News

Wheelhouse Weekly – November 10, 2004

November 10th 2004



THE MASTERS, MATES & PILOTS’
WHEELHOUSE WEEKLYonline

– Bridging the Information Gap WithE-News You Can Use –

Volume8 . . . . . Number 46 . . . . November 10, 2004





STORIES COVERED

ALSO

REMINDERS




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





 

LEGAL WRANGLING CONTINUES IN USSM-MARAD-MAERSK SITUATION

A federal judge in Charlotte, NC is expected to grant United States ShipManagement, Inc. (USSM) a preliminary injunction against the US MaritimeAdministration (MARAD) to halt the agency from transferring
Maritime Security Program slots and funding from USSM to Maersk Line,Ltd., (MLL) of six ships owned by Maersk, but operated by USSM in the MaritimeSecurity Program. MM&P maintains collective bargaining
agreements both with Maersk and with USSM.

MLL has sought to become an intervenor in the case but the request wasturned down on Nov.4 when the Richmond, VA Fourth Circuit Court of Appealsdenied MLL’s appeal.

According to news reports following the hearing in Charlotte, it wasanticipated that federal judge Graham Mullen will grant USSM the injunction,blocking transfer of the $2.1 million annual MSP payments
to MLL until he has issued a final ruling in the case.

If the injunction is granted, USSM will remain in possession of at leastsix ships in its current 16-ship fleet, 12 of which take part in the MSP.Transfers were originally to have begun taking place on
Nov.2.

The North Carolina case began on Oct.20 as one of three federal districtcourt actions now ongoing in separate jurisdictions, plus two circuit courtappeals and a series of arbitrations in London and New York. The six shipsin limbo are the 1,100-teu ALVA MAERSK and five 3,800-teu ships, the SEALANDINTREPID, SEALAND LIGHTNING, SEALAND CHARGER, SEALAND COMET and SEALANDMETEOR. All of these
vessels were built between 1995 and 1998.

Since Aug.19, MLL has taken over operational control from USSM of threeships, the SEALAND PRIDE, SEALAND FLORIDA and SEALAND MOTIVATOR. The transferof operational control for these ships had
earlier been cleared by the US District Court for the District of Columbia.

MM&P LDOs continue to serve aboard the vessels under operationalcontrol of both USSM and Maersk. The MM&P’s International Presidentcommended deck officers on the SEALAND ships for their “long-standing recordof professional operation and achievement,” and extended thanks to “ourmembers on these ships for continuing to maintain that same level of professionalismwhile the situation is settled by the
companies and the courts.”



 

MM&P MEMBERS MAROONED ON S/L COMMITMENT AS STRANDED TANKER FORCES CLOSUREOF SUEZ CANAL

As of Nov.9, a grounded Liberian-registered 154,972-deadweight tanker thatbroke down in the Suez Canal on Nov.6, was still blocking the passage of60 ships and forcing the strategic Egyptian waterway’s
closure.

The Suez Canal authority released a statement saying the TROPIC BRILLIANCE,built in 1992, was fully loaded with crude oil when she suffered mechanicalproblems 45 miles south of the Mediterranean coastal city of Port Said.Efforts were under way to transfer part of the tanker’s cargo to anothership and repair the stranded vessel.
Ten tankers traveling south are stuck behind the TROPIC BRILLIANCE,while another 30 ships bound for the Mediterranean have also been forcedto wait.

In its latest statement on Nov.10, the Canal Authority reported thatclearing the logjam of ships waiting to transit the Suez Canal will takemuch less time than first feared. Canal Authority chairman, Ahmed Ali Fadel,promised the backlog of more than 100 ships would be cleared within a matterof hours.

MM&P members Capt. Eric Franzen, Chief Mate Mike Shanley, SecondMate Bill Doherty, Third Mate Mike Heyman and the crew of the SEALAND COMMITMENTare sitting aboard the ship in El Ballah bypass, mid-way in the Suez Canalas efforts continue to refloat the tanker. SEALAND COMMITMENT, operatedby USSM, is on the Mediterranean to Persian Gulf shuttle service for MaerskSealand.

The Suez Canal, which opened in 1869, is one of Egypt’s main foreigncurrency earners. It was closed after the June 1967 Mid East war and reopenedin 1975 by late President Anwar Sadat. This is the first time since 1975that the Canal has been closed. Egyptian newspapers have reported thatthe more than three day closure of the Canal is set to cost as much as$40 million.

Thanks to the S/L COMMITMENT’s LDO’s for filing the story with us.


EMPLOYMENT ABOARD MSC T-AGS VESSELS OPERATED BY HORIZON

Some MM&P members have expressed concern that the letter of commitmentfrom Horizon Lines states that the mariners are a “candidate” for the position.Mike Bohlman, Director of Marine Services for Horizon Lines asked thatthis statement be passed on to MM&P mariners:

“One thing you can tell your members is that, if they get a letter ofcommitment from us (Horizon Lines) and proceed in a straightforward mannerto get the required security clearance and training that is needed, theywill have the job (or equivalent) that was initially offered. The onlyother caveat is that the individuals, after we do
the final selection, must be approved by MSC.”

The hoops and hurdles are three fold – TRAINING, SECURITY CLEARANCEand MSC PHYSICAL. All mariners interested in a possible position aboardthe T-AGS Oceanographic Vessels should Email MM&P’s Director of SpecialProjects at rplant@bridgedeck.orgor call 410-850-8700 x36. You will be emailed a T-AGS Facts Sheet alongwith the MSC Physical Exam Forms that Horizon Lines is distributing. Inthe facts sheet will be the wages, vessels particulars, training and securityclearance requirements.

Please be aware that the MSC contract requirements specifies that STCW-95certification (Basic Safety Training, Damage Control, Advanced Fire Fightingand others) be no more than five years old. Small arms must be renewedon a yearly basis. If your certificates are older than as specified andyou are interested in applying for a
T-AGS vessel position please update your training certification asneeded.

Initial takeover and manning began Oct.17, 2004 and will continue throughJan.3, 2005. Relief crewing will start four months (120 days) later, orfrom about Feb.17, 2005 through May 3, 2005. THERE ARE STILL OPENINGS FORALL POSITIONS, especially 2nd Mates.
 



 

PLANS UPDATE ON NMHCMAIL WEBSITE ISSUES

Plans Administrator Valerie Verrecchio reports that MM&P Plan memberscan access the NMHC website at www.NMHCmail.comto track orders, check prior history from the last 24 months and orderrefills
on-line. In order to avoid delays…

Go to www.nmhcmail.com
– DO NOT USE THE ON-LINE RX REFILL FORM ON THE TOP OF THE HOME PAGE.
– Instead, scroll to the bottom of the page to “MEMBER LOGIN”.
– If you have previously registered, enter your member ID and password.You will be connected to your history file.

NEW USERS:
If you have not previously registered, go to www.nmhcmail.com.
– Go to the bottom of the page and click on “MEMBER LOGIN”. You willbe directed to a new screen for registered users.
– Click on the bullet marked “NEW USER-Register Here”.
– Complete the on-line registration process. A unique password willbe sent to your email address almost immediately.
– Once you have this password, you can go back to MEMBER LOGIN andchange the system password to your own unique password.

You can also access the Member Login directly from www.NMHC.com.In order to comply with HIPAA privacy regulations, each dependent willhave to register separately and will only have access to their own
specific history. We apologize for any inconvenience.



 

NEW ADDRESS IN DECEMBER FOR MM&P NEW ORLEANS HALL

Beginning in mid-December, the MM&P New Orleans’ port office will moveto a new location.

The new address will be: 3330 West Esplanade, Suite 209, Metairie, LA70002-3454. Phone, fax and Email will remain the same.

The NOLA hall will remain in its current location at 2121 Airline Dr.,Suite 510 in Metairie, LA until that time.



 

A.P.MOLLER-MAERSK CONTAINER FLEETS REACH 1 MILLION TEU

The multinational flag fleet operated by the container divisions of A.P.Moller-Maersk is expected to reach one million TEUs by mid-November. Atthat point, the company’s vessels will account for 12.4 percent of thetotal container fleet capacity effectively deployed on all liner trades,the largest share in the world.

The company’s different liner units, Maersk Sealand, Safmarine, Portlink,Norfolkline and APM Saigon Shipping-MCC, control 375 vessels. A.P.Moller-Maerskhas an additional 88 ships on order with a
total capacity of around 460,000 TEUs.

The Maersk Sealand fleet, comprised of US-flag and foreign flag vessels,includes 25 very large container ships of more than 7,500 TEUs each, andanother 20 vessels are on order. The MM&P has recently concluded aneight-year contract for crewing Maersk Sealand US-flagged vessels.



USNS RAINIER RETURNS FROM DEPLOYMENT WITH CARRIER GROUP

Fast combat support ship USNS RAINIER crewed by MM&P government employees’membership group licensed deck officers has returned from a five-monthdeployment to the Western Pacific as a part of the USS
JOHN C. STENNIS Carrier Strike Group. The STENNIS strike group participatedin three major exercises during this deployment: Exercise Northern Edge,Rim of the Pacific exercise 2004 and a joint air and sea training exercisewith the USS KITTY HAWK strike group.

During her deployment, RAINIER provided more than 49 million gallonsof fuel for the strike group. That amount of fuel would fill 100 Olympic-sizeswimming pools. The ship also transferred more than 10 million pounds offood, ammunitions, mail and various dry cargo to re-supply other ships.RAINIER’S on-board Helicopter Combat Support Squadron 11 Detachment Twoperformed vertical replenishments to lift cargo to the other ships in thestrike group.

“This deployment taught us a great deal. Everyday we learned how tobetter operate a multi-product ship in a strike group environment,” saidCapt. William Baldwin the master of RAINIER. “We have matured from a conceptof operation to a smooth running operation.”

Operation of the Supply-class ships by the US Navy’s Military SealiftCommand saves the strike groups time since they can receive all of thefuel, cargo and ammunition needed from one ship. Fewer ships in operationfor one mission reduce the cost to tax payers as well. In the past, twoships, an oiler and either a combat stores ship or an ammunition ship,were needed to fulfill the same mission as a single Supply-class ship.

With a top speed of 29 knots, RAINIER has no difficulty keeping pacewith the other ships. The 754-foot ship is crewed by 160 civil servicemariners, a 28-member active duty Navy support department and a 32-memberNavy helicopter detachment. The ship was transferred to MSC in August 2003.She was decommissioned as a combatant ship, and civil service marinersreplaced her active duty Navy crew.

Following a brief voyage repair period, RAINIER will again deploy, butwith a different carrier strike group. She will sail with the USS ABRAHAMLINCOLN in mid-November.



WILHELMSEN LINES RO-RO BOARDED AND SEARCHED IN LA PORT

US Customs and Border Protection service (CBP) was the agency responsiblefor the September 27 boarding of the Wilhelmsen Lines Ro-Ro vessel TAMPA,which, according to media reports, has drawn the ire of company chairmanWilhelm Wilhelmsen.

The USCG played no role in the reported three-hour boarding and search,according to spokesman Jolie Shifflet. Wilhelmsen alleges that the boarding”went too far” in that about 20 armed men boarded the 2,450-TEU vesselin Los Angeles port without identifying themselves, strip searched someof the crew and restricted Capt. Ove
Overgaard’s movements.

US Customs and Border Protection spokesman Mike Fleming says he is shockedat allegations made by Wilhelmsen and says Wilhelmsen has been given badinfo. He said the boarding, by a 15-member party that
included two dogs, was strictly routine and went without incident.The officers wore uniforms with shoulder patches that clearly identifiedthem as CBP agents, he said, and the senior supervising agent greeted Capt.Overgaard, explained the process and was offered coffee.

There was no strip search, merely a ‘patting down’ for weapons whilefully clothed – a standard practice, Fleming said. Acting on a complaintfrom the line, the USCG Captain of the Port reviewed the boarding and foundit within policy. “We board and inspect three to eight vessels per monthin Los Angeles and Long Beach,” Fleming
added. “And this inspection was as routine as most.



MARINE ELECTRIC SINKING TO BE ON HISTORY CHANNEL NOV.22

On November 22nd at 2100 Eastern Time, the History Channel will broadcasta one-hour documentary on the SS MARINE ELECTRIC, an MM&P-crewed bulkcoal carrier operated by MTL which sank off the
Virginia Coast in the early 1980s with the loss of all hands exceptthree.

The show is called “Deep Sea Detectives” and will carry a segment interviewingBob Cusick, an MM&P survivor along with a segment with author RobertFrump who wrote a book on the sinking entitled, “Until the Sea Shall FreeThem”. The show will be rebroadcast at later dates and times to be announced.For more info, go to
www.historychannel.com.


 


 

INFO ON HOW TO RECEIVE DUPLICATE MM&P ELECTION BALLOTS

Those members who have not received a MM&P election ballot in the mailand are interested in receiving a duplicate ballot, should contact MM&PComptroller John Gorman at 410-850-8700 x12 or Email him at:jgorman@bridgedeck.org.


 


 

MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

The Company Required Courses list has been updated. You can access anddownload the latest version from MITAGS website.

  • CLICKHERE to download the list of required courses.

(NOTE: This isa PDF file and requires Adobe Acrobat Reader, available as a free downloadby CLICKINGHERE.)

  • You can also go to the main Admissions Info page by CLICKINGHERE.

CLASS OPENINGS THROUGH JANUARY 2005

  • ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 01/03
  • AZIPOD – Azipod Propulsion System: 01/03
  •  

  • BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 01/24
  • BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 11/15
  • BST – Basic Safety Training: 12/13, 01/31
  •  
    CMM – Chief Mate and MasterCourses

    • CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 01/31
    • CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display and Info: 11/29, 01/10
    • CMM-LAP – License Advancement Program for upgrade to Chief Mate-Master:11/29
    • (Must have written approval tobe examined from USCG in to Baltimore REC by 11/15/04 to enter class.)

    • CMM-MMP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 11/29, 01/17
    • CMM-SHMGT-I – Ship Management (week 1): 12/06, 01/10
    • CMM-SHMGT-II – Ship Management (week 2): 12/13
    • CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 12/06, 01/10, 01/24, 01/31
    • CMM-SHS-ADV-II – Advanced Shiphandling (wk. 2): 12/13, 01/17, 01/31
    • CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 01/24
    • CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 11/15, 01/03
    •  

    • COMP-OPSYS – Computer Operating Systems: 01/17
    • CONT-PLNG – Contingency Planning: 12/09, 01/07, 01/21, 02/11
    • CSE-AWR2 – 2-day Confined Space Seminar: 11/18, 12/02, 12/16
    •  

    • FF-BADV – (Combined) Basic and Adv Firefighting: 12/13, 01/31
    •  

    • FSM – Fatigue, Sleep and Medications: 01/04
    •  

    • GMDSS – Global Marine Distress and Safety System: 01/24
    •  

    • HAZ – Hazardous Materials [5-day]: 01/03
    •  

    • LAP – License Advancement Program: 01/10
    • LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 12/07, 01/05
    •  

    • MEDIA-RSP – Media Response: 12/10, 01/06, 01/20
    • MED-DOT-DA – U.S. Department of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing:12/04, 01/15
    • MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 11/29
    • MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 11/29
    • MED-SMC – [4 week] Shipboard Medical Care: 01/03

    MSC – Military SealiftCommand

    • MSC-CBRD-1 – Chemical Biological Radiological Defense Training Orientation:11/17, 12/15, 02/06
    • MSC-COMMS – Strategic Sealift Communications: 12/06, 01/24
    • MSC-DC – Damage Control: 11/15, 12/10, 12/13, 02/04
    • MSC-ENVPRO – Environmental Programs: 01/29
    • MSC-SMA – Small Arms Training (4-day): 12/06, 01/31
    • MSC-SMA-R – Small Arms Re-Qualification (2-day): 02/04 (must have proofof passing all 3 weapons within 2 years)
    • ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal (5-day): 12/13, 01/17
    • ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 01/03
    • SEC-FSO – Facility Security Officer: 12/14
    • SEC-OFF-PCS – Security Officer: Port, Company, Ship: 12/06, 01/17
    • SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 01/10
    • SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling (5-day): 12/13, 01/17
    •  

    • TRAC-TUG – Water Tractor and Azimuth Stern Drive Tugs: 01/06
    • TPIC – Tankerman Person-In-Charge: 01/24
    •  

    ATTENDANCE VERIFICATION & CANCELLATIONIS VITAL

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

    SCHEDULES, COURSE INFO & REGISTRATION

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


     

    PMI MARITIME TECHNOLOGY & CAREER CENTER ACADEMIC SCHEDULE – Winter2004-2005

    All the courses below will be conducted at the new Pacific Maritime Institutefacility located in Seattle at 1727 Alaskan Way South, Pier 34. Come seethe new facility at PMI’s “Maritime Technology and Career Center” whichhouses our state-of-the art Full Mission Ship Simulator.

    November 2004

    Holidays:

         – Open on Veterans’ Day, 11/11.
         – Closed 11/25-26 for Thanksgiving Holiday
    • 11/15-19: Emergency Shiphandling-5 day
    • 11/15-19: Tankerman Person-In-Charge
    • 11/15-19: Basic Safety Training
    • 11/22-24: BRM
    • 11/29-12/03: ARPA
    • 11/29-12/03: MEDPRO
    • 11/29: Radar Recertification
    • 11/29-12/02: CSO/SSO
    • 11/29-12/10: MEDPIC
    • 11/29-12/10: Advanced Shiphandling

    December

    • 12/06-10: Basic and Advanced Firefighting
    • 12/06-17: GMDSS
    • 12/13-17: SAR/EP
    • 12/13-17: Basic Safety Training
    • 12/13-17: Advanced Meteorology
    • 12/13-17: Basic Shiphandling
    •  

    Contact DeeDee Lazik at 206-441-2880 or 888-893-7829 (toll free) or byemail to admin@mates.orgfor class openings and registration, or visit the PMI website at mates.org.



     
     

    MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF NOVEMBER 9, 2004 CLOSE

     DO W    NA S D A Q
     10,137.05 +180.59 for the week  2,004.33  +41.79 for the week
    Fund Name & TradingSymbol
    Closing
    Price
     Vanguard 500 IndexFund (VFINX)
    104.59
     Vanguard Extended MarketIndex Fund (VEXMX)
    28.44
     Vanguard InternationalGrowth Fund (VWIGX)
    17.45
     Vanguard Morgan GrowthFund (VMRGX)
    15.14
     Vanguard Windsor IIFund (VWNFX)
    28.53
     Vanguard GNMA Fund(VFIIX)
    10.47
     Vanguard High YieldCorporate Fund (VWEHX)
    6.40
     Vanguard Total BondIndex (VBMFX)
    10.32
     Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
    16.13
     Fidelity Asset Manager(FASMX)
    15.70
     Fidelity Growth andIncome (FGRIX)
    36.18
     Fidelity Magellan Fund(FMAGX)
    98.62
     Spartan US Equity IndexFund (FUSEX)
    39.87


    ~Reminders ~



     

    T-AGS OCEANOGRAPHIC SURVEY SHIPS MANNING REQUIREMENTS

    REQUIRED COURSEWORK

    All MM&P members are reminded that to sail aboard the T-AGS ships thatMM&P-contracted Horizon Lines will be operating, you must have therequired training certification and your certificates must be current inaccordance with Military Sealift Command requirements. Members are alsorequired to have had a MSC pre-employment physical and to possess ShipSecurity Clearance (see below).

    The MSC Contract calls for all training certificates required for manningof these vessels to be no older than 5 years and that all STCW-95 coursesbe 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 theT-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 andfacts about the T-AGS Oceanographic Vessels are asked to email the Directorof Special Projects requesting the “facts sheet”. It will be provided byreturn email in an Adobe Acrobat PDF format.

    Members interested in employment on the T-AGS ships are asked to providea 1-2 page resume. Please list the desired position you are seeking alongwith the certificates of training you possess and their dates. Upon receiptit will be forwarded to Horizon Lines and a confirmation sent back to themember. Vessel turnover commences Oct.17, 2004 and will continue untilJan.3, 2005. Crew rotations will start beginning as early as January 2005and will continue through as late as June 2005. Positions for all ratingsremain open.

    The point of contact for sending a resume for employment on the HorizonLines T-AGS Oceanographic Vessels is MM&P’s Director of Special Projects.Send resumes in an email or as a Word file attachment to: rplant@bridgedeck.org,by fax to 410-850-0973 or by mail to:

    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 Surveyvessels the company is set to begin operating for MSC must have Ship SecurityClearance before going aboard.

    Special software must be downloaded from the US Government’s DefenseSecurity Service to complete the Security Clearance application. You musthave an Internet connection and a Windows-based computer to retrieve theapplication and run the program.

    Go to https://sclient.dss.mil/download/w9xfull.htmto 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 thescreen. You will be required to enter your Social Security Number and acase-sensitive password. A window titled “Type ofForm” will appear.

    All Deck Officers should select the first button titled “Requestfor 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, “SingleScope 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 “Transmitto Security Officer”. Save the file to the hard drive on your computerusing your last name (surname) as the file name. Send this file as an emailattachment to Mike Bohlman at Horizon Lines, MBohlman@horizon-lines.com.His phone number is 908-259-2803. You will need to provide Mike Bohlmanwith your name and the case-sensitive password you assigned to the filein order for Horizon Lines to open the file and process your Security Clearance.
     



     

    MM&P HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN NEWS

    NOTICE TO MEMBERS WHO ARE TAKING VIOXX

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

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

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

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

    “We are sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused to memberscurrently taking this medication, however, the matter is out of the controlof the Plans.”

     


    NMHC MAIL-ORDER PRESCRIPTIONS WEBSITE UPDATED &IMPROVED

    MM&P Plans Administrator Valerie Verrecchio reports, “Good news! NMHCmail 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.comand click on “MEMBER LOGIN” at the bottom of the screen.

    First-time and Registered users may bypass the welcome screen and godirectly 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: REGISTERHERE”.
    • This will take you to a page titled “MEMBER REGISTRATION” where youwill need to enter demographic information and submit it by clicking onthe

    • “CREATE ACCOUNT” button.

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

    Once you are registered at NMHC, you can check the status of open ordersby logging-in to the system through the “MEMBER LOGIN” page and going intothe “MAIL ORDER” menu. You can look up all prescriptions and get the priceour members will pay for any medication. You can also view an order historyof all of your medication transactions (both retail and mail) for the last24 months, locate 24-hour pharmacies in your zip code region as well asaccess other helpful member education information.

    “We hope this welcome improvement will assist our members. Althoughyou cannot order refills on line if you don’t provide a credit or debitcard 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 checkingthe status of your order once it is phoned in,” said Ms. Verrecchio.



     

    USCG JOB OPENINGS OF INTEREST TO RETIRED MM&P MEMBERS

    The U.S. Coast Guard has a number of jobs that might be of interest toretired MMP members. Go to the USCG website at www.uscg.milthenclick on the link for “Coast Guard Jobs” in the lower left column, then”Jobs/Careers”, then “Civilian Careers” and then “Current Job Openings”.



    WWII USCG VETERANS OUTREACH

    The U.S. Coast Guard has announced an initiative to identify and collectthe oral histories of its World War II veterans. Coast Guard WWII veterans,including SPARS and merchant mariners, are encouraged to record their historiesonline with the Library of Congress Veterans History Project at www.loc.gov/folklife/vets.

    Those veterans needing assistance in recording their stories can receivehelp from their local Coast Guard Auxiliary public affairs contact by leavinga 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 membersthat they offer their crewmembers a $75 reimbursement on the cost of purchasingcertain slip-resistant shoes and boots for use aboard ship.

    This offer has been in place for some time and LMS reports that “wehave been pleased with the participation to date, but feel a reminder maybe in order.” Their goal is for every crewmember to wear slip resistantfootwear during working hours aboard their vessels.

    The $75 reimbursement is available to each crewmember who provides LMSwith an original receipt for the purchase of slip resistant footwear. Inorder for the crewmember to obtain the reimbursement, they must wear theshoes while on duty. Upon presentation of the receipt, the crewmember willbe reimbursed on their pay voucher. The receipt will be retained by theMaster 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 purchaseone 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 bootsare produced by US union labor.

    Redwing’s Union-made products are: Red Wing shoes and boots, Red Wingmotorcycle boots and Craftsman (Sears).

    Wolverine World Wide manufactures boots under the Caterpillar brandusing US union labor. (Other union made safety-shoe brands by Wolverineare the company’s Hy-Test, Durashock and Bates Military labels. The company’sWolverine 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 Serviceand Trades website at www.unionlabel.organd click on “Union Made Product Search”. To shop for union-made productsonline, go to www.ShopUnionMade.org.



     

    NEW WEBSITE OFFERS UNION-MADE GOODS AND SERVICES

    The Union Label recently went digital with a new website offering shoppersan 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 willspend an estimated $1 trillion on gifts, food, drinks and other seasonalitems, explained Matt Bates, Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO UnionLabel & Service Trades Department. The all-unionshopping site, however, will be a year-round operation because that iswhat consumers demand, he added.

    “Shoppers spent $56 billion in Internet sales last year, and on-linespending is doubling every two to three years. Everyday we receive Emailand calls from people who want to support good jobs by buying union-madegoods and services. The website will reach millions of people, 24 hoursa day, with a quick convenient way to shop union,” Bates said.

    “The public is ready for this. People have seen millions of good jobsdisappear 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-unionshopping site will be a cornerstone of that campaign. MM&P has a linkto the Shop Union Site on this website under “Links and Other Sources”.
     



     

    PCF RAFFLE FEATURES ORIGINAL PAINTING OF SS SEAWANHAKA

    Raffle tickets for a chance on winning a beautiful original painting ofthe SEAWANHAKA by MM&P member, Maryland Pilot and artist Capt. BrianHope commissioned by the MM&P are available at $25 each, 5 for $100.Proceeds will benefit the Masters, Mates & Pilots Political ContributionFund. (The fire aboard the SEAWANHAKA and the scapegoating of Capt. CharlesSmith are the beginnings of the MM&P.)

    Ticket purchases should be made payable to the MM&P PCF with a notationfor the raffle in the memo line, and mailed to the

    MM&P PCF 700 Maritime Blvd. Linthicum Heights, MD 21090
    Tickets can also be obtained by members making PCF contributions throughthe Members Only section of the MM&P website, noting that the contributionis for the raffle. Tickets are also available through MM&P port offices.

    Cutoff for ticket purchases is Dec.31, 2004. Drawing for the prize willtake place at noon on Jan.7, 2005 at MITAGS. Also available at a laterdate will be a limited number of prints of this painting, numbered andsigned by the artist, for a $50 contribution to the PCF designated forthe print.

    Capt. Brian Hope is a self-taught artist. He graduated from the US MerchantMarine Academy in 1965. He joined the MM&P upon graduation from KingsPoint and sailed on the Vietnam Sealift and later with US Lines, untiljoining the Association of Maryland Pilots in 1970.

    He continues as an active pilot and an at-large convention delegatewith the Pilot Division of the MM&P. His son, Jeremy, a 1999 KingsPoint graduate, is a member of the Offshore Division of the MM&P. Capt.Hope’s paintings hang in several museums and in many businesses and privatehomes throughout the Baltimore-Washington area.

    Several of his works may be seen at MITAGS as well. He considers himselfto be a “folk artist”, that is, one whose artistic subject revolves aroundhis field of work, but who does not make a living as an artist. He says,”If I relied on my art to survive I would have starved to death long ago!I paint because it’s fun.”

    In addition to his art work, Capt. Hope was Chairman of Project LibertyShip from 1988 to 2002, helping to guide the restoration of the LibertyShip JOHN W. BROWN.
     
     

    The fine print:

    Raffle tickets are availableonly to those individuals who are otherwise eligible to make a contributionto the MM&P PCF. Contributions in exchange for raffle tickets or fora signed and numbered print do not qualify for any other PCF contributionincentive premiums. All contributions to the MM&P PCF, including contributionsin exchange for raffle tickets, are voluntary contributions for politicalpurposes and no physical force, job discrimination, financial reprisalsor thereat thereof has been or will be used to secure such contributions.PCF contributions are not deductible for tax purposes.



     

    MM&P ELECTION PERIOD PUBLICITY GUIDELINES

    Members are reminded that for the duration of the MM&P election periodthe name or likeness of any known candidate for any elected MM&P positionwill not be referred to by name or photo in any MM&P publication. Referencemay be made by title or in contact information such as an email addresswhen it is directly relevant to the communication.

    As example, the Master of a MM&P-contracted ship who has declaredhimself to be a candidate for a MM&P elective position was recentlyquoted in an article appearing in the “Master, Mate & Pilot”, but wasreferenced as the Master of the vessel and not by name. Similarly, thismember’s likeness was not included in a photo published with the article.This same rule was applied within the same publication with regard to twoother members employed by MM&P at Union headquarters who are candidatesfor elective position.

    This rule has been put into effect to ensure that publications by theMM&P to MM&P members are not used on behalf of any candidate forcampaign purposes. These exclusions will end upon completion of the election.

    Members wanting to know more about this policy may contact InternationalCounsel John Singleton at 410-850-8700 x19, email:jsingleton@bridgedeck.org,or Communications Director Karl Schwartz at 410-850-8700 x27, email: communications@bridgedeck.org.


    The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is theofficial 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 vesselsat sea, broadcast worldwide via FEC marine telex and is posted on our webpage.

    TOPOF PAGE