News

Wheelhouse Weekly – February 11, 2008

February 11th 2008

 

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

Volume 12 . . . . . Number 6. . . .February 11, 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.


MM&P CLOSED FOR PRESIDENTS’ DAY

MM&P headquarters, MM&P Plans, the MM&P Federal Credit Union and all port offices will be closed Monday, Feb. 18, for Presidents’ Day. In addition, Pacific ports will be closed on Feb. 12 for Lincoln’s Birthday.


USCG ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE PROGRAM SHOULD BE TRANSFERRED TO NTSB, SEAFARING LABOR SAYS

America’s mariners would have greater assurance of being treated with impartiality if the U.S. Coast Guard’s Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) program were transferred to the National Safety Transportation Board (NTSB). So say America’s seafaring unions in a recent letter to Elijah Cummings, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, and Steve LaTourette, ranking member.

“We are convinced that the transfer of the Coast Guard’s ALJ functions will better guarantee the independence and impartiality of the ALJs and provide American mariners with a greater assurance that they will receive a fair and unbiased hearing,” the unions wrote.

The Jan. 31 letter cited testimony given before the subcommittee this summer in a hearing that brought to light numerous, serious issues regarding the ALJ program.
 
“Our main concern with the present system is that the Coast Guard ALJs are appointed by the Coast Guard and the Chief Administrative Law Judge reports directly to the Coast Guard Commandant,” the unions wrote. “Therefore, suspension and revocation actions are initiated by Coast Guard officers, prosecuted by Coast Guard officers and adjudicated by a Coast Guard-appointed ALJ. Following the decision by the ALJ, the mariner is allowed to appeal to the Commandant of the Coast Guard, who is unlikely to look critically at appeals, regardless of the merits, because all aspects of the suspension and revocation process have taken place within his own chain of command.”

The unions said that although they had no desire to disparage the integrity of the vast majority of USCG investigators, supervisors and judges, “the important ethic of loyalty that operates within the context of a military organization may very naturally cause some participants to place obedience to or compliance with the Coast Guard’s prosecutorial interests above the rights of mariners. Sound public policy should seek the removal of such a temptation from the suspension and revocation system,” the unions wrote.

The letter was signed by MM&P International President Tim Brown, and the presidents of the American Maritime Officers, Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association, Sailors’ Union of the Pacific, Marine Firemen’s Union and Seafarers International Union.


COAST GUARD WILL NOT ROLL BACK TWIC DEADLINE, MEMBERS URGED TO APPLY FOR THE CARD NOW

Representatives of the U.S. Coast Guard are saying the agency has no plans to roll back the Sept. 25, 2008, deadline for mariners to obtain the Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC). The USCG made the statement during a Feb. 5 conference call for TWIC stakeholders in which MM&P participated. The union is advocating that additional time be granted because of delays in the schedule for opening enrollment centers. 

MM&P urges mariners who haven’t yet obtained their card to log on to TSA’s website and see when the center closest to them is scheduled to open. The TWIC Quarterly Deployment Plan lists enrollment center location openings through September 2008, but only includes opening dates through Feb. 21. Exact dates are provided on the site once they have been listed in the Federal Register.

Before sites are listed in the Federal Register, they appear on the website in alphabetical order by quarter. The first quarter includes center openings between January and March; the second quarter between April and June; and the third quarter between July and September. The easiest way to locate the deployment schedule on line is to look up TSA TWIC QUARTERLY DEPLOYMENT using Google.com.

MM&P urges members to get the card as soon as possible. Some mariners have waited as long as six weeks to receive their cards due to backups at the enrollment centers because of short staffing, computer breakdowns and difficulties in getting fingerprints.

Many port workers are also expected to enroll at the last minute, creating longer waits. Mariners who may not be back from sea until after the deadline should consider enrolling at an open enrollment center further away from their home but within reasonable driving distance, rather than risking a wait for a local center to open.


REP. GENE TAYLOR TO RECEIVE MARITIME’S SALUTE TO CONGRESS AWARD IN MAY

Rep. Gene Taylor (D-Miss.) will be the honoree at the 24th annual Propeller Club Salute to Congress in May. Taylor is known as a passionate and articulate advocate of the U.S.-flag maritime industry and a friend to America’s working families. He has been particularly active in the battle to restore communities and livelihoods in the wake of the 2006 Gulf Coast hurricanes.

In the House of Representatives, Taylor serves on two major committees, the Armed Services Committee and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

As a member of the Armed Services Committee, he is chairman of the Subcommittee on Seapower and Expeditionary Forces. He also sits on the Readiness Subcommittee. On the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, he serves on the Water Resources and Environment and the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee.

Taylor also serves as co-chair of a number of congressional member organizations:  the Shipbuilding Caucus, the National Guard and Reserve Caucus and the Coast Guard Caucus. He is also a member of the Conservative Democrats’ Blue Dog Coalition, a group which seeks to “restore common sense and accountability to our federal budget.” 

Taylor calls the U.S.-maritime sector “a perfect example of Americans working for Americans.”

The Salute to Congress is attended by representatives of maritime labor, U.S.-flag ship operators, members of Congress, the military and the executive branch of government, among others.


HORIZON PRODUCER HOSTS MILITARY EXERCISE

Military Sealift Command has reported in its publications that HORIZON PRODUCER was the site of an exercise conducted by the 22nd Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team (WMD-CST) in Puerto Nuevo, Puerto Rico. Among the participants were the officers and crew of the PRODUCER, Horizon Lines safety and security management teams, members of the Army National Guard, the U.S. Coast Guard and the FBI. The Dec. 4 exercise included a simulation of a possible radioactive reading aboard a containership.

HORIZON PRODUCER Chief Mate Chris Danilek called the exercise “an eye-opener for all involved.” He said, “It demonstrated to us in the crew the difficulty searchers unused to any ship’s environment will have in finding any strange item in the vast number of hiding places a ship provides to a potential terrorist. These searchers have their work cut out for them.

“It also showed me how important the ship’s first line of defense–the gangway watch–is,” he added. “If we can keep the potential terrorist off the ship in the first place, we eliminate having to subject these searchers to the risk of doing a vessel search. I want to commend the hard working lady and gentleman cooped up in those HAZMAT suits for hours in the hot Puerto Rican heat. They did all the work.” Besides Danilek, deck officers aboard the vessel at the time were Captain Pete Bailey, Second Mate Bernard “Bernie” Scott, Third Mate Richard Erbe and Third Mate Robert Peterson.
Gabriel Serra, senior vice president and general manager for HORIZON LINES of Puerto Rico, echoes Danilek’s observations. “This exercise was a great opportunity for the U.S. military and other agencies to prepare in what may be an unfamiliar environment, gaining valuable experience on how to respond to a real incident aboard a vessel,” he said.


UNITED STATES SUED OVER NEW DELHI EXPRESS ACCIDENT

The owners of the NEW DELHI EXPRESS, the container ship that was grounded in the Kill Van Kull in April 2006, have sued the U.S. government. Seaspan Ship Management and Seaspan Corp., owners of the vessel, maintain the accident took place because of errors in the charts and an off-station buoy.
 
The lawsuit seeks $3 million in damages. The plaintiffs allege that the grounding took place because the vessel was relying on Bergen Point Lighted Buoy 14 while making a turn in heavy fog. The suit alleges that, “unbeknownst to the master, compulsory docking pilot or to the plaintiff,” the buoy was 25 yards away from its charted position.
 
The suit blames the Coast Guard, which maintains the buoy, the National Ocean Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which maintain charts for the area. The National Transportation Safety Board, in its own investigation, had blamed the pilot for the grounding.


SEEKING MARITIME EDUCATORS FOR D.C. AREA YOUNG PEOPLE

Living Classrooms of the National Capital Region (LC-NCR) is seeking outgoing, enthusiastic individuals to serve as “maritime educators” aboard its educational boat, HALF SHELL. Maritime educators serve as both teachers and fully trained crew when the organization takes boys and girls from the Washington, D.C., area on experiential, hands-on educational trips. If you like working with young people, being outside, and having fun at work in a challenging but relaxed environment, this job may be a perfect fit for you.

HALF SHELL’s programs consist mainly of day trips during the school year and camping expeditions down the Potomac River in the summer. Some weekend and evening work required. Educational and boating experience is a plus, but not a requirement. What is required is a sincere desire to teach and interact with local youth, especially at-risk youth, and to help expose them to new experiences.

This position is seasonal, and runs from Feb. 26 until Nov. 25. For more information, go to www.livingclassroomsdc.org or www.livingclassrooms.org (Baltimore office). The Living Classrooms Foundation is a non-profit organization operated for the benefit of the community at large, providing hands-on education and job training, with a special emphasis on at-risk youth and groups from diverse backgrounds. To apply for the job, please send your resume and a cover letter by e-mail to Mattison Boyer, mboyer@livingclassroomsdc.org. No phone calls, please.


NEWS ABOUT ZYRTEC AND PROTONIX FOR MM&P HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN PARTICIPANTS

The MM&P Plans office has received important information about Zyrtec and Protonix from our prescription benefit manager, CareMark.

The allergy medication Zyrtec has been approved for over-the-counter (OTC) sales by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The change to OTC status means that all forms of Zyrtec will now be available without a prescription. Both generic and brand OTC products can now be purchased without a prescription from local retail pharmacies. Although we anticipate that some pediatric generic forms of ceterizine may require a prescription, most prescription forms of Zyrtec will no longer be produced. CareMark Mail Service will only fill requests for prescription Zyrtec until supplies are exhausted.

Protonix, which is used in the treatment of GERD, erosive esophagitis and other gastrointestinal conditions, now has a generic equivalent, pantoprazole sodium, which is already being offered by CareMark. The Caremark Mail Service Pharmacy will dispense pantoprazole sodium tablets immediately when authorized. If you have any questions, please contact a CareMark customer rep at 1-800-364-6815.


MARAD SELLS THREE SHIPS TO RECYCLING FACILITIES

Under most ship disposal contracts, the Maritime Administration (MARAD) pays companies to recycle obsolete ships. But the growing demand for scrap steel has made these ships more valuable, and MARAD is now on the seller’s side. The agency just sold three ships to two recycling facilities for $161,673. Buyers can sell steel and other materials recovered from the ships.

All-Star Metals LLC of Brownsville, Texas, paid $12,221 to purchase the BAYAMON, a roll-on/roll-off vehicle carrier built in 1970. All-Star also bought the DEL VALLE, a breakbulk freighter built in 1968, for $62,726. ESCO Marine paid $86,726 to purchase the MAINE, a breakbulk freighter built in 1944.

The BAYMON will be the 67th vessel to be removed from the James River Fleet since January 2001. The DEL VALLE and the MAINE will be towed to Brownsville from the Beaumont Reserve Fleet in Texas.

MARAD keeps ships in three National Defense Reserve Fleet sites to support Armed Forces movements and respond to national emergencies. Those sites are the James River Reserve Fleet in Newport News, Va., the Beaumont Reserve Fleet in Beaumont, Texas and the Suisun Bay Reserve Fleet in Benicia, Calif. 


FILIPINO SEAFARERS SEEK TO MOVE UP THE RANKS

Maritime organizations in the Philippines are trying to develop programs to help more Filipino seafarers become ship officers. The government has launched a Maritime Industry Action Plan to coordinate the recruitment and training of faculty members for maritime education and facilities. The measures include development of a management level course (MLC) for Filipino officers to help qualify them for higher positions. Today about 30 percent of the global maritime merchant fleet workforce is comprised of Filipinos, but two out of three are ratings. In 2002, the Philippines deployed 209,593 seafarers abroad. Since then, the number has increased by 2.3 percent yearly, according to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

CLASS OPENINGS: Between now and the end of March 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

BRM � Bridge Resource Management: 2/18, 3/24
BRMP � Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 3/27

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
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
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: 3/10
MED-PRO � Medical Care Provider: 3/10
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 2/26, 3/15
MEDIA RSP � Media Response: 3/20

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

�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
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 2-8-2008

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
12,182 2,308.06 1,330.34
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
61.20
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
122.76
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
36.74
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
21.56
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
17.36
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
28.85
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.46
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
29.85
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.74
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
16.47
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
22.95
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
14.01
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
19.89
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
11.64
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
12.32
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
12.71
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
13.37
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
13.81
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.27
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
32.21
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
18.71
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
14.65
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
24.93
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.23
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
83.16
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
17.11
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
69.34
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
20.78
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
38.76
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
34.72
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
26.99
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.27
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
12.14
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
14.10
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
14.69
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
15.05
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
8.81
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
10.29
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.38
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
35.39
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
47.15
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
28.63






~ 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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