News

Wheelhouse Weekly – November 03, 2005

November 3rd 2005


 


THE MASTERS, MATES & PILOTS’
WHEELHOUSE WEEKLYonline

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

Volume 9 . . . . . Number 44 . . . . November 3, 2005


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.




MM&P’S PORT EVERGLADES OFFICE RESUMES LIMITED OPERATIONS

MM&P’s Port Everglades Port Office has resumed operations as of 0900, November 2. The office will be closing at 1400 daily because of unsafe traffic conditions due to damage caused to the area’s electrical infrastructure by Hurricane Wilma. For further info, contact Port Representative Duane Koran at 954-946-7883 or email: dkoran@bridgedeck.org.

 




 

NATIONAL STRATEGY FOR MARITIME SECURITY SUPPORT ANNOUNCED

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in collaboration with the Department of Defense (DOD) and Department of State (DOS) has announced the completion and final approval of eight plans supporting the National Strategy for Maritime Security. These plans include Maritime Commerce Security, Maritime Transportation Systems Security, Maritime Infrastructure Recovery, Maritime Operational Threat Response, Maritime Domain Awareness, Global Maritime Intelligence Integration, and Domestic and International Outreach.

In December 2004, President Bush signed a maritime policy security directive outlining his vision for a fully coordinated US government effort to protect US interests in the maritime domain. This security directive resulted in the first-ever, comprehensive National Strategy for Maritime Security. Three broad principles that provide overarching guidance to this Strategy include: preserving the freedom of the seas; facilitating and defending commerce; and facilitating the movement of desirable goods and people across our borders, while screening out dangerous people and materials.

The eight supporting plans work together to enhance international cooperation while maximizing domain awareness that will create necessary layers of security intended to stop terrorist and other threats against the US as far from our shores as possible while also assuring continuity of the Marine Transportation System.

A team representing more than 20 government agencies contributed to the development of the National Strategy for Maritime Security and its supporting plans. Working groups for the Maritime Commerce Security, Maritime Transportation Systems Security and Maritime Infrastructure Recovery plans also sought public and private sector insight to ensure that those plans reflected maritime industry concerns and knowledge. More info on the strategy and its supporting plans can be found on the DHS website at www.dhs.gov.




 

SENATOR TED STEVENS ADDRESSES DC CHAPTER OF PROPELLER CLUB

Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) was the featured speaker at the monthly luncheon of the Washington, DC, chapter of the Propeller Club that was held earlier this week. Heading up MM&P’s delegation to the sold-out luncheon was International President Captain Tim Brown. MEBA President Ron Davis and SIU President Mike Sacco also attended the luncheon as did top officials from other organizations encompassing all areas of the maritime industry.

“The very large turnout reflects the respect and appreciation that the US maritime community has for Sen. Stevens,” said MM&P’S Director of Special Projects Richard Plant, who was also in attendance. For his part, Sen. Stevens used the opportunity to comment on a variety of maritime issues. He said that the aftermath of the Gulf Coast hurricanes posed “a significant challenge,” in the fact that the two storms affected over 20 Gulf ports. Stevens said that many facilities have to be relocated and “may take months, if not years, to rebuild.”

Sen. Stevens also commented on his recent trip to the Port of Los Angeles saying that, “It’s a real marvel to see that place. I think we have to look at that and look at the complexities of running a port nowadays.” On another subject, he expressed his desire to keep the US-flag fleet intact and also noted the passage of the USCG authorization bill in the Senate.

Senator Stevens updated those in attendance on the latest developments regarding the potential for opening the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) for oil exploration. He also said that he expects LNG to become a much larger US energy source over the next several decades.

 


USCG HAS ANOTHER OPENING WITH DECK LICENSING EXAM TEAM

The Coast Guard National Maritime Center has a second opening with the Deck license examination team. This position is responsible for the administration and maintenance of deck license exams, including the creation of exams and exam questions, and the evaluation of exam protests from mariners taking exams.

The position is currently in Arlington, VA but will likely move to Martinsburg, WV within a couple of years. The position is at the GS-12 level and minimum starting pay is approx. $63,000 per year. This position is different from the GS-13 deck exam position vacancy that was the subject of a Wheelhouse Weekly article several weeks ago.

The ideal candidate will have experience as Chief Mate or Master, preferably on a variety of ship types, and also have experience developing examinations and developing or presenting maritime training. Details of the announcement and the position are at
http://jobsearch.usajobs.opm.gov/getjob.asp?JobID=35896751&AVSDM=2005%2D10%2D28+10%3A33%3A06&Logo=0&FedEmp=Y&jbf574=HSAC&brd=3876&vw=d&ss=0&FedPub=Y&caller=/a9uscg.asp&SUBMIT1.x=91&SUBMIT1.y=12

It is important to follow the application instructions in the online announcement rather than sending any material to the National Maritime Center. For questions about the position, contact James Cavo, USCG National Maritime Center Course Approval Team Leader at 202-493-1040 Fax: 202-493-1062. Note that a critical part of the application process is the qualification questionnaire that is part of the on-line application process.


APL HONORED WITH MARITIME HERITAGE AWARD

MM&P-contracted APL has been named a 2005 recipient of the Maritime Heritage Award from the San Francisco Maritime National Park Association. The presentation was made before 400 civic, business and shipping industry leaders on Oct. 29 at the association’s annual gala on Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay.

APL, which opened its first San Francisco office in 1850 at the height of the Gold Rush, was honored for its contributions to the nation and the international shipping industry.

“This is a company that pioneered transpacific shipping, rallied to the nation’s defense during wartime, and leads the industry today with innovation and a passion to serve,” said David Pettus, President of the San Francisco Maritime National Park Association. “APL has given our community, and the maritime industry, more than 150 years of service. We’re glad to present the Maritime Heritage Award in return.”

Senator Dianne Feinstein, (D-CA) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, (D-CA) were also presented with Heritage Awards from the association for their contributions to the nation’s maritime cause. “It’s a distinct honor and pleasure to be recognized along with Senator Feinstein and Representative Pelosi,” said John Bowe, President of APL in the Americas. “We’re naturally quite proud of APL’s contributions to our industry, our community and our nation.”

In presenting the Heritage Award, the San Francisco Maritime National Park Association pointed to APL’s “long and colorful maritime history,” as well as its “leading role in 21st century ocean transportation.” Among its accomplishments, APL was singled out for: establishing the first transpacific steamship service in 1867; serving the military in peacetime and times of war; and driving world trade, especially between Asia and the US, for 158 years.


CULTURE OF INCLUSION URGED FOR SHIPPING INDUSTRY

Faith-based groups should initiate a statement of corporate social responsibility for the shipping industry involving a “culture of inclusion” for seafarers, the annual conference of NAMMA (North American Maritime Ministry Association) was told at its annual conference in Montreal on October 28. NAMMA is an alliance of over 150 non-profit faith-based agencies that assist seafarers in the US, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

In his comments after being presented with NAMMA’s Seafarer’s Humanitarian Award, Clay Maitland, a managing partner of International Registries, said most major industries had such a statement of principles, and that without it shipping was at a great disadvantage.

“We have to engage the people who crew our ships as respected partners,” Maitland said. “We will only improve our standing with the public if we present the seafarer as the human face of the industry. In this way, the hearts and minds of the general public will be engaged, and young people will be more attracted to careers at sea. The seafarer must become a more visible icon of our culture, and our story should be told through them.”

“In addition, regulation will only be truly workable if the seafarer is first consulted on its practicality. I am seriously concerned about our failure to include the working world of the mariner in our rulemaking process,” Maitland said. He issued a “call to action” to faith-based groups to take the lead in initiating a statement of corporate social responsibility for shipping, defining in plain language the goals and aspirations of the industry and its people at sea.


COURT FINES MASTER FOR POLLUTION AND REFUSING NAVY ORDERS

The international maritime newsletter Fairplay recently reported that a court in Brest, France has ordered a double fine on the master of the Greek bulk carrier CAPTAIN DIAMANTIS for polluting the French coast and refusing to obey French Navy orders to stop his vessel. Georgios Papageorgiou has been ordered to pay a euro200,000 ($241,000) fine for the pollution and another euro100,000 for neglecting Navy orders to proceed to the port of Brest for police questioning. On July 7, 2004, the 62,800-dwt, 2000-built CAPTAIN DIAMANTIS, en route from Poland to Morocco, was seen by a French Navy aircraft off Brittany trailing a three mile pollution slick. The ship was ordered to stop, but refused to do so and continued its voyage.


MASTER OF HORIZON FAIRBANKS COMPOSES FOR KATRINA RELIEF

MM&P member Capt. John Nicoll, who usually sails as Master of the HORIZON FAIRBANKS, contributed his musical talents as a composer for the recent Mardi Gras Masquerade Ball Fundraiser for Katrina victims that was held in his Massachusetts hometown of Nahant Harbor. His talent, along with the efforts of over 45 performers and six bands, raised over $7,000 dollars for hurricane victims in the New Orleans and Mississippi area. An accomplished composer, Capt. Nicoll has written three musical numbers for the Boston Pops Orchestra. His blues-rock composition entitled “Way Too Easy” was written especially for the Katrina fundraiser where it was played by the James Montgomery Blues Band to much acclaim.


MM&P DISASTER RELIEF FUND COLLECTING DONATIONS

The MM&P Disaster Relief Fund is collecting donations to help members and applicants who have suffered severe losses due to the recent hurricanes. Members of the MM&P extended family are encouraged to assist their brothers and sisters by contributing to the fund. Further details can be found on the MM&P web site at www.bridgedeck.org. Contributions by credit card are welcomed. All requests for assistance from the proceeds generated by this fund must be made in writing and sent to MM&P Headquarters, 700 Maritime Blvd., Linthicum, MD 21090 in care of John Gorman, Comptroller or Beverly Gutmann, Assistant Comptroller.


CONTACT MM&P IF YOU HAVE BEEN DENIED ACCESS TO A PORT

Some foreign terminals and port facilities have improperly denied access to crewmembers and visitors to and from ships in violation of the ISPS code. MM&P is preparing a protest of these violations but to do so, we need your help. Please send an e-mail to AccessControl@bridgedeck.org to report incidents of access denial, as well as cases in which a fee to access port facilities is levied on crewmembers or their visitors. The MM&P is interested in receiving reports from all ships, not just MM&P-contracted vessels. Please provide the date of the incident, the names of the port, facility and ship, and a brief description of what occurred.


MITAGS RENOVATIONS CONTINUE

Plans to continue upgrading the guest rooms in the South Residence Tower are currently underway. The rooms will be fully equipped with new furniture and cable television. All rooms will also include a refrigerator, coffee maker, and high speed Internet access. The room renovations are expected to be complete by March of 2006.

The indoor swimming pool on the lower level of the North Tower has been completely overhauled. The fifty-foot pool was totally resurfaced with racing lanes and targets. A new heat exchanger and filtration system was also installed. While the pool is typically used for Basic Safety Training, it is also available for recreational use.

Additionally, renovations in the game room are now complete. Along with new carpeting and heating/air conditioning, there is also new gaming equipment, including: two pool tables, a ping pong table, a foosball table, dart boards, air hockey, and shuffleboard. Next time members visit MITAGS they are encouraged to check it out.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

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


AIS – Automatic Identification System: 12/15
ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 12/12, 1/9
AZIPOD – Azipod Propulsion System (2 day): 12/5

BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 1/23
BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 12/12
BST – Basic Safety Training: 1/30

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-CHS I – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 11/7
CMM-CHS II – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 11/14
CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display and Info Systems: 12/5, 1/9, 1/30
CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 12/5, 1/16
CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 11/14, 1/9, 1/23
CMM-SHS-ADV-II – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 1/16, 1/30
CMM-SHMGT I – Ship Management (week 1): 12/12, 1/9
CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 10/31
CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 1/23
CMM-WKP – Watchkeeping: 11/28, 12/5

CONT-PLNG – Contingency Planning: 11/11, 12/2, 12/16, 1/20

FF-BADV – (Combined) Basic and Advanced Firefighting: 1/30

HAZ-Hazardous Materials (5-day): 11/14, 1/9

LAP – License Advancement Program: 1/9

MEDIA-RSP – Media Response: 11/10, 12/1, 1/19
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 12/10, 1/14
MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 12/5, 1/9
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 12/5, 1/9


[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-SMA – Small Arms (4-day): 1/30
MSC-SMA-R – Small Arms Re-Qualification (2-day): 2/3 (must have proof of passing all 3 weapons within 2 years)

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal (5-day): 11/28, 1/16
ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 12/10, 12/12, 1/9

SEC-OFF-VCF – Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 11/28, 12/12, 1/16
SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 11/7, 1/9

TRAC-TUG – Water Tractor and Azimuth Stern Drive Tugs (3-day): 12/8


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

PMI is offering a USCG Crew Endurance Management Coaches Seminar in Seattle from October 26-27 in addition to its regular course offerings listed below. This training is designed to provide commercial mariners the knowledge and skills to develop, deploy, and assess Crew Endurance Management Systems (CEMS) within their companies.

As a Crew Endurance Coach, the employee is critical to the success of CEMS implementation. Coaches provide education and guidance on the principles of light and sleep management, assist with changes to the work and rest environment, make recommendations on schedule changes, and help create personal endurance plans for each crewmember. Once successfully completing the training the Coach will have the necessary training to educate personnel on a vessel, and the processes and practices specific to the USCG Crew Endurance Management Program. The training session spans two full days and includes a written exam. Cost: $425 per person To Register: Call Pacific Maritime Institute at 206-441-2880 or toll free 888-893-7829.

November 2005

11/7-11 TPIC
11/7-18 GMDSS
11/7-19 100 Ton OUPV
11/14-18 ECDIS
11/21-23 Ship Security Officer
11/28-12/2 Radar Observer Unlimited
11/28-12/2 Emergency Shiphandling 5-day

December 2005

12/5-9 Medical Care Provider
12/5-9 ARPA
12/5-16 Basic Safety Training
12/5-16 GMDSS
12/5-16 Medical Person-In-Charge
12/13-16 Lifeboat/Survival Craft
12/19-21 Ship Security Officer
12/19-23 ARPA
12/19-23 Basic Shiphandling
12/26-30 Emergency Shiphandling 5-day

January 2006

1/ 2-6 BST
1/9-27 TCNAV
1/9-12 Lifeboat/Survival Craft
1/9-13 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
1/9-20 GMDSS
1/9-21 100 Ton OUPV
1/16-20 ECDIS
1/16-20 ARPA
1/16-20 Emergency Shiphandling 5-day
1/23-27 MEDPRO
1/23-2/3 MEDPIC
1/30-2/1 Ship Security Officer
1/30-2/3 RADAR Observer Unlimited
1/30-2/10 GMDSS

February 2006

2/6-10 BST
2/6-9 Lifeboat/Survival Craft
2/6-10 ARPA
2/6 Radar Renewal
2/13-17 ENAV
2/20-3/3 CNAV
2/20-3/3 Advanced Shiphandling
2/20-3/4 100 Ton OUPV
2/27-3/3 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
2/27-3/3 ARPA
2/27 Radar Renewal

March 2006

3/6-10 BST
3/6-9 Lifeboat/Survival Craft
3/6-10 Basic Meteorology
3/6-18 100 Ton OUPV
3/13-24 GMDSS
3/13-17 CONSTB
3/20-24 CHS BAS
3/27-31 MEDPRO
3/27-31 ARPA
3/27 Radar Renewal
3/27-4/7 MEDPIC

For registration call Jennifer Fowler 888-893-7829

PMI Merchandise for Sale: High quality with embroidered PMI logo. All prices include tax. Navy Caps: $18.00; Button Down Long Sleeve Dress Shirts Blue or Khaki: $38.00; Coming Soon: Navy, Burgundy, Khaki T-shirts, high quality thick Hanes shirt with pocket $22.00; 15 oz. Beautiful Cobalt Blue Ceramic Mug $10.Call DeeDee Lazik 206-838-8328 or e-mail dlazik@mates.org.


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 11-2

 

 D O W  N A S D A Q  S & P 500
10,472.73 +159.29 for the week  2,144.31  +53.20 for the week  1,214.76  +25.07 for the week

 

Fund Name & Trading Symbol
Closing
Price
Change
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
112.03
+2.20
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
33.37
+.91
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
20.36
+.51
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
17.03
+.42
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
31.83
+.71
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.19
-.01
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX)
6.13
-.01
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
9.96
-.03
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
18.70
+.41
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
16.00
+.06
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
36.80
+.59
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
105.72
+2.43
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
22.34
+.14
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
76.44
+1.76
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
43.03
+.84

 





~ 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”.



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., Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1941. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: iommp@bridgedeck.org. For further info or to subscribe contact John Peige at jpeige@bridgedeck.org. The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea, broadcast worldwide via FEC marine telex and is posted on our web page.