News

Wheelhouse Weekly – January 18, 2010

January 18th 2010

 

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

Volume 14 . . . . . Number 3. . . .January 18, 2010

STORIES COVERED

REMINDERS

MM&P FCU News

MM&P Health & Benefit Plan News

Meet Our New Prescription Benefit Manager, PHARMACARE

Notice to MM&P Health & Benefit Plan Participants

WWII USCG Veterans Outreach

Company Gives Bucks Back for buying Safe Shoes

Website Offers Union-Made Goods and Services



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


USNS COMFORT, COAST GUARD CUTTERS, DEPLOY TO HAITI IN WAKE OF MASSIVE QUAKE

Military Sealift Command (MSC) hospital ship USNS COMFORT departed Baltimore Saturday for what is being termed its largest humanitarian effort in two decades: bringing emergency medical relief to the survivors of the cataclysmic earthquake that struck Haiti on Jan. 12. Current estimates are that the quake, which measured 7.0 on the Richter scale, killed over 100,000 in Port au Prince alone. COMFORT is expected to arrive in Haiti on Thursday.

MSC says the medical team of approximately 560 doctors, nurses, technicians and support staff aboard COMFORT will provide a host of medical services including primary care, trauma care, pediatric care and orthopedic care.  A crew of 64 civil service mariners, including MM&P licensed deck officers, operate and navigate the ship. 
As reports of the massive disaster in the Caribbean nation began to arrive, the Coast Guard immediately deployed a contingent of vessels and aircraft. The cutter FORWARD arrived in the waters off Port au Prince on Wednesday morning. Coast Guard personnel aboard the ship reported oil, fuel and possible sewage spills in the vicinity of the coast, as well as a number of small fires along the shore. Damage to port infrastructure is said to include complete or partial destruction of the container and cargo cranes, some of which are reported to be completely submerged.

The Coast Guard cutter MOHAWK arrived in Haitian waters on Wednesday afternoon. The cutters TAHOMA and VALIANT arrived Thursday. TAHOMA is loaded with relief supplies for survivors of the quake. “Within 24 to 36 hours, we had three cutters on the scene with the capacity to support hundreds, if not thousands,” said Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen.
Coast Guard aircraft have been evacuating survivors to hospitals in the United States and Guantanamo Bay. Coast Guard aircraft have also been involved in the airlift to Haiti of American urban search and rescue teams.


HEALTH CARE REFORM: UNIONS WIN CHANGES TO EXCISE TAX ON HEALTH PLANS

Labor unions have successfully pressured the Administration into making major changes to the proposed tax on insurance premiums contained in pending health care reform legislation. One important change negotiated by unions is that workers covered by collective bargaining agreements will be exempted from the tax until 2018. Another modification exempts vision and dental benefits from the calculation of the taxable threshold. A third change would raise the level at which benefits would be taxed to $24,000 for families and $8,900 for individuals. The Senate bill called for a threshold of $23,000 for families and $8,500 for individuals.

The threshold would be increased each year by the amount of the rise in the Consumer Price Index plus 1 percent, the same rate of indexation called for in the Senate bill. The formula will be adjusted for inflation from 2010 to 2013. The initial inflation threshold period will be adjusted upward if inflation increases above current assumptions.

“The changes are good for all working Americans,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. “I believe that in the elections of 2010 and 2012, we will be able to motivate not just our members but working people in general to get out and vote, because this bill will bring health care to working Americans and lower their costs,” he added.


MM&P GREAT LAKES MEMBERSHIP GROUP OVERWHELMINGLY APPROVES DUES INCREASE

The members of MM&P’s Great Lakes & Rivers (GL&R) Group have overwhelmingly voted in favor of a dues increase. By a large margin, they also approved an increase in the GL&R initiation fee and an increase in non-sailing dues. “I want to thank the members of the Great Lakes & Rivers Group for showing confidence in the direction of our union,” said MM&P Cleveland Representative Charlie Malue. “I will continue to serve the membership faithfully and to work diligently to increase our membership on the Great Lakes and rivers.” The increases take effect April 1, 2010.


MM&P NAMES GABRIEL TERRASA INTERNATIONAL COUNSEL

Gabriel Terrasa, an experienced labor lawyer who has served as MM&P’s associate general counsel since 2001, is the new head of the Masters, Mates Pilots legal team. Terrasa is a partner of Terrasa & Stair, and a former partner of Singleton, Gendler & Terrasa. He has 13 years’ experience representing unions in all aspects of labor-management relations, including organizing campaigns, contract negotiations, litigation before federal and state agencies, federal trial and appellate courts and Maryland State trial and appellate courts, and providing advice in all aspects of union governance, management and compliance. Terrasa is an adjunct professor of law at the University of Baltimore School of Law. He was a field attorney with the National Labor Relations Board from 1997 to 2000. Terrasa is currently a member of the board of directors of the prestigious AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee, an organization comprised of over 1,700 union-side labor lawyers in more than 500 firms and union legal departments nationwide. The Lawyers Coordinating Committee was created for the purpose of sharing information, resources, and ideas to enhance the quality of legal representation available to labor and charitable organizations. Terrasa was also appointed by Governor Martin O’Malley as a commissioner on the Maryland General Assembly Compensation Commission.


2009 TALLY SHOWS DRAMATIC UPSWING IN VIOLENT PIRATE ATTACKS

International maritime authorities are reporting a jump of almost 40 percent in the number of pirate attacks reported in 2009. The International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Center said last year it received reports of 406 attacks, more than half of which involved pirates coming from Somalia. IMB says the last time the number of attacks exceeded 400 was in 2003. A spokesman for the bureau said that 2009 marks the third consecutive year in which the number of incidents has increased. There were 239 attacks in 2006, 263 in 2007 and 293 in 2008. Last year, a total of 1,052 mariners were taken hostage, 68 were injured and eight killed.

The spokesman said that the presence of international naval patrols has helped to limit the number of cases in which ships are actually taken by pirates. “Whilst the number of 2009 incidents has almost doubled, the number of successful hijackings is proportionately less,” he said. “This can be directly attributed to the increased presence and coordination of the international navies along with heightened awareness and robust action by the masters in transiting these waters.”

Besides the attacks in the vicinity of the Somali coast, IMB also said 28 incidents were reported for Nigeria in 2009. Of these, 21 vessels were boarded, three fired upon, one hijacked and three attacked. One crewmember was killed. IMB said attacks on vessels in the vicinity of Nigeria tend to be linked to the oil industry and are likely to be much more violent.

Only two incidents were reported in the Malacca Straits in 2009, the same number as in 2008, but this is the second year in a row in which incidents in the Singapore Straits have increased. Nine incidents were reported in 2009, as compared to six in 2008. Of these, six vessels were boarded and three reported attempted attacks. Thirteen incidents were reported by ships in the South China Seas. Bangladesh (Chittagong) has shown a slight increase in the number of attacks as compared to 2008. Thirty-seven incidents were reported in the vicinity of South America, up from 14 in 2008.    


NEW CHARGES AGAINST MAERSK ALABAMA HIJACKER

In related news, the U.S. government has charged the pirate being held for last April’s MAERSK ALABAMA attack with involvement in other incidents of piracy. The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced the filing of a superseding indictment against Abduwali Abdukhadir Musé. The indictment alleges that Musé and others hijacked two other ships, the second of which is still being held hostage. Musé faces life in prison.


MM&P OFFSHORE AND PMR HALLS IN SAN FRANCISCO WILL MOVE FEB. 1

Effective Feb. 1, the MM&P Offshore and Pacific Maritime Region (PMR) Halls in San Francisco will relocate to 548 Thomas L. Berkeley Way, Oakland, CA 94612. All phone and fax numbers for both halls will remain the same.

Thomas L. Berkeley Way, formerly known as 20th St., is located between San Pablo and Telegraph Avenues, two blocks from the 19th St. BART Station. The move is part of MM&P’s ongoing alliance efforts with the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA) and mirrors similar moves in Boston, Jacksonville, San Juan and Los Angeles. Joining Offshore Port Representative Sandy Candau and PMR Representative Ray Shipway in the new office will be Offshore Port Agent Bill McKinley, formerly a captain on APL and Matson vessels, who has recently begun working for MM&P on a part-time basis.

“It’s difficult to leave the historic Maritime Hall on Rincon Hill in San Francisco and the fraternal hospitality of the Sailors’ Union of the Pacific,” said MM&P Pacific Ports Vice President Don Marcus. “But our commitment to moving forward with MEBA and practical considerations make this change necessary.”


COAST GUARD SEEKS TO HIRE MARINE INSPECTOR IN PADUCAH

The Coast Guard seeks to hire a senior marine inspector and lead instructor, GS-1801-13, to serve at the new Towing Vessel National Center of Expertise in Paducah, Ky. Duties include providing technical guidance, advice and recommendations to field units on matters related to all aspects of towing vessel inspection; serving as lead inspector on towing vessel inspections; providing technical guidance in the development of towing vessel course curriculum as well as leading implementation of courses; and serving as team leader of exportable training teams to field units. The job is open until Jan 25. The salary range is $80,402 – $101,525. This is a full-time, permanent job. To find out more and apply, go to: http://tiny.cc/Paducah. For more information about the application or hiring process, contact Daryle Merlock at 202-475-5353. For more information about the position, contact Julie Bethke at 270-816-0694.


MAREX NEWSLETTER CONCLUDES SERIES ON CARGO AND CONTAINER SECURITY

The container security standards established by U.S. government agencies should receive failing grades in almost every case. This assertion appears in the most recent of a series of articles published in MarEx newsletter under the title, “A Report Card on DHS Security Policies, Standards and Programs.” The author is Jim Giermanski of the consulting firm Powers Global Holdings Inc.

In the most recent article, the sixth of the series, Giermanski assigns failing grades to Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) standards and container scanning legislation. He says the CBP’s False Positive Standard is “scientifically unsound given the environment of the global supply chain.” He also reserves criticism for 100 percent scanning laws, saying that it “does nothing to guarantee our security if a previously scanned container then goes through a transshipment port where a bomb, drugs or gummy bears can be inserted prior to entry into the United States.”

“Perhaps, the worst of all models is the seal-door standard. Suffice it to say that this writer has personally either accomplished or observed personally four ways of bypassing a sealed container without violating the integrity of the seal and without any manipulation of the hinges. In a public demonstration a sealed container was sent to private location where a philosophy professor and a housewife (trained for the purposes of the demonstration) surreptitiously breach a sealed container. It is shameful that DHS and CBP cannot or will not do better when systems that protect the entire container exist, and are affordable.”

To subscribe to MarEx Newsletter, go to: http://www.maritime-executive.com/.


DRUG AND ALCOHOL TESTING COURSE AT PMI ON JAN. 21

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


MM&P GENERAL EXECUTIVE BOARD 2010 MEETING DATES ANNOUNCED

The MM&P General Executive Board (GEB) has announced its meeting schedule for 2010. The quarterly meetings will take place March 9-10, June 8-9, Aug. 31-Sept. 1 and Nov. 30-Dec. 1. All meetings will take place at MM&P headquarters in Linthicum Heights, Md.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

CLASS OPENINGS: Between now and the end of March 2010, as of the Friday before this publication, seats are available in the following courses:

AB- Able Bodied Seaman: 2/8

ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 3/8

BRM � Bridge Resource Management: 2/8, 3/15

BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 3/11

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

CMM-ADVSTB � Advanced Stability: 2/8

CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 3/15

CMM-MPP � Marine Propulsion Plants: 3/8

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

CMM-SHMGT II � Ship Management (week 2): 3/1

CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 2/1, 2/15, 3/1, 3/15, 3/29

CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 2/1, 2/22, 3/22, 3/29

CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 3/22

CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 2/15

CONSTB � Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 2/15

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: 1/28

ECDIS/ENAV for PILOTS (2-day): 3/9

ENAV � Electronic Navigation: 3/15

ENVRO-REGS PERMIT – Environmental Regulations In The Maritime Industry / Epa General Permit For Commercial Vessels: 3/31

FSM � Fatigue, Sleep & Medications: 3/11

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

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

LAP-ORD3rd � License Advancement Program for 500-1600 ton Third Mate: 2/15

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 3/10

[MSC-Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC CBRD-1 � CBRD Orientation: 4/2

MSC-DC � Damage Control (Special Evening Course): 3/29 to 4/1

MSC-SMA � Small Arms Training: 3/29

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 2/20, 3/20

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 2/15, 3/15

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 2/15, 3/15

MEDIA RSP – Media Response Workshop: 1/29

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

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 3/08

SEC-VCF – Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 1/25, 3/8

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling: 2/15, 3/22

SHS-BAS � Basic Shiphandling: 3/1

SHS-ESH-BRMP3 – 3-Day Emergency Shiphandling-Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 3/8

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

WX-BAS � Basic Meteorology: 3/8

WKP BAS � Basic Watchkeeping 3/22

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


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


PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

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

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

January 2010

25-29  Medical Care Provider
25-5    Medical Person-in-Charge

February 2010

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

March 2010

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

April 2010

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


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 1-15-2010

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
10,609.65 2,287.99 1,136.03
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
49.23
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
104.67
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
33.48
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
17.50
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
15.47
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
24.32
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.72
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
27.76
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.54
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
15.36
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
19.96
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
13.45
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
18.01
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
11.14
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
11.51
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
11.54
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
11.87
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
12.27
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.45
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
28.00
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
15.57
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
14.11
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
16.46
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.28
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
65.84
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
58.87
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
16.80
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
38.52
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
28.60
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
24.38
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
10.86
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
11.48
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
12.72
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
12.79
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
12.65
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
7.32
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
8.53
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.61
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
31.07
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
40.20
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
26.46





~ Reminders ~



MM&P FCU NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



 

MM&P HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN NEWS

MEET OUR NEW PRESCRIPTION BENEFIT MANAGER, PHARMACARE

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



NOTICE TO MM&P HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN PARTICIPANTS

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

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


WWII USCG VETERANS OUTREACH

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

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



 

COMPANY GIVES BUCKS BACK FOR BUYING SAFE SHOES

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

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

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

Vessels in the LMS footwear reimbursement program are:

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

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

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

LOOK FOR THE UNION LABEL:

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

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

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

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

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


 

WEBSITE OFFERS UNION-MADE GOODS AND SERVICES

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

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

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

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

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



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

© 2010, 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.