News

Wheelhouse Weekly – November 12, 2007

November 12th 2007

 

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

Volume 11 . . . . . Number 45. . . .November 12, 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.


Reminder: MM&P Headquarters, MM&P Plans, MM&P port offices and the MM&P Federal Credit Union will be closed Monday, Nov. 12, in honor of Veterans Day.


MM&P MEMBERS AND FRIENDS HONORED WITH AOTOS AWARDS

Three MM&P-crewed ships, HORIZON FALCON, USNS KANAWHA and MAERSK MARYLAND, were honored by the maritime community for acts of heroism at the 2007 Admiral of the Ocean Sea (AOTOS) Awards ceremony on Nov. 2 in New York.

The heads of two MM&P-contracted companies received the coveted AOTOS Award: James S. Andrasick, president and chief executive officer of Matson Navigation Company, and John F. Reinhart, president and chief executive officer of Maersk Line Limited.

The crew of HORIZON FALCON was recognized for the heroic rescue of two Chinese seafarers who had been stranded in the ocean after their ship sank 375 miles northwest of Guam. Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS KANAWHA participated in the dramatic rescue of 16 seafarers from a disabled merchant ship in the Arabian Sea in June. MM&P member Victor Manoli, third mate on MAERSK MARYLAND, received the AOTOS Mariner’s Rosette for heroism in fighting a fire that broke out aboard the ship in the Port of Gioia Tauro, Italy, last October.
The AOTOS awards ceremony is organized by United Seamen’s Service (USS).


LNG TRAINING STANDARDS UPDATE

MM&P’s Richard Plant and Chester Urban, LNG instructor at SUNY Maritime, Fort Schuyler, presented an overview of the development of U.S. LNG training standards at the 9th SIGTTO Pan American meeting in Houston on Nov. 7.  SIGTTO is the Society of International Gas Terminal and Tankers Operators. 

Plant and Urban recently spearheaded development of the LNG training standards in the United States. The standards, which are in compliance with the 2005 SIGTTO Competency Standards as well as in the IMO/STCW format, were developed with guidance from representatives of all U.S. state, federal and union schools.

At the conference, Plant and Urban also presented an overview of LNG training and simulation capabilities in America’s maritime schools.

The LNG training standards, which have been reviewed by the Coast Guard’s Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee (MERPAC), will be submitted to the International Maritime Organization in London on Nov. 30.

Earlier this year, Plant was instrumental in forging a letter of intent between MM&P, SUEZ-LNG (Hoegh LNG, BW Gas and Mitsui Orient Lines) and Massachusetts Maritime Academy for the manning of up to nine LNG vessels.  Work continues on this project, with a meeting scheduled in mid-November in Oslo. 

At the same time, the Kongsberg simulator, with 12 licensed student stations, has been installed at MITAGS. The first LNG training program using the simulator has been scheduled for January 2008.  The course, created by Charles Snyder of MITAGS, has been submitted to the National Maritime Center and Det Norske Veritas for approval and certification. Please contact your Offshore Vice President if you are interested in taking the LNG training course at MITAGS. 

Mariners’ resumes are being submitted to SUEZ-LNG for review and selection.  Please forward your resume to Richard Plant at rplant@bridgedeck.org.


MM&P SUBMITS TESTIMONY ON TWIC TO COMMITTEE ON HOMELAND SECURITY

In its fourth round of testimony before Congress on the Transportation Worker Identification Card (TWIC) program, MM&P said the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has neglected to pay heed to the global nature of the maritime transportation system.

In testimony submitted to the Committee on Homeland Security on Oct. 31, MM&P said the primary goal of the TWIC program should have been to establish a universally accepted ID card for access control to enhance the flow of commerce. Instead, the program now being rolled out works against this goal because it allows ports to impose their own access control requirements, which creates an impossible burden on mariners and other transport sector workers who need access to different ports. MM&P asked the committee to consider legislation to expressly provide that the TWIC regulations preempt state and local port access schemes.

The union’s testimony was submitted by Pilot Membership Group Vice President George Quick. He underlined the fact that America’s professional mariners hold a Merchant Mariner’s Document (MMD), issued after proof of citizenship, drug testing, fingerprinting, FBI criminal record check and National Driver Register check. He said that because American mariners are already so carefully screened, it made more sense to update the current MMD to include the biometric identifier standards than to issue them a new card. MM&P has suggested that Congress consolidate the biometric identifier onto the MMD.

As TWIC is currently being rolled out, U.S. ships will have card readers that can’t read the cards used by foreign port workers, making TWIC and the readers on ships useless outside the United States. MM&P continues to advocate that the TWIC program be changed so that it could be interoperable with the standards envisaged in the international seafarer’s identity card envisaged under the International Maritime Organization (IMO) convention 185.  



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; NEXT PMI COURSE STARTS DEC. 10

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.

The SEC VCF (SSO) course at the Pacific Maritime Institute (PMI) runs Dec. 10-12. To register, call Jennifer Fowler  at (206) 838-1126


ALLISIONS IN NEW YORK, SAN FRANCISCO; TANKER SPLITS IN RUSSIA

Two serious accidents that occurred over the course of the past 10 days are under investigation by the U.S. Coast Guard and various independent groups. On Nov. 3, in Lower New York Bay, the AXEL SPIRIT, a tanker operated by Teekay Shipping, struck the Ambrose Light Station. The light house was severely damaged, but there was no damage to the ship, the Coast Guard said. The Coast Guard has installed a temporary buoy approximately 300 yards in front of the damaged light station to aid in navigation while the Ambrose Light Station is being repaired.

In the second incident, 58,000 gallons of heavy bunker fuel were spilled into San Francisco Bay when a Chinese container ship, the COSCO BUSAN, sideswiped a support on the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge on Wednesday morning. The allision left a 100-foot long gash in the side of the vessel, rupturing two fuel tanks. There was a pilot on board at the time of the allision. Officials and volunteers are working feverishly at the scene of the accident to mitigate the results of the spill, towing containment booms off tugs and dragging them across the waters of the bay. Beaches are shut down, the crabbing season has been delayed and oiled wildlife is being trapped and cleansed at a specialized veterinary rescue station.

On Sunday, a Russian oil tanker split in two during a storm, spilling over half a million gallons of fuel into a strait leading to the Black Sea. Two freighters carrying sulfur also sank in the nearby Strait of Kerch, which links the Black Sea and the smaller Sea of Azov to the northeast. The tanker, the VOLGANEFT-139, was carrying 1.3 million gallons of fuel oil. Emergency workers were hampered in their attempts to reach the site because of continued bad weather. Evacuation of the crews of all three vessels was underway. The bodies of several seafarers had been recovered as this issue of The Wheelhouse Weekly was being distributed.


SCHOLARSHIPS NAMED AFTER MASTER MARINER KARL FANNING

Two scholarships have been created in memory of Karl Fanning, the master mariner who traded the helm for a podium and shared his knowledge of the sea with students from his old alma mater, Texas A&M. The 63-year-old master mariner died of a heart attack in May.

 The Galveston Maritime Club has announced that it has named its annual scholarship program after Fanning. Under the terms of the program, four students from Texas A&M will receive $500 each year. The first four scholarship recipients accepted their checks at an Oct. 23 maritime club luncheon.

The Port of Galveston Propeller Club has also honored Fanning by awarding scholarships this year ranging from $1,000 to $2,000 to eight students from Texas A&M.


DECOMMISSIONED TEXAS CLIPPER REEFED OFF GULF OF MEXICO

The first Texas Maritime Academy Training Ship, USTS TEXAS CLIPPER, will be reefed on Nov. 15, 17 nautical miles off South Padre Island in the Gulf of Mexico. The latest addition to the Texas Artificial Reef Program, the TEXAS CLIPPER has been towed from the Maritime Administration’s storage site on the Neches River to Brownsville, Texas. Now that it has retired from its illustrious career on the high seas, the vessel will be reefed to enhance marine life and become a diving and fishing destination.

Built in 1944 in Sparrows Point, Md., the 473-foot ship was commissioned by the Navy as the QUEENS, a troop transport ship that served during World War II. After the war, it was converted into a cruise liner that sailed to Mediterranean ports. The vessel became the first Texas Maritime Training Academy ship in 1965, serving sea cadets at Texas A&M University at Galveston and providing an ocean-going campus for nearly 200 students at a time. It retired in 1993.


GUIDELINES FOR MANAGING YOUR 401 (K)

In the Nov. 5 issue of The Wheelhouse Weekly, we published a notice encouraging members to check their voluntary 401 (k) plan balance regularly. Here are some guidelines to following in monitoring your 401(k) plan.

When do companies deposit 401 (k) contributions?

 All 401 (k) contributions must be posted to a member’s 401 (k) account within 45 days after funds are deducted. 

How do I know if a contribution has been made?

The  401 (k) deductions made by the company will appear on your pay voucher and on your quarterly Fidelity statement (which you view online or receive by mail). Members should also examine their annual tax statements (W-2) to make sure the amount of the contributions agrees with the amounts deducted. 

Should I keep a record of these documents for future reference?

The documents should be readily accessible so members can refer to them when monitoring their accounts. Members should ask their tax advisors how long they need to hang on to these documents. 

What should I do if I think a contribution has not been made?

 Members should contact the company first to ask if contributions were sent to the Plan Office, and, if so, when they were submitted. Members should then contact the Plan Office at (410)850-8636 or by e-mail mmpplans@aol.com or mmpplansken@aol.com.

Members working on ships or at home who may not have access to this information should also contact the Plan Office or send an e-mail to the above e-mail addresses. 

 What recourse do I have if a discrepancy is found in my account?

Contact the company first. If you need additional assistance, contact the Plan Office.

 How will MM&P assist me if the money is not where it should be?

The Plan Office will work with the member and the company to solve the problem.


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.


POLISH CAPTAIN IN SINKING SENTENCED FOR BEING DRUNK

Zbigniew Karkowski, captain of a Barbuda-flagged vessel that struck a Conoco Phillips gas platform in the North Sea last August, has been sentenced to a year in prison. His ship, the MV JORK, struck an unmanned platform northeast of Norfolk and then sank. The crew was rescued. The captain was taken into custody after failing a breathalyzer test.


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: 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: 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

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 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
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 11-9-2007

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
13,042.74 2,627.94 1,453.70
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
66.94
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
134.14
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
40.56
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
27.87
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
20.74
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
35.62
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.33
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
32.44
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.99
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
17.18
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
25.21
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
14.27
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
21.37
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
12.27
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
13.28
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
13.92
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
14.81
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
15.29
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.09
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
35.19
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
21.98
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
16.71
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
28.55
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.19
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
98.71
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
21.15
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
84.02
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
23.85
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
44.29
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
43.40
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
30.08
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.59
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
12.82
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
15.27
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
16.30
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
16.91
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
10.00
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
11.65
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.34
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
39.88
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
51.55
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
33.13






~ 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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