprinting. It took countless attempts for the machine to read his fingerprints. When he returned to the center to pick up the card, he was told that the prints that had been taken at the previous visit did not match his fingerprints. “I assured them I had not changed them,” he said. He was asked to return another time but refused to budge, insisting they keep trying. “We cleaned the machine, used FBI fingerprint enhancers…no go. Finally the person trying to process me pulled some hand lotion out of her purse and we tried that. It worked! I had readable fingerprints again! We were filled with joy and relief… until they couldn’t write any information to the chip on the TWIC.”

The agent called the help center. More staffers arrived, but were unable to fix the problem. “In the end,” the member said, “it wouldn’t write to the card. Or so we thought.” Three hours passed. He was asked to return home and come back when the computer glitch had been fixed. When no word from the center had arrived after several days, he stopped in again to find out what had happened. Squeezing his way through the standing room only crowd, he asked to speak to a supervisor. The request was turned down, but staffers said they would try to find his card. Nothing turned up. Again, he was told to come back. Again, he refused to budge. A staffer was finally able to ferret out his card… Someone had placed it in the wrong folder.

He accepted the card and turned it over for activation. “The person informed me that the card had already been activated, that they should have given it to me during my last visit and that the person who had helped me that time probably didn’t know what she was doing.”

Another MM&P member reported that after he pre-enrolled for the TWIC card online, he received junk e-mail masquerading as a message from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). His odyssey started when he received two incomprehensible e-mails, ostensibly from TSA. He called the TWIC Helpline to ask the agent to explain the correspondence, and was perfunctorily told that e-mails are sent out only to notify applicants that their cards are ready for pick up. “It still bothered me that I couldn’t understand that from the e-mails I’d received,” he said, “so I e-mailed TSA copies of the messages and they replied that they were SP…M! It wasn’t long after this that my computer went SOUTH! It took me a day to get it working properly again… Needless to say my TWIC card was NOT at the local office… I’d been TWIC’ed!”

These two examples show it is a good idea to apply for the TWIC card as soon as possible. To get started, pre-enroll online by logging on to www.tsa.gov/twic. For a step-by-step description of the online pre-enrollment process, access the Jan. 7 issue of The Wheelhouse Weekly on MM&P’s website, www.bridgedeck.org.


KNOW YOUR RIGHTS IN THE EVENT OF AN ACCIDENT: UNIONS, COMPANIES, LAUNCH FAIR TREATMENT OF SEAFARERS INFORMATION CAMPAIGN

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), the International Shipping Federation (ISF) and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) have joined forces in a new initiative to help protect seafarers involved in maritime accidents. The three organizations, which represent maritime employers and trade unions worldwide, announced last week in London that they have united to support and promote the IMO and ILO Guidelines on the Fair Treatment of Seafarers in the Event of a Maritime Accident.

The guidelines require that seafarers be treated fairly by the port or coastal state, the flag state, the seafarer state and shipowners.

As part of the campaign, the three organizations are distributing posters (supported by websites and leaflets) worldwide to show seafarers how the guidelines can help protect them. They are also encouraging their members — national ship owners’ associations belonging to the ISF and ICS, and seafarers’ unions affiliated with the ITF — to approach their governments to promote the guidelines and to monitor how effectively they are being implemented.

“Seafarers must be treated with dignity and respect, and given access to independent legal representation in situations in which they may be interviewed or held following an accident at sea,” said ISF/ICS Secretary General Tony Mason.  “As responsible employers, we believe it is very important that the IMO/ILO Guidelines, which represent the internationally accepted minimum standard for the fair treatment of seafarers by investigating authorities, are indeed implemented in practice by governments.”

“The knee-jerk scapegoating of seafarers following accidents at sea is a growing concern to us all,” said ITF General Secretary David Cockroft. “In recent years, the response of too many national authorities has been to reach for the handcuffs first and find out what actually happened last. Incidents like these prove how vital the guidelines are.”

A poster developed as part of the joint effort, “Maritime Accidents: Seafarers – Be Aware,” will be available soon for download from MM&P’s website, www.bridgedeck.org. The posters were produced for use on ships, in seafarers’ missions and in other locations around the world.

The poster can also be downloaded from either www.marisec.org/fairtreatment or www.itfglobal.org/fairtreatment, where the IMO/ILO Guidelines also appear in full.

The information campaign underlines how important it is for mariners to understand their rights under the IMO/ILO Guidelines so that if they are questioned or detained following a maritime accident, they know what to do and how to protect their interests.

REMEMBER– If you are questioned about a maritime accident involving your vessel:

  • If you think it is necessary, ask for a lawyer before answering any questions or making any statements to port, coastal or flag state investigators, since any statement you make could be used against you in future criminal or other legal proceedings
  • Contact your company and/or union for advice and assistance
  • Make sure you fully understand everything that you are asked

If there is anything you don’t understand:

  • ask the authorities to stop the questioning
  • request the assistance of an interpreter, if necessary

It is important to ensure that you protect your interests first. Therefore, follow the advice you receive from your company, union or lawyer, and importantly, when advised to provide information, be truthful with investigators. Read the fair treatment guidelines and know your rights. If in doubt, ask for advice.


MM&P GOVERNMENT GROUP MEMBERS WILL RETAIN THEIR BARGAINING RIGHTS THANKS TO UNION VICTORY ON NSPS

MM&P, along with a coalition of other labor unions, has been victorious in its long-running battle to safeguard the collective bargaining rights of federal employees, including the civilian mariners and wage grade employees who sail on ships in the government fleet.

The final act in the saga, which has been underway for four years, came last week, when President Bush signed a bill that guarantees that unions in the Department of Defense (DOD) retain their collective bargaining agreements and bargaining rights and that DOD employees retain their right to appeal major disciplinary actions.

DOD had sought to eliminate those rights in the name of national security through implementation of the “National Security Personnel System,” or NSPS.

The defeat of NSPS also guarantees the collective bargaining rights of union members employed by DOD contractors, including mariners sailing aboard Military Sealift Command LMSRs, special mission vessels and MARAD’s RRF ships.

The new law exempts unionized civilians at DOD from NSPS. The government has however been successful in extending NSPS to 110,000 Defense workers not covered by union contracts.


ACTION AT MM&P TRUSTEE MEETING LAST WEEK

At the MM&P Trust Meeting on Jan. 30 and 31, the Trustees agreed to raise the earnings limitation for pensioners from $29,000 per year to $30,000 per year. As such, pensioners can earn $30,000 or less each year without having to forfeit any claim for MM&P health care.


T-AGS SHIP UDPATE

MM&P members interested in permanent positions on the T-AGS oceanographic ships operated by Horizon Lines should contact MM&P Special Projects Director Richard Plant by e-mail at rplant@bridgedeck.org. Information about the T-AGS program and available positions can also be found at www.horizonlines.com/ots in the MSC Ships Jobs folder.

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


AFL-CIO PRESIDENT AND TRANSPORTATION TRADES DEPARTMENT HEAD RAP BUSH ON STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS

Since 2000, the median U.S. household has lost $1,000 in inflation-adjusted income, while America’s families “are losing good jobs, homes and hope in the future,” says AFL-CIO President John Sweeney in an official response to President Bush’s state of the union address. Sweeney said the President’s “rose-colored glasses need a new prescription – – he is blind to Americans’ day-to-day economic realities and the truth about our nation’s standing in the world.”

Sweeney cited widespread recession fears and the fact that 47 million Americans are without healthcare–8.5 million more than when President Bush took office. “One in four Americans say their family has had a problem paying for medical care during the past year–and two-thirds of them had insurance,” Sweeney said.
 
“It is past time for President Bush to acknowledge the reality of the huge trade-off we are making by sending troops indefinitely to Iraq, while neglecting real terror threats elsewhere as well as the urgent needs in America,” he said. “As our sons and daughters continue to make the ultimate sacrifice, the two trillion dollars spent could have funded a return to the best public education in the word, the massive reduction of poverty, or retirement security for generations.”

Edward Wytkind, president of the AFL-CIO’s Transportation Trades Department (TTD), also criticized President Bush for failing to address the nation’s deteriorating transportation infrastructure. “President Bush has neglected our nation’s transportation system and its workers more than any other President in memory,” he said. “Workers who operate, build and repair our transportation system grow weary of speeches in Washington when they see little effort to create real family-supporting jobs.”

Studies show that the nation’s 600,000 bridges need significant repair, one-third of the major roadways are in substandard condition and more than 3,300 dams are at risk. Every billion federal dollars spent in improving transportation infrastructure creates nearly 50,000 jobs. “By investing in the country’s aging infrastructure,” he said, “we would not only put thousands of people to work but also address a critical need.”

Sweeney called on union members to “turn out in droves” in November to elect a President and representatives at all levels “who will work with working families, not against them.”


HORIZON LINES LAUDED FOR ON-TIME SERVICE

MM&P-contracted HORIZON LINES has received the 2007 Platinum Carrier Award from home improvement retailer Lowe’s Companies Inc., for delivering 99.9 percent on-time service. The award was presented at Lowe’s annual carrier meeting in North Wilkesboro, N.C., on Jan. 17. 

The recognition marks the second consecutive year HORIZON LINES has received the Platinum Carrier Award. Each year since 2001, the company has also earned Lowe’s Outstanding Ocean Service Provider Award for consistently providing excellent service in the domestic trades to Alaska and Hawaii.


USCG EXPERTS’ PANEL RELEASES REPORT ON COSCO BUSAN SPILL PREPAREDNESS

A panel of independent experts established by USCG Commandant Adm. Thad Allen to study the aftermath of the COSCO BUSAN oil spill has released its initial report. The document, which examines the first two weeks of emergency response operations, makes suggestions about how to improve oil spill preparedness and response.

The panel of experts, known as the Incident Specific Preparedness Review (ISPR) team, found that despite the dense cloud of fog that blanketed the area of the spill, the amount of response equipment deployed initially was well above state and federal requirements. The panel did however advocate that more emphasis be placed in future on better communication between federal and local bodies. Other recommendations included using remote sensing technology to detect spills in low visibility conditions and improving the performance of oiled wildlife reporting hotlines.

A second report on the entire cleanup operation is due out in several months.


GOVERNMENT SCREENERS WATCH HOW TRAVELERS BEHAVE

A little-publicized government program aimed at boosting security in the nation’s transportation hubs involves training security screeners to watch for people who act suspiciously. The program, called Screening Passengers by Observation Techniques, or SPOT, was launched by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in June 2003. More than 500 “graduates” of the program, called behavior detection officers, or BDOs, are expected to be employed in all modes of transportation by the end of 2008.

BDOs are trained to look for individuals who exhibit unusual or anxious behavior, including strange mannerisms, excessive sweating on a cool day, or changes in voice pitch. Participants are given four days of classroom instruction and one day of on-the-job-training.
TSA says the program has already yielded results. On Aug. 1, a BDO at Baltimore/Washington International Airport observed a man exhibiting suspicious behaviors in front of an airline ticket counter. The BDO immediately referred him to law enforcement officers, who found he was carrying a loaded gun and more than 30 rounds of ammunition. Airport police arrested the man when they discovered that he did not have a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

Proponents say SPOT has worked well in identifying high risk passengers, but critics say problems could result from the fact that screeners aren’t really competent to differentiate between individuals who sweat, jiggle or twitch because they’re nervous and people with medical conditions who may exhibit similar symptoms. 


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

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

BRM � Bridge Resource Management: 3/24
BRMP � Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 3/27

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-CHS II � Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 2/11
CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display & Information Systems: 3/24
CMM-MPP � Marine Propulsion Plants: 2/18
CMM-SHS-ADV-I-Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 2/25, 3/10
CMM-SHS-ADV-II-Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 3/17
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: 3/17
CMM-WKP � Advanced Watchkeeping: 3/10

CSE-AWR2 � Confined Space Entry Awareness (2 day): 3/20

HAZMAT � Hazardous Materials Seminar (1 day) Course: 3/21

LEG � Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 3/26

MED-PIC � Medical Person-In-Charge: 2/11, 3/10
MED-PRO � Medical Care Provider: 2/11, 3/10
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 2/16, 3/15
MEDIA RSP � Media Response: 3/20

[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-SMA � Small Arms Training (4 days): 3/24

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 2/18
ROP-5 � Radar Observer Program (Original or Renewal): 3/10

SEC-VCF � Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 3/17
SHS-BAS � Basic Shiphandling: 2/18, 3/24
SHS-ESH- BRMP � Emergency Shiphandling & Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 3/24

TPIC – Tankerman Person-In-Charge Dangerous Liquids: 2/11, 3/17

�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)

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 1-25-2008

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
12,743 2,413 1,395
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
64.14
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
128.58
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
38.29
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
22.93
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
18.04
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
30.49
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.49
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
31.01
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.83
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
16.87
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
23.96
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
14.23
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
20.58
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
11.91
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
12.71
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
13.21
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
13.37
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
13.96
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.31
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
33.68
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
19.26
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
15.05
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
26.42
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.26
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
86.77
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
17.64
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
72.83
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
21.90
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
40.42
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
36.87
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
28.23
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.40
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
12.30
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
14.47
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
15.20
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
15.67
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
9.19
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
10.76
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.43
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
36.74
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
49.38
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
29.85






~ 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.

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

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