News

Wheelhouse Weekly – February 25, 2008

February 25th 2008

 

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

Volume 12 . . . . . Number 8. . . .February 25, 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.


82ND MM&P CONVENTION CALL: JUNE 23-25, 2008, LINTHICUM HEIGHTS, MD

Brothers and Sisters:

In accordance with Article IV, Section 2, of the International Constitution, you are hereby notified that a convention of MM&P will be convened at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, June 23, 2008, at the Maritime Institute of Technology & Graduate Studies, 692 Maritime Boulevard, Linthicum Heights, Maryland 21090. Nominations for elective office will take place at this Convention.

You are also hereby notified that in accordance with Article IV, Section 6, Subsection b), all proposed resolutions must be forwarded to the International Secretary-Treasurer at least 30 days prior to the opening day of the Convention for inclusion on the Agenda and determination by the Convention.

Please post this call in a prominent location in your offices so that our Membership will be aware of the time and place of the 82nd Convention.

Fraternally,
Glen P. Banks
International Secretary-Treasurer


MM&P ELECTION GUIDELINES POSTED ON WWW.BRIDGEDECK.ORG

The MM&P 2008 Election Guidelines, Notice of Nomination and Election, Offices to be Elected by Membership Groups, Election Period Rules and Conduct and Membership Mailing Information, are posted on the MM&P website, www.bridgedeck.org. To view them, click on the “What’s New” button in the left-hand column of the home page.


TWIC CARD ACTIVATION MAY BE HAMPERED BY DELAYS

The Sept. 24 deadline to obtain the Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC) is fast approaching. If you have not applied yet, you should do so now, because it may take up to two months to obtain the card, according to the government. Delays are being attributed to malfunctioning equipment, problems obtaining usable fingerprint impressions and inadequate enrollment center staffing.

Activation glitches are creating further delays, which may turn what has been touted as a 10-minute stop to pick-up the card into an ordeal stretching over hours or even days. In a Jan. 23 hearing before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, a spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) admitted that wait times for card pick-ups “are longer than we would like.”

TSA said it would be pilot testing card activation appointments in Baton Rouge in early February, an initiative that would, if successful, be expanded nationally.  TSA has estimated it will have to register more than 200,000 mariners for the program by Sept. 25, but recently said only 6,000 have enrolled thus far. 


PIRACY ADVISORY FOR NIGER DELTA

The Maritime Administration (MARAD) has advised ships to use extreme caution when transiting Nigerian territorial waters. Nineteen “acts of aggression” against vessels have been reported in the Niger Delta region since September 2007, according to the Office of Naval Intelligence. Sixteen cases occurred in Rivers State in the vicinity of Bonny River between Port Harcourt and Bonny. Three incidents occurred in the vicinity of Escravos in Delta State. Two people were injured when members of a militant group fired on six oil ships in the area on Jan. 9. In addition, there have been reports of Nigerian drug enforcement officers levying “excessive fines” on mariners calling in Nigerian ports. The advisory concludes that “extreme caution” should be exercised in the Niger Delta area. It said ship owners and operators should refer to the security requirements detailed in the most recent MARSEC directive, 104-6, guidelines for U.S. vessels operating in high-risk waters, dated Dec. 29, 2005. A copy can be obtained from USCG captains of the port, or by e-mailing Malcom.r.mclellan@uscg.mil.


MARITIME UNIONS OPPOSE PROPOSAL TO EXEMPT INLAND WATERWAY NEW HIRES AND CASUAL PORT WORKERS FROM TWIC

Maritime labor opposes a proposal in Congress that would allow certain workers to be temporarily employed in secure areas of vessels and ports without having the Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC).

The unions expressed their opposition to the proposal, which would apply exclusively to new hires on the inland waterways and part-time casual port workers, in a Jan. 31 letter to Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard, and ranking member Olympia Snowe (R-Maine).

The unions said the groups that are pushing adoption of the “so-called interim work authority proposal” are already exempt from the background check requirements that apply to all other professional American seafarers working aboard U.S.-flag vessels.

“We strongly believe that adopting the interim work authority proposal for workers aboard vessels on the inland waterways and/or exempting part-time casual port labor from the requirements of the TWIC program would undermine the effectiveness of the TWIC program,” the unions said. “ The individuals seeking the right to work without having to apply for a TWIC may be working in our ports or aboard vessels carrying dangerous and hazardous commodities and navigating these vessels in and out of American ports. A terrorist act involving one or more of these vessels could cause significant loss of life, disrupt our domestic economy and adversely affect the free flow of commerce along our rivers and through our ports system. This is why Congress chose to include all maritime workers under the scope of the TWIC program, and why the Administration did not include any such exemptions in its rule implementing the program,” they said.

Besides the International President of MM&P, other signatories to the letter were the presidents of the American Maritime Officers, the International Longshoremen’s Association, the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association, the Sailors Union of the Pacific the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, the Marine Firemen’s Union and the Seafarers International Union.


SHIP OPERATIONS COOPERATIVE PROGRAM TO MEET AT MITAGS/CCMIT

The Ship Operations Cooperative Program (SOCP) will sponsor a conference April 1-2 to promote maritime and intermodal education at primary and secondary schools. The conference will be held at the Maritime Institute of Technology & Graduate Studies (MITAGS) in Linthicum, Maryland. The conference is intended to help educators and administrators: find out about maritime primary and secondary schools in the United States; start new maritime charter schools and identify local/state/federal resources; build support for such programs, along with the right coalition of partners; create mentoring programs and internship opportunities; connect with future employers and post-secondary training and education institutions. Employers, industry trade groups, union representatives and professionals from undergraduate and technical schools will attend.

The first two days of the conference are designed around a series of workshops that allow participants to discuss the areas of most interest to them, culminating with results presented at the end of the second day. Keynote speakers will include Rep. Elijah Cummings, and MARAD Administrator Sean Connaughton.

Registration: The all inclusive $125 per person registration fee includes admission to the two-day event, conference materials, continental breakfast, lunch, afternoon break service and an invitation to the opening night reception and dinner.

Exhibits: Exhibit tables are available to highlight your school, company, trade, or labor organization for an additional charge of $225. This price includes admission for one to the conference, the items listed above, and an exhibit table. (The cost for each additional exhibitor is $125 per person.) Registration and table costs are waived for SOCP members in good standing.

Accommodations: SOCP has arranged a hotel package of $135 per night at MITAGS, which includes dinner or “night lunch” on the night prior to the event and a full breakfast on the morning of the event. The hotel offers a special rate of $36 per night for spouses who accompany the attendee to cover meals and additional sleeping room charges. An additional 13 percent for county and state taxes will be added to the hotel charges. (For more information on the hotel, go to http://www.ccmit.org, or call reservations at 866-900-3517.)

How to register: Go to the Ship Operations Cooperative Program (SOCP) website at http://www.socp.us and click on the [Attend Event] link. Proceed to the [Maritime Careers Conference] page. A link to the hotel is also available on that page. For additional information or assistance, please contact Ram Nagendran via e-mail at ram.nagendran@ngc.com or telephone (703) 620-8676.

SOCP is a maritime industry forum for U.S.-based maritime organizations interested in working to solve common problems and to develop products that satisfy the needs of its members. New members are always welcome!

Note: SOCP members will be holding their business meeting on Thursday, April, 3, the day after the education conference. Organizations interested in joining SOCP may request an invitation to the business meeting via the SOCP website. For information, go to http://www.socp.us


MEMBERS URGED TO APPLY FOR COAST GUARD ADVISORY COMMITTEE VACANCIES

MM&P members are urged to apply for vacancies on the Coast Guard’s Great Lakes Pilotage Advisory Committee and the Navigation Safety Advisory Council.

The Great Lakes Pilotage Advisory Committee provides advice and makes recommendations to the Administration on a wide range of issues related to pilotage on the Great Lakes, including the rules and regulations that govern the registration, operating requirements, and training policies for all U.S.-registered pilots. The Committee also advises on matters related to ratemaking for pilot services on the Great Lakes. Application forms should reach the Coast Guard on or before June 16. You may request an application form by writing to Commandant (CG–54121), U.S. Coast Guard, 2100 Second Street, SW, Washington, DC 20593–0001; by calling 202–372–1532; or by faxing 202–372–1929. Send your application in written form to the above street address. This notice and the application form are available on the Internet at http://dms.dot.gov. For more info, contact Rajiv Khandpur, executive director of GLPAC, or John Bobb, assistant to the executive director, at 202–372–1532, fax 202–372–1929.
 
The Navigation Safety Advisory Council provides advice and makes recommendations on a wide range of issues related to the prevention of collisions and groundings. This includes, but is not limited to: Inland and International Rules of the Road, navigation regulations and equipment, routing measures, marine information, diving safety and aids to navigation systems. The deadline for applying is June 16. You may request an application form by writing to Commandant (CG–54121), U.S. Coast Guard, 2100 Second Street, SW, Washington, DC 20593–0001; by calling 202–372–1532; or by faxing 202–372–1929. Send your application in written form to the above street address. This notice and the application form are available on the Internet at http://dms.dot.gov. For more information, contact: Mike Sollosi, executive director of NAVSAC, or John Bobb, assistant to the executive director, at 202–372–1532, fax 202–372–1929.


ISRAELI SEAPORT TO JOIN U.S.-LED RADIATION DETECTION EFFORT

New radiation detection equipment in the Port of Haifa is intended to strengthen supply chain security by ensuring containers are scanned before they depart for the United States. The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), the Israel Atomic Energy Commission (IAEC) and the Israel Port Company (IPC) are working together to implement NNSA’s Megaports Initiative, designed to prevent illicit shipments of nuclear or other radioactive material from entering the United States. Haifa is the twelfth international seaport to begin operating radiation detection equipment. 

If a container is flagged by radiation detectors, technology developed by Israel would identify the radioisotope involved. It is hoped that the project will provide information on the best way to detect radiological material in containers. The equipment was installed under a cost-sharing arrangement with IPC and the Haifa Port company.


USNS LARAMIE, YUKON AND GRASP COOK UP RECIPE FOR SUCCESS

USNS LARAMIE, USNS YUKON and USNS GRASP have won the Military Sealift Command (MSC) Food Service Excellence Award for exceptional efforts in food preparation. The award is presented annually in recognition of a galley operation’s ability to prepare healthy, tasty meals and provide mariners with an overall positive dining experience.  “Winning this award is truly a testament to those dedicated professionals who day in and day out prepare our meals,” said MM&P Government Group member Steven Perdue, captain of the YUKON. “Their job is a thankless one that goes largely unnoticed, so it is especially rewarding to those folks onboard who work in the galley to be recognized.”

In making the awards, MSC released a statement saying that “the health and morale of MSC’s 4,500 civil service mariners are important components in the successful execution of ships’ missions in support of vital U.S.-military operations around the world.”


EXXON VALDEZ CASE BEFORE HIGH COURT THIS WEEK

After 20 years of legal wrangling, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments Wednesday on whether a $5 billion judgment against Exxon for damages in the Valdez oil spill case is excessive. The case being appealed was originally decided by a federal jury in Alaska in 1994. Exxon has been appealing for the past 14 years.

There is still oil from the spill in the water and on the beaches where the wreck took place. “Every Alaskan’s life was affected by this,” Republican Governor Sarah Palin told The Washington Post in a recent interview. “When I got in here, that was one of the first orders of business: to find out how in the world can this administration speak on behalf of all Alaskans who have been so adversely affected by this spill.”

At Exxon’s behest, the 1994 award has been reviewed three times by a district judge and twice by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.  “I’m a capitalist, I’m a conservative Republican, I am pro-development and pro-industry,” Palin told the Post. “But consider what Exxon has made in terms of profits in all these years. The American judicial system came down with this judgment, and they’ve appealed and they’ve appealed and they’ve appealed.”

In the years in which Exxon has been appealing the case, 20 percent of the plaintiffs in the suit—fishermen, cannery workers and local residents who argued their livelihoods had been severely compromised by the spill—have died. The remaining plaintiffs say the$5 billion judgment is equal to only about three weeks of Exxon’s current net profits.


FREE MORTGAGE COUNSELING FOR UNION MEMBERS AND FAMILIES

MM&P members and retirees are reminded that among the benefits offered them through the union’s affiliation with Union Plus is a free assistance program for those who may be affected by the current housing slump. The program is called “Save My Home.” Union members and their families can access the program by calling 1-866-490-5361, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. HUD-certified counselors are standing by around the clock. In addition, there are 100 local offices in 22 states and the District of Columbia. Borrowers can call the hotline as many times as they wish. They leave each session with an action plan to help them address their housing concerns. Borrowers who are already behind on their mortgage payments can also receive help under the program. Counselors will illustrate strategies to stop foreclosure and help borrowers keep their homes, including loan restructuring and how to negotiate with lenders.

Save My Home is offered by Union Plus in conjunction with MMI, a full-service, non-profit credit counseling agency that currently assists nearly 100,000 clients in repaying their debts.


FERRY SINKS IN THE AMAZON

A ferryboat carrying more than 100 passengers struck a fuel-tank laden barge and sank to the bottom of the Amazon River on Thursday. Nine bodies were recovered. Ten other passengers were missing and feared dead. The ferryboat, the ALMIRANTE MONTEIRO, capsized at dawn near the isolated Brazilian town of Itacoatiara in the jungle state of Amazonas. Immediately after the accident, 92 people were rescued by residents in small boats and the state’s floating police station. Visibility was poor at the time of the accident. The missing passengers were mostly those who had slept in cabins. Many survivors had slept in hammocks on the deck.


SIMULATION PLANNED ON WHAT IF COSCO BUSAN ACCIDENT HAD TAKEN PLACE IN NEW YORK

On Feb. 27, the North American Maritime Ministry Association, in conjunction with New York Maritime Inc., will present a simulation on emergency response entitled “What if…the COSCO BUSAN happened in New York Harbor. Will we be prepared?”

The simulation will replicate in New York the accident that occurred last November in San Francisco. Among the stakeholders participating will be owners, responders, cargo shippers and government agencies. The simulation takes place in midtown Manhattan at 4:00.

Sponsors of the event include SIGCo and Gallagher Marine Systems, Inc. A reception will follow. Admission is $75. Reservations are required. For information, call 1-203-255 4686 or e-mail info@nymar.org.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

CLASS OPENINGS: Between now and the first week of May 2008, seats are available in the following courses:

ARPA � Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 4/7

BST � Basic Safety Training: 4/7
BRM � Bridge Resource Management: 3/24
BRMP � Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 3/27, 4/28

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVSTB � Advanced Stability: 4/7
CMM-ADVWX � Advanced Meteorology: 3/31
CMM-CHS I � Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 4/14
CMM-CHS II � Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 4/21
CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display & Information Systems: 3/31
CMM-MPP � Marine Propulsion Plants: 4/7
CMM-SHMGT-I � Ship Management (week 1): 3/9, 4/28
CMM-SHMGT-II � Ship Management (week 2): 5/5
CMM-SHS-ADV-I-Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 3/10, 4/21, 5/5
CMM-VPEN � Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 3/17
CMM-WKP � Advanced Watchkeeping: 3/10

CONT PLNG � Contingency Planning Workshop: 5/9
CSE-AWR2 � Confined Space Entry Awareness (2 day): 3/20

FF-BADV � Combined Basic & Advanced Fire Fighting: 4/7

HAZ � Hazardous Materials 5 day Course: 4/14
HAZMAT � Hazardous Materials Seminar (1 day) Course: 3/21

LEG � Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 3/26, 4/29

MED-PIC � Medical Person-In-Charge: 4/14
MED-PRO � Medical Care Provider: 3/10, 4/14
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 3/15, 4/19
MEDIA RSP � Media Response: 3/20, 5/8

ROR-1 � Radar Observer Renewal: 4/7

SEC-VCF � Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 3/17, 5/5
SHS-BAS � Basic Shiphandling: 3/24
SHS-EMR5 � Emergency Shiphandling: 3/31, 4/28
SHS-ESH- BRMP � Emergency Shiphandling & Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 3/24, 4/30

�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

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)

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 2-22-2008

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
12,381.02 2,303.35 1,353.11
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
62.31
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
124.91
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
36.97
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
22.68
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
17.76
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
29.22
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.35
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
30.45
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.70
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
16.57
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
23.37
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
14.01
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
20.12
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
11.69
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
12.45
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
12.91
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
13.62
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
14.07
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.15
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
32.70
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
19.12
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
14.74
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
25.34
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.12
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
84.97
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
16.99
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
69.94
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
21.19
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
39.55
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
36.37
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
27.42
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.28
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
12.16
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
14.23
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
14.88
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
15.31
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
8.98
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
10.50
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.26
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
35.58
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
47.98
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
29.17





~ 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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