News

Wheelhouse Weekly – November 24, 2004

November 24th 2004

 


THE MASTERS, MATES & PILOTS’
WHEELHOUSE WEEKLYonline

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

Volume 8 . . . . . Number 48 . . . . November 24, 2004




STORIES COVERED

ALSO

REMINDERS



 


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

 




 

OFFSHORE CONTRACTS RATIFICATION BALLOTS IN THE MAIL

Ballots were mailed on November 19 to members of the MM&P’s Offshore Membership Group to vote on the ratification of the following collective bargaining agreements:

  • AHL: Licensed
  • AHL: Unlicensed
  • Trinity Dredge: Supervisory
  • Trinity Dredge: Non-supervisory
  • Horizon: Collective Bargaining Agreement MOU
  • Horizon: Training MOU
  • Maersk: 8-year Collective Bargaining Agreement MOU

Ballots must be received by 0900 Eastern Time on Feb.16, 2005 in order to be counted. For further info, contact MM&P International Comptroller John Gorman at Email: jgorman@bridgedeck.org or phone: 410-850-8700 x12.

Back to Stories Covered



 

SPECIAL NOTE TO ALL HORIZON LINES EMPLOYEES FROM PMI

The Pacific Maritime Institute’s last “Company/Ship Security Officer” course for the year is December 20-22, 2004 (Monday-Wednesday). The deadline to take this course is December 31, 2004 for all Masters and Chief Mates. Sign up today by sending an email to admin@mates.org or call toll-free 888-893-7829.

 



 

APPROPRIATIONS BILL CLEARS WITH TANKER PROGRAM INTACT

Over the weekend of November 19, the US-flag maritime industry scored an important victory as Congress finished work on the government’s appropriations bill. An effort had been made by some large US shipyards to add in language to restrict the Maritime Administration from administering or making awards under the National Tank Vessel Construction Program. The appropriations bill that was passed deleted the restrictive language.

MM&P-contracted AHL Shipping has applied to MARAD for a contract to build up to three tankers in the US at Halter Marine under this program and to enroll those vessels in the Maritime Security Program. Six other companies have also submitted bids.

The large shipyards had tried to block MARAD from going forward at least in part because MARAD would allow bidders to contract with foreign shipyards for the construction of up to 10 percent of a vessel’s hull and superstructure.

Deleting the restrictive language means that MARAD can move forward with the program unencumbered. It is expected that in January 2005, MARAD will begin to issue contracts for the construction of up to five product tankers in US yards. Had the restrictions been adopted the program would have come to a complete stop until and unless the restrictions were repealed or expired.

As part of the appropriations bill Congress appropriated $75 million for the program. Jim Patti, president of the MM&P’s Maritime Institute for Research and Industrial Development noted that “while the amount is significantly less than the $250 million that had been authorized last year, and less than what is needed to fully implement the program, it makes clear that we have support for this program on Capitol Hill. The funding lets MARAD go forward with the program; and it gives us a real chance to come back in 2005 and fight for the additional money.”



 

MATSON 2005 HAWAII SERVICE RATES TO INCREASE

MM&P-contracted Matson Navigation Company has announced that the rates for the company’s Hawaii service will increase by an average of 3.5 percent, effective Jan.3, 2005. Rates will increase by $100 per container and $25 per vehicle. In addition, the company will increase its terminal handling charge by $40 per westbound container and $20 per eastbound container, also effective Jan.3.

James Andrasick, the Matson CEO, noted that, “In addition to having built two new ships for our Hawaii service, at a cost of $220 million, Matson is investing in new container equipment, terminal upgrades, information technology, increased security and enhancements to our Neighbor Island service. This rate increase is consistent with our longstanding philosophy of implementing modest, incremental increases annually in order to continue to reinvest in our Hawaii service.”

The flat fee per container rate increase, which Matson implemented last year, recognizes that increases in costs and investments tend to be on a per container basis regardless of the commodity that is in a container. In 2004, Matson raised its rates by $125 per westbound container or approximately 4.4 percent. There was no general rate increase in 2003.



 

FACT SHEET ISSUED ON TRANSPORTATION WORKER ID CREDENTIAL

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a fact sheet on the Transportation Workers ID Credential (TWIC) Prototype. TWIC is a tamper-resistant credential that contains biometric info about the holder, which renders the card useless to anyone other than the rightful owner. Using this biometric data, each transportation facility can verify the identity of a worker and help prevent unauthorized individuals from accessing secure areas.

Currently, many transportation workers must carry a different identification card for each facility they access. It is argued that a standard TWIC would improve the flow of commerce by eliminating the need for redundant credentials and streamlining the identity verification process.



 

USCG UPDATES PORT SECURITY ADVISORY

The USCG issued an updated Port Security Advisory stating that ships arriving in the US that made calls (within the five most recent port calls) in any nation that failed to notify the IMO that its ports were in compliance with the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code would be subject to increased scrutiny unless the ship had instituted and documented additional security measures it undertook during such port call.

The listed nations are: Albania, Benin, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Madagascar, Mauritania, and Nauru.


 

BARGE OPERATOR FINED $10 MILLION FOR NEW ENGLAND SPILL

Last week, a federal magistrate ordered New York-based Bouchard Transportation to pay a $10 million fine, the largest oil spill fine in New England history.

The fine is for a April 27, 2003 incident when a barge being towed by the company’s tug EVENING TIDE veered outside a channel and onto the rocks of south-eastern Massachusetts’ Buzzard’s Bay. About 330 tons of the barge’s cargo of 13,600 tons of Number 6 oil spilled into the sound and eventually washed ashore in nearby watershed and migratory bird habitat areas.

Following Bouchard’s November 18 guilty plea, federal magistrate Marianne Bowler followed recommendations from the US Attorney and the US Fish and Wildlife Service that $7 million of the fine be used to improve the damaged wetlands. According to court documents, the incident occurred on a clear, sunny day while an unqualified mate was at the helm of the vessel.



 

PCF RAFFLE FEATURES ORIGINAL PAINTING OF SS SEAWANHAKA

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

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

MM&P PCF 700 Maritime Blvd. Linthicum Heights, MD 21090

Tickets can also be obtained by members making PCF contributions through the Members Only section of the MM&P website, noting that the contribution is for the raffle. Tickets are also available through MM&P port offices.

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

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

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

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

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

 

The fine print:

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


MM&P FCU NEWS

SPECIAL LOAN RATE FOR HOLIDAY SHOPPERS

Now is a great time to start thinking about the holidays and the Masters, Mates & Pilots Federal Credit Union is offering a special Holiday Signature Loan to give you some extra shopping cash or to pay off those higher-rate credit card balances.

From November 12004 through January 31, 2005, eligible MM&P FCU members may borrow up to $1,500 for 10 months at a Standard Rate of 8.75 percent or a Preferred Borrower Rate of 8.00 percent. Special terms and conditions apply and funds for this promotion may be limited.

 

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:

  • 4.75 percent for terms up to 24 months.

Standard loan rates for longer-term loans are:

  • 5.00 percent for 25-48 months;
  • 5.75 percent for 49-60 months ($20,000 minimum); and
  • 6.25 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.


Loan percentage rates for all loans are APR, or Annual Percentage Rate. Savings percentage rates are APY, or Annual Percentage Yield. Loan and Dividend rates are subject to change without notice. Loan approval is subject to income requirements and credit review. 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.



 

MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR PORT HOLIDAY PARTIES

  • Boston – 12/20
  • Houston – 12/9 (1200-1600 – RSVP appreciated)
  • Jacksonville – 12/10 (1200-1600 at the hall)
  • Miami/Port Everglades – 12/21 (1100-1400 at the hall)
  • New Orleans – 12/8 (1200-1500 at the hall – RSVP appreciated)
  • New York/New Jersey – 12/15
  • Norfolk – 12/17
  • San Juan – TBA

Contact the Union Halls directly for additional info. Additional events and info will be provided as available.


 

AFL-CIO SAYS: GIVE THE GIFT OF JOBS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

Give the Gift of Good Jobs This Holiday Season: Buy Union Week is November 26 ­ December 5.

Holiday shoppers can please friends and family and save good-paying US jobs by buying union-made gifts for the holidays.

“Buy Union Week,” Nov. 26 ­ Dec. 5 targets the busiest 10-day shopping period of the year. Shoppers will spend a projected one trillion dollars on gifts, food and other items for the winter holidays. Under the slogan “Give the Gift of Good Jobs,” Buy Union Week seeks to channel as many holiday shopping dollars as possible towards the purchase of union-made goods and services.

An all-union Internet shopping site – www.shopunionmade.org – was set up this fall by the AFL-CIO Union Label and Service Trades Dept., to make it easy for consumers to find and buy union-made items. Publicity materials for Buy Union Week, including graphics and holiday “e-cards,” may be downloaded from the web site.

“If people spread the word and pledge to buy at least one union-made gift for the holidays, we will have a large positive impact on jobs. We need a grassroots movement to make it happen,” said Matt Bates, secretary-treasurer of the Union Label & Service Trades Department. The AFL-CIO Executive Council voted to endorse Buy Union Week at its August meeting in Chicago.

NEW UNION PRODUCTS ADDED TO www.shopunionmade.org

STERLING SILVER FLATWARE BY GORHAM AND KIRK-STEIFF

Gorgeous patterns of the highest quality make wonderful gifts for holidays, anniversaries and weddings and other special occasions.


KENNEDY TOOL CHESTS

Recognized by professional mechanics the world over, Kennedy’s steel tool chests and “roll-arounds” grace the workshops of discerning “weekend” mechanics, as well. The Kennedy, Ken-craft and Bott/Kennedy lines also include rifle cabinets, pistol chests and reloading benches.


2004 AND 2005 CARS, TRUCKS, VANS AND SUVs

Find complete current lists of all 2004 and 2005 union-made vehicles.


CAR AND TRUCK TIRES

Find union-made tires for all types of vehicles at www.shopunionmade.org


 

SPREAD THE WORD! BUY UNION WEEK, NOV.26 – DEC.5.



 

ELECTION PERIOD CLOSE TO END: DUPLICATE BALLOTS AVAILABLE

The period for casting ballots in the MM&P election is coming to an end. Ballots must be received by 0900 Eastern Time on Dec.13 to be counted.

The ballot count will commence at 1100 Eastern Time on Dec.13 at MITAGS.

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



 

MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

 

CLASS OPENINGS THROUGH DECEMBER 2004

  • ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 1/3, 2/7
  • AZIPOD – Azipod Propulsion System: 1/3
  • BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 1/24, 2/14
  • BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 12/7, 2/7
  • BST – Basic Safety Training: 12/13, 1/31


CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses

  • CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 2/14
  • CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 1/31
  • CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display and Info Systems: 12/29, 1/10, 2/7
  • CMM-MMP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 11/29, 1/17, 2/21
  • CMM-SHMGT-I – Ship Management (week 1): 12/6, 1/10, 2/7
  • CMM-SHMGT-II – Ship Management (week 2): 12/13
  • CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 12/6, 1/10, 1/24, 1/31, 2/14
  • CMM-SHS-ADV-II- Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 12/13, 1/17, 1/31
  • CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 1/24
  • CMM-WKP- Advanced Watchkeeping: 1/3
  • COMP-OPSYS – Computer Operating Systems: 1/17
  • CONT-PLNG – Contingency Planning: 12/9, 1/7, 1/21, 2/11
  • CSE-AWR2 – 2-day Confined Space Seminar: 12/2, 12/16
  • FF-BADV – (Combined) Basic and Adv Firefighting: 12/13, 1/31
  • FSM – Fatigue, Sleep and Medications: 1/4
  • GMDSS – Global Marine Distress & Safety System: 1/24
  • HAZ – Hazardous Materials [5-day]: 1/3
  • LAP – License Advancement Program: 1/10
  • LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 12/07, 1/05, 2/08
  • MEDIA-RSP – Media Response: 12/10, 1/6, 1/20, 2/10
  • MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 12/4, 1/15, 2/12
  • MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 11/29, 2/7
  • MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 11/29, 2/7
  • MED-SMC – [4 week] Shipboard Medical Care: 1/3

MSC – Military Sealift Command

  • MSC-CBRD-1 – Chemical Biological Radiological Defense Training Orientation: 12/15, 2/6
  • MSC-COMMS – Strategic Sealift Communications: 1/24
  • MSC-DC – Damage Control: 12/10, 12/13, 2/4
  • MSC-ENVPRO – Environmental Programs: 1/29
  • MSC-SMA – Small Arms Training (4-day): 1/31
  • MSC-SMA-R – Small Arms Re-Qualification (2-day): 2/4
    (must have proof of passing all 3 weapons within 2 years)

 

  • ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal (5-day): 12/13, 1/17
  • ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 12/6, 1/3, 2/7

 

  • SEC-FSO – Facility Security Officer: 12/14, 2/7
  • SEC-OFF-PCS – Security Officer: Port, Company, Ship: 12/6, 1/17
  • SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 1/10
  • SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling (5-day): 1/17

 

  • TPIC – Tankerman Person-In-Charge: 1/24
  • TRAC-TUG – Water Tractor and Azimuth Stern Drive Tugs: 1/6

ATTENDANCE VERIFICATION & CANCELLATION IS VITAL

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

 

SCHEDULES, COURSE INFO & REGISTRATION

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

 


 

PMI MARITIME TECHNOLOGY & CAREER CENTER ACADEMIC SCHEDULE – Winter 2004-2005

All the courses below will be conducted at the new Pacific Maritime Institute facility located in Seattle at 1727 Alaskan Way South, Pier 34. The new facility features a state-of-the art Ship Simulator that has to be experienced. PMI phone numbers remain the same. Come see the new facility at PMI’s “Maritime Technology and Career Center”.

December

  • Holidays: We will not be running classes from December 27-January 2, 2005 in observance of Christmas and New Years Day. The school will still be open that week.
  • 12/6-10: Basic and Advanced Firefighting
  • 12/6-17: GMDSS
  • 12/13-17: SAR/EP
  • 12/13-17: Basic Safety Training
  • 12/13-17: Advanced Meteorology
  • 12/13-17: Basic Shiphandling
  • 12/20-24: Radar Observer Unlimited

January 2005

  • 1/3-21: Terrestrial and Coastal Navigation/Compasses
  • 1/3-7: ARPA
  • 1/3/05: Radar Recertification
  • 1/10-11: Search and Rescue
  • 1/10-12: Ship/Company Security Officer
  • 1/12-14: Emergency Procedures
  • 1/17-28: GMDSS
  • 1/24-28: Radar Observer Unlimited
  • 1/24/28: Tankerman Person-In-Charge
  • 1/24-28: Medical Care Provider
  • 1/24-2/4: Medical Person-In-Charge
  • 1/24-28: Emergency Shiphandling
  • 1/31-2/4: ARPA
  • 1/31: Radar Recertification
  • 1/31-2/11: Advanced Shiphandling

For registration and more info call DeeDee Lazik or Jennifer Fowler at 888-893-7829, check the PMI website at mates.org or Email PMI at admin@mates.org.


 

MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF NOVEMBER 23, 2004 CLOSE

 D O W    N A S D A Q
 10,492.60 -56.97 for the week  2,084.28  -15.40 for the week

Fund Name & Trading Symbol

Closing
Price
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)

109.03
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)

29.99
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)

18.11
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)

15.74
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)

30.02
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)

10.46
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX)

6.44
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)

10.29
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)

16.95
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)

16.04
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)

37.60
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)

102.08
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)

41.86



~ 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.

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 commences Oct.17, 2004 and will continue until Jan.3, 2005. Crew rotations will start beginning as early as January 2005 and will continue through as late as June 2005. 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 MM&P’s Director of Special Projects. Send resumes in an email or as a Word file attachment to: rplant@bridgedeck.org, by fax to 410-850-0973 or by mail to:

Director of Special Projects IOMM&P 700 Maritime Blvd. Linthicum Heights, MD 21090  

 


 

 

SHIP SECURITY CLEARANCE NEEDED

Members who want to sail for Horizon Lines on the T-AGS Oceanographic 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.

When complete and all information has been validated, click on “Communications” from the menu bar at the top of the screen and select “Transmit to Security Officer”. Save the file to the hard drive on your computer using your last name (surname) as the file name. Send this file as an email attachment to Mike Bohlman at Horizon Lines, Mbohlman@horizon-lines.com. His phone number is 908-259-2803. You will need to provide Mike Bohlman with your name and the case-sensitive password you assigned to the file in order for Horizon Lines to open the file and process your Security Clearance.



 

MM&P HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN NEWS

NOTICE TO MEMBERS WHO ARE TAKING VIOXX

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

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

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

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

“We are sorry for any inc onvenience this may have caused to members currently taking this medication, however, the matter is out of the control of the Plans.”

 


NMHC MAIL-ORDER PRESCRIPTIONS WEBSITE UPDATED & IMPROVED

MM&P Plans Administrator Valerie Verrecchio reports, “Good news! NMHC mail has finally gotten their website upgraded and functioning properly. I went in and tested it myself and found it to be quite user friendly.”

To use NMHC’s upgraded service, go to the NMHC Mail website at www.nmhcmail.com and click on “MEMBER LOGIN” at the bottom of the screen.

First-time and Registered users may bypass the welcome screen and go directly to the log-in page at https://members.nmhcrx.com/Login/Login.aspx.

  • First-time users should then click on the link marked “NEW USER: REGISTER HERE”.
    This will take you to a page titled “MEMBER REGISTRATION” where you will need to enter demographic information and submit it by clicking on the
  • “CREATE ACCOUNT” button.

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

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

“We hope this welcome improvement will assist our members. Although you cannot order refills on line if you don’t provide a credit or debit card number, you can phone in your refill. Once you register on the website, you will still have access to all of the other information including checking the status of your order once it is phoned in,” said Ms. Verrecchio.



 

USCG JOB OPENINGS OF INTEREST TO RETIRED MM&P MEMBERS

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


WWII USCG VETERANS OUTREACH

The U.S. Coast Guard has announced an initiative to identify and 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.



 

NEW 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”.



 

MM&P ELECTION PERIOD PUBLICITY GUIDELINES

Members are reminded that for the duration of the MM&P election period the name or likeness of any known candidate for any elected MM&P position will not be referred to by name or photo in any MM&P publication. Reference may be made by title or in contact information such as an email address when it is directly relevant to the communication.

As example, the Master of a MM&P-contracted ship who has declared himself to be a candidate for a MM&P elective position was recently quoted in an article appearing in the “Master, Mate & Pilot”, but was referenced as the Master of the vessel and not by name. Similarly, this member’s likeness was not included in a photo published with the article. This same rule was applied within the same publication with regard to two other members employed by MM&P at Union headquarters who are candidates for elective position.

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

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



 

INFO ON HOW TO RECEIVE DUPLICATE MM&P ELECTION BALLOTS

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



 

NEW ADDRESS INFO NEEDED TO RE-SEND MM&P ELECTION BALLOTS

Current address info is needed to re-send MM&P election ballots to the following members of the membership groups listed below. For further information or to provide contact information, contact MM&P Comptroller John Gorman at 410-850-8700 x12 or by email to jgorman@bridgedeck.org.

PILOTS
  • Duval Evans
  • Christopher Yarbrough

 

UIG formerly PMR
  • Ted Biringer
  • Hazard Book
  • Mark Brower
  • Bill Cornwell
  • Timothy DeBauw
  • Faigata Falo
  • Mark Fredette
  • Mark Gustin
  • Steven Lang
  • Lane Lindberg
  • Peggy Miller
  • Gennadius Novichihn
  • John Pelland
  • Milton Rogers
  • Rosario San Pedro
  • Bart Sappington
  • Michael Sax
  • Matthew Stephens

 

UIG formerly A&G
  • Victor Carbone
  • Felix Carrion
  • James Heggie
  • Vivan Hill
  • Betty Jackson
  • Tyrone Moore
  • Leandro Potter
  • Ricardo Ramos

 

OFFSHORE
  • George Carrington
  • Calvin Cunningham
  • Cory Fales
  • Clifford Hall
  • Kurt Holen
  • Charles McConaghy
  • David McDonald
  • Joseph Novellino
  • Steven Peterson

 

GOVERNMENT
  • John Beasley
  • Raymond Bleam
  • Richard Bulvid
  • Addison Burroughs
  • Lawrence Calame
  • Allen Hinson
  • Theodore Hunt
  • Jonathan Mellow
  • Joe Milan
  • Robert Potter
  • William Riley
  • Shaun Shiraishi
  • Keith Walzak
  • William Wiggins
  • Jose Rivera
  • Daniel Sanchez
  • Hyo Smith


 

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., Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1941. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: iommp@bridgedeck.org. For further info or to subscribe contact John Peige at jpeige@bridgedeck.org. The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea, broadcast worldwide via FEC marine telex and is posted on our web page.

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