News

Wheelhouse Weekly – November 24, 2008

November 24th 2008

 

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

Volume 12 . . . . . Number 47. . . .November 24, 2008

STORIES COVERED

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.


MM&P ELECTION NEWS

As reported in last week’s Wheelhouse Weekly, all currently serving MM&P officials have been re-elected to new, four-year terms. MM&P International President Timothy Brown received 1,326 votes. His opponent, Fred H. Schick, received 380 votes. International Secretary-Treasurer Glen Banks, Pilotage Vice President George Quick and the three Offshore Vice Presidents—Bob Groh, Don Marcus and Rich May—ran unopposed. United Inland Group Vice President C. Michael Murray won his bid against David W. Lawton; Murray received 210 votes and Lawton received 163 votes.

The following Offshore Convention Delegates were elected: Glen M. Paine, Richard M. Plant, David H. Boatner, Peter H. Bailey, Peter S. Smith, John P. Kelley, William D. Good Jr., William C. Mack, Thomas D. McDorr, Lawrence T. Lyons, Paul F. McQuarrie, Michael K. Welch, Steven E. Werse, D. Scott Putty, Michael F. Cotting, Michael J. McCormick, Paul T. Schulman and Thomas A. Delameter.

The following 10 United Inland Group (UIG) delegates were elected: Darrell R. Kimmerly, Raymond W. Shipway, Michael A. Santini, Charles W. Malue, Kenneth J. Grieser, M. Scott Macaulay, Ronald L. Bressette Jr., Eduardo E. Iglesias, Scott E. Adams and Michael E. Cahill. The three UIG alternates are: Bruce H. Cornwall, James A. Mackrow and Joseph G. Heaney.

Four thousand four hundred and two ballots were mailed, of which 1,778 were returned and validated. The ballots were counted at MITAGS on Nov. 13 by True Ballot Inc., the impartial balloting agency selected by delegates to the 82nd MM&P Convention. Members of the International Ballot Committee who supervised the election were Art Thomas (chair), Dave Goff, Paul Nielsen, Bob Darley and William Wilson.


PIRACY UPDATE; MORE VESSELS SEIZED; MAERSK TO RE-ROUTE SOME SHIPS

IMO Secretary-General Efthimios E. Mitropoulos last week called on the United Nations Security Council to develop a coordinated and cohesive response to “the scourge of piracy” off the coast of Somalia. Mitropoulos said the IMO’s main goals are to protect seafarers, fishermen and passengers on ships sailing off the coast of Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden; to ensure the safe delivery of humanitarian aid to Somalia on ships chartered by the World Food Program; and to preserve the integrity of the shipping lane through the Gulf of Aden, given its strategic importance and significance to shipping and trade east and west of the Suez Canal.

Earlier in the week, the 1,080-foot Saudi supertanker MV SIRIUS STAR, with 25 crewmembers on board, was hijacked about 450 nautical miles southeast of Mombasa, Kenya, far south of the Gulf of Aden. The ship is flagged in Liberia, owned by the Saudi Arabian-based Aramco and operated by Vela International. The crew includes citizens of Croatia, Great Britain, the Philippines, Poland and Saudi Arabia. Two small boats reportedly approached the tanker when it was at anchor and climbed aboard using rope ladders. The ship and its $100 million of crude oil cargo were taken to the port city of Harardhere on the Somali coast. Over the weekend, the pirates announced they were lowering their ransom demand for release of the SIRIUS STAR to $15 million, from $25 million.

An Iranian cargo ship was also hijacked last week, as were a Thai fishing boat and a Greek bulk carrier. Warships from an eight-country coalition continue to patrol the critical zone leading to and from the Suez Canal.

In the meantime, pirates have released a Greek-owned tanker that was hijacked in September. The tanker, MV GENIUS, was released Friday with its cargo of refined oil intact and the crew of 19 safe. The ship’s owners would not provide any information about whether a ransom was paid.

Last week, A.P. Möller-Maersk announced it will reroute some of its vessels to avoid increased piracy in the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of East Africa. “To ensure the safety of our crews as well as vessels and cargo,” a spokesman for the company said, “vessels without adequate speed or freeboard will for the time being avoid the Gulf of Aden and seek alternative routing south of the Cape of Good Hope and east of Madagascar.” He added that if escorts become available, some of the rerouted vessels might instead join naval convoy transit in the Gulf of Aden. The company said the new policy will primarily affect tankers, but that three container vessels will also be redeployed.


JOHN BRENNAN REPRESENTS MITAGS AND MM&P AT VETERANS’ MEMORIAL GROUNDBREAKING

MITAGS instructor John Brennan recently represented MM&P, MITAGS and all of America’s merchant mariners at the groundbreaking for a new veterans’ memorial in Linthicum, Md. MITAGS provided a merchant marine flag for the occasion. Brennan, who retired after a 30-year career at sea as an MM&P member and a captain in the Naval Reserves, thanked the citizens of Linthicum for recognizing merchant mariners and other veterans with the memorial.

“At the height of World War II,” he said, “there were 215,000 merchant mariners, including teenage boys too young to enlist in the military and men classified as 4-F, yet caught up in the patriotic fervor that swept the country after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. According to official statistics, more than 6,795 civilian merchant seamen lost their lives in World War II for a causality rate of 1:32.”

Brennan quoted President Franklin D. Roosevelt saying, “Merchant mariners have delivered the goods when and where needed in every theater of operations and across every ocean in the biggest, the most difficult and dangerous job ever undertaken.”

“From the first sea engagement of the Revolution through the present day the U. S. Merchant Marine has always heeded the call to duty and been there to supply the boots, beans and bullets our military has need to overcome our adversaries in battle,” Brennan said. “Yet, the number of U.S.-flag merchant ships has steadily declined. A question I would like to end with is: What will our country use to supply our fighting troops in future conflicts? Foreign-flag vessels? I don’t think so…  During Desert Storm, they refused to carry supplies into war zones, even though they were on contract with the U.S. government to do just that. U.S.-flag ships, crewed by unarmed, loyal U.S. crews, once again heeded the call to duty and took their place delivering that vital war material to our troops.”


JOBS AVAILABLE ON T-AGS VESSELS

There are three positions currently open on the T-AGS oceanographic survey ships: Chief Mate on the USNS HENSON, Second Mate on the USNS John McDonnell and Second Mate on the USNS MARY SEARS. The jobs can be bid with a port relief card instead of regular shipping card. Mariners on vacation can also take these jobs. If you are interested in taking one of these jobs, please immediately contact Gerry Gordon in MM&P’s New York/New Jersey Hall, 201-963-1918 or nynj@bridgedeck.org.


LABOR-INDUSTRY GROUP LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN TO ATTRACT YOUNG PEOPLE TO MARITIME

A campaign to encourage young people to become professional mariners has been launched by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the International Labor Organization (ILO), the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and several international shipping groups. “Shipping carries more than 90 percent of world trade,” the group said, “and, given that the bulk of this trade consists of commodities such as grain and oil, the data leads to the inescapable conclusion that, without shipping, half the world would starve and the other half would freeze.”

The group said it aims to use electronic and other media to raise the profile of shipping as a vibrant industry “which, in keeping with its corporate social responsibilities, provides rewarding, stimulating and long-term career prospects.” They said they will work to ensure politicians and the general public are better informed of shipping’s great value to the international community, as well as on promoting, among children and young people in schools and universities all over the world, a career at sea and emphasizing the variety of opportunities it offers in the short-, medium- and long-term.” They suggested that industry should provide school students with internship opportunities to go to sea (e.g. during their holidays/practical work experience) or ‘taster’ visits and open days to ships and ports.

They also advised the shipping industry as a whole to “take a closer look at today’s lifestyles and do more to make life away from home more akin to the life enjoyed by others ashore.” Examples include shorter duty period on board, long-term contracts, more or more frequent paid leave, social security, improved communications including Internet access and more humane treatment.

The groups also advise governments to do more to support and encourage the shipping industry in any initiatives it takes to enhance its image, saying “by promoting maritime training, governments can indirectly but importantly contribute to improved standards and enhance the environmentally friendly nature of the industry.” They said greater efforts should also be made to draw attention to the negative effects of some policies and practices of governments (e.g., criminalization of seafarers, wrongly perceived and inappropriate security measures, etc.) which work against efforts to attract the young.


COAST GUARD RELEASES ALCOAST ON MARINE SAFETY PROGRAM

The Coast Guard has released an official document detailing how it plans to enhance its marine safety program, which has come under scrutiny in Congress, in part because of a perceived lack of technical expertise and sensitivity to the maritime industry. “Looking ahead to assignment year 2009,” the agency writes, “we are making all necessary preparations for the addition of 310 billets to support marine safety, including 110 PSC/towing inspection, 99 marine inspection and 49 investigation billets for sectors.”  It said it was launching “a nationwide civilian hiring drive targeting a broad spectrum of commercial maritime enterprises to provide a wide range of expertise to help better understand the industry,” adding “we will seek to recruit experienced mariners from all portions of the operating industry and people from ancillary maritime industries such as shipbuilding, port engineers, quality control personnel and other seagoing-related shore-side professionals.” The Coast Guard said it was also working to revise marine inspector training and that a wider range of professional development opportunities will be developed, including ship rider programs, industry and commercially offered specialized training and local area industry partnerships. 


UPDATED MM&P PORT HOLIDAY PARTY SCHEDULE

MM&P members, their families and friends are invited to the holiday parties taking place in December in MM&P union halls, or other locations, as specified below. There has been a change to the schedule posted in last week’s Wheelhouse Weekly. The Port Everglades party is now scheduled to take place at noon on Dec. 16.

ATLANTIC COAST PORTS

New York/New Jersey: Wednesday, Dec. 10.
Boston: Tuesday, Dec. 16, at the Knights of Columbus in Charlestown, Mass., starting around noon. Please contact the Boston Hall for more information.
San Juan: Friday, Dec. 19.

GULF PORTS: Gulf Port Parties will take place at the respective halls according to the following schedule.

New Orleans: Wednesday, Dec. 10, noon.
Houston: Thursday, Dec. 11, noon.
Jacksonville: Friday, Dec. 12, noon. Joint with members of the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA).
Port Everglades: Monday, Dec. 16, noon.

PACIFIC PORTS: All MM&P Pacific Port parties are being held together with the members of MEBA.

San Francisco: Thursday, Dec. 11
Los Angeles: Friday, Dec. 12
Seattle: Friday, Dec. 19


LIBERTY SHIPPING WRITES LETTER TO INTERNATIONAL SHIPHOLDING

Liberty Shipping has released a statement saying that it has written to the Special Committee of the Board of Directors of International Shipholding (ISH) in connection with its proposal to acquire ISH. In the letter, Liberty said it, “continues to desire to engage in a cooperative dialogue” with the members of the ISH board. MM&P is watching the situation closely to ensure that the members’ interests are represented.


TWIC COUNTDOWN: 142 DAYS UNTIL ALL MARINERS MUST HAVE A TWIC

Reminder: April 15, 2009 is the deadline for all mariners and other maritime industry workers to obtain the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC).


REVISIONS TO NOTICE REGARDING ADDITION OF VSO ENDORSEMENT TO STCW-95 CERTIFICATE

The Coast Guard is in the process of implementing a new rule that will require all mariners sailing in the position of Vessel Security Officer (VSO) on foreign voyages to have the VSO endorsement by July 1, 2009. MM&P members and tuition students who have taken the MITAGS/PMI Vessel, Company, and Facility Security Officer (VCF) course, or its predecessor, the MITAGS/PMI Security Officer: Port, Company, and Ship (PCS) course (from April 2003 to April 2005) have met the certified training requirement of this new regulation.

To obtain the endorsement, send your application (CG-719B), passport photo,  ORIGINALS of your security course certificate, COPIES of your license, MMD, STCW certificate and TWIC if you have one to your local REC (who will forward to NMC).  They will re-issue your STCW-95 certificate, with the security endorsement, at no charge.  Note: The TWIC is not mandatory until April 15, 2009, but MM&P has received reports that some RECs are demanding a copy of it. MITAGS and MM&P are working with the Coast Guard to clarify this issue.

For those who have taken a Security course that is not approved, you will need to take a one-day refresher course.  If you have not taken a Security course, or if you cannot obtain a copy of your course completion certificate, you will need to take the regular three-day Security course. 


COURSE EQUIVALENCIES FOR REQUIRED COMPANY TRAINING

Given the number of required company training courses, it is extremely important for new members to request a transcript review to determine whether they meet the course equivalency requirements.  The courses eligible for “equivalency” are listed in the MITAGS Trust Student Guide located on www.mitags.org under the “MM&P Member” tab.  You may also request a copy from Diane Ford (dford@mitags.org or 443-989-3238). Remember, the dispatcher in the MM&P hall cannot assign you a job unless you meet the company training requirements.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

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

AB � Able Bodied Seaman: 1/5
ARPA � Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 1/5
BRM � Bridge Resource Management: 2/16
BRMP � Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 2/9
BST � Basic Safety Training: 2/16

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVSTAB � Advanced Stability: 2/2
CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 12/01, 1/19
CMM-CHS I � Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 12/8, 2/9
CMM-CHS II � Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 12/15, 2/16
CMM-MPP � Marine Propulsion Plants: 1/26
CMM-SHMGT I � Ship Management (week 1) : 2/23
CMM-SHMGT II � Ship Management (week 2) : 3/2
CMM-SHS-ADV-I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 12/01, 1/5, 2/2, 2/16
CMM-SHS-ADV-I I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 1/12, 2/9

CSE-AAES � Confined Space Entry � Atmospheric Analysis of Enclosed Spaces: 2/26
FF-BADV � Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting Combined: 1/26, 2/16
GCC-LG � Gas Carrier Course-Liquefied Gases: 2/2
GMDSS � Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 2/23
HAZ � Hazardous Materials (5 Day): 1/5
LEG � Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 1/20

MEDIA RSP – Media Response: 2/27
MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 1/5, 2/2
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 1/5, 2/2
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 12/6, 1/10, 2/7, 2/26

[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-CBRD-1 � CBRD Orientation: 12/05, 2/25
MSC-DC � Damage Control: 12/03, 2/23
MSC-SMA � Small Arms Training: 12/01 Standby Only

[OICNW � Officer in Charge of a Navigation Watch Courses]
OICNW-CHS-BAS � Basic Cargo Handling and Stowage: 1/12
OICNW-CONSTB � Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 2/9
OICNW-EP � Emergency Procedures: 1/21
OICNW-SAR � Search and Recue: 1/18
OICNW-TCNAV/CO � Terrestrial and Coastal Navigation / Compasses: 1/12

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 1/5
ROP-5 � Radar Observer Original or Renewal: 2/2

SEC-VCF – Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 2/23
SEC-VSO-R � Vessel Security Officer Refresher (1 day): 12/2, 1/21, 2/26
SHS-BAS � Basic Shiphandling: 1/26, 1/23
SHS-EMR � Emergency Shiphandling: 2/9
SHS-ESH-BRMP3 � Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 2/11

TPIC � Tankerman Person in Charge (Dangerous Liquids): 2/2

…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 by e-mail: admissions@mitags.org.


PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

PMI Web site at www.mates.org for more info

FOR REGISTRATION CALL JENNIFER PITZEN: 206 838-1126

SCHEDULE OF COURSES – (Course schedule also posted online at www.mates.org)

December 2008
1-5MED PRO
1-12GMDSS
1-12MED PIC
8-19GMDSS

January 2009
7-11ENAV
7-11STB BAS
8-11ARPA
14-18WX BAS
14-25GMDSS
14-18ROP
14-2/1TC NAV
21-2/1WKP
21ROR
22-25ARPA
28-2/8GMDSS
28-2/1MED PRO

February 2009
4-8ROP
12ROR
11-12SAR
12-15ARPA
13-15EP
16FL
18-22ENAV
18-22MED PRO
18-22SHS BAS
18-29MED PIC
25-3/7 CNAV
25ROR

March 2009
3-14GMDSS
10-11SAR
10-12SEC VCF
12-14EP
17-28GMDSS
24-4/4 GMDSS
24ROR
25-28ARPA

For registration call Jennifer Pitzen 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 11-21-2008

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
8,046.42 1,384.35 800.03
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
37.34
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
73.99
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
19.83
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
11.45
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
10.20
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
16.96
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.35
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
18.22
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
3.94
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
12.36
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
14.28
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
11.61
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
13.76
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
9.27
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
8.89
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
8.47
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
8.34
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
8.62
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
9.76
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
19.11
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
13.06
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
9.95
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
11.03
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
8.90
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
38.36
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
11.12
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
32.53
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
11.72
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
23.76
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
18.39
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
13.04
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
9.24
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
9.89
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
9.81
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
9.29
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
8.82
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
5.01
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
5.72
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
8.88
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
18.98
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
28.37
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
17.29





~ 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. Suite B
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.

© 2008, 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.