News

Wheelhouse Weekly – October 08, 2007

October 8th 2007

 

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

Volume 11 . . . . . Number 40. . . .October 8, 2007

STORIES COVERED

Also

REMINDERS

T-AGS Oceanographic Survey Ships Info

Required Coursework

Security Clearances

MSC Physicals

MM&P FCU News

MM&P Health & Benefit Plan News

Meet Our New Prescription Benefit Manager, PHARMACARE

Notice to MM&P Health & Benefit Plan Participants

WWII USCG Veterans Outreach

Company Gives Bucks Back for buying Safe Shoes

Website Offers Union-Made Goods and Services




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


REMINDER: All MM&P Port Offices, MM&P Plans, the MM&P Federal Credit Union and MM&P Headquarters are closed on Monday, Oct. 8, for Columbus Day


TWIC ENROLLMENT BEGINS IN PORT OF WILMINGTON

Mariners, longshoremen, port employees and truckers can apply for the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) at the port of Wilmington, Del., starting Oct. 16. Mariners will not be required to carry a TWIC until Sept. 25, 2008, however. MM&P is advocating that mariners be given even more time to comply because of the Transportation Security Administration’s lengthy delays in rolling out the program.

Workers can pre-enroll for the TWIC starting Oct. 9 by logging on to the TSA website. TSA has also announced that 11 ports will be open for enrollment in November, starting with Corpus Christi, Texas.

The cost of obtaining a standard TWIC has been lowered by five dollars, to $132.50. The fee includes the cost of what TSA calls “threat assessment,” program management, card production and issuance. Under the final rule, workers with current, comparable background checks, such as those conducted for a merchant mariner’s document, or a hazardous materials endorsement on a commercial driver’s license, will be charged a discounted fee of $105.25.

The House Committee on Homeland Security will hold a hearing on TWIC on Oct. 18.


EX-NTSB CHIEF BLASTS AGENCY FOR FLAWED MARINE REPORTS

A former high-level employee of the National Transportation Safety Board’s Office of Marine Safety (OMS) has questioned the value of NTSB’s recent marine accident investigations, arguing that the three OMS reports issued by the agency in 2007 are “sketchy, the analyses are weak and in some cases erroneous, and the recommendations are superficial.” Donald Tyrrell, who retired from the agency in 2004 after 25 years of service, made the statements in an Aug. 14 letter to the NTSB Chairman and its three members.

“These reports are among the worst I have ever read,” wrote Tyrrell, who served at OMS as group chairman, investigator-in-charge, division chief and National Resource Specialist. “If the quality of marine accident reports continues in this vein, it will not be long before the good reputation that the Safety Board enjoys with the marine industry, the Congress, and the public at large will be destroyed.” 

The three reports issued by OMS in 2007 were: Fire on Board the MV MASSACHUSETTS, Boston Harbor, Mass., June 12, 2006; Grounding of the Hong Kong containership NEW DELHI EXPRESS, New York Harbor, April 15, 2006; and Fire Aboard Construction Barge ATHENA 106, West Cote Blanche Bay, La., Oct. 12, 2006.

In his letter, Tyrrell outlined concerns about each of the reports. He said that in some cases, the NTSB’s recommendations were based on misrepresentations of events that took place leading up to the accidents. As an example, he cites the NTSB’s assertion that the docking pilot aboard the NEW DELHI EXPRESS didn’t use all available resources to determine vessel position. The report warns mariners to “not rely completely upon the position or operation of buoys.” But conversations on voice data recorders show the docking pilot repeatedly consulted tug masters for their advice on reference points and on the vessel’s progress through the water. “The Coast Guard placed buoy 14 in the wrong location,” he concludes. “While the out-of-position buoy may not have been the cause of this grounding, it was certainly a contributing factor.”

In other cases, the reports lacked necessary information that could shed light on the cause of the accidents. Post accident testing for alcohol, for instance, was never performed on the crew of the MASSACHUSETTS, although law enforcement officers authorized and trained to conduct alcohol breath testing were on board vessels at the scene. Tyrrell points out that the report does not contain any information regarding why the officers present did not subject the master and crew to breath tests.

Tyrrell said he hoped that “whatever problems reside in OMS may be quickly corrected and the quality of marine accident reports will return to an acceptable level.”



MM&P SEEKING RESUMES FOR LMSR BIDS

MM&P-contracted companies are submitting bids for the Watson Class LMSR contract.  Resumes are requested from members who have LMSR and/or government contract service. For further information and resume format, please contact MM&P Agent-Pacific Ports Dave Boatner via e-mail at dboatner@bridgedeck.org. Members are reminded that submission of resumes to non-MM&P employers disadvantages our contracted companies and reduces the possibility of acquiring new MM&P jobs. Such actions violate a member’s duty to MM&P under our constitution.


MM&P PARTICIPATES IN IMO MARITIME SAFETY COMMITTEE MEETING

MM&P Pilot Group Vice President George Quick and Executive Assistant to the President Mike Rodriguez are participating in meetings of the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC).  The two are part of the delegation representing the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF). MSC is the parent committee for several of the subcommittees that have worked on matters of importance to MM&P members, such as: manning levels, fair treatment of seafarers during accident investigations, guidelines for ships and coastal authorities in an emergency, and the review of STCW.  The work done by MSC will become part of the conventions that govern international shipping.


SSS JOHN BROWN CRUISE WILL HONOR VETERANS

The SS JOHN BROWN, a 65-year-old World War II wartime troop/cargo ship, will honor veterans during a Saturday, Nov. 10, cruise of Baltimore Harbor. The program includes self-guided tours, historical narration, a memorial service for veterans, music, snacks and entertainment.

The ship leaves North Locust Point, Baltimore, at 10 a.m. She will sail under the Francis Scott Key outer harbor bridge, turn around and return to the dock by 12:30. The ship will remain open for visits at the pier for several hours before returning to her home base across the harbor at Pier One, Clinton Street, Canton, East Baltimore. Honored guests for the cruise will be four Gold Star Mothers who lost children in wars and four former prisoners of war. Julie Nelson, deputy administrator of the Maritime Administration (MARAD), will speak. Nelson served on active and reserve duty in the U.S. Navy before joining MARAD in 2005.

The deadline for registering for the cruise is Oct. 31. The cost is $20 for two (veteran and a companion). To make a reservation, call 410-558-0164 as soon as possible and ask that a form be mailed to you. Or you can visit the PLS website at www.liberty-ship.com and download a form. Your reservation is only complete when your form, check or money order have been received at Project Liberty Ship, P.O. Box 25846, Highlandtown Station, Baltimore, MD 21224-0546. Checks should be made payable to Project Liberty Ship.


NATIONAL MARITIME CENTER RELOCATES, PUBLISHES PERFORMANCE STATISTICS

The U.S. Coast Guard National Maritime Center (NMC) has moved from Arlington, Va., to temporary offices in West Virginia. The agency, which handles merchant mariner licensing and documentation, plans to move to its new permanent office in Martinsburg, W. Va., in December. NMC’s temporary address is:

USCG National Maritime Center
130 East Burr Boulevard
Kearneysville, WV 25430
Tel:    (304) 728-9100
Fax:    (304) 728-7373

The Coast Guard also announced that its customer service numbers for Los Angeles-Long Beach have changed. The new number for licensing is (310) 521- 3800.

In related news, NMC:

  • released statistics showing that, since June 2007, average license processing time has decreased by 17 percent;
  • posted a “fillable” license application form (Form 719B) on its website. Mariners can complete and submit the form electronically. They will still be required, however, to forward a signed, dated copy of the form to their Regional Examination Center. For additional information, go to http://homeport.uscg.mil.

  • MM&P-CREWED USNS SAFEGUARD JOINS MILITARY SEALIFT COMMAND

    MM&P licensed deck officers boarded the Navy rescue and salvage ship SAFEGUARD on Sept. 26, after the vessel was decommissioned and transferred to Military Sealift Command (MSC). Following the transfer, the ship assumed the designator United States Naval Ship (USNS).  The 26-member crew boarded the vessel after a ceremony in Sasebo, Japan. SAFEGUARD will remain in Sasebo, where it will continue to provide vital support to the Navy’s 7th Fleet. The ship’s mission is to salvage stranded vessels, conduct rescue and assistance operations, recover submerged objects and carry out manned diving operations. A four-person military detachment of Navy sailors and up to 20 Navy divers will join the crew. SAFEGUARD is the fourth and final Navy rescue and salvage ship to be transferred to MSC, joining the MM&P-crewed USNS GRAPPLE, GRASP and SALVOR.


    SENATE BILL WOULD ROLL BACK PENTAGON’S AUTHORITY TO ADVANCE PERSONNEL OVERHAUL

    The Senate voted 92-3 on Oct. 1 in favor of the Fiscal Year 2008 Defense Authorization Bill, which includes language that would fundamentally reform the Pentagon’s controversial National Security Personnel System (NSPS). The bill would repeal the Pentagon’s authority to implement the labor relations portion of NSPS. A bill passed by the House of Representatives would go further, in that, among other measures, it would require the department to consider input from labor unions. MM&P members and other civilian mariners are excluded from the human resource and appeals provisions of NSPS, but not from the labor relations provisions. The bills are now headed to a conference committee, where members of Congress will hammer out the differences.


    MM&P MAGAZINE NOW ONLINE

    The September-October issue of The Master, Mate & Pilot will arrive in your mailbox soon. In the meantime, look for it online on www.bridgedeck.org.  In this issue of The Master, Mate & Pilot:

  • Maersk enhances Middle East service with addition of three newly reflagged vessels: MONTANA, OHIO and IOWA;
  • Washington State Ferries Captain Mike Murray is new head of MM&P’s United Inland Group;
  • MM&P advocates for members’ interests during three congressional hearings.
  • To download the magazine, go to , click on “MM&P Magazine” and then on “Download Current Issue.”


    MARAD ISSUES STATEMENT ON IMPORTANCE OF U.S. SHIPBUILDING INDUSTRY

    The Maritime Administration (MARAD) has posted on its website a statement that underlines the important role played by America’s shipyards in the construction and maintenance of the U.S. fleet. Between 2000 and 2005, a total of $2.336 billion was invested in the domestic shipbuilding industry, MARAD says. It called the commercial shipbuilding and ship repair industry “a pillar of the American skilled labor workforce which employs nearly 40,000 people.”

    The release cited Aker Philadelphia as a recent success story, “Not too long ago, the land where Aker now stands was a closed U.S. Navy shipyard,” MARAD said. “Today Aker is scheduled to deliver six vessels with a combined value of $700 million, and has a backlog of up to another 11 vessels worth in excess of $1 billion. The shipyard went from zero jobs in 1997 to a workforce of over 1,300 employees today.”

    The agency cited the shift in production to a new generation of ships, such as articulated double-hull tank barge units (ATBs) and dual propulsion double-hull crude carriers. MARAD took the opportunity to promote its short sea shipping initiative, dubbed “America’s Marine Highway,” which it predicts will further strengthen the industry, encourage innovation and generate new jobs.


    FRENCH VESSELS TO PROTECT FOOD AID SHIPS IN SOMALI WATERS

    France has offered to deploy its naval vessels to protect United Nations (UN) World Food Program (WFP) ships in Somali waters from pirate attack. According to a WFP press release, “Some 80 percent of WFP food assistance for Somalia moves by sea, and pirate attacks have threatened to cut WFP’s main supply route, jeopardizing rations for the 1.2 million people WFP expects to be feeding by the end of 2007.”

    International monitors report 17 pirate attacks on ships in waters off Somalia in the first half of 2007.

    “We are grateful to the Government of France for this generous offer, which would reduce the threat of piracy and allow WFP to feed more hungry people in Somalia,” said a spokeswoman for WFP. Under the protection plan, for a two-month period, French naval vessels will escort ships carrying WFP food assistance to the entrance of Mogadishu port.


    DRUG AND ALCOHOL TESTING CLASS AT PMI IN NOVEMBER

    A “MED-DOT” class will be held at the Pacific Maritime Institute (PMI) in Seattle on Friday, Nov. 16.  The course fulfills the federal requirements for initial training and “refresher” training for drug and alcohol testing aboard ship. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations require that refresher training be completed every five years. Interested members should contact the Seattle Hall at (206) 441-8700, or by e-mail: kmoran@bridgedeck.org.


    MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

    LAST CHANCE TO RENEW YOUR MSC COURSES IN 2007.  Openings are available in late October for Small Arms & Small Arms Renewal, Damage Control and CBRD-1.  See dates below.
    and remember: If you can’t make the class, make the call.  Be courteous, don’t be a “no show”.

    CLASS OPENINGS: Between now and the end of December 2007, seats are available in the following courses:

    AIS – Automatic Identification System: 11/30
    ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 11/12

    BRMP � Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 10/17, 12/11
    BST � Basic Safety Training: 12/17

    [CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
    CMM-ADVWX � Advanced Meteorology: 12/15
    CMM-CHS I � Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 11/26
    CMM-CHS II � Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 12/4
    CMM-ECDIS � Electronic Chart and Display Information System: 12/10
    CMM-MPP � Marine Propulsion Plants: 12/17
    CMM-SHS-ADV-I-Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 11/5, 11/26, 12/10
    CMM-SHS-ADV-II-Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 12/3, 12/17
    CMM-SHMGT-I � Ship Management (week 1): 10/15, 12/3
    CMM-SHMGT-II� Ship Management (week 2): 12/10
    CMM-WKP � Advanced Watchkeeping: 10/22, 12/17

    CSE-AAES � Confined Space Entry, Atmospheric Analysis of Enclosed Spaces: 11/5

    FF-BADV � Combined Basic & Advanced Fire Fighting: 12/17

    HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5-day): 11/5

    MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 11/10
    MED-PRO � Medical Care Provider: 11/5
    MEDIA RSP � Media Response: 11/29

    [MSC – Military Sealift Command]
    MSC-CBRD-1 � CBRD Orientation: 10/28
    MSC-DC � Damage Control: 10/26
    MSC-SMA – Small Arms Training: 10/22
    MSC-SMA-R – Small Arms Re-Qualification (2-day): 10/26 (must have proof of passing all 3 weapons within 2 years)

    ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 11/5, 11/12, 12/10
    ROP-5 � Radar Observer Unlimited (Original/Renewal): 11/5

    SEC-VCF � Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 11/26
    SHS-EMR5 � Emergency Shiphandling: 10/22

    Check the MITAGS website at www.mitags.org for course descriptions associated with the course title abbreviations, and schedule revisions. For class availability or info on MITAGS courses and programs, contact admissions toll-free at 866-656-5568 or Email: admissions@mitags.org.


    PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

    Fall – Winter 2007

    Due to the high demand for this program, PMI has now scheduled another that is already close to full enrollment for its 2007-start date. See the PMI Web site at www.mates.org for more info on this new development.

    FOR REGISTRATION CALL JENNIFER FOWLER: 206 838-1126

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

    October 2007
    15-19  ECDIS           
    15-19  MED PRO
    15-26  MED PIC
    17-19  SEC VCF
    15-19  BAFF
    22        FL
    23-24 SHS ASSESS
    25-26 SHS ASSESS
    29-2    TPIC
    29-9    SHS ADV

    November 2007
    5-16    SHS ADV
    6-9      LFBT
    13        ROR
    12-16  BST
    12-16  AB
    13-15  SEC VCF
    26-7    GMDSS
    26-30 ROP
    26-30 MED PRO
    26-30 SHS BAS

    December 2007
    3-7      ARPA
    3-7      SHS EM5
    3-7      BAFF
    3-14    CNAV
    4-7      LFBT
    11        ROR   
    10-14  BST
    10-14  AB
    17-21  ENAV
    17-19  SEC VCF
    17-21  ARPA
    17-21  TPIC
    17-21  SHS BAS

    For registration call Jennifer Fowler 888-893-7829

    PMI MERCHANDISE FOR SALE!!!

    High-quality clothing embroidered with the NEW PMI logo! We can ship these items also! Acceptable forms of payment are check, credit card, money order and exact cash. Call Laura Bendixen at 888-893-7829 for prices and to order. If we don’t have your size, we’ll be glad to special order for you at no extra cost.


    MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 10-5-2007

    D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
    14,066.01 2,780.32 1,557.59
    Fund Name & Trading Symbol
     Closing
    Price
     Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
    70.56
     Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
    143.53
     Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
    43.50
     Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
    28.42
     Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
    21.91
     Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
    38.30
     Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
    10.15
     Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
    33.92
     Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
    6.09
     Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
    17.51
     Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
    26.45
     Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
    14.34
     Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
    22.09
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
    12.42
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
    13.69
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
    14.52
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
    15.58
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
    16.08
     Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
    9.96
     Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
    37.63
     Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
    22.40
     Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
    17.20
     Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
    31.11
     Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
    10.14
     Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
    101.26
     Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
    23.83
     Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
    90.81
     Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
    25.73
     Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
    46.57
     Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
    43.81
     Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
    32.64
     Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
    11.72
     Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
    12.98
     Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
    15.60
     Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
    16.82
     Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
    17.59
     Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
    10.44
     Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
    12.18
     Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
    10.30
     Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
    42.56
     Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
    55.15
     Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
    35.83






    ~ Reminders ~




     

    T-AGS OCEANOGRAPHIC SURVEY SHIPS MANNING REQUIREMENTS

    REQUIRED COURSEWORK

    All MM&P members are reminded that to sail aboard the T-AGS ships that MM&P-contracted Horizon Lines will be operating, you must have the required training certification and your certificates must be current in accordance with Military Sealift Command requirements. Members are also required to have had a MSC pre-employment physical and to possess Ship Security Clearance (see below).

    The MSC Contract calls for all training certificates required for manning of these vessels to be no older than 5 years and that all STCW-95 courses be renewed every 5 years, or annually, as applicable.

    Five-year renewable courses include, but are not limited to:

    • Advanced Fire Fighting
    • Basic Safety Training, and
    • Damage Control

    Small Arms certificates must be less than 1 year old and MUST NOT expire during your tour of duty.

    Members interested in applying for one of the positions onboard the T-AGS vessels are advised to make sure your certificates are up to date. If not, contact Mary Matlock or Diane Ford at MITAGS Admissions, email: admissions@mitags.org, and schedule to take the course(s) needed.

    Those MM&P members interested in obtaining more information and facts about the T-AGS Oceanographic Vessels are asked to email the Director of Special Projects requesting the “facts sheet”. It will be provided by return email in an Adobe Acrobat PDF format.

    Members interested in employment on the T-AGS ships are asked to provide a 1-2 page resume. Please list the desired position you are seeking along with the certificates of training you possess and their dates. Upon receipt it will be forwarded to Horizon Lines and a confirmation sent back to the member. Vessel turnover commenced Oct.17, 2004. Positions for all ratings remain open.

    The point of contact for sending a resume for employment on the Horizon Lines T-AGS Oceanographic Vessels is Richard Plant, MM&P’s Director of Special Projects. Send resumes in an email or as a Word file attachment to him at: rplant@bridgedeck.org, by fax to 410-850-0973 or by mail to:

    Richard Plant, Director of Special Projects

    IOMM&P
    700 Maritime Blvd.
    Linthicum Heights, MD 21090



    SHIP SECURITY CLEARANCE NEEDED

    Members who want to sail for Horizon Lines on the T-AGS Oceanographic Survey vessels the company is set to begin operating for MSC must have Ship Security Clearance before going aboard.

    Special software must be downloaded from the US Government’s Defense Security Service to complete the Security Clearance application. You must have an Internet connection and a Windows-based computer to retrieve the application and run the program.

    Go to https://sclient.dss.mil/download/w9xfull.htm to download the software titled “EPSQ SUBJECT2_2”.

    After the software is installed and the program is launched, select “Create” from the menu bar at the top of the screen. You will be required to enter your Social Security Number and a case-sensitive password. A window titled “Type of Form” will appear.

    All Deck Officers should select the first button titled “Request for Security Clearance (SF86)” and then click “OK” to go to the next screen, “Type of Investigation”.

    From the “Type of Investigation” screen:

    • Masters and Radio Officers should select the first button, “Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI)”.
    • All other Deck Officers (C/M, 2/M, 3/M) should click on the second button, “National Agency Check (NAC or NACLC)”.

    After selecting the appropriate investigation type, click on “OK” to begin filling in the forms.



    MSC PHYSICALS

    Horizon Lines requests all mariners seeking employment aboard the T-AGS Oceanographic vessels to take their MSC Physical at specially-designated facilities only after being advised to do so by the Company. This is to assure that all requirements of the MSC Physical are properly met.


    MM&P FCU NEWS

    GET NEW WHEELS OR LOWER EXISTING PAYMENTS WITH MM&P FCU VEHICLE FINANCING

    Is it time to replace that car you’re driving? Vehicle loan rates are looking great at MM&P FCU.

    Drive away in a new or used vehicle for a standard loan rate of:

    6.50 percent for terms up to 24 months.
    Standard loan rates for longer-term loans are:

    6.75 percent for 25-48 months;
    7.50 percent for 49-60 months ($20,000 minimum); and
    8.00 percent for terms extending from 61-72 months ($25,000 minimum).
    You can lower your loan rate even more — by 0.75 percent — by becoming a Preferred Borrower.

    Are you paying a higher rate on your current vehicle loan at another institution? Consider refinancing your outside loan at the MM&P FCU and taking advantage of our lower loan rates.

    MM&P FCU will finance up to 100 percent of your new vehicle loan, and up to 90 percent of NADA Book Value on a used vehicle. Maximum vehicle loan amount is $30,000.

    PREFERRED BORROWERS GET LOWER LOAN RATES
    MM&P FCU members can reduce the interest rate they pay on any new loan even further by becoming a preferred borrower. What is a preferred borrower? That’s a member who deposits at least 10 percent of the original loan amount into their MM&P FCU savings account and keeps those funds on deposit until the loan is paid in full. By doing this you save twice – first, your deposit works for you by earning our regular dividend savings rate, and second, you save money by reducing the interest rate on your loan by 0.75 percent.

    Contact the MM&P FCU for full details on all loan programs by email to mmpfcu@bridgedeck.org or call 1-800-382-7777 toll-free.



     

    MM&P HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN NEWS

    MEET OUR NEW PRESCRIPTION BENEFIT MANAGER, PHARMACARE

    As you know, effective July 1, 2007, MM&P will have a new Prescription Benefit Manager, PharmaCare. If you use the mail service and have not sent your Confidential Mail Service Enrollment Form to the MM&P Plan Office, you have until June 30 to do so. Otherwise, you can call PharmaCare’s customer service line and give them the information over the telephone or send the form with your first new mail prescription directly to PharmaCare. In the next couple of days, you will be receiving a letter with your new MM&P identification cards and a prescription booklet with information on how to obtain your prescriptions. PharmaCare’s customer service number is listed in the booklet. If you have any questions, please contact the MM&P Health & Benefit Plan Advisors.



    NOTICE TO MM&P HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN PARTICIPANTS

    As you know, MM&P Health & Benefit Plan members have a new prescription benefit manager, PharmaCare. When you first obtain a prescription at your retail drug store, please show your new Health & Benefit Identification Card with PharmaCare’s information. If you do not show your card, please inform your pharmacist of the following information so you can receive your prescriptions through the Plan. Your identification number HAS NOT CHANGED. Please provide the pharmacist with your full member identification number. You will have to also provide the following numbers. RxGrp#- Z50136968, RxBin: 610468 and RxPCN: PC2 

    If your pharmacist has any questions, he or she should call PharmaCare directly at (800) 503-3241.  If you have any questions, PharmaCare members can call the company directly at (888) 364-6815.



    WWII USCG VETERANS OUTREACH

    The U.S. Coast Guard has announced an initiative to identify and collect the oral histories of its World War II veterans. Coast Guard WWII veterans, including SPARS and merchant mariners, are encouraged to record their histories online with the Library of Congress Veterans History Project at www.loc.gov/folklife/vets.

    Those veterans needing assistance in recording their stories can receive help from their local Coast Guard Auxiliary public affairs contact by leaving a message at 1-877-875-6296, a toll-free call.



     

    COMPANY GIVES BUCKS BACK FOR BUYING SAFE SHOES

    LMS Ship Management, the company that manages vessels for Central Gulf, Sulphur Carriers and Waterman Steamship, wants to remind MM&P members that they offer their crewmembers a $75 reimbursement on the cost of purchasing certain slip-resistant shoes and boots for use aboard ship.

    This offer has been in place for some time and LMS reports that “we have been pleased with the participation to date, but feel a reminder may be in order.” Their goal is for every crewmember to wear slip resistant footwear during working hours aboard their vessels.

    The $75 reimbursement is available to each crewmember who provides LMS with an original receipt for the purchase of slip resistant footwear. In order for the crewmember to obtain the reimbursement, they must wear the shoes while on duty. Upon presentation of the receipt, the crewmember will be reimbursed on their pay voucher. The receipt will be retained by the Master and will remain aboard the vessel.
     

    Vessels in the LMS footwear reimbursement program are:

    • Green Cove
    • Green Dale
    • Green Lake
    • Green Point
    • Atlantic Forest
    • Sulphur Enterprise
    • Energy Enterprise
    • SGT Matej C. Kocak
    • MAJ Stephen W. Pless, and
    • PFC Eugene A. Obregon

    LMS notes that in order to receive reimbursement, crewmembers must purchase one of the following recommended brands:

    • WORX by Red Wing Slip Resistant Footwear
    • Caterpillar (must have steel toe & slip resistant sole)
    • Wolverine (must have steel toe and slip resistant sole)
    • Dunham Sierra Work Boot EH
    • Steel Toe Voyager
    • Georgia Boot 6- or 8-inch Safety Toe Boot
    • Dr. Marten’s (must have steel toe & slip resistant sole)

    LOOK FOR THE UNION LABEL:

    Of the boots listed above, Red Wing, Caterpillar and Wolverine boots are produced by US union labor.

    Redwing’s Union-made products are: Red Wing shoes and boots, Red Wing motorcycle boots and Craftsman (Sears).

    Wolverine World Wide manufactures boots under the Caterpillar brand using US union labor. (Other union made safety-shoe brands by Wolverine are the company’s Hy-Test, Durashock and Bates Military labels. The company’s Wolverine brand combat boots are also produced using US union labor.)

    Most Dr. Marten’s shoes and boots are produced in the UK.

    To find US, union-made products, visit the AFL-CIO Union Label Service and Trades website at www.unionlabel.org and click on “Union Made Product Search”. To shop for union-made products online, go to www.ShopUnionMade.org.



     

    WEBSITE OFFERS UNION-MADE GOODS AND SERVICES

    The Union Label recently went digital with a new website offering shoppers an array of union-made gifts, from clothing and chocolates to computers, games and greeting cards.

    The website, www.shopunionmade.org, launches on the eve of the fall and winter holidays, when shoppers will spend an estimated $1 trillion on gifts, food, drinks and other seasonal items, explained Matt Bates, Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO Union Label & Service Trades Department. The all-union shopping site, however, will be a year-round operation because that is what consumers demand, he added.

    “Shoppers spent $56 billion in Internet sales last year, and on-line spending is doubling every two to three years. Everyday we receive Email and calls from people who want to support good jobs by buying union-made goods and services. The website will reach millions of people, 24 hours a day, with a quick convenient way to shop union,” Bates said.

    “The public is ready for this. People have seen millions of good jobs disappear and they are looking for ways to take a stand and make a difference,” he added.

    The AFL-CIO will target the peak of the holiday shopping season by promoting “Buy Union Week” Nov. 26 through Dec. 5. The newly-launched, all-union shopping site will be a cornerstone of that campaign. MM&P has a link to the Shop Union Site on this website under “Links and Other Sources”.



    The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 700 Maritime Blvd. Suite B, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1953. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: iommp@bridgedeck.org. For further info or to subscribe contact Lisa Rosenthal at lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org. The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea and is posted on our web page.

    C 2007, International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots. All the material contained in this publication is protected by copyright. For permission to reprint text from the Weekly, contact the MM&P Communications Department: lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org. For changes of address, contact Lisa Rosenthal at lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org.

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