News

Wheelhouse Weekly – June 22, 2009

June 22nd 2009

 

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

Volume 13 . . . . . Number 25. . . .June 22, 2009

STORIES COVERED

REMINDERS

T-AGS Oceanographic Survey Ships Info

Required Coursework

Security Clearances

MSC Physicals

MM&P FCU News

MM&P Health & Benefit Plan News

Meet Our New Prescription Benefit Manager, PHARMACARE

Notice to MM&P Health & Benefit Plan Participants

WWII USCG Veterans Outreach

Company Gives Bucks Back for buying Safe Shoes

Website Offers Union-Made Goods and Services



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


U.S. SHOULD PROTECT AMERICAN SHIPS, BOOST INVESTMENTS IN MARITIME, SAYS REP. JAMES OBERSTAR

The Department of Defense (DOD) should embark security teams on American ships travelling in the waters off Somalia and the Gulf of Aden, said Rep. James Oberstar (D-Minn.), chairman of House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, during a recent speech in Washington to members of the International Propeller Club. “DOD should be stationing security teams on U.S.-flag vessels that are transiting that part of the world, especially those that are carrying government-impelled cargoes,” Oberstar said, adding that “it would be cheaper to put security detachments on five or six U.S.-flag ships than to send a fleet of Navy boats to the area.” The congressman made the remarks during the June 8 speech to an audience that included representatives of maritime labor, U.S.-flag shippers and executive branch agencies.

Oberstar also called for a larger U.S.-flag fleet, tax incentives for truck and rail companies to encourage them to interact with short sea shippers and significant investments in America’s water transport system. “Maritime is like the good old uncle who comes to dinner,” he said. “You count on him, you expect him, but that’s gone on too long. Our water highways have receded into the background of public attention. We need to be Number One in maritime. We’re Number One in everything else.” Oberstar said studies have shown that it is many times more efficient to move goods by water than by land. “Europeans have understood it and are making huge investments,” he said. “Now America needs to understand what ports mean to the lifeblood of this nation.”


INTERNATIONAL MARITIME ORGANIZATION CONTINUES FOCUS ON PIRACY; MM&P WEIGHS IN

At a meeting in London earlier this month, the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee called on flag states to “strongly discourage” the implementation of anti-piracy programs that call for seafarers to be armed to protect themselves or their vessels. MM&P was represented on the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) delegation to the meetings and served as lead spokesman for labor on the piracy issue.

During the course of the meetings, which came to a close on June 5, the MSC adopted new anti-piracy recommendations for governments and maritime industry players. The guidelines include an annex, based on current United Nations guidance on “surviving as a hostage,” aimed at seafarers, fishermen and other mariners who may be kidnapped or held for ransom.

In keeping with the official position espoused by the Masters, Mates & Pilots, the MSC agreed that flag states should strongly discourage the carrying and use of firearms by seafarers for personal protection or for the protection of a ship. “MM&P takes the threat to the safety and wellbeing of members very seriously,” said MM&P headquarters staffer Mike Rodriguez, who represented the ITF at the IMO meetings. “We value the work of ITF at IMO as a part of our advocacy work for MM&P members. And we are doing everything we can to ensure that our members are protected when they sail into the Gulf of Aden and along the Somali coast.”

MM&P has been working in Congress toward legislation that would require the U.S. government to embark military security teams on board U.S.-flag ships in the high threat area. As has been reported in The Wheelhouse Weekly, the Navy has refused to provide security teams unless the ship is long-term chartered to the military or is carrying only Department of Defense cargo. MM&P argues that U.S. ships and crews deserve the protection of the U.S. government and should not have to resort to the use of lethal force to protect themselves.

MM&P is now helping to draft legislation that would put armed military security teams aboard U.S.-flag vessels. The union is also engaged in discussions with the Maritime Administration to advocate our position as part of the work of the United Nations Contact Group on the prevention of piracy in the Gulf of Aden and off Somalia. MM&P is strongly advocating for the welfare and protection of ships’ crews as a fundamental principle of the “best practices” to prevent piracy, which are now being developed by the UN Contact Group. The group’s work is extremely important because it is setting policy for the many nations that are actively fighting piracy off Somalia.

“The security and safety of our members is our highest priority,” said MM&P International President Tim Brown in an official statement. “We will continue to work within the framework of international and national forums to ensure that our concerns are addressed.”


ALLEGATIONS AT ROOT OF CONTROVERSY OVER COAST GUARD ALJ PROGRAM REMAIN UNANSWERED IN GAO REPORT

Allegations of improper bias in the Coast Guard’s Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) program are not addressed at all in a June 12 report issued by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) for the simple reason that the authors of the report were instructed to weigh in exclusively on the topic of whether or not the ALJ program contained “elements” that could theoretically allow it to function fairly.  Coast Guard ALJs preside over cases involving merchant mariner license and document suspension and revocation.

In response to specific questions about the structure of the ALJ program raised by six members of Congress, the GAO report found that the ALJ program contains elements “designed to foster the decisional independence of ALJs” and that it includes some protections for mariners. But the report stopped short of reaching any conclusions about whether the “elements” and “protections” are effective in creating an environment that protects Coast Guard ALJs from agency influence and coercion. “We did not assess… whether the structural elements are effective at ensuring the ALJ’s decisional independence,” the authors of the study wrote.

The allegations at the root of the ALJ controversy were made in a detailed piece of investigative journalism, published under the heading “Justice Capsized,” in the June 24, 2007, issue of The Baltimore Sun. The article was written by one of the newspaper’s staff reporters, Robert Little. The Sun published an editorial on the same topic, “A Listing Court,” in its June 26, 2007, edition.
 
The thrust of the article and editorial was that many of the USCG ALJs took the Coast Guard’s side as a matter of course in cases against mariners. Much of the article was based on a sworn statement given by Judge Jeffie J. Massey, who had worked in the ALJ program. Massey, who reported in her sworn statement that she had been pressured into retiring from the Coast Guard, said that she had been instructed by then-ALJ Chief Judge Joseph N. Ingolia not to act as a judge but rather as a tool to assure rulings favorable to the USCG. “I was specifically told [by Ingolia] that I should always rule for the Coast Guard,” she said in her sworn statement.

Fallout from the news report spread quickly throughout the maritime community and beyond, leading to a hearing before the House Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.). Judge Massey presented testimony at the hearing, as did MM&P, which was represented by attorney Bill Hewig, who specializes in Coast Guard legal aid matters. 

“The GAO report did not address the serious charges of improper agency influence and coercion raised by Judge Massey because its authors were not asked to do so,” Hewig said in an interview on Friday, June 19.

A spokesman for the Coast Guard agreed. “While the GAO report does not address allegations made by retired judge Jeffie Massey, a Department of Homeland Security Office of the Inspector General review requested by the Coast Guard that will directly address Judge Massey’s allegations is ongoing and expected to be completed later this summer,” said Rear Adm. Charles D. Michel, director of the Coast Guard’s Directorate of Government and Public Affairs, in an official statement. “We look forward to sharing the results of that review.”


ANNIVERSARY OF MM&P’S FOUNDING IS JUNE 28

This year, the Masters, Mates & Pilots is 129 years old. The union had its beginnings in the wake of a fire aboard the steamboat SEAWANHAKA in New York Harbor on June 28, 1880. Captain Charles P. Smith demonstrated remarkable heroism in saving the lives of most of those on board the 612-ton, 230-foot side paddle-wheeler. Attempts by the authorities to criminalize him in the aftermath of the tragedy drove other American pilots and captains to constitute a committee that became the genesis of the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots. Since that fateful day in 1880, MM&P has worked to secure and protect the rights and working conditions of its members and of all persons who work in the seagoing maritime industry.


MM&P MAGAZINE NOW ONLINE!

The May-June issue of The Master, Mate & Pilot will be arriving in your mailbox soon. In the meantime, look for it online on www.bridgedeck.org. In this issue of The Master, Mate & Pilot:

  • in wake of pirate attack on MM&P-crewed MAERSK ALABAMA, maritime labor calls on government to provide “force protection” for U.S.-flag ships;
  • MM&P members advise Congress on best ways to protect American ships from pirates;
  • 40 mariners turn out for Pacific Beach Hotel picket;
  • Maersk Lines, Ltd. continues multimillion dollar U.S.-flag fleet renewal;
  • MM&P’s friends in Congress introduce bill that would overhaul delay-plagued Coast Guard medical review process;
  • MM&P pilot members approve dues increase.


    MM&P PORT OFFICES NO LONGER ACCEPT CASH

    Effective July 1, MM&P port offices will no longer accept cash. To carry out transactions, members can continue to use checks, credit cards and money orders. If you need assistance in finding the nearest location at which to purchase a money order, please contact your local MM&P port office.


    COAST GUARD TO HIRE MARINE INSPECTORS

    The Coast Guard has published the first civilian vacancy announcements for its five new “National Centers of Expertise (NCOE).” The positions will be GS-12 and GS-13. Each center will have four to a maximum of nine inspectors. The employees will also train student inspectors, advise policy-makers, regulation developers or operational program managers on trends, best practices, leading indicators, problematic issues or other functional area concerns. The five centers hiring are: Towing Vessel Center, Paducah, Ky.; Liquefied Gas Carrier Center, Port Arthur, Texas; Outer Continental Shelf Center, Morgan City, La.; Vintage Vessel Center, Duluth, Minn.; and Investigations Center, New Orleans. If you are interested in finding out more about these positions, as well as how to apply, please go to www.usajobs.gov, keywords: Marine, US Coast Guard.Contact Daryle Merlock at daryle.j.merlock@uscg.mil or 202-475-5353 with questions.


    ATTENTION ALL D-BOOK APPLICANTS: NEW DEADLINE FOR SUBMITTING YOUR PAPERWORK TO GEB

    Applicants who intend to apply for D-Book membership are informed that a one-week deadline for document submission is now in effect. In other words, all back-up paperwork for your application, including a copy of the “D” Certificate for the D-Book membership class, your four letters of recommendation from a senior officer and a copy of your discharge (if you got off a ship just before or at the deadline date) must be received by the MM&P Membership Department by close of business, 5:00 p.m. East Coast time, one week before the GEB meeting. Remember that your initiation fee must also be paid in full. The final two GEB meetings for 2009 will be held on Sept. 8-9 and Dec. 1-2. The deadline for submitting material to the Sept. 8 meeting is COB 5:00 p.m. East Coast time, Tuesday, Sept. 1. The deadline for submitting material to the Dec. 1 meeting is COB 5:00 p.m. East Coast time, Tuesday, Nov. 24.


    UPCOMING D-BOOK MEMBERSHIP CLASSES: HOUSTON JUNE 23-24; NOLA JULY 7-8

    Here is a list of upcoming opportunities to attend the D-Book Membership class:

  • Houston Hall – June 23-24
  • New Orleans Hall – July 7-8

    All applicants should complete this course as soon as possible to avoid delays in becoming members. Applicants should take the course before completing 360 days of covered employment. For more information and to sign up, please contact the hall at which the class you wish to attend will be given: NY/NJ Hall 201-963-1900; Houston Hall 281-487-4649; New Orleans Hall 504-837-5700.


    COURSE EQUIVALENCIES FOR REQUIRED COMPANY TRAINING

    Given the number of required company training courses, it is extremely important for new members to request a transcript review to determine whether they meet the course equivalency requirements.  The courses that are eligible for equivalency are listed in the MITAGS Trust Student Guide located on www.mitags.org in the MM&P Member Section. You may also request a copy from Diane Ford (dford@mitags.org or call 443-989-3238). Remember, the dispatcher in the union hall cannot assign you a job unless you meet the company’s training requirements!


    HORIZON LINES SETTLES PUERTO RICO CLASS ACTION SUIT

    Horizon Lines has announced that a settlement agreement has been reached with the plaintiffs who filed a class action lawsuit against it and several other domestic shipping carriers. The lawsuit involved domestic ocean shipping service in the Puerto Rico trade lane between 2002 and 2008. The suits involved violations of the Sherman Act and Puerto Rican antitrust laws. Under the settlement agreement, which is subject to Court approval, Horizon has agreed to pay $20 million and to offer freezes in base rates to certain clients for a period of two years.


    MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

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

    AB � Able Seaman: 7/6
    AIS � (1-Day) Automatic Identification System: 6/22
    ARPA � Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 8/24, 9/22
    AZIPOD � (2-Day) Azipod Propulsion Systems: 10/1
    BRM � Bridge Resource Management: 7/27
    BRMP � Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 8/27, 9/14
    BST � Basic Safety Training: 8/3
    CONT PLNG � Contingency Planning: 7/09, 9/17

    [CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
    CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 9/21
    CMM-CHS I � Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 7/6
    CMM-CHS II � Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 6/29
    CMM-ADVSTB � Advanced Stability: 8/10, 9/29
    CMM-ECDIS � Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems: 7/27
    CMM-MPP � Marine Propulsion Plants: 8/24
    CMM-SHMGT I � Ship Management (week 1) : 7/13, 9/7
    CMM-SHMGT II � Ship Management (week 2) : 7/20, 9/14
    CMM-SHS-ADV-I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 8/3, 8/17, 8/24, 8/31, 9/14, 9/28
    CMM-SHS-ADV-I I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 7/20, 8/10, 8/17, 8/31, 9/21
    CMM-VPEN � Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 8/3
    CMM-WKP � Advanced Watchkeeping: 8/17, 8/31

    CSE-AAES � Confined Space Entry, Atmospheric Analysis of enclosed Spaces (3 day): 7/13
    ENAV � Electronic Navigation: 9/7
    ENVIRO-REGS PERMIT – Environmental Regulations In The Maritime Industry / EPA General Permit for Commercial Vessels (2 day): 7/29
    ENVIRO-REGS – Introduction to Environmental Regulations in the Maritime Industry (1 Day): 7/29
    FF-BADV � Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting Combined: 8/3
    HAZ � Hazardous Materials (5-Day) course: 8/31
    LEG � Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 8/26, 9/28
    LNG AWAR � Liquefied Natural Gas Awareness: 8/18

    MEDIA RSP � Media Response Workshop: 7/10, 9/18
    MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 8/10
    MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 8/10
    MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 8/15

    [MSC – Military Sealift Command]
    MSC-CBRD-1 � CBRD Orientation: 7/18, 8/14
    MSC-DC � Damage Control: 7/16 (Special Evening Course: 8/10-13/09)
    MSC-SMA � Small Arms Training: 8/10, 9/14

    [OICNW � Officer in Charge of a Navigation Watch Courses]
    OICNW-TCNAV/CO � Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 7/13
    OICNW-CONSTB � Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 8/17

    ROP-5 � Radar Observer Original or Renewal: 8/31
    ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 6/22, 8/24

    SEC-VCF – Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 7/6, 9/14
    SEC-VSO-R � Vessel Security Officer Refresher (1 day): 8/14
    SHS-EMR5 � Emergency Shiphandling: 8/10
    SHS-EMR-BRMP3 � Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 8/24, 9/28

    TPIC � Tankship Dangerous Liquids Person In Charge: 8/31
    WKP BAS � Basic Watchkeeping: 9/21
    WX BAS � Basic Meteorology: 9/14

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

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


    PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

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

    FOR REGISTRATION CALL JENNIFER PITZEN: 206 838-1126

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

    June 2009
    25Security Refresher

    July 2009
    6-10Basic Shiphandling
    13Radar Renewal
    14-17 ARPA
    13-17Emergency Shiphandling

    August 2009
    3Radar Renewal
    4-7ARPA
    3-5Security VCF
    10-14 ECDIS
    10-14 TPIC

    September 2009
    21Radar Renewal
    22-25ARPA
    21-25Medical Care Provider
    21-2Medical Person-in-Charge

    For registration call Jennifer Pitzen 888-893-7829

    PMI MERCHANDISE FOR SALE!!!

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


    MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 6-19-2009

    D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
    8,555.60 1,827.47 921.23
    Fund Name & Trading Symbol
     Closing
    Price
     Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
    41.93
     Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
    85.30
     Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
    26.15
     Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
    13.82
     Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
    12.47
     Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
    19.57
     Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
    10.56
     Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
    22.34
     Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
    4.89
     Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
    13.71
     Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
    16.67
     Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
    12.47
     Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
    15.60
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
    10.05
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
    9.97
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
    9.73
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
    9.76
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
    10.10
     Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
    10.08
     Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
    22.62
     Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
    13.66
     Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
    12.07
     Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
    13.36
     Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
    9.61
     Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
    52.85
     Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
    12.94
     Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
    43.49
     Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
    13.47
     Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
    29.10
     Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
    23.31
     Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
    18.51
     Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
    9.96
     Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
    10.52
     Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
    11.06
     Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
    10.82
     Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
    10.48
     Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
    6.00
     Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
    6.94
     Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
    9.83
     Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
    24.42
     Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
    32.75
     Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
    21.05





    ~ Reminders ~



     

    T-AGS OCEANOGRAPHIC SURVEY SHIPS MANNING REQUIREMENTS

    REQUIRED COURSEWORK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Richard Plant, Director of Special Projects

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



    SHIP SECURITY CLEARANCE NEEDED

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

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

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

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

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

    From the “Type of Investigation” screen:

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

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



    MSC PHYSICALS

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


    MM&P FCU NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



     

    MM&P HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN NEWS

    MEET OUR NEW PRESCRIPTION BENEFIT MANAGER, PHARMACARE

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



    NOTICE TO MM&P HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN PARTICIPANTS

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

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


    WWII USCG VETERANS OUTREACH

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

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



     

    COMPANY GIVES BUCKS BACK FOR BUYING SAFE SHOES

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

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

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

    Vessels in the LMS footwear reimbursement program are:

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

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

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

    LOOK FOR THE UNION LABEL:

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

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

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

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

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


     

    WEBSITE OFFERS UNION-MADE GOODS AND SERVICES

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

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

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

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

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



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

    © 2009, International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots. All the material contained in this publication is protected by copyright. For permission to reprint text from the Weekly, contact the MM&P Communications Department: lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org. For changes of address, contact Lisa Rosenthal at lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org.