News

Wheelhouse Weekly – May 19, 2005


 


THE MASTERS, MATES & PILOTS’
WHEELHOUSE WEEKLYonline

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

Volume 9 . . . . . Number 20 . . . . May 19, 2005


STORIES COVERED

ALSO

REMINDERS




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




US COURT DENIES PATRIOT MOTION TO STOP LMSR TURNOVER

On May 16th, the MM&P was informed that Judge Martin Jenkins of the US District Court for Northern California in San Francisco denied Patriot Contract Services motion for a preliminary injunction to stop the turnover of the LMSRs to American Overseas Maritime Corporation (AMSEA).

In its decision, the Court acknowledged that “while the turnover of the LMSRs is clearly a hardship for the Unions and their members, the Court notes that the honorable sailors and merchant marines and other essential personnel operating and maintaining these particular ships were never guaranteed that Patriot would always have the LMSR contract with the Government.” Further, “The Court finds that while Plaintiff (Patriot) and the intervener Unions (MM&P, SUP, MFOW) have shown that the public will be harmed if the injunction does not issue, those concerns are, at least slightly outweighed by the public’s interest in ensuring that essential military vessels operate as smoothly as possible.”

The Court also acknowledged that “both parties had demonstrated the potential for serious harm here, In such a situation, the Plaintiff must show a strong likelihood of success on the merits. Plaintiff has not met its high burden. The Government’s decision to award the ship operation contract to AMSEA was reasonable and is entitled to substantial deference. With respect to Plaintiff’s contention that AMSEA engaged in fraud warranting termination of the Contract, the Court finds that Plaintiff has raised questions about the integrity of the procurement process. However, this is not enough to demonstrate a strong likelihood of success on the claim’s merits.”

Patriot Chief Operating Officer Sandy Jones has informed the MM&P that the company is currently reviewing its options of appealing the decision. As more details become known, they will be published in future editions of the Wheelhouse Weekly.

 




 

MSC HONORS MERCHANT MARINERS AT DC NAVY YARD CEREMONY

The US Navy’s Military Sealift Command’s annual National Maritime Day wreath-laying ceremony was held May 19 at the Washington Navy Yard. The event honored some of the unsung heroes of national defense — US merchant mariners.

Earlier in the day, the US Maritime Administration’s National Maritime Day observance was held in the auditorium of the US Navy Memorial and Naval Heritage Center in Washington, DC. The Kings Point Club of Washington, in conjunction with the Propeller Club of Washington, also hosted a luncheon as part of Maritime Day celebrations that featured Federal Maritime Commission Chairman Steven Blust as the guest speaker. The Maritime Day events were attended by a delegation of MM&P International officers and staff.

National Maritime Day is observed in May each year to commemorate the first voyage of the steam ship SAVANNAH across the Atlantic Ocean on May 22, 1819. The day was declared a holiday in 1933 by a Joint Resolution of Congress. MSC, host for the wreath-laying ceremony, is the single largest employer of US merchant mariners. More than 7,000 mariners work either as federal civil service mariners or commercial mariners employed by companies under contract to MSC.

During World War II, 9,300 US seafarers and more than 700 US merchant ships fell to enemy action. Today, merchant mariners continue to play a critical role in our nation’s defense by enabling the US military to operate worldwide. Since Sept. 11, 2001, MSC’s merchant mariner-crewed ships have moved more than 75 million square feet of combat cargo in support of the global war on terrorism. That amount of cargo is equivalent to nearly 800,000 SUVs, which, if lined up end-to-end on America’s highways, would stretch from Washington, DC, to Phoenix. MSC has also delivered more than seven billion gallons of fuel worldwide in support of US forces. That amount of fuel could fill the Empire State Building 25 times.



 

NATIONAL MARITIME DAY CEREMONY SET FOR MAY 22 IN SAN PEDRO

The public is cordially invited to the annual National Maritime Day observance to be held Sunday, May 22, at 1100 hrs at the foot of 6th Street in San Pedro, CA. The ceremony will take place in front of the American Merchant Marine Veterans’ Memorial and Walls of Honor, adjacent to the Los Angeles Maritime Museum. The American Merchant Marine Veterans’ Memorial Committee, the group responsible for the construction and maintenance of the Memorials, sponsors the event.

The Walls of Honor list the names of every World War II United States Merchant Mariner who died as a result of hostile action, prisoners of war, and those who died in service in all subsequent conflicts. Through the construction of the Memorials and observance of National Maritime Day, the committee educates the public on the important role the Merchant Marine has played in American history. For more info, contact Committee President John Pitts at 310-830-7899.



 

AFL-CIO PRESIDENT ADDRESSES MARITIME LABOR DINNER TONIGHT

AFL-CIO President John Sweeney will give a special address at tonight’s gala honoring American Maritime Labor that is being held by the United States Merchant Marine Academy Alumni Foundation. Mr. Sweeney is also scheduled to introduce US Department of Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta. Secretary Mineta will be the keynote speaker and award presenter for the evening. The event will benefit The American Merchant Marine Museum at Kings Point and will be held at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.

The unions being honored are the MM&P, American Maritime Officers, American Radio Association, International Longshoremen’s Association, Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific, International Longshoremen’s & Warehousemen’s Union, Marine Engineer’s Beneficial Association, District 1, Marine Fireman’s Union, Sailors Union of the Pacific and the Seafarers’ International Union of North America.

 


NATIONAL DEFENSE TRANSPORTATION DAY PROCLAMATION

The following is a Proclamation by the President of the United States in observance of National Defense Transportation Day that is being observed on May 20 and National Transportation Week that runs from May 15-21.

“We rely on the men and women of our transportation industry to ensure efficient, secure, and reliable travel for our citizens and to keep our economy growing. On National Defense Transportation Day and during National Transportation Week, we recognize those who maintain and support our transportation system. Our transportation system is vital to our national security. It is used to deploy troops around the world and to deliver crucial equipment and supplies in the field.

Each day Americans also rely on our transportation system to reach their travel destinations and to transport billions of tons of freight across our country. My Administration has taken important steps to protect our Nation’s bridges, tunnels, highways, waterways, rail lines, pipelines, and airports to help keep our citizens safe and our economy running smoothly.

Transportation professionals keep our country moving and support our citizens as they conduct business, tour our great Nation, and reunite with family and friends. The strong work ethic and professionalism of transportation employees help increase efficiency and production across our Nation and advance American prosperity. Their efforts reflect the values that make our country strong and help ensure that our transportation infrastructure will continue to benefit Americans for generations to come.

To recognize the men and women who work in the transportation industry and who contribute to our Nation’s well being and defense, the Congress, by joint resolution approved May 16, 1957, as amended (36 U.S.C. 120), has designated the third Friday in May each year as “National Defense Transportation Day,” and, by joint resolution approved May 14, 1962, as amended (36 U.S.C. 133), declared that the week during which that Friday falls be designated as “National Transportation Week.”

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Friday, May 20, 2005, as National Defense Transportation Day and May 15 through May 21, 2005, as National Transportation Week. I encourage all Americans to learn how our modern transportation system contributes to the security of our citizens and the prosperity of our country and to celebrate these observances with appropriate ceremonies and activities.


COUPLE PRESUMED TO HAVE FALLEN OVERBOARD ON CRUISE SHIP

The disappearance of an American couple during a Caribbean cruise is presumed to be an accidental case of the couple falling overboard. The 71-year-old man and 67-year-old woman aboard the Carnival DESTINY disappeared Wed., May 18, between the islands of Barbados and Aruba, said USCG Petty Officer Omar Barrera. “The only logical conclusion is that they somehow fell overboard,” Barrera said.

Investigators found a few belongings, including a purse and sandals, out in the open on the third deck of the ship. There were no signs of suicide, and the two evidently were in good health with no serious personal problems. Two USCG planes conducted an unsuccessful search. Passing ships were asked to be on the lookout.


 

TANKER DETAINED AFTER COLLISION KILLING 14 FISHERMEN

South African maritime safety authorities have launched an investigation into the deaths of 14 fishermen after a tanker hit their trawler while it was at anchor nine miles off Port Elizabeth, South Africa, in Sardinia Bay.

The 14 men are believed to have drowned when the 18,600-dwt fruit juice tanker OURO DO BRASIL collided with their 95-foot steel-hulled vessel, the LINDSAY. The collision happened in the dead of night early on Sunday. A search for survivors was called off after other boats in the area and the National Sea Rescue Institute at Port Elizabeth found nothing other than pieces of wreckage and life jackets from the sunken LINDSAY.

The fishing vessel’s skipper and one crewman escaped when they were thrown overboard by the violence of the impact. But their fellow crewmembers, who had gone below decks to their bunks for the night, were believed to have gone down with their ship. The rescued master remains in intensive care at St George’s Hospital in Port Elizabeth while the crewman was treated for shock and released.

The OURO DO BRASIL, which docked in Port Elizabeth with minor damage, has been detained under the South Africa’s Maritime Safety Act for at least the duration of the investigation. The tanker is a Liberian-registered vessel with German officers and a South American crew, said Captain Nigel Campbell, chief investigator of the South African Maritime Safety Authority in Port Elizabeth. “We have already taken statements from the tanker’s master, officer of the watch and lookout and today we will continue the investigation by questioning them,” Campbell said.


BRITISH UNION WARNS SAFETY AT SEA COMPROMISED BY FATIGUE

Safety at sea is being compromised, because officers on merchant ships do not get enough rest periods, the British maritime union NUMAST has warned. Researchers working with the union said that 2-percent of masters and officers were clocking 16 hours per day, and 2.4 percent worked over 100 hours a week. Almost a third could not regularly get 10 hours of rest every 24 hours, and almost 12 percent did not regularly get at least 6 hours of continuous rest every 24 hours.

The General Secretary of NUMAST, Brian Orrell, said, “Fatigue has been a problem for far too long, and it is appalling that there is no concerted effort to address the consequent dangers to shipping and the health of seafarers. Ship owners are putting insufficient number of seafarers on their ships, and administrators are in competition with each other on the issue of minimum safe manning certificates.


MITAGS HOSTS ANNAPOLIS MARITIME MUSEUM EXHIBIT

The Annapolis Maritime Museum exhibit “Before GPS: the Genius of Captain Philip Van Horn Weems, 20th Century Navigation Pioneer,” is currently on display at MITAGS. An evening reception to promote the exhibit has been scheduled for Thursday, June 9, at MITAGS. Philip Van Horn Weems Dodds will give a special presentation, which details his grandfather’s remarkable career as a navigator, educator, and entrepreneur.

“This is the perfect location for an exhibit highlighting the life of Captain Weems,” says Buck Buchanan, Chairman for the Annapolis Maritime Museum. “It’s a wonderful addition to all of the maritime history that is already on display at the Institute.” The Weems exhibit was introduced by the Annapolis Maritime Museum in the summer of 2003. However, its availability for viewing at the museum was short-lived due to the devastation that was caused by Hurricane Isabel. Fortunately, volunteers were able to retrieve the exhibit and temporarily relocate it to the MITAGS campus.

The Museum, in coordination with the Institute, has scheduled an evening reception on June 9th at 1830 hrs to promote the exhibit. Special tours of MITAGS’ world-class shiphandling simulator have also been arranged. The first tour will begin at 1800 hrs, followed by a second tour at 1830. The evening will close with a special presentation by Mr. Dodds. For additional info on the Weems exhibit reception, contact Jefferson Holland at 410-295-0104 or via email at jeffersonholland@comcast.net, or call MITAGS at 410-859-5700, ext. 0.


PRINTS OF SEAWANHAKA ON SALE TO BENEFIT MM&P PCF FUND

Beautiful large prints suitable for framing of the SEAWANHAKA, signed by the artist, Capt. Brian Hope, are now available for sale to benefit the MM&P Political Contribution Fund. The $40 price includes shipping and handling. The fire aboard the SEAWANHAKA and the scapegoating of her Master, Capt. Charles Smith one hundred and twenty-five years ago, mark the beginnings of the MM&P.

Capt. Hope is a self-taught artist who graduated from the US Merchant Marine Academy in 1965. He joined the MM&P upon graduation from Kings Point and sailed on the Vietnam Sealift and later with US Lines, until joining the Association of Maryland Pilots in 1970. Capt. Hope’s paintings hang in several museums and in many businesses and private homes throughout the Baltimore-Washington area.

For more info on how you can obtain one of these striking maritime prints while also assisting the MM&P PCF to support legislation vital to the US merchant marine, contact Asst. Comptroller Beverly Gutmann at MM&P HQ, 700 Maritime Blvd., Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1941. Phone: 410-850-8700 ext. 11, Fax: 410-850-8384, Email: bgutmann@bridgedeck.org.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

You may think it will never happen … experience risky shiphandling scenarios that rarely occur or are too dangerous to practice in the field … be on the bridge of our full-mission ship simulator in the next five day Emergency Shiphandling Class beginning 5/23/05.

CLASS OPENINGS

Between now and the end of August 2005 seats are available in the following courses:

  • AIS – Automatic Identification System: 6/17, 7/23, 9/2
  • ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 6/13, 7/18, 7/25, 8/15
  • BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 6/13, 8/1
  • BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 6/14, 8/9
  • BST – Basic Safety Training: 5/23, 8/29
  • CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses

  • CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 7/18
  • CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 6/6
  • CMM-CHS I – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 8/22
  • CMM-CHS II – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 8/15
  • CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display and Info Systems: 8/1
  • CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 6/27, 8/8
  • CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 6/20, 7/25, 8/8, 8/15, 8/22
  • CMM-SHS-ADV-II – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 7/18, 8/1, 8/15
  • CMM-SHMGT I – Ship Management (week 1): 6/20, 7/11
  • CMM-SHMGT II – Ship Management (week 2): 6/13
  • CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 7/25
  • CMM-WKP- Advanced Watchkeeping: 6/6, 8/29
  • CONT-PLNG – Contingency Planning: 6/17, 7/15, 7/22
  • FF-BADV – (Combined) Basic and Advanced Firefighting: 5/23, 6/27, 8/22
  • HAZ – Hazardous Materials [5-day]: 6/6, 7/25
  • HF-FSM – Human Factors-Fatigue, Sleep & Medications: 7/20
  • LAP License Advancement Program: 7/11
  • LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 6/8, 6/14, 8/9
  • MEDIA-RSP – Media Response: 6/16, 7/14, 7/21
  • MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 6/25, 7/30, 8/20
  • MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 6/13, 7/25, 8/15
  • MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider (1st week of MED-PIC): 6/13, 7/25, 8/15

MSC – Military Sealift Command

  • MSC-SMA – Small Arms Training (4 day): 6/20, 8/29
  • MSC-SMA-R – Small Arms Re-Qualification (2-day): 6/24, 9/2
    (must have proof of passing all 3 weapons within 2 years)
  • ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal (5-day): 5/23, 8/22
  • ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 5/25, 6/13, 7/18, 7/21, 7/25, 8/20
  • SEC-OFF-VCF – Security Officer,Vessel, Company & Facility: 6/13, 8/1
  • SEC-PLT-AWR Security Awareness for Pilots: 7/19
  • SHS-ESH-BRMP: Emergency Shiphandling/Bridge Resource Management for Pilots (3-day): 7/20
  • SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling (5 day): 5/23, 8/29
  • TPIC Tankerman Person-In-Charge: 6/27

 

ATTENDANCE VERIFICATION & CANCELLATION IS VITAL

If you are scheduled for a course, call, write, or Email admissions to advise whether or not you will attend. Many classes are in demand and maintain a Standby List. “No Shows” are missed training opportunities for other members.

SCHEDULES, UPDATED COURSE AVAILABILITY, INFO & REGISTRATION

Courses are subject to change. Check the MITAGS website for up-to-date course descriptions associated with all course title abbreviations, and for schedule revisions and updated course availability. You can also check future schedules, review detailed course descriptions and register on-line or contact Admissions at admissions@mitags.org or by calling toll-free, 1-866-656-5568.




 

MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF May 18, 2005 CLOSE


 D O W  N A S D A Q  S & P 500
 10,464.45 +164.20 for the week  2,035.18  +63.63 for the week  1,1786.31  +15.20 for the week

 

Fund Name & Trading Symbol
Closing
Price
Change
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
109.51
+1.40
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
30.40
+.44
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
18.32
-.13
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
15.92
+.24
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
31.00
+.18
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.42
+.02
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX)
6.08
-.06
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.24
+.04
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
17.49
+.13
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
15.89
+.17
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
37.44
+.39
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
101.38
+1.48
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
20.81
+.39
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
71.76
+.87
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
42.05
+.54





~ 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.

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 commences Oct.17, 2004 and will continue until Jan.3, 2005. Crew rotations will start beginning as early as January 2005 and will continue through as late as June 2005. 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.

When complete and all information has been validated, click on “Communications” from the menu bar at the top of the screen and select “Transmit to Security Officer”. Save the file to the hard drive on your computer using your last name (surname) as the file name. Send this file as an email attachment to Mike Bohlman at Horizon Lines, Mbohlman@horizon-lines.com. His phone number is 908-259-2803. You will need to provide Mike Bohlman with your name and the case-sensitive password you assigned to the file in order for Horizon Lines to open the file and process your Security Clearance.



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.

On Dec.6, MM&P members will begin manning the third of seven T-AGS ships operated by Horizon. The USNS SUMNER will be crewed-up in Portland, OR. MM&P wishes the crew a safe voyage and happy holidays.


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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