News

Wheelhouse Weekly – June 30, 2008

June 30th 2008

 

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

Volume 12 . . . . . Number 26. . . .June 30, 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 CLOSED FOR INDEPENDENCE DAY

MM&P Headquarters, MM&P Plans, the MM&P Federal Credit Union and all MM&P union halls will be closed on Friday, July 4, in observance of Independence Day. In addition, the MM&P halls in Los Angeles/Long Beach, San Francisco and Seattle will be closed on July 3.


PROTECTING THE JONES ACT IS RALLYING CALL AT MM&P CONVENTION

It is imperative that everyone who works in the U.S.-flag maritime industry mobilize behind Sen. Barack Obama in the November 2008 elections, agreed speakers and delegates at the 82nd MM&P Convention.

“Everything is on the line: your jobs, your benefits, your health care and your pension,” Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii), told the crowd. “We’ve got about five months to make sure that everyone understands that John McCain is the principal author of every legislative effort to destroy the American Merchant Marine and this union.”   

“Some of us may be Republicans and may have supported Republican administrations in the past,” agreed Seafarers International Union President Mike Sacco, “but charity begins at home and we have to look at our own bread and butter. This time around, the issues are monumental. Everything is on the table.”

“John McCain has consistently voted to roll back the cargo preference laws,” said AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, who spoke to the delegates on Tuesday. “McCain says the Jones Act has a negative effect on the American consumer. He wants to use the tax code to destroy the employer-based health care system in our country.”

McCain “lost his bearings somewhere along the way and sailed over the edge,” Sweeney said, citing statistics compiled by the AFL-CIO that show the stark contrast between the two candidates: Obama has voted in support of America’s working families 98 percent of the time; McCain has voted in support of working families only 16 percent of the time.  

“Get out and vote, and tell all your friends and family members to vote,” Sacco urged the crowd. “This election is so important that it could determine whether the labor movement in this country will survive or not.”

Other speakers at the convention focused on the importance of maritime union solidarity. Among them were American Maritime Officers President Tom Bethel, ILA President Richie Hughes, ILA-Atlantic Coast District President Stephen Knott, Marine Engineers Beneficial Association President Don Keefe and Ron Dejuliis, commissioner of labor and industry for the State of Maryland’s Department of Labor and Licensing and Regulation.

Nominations for MM&P elected officials were held on June 25. Ten of the 40 resolutions submitted were approved in committee and passed by the delegates. The delegates also elected the members of the International Ballot Committee who will supervise the upcoming union election: Art Thomas, Dave Goff, Paul Nielsen, Bob Darley and William Wilson. The five alternates are: Mary Matlock, Hal Rosenberg, Joe Byrne, Eric Quick and Judy Arbogast. The delegates selected True Ballot Inc. to serve once again as the impartial balloting agency for the election. 


AFL-CIO, ILA AND MM&P DELEGATES ENDORSE OBAMA

The delegates to MM&P’s 82nd Convention unanimously voted to endorse Illinois Senator Barack Obama in the race for President.

MM&P’s parent union, the International Longshoremen’s Association, and the AFL-CIO have also endorsed Obama.

To find out more about what Barack Obama and John McCain have said about the Jones Act and other issues essential to protecting our jobs and our families, go to www.bridgedeck.org and click on “What’s New.” The information is listed under “U.S. Presidential Candidates Speak Out on the Jones Act, Cargo Preference and the Maritime Security Program.”

As part of our union’s efforts to support candidates who will work to protect the Jones Act, the delegates to the 82nd MM&P Convention voted unanimously to encourage all members, employees and their families to support the MM&P Political Contribution Fund (PCF). Through the PCF, our union works to support candidates who, regardless of their political party affiliation, believe our country needs a strong U.S.-flag merchant marine. Every MM&P member and employee should contribute to the PCF and vote for candidates who support our union and our industry.


NOTICE FOR MM&P NOMINEES TO ELECTED OFFICE

Nominees for the offices of International President, International Secretary-Treasurer and Membership Group Vice Presidents have been issued notification by the International Secretary-Treasurer. Candidates are advised of: the 20-day acceptance rule; their right to submit a statement of fact for inclusion on the ballot, not to exceed 200 words, which shall include such info as date of joining the organization, subordinate bodies s/he has belonged to and membership group, if any; and license, date and issue number, if any. Every candidate for any office must notify the International Secretary-Treasurer, in writing, within 20 days after the  June 25 close of the nominating period that s/he will accept the nomination in order to have his/her  name placed on the International Ballot. Along with the written acceptance of nomination, every candidate for any office in the organization shall certify in writing that s/he is not prevented from holding office by any provision of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 or by any provisions of the MM&P International Constitution.


MM&P FAMILY URGENTLY NEEDS OUR HELP

A 38-year-old member of MM&P, Brother William Fox of the Great Lakes & Rivers Group, died two weeks ago of pancreatic cancer, leaving a young family with limited means of support. Will, who had been employed by Grand River Navigation since 2001, began as an oiler and worked his way up to chief engineer on the MV MAUMEE. “He loved shipping on the Great Lakes and brought his wife, Suzanne, and daughter, Alycyn, on board for trips whenever possible,” says John Hayes of Grand River Navigation, who has launched an appeal for contributions “as a shipmate, for one of our own.” An account to benefit Will’s family has been established:

William Fox Benefit Account
c/o Traverse City State Bank
P.O. Box 192
Traverse City, MI 49685

“If you could see clear to donate one day’s pay, it would go very far to help out the family of a fellow shipmate,” Hayes says. “If that is too difficult, anything you can donate would help and be greatly appreciated.” If you have questions, please contact MM&P’s Great Lakes & Rivers Hall at 216-776-1667 or send an e-mail to cmalue@bridgedeck.org


APPLICANTS’ COURSE FOR MM&P CLASS D MEMBERSHIP JULY 9-10

The first course for MM&P applicants seeking Class D membership will be given July 9-10 in MM&P’s Los Angeles/Long Beach Hall. If you want to participate in the course, call MM&P’s LA/LB Hall today at 310-834-7201. Requirements for D-Book membership are: completion of the course; four written recommendations; applicant fee paid in full; and having shipped for 360 days in MM&P’s Offshore Division. Applicants who have completed the requirements for D-Book membership will be eligible for admission into the union at General Executive Board meetings subsequent to Jan. 1, 2009. Courses for applicants will be offered at MM&P union halls around the country this year. After that, it is anticipated that courses will be conducted at International Headquarters. The course lasts two full days, from 0900 to 1700. Additional courses will be announced in the Wheelhouse Weekly as they are scheduled.


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 and 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 MM&P. Interested parties should call 216-776-1667 or e-mail cmalue@bridgedeck.org.


COAST GUARD ISSUES WARNING ON CHANTIX

The Coast Guard has issued a medical advisory on the widely prescribed smoking cessation aid Chantix (varenicline), following reports that it has caused some patients to lose consciousness and experience other neurological side effects. A recent study concludes that there are “immediate safety concerns about the use of Chantix among persons operating aircraft, trains, buses and other vehicles, or in other settings where a lapse in alertness or motor control could lead to massive, serious injury.”

“If you are currently taking or have recently discontinued the use of Chantix,” the Coast Guard advisory states, “we strongly recommend that you consult with your health care provider to discuss potential side effects and your job performance requirements. You and your health care provider should be alert to and monitor for all physical and psychological changes that may affect your performance, both while taking this medication as well as during the withdrawal period. If you are experiencing any of the psychiatric, cardiologic, musculoskeletal or visual side effects associated with Chantix, you should immediately cease performance of all duties related to your mariner credentials and contact your health care provider.” The Coast Guard said questions regarding the notice should be addressed to Lieutenant Junior Grade Elizabeth Braker, Medical Evaluation Branch, National Maritime Center, at (304) 433-3656 or Elizabeth.L.Braker@uscg.mil


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.


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. 

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.

Also: the Coast Guard has announced it has posted a VSO FAQ page featuring commonly asked questions at http://www.uscg.mil/stcw/ldcr-faq.htm.  


TOM BETHEL RE-ELECTED NATIONAL PRESIDENT OF AMERICAN MARITIME OFFICERS

Members of the American Maritime Officers (AMO) have voted to re-elect National President Tom Bethel. MM&P extends congratulations to the newly elected AMO officials and looks forward to opportunities to work together.


SUPREME COURT RULES FOR EXXON IN VALDEZ DAMAGES CASE

The Supreme Court Wednesday threw out a $2.5 billion punitive damage award against Exxon Mobil for the 1989 VALDEZ oil spill off Alaska, ruling that the award should be limited to the amount of compensatory damages in the case, about $500 million. The court was equally divided on one of the three questions of maritime law raised by the case: whether a ship owner may be held liable for punitive damages based on the misconduct of an employee. Justice Samuel Alito recused himself from the case because he owns stock in Exxon Mobil. The split left intact an appeals court ruling that Exxon Mobil was liable, but it also meant that no precedent was set on the issue.

On the other two questions, the court held unanimously that federal statutory law does not bar a punitive award on top of damages for economic loss, but it decided 5-3 to limit the punitive damages to $507.5 million, the amount the company was assessed in compensatory damages. The award comes on top of $3.4 billion the company said it has paid in cleanup costs and other penalties for the oil spill, which polluted 1,200 miles of Alaskan coastline.

Justice David H. Souter, who wrote the opinion of the court, found that a one-to-one ratio between punitive and compensatory damages was “a fair upper limit” for punitive damages in maritime cases involving reckless conduct, as opposed to intentional or malicious actions that could justify higher awards. The ruling means the plaintiffs stand to receive about $15,000 each, compared to the $75,000 apiece they would have collected if the $2.5 billion judgment had been upheld.

The ruling came under attack by lawmakers and environmentalists. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) issued a statement calling the ruling the latest in “a line of cases where this Supreme Court has misconstrued congressional intent to benefit large corporations.” Alaska’s Republican congressional delegation also criticized the decision, saying the $2.5 billion award should have been allowed to stand. “Today’s ruling adds insult to injury to the fishermen, communities and Alaska natives who have been waiting nearly 20 years for proper compensation following the worst environmental disaster in our nation’s history,” said Sens. Ted Stevens and Lisa Murkowski, and Rep. Don Young in a joint statement.

Plaintiffs in the case included nearly 33,000 commercial fishermen, private landowners, cannery workers, Native Alaskans, local governments and businesses. The plaintiffs’ lawyers said about 20 percent of the original group seeking punitive damages had died before the case reached the Supreme Court and that hundreds of others had gone bankrupt. Meanwhile, the attorneys said, about 26,000 gallons of oil remain in the water and the mud bottom, harming fish stocks and marine habitat.


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:  8/11
BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 7/21
BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 8/11

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 8/26
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: 8/11

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day) course: 8/4

[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-CBRD-1 – CBRD Orientation: 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: 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)

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 6-27-2008

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
11,347 2,316 1,278
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
58.55
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
117.68
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
37.18
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
22.09
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
17.86
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
26.34
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.25
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
30.54
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.57
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
15.98
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
22.34
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
13.58
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
19.34
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
11.59
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
12.21
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
12.58
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
13.21
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
13.64
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.03
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
31.23
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
19.11
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
14.37
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
22.10
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
9.91
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
80.41
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
16.85
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
66.86
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
19.32
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
39.75
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
35.90
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
25.60
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.03
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
11.86
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
13.69
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
14.22
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
14.49
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
8.48
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
9.99
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.13
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
35.04
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
45.41
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
28.31





~ 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.