News

Wheelhouse Weekly – November 05, 2007

November 5th 2007

 

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

Volume 11 . . . . . Number 44. . . .November 5, 2007

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.


JUDGE DISMISSES CIVIL SUIT AGAINST INTERNATIONAL LONGSHOREMEN’S ASSOCIATION

A U.S. District Court judge has dismissed the lawsuit brought by the federal government against the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) under the federal racketeering (RICO) act. A spokesman for the ILA said the union was “delighted” by Judge I. Leo Glasser’s decision. “This case was an insult to our members and never should have been brought,” the union said in an official statement. The judge said in his ruling that he had found numerous serious inconsistencies and shortcomings in the government’s legal case, but that he had decided to grant it 60 days to refile.

In his 109-page decision, the judge said the government’s complaint was “burdened with lengthy discussions of the history and operations of Cosa Nostra,” which he said were in no way pertinent to the case. He said he had decided to completely ignore much of the material presented, including “discussions of government investigations and prosecutions of organized crime activity on the waterfront going back decades.”

Judge Glasser said that besides burdening its case with reams of irrelevant material, the government had “left a plethora of unanswered questions.”

“The court will not abet the government’s efforts to stretch the concept of a racketeering enterprise beyond all recognition in order to bring various disinterested parties within its scope,” he wrote.

He said the government was “woefully misguided” in assuming “that it can satisfy its obligation… to provide a ‘short, plain statement of its claim’ … by attaching several hundred pages of pleadings in priori criminal and civil cases and expecting the defendants and the Court to correctly infer which of the multitude of factual allegations it intends to incorporate into the amended complaint…”

“We hope that the government will realize on reflection that the public interest is not served by further litigation,” the ILA said in its official statement.

MM&P INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT’S COMMENTS ON DISMISSAL OF SUIT AGAINST THE ILA

“The lawsuit brought by the government was based on an outdated stereotype of the ILA,” said MM&P International President Timothy Brown. “During the 28-month period that I was considered a ‘nominal defendant’ in the case, I was not interviewed regarding my status by any federal agent, any personal attorney representing the government, or any other individual. I appreciate the fact that the ILA provided me with counsel at its expense. I am also grateful to the MM&P General Executive Board for allowing me to use an attorney here in Baltimore for any questions or differences of opinion that I might have had with the lawyer provided by the ILA. Fortunately, the total expense to MM&P of this case over the approximately two-year period amounted to less than $900.

“The classic film ‘On the Waterfront’ is a towering cinematic achievement. It should not, however, have been used as the basis for a lawsuit. I am glad that this RICO case is over and I hope that the government will have the wisdom not to re-file it or go on another fishing expedition at labor’s expense.”


COAST GUARD REITERATES POLICY REQUIRING SHIP SECURITY OFFICERS TO CARRY PROOF OF QUALIFICATIONS

The U.S. Coast Guard has released the following notice:

“The mandatory requirements for ship security officer (SSO) contained in the STCW Convention will come into force Jan. 1, 2008.  The requirements also provide transitional provisions that can be applied until July 1, 2009. The United States intends to continue our existing practice for SSO. We urge vessel owners and operators who operate vessels on foreign trade to ensure that SSOs carry proof of their qualifications. Examples of documents that will be accepted as meeting the requirements of the STCW Convention are: course completion certificate (in accordance with the MTSA regulations and the ISPS Code; and/or in accordance with the International Maritime Organization’s SSO model courses) from a course provider; company letter/certificate attesting to the qualifications (in accordance with the MTSA regulations and ISPS Code).

“We have determined that our existing regulations, 33 CFR 104.215, are substantially equivalent to the STCW requirements. To continue to meet our Convention responsibilities, we will seek to amend 33 CFR 104.215 in order to include a license endorsement provision and transitional provisions. Once the regulations are published, all U.S. mariners will be required to carry an endorsement on their license. Per the Convention requirements, the cut-off date for obtaining the license endorsement using our existing practice (transitional provisions) will be July 1, 2009. We will inform Port State Control officials worldwide of this arrangement. If you have any questions or comments on this arrangement, please contact Mayte Medina at mayte.medina2@uscg.mil or (202) 372-1406.”

NEXT MITAGS SSO COURSE STARTS NOV. 26

SSO officers who have not had any training, or cannot document their training, TAKE NOTE: the next scheduled SSO course at MITAGS runs Monday, Nov. 26 through Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2007.  If you are interested, please contact admissions at admission@mitags.org, or call us toll free at 866-656-5568. 


SOMALI PIRATES BACK IN THE NEWS

Two incidents of piracy over the course of the past week have resulted in serious injuries to three crewmembers of a North Korean cargo ship, the hijacking of a ship loaded with benzene and the entry by a U.S. destroyer into Somali territorial waters.

 Two pirates were killed when a North Korean cargo ship, DAI HONG, was seized about 60 nautical miles northeast of Mogadishu. In the second incident, an American destroyer, the USS ARLEIGH BURKE, was allowed to enter Somali territorial waters after a Panamanian-flagged Japanese ship loaded with benzene was hijacked. This case is significant in that it marks the first time a warship has been allowed by the provisional government in Mogadishu to pursue pirates into Somali territorial waters.

Authorities are warning merchant ships to stay at least 200 miles off the Somali coast. A new warning was issued to sailors in the Gulf of Aden, between Somalia and Yemen, after last week’s incidents were reported. Authorities advise that vessels that increase speed and take evasive maneuvers when attacked have so far avoided being boarded, while those that slow down are boarded, taken to the Somali coastline and released after payment of ransom, often after protracted negotiations.



MOST VIGILANT MARINE CASUALTY INSPECTOR RECEIVES POSTHUMOUS HONOR

The Captain Domenic A. Calicchio Award will be presented for the first time on Nov. 9 at the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Training Center, in Yorktown, Va. The award will be given to “the most outstanding graduate” of the USCG’s Marine Inspection and Investigation School.

Domenic Calicchio went to sea in 1943, at the age of 16, and quickly rose through the ranks to become a master with United States Lines. After retiring in 1967, he joined the Coast Guard Marine Inspection Office as a lieutenant. Over the course of the next 20 years, he was assigned to several positions of responsibility, including captain of the port. As a senior inspector, he initiated a number of reforms, the most notable of which followed his spearheading of the dramatic inquiry into the 1983 MARINE ELECTRIC disaster. The sinking of the MARINE ELECTRIC and its aftermath are described in “Until the Sea Shall Free Them,” by author and journalist Robert Frump. Domenic Calicchio died in 2003.

Domenic Calicchio’s brother, Alfred Calicchio, participated in the design of the plaque, which will be presented yearly in perpetuity “in memory of and in tribute to the Coast Guard’s most vigilant marine casualty inspector.” Members of the Calicchio family will attend the ceremony.

In 2002, the Marine Safety Association established the Captain Domenic A. Calicchio Award for Integrity and Professionalism, of which he was the first recipient. In 2003, Professional Mariner Magazine awarded him its Samuel Plimsoll Award for outstanding service. In 2005, he was given the Council of American Master Mariners Lalonde Spirit of the Seas Award.


DHS HAS YET TO SECURE DATA NETWORKS, INSPECTOR GENERAL SAYS

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has improved its network security policies, but must now focus on correcting additional problems to ensure data protection, according to a report issued by the agency’s Inspector General (IG). The network security practices in place at DHS are of significance to MM&P members because the agency manages the Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC) program, which will house the data of mariners and other transportation industry workers. 

 The IG said that DHS has yet to implement all necessary policies, procedures and practices. It has not, for example, devised required separate action plans to address problems with network security revealed in the past, nor has it followed through to make sure that all changes suggested in preceding investigations were actually made. The IG also reported that baseline security configurations are not being implemented by DHS for all systems.

The IG recommended that DHS change its review process to ensure all DHS information security objectives are complete and accurate, and set up a process to ensure that configuration requirements are implemented and maintained on all systems. It also suggested that DHS deploy a department-wide vulnerability assessment program to test its security systems and train all individuals with security-related responsibilities.


ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS SUE MARAD OVER SUISUN BAY GHOST FLEET

Three environmental organizations have filed suit in federal court to force the Maritime Administration to dispose of most of the ships in the Suisun Bay reserve fleet. The suit, which was filed by the National Resources Defense Council, Arc Ecology and San Francisco Baykeeper, charges that the defunct vessels have “ceased being useful for transportation and are now just floating junkyards” full of toxins that are polluting area waterways.

Maritime Administrator Sean Connaughton has said the agency wants to recycle most of the reserve fleet ships. He said MARAD had planned to scrap the ships in Texas but was prohibited from moving them there without cleaning the toxic paint from the hulls. At the same time, MARAD is prohibited by California environmental regulations from cleaning the hulls in San Francisco Bay.

Connaughton said MARAD is making “substantial progress” in its quest to find a way to scrap the ships.


MM&P FILES COMMENTS IN SUPPORT OF WOODSIDE OCEANWAY LNG PROJECT

MM&P International President Tim Brown has written to the Department of Transportation (DOT) to express the union’s support for a project that would bring liquefied natural gas (LNG) into Los Angeles via a pipeline located approximately 28 miles offshore. U.S.-flag regasification vessels would be involved in the project, which has run into stiff opposition from environmental groups and some local officials.

In Woodside’s plan, only U.S.-flag vessels with American citizen crews would be situated off the coast of California and only these vessels would service the deepwater port facility and pipeline. Brown said the union understands that construction of the port and facility are “emotionally charged” issues. But given the country’s growing need for energy, the safety guarantees implicit in the use of U.S.-flag ships and U.S.-citizen crews and the scientific research that underlies Woodside’s plan, he said he was confident that the project would ultimately receive the support it merits.


TV JOURNALIST LOU DOBBS TAKES A SWING AT TRANSPORTATION WORKER IDENTIFICATION CREDENTIAL PROGRAM

TV journalist Lou Dobbs has leveled severe criticism against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for its handling of the Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC) program. In a televised report which aired Oct. 12, Dobbs pointed in particular to the fact that DHS has yet to issue the regulations governing readers for the card. In absence of readers, the card is little more than a flash pass, he said.
 
CNN Correspondent Jeanne Meserve, who contributed to the televised report, interviewed Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. “If we can’t read the security card in real time, there really is no reason to have it,” Thompson said during the interview.
 
The show also addressed concerns about the government’s requirements for issuing TWICs. Edward Wytkind, president of the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department, told Meserve that transportation workers could be denied a TWIC in cases in which they had committed a legal infraction in the past but pose no threat of terrorism. He said the government would, in effect, be “forcing them to pay twice for a crime they may have committed in the past.” To challenge a denial, they would have to lodge an appeal for a waiver, a time-consuming process during which they would not be able to access the port, he said.  

MM&P has stated in several rounds of congressional testimony that it supports the idea of a universally accepted identification card for access control. But TWIC does not fit the bill. MM&P advocates that TWIC preempt all state or local port access control schemes. The union says the requirements of the TWIC should be consolidated into the existing Merchant Mariner’s Document. MM&P also argues that TWIC and U.S. card readers should be interoperable with international standards.


SOUTHEAST ALASKA PILOTS ASSOCIATION SEEKS TRAINEE CANDIDATES

The Southeast Alaska Pilots Association, Ketchikan, Alaska, seeks qualified candidates for prospective positions. The deadline for submitting applications is Feb. 8, 2008. The examination will be held March 10-14 in Seattle. For more information, go to: www.seapa.com/application_info.html


MOBILE BAR PILOTS TO OPEN BOOKS FOR NEW APPRENTICE PILOTS

The Mobile Bar Pilots (MBP) is seeking four new apprentice pilots to fill vacancies that will open up between now and 2010. MM&P masters and chief mates are encouraged to apply for these jobs, which are being created by the increase in trade at the Port of Mobile and retirements among the ranks of the existing pilots. Once the new container port is up and running, additional pilots may be needed on top of the four. Deep sea command experience is a plus for these jobs. In November, the State Pilot Commission of Alabama will announce an “open period” during which it will receive applications. The State Pilot Commission of Alabama is the sole judge of the seniority and statutory qualifications of the applicants to be apprenticed and to select those it considers to be best qualified to fill the available slots on the Pilots’ Register, based on the following factors: minimum age of 18; degree, extent, and continuity of progress toward meeting the statutory qualifications; degree of cooperation with the Commission to determine the best qualified applicants; a permanent resident of the State of Alabama for six (6) consecutive months immediately preceding submission of application for apprenticeship; holding of or progress toward necessary Coast Guard licenses; the nature and extent of appropriate maritime employment and experience; a bachelor’s degree from a college, university or a nationally recognized maritime academy; good moral character.

Applications must be on the official application form and must be postmarked neither before Nov. 10 nor after Dec. 31, 2007.  The official application form may be obtained by writing a letter to: The Secretary, State Pilotage Commission, State Office Box 273, Mobile, AL 36601. If you request an application form, you will also be sent a plain English brief summary of the process for becoming a bar pilot in Mobile.


GREEK SHIP ENGINEER CLEARED IN MAGIC PIPE CASE

A Greek engineer has been cleared by a court in California of the charge that he used a “magic pipe” to bypass the oily water separator of the CAPTAIN X KYRIAKOU, Tradewinds reports. In an article by journalist Bob Rust, the engineer, Dimitrios Georgakoudis, recounts how he was betrayed by co-workers in the ship’s engine room who hoped to be compensated by the U.S. Department of Justice for turning him in. The judge in the case found the witnesses “not credible.” Georgakoudis told Tradewinds that he is grateful to the company for standing by him throughout the yearlong investigation and that he plans to return to sea. The chief engineer in the case, Artemios Maniatis, had earlier been acquitted, as had the master and the shipowner.


U.S. SUPREME COURT TO HEAR EXXON VALDEZ APPEAL

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a request by Exxon to overturn an award for $2.5 billion in punitive damages stemming from the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster. The High Court’s decision to accept Exxon’s appeal is a serious disappointment to tens of thousands of Alaskans who have pursued the company for almost two decades in a class action suit. Exxon, for its part, says it paid out over $3.5 billion in claims in the years following the accident and should not be liable for more. The company has been appealing the case for 13 years, since a jury in Anchorage returned a $5 billion punitive damage award against it. In 2005, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco reduced the award to $2.5 billion. It is that reduced award that Exxon is appealing to the High Court.


EUROPEAN UNION COURT OVERTURNS LAW THAT MADE SEA POLLUTION BY SHIPS A CRIME

A law that made ship masters, owners and operators criminally liable for cases of serious pollution has been set aside by the European Union’s Court of Justice. The law, which is expected to be redrafted, was overturned by the court on a technicality only nine months after it came into effect. It allowed prosecutors to charge the master, owner or charterer of a vessel to be fined up to $1.8 million in cases of accidental pollution that could be linked to the negligence of anyone “responsible for the ship.”


FORMER MM&P BOSTON AND NEW ENGLAND PORT REP CHARLES LANDRY DIES

Charles “Chuck” Landry, who served as MM&P Boston and New England port representative for 15 years, died Oct. 27. He was 65. A member of MM&P for over four decades, he served for many years as a convention delegate. A complete obituary will be published in an upcoming issue of The Master, Mate & Pilot magazine.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

Have you lost the bid on a job because you didn’t have EINS, COMP-OPSYS or DCS listed on your training record, even though you have the training or experience?  You may qualify for an “equivalency.” MITAGS equivalency policy, as well as all MM&P trust student policies, can be downloaded from MITAGS website at www.mitags.org.

Just Added:  MED-PIC 12/3/07
Time flies. Check you certificate date. Some MM&P contracted companies require five-year recency for your Medical Person-In-Charge course.

CLASS OPENINGS: Between now and the end of January 2008, seats are available in the following courses:

AIS – Automatic Identification System: 11/30
AIS ECDIS 3 for Pilots � Automatic Identification System and Electronic Chart Display Information System (3 day) for Pilots: 1/28
ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 11/12, 1/14

BRMP � Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 12/11, 1/31
BST � Basic Safety Training: 12/17

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVWX � Advanced Meteorology: 12/10
CMM-CHS I � Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 11/26
CMM-CHS II � Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 12/3
CMM-ECDIS � Electronic Chart and Display Information System: 12/10
CMM-MPP � Marine Propulsion Plants: 12/17
CMM-SHS-ADV-I-Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 1/7, 1/21
CMM-SHS-ADV-II-Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 12/3, 12/17, 1/14, 1/28
CMM-SHMGT-I � Ship Management (week 1): 12/3
CMM-SHMGT-II� Ship Management (week 2): 12/10
CMM-WKP � Advanced Watchkeeping: 12/17

CONT PLNG � Contingency Planning Workshop: 1/25
CSE-AAES � Confined Space Entry, Atmospheric Analysis of Enclosed Spaces: 1/21

FF-BADV � Combined Basic & Advanced Fire Fighting: 12/17

HAZ � Hazardous Materials (5 day) Course: 1/7

LAP � License Advancement Program (must be qualified by USCG for exam): 1/14
LEG � Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 11/27, 12/11, 1/30

MED-PIC � Medical Person-In-Charge: 12/3, 1/7
MED-PRO � Medical Care Provider: 12/3, 1/7
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 11/10, 12/8, 1/12
MEDIA RSP � Media Response: 11/29, 1/24

[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-CBRD-1 � CBRD Orientation: 1/26
MSC-DC � Damage Control: 1/24
MSC-SMA-R – Small Arms Re-Qualification (2-day): 12/1 (must have proof of passing all 3 weapons within 2 years)

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 11/12, 12/10, 1/14

SEC-VCF � Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 11/26, 1/21
SHS-BAS � Basic Shiphandling: 1/21
SHS-EMR � Emergency Shiphandling: 1/28
SHS-ESH- BRMP � Emergency Shiphandling & Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 1/28

�and 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 Email: admissions@mitags.org.


PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

Fall – Winter 2008

Due to the high demand for this program, PMI has now scheduled another that is already close to full enrollment for its 2007-start date. See the PMI Web site at www.mates.org for more info on this new development.

FOR REGISTRATION CALL JENNIFER FOWLER: 206 838-1126

SCHEDULE OF COURSES – (Course schedule also posted online at www.mates.org)

November 2007
6-9      LFBT
13        ROR
12-16  BST
12-16  AB
13-15  SEC VCF
26-7    GMDSS
26-30 ROP
26-30 MED PRO
26-30 SHS BAS

December 2007
3-7      ARPA
3-7      SHS EM5
3-7      BAFF
3-14    CNAV
4-7      LFBT
11        ROR   
10-14  BST
10-14  AB
17-21  ENAV
17-19  SEC VCF
17-21  ARPA
17-21  TPIC
17-21  SHS BAS

January 2008
7-11ENAV
7-11STB BAS
7-11TPIC
7-11BST
8-11ARPA
8-11LFBT
14-18AB
14-18WX BAS
14-18SHS BAS
14-25GMDSS
14-1TCNAV
21-1WKP
22ROR
28-1MED PRO
28-2GMDSS
28-8MED PIC
28-1FF ADV
28-29FF BAS

February 2008
4-8 ROR
4-8 BST
4-8 AB
11-15TPIC
12-15LFBT
11ROR
11-12SAR
11-15TPIC
12-15ARPA
12-15LFBT
13-15EP
16FL
18-22ENAV
18-22MED PRO
18-29MED PIC
18-22SHS BAS
25ROR
25-29ARPA
25-29ECDIS
25-7CNAV

March 2008
3-7BST
3-14GMDSS
4-7LFBT
10-11SAR
10-12SEC VCF
10-14AB
12-14EP
17-21TPIC
17-28SHS ADV
17-28GMDSS
24-28ECDIS
24-28FF ADV
24-4GMDSS
27-28FF BAS

For registration call Jennifer Fowler 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 11-2-2007

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
13,568 2,795 1,508
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
69.21
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
139.21
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
41.92
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
28.58
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
21.73
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
36.73
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.29
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
33.93
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
6.05
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
17.46
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
26.01
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
14.41
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
21.90
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
12.45
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
13.58
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
14.32
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
15.30
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
15.79
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.10
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
36.48
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
22.91
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
17.07
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
29.43
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.19
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
102.41
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
21.71
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
87.03
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
24.63
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
46.43
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
44.71
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
31.54
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.69
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
12.96
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
15.58
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
16.75
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
17.47
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
10.35
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
12.07
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.35
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
41.22
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
53.50
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
34.62






~ 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.

© 2007, 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.

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