News

Wheelhouse Weekly – October 06, 2005

October 6th 2005


 


THE MASTERS, MATES & PILOTS’
WHEELHOUSE WEEKLYonline

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

Volume 9 . . . . . Number 40 . . . . October 6, 2005


STORIES COVERED

Also

REMINDERS

 

 




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




NOTE FROM INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT TIMOTHY A. BROWN

“I am very pleased and particularly proud of the manner that the MM&P membership has responded to help their brothers and sisters caught up in the path of destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina. After the Union kicked off the Disaster Fund with $25,000, the MM&P membership along with those companies that do business with the Masters, Mates and Pilots Union and the Masters, Mate and Pilots Plans contributed an additional $53,000 through the end of September. And contributions are still coming in!!! I am pleased and humbled to be able to represent the quality membership of the Masters, Mates and Pilots,” Capt. Brown said.

 




 

MM&P DISASTER RELIEF FUND COLLECTING DONATIONS

As highlighted above, the MM&P Disaster Relief Fund is collecting donations to help members and applicants who have suffered severe financial losses in the aftermath of the Gulf Coast hurricanes. Members of the MM&P extended family are encouraged to contribute to help their brothers and sisters who now must deal with the aftermath of this tragedy. Further details can be found on the MM&P web site at www.bridgedeck.org. Contributions by credit card are welcomed. All requests for assistance from the proceeds generated by this fund must be made in writing and sent to MM&P Headquarters, 700 Maritime Blvd., Linthicum, MD 21090 in care of John Gorman, Comptroller or Beverly Gutmann, Asst. Comptroller.



 

USCG RESTORES SERVICES TO MARINERS FROM GULF COAST

The Coast Guard is opening temporary offices in Morgan City, LA, and Memphis, TN, to provide services to mariners affected by the closure of the Regional Examination Center in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. The Morgan City office, now open, accepts completed applications and offers fingerprinting services, identity verification, and administration of oaths for mariners.

On Oct. 3, the USCG opened a temporary full-service REC in Memphis, staffed by employees from the REC in New Orleans whose offices were flooded after Katrina. This office will be dedicated to restoring services to mariners from the Gulf Coast who were affected by Katrina.

These new offices are being opened to quickly restore services to mariners from the areas affected by Hurricane Katrina. When recovery efforts in New Orleans permit unlimited entry into the city, a new office will open in the New Orleans area.

In a further effort to assist mariners affected by Hurricane Katrina, the Commandant of the Coast Guard has waived user fees for duplicate credentials to replace those lost as a result of the hurricane. The waiver only applies to mariners whose homes of record are in Louisiana, Mississippi or Alabama and who apply for a duplicate credential before Feb. 28, 2006. The duplicate document will show the same qualifications and bear the same expiration date as the original credential. All other regulatory requirements for issuance of a duplicate credential remain in effect. Mariners meeting the criteria who have already paid the user fee for a duplicate credential may apply to the issuing REC for a refund.

The Morgan City office is located at 800 David Dr., Morgan City, LA 70380. It is open weekdays from 0930 to 1600. Applicants may reach the office by phone at 985-380-5150 or by fax at 985-380-5379. The Memphis office is located at 200 Jefferson Ave., Suite 1301, Memphis, TN, 38103 and may be contacted by phone at 901-544-3941 (select 1 for New Orleans REC) or by fax at 901-544-3172. The office will be open weekdays from 0800 to 1600 and closed from noon to 1300 (1400 on Wednesday). The office will also be closed on the last Wednesday of each month. Both offices will be closed on all federal holidays.



 

HOUSTON PILOTS THANK NOAA FOR HSC RECOVERY EFFORTS

Capt. Michael Morris of the Houston Pilots sent an e-mail to NOAA that said, “I am happy to report we continue to get back to normal operations in the HSC [Houston Shipping Channel]. The Houston Galveston port complex is now open to controlling depth. I personally would like to thank the USCG, NOAA, and the USACE for their swift response in restoring our channel. The NOAA vessel THOMAS JEFFERSON, which assisted in the HSC effort, is currently conducting surveys near Port Arthur, TX. Another NOAA vessel, the NANCY FOSTER, has also been active in hurricane recovery efforts and is currently conducting a seafood safety study for NOAA Fisheries near the Mississippi Delta.

 


CP SHIPS ADDS VESSEL TO MSP WITH REFLAGGED CP YOSEMITE

CP Ships has re-flagged the 3,200-TEU CP YUCATAN to the US-flag and changed its name to CP YOSEMITE in recognition of the ship’s enrollment in the US government’s new Maritime Security Program, which took effect on Oct. 1, and under which CP Ships is expanding its participation compared with the previous MSP. The company has also opened a new office in Washington, DC to ensure more efficient management of its US-flag business.

CP YOSEMITE is one of five vessels operating on the TransAtlantic, which CP Ships is committing to the MSP and which will be named after US national parks. In due course, the remaining four ships will be renamed CP EVERGLADES, CP DENALI, CP SHENANDOAH and CP YELLOWSTONE.


HAPAG-LLOYD, CP SHIPS ASK CLEARANCE FOR JOINT OPERATIONS

Hapag-Lloyd and CP Ships have filed notice with the Federal Maritime Commission requesting authorization to cooperate with each other in anticipation of the imminent acquisition of CP Ships by TUI, Hapag-Lloyd’s parent company.

The two companies requested an expedited review of the agreement under which they could “discuss and agree on rates, terms and conditions in all US trades; share space on each other’s vessels; and engage in other cooperative activities” on services between US ports and inland points.
The holders of CP Ships’ stock have until Oct. 7 to tender their shares to TUI in acceptance of the German company’s $2.1 billion cash offer for all the UK-based carrier’s shares.


MM&P VOICES STRONG OPPOSITION TO FOREIGN RIDING CREWS

In a position paper prepared for members of Congress that oversee maritime issues, MM&P has expressed strong concerns regarding section 425 of HR 889 as passed by the House of Representatives. This section, entitled “Citizenship and Naval Reserve Requirements” will allow foreign workers to be employed aboard US-flag commercial vessels.

MM&P strongly objects to allowing foreign riding crews to work onboard US-flag vessels in the post 9/11 world. The position paper states that, “the legislation does not require that foreign riding crews be subject to the same background checks as are applicable to the vessel’s US citizen crew. Requiring that these foreign workers obtain a ‘transportation workers identification card’ in the future does nothing to ensure that foreign citizens working aboard US-flag vessels are not part of a terrorist organization seeking the opportunity and means to harm the vessel, its cargo and the American crew, or in some other way dedicated to the destruction of the US and our way of life.”

In the paper, MM&P also noted that the legislative provision does not limit the nature and scope of the work foreign citizen riding crews would be allowed to perform aboard US-flag ships. MM&P also stated that by failing to limit the number of foreign workers who can be employed aboard a US-flag vessel, and by failing to more specifically define the nature and scope of the work these workers can perform, the legislation raises the distinct possibility that the number of American citizen personnel employed aboard the ship, and who will be available whenever and wherever needed by the Department of Defense, will be reduced.


CONTACT MM&P IF YOU HAVE BEEN DENIED ACCESS TO A PORT

There are reports that some terminals and port facilities are still improperly denying access to crewmembers and visitors to and from ships in violation of the ISPS code. MM&P is preparing a protest of these violations at the national and if need be international level, but to do so, we need your help. Please send an e-mail to AccessControl@bridgedeck.org to report incidents of access denial, as well as cases in which a fee to access port facilities is levied on crewmembers or their visitors.

The MM&P is interested in receiving reports from all ships, not just MM&P-contracted vessels. Please provide the day the incident took place, the names of the port, facility and ship, and a brief description of what occurred.


USNS COMFORT RETURNS TRAUMA CARE TO NEW ORLEANS

The USNS COMFORT, crewed by MM&P Licensed Deck Officers, has been relocated to New Orleans where she will serve as the city’s floating Level One trauma center. Louisiana State University medical teams will provide emergency services and other medical care to the residents of New Orleans aboard the COMFORT, one of two US Naval hospital ships.

“We will have our hands on the helm of emergency care alongside those of the COMFORT’s Navy doctors,” said Don Smithburg, Chief Executive Officer of Louisiana State University Health Care Services Division. “Our doctors, nurses and other medical personnel will use the outstanding facilities aboard the ship to deliver the best health care available to the people of New Orleans,” said Smithburg.

The ship, which is already receiving patients, is docked at the Poland Street Wharf, adjacent to New Orleans’ Ninth Ward, the area hardest hit by flooding from Hurricane Katrina. Ramps have been constructed that allow emergency vehicles to pull up next to the ship and offload patients.
The vessel is an ultra-modern trauma-one facility that includes 12 fully-equipped operating rooms, 1000 beds, radiological services, a medical laboratory, a pharmacy, a cat scan and two oxygen producing plants. It also has the ability to accommodate helicopter landings.

The Pentagon dispatched the COMFORT to New Orleans after Charity and University Hospitals were declared unsalvageable in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. “The hospitals will be replaced by state-of-the-art facilities,” said LSU Systems President Dr. William Jenkins, who added, “The COMFORT will help provide much-needed emergency care in the interim.”

Based out of Baltimore, the COMFORT is staffed by civilian mariners, while Navy military personnel run her Medical Treatment Facility. The LSU Health Care Services Division hospital and clinic system is the largest provider of health care in Louisiana, with more than 1.2 million patient visits annually to 350 outpatient clinics, and 46,000 admissions to nine hospitals.


FIRST MATE ON TUG GETS PRISON TERM FOR OIL SPILL

The First Mate on the tugboat EVENING TIDE that was involved in the massive Buzzards Bay, MA, oil spill has received a five-month prison term after he was found guilty of violating the Clean Water Act and the Migratory Bird Act. He admitted that on April 27, 2003, he left the helm unattended for 15 minutes to secure a towline connected to a barge carrying 4.1 million gallons of fuel oil. The barge hit an underwater obstruction that tore a gash in the tank hull releasing thousands of gallons of oil into the bay.

As a result of the incident, 90 miles of pristine New England coastline were contaminated. Bouchard Transportation Co., which owned the barge, pleaded guilty last year to violating environmental laws, paid a $9 million fine, and agreed to pay cleanup costs, which have already exceeded $38 million.


PMI WORKS WITH LABOR DEPT. TO DEVELOP OICNW APPRENTICESHIP

Gregg Trunnell, Director of the Pacific Maritime Institute in Seattle, announced that the “Officer In Charge of Navigational Watch Apprenticeship Program” has been officially recognized by the US Department of Labor as an “Apprenticeable Occupation.”

PMI provided much guidance and consultation to the DOL in its development of standards and training schedules incorporated in the OICNW apprenticeship program. The OICNW Apprenticeship program has also obtained USCG approval and the training program follows the guidelines of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) criteria for “Officer in Charge of Navigational Watch”.

“The OICNW apprentice program has the support of five major maritime employers and five national maritime unions,” said Anne Wetmore, Washington State Director for the Department of Labor. “Registered apprenticeship programs tend to be very successful because of the commitment from both employers and employees and also the quality and combination of on-the-job training and classroom instruction. The DOL has worked with the maritime community over the past two years to develop the OICNW program, and we’re still working on the development of the requirements that will allow high school and college, as well as job seekers wanting a career in the maritime industry a clear pathway into the program.”

For more info regarding Officer In Charge of Navigational Watch training at PMI, contact Gregg Trunnell at 206-719-2801 or via e-mail at gtrunnell@mates.org. You may also visit the PMI website at http://www.mates.org.


COLLECTIVE BARGAINING MAKES BIG DIFFERENCE FOR WORKERS

A new report by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) details the difference collective bargaining can make in workers’ lives. The report indicates that 88 percent of private-sector union workers have access to retirement benefits through their jobs, compared with only 56 percent of nonunion workers. Seventy-three percent of union workers have access to defined-benefit pension plans, compared with 16 percent of nonunion workers.

Among other things, 92 percent of union workers have access to job-based health care benefits, compared with 68 percent of nonunion workers. Seventy-three percent of union workers have access to job-provided dental care, 57 percent have vision care and 87 percent have prescription drug coverage, compared with 43 percent, 26 percent and 61 percent among nonunion workers, respectively. Nonunion workers’ required health insurance premiums were over $1,000 more per year than what union workers had to contribute, on average.

The report also disclosed that union workers also are more likely than nonunion workers to have access to job­based life insurance (65 percent vs. 50 percent) and short-term disability benefits (67 percent vs. 37 percent). Eighty-seven percent of union members have access to paid holidays and 86 percent had paid vacations, compared with 75 percent and 77 percent of nonunion workers, respectively. Fifty-eight percent of union workers are offered education benefits, compared with 48 percent of nonunion workers.


DRIVER OF SPEEDING CAR CRASHES THROUGH NY FERRY AND DROWNS

A speeding car being chased by Long Island police smashed through the security gates of New York’s Cross Sound Ferry on Sept.15. The car was traveling so fast that it shot through the 60-vehicle, 300-passenger ferry and flew into Long Island Sound where the driver drowned.

The incident happened at the culmination of a high-speed chase in which police pursued the car for 90 miles across Long Island’s heavily populated North Shore after the man attracted police attention by driving on the wrong side of the road and forcing other motorists off highways.

Approaching Orient Point, the 43-year old male driver crashed into a police vehicle and then drove through the US-flagged ferry Susan Anne, which had just discharged its vehicles and passengers from Connecticut. USCG units and county police recovered the man’s body from the water and the ferry resumed its itinerary between Orient Point and New London, CT. Police reported no other injuries in the incident and no damage to the vessel, which is owned and operated by Cross Sound Ferry Services.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

CLASS OPENINGS: Between now and the end of December 2005, seats are available in the following courses:


AIS – Automatic Identification System: 10/13, 12/15
ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 10/24, 12/5
AZIPOD – Azipod Propulsion System (2 day): 12/5

BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 10/11, 12/12
BST – Basic Safety Training: 10/31

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-CHS I – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 11/7
CMM-CHS II – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 11/14
CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display and Info Systems: 12/5
CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 10/24, 12/5
CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 11/14
CMM-SHS-ADV-II – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 11/28, 12/12
CMM-SHMGT I – Ship Management (week 1): 10/24, 12/12
CMM-SHMGT I I- Ship Management (week 2): 10/31
CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 10/17, 10/31
CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 10/10
CMM-WKP – Watchkeeping: 11/28

CONT-PLNG – Contingency Planning: 11/11, 12/2, 12/16

FF-BADV – (Combined) Basic and Advanced Firefighting: 10/26

HAZ-Hazardous Materials (5-day): 10/17, 11/14

MEDIA-RSP – Media Response: 11/10, 12/1
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 10/22, 12/10
MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 10/17, 10/31, 12/5
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 10/17, 10/31, 12/5


[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-SMA-R – Small Arms Re-Qualification (2-day): 11/4 (must have proof of passing all 3 weapons within 2 years)

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal (5-day): 11/28
ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 10/17, 10/24, 12/5, 12/10

SEC-OFF-VCF – Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 11/7, 11/28, 12/12
SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 10/24, 11/7

TRAC-TUG – Water Tractor and Azimuth Stern Drive Tugs (3-day): 12/8


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

PMI is offering a USCG Crew Endurance Management Coaches Seminar in Seattle from October 26-27 in addition to its regular course offerings listed below. This training is designed to provide commercial mariners the knowledge and skills to develop, deploy, and assess Crew Endurance Management Systems (CEMS) within their companies.

As a Crew Endurance Coach, the employee is critical to the success of CEMS implementation. Coaches provide education and guidance on the principles of light and sleep management, assist with changes to the work and rest environment, make recommendations on schedule changes, and help create personal endurance plans for each crewmember. Once successfully completing the training the Coach will have the necessary training to educate personnel on a vessel, and the processes and practices specific to the USCG Crew Endurance Management Program. The training session spans two full days and includes a written exam.

October 2005

10/10-12 Bridge Resource Management
10/10-10-14 Basic Safety Training
10/10-14 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
10/10-14 Emergency Shiphandling – 5 day
10/17-28 GMDSS
10/18-21 Lifeboat/Survival Craft
10/24-26 Ship Security Officer
10/24-28 ARPA
10/24 Radar Renewal
10/31 Flashing Light

November 2005

10/31-11/2 Medical Care Provider
10/31-11/11 Medical Person-In-Charge
11/7-11 TPIC
11/7-18 GMDSS
11/7-19 100 Ton OUPV
11/14-18 ECDIS
11/28-12/2 Radar Observer Unlimited
11/28-12/2 Emergency Shiphandling 5-day

December 2005

12/5-9 Medical Care Provider
12/5-9 ARPA
12/5-16 Basic Safety Training
12/5-16 GMDSS
12/5-16 Medical Person-In-Charge
12/13-16 Lifeboat/Survival Craft
12/19-21 Ship Security Officer
12/19-23 ARPA
12/19-23 Basic Shiphandling
12/26-30 Emergency Shiphandling 5-day

 

For registration call Jennifer Fowler 888-893-7829

PMI Merchandise for Sale: High quality with embroidered PMI logo. All prices include tax. Navy Caps: $18.00; Button Down Long Sleeve Dress Shirts Blue or Khaki: $38.00; Coming Soon: Navy, Burgundy, Khaki T-shirts, high quality thick Hanes shirt with pocket $22.00; 15 oz. Beautiful Cobalt Blue Ceramic Mug $10.Call DeeDee Lazik 206-838-8328 or e-mail dlazik@mates.org.


ABBREVIATED MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 10-05

 


 D O W  N A S D A Q  S & P 500
10,317.36 -235.42 for the week  2,103.02  -38.20 for the week  1,227.68  -31.29 for the week

 

Fund Name & Trading Symbol
Closing
Price
Change
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
110.26
-2.83
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
32.76
-.74
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
20.35
-.34
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
16.64
-.30
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
31.67
-.86
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.30
-.03
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX)
6.20
-.01
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.10
-.03
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
18.46
-.51
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
16.09
-.17
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
36.42
-.71
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
103.19
-2.52
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
22.55
-.68
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
76.06
-1.82
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
42.54
-1.09

 





~ 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:

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.

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

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.



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., 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.