News

Wheelhouse Weekly – November 16, 2009

November 16th 2009

 

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

Volume 13 . . . . . Number 46. . . . November 16, 2009

STORIES COVERED

REMINDERS

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.


MERCHANT MARINERS ARE FOCUS OF OFFICIAL VETERANS DAY COMMEMORATION

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and other government officials specifically singled out the heroic achievements of merchant mariners during this year’s official Veterans Day Ceremony at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. “Today–before their voices fade into history–we especially want to recall the bravery, skill, and camaraderie of the generation who fought in the Second World War, and of those, I would like to pay special tribute to the United States Merchant Marine,” LaHood said. “Throughout our history, our armed forces could not fight a war overseas without the merchant marine and the commercial ships they commanded.” More than 85 percent of the supplies and equipment needed in the context of today’s conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan are carried aboard ships crewed by civilian mariners, LaHood said.

“On behalf of everyone at the United States Department of Transportation and the Maritime Administration, I want to thank the U.S. Merchant Marine, and all our veterans, for their selfless devotion to our country,” LaHood said, as he laid a wreath in honor of merchant mariners at the memorial site.

Sen. Daniel Akaka was the keynote speaker at the service, which was also attended by representatives of the White House. The World War II memorial was one of the first major war memorials to include official recognition of the essential role played by the merchant marine in our nation’s security and defense.


PROFESSIONAL MARINERS LAUDED FOR ANTI-PIRACY ACTION, FIRE-FIGHTING

A heroic group of professional mariners was recognized for bravery in the line of duty during the United Seamen’s Service annual AOTOS awards ceremony on Nov. 13. Among the mariners who received awards was the entire crew of MAERSK ALABAMA, which repelled a pirate attack in April. MM&P members aboard the vessel at the time were Captain Richard Phillips, who was held hostage by the pirates in a lifeboat for several days in a dramatic standoff with the U.S. Navy, Chief Mate Shane Murphy and Third Mate Colin Wright. The second mate aboard the vessel during the attack was Ken Quinn, a member of the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association.

Among the other MM&P members recognized for heroic action were Victor Manoli, who quelled a fire aboard a containership earlier this year, and the officers and crew of USNS LEWIS AND CLARK, a Military Sealift Command T-AKE vessel which evaded a pirate attack. The men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard were also honored at the event, which was attended by MM&P Vice Presidents Bob Groh, Rich May and Mike Murray.


PIRATES ATTACK TWO SHIPS 1,000 MILES OFF SOMALI COAST

Pirates targeted a crude oil tanker and a Danish cargo ship 1,000 miles from the coast of Somalia in what international authorities are calling the longest range attacks to date. The Danish-flagged cargo ship MV NELE MAERSK managed to evade the pirates by increasing speed. The officers and crew of the crude oil tanker BW LION successfully held off attacking pirates for two hours. Both vessels sustained minor damage but in each case, the crew was unharmed.

In the same period, pirates were successful in attacks against other ships. MV FILISTA , a Marshall Islands-flagged cargo ship with three Greek officers and 19 Filipino sailors aboard, was traveling from Kuwait to South Africa when it was boarded in the south Somali Basin, about 400 nautical miles northeast of the Seychelles. A Yemeni fishing boat was seized near Hafun. Currently, Somali pirates are holding at least 12 vessels and more than 230 crew hostage, including a British couple whose yacht was hijacked off the Seychelles.


SOMALI GOVERNMENT AND IMO STEP UP ANTI-PIRACY EFFORTS

The prime minister of Somalia’s Transitional Government has issued a statement calling on the international community to help it track the flow of illicit ransom money from pirate attacks. Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke made the remarks in a joint statement with International Maritime Organization (IMO) Secretary-General Efthimios Mitropoulos.

Sharmarke says piracy off Somalia’s coast must be tackled from the land side as well as from the sea. He asked the international community to participate in an intelligence-sharing and ransom-tracking effort aimed at combating the two leading gangs of pirates, one based in Puntland and the other in central Somalia. Sharmarke said he is working to revise Somali law so that pirates can be prosecuted inside the country.

Mitropoulos promised assistance. In particular, he said, IMO member states will help Somalia establish a national coast guard.


MM&P INTERIM CONSTITUTION NOW ONLINE

Members are advised that a draft of the revised MM&P Constitution, as well as other documents relating to the Ad Hoc Constitution Working Group, are now posted in the Members Only pages of www.bridgedeck.org.

As has been reported in previous issues of the Wheelhouse Weekly, as part of its review of the constitutions and bylaws of the country’s labor organizations, the Department of Labor (DOL) has identified certain provisions in the MM&P Constitution that could be in conflict with the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) as currently interpreted by DOL.

The next MM&P Convention, scheduled for summer 2010, will be a Constitutional Convention to update and modernize the MM&P Constitution to reflect DOL’s requests and the union’s current needs. In the meantime, members are encouraged to view the interim constitution in the Members Only section of www.bridgedeck.org: just click on the link to “Constitution” at the top of the page. Members can submit comments to the Ad Hoc Constitution Working Group at Constitution@bridgedeck.org or by sending a letter to George Quick, Ad Hoc Constitution Working Group, 700 Maritime Boulevard, Suite B, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1953. The comment period will be open until May 1, 2010.


MM&P INTERNATIONAL HEADQUARTERS SEEKS SENIOR STAFF MEMBER

The Masters, Mates & Pilots is seeking a senior staff member to report directly to MM&P International President Tim Brown. Candidates should have experience writing contracts and the ability to work with spreadsheets to develop contract proposals and bids, as well as an understanding of what it takes to represent MM&P in matters before the U.S. government in Washington, D.C., as well as internationally.

We understand there may not be one individual who possesses all these talents. Consequently, we are looking for an individual whose experience best matches our interests and requirements. We would prefer to hire an MM&P member and would encourage those with a law degree and/or experience writing contract proposals to apply. If you are interested in being considered for this position, please send your resume to:

Timothy A. Brown
MM&P International President
c/o Audrey Scharmann
Masters, Mates & Pilots
700 Maritime Blvd., Suite B
Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1953


FIVE-YEAR TIMELINE TO ABSORB EXCESS CONTAINERSHIP CAPACITY?

It could take as long as five years for the global shipping industry to absorb the excess containership capacity that has accumulated during the current economic downturn, according to Alphaliner maritime news service, as quoted in the Journal of Commerce. Industry estimates put the size of the idle fleet at 1.4 million TEUs, or 10.9 percent of global shipping capacity. The five-year timeline could be lengthened or shortened by changes in vessel scrapping rates, slow-steaming and delayed vessel deliveries.

Alphaliner reports that 700,000 TEUs of capacity in previously scheduled new deliveries has been delayed by up to two years, while 380,000 TEUs have been scrapped, with more expected as a result of high prices for scrap steel. “The idle fleet could still reach 3 million TEUs by the end of 2011, based on the revised delivery schedule and a demand growth of 5 percent per annum over the next two years,” Alphaliner said. “Even with demand recovering progressively to 12.5 percent by 2014, it would still take five years for the idle fleet to be cleared.”


ADM. WORLEY RESIGNS AS KINGS POINT SUPERINTENDENT

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood last week accepted the resignation of Rear Adm. Allen Worley, superintendent of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, effective Jan. 4. “The Merchant Marine Academy has gone through an important rebuilding year and is positioned for reaching the next level,” said LaHood said in an official statement. “We are confident the academy is on course to continue as the premier institution in maritime education. We appreciate Admiral Worley’s service.” Shashi Kumar, academic dean and assistant superintendent for academic affairs, will act as interim superintendent upon Worley’s departure in January. A nationwide search will be conducted to find a permanent successor.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

CLASS OPENINGS: Between now and the end of February 2010, seats are available in the following courses:

AB- Able Bodied Seaman: 2/8

ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 1/5

AZIPOD-KAM-3: Azipod and Kamewa Propulsion Systems: 2/1

BST – Basic Safety Training: 12/7, 2/1

BRM � Bridge Resource Management: 2/8

BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 12/3, 1/18

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

CMM-ADVSTB � Advanced Stability: 12/14, 2/8

CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 1/18

CMM-CHS I � Advanced Cargo Operations (week 11): 01/04

CMM-CHS II – Advanced Cargo Operations (week 2): 1/11

CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information Systems: 1/25

CMM-SHMGT I – Ship Management (week 1) : 11/30, 2/22

CMM-SHMGT II – Ship Management (week 2) : 12/7

CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1):  11/30, 12/14, 1/25, 2/1, 2/15

CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 12/7, 01/04, 1/25, 2/1, 2/22

CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 2/1

CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 2/15

CONSTB � Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 2/15

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: 1/28

ENVRO-REGS PERMIT – Environmental Regulations In The Maritime Industry / Epa General Permit For Commercial Vessels:  1/13

FF-BADV – Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting Combined: 2/1

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety Systems: 2/22

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5-Day) course: 1/18

LAP – License Advancement Program (Original Third Mate Only): 11/30

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 12/2, 1/19, 2/22

LNG AWAR � Liquefied Natural Gas Awareness: 12/14

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 01/04, 2/15

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 01/04, 2/15

MEDIA RSP – Media Response Workshop: 11/19, 1/29, 2/20

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 1/9, 2/20

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original or Renewal: 2/8

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 1/04

SEC-VCF – Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 1/25

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling: 2/15

TC/NAV – Terrestrial/Coastal Navigation: 1/11

TPIC – Tankerman Person-In-Charge: 2/8

…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 e-mail: admissions@mitags.org.


PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

Schedule of Courses – Please also see our schedule online at www.mates.org

For registration, call our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen, at (206) 838-1126

November 2009

20       Flashing Light
30       Security Refresher

December 2009

7          Radar Renewal
8-11     ARPA
14-16   Security VCF

January 2010

4          Radar Renewal
11         Security Refresher
11-12   Intro to Environmental Regulations/NPDES
11-29   Terrestrial & Coastal Navigation
11-22   GMDSS
12-14   Security VCF
25-29  Medical Care Provider
25-5    Medical Person-in-Charge

February 2010

1-3       Emergency Procedures
4-5      Search & Rescue
8-12    Radar Observer Unlimited
8-12    Tankerman Person-In-Charge
22        Radar Renewal

March 2010

1          Security Refresher
2-4      Security VCF
8-12    Electronic Navigation
16-19   ARPA
15-26  GMDSS
15        Flashing Light
22        Radar Renewal
23-9    Celestial Navigation


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 11-13-2009

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
10,197.47 2,167.88 1,093.48
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
48.46
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
101.04
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
31.11
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
17.26
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
14.92
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
23.51
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.84
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
26.58
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.37
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
15.17
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
19.52
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
13.39
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
17.76
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
11.19
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
11.45
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
11.39
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
11.63
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
12.03
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.47
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
26.85
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
15.36
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
13.71
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
15.69
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.26
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
62.62
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
15.38
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
55.14
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
16.20
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
36.54
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
28.34
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
22.80
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
10.77
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
11.52
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
12.68
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
12.67
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
12.46
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
7.19
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
8.37
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.54
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
29.19
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
38.76
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
25.52





~ Reminders ~



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.

© 2009, 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.