News

Wheelhouse Weekly – June 30, 2006

June 30th 2006

 

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

Volume 10 . . . . . Number 26. . . . June 30, 2006

STORIES COVERED

Also

REMINDERS

T-AGS Oceanographic Survey Ships Info

Required Coursework

Security Clearances

MSC Physicals

MM&P Health & Benefit Plan News

Notice to Members who are taking Vioxx

NMHC Mail-Order Prescriptions Website Updated & Improved

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.





 

FORMER MM&P SECRETARY TREASURER KYSER PASSES AWAY

The International learned yesterday that Captain Francis E. (Elwood) Kyser passed on Wednesday evening, June 28th. Captain Kyser served as MM&P Secretary Treasurer from the early 1980s until April 5, 1991. His memorial service was held Friday at the Mobile Gardens Mausoleum which was attended by many MM&P members.

Captain Kyser was shipmaster with Waterman Steamship Company and with Sealand. Captain Kyser’s wife, Willie May, predeceased him but he is survived by his son Frank, and his daughter Laura, along with many grandchildren. A more detailed death notice and obituary will be carried in a future issue of the MM&P newspaper.




 

US-FLAG VESSELS ASKED TO PARTICIPATE IN “LET FREEDOM RING”

Julie Nelson, Acting Administrator of the US Maritime Administration, has requested the following message be sent to the men and women of the American Merchant Marine.

“To honor the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Revolution has invited the American Merchant Marine to join more than 10,000 other participants in “Let Freedom Ring,” a national bell ringing ceremony on Independence Day.

“US merchant vessels at port and at sea are requested to ring their ships’ bells 13 times at 1800Z (UTC) on July 4th to honor the 13 original colonies.

“I ask you to join Americans everywhere in honoring not only those who helped achieve our country’s independence during the American Revolution, but also all men and women who continue to work and sacrifice in support of our Nation’s liberty. I certainly include in this category America’s Merchant Marine, whose support remains vital to our national security.”


INTERNATIONAL SHIPHOLDING TO RELOCATE TO MOBILE

Earlier this week, the board and officers of MM&P-contracted International Shipholding Corporation announced plans to relocate its corporate headquarters from New Orleans to Mobile due to the closure of the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet (MR-GO) and its uncertain future. In making the announcement, International Shipholding Corporation Chairman Erik Johnsen said the company anticipates completing the move by early 2007.

“Our company, unfortunately, is another victim of Hurricane Katrina,” said Johnsen. “With the post-Katrina closure of the MR-GO to deep-draft shipping, and after extensive research, we could find no other site in Louisiana for our specialized rail-ferry service.” International Shipholding will be moving its headquarters at Poydras Center along with its CG Railway service to a facility in Mobile. However, its barge repair operation, LASH (Lighter Aboard SHip) Barge Repair Yard in Lafitte, LA, will continue operations at that site along with all of its 50 employees. Additionally, the company expects to retain its terminal lease, while exploring alternative uses for the site.

“I want to emphasize that our decision to relocate is based upon the unique post-Katrina circumstances facing our company,” Johnsen continued. “It should not be seen as an indication of our views on the future economic health of the greater New Orleans area. In fact, we are optimistic that the City of New Orleans will enjoy a vibrant rebirth, which is already evidenced by the return of the Port of New Orleans to its pre-Katrina levels.”

International Shipholding Corporation was founded as Central Gulf Steamship Corporation by the Johnsen family in 1947. It went public in 1979 and is a registered member of the New York Stock Exchange. “Our roots are in New Orleans and it pains us to leave. However, we will have a continued presence in Louisiana,” said Johnsen.


CINO TO BE ACTING DOT HEAD IN WAKE OF MINETA RESIGNATION

As reported in last week’s Wheelhouse Weekly, Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta has announced that he is resigning his post effective July 7th. Deputy Transportation Secretary Maria Cino will serve as acting DOT Secretary pending confirmation of a successor. Mineta has led DOT for over five years and was instrumental in the creation of the Transportation Security Administration, which was later absorbed by the Department of Homeland Security.


PRESIDENT BUSH NOMINATES SEAN CONNAUGHTON TO HEAD MARAD

It was announced earlier this week that President Bush intends to nominate Sean Connaughton to be the next Administrator of the US Maritime Administration (MARAD). Connaughton is currently working as an attorney in Virginia. He also serves as Chairman of the Prince William
Board of County Supervisors. Earlier in his career, he served as Senior Transportation Associate for the American Petroleum Institute. Connaughton received his bachelor’s degree from the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point and his master’s degree from Georgetown University. He received his JD from George Mason University. If confirmed by the Senate, he will become head of an agency with 1,000 employees that has an annual budget over $500 million.


SHIP OPERATOR PLEADS GUILTY IN MAJOR POLLUTION CASE

The Justice Department has announced that an American-based ship operator, Pacific-Gulf Marine (PGM), has agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges that it engaged in deliberate acts of pollution involving a fleet of four ships in violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships. As part of the plea agreement, PGM will pay a $1 million criminal fine and $500,000 for community service, if approved by the court.

According to a detailed Justice Department press release, PGM has admitted its ship records misrepresented that oil-contaminated bilge waste was properly discharged overboard through required pollution prevention equipment. In reality, the Justice Department states that the ships used bypass equipment, sometimes referred to as a magical pipe, to circumvent the pollution control systems on the vesssels.

In agreeing to plead guilty, PGM admitted that its shore-side management “failed to provide sufficient management resources and support to the ships, and also failed to exercise sufficient supervision and management controls to prevent or detect criminal violations by its employees.” The motive for the criminal conduct was to save money, according to papers filed in court. After learning of the federal investigation, PGM voluntarily disclosed to the government the results of an internal investigation comprised of approximately 50 reports of interviews with various current and former employees.

The Justice Department release also states that the company will be on probation for three years, during which time it will implement an environmental compliance program with an outside independent auditor and court-appointed monitor. In a related case, the Justice Department also reported that a grand jury returned an indictment charging two former company chief engineers with various environmental crimes.


SENATORS TRY TO RESOLVE EXXON VALDEZ SPILL SETTLEMENT

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) have announced a bipartisan effort to convince ExxonMobil Corporation to finally provide compensation to more than 32,000 individuals nationwide that were damaged after the EXXON VALDEZ oil tanker spilled nearly 11 million gallons of crude oil into Alaska’s Prince William Sound more than 17 years ago.

The Senators gathered the signatures of nearly a quarter of the US Senate onto a letter to new ExxonMobil Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rex Tillerson asking that the corporation either restart settlement talks or simply pay the $4.5 billion in damages awarded by a federal jury 12 years ago.

“While most of Alaska’s fisheries have recovered from the spill, the herring fishery in Prince William Sound remains closed, hurting the livelihoods of many fishermen,” said Senator Murkowski. “Though the courts this summer will decide whether Exxon should pay more to fund additional cleanup and restoration efforts in Alaska waters, it is only just that fishermen and other citizens harmed by the spill finally get the compensation they were awarded by the federal courts a dozen years ago.”

“Twelve years is far too long for thousands of fishermen and businesses in Washington State, Alaska, and across the country to wait for the compensation they deserve,” Senator Murray said. “Exxon has a legal mandate to compensate our communities who continue to pay the price for an accident that was not their own doing. It’s time for Exxon to either begin meaningful negotiations or come clean and pay these damages that have been awarded and repeatedly upheld.”

In 1994, a federal jury, after deliberating for 22 days, returned a unanimous verdict against Exxon awarding total damages of $5 billion. Exxon appealed on multiple grounds, filing 60 petitions, and over 1,000 briefs and motions, delaying a final verdict in the case that has been to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for review on nine different occasions. While the damages have been upheld three times, the amount has been reduced to $4.5 billion, plus interest. The case was heard again by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco in January, but without new settlement talks or a change in ExxonMobil’s legal strategy, the case could take years longer to reach a final resolution in the courts.


DHS REJECTS AFL-CIO COMPLAINT ON AKER SHIPYARD

An AFL-CIO complaint about the use of imported ship components at a Philadelphia Shipyard has been rejected by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). In May, the Metal Trades Department (MTD) of the AFL-CIO asked the USCG to review Aker Philadelphia Shipyard’s business practices with regard to the construction of 10 tankers. The former Kvaerner Philadelphia Shipyard has been importing and using components obtained from South Korean sources.

The MTD believes that Aker’s building practices violate the Jones Act, which allows only American built ships to trade in the domestic markets. The vessels in question are intended for eventual entry into the domestic, Jones Act trades. Part of the dispute centers around Aker’s decision to import about 88 tons of components for use in the construction of the vessels. Another concern revolves around the numbers of foreign workers in the shipyard.


SENATOR SNOWE WANTS TO ACCELERATE USCG DEEPWATER PLAN

At a Senate subcommittee hearing held earlier this month to examine the USCG’s fiscal year 2007 budget, Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) said she would continue to push for acceleration of the USCG’s Deepwater plan. “I regret that I must once again address the issue of how the Coast Guard’s high operational tempo combines with legacy asset degradation to hamper the service’s overall readiness — an issue that plagues the Coast Guard and its personnel year in and year out,” Snowe said during the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation’s Fisheries and Coast Guard subcommittee hearing.

Snowe said the Bush Administration’s budget request of $934 million is not enough for the USCG to fulfill its obligations, while at the same time extending the timeline by 4-5 years-up to 25 years-for full implementation of the Deepwater program. “We simply cannot expect the Coast Guard to do its job with unreliable or broken resources,” Snowe said. “I will continue to fight for Deepwater acceleration because it is the best and most cost effective way to remedy the Coast Guard’s readiness problems and provide the Coast Guard with the tools it must have to carry out all its missions.”

Snowe said the longer the program is dragged out, the higher the costs will be overall. She expressed frustration with delays, deferrals and cost overruns associated with Deepwater. The Deepwater program has faced serious challenges to remain on schedule and on budget. The program has not received the funds originally estimated to be necessary to complete the program in 20 years. In addition, the USCG now has greater maritime homeland security operational requirements than when the original program was designed and maintenance and repair costs are also increasing because of rapidly deteriorating legacy assets.

Earlier this year, the USCG submitted an updated plan to align with its fiscal year 2007 budget submission. The new plan changes the balance of upgraded legacy assets versus new assets, alters the delivery schedules, and increases the costs to $24 billion, $7 billion more than earlier estimates. The increase in costs reflect the expanded homeland security responsibilities and cover such items as greater weaponry, improved communications systems, and greater operating capabilities.


SHIPS CALLING AT SOUTH KOREAN PORTS WILL NEED INSURANCE

The Government of South Korea announced it will ban all “non-insured marine traffic” from using its ports beginning in 2008. The Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries will push for legislation requiring all ships plying international trade routes to be insured, according to government spokespersons. Currently, only oil carriers in international service are required to be covered against environmental and other types of damage.

South Korean government inspections on all types of outbound vessels will begin this month, lasting through November, to assess the present situation and help develop a first draft of the proposed bill. The ministry has also vowed to strengthen regulations regarding oil spills and the penalties imposed for polluting South Korean waters. The country also reportedly intends to join the supplementary fund for possible large-scale environmental hazards from oil pollution by 2010.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

 

CLASS OPENINGS: Between January and the end of September 2006, seats are available in the following courses:

JUST ADDED: CMM-ADVSTB – 8/21


ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 7/25, 9/12, 9/26
AZIPOD-KAM-2 – Two-Day Azipod and Kamewa Steering and Propulsion Systems: 9/19, 9/23

BRMP – Bridge Resource Mangement for Pilots: 8/7, 9/27
BST – Basic Safety Training: 8/28, 9/25

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 9/11
CMM-ADVSTB – 8/21, 9/11
CMM-CHS I – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 9/25
CMM-CHS II – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 9/18
CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart and Display Information System: 9/18
CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 8/7
CMM-SHMGT-I – Ship Management I (week 1): 7/10, 8/21
CMM-SHMGT-II – Ship Management II (week 2): 8/14
CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 8/7, 8/21
CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 7/24
CMM-WKP – Watchkeeping: 8/28

CONT-PLNG – Contingency Planning: 7/14
CSE-AASE – Confined Space Entry: 8/28

FF-BADV – Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 8/28, 9/25

HAZ-Hazardous Materials (5-day): 7/31, 9/11

LAP-License Advancement Program (5 weeks including USCG Exam): 7/24

MEDIA-RSP – Media Response: 7/13
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 7/14, 7/29, 8/12, 9/24
MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 7/24, 8/14, 9/11
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 7/24, 8/14, 9/11


[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-CBRD-1 (Chemical Biological Radiological Defense Orientation): 8/23
MSC-DC (Damage Control): 8/24
MSC-SMA – Small Arms: 8/28
MSC-SMA-R – Small Arms Re-Qualification (2-day): 9/1 (must have proof of passing all 3 weapons within 2 years)

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal (5-day): 8/28
ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 7/15, 7/24, 9/11, 9/25

SEC-OFF-VCF – Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 7/10
SHS-EMR – Emergency Shiphandling: 7/31, 8/28, 9/5

TPIC – Tankerman Person-In-Charge: 9/25


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

Summer – Fall 2006

July
3-7 Holiday
7/10 Radar Recertification
7/10-14 Basic Safety Training7/
7/10-14 Medical Care Provider
7/10/14 ARPA
7/10-21 Medical Person-In-Charge
7/11-14 Survival Craft / Lifeboatman
7/17-19 Ship Security Officer
7/17-21 Electronic Navigation
7/17-21 Emergency Shiphandling 5-day
7/17-21 Able Bodied Seaman
7/24-28 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
7/24-8/4 Celestial Navigation

August 2006
31 Jul-4 Aug Basic Shiphandling
7-11 ECDIS
7-11 Basic Safety Training
7-11 Meteorology – Basic
8-11 Survival Craft / Lifeboatman
14-18 Able Bodied Seaman
14-18 Basic and Advanced Firefighting
14-25 GMDSS
14-25 Shiphandling – Advanced
21-25 Ship Construction & Basic Stability
21-25 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
28-1 Sep Cargo Handling & Stowage – Basic

September 2006
5-9 (tu-sa) Medical Care Provider
5-9 (tu-sa) Emergency Shiphandling 5-day
5-15 Medical Person-In-Charge
11-12 Search and Rescue
11-15 Basic Safety Training
11-23 100 Ton OUPV
12-15 Survival Craft / Lifeboatman
13-15 Emergency Procedures
18-22 Radar Observer Unlimited
18-22 Shiphandling – Basic
18-22 Able Bodied Seaman
18-6 Oct Terrestrial & Coastal Navigation with Compasses
25th Radar Recertification
25-29 ARPA
25-2 Oct Watchkeeping & BRM

October 2006
10/2-4 Ship Security Officer
10/2-4 Basic Safety Training
10/2-13 Shiphandling – Advanced
10/9-13 ECDIS
10/9-13 Radar Observer Unlimited
10/9-20 GMDSS
10/10-13 Survival Craft / Lifeboatman
10/16-20 Basic & Advanced Firefighting
10/23 Flashing Light
10/23-27 ARPA
10/23-27 Cargo Handling & Stowage – Basic
10/24-25 Simulation Assessment

For registration call Jennifer Fowler 888-893-7829

PMI MERCHANDISE FOR SALE!!!

High quality with embroidered PMI logo.
Navy or Khaki Hats : $16 / includes tax
———————————-
Button Down Long Sleeve Dress Shirts
Blue or Khaki: $38 / includes tax
———————————-
Pocket t-shirts with Logo: $12 / includes tax
————————————
15oz. Cobalt Blue Ceramic Mug: $8 / includes tax

Call DeeDee Lazik 206-838-8328 or e-mail dlazik@mates.org.


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 6-30

 

 D O W  N A S D A Q  S & P 500
11,150.22 +161.13 for the week 2,172.09 +50.62 for the week 1,270.20 +25.70 for the week

 

Fund Name & Trading Symbol
Closing
Price
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
116.99
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
36.11
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
23.06
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
17.92
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
32.52
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
9.96
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX)
6.02
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
9.73
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
19.40
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
16.19
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
34.66
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
87.61
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
21.70
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
78.60
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX) 45.15
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
29.72

 






~ 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:

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

5.00 percent for 25-48 months;
5.75 percent for 49-60 months ($20,000 minimum); and
6.25 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

NOTICE TO MEMBERS WHO ARE TAKING VIOXX

On Sept.30, Merck & Co. voluntarily withdrew Vioxx, a popular anti-inflammatory medication, from the market. As a result, individuals who are currently taking the drug have been asked to contact their health care professionals to discuss discontinuing use of Vioxx and possible alternative treatments.

MM&P Plans Administrator Valerie Verrecchio reports that, “We have gotten a number of calls from members who want to know what to do with their remaining supply of Vioxx and whether the Plan or NMHC will refund their co-pay for the unused portion.

“Unfortunately, neither NMHC nor the Plan was aware of the Merck decision prior to the public announcement on Sept.30. As of that date, all deliveries of Vioxx to our members was suspended in accordance with Merck’s announcement. Orders that had already been processed and were in transit could not be stopped.

“In regard to refunds, Merck has set up a website at www.vioxx.com where members can obtain information on how to recover refunds from Merck for the unused portion of medication. Members can also call following toll free number for information: 1-888-368-4699.

“We are sorry for any inc onvenience this may have caused to members currently taking this medication, however, the matter is out of the control of the Plans.”



NMHC MAIL-ORDER PRESCRIPTIONS WEBSITE UPDATED & IMPROVED

MM&P Plans Administrator Valerie Verrecchio reports, “Good news! NMHC mail has finally gotten their website upgraded and functioning properly. I went in and tested it myself and found it to be quite user friendly.”

To use NMHC’s upgraded service, go to the NMHC Mail website at www.nmhcmail.com and click on “MEMBER LOGIN” at the bottom of the screen.

First-time and Registered users may bypass the welcome screen and go directly to the log-in page at https://members.nmhcrx.com/Login/Login.aspx.

  • First-time users should then click on the link marked “NEW USER: REGISTER HERE”.
    This will take you to a page titled “MEMBER REGISTRATION” where you will need to enter demographic information and submit it by clicking on the
  • “CREATE ACCOUNT” button.

After creating your account, NMHC will email you a password to gain entry into your records. With your first sign-in, the NMHC system will prompt you to change the NMHC password to one of your own choosing.

Once you are registered at NMHC, you can check the status of open orders by logging-in to the system through the “MEMBER LOGIN” page and going into the “MAIL ORDER” menu. You can look up all prescriptions and get the price our members will pay for any medication. You can also view an order history of all of your medication transactions (both retail and mail) for the last 24 months, locate 24-hour pharmacies in your zip code region as well as access other helpful member education information.

“We hope this welcome improvement will assist our members. Although you cannot order refills on line if you don’t provide a credit or debit card number, you can phone in your refill. Once you register on the website, you will still have access to all of the other information including checking the status of your order once it is phoned in,” said Ms. Verrecchio.



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”.



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