News

Wheelhouse Weekly – November 19, 2007

November 19th 2007

 

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

Volume 11 . . . . . Number 46. . . .November 19, 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 Thursday, Nov. 22 and Friday, Nov. 23, for Thanksgiving.


JOINING MM&P, OTHER MARITIME UNIONS URGE CONGRESSIONAL ACTION ON TWIC PREEMPTION

The efficiency of America’s maritime transport network will be compromised if the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) does not preempt state and local access control schemes. So say American maritime unions and their representative maritime organizations, all of whom have joined MM&P in urging Congress to intercede so that TWIC fulfills its original congressional mandate as a universally accepted port access card.

As the TWIC program is now being unrolled, state, local and private entities are all free to subject the country’s maritime workforce to their own specific application requirements, background checks, and fees, and to demand that they obtain multiple maritime port and vessel access credentials. In a Nov. 15 letter to House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, the major maritime unions joined MM&P in urging Congress “to ensure that the federally issued TWIC preempts all state, local and private identification card requirements for maritime workers, and to make clear that once an individual has been issued a TWIC, no other maritime-related access control requirements apply.”

The unions said they agreed “that access control procedures, including the issuance by the federal government of access control identification credentials, can be important tools in our maritime security effort,” and said they supported development of TWIC as a concept.

“What we do not support,” they said, “is allowing state, local and private entities to claim ‘special circumstances’ and to subject American maritime and other transportation workers to additional, duplicative background checks and fees and to require that such workers obtain multiple access control cards. No information has been made available to explain what more these entities need or require that is not addressed by the federal TWIC program. Nor has any information been made available to explain why such ‘special circumstances’ – if truly necessary to enhance America’s maritime security – are not addressed by the federal TWIC program.” 

“If Congress does not act, and each state and local government and port and maritime facility can also impose its own access control system, then the system as a whole will become a burdensome and costly administrative impediment to the efficient flow of commerce,” they said. 

Joining MM&P and MIRAID in signing the letter were: the American Maritime Congress; the American Maritime Officers; the American Maritime Officers Service; the International Longshore and Warehouse Union; the International Longshoremen’s Association; the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association; the Sailors’ Union of the Pacific; the Seafarers International Union and the Transportation Institute.


MORE TWIC ENROLLMENT CENTERS OPEN, MARINERS URGED TO PRE-ENROLL ONLINE

Starting Nov. 21, TWIC enrollment is scheduled to begin in the Ports of Dundalk, Md., as well as in Minneapolis and St. Paul. A few weeks later, enrollment centers are expected to open in Boston, Charleston and Cleveland.

MM&P members and applicants are reminded that mariners are not required to hold a TWIC until Sep. 25, 2008.  Until then, mariners are permitted access to secure areas in ports by presenting their Merchant Mariner’s Document (MMD) and a photo ID.  MM&P recommends pre-enrolling at the TSA’s TWIC website (www.tsa.gov) and making the appointment to pick up the TWIC when enrollment begins at a convenient location.

To pre-enroll, go to www.tsa.gov and access the pages for Merchant Mariners. After creating a user name and password, applicants can enter their biographical information online. The next step is to call the TWIC helpline at 866-347-8942 to make an appointment to go to one of the enrollment centers to be photographed and fingerprinted. A U.S. passport and MMD should be taken to the center for identification purposes. 

The centers will accept credit cards for payment, but no personal checks. MMD holders are eligible for a discounted fee of $105.25, but in this case, their TWIC will expire along with the MMD that was used to apply for it. They can receive a five-year TWIC card if they opt to pay a full fee of $132.50. Members should check the TSA website to see when enrollment centers near them are scheduled to open.

MM&P, along with other transportation labor organizations, continue to monitor developments in the TWIC program and advocate for a fair, effective system.


CRIMINALIZATION OF MARINERS INVOLVED IN ACCIDENTS MERITS CONGRESSIONAL ATTENTION, MM&P SAYS

Ensuring that seafarers involved in marine casualties are treated fairly is a topic that must be part of current efforts to retain the professional maritime workforce and attract qualified young people to the industry, according to MM&P.

The union restated this position in response to a request for information from members of the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, who were following up on MM&P’s Oct. 17 testimony on the topic of maritime training and the workforce.

During the Oct. 17 hearing and in follow-up correspondence, Mike Rodriguez, Executive Assistant to MM&P International President Tim Brown, urged the subcommittee to consider legislation that would put an end to the criminalization of mariners involved in unintentional acts, calling such an effort essential to improving morale, along with employee retention rates. 

MM&P supports the International Maritime Organization’s Standards and Recommended Practices for a Safety Investigation Into a Marine Casualty, an international code that requires seafarers be informed of their right to counsel if and when investigating authorities begin gathering information with an eye to possible criminal prosecution. The IMO code also calls for safety investigation functions to be separated from criminal prosecutions and other disciplinary actions. At the very least, MM&P argues, seafarers involved in an accident must be informed of the nature of the investigation and the possibility that their testimony may be used against them.

The U.S. delegation to the IMO supported the code until last June, when, apparently under pressure from the Department of Justice, the Coast Guard representative asserted that the code would “make compulsory individual legal rights” and thus violate U.S. law.



MASTER’S JUDGMENT SUPREME IN LIFE OR DEATH EMERGENCY, UNDER NEW IMO GUIDELINES

The issue of control of ships in an emergency was an important one for mariners at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) meetings in October. Incidents such as the sinking of the Prestige and the appalling treatment to which the ship’s master was subjected afterwards prompted the IMO member states to draft guidelines that would establish the responsibilities of ship masters, coastal states and salvors.

The draft guidelines that were considered at the Safety of Navigation subcommittee meeting in July (NAV 53) were vague as to who has the ultimate authority to make decisions to safeguard the lives of those on board a ship in an emergency. The ITF delegation, in which MM&P participated, was able to add language to the guidelines that reserves for the ship master the ultimate authority to protect the lives of those aboard.

That language survived the most recent meeting of the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee meeting (MSC 83) in October. It is now part of the general guidance included in IMO Circular 1251, Guidelines on Control of Ships in an Emergency.
Paragraph 4.5 of the circular reads: “At no time should the Master be prohibited from taking action which, in the Master’s judgment, is required to protect the lives of crew and passengers or others on board.”

One disappointing development related to this document was that NAV 53 declined to add “hold harmless” language for salvors who get involved in emergencies. This is a disincentive for salvors to go out to ships in need of assistance.

MM&P Pilot Membership Group Vice President George Quick and Mike Rodriguez, Executive Assistant to MM&P International President Tim Brown, represented the union at the IMO meetings.


MM&P FAMILIES GET 10% DISCOUNT ON AT&T WIRELESS PLANS, PLUS $50 DISCOUNT ON NEW EQUIPMENT

MM&P members and their families can save 10% on any new or renewed service plan with AT&T, thanks to MM&P’s participation in the Union Plus program. Besides being the only wireless company that is “Proud to Be Union,” AT&T boasts: fewest dropped calls; unlimited mobile-to-mobile calling to 62 million AT&T customers; and an option of rolling over your unused anytime minutes for up to 12 months on select plans.

To qualify for the discount, go to www.unionplus.org/att and download the coupon. Take it to your local AT&T store with proof of your union membership (such as your union membership book or paycheck or receipt showing union dues deduction). The promotion reference is FAN #00113662. Sign up for, or renew, a two-year service agreement. If you have an existing AT&T wireless account, the store can refresh it in order to give you the 10% monthly discount. The $50 coupon is good for the purchase of new wireless equipment at the AT&T store. The monthly discount and coupon cannot be applied to the iPhone or iPhone wireless service. The union discount is only available at AT&T or Cingular stores, not over the phone or at authorized AT&T dealers or kiosks. This offer is good until Dec. 31, 2007.


CLEAN-UP IN SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA CONTINUES

Volunteers, public sector employees and workers hired by the owner of the container ship that struck the San Francisco Bay Bridge are working round the clock in an effort to mitigate the devastating effects of the Nov. 7 bunker fuel spill.

More than 50 vessels and almost 2,000 people are engaged in the clean-up, according to the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG). Over 27,500 feet of containment booms have been deployed. Beaches in the area are closed. Hundreds of birds have been saved, but hundreds more have been found dead or dying. A state of emergency was declared in the area on Nov. 9.

USCG Commandant Adm. Thad W. Allen was on site over the weekend to take stock of the situation.

Local officials are decrying what they say was a slow and inadequate response by the federal government and the USCG. City officials in Berkeley are considering whether there should be changes to state law, including a ban on certain types of oil ships in the bay, and whether or not there should be a requirement that vessels be double hulled. Local officials are also asking whether more tugboat escorts should be required in the future.

San Francisco Bar Pilot Captain John Cota was on board the COSCO BUSAN at the time of the allision.  The San Francisco Bar Pilots Association is working closely with state and federal officials in the investigation into the causes of the accident, which took place in thick fog. San Francisco Bar Pilot Captain Peter McIsaac, president of the San Francisco Bar Pilots, was at the scene only minutes after the allision took place. The San Francisco Bar Pilots have a pristine safety record over more than 150 years of service. A member of the San Francisco Bar Pilots is participating in the investigation being conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board.


TEMPORARY BUOY IN FRONT OF DAMAGED AMBROSE LIGHT STATION

The Coast Guard has installed a temporary buoy approximately 300 yards in front of the damaged Ambrose Light Station to aid in navigation while repairs are being made. The light station was struck Nov. 3 by the AXEL SPIRIT, a tanker operated by Teekay Shipping. The light house was severely damaged, but there was no damage to the ship.

The station “suffered substantial damage to its legs and stanchion, and the revolving light is bent and no longer rotating,” according to an official USCG press release. An engineer who surveyed the light station from the air said that it had suffered “critical damage.

The Ambrose Light Station, which is situated about 12 miles southeast of Staten Island, is an essential navigational aid to ships crossing New York harbor. A spokesman for the Coast Guard said that the temporary light buoy will ensure that safety standards are maintained while the light station is being repaired.


HIGH DEATH TOLL IN BLACK SEA SINKINGS

Russian and Ukrainian authorities launched a massive rescue and clean-up operation in the Black Sea Nov. 12, after hurricane-force storms sank five ships, including an oil tanker and three vessels that were carrying sulphur. At least five bodies have been recovered and many sailors are still missing.

The ships involved are a Russian oil tanker, which split in half and sank, spilling over half a million gallons of fuel into a strait leading to the Black Sea, and two freighters carrying sulfur. The tanker, the VOLGANEFT-139, was carrying 1.3 million gallons of fuel oil. Environmentalists say the effects of the spill will last for years. The entire crew of the VOLGANEFT was rescued.

The Russian Rescue Service said 80 of its experts were working in the Black Sea along with 112 personnel from the Russian Navy’s Black Sea fleet, who were focusing on the fuel cleanup. Three helicopters and 11 rescue boats were part of the joint operation, the rescue service said.

At one point during the Nov. 10 storm, officials reported 20-foot waves and 78 mph winds. Four of the ships sank in the Kerch Strait, which connects the Black Sea and Azov Sea and separates Russia from Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula.

Three cargo ships, each carrying more than 2,000 tons of sulphur, also sank in the Kerch Strait, authorities said. Two of them — the VOLNOGORSK and the NAKHICHEVAN — were already sinking when the third, the KOVEL, hit the VOLNOGORSK and went down. Eight crew members from the NAKHICHEVAN remained missing Monday, the Russian Rescue Service said. Farther west, on the other side of the Crimean Peninsula, the storm caused a freighter carrying scrap metal to sink off the coast of Sevastopol. Two of that ship’s crew were rescued but 15 are still listed as missing. The strong winds also caused several cargo ships to run aground. Among them were Turkish vessels, a Georgian and a Greek ship.


15-DAY RULE FOR FOREIGN VOYAGES ONLY IN EFFECT AT APL

Members are reminded that at present, the new 15-day rule for foreign voyages is only in effect at one MM&P-contracted company, American President Lines (APL). The old shipping rule remains in effect for mariners employed under all other MM&P contracts. The new 15-day rule stipulates that the member is allowed to return to his or her port of engagement as many as 15 days after arrival at the pay-off port, even if he or she has already accumulated 120 days prior to arrival at the pay-off port.


MAERSK INTRODUCES NEW PRE-EMPLOYMENT/BOARDING MEDICAL EXAM

Maersk Line Limited (MLL) has announced a new pre-boarding physical exam program. Under the terms of the program, MLL will shoulder the cost of a physical exam, to be carried out by the company’s medical service provider, Anderson and Kelly, at the clinic nearest to the home of all officers and crew. The program is guided by USCG medical standards, MSC physical standards as applicable, existing ABS guidelines, CFR regulations, and complies with our maritime union agreements, a spokesman for MLL said in an official statement.

The pre-boarding physical will be required of all officers and crewmembers and will be an annual requirement for all returning permanent employees. Additionally, if a mariner experiences a medical issue during that same year, a follow-up physical will be provided to confirm that the individual is fit for duty and can safely return to work. 

The process for completing the exam is relatively simple:

  • The crewing agent will inform the mariner of the physical exam requirement and provide Anderson and Kelly with the mariner’s contact information.
  • Anderson and Kelly will contact the mariner and/or the union hall within one business day to determine a convenient date/time/location for the mariner to complete the exam.
  • The mariner completes the physical exam, initial results of the exam will be available within one business day and any lab results within three business days.
  • Multiple physicals, such as a USCG physical for document renewal or the Military Sealift Command physical for MLL’s government vessels, may be combined with the MLL pre-boarding physical and accomplished simultaneously. Just inform Anderson and Kelly ahead of time.

The clinics are in close proximity to the union halls, some are within walking distance.  They are also generally close to the residence of most officers. All MM&P permanent officers with MLL may arrange to take the physical at an Anderson and Kelly clinic in the vicinity of their home approximately thirty to forty-five days prior to returning by contacting their crewing agent. Generally within about 15 minutes, Anderson and Kelly will contact the mariner or union hall and coordinate the date, time and location of the pre-boarding physical. Requests submitted up to approximately 2:00 PM will have the physical scheduled that day, requests after approximately 2:00 PM will generally have the physical schedule the following day, usually the next morning. Urgent situations should be discussed with Anderson and Kelly and will receive immediate response. 

The medical exam can be scheduled up to approximately 45 days in advance of dispatch for permanent or returning mariners. This physical will be valid for one year.  Subsequent dispatching to the same or other MLL vessels during that year will not require another pre-boarding physical, unless medical issues have arisen in the meantime. The pre-boarding physical must be valid as of the sign-on date.

Anderson and Kelly’s telephone number is 1-800-833-6676.


MARINERS ON T-AGS SHIPS MUST CLEAR THROUGH HALLS

Mariners sailing on the Horizon Lines T-AGS ships are reminded that they must clear through their local MM&P office before they fly out to their jobs. This requirement applies to all mariners sailing on T-AGS vessels, whether newly assigned or reassigned. All assignment letters to T-AGS vessels must be processed by an MM&P hall before mariners can board the ships. 


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

…remember: If you can’t make the class, make the call.  Be courteous, don’t be a “no show”.

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, 1/7
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, 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 11-16-2007

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
13,110 2,619 1,451
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
67.26
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
134.70
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
40.24
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
27.61
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
20.74
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
35.57
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.32
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
32.73
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.93
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
17.21
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
25.23
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
14.30
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
21.40
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
12.28
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
13.29
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
13.93
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
14.82
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
15.30
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.10
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
35.25
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
21.97
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
16.66
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
28.45
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.16
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
98.31
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
21.37
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
83.24
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
23.90
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
44.62
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
42.78
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
30.41
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.57
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
12.80
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
15.21
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
16.23
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
16.83
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
9.96
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
11.59
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.33
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
39.65
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
51.76
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
33.32






~ 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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