News

Wheelhouse Weekly – June 23, 2008

June 23rd 2008

 

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

Volume 12 . . . . . Number 25. . . .June 23, 2008

STORIES COVERED

Also

REMINDERS

T-AGS Oceanographic Survey Ships Info

Required Coursework

Security Clearances

MSC Physicals

MM&P FCU News

MM&P Health & Benefit Plan News

Meet Our New Prescription Benefit Manager, PHARMACARE

Notice to MM&P Health & Benefit Plan Participants

WWII USCG Veterans Outreach

Company Gives Bucks Back for buying Safe Shoes

Website Offers Union-Made Goods and Services



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


MM&P CONVENTION STARTS TODAY

The 82nd MM&P Convention starts today. Nominations for elective office will be held on June 25. Resolutions were closed as of May 27, unless the Convention as a body decides otherwise. Speakers include Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii), AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, AMO President Tom Bethel, ILA President Richie Hughes, ILA-Atlantic Coast District President Steve Knott, MEBA President Don Keefe, SIU President Mike Sacco and Ron Dejuliis, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley’s labor envoy.


VESSEL SECURITY OFFICER ENDORSEMENT ADDED TO STCW-95 CERTIFICATE

As previously announced in The Wheelhouse Weekly, the Coast Guard is implementing a new rule that will require all mariners sailing in the position of vessel security officer (VSO) on foreign voyages to have a VSO endorsement by July 2009.  The final rule and the regulations that will implement it are expected to be finalized this summer.

One of the regulations will require mariners to supply evidence of successful completion of a certified security course.  That requirement is met by the MITAGS Vessel, Company, and Facility Security Officer (VCF)course. Its predecessor, the MITAGSSecurity Officer: Port, Company, and Ship (PCS) course, is also expected to meet the requirement. 

To meet the new requirements, mariners who have taken courses other than these will need to complete additional training, such as a one-day security refresher course. As this issue of The Wheelhouse Weekly was being distributed, MITAGS was working closely with the Coast Guard to determine which MITAGS courses meet the new regulations.  MITAGS expects to have a security refresher course in place by autumn 2008. 

MITAGS also expects to have a final determination on which security courses meet the regulatory requirements and which courses will require an additional refresher component.  

It is important to note that the security refresher course will only be offered to mariners who have already completed a security course. Mariners who have not taken a security course will be required to complete MITAGS currently scheduled Vessel, Company, and Facility (VCF) Security Officer Course.

MM&P and MITAGS will continue to monitor the situation closely. Any new information will be distributed via The Wheelhouse Weekly and the MITAGS/PMI E-Newsletter.  If you would like to receive the monthly e-newsletter, contact Brandi Smith at (410) 859-5700, extension 3237, or by e-mail at bsmith@mitags.org


COAST GUARD PUBLISHES CORRECTION TO VESSEL SECURITY OFFICER INTERIM RULE

The Coast Guard has published a correction to the interim rule for vessel security officer training requirements. In a recent edition of the Federal Register, the Coast Guard stated that “in 33 CFR 104.215(d)(1)(v)(B), a typographical error was made stating as an option that to qualify for a VSO endorsement, a person must have approved sea service of not less than 90 days on any vessel subject to section 104.215 of this part.” Instead of 90 days, the section should have stated that a person must have not less than six months to qualify for a VSO endorsement. In the preamble section of the Interim Rule section, the discussion of 33 CFR 104.215 states, “The sea service requirements in §104.215 will provide two options: (1) 12 months; or (2) 6 months with knowledge of ship operations.”


ATTORNEYS FOR COSCO BUSAN PILOT MOVE TO HAVE CASE DISMISSED

Lawyers for John Cota, the pilot on board the COSCO BUSAN when it allided with the San Francisco Bay Bridge last November, have asked that the criminal case brought by the government be dismissed. The court is scheduled to hear the motions for dismissal on July 18. A trial date of Oct. 20 has been set. The government has charged that Cota failed to list two prescription medications on a Coast Guard physical exam form he filed in 2006 and 2007. His attorneys argue that the form in question was actually one required by the State Board of Pilot Commissioners, not the Coast Guard, and that therefore, the court lacks jurisdiction.

The attorneys are also arguing that the criminal negligence charge against the pilot, which alleges violation of the Clean Water Act, has no legal base because the fault lies with the vessel’s crew, who were unable to operate the navigational equipment in such a way as to assist the pilot as required by law. The attorneys are also arguing that under maritime law, a pilot is only an advisor to the master and not in control of the ship to the crew’s exclusion.


OPENINGS FOR PUGET SOUND PILOTS

The Washington State Board of Pilotage will administer a written exam in Seattle the week of Oct. 20 to qualified applicants for the Puget Sound Pilotage District. Applicants who pass the written test and the simulator evaluation will be placed on a waiting list to be called into training as needed. Successful completion of training will result in issuance of a state pilot license for the Puget Sound District.  

Applications to sit for the exam can be obtained in person at the offices of the Board of Pilotage Commissioners, 2901 Third Ave., Seattle, WA (Floor 1) or requested by letter or e-mail from: Judy Bell, Board of Pilotage Commissioners, 2901 Third Ave., Suite 500, Seattle, WA 98121; Fax: 206-515-3906; Phone: 206-515-3647; belljud@wsdot.wa.gov

Applications must be completed and received by the Board at 2901 Third Avenue by 5:00 p.m. on Sept. 19 unless prior written permission is obtained from the Board to file at a later time.


HORIZON LINES GOES GREEN

MM&P-contracted Horizon Lines has launched a multi-pronged environmental program to lessen the impact on the environment of its shipping business. The wide-ranging initiative is called Horizon Green. “Horizon Lines is committed to protecting the environment and ensuring the safety and health of our associates and the public,” said Horizon Lines Chairman, President and CEO Chuck Raymond in an official release announcing the program.

Raymond said Horizon Green will touch on every sector of the company’s operations. The key areas to be addressed are: marine environment, including vessel management controls and audits, ballast water management, waste stream analyses, low sulfur diesel fuel usage and marine terminal pollution mitigation plans; cutting emissions and increasing use of alternative fuels and more efficient transportation alternatives, such as coastwise shipping; sustainability, through programs that would, for example, reduce empty rail and truck backhaul miles through logistics network optimization; recycling; and carbon offsets, including the purchase of “environmental credits” that fund programs such as forestation and alternative energy projects. More details on Horizon Lines environmental programs are posted at www.horizonlines.com/horizongreen.asp.


NEW MARINER WEBSITE LAUNCHED BY ITF

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has developed a new website intended to be a resource for the world’s mariners: http://www.itfseafarers.org/. On the site, seafarers can find information on their legal rights, health, pay and safety, vessels and crew agreements. An onsite blog allows visitors to the site to exchange views on topics such as the food on board ships, shore leave and “what one thing would most improve your life at sea?”


JOB OPENINGS FOR MM&P MEMBERS ON THE GREAT LAKES

There are job openings on the Great Lakes for MM&P members. Our contracted employers are seeking engineers, as well as for licensed mates with pilotage. Retirees are also encouraged to apply. The rules of the MM&P Pension Plan allow pensioners to accept without penalty employment–other than Covered Employment–aboard vessels covered by collective bargaining agreements with MM&P membership groups, on condition that the employment is first approved by the Organization. Interested parties should call 216-776-1667 or e-mail cmalue@bridgedeck.org.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

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

AIS-1 � Automatic Identification System (1 day): 7/11
AIS ECDIS 3 for Pilots – Automatic Identification System and Electronic Chart Display Information System (3 day) for Pilots:  6/23

ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 8/11

BST – Basic Safety Training:  6/23, 8/11
BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 7/21
BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 6/26, 8/11

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 8/26
CMM-CHS I – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1):  6/23
CMM-CHS II – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 7/7
CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display & Information Systems: 8/18
CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 7/28
CMM-SHS-ADV-I-Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 8/4
CMM-SHS-ADV-II-Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 7/14, 8/11
CMM-SHMGT-I � Ship Management(week 1): 7/14
CMM-SHMGT-II � Ship Management(week 2): 7/21
CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 8/4
CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 8/11

FF-BADV – Combined Basic & Advanced Fire Fighting: 6/23, 8/11

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day) course: 8/4
LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 6/25

[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-CBRD-1 – CBRD Orientation: 6/20, 8/29
MSC-DC – Damage Control: 6/18, 8/25
MSC-SMA – Small Arms Training: 8/25

MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 7/21, 8/18
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 7/21, 8/18  
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 7/26, 8/23
MEDIA RSP – Media Response: 7/10

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original or Renewal (5 Day): 8/4
ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 7/7, 8/11

SEC-VCF – Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 7/7
SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 7/21, 8/18
SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling: 6/23, 7/28, 8/25
SHS-ESH-BRMP 3 day – Emergency Shiphandling & Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 8/13

TPIC-LG – Tankship Liquefied Gases (PIC) LNG: 8/4

…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 2008
30-7/3  ARPA
30-7/3  ENAV

July 2008
7-11ENAV
7-11MED PRO
7-18GMDSS
14-18MED PIC
14-25CNAV
21-25ECDIS
21-25TPIC
21-25STB BAS
21-8/1SHS ADV
28-29SAR
28-30SEC VCF
28-8/8GMDSS
28-8/1TPIC
30-8/1EP

August 2008
4-8MED PRO
4-15GMDSS
11-15MED PRO
11-15SHS BAS
11-22GMDSS
18-19SAR
20-22EP
25-29MED PRO
25-29SHS BAS

September 2008
2FL
2-5APRA
2-6CHS BAS
2-6MED PRO
3ROR
8-12MED PIC
9-12SHS EMR-5
15-19WX BAS
15-19TPIC
15-26GMDSS
22-26MED PRO

October 2008
29-3 ROP
29-3 SHS BAS
6 ROR
6-10WKP BAS
7-10ARPA
13-17ECDIS
13-17TPIC
20-31GMDSS
20-24MED PRO
20-31MED PIC
22-26MED PRO
20FL

November 2008
3ROR
4-7ARPA
10-14MED PRO
10-21MED PIC
17-19SEC VCF

December 2008
1-5MED PRO
1-12GMDSS
1-12MED PIC
8-19GMDSS
15-19ECDIS
15-19TPIC

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 6-20-2008

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
11,842 2,406 1,317
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
61.03
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
121.87
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
38.71
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
22.42
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
18.42
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
27.61
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.19
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
31.50
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.67
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
16.32
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
23.12
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
13.80
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
19.94
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
11.66
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
12.39
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
12.83
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
13.53
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
13.97
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
9.97
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
32.38
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
19.47
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
14.60
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
23.21
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
9.87
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
83.36
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
17.60
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
69.28
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
20.02
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
40.83
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
36.43
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
26.33
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.08
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
11.93
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
13.86
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
14.46
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
14.80
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
8.68
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
10.23
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.11
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
36.41
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
46.80
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
29.15





~ 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.