News

Wheelhouse Weekly – October 12, 2009

October 12th 2009

 

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

Volume 13 . . . . . Number 41. . . . October 12, 2009

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.


COAST GUARD TAKES A STAND ON SEAFARERS’ RIGHT TO SHORE ACCESS

The Coast Guard has instructed its Captains of the Port to ensure that the security plans of terminals and port facilities under their jurisdiction include “appropriate provision” for seafarers’ shore access. The reminder came in the form of an ALCOAST internal directive.

In the directive, the agency revealed that it is in the process of evaluating whether new regulations are needed to ensure that terminal security plans give crewmembers access to shore for leave and crew change. 

For several years, MM&P and other maritime unions, both in the United States and internationally, have been protesting limits placed by some terminals and port facilities on seafarers’ access to shore. Such limits are in contravention of the ISPS Code, to which the United States is a signatory, and guidance issued by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in MSC/Circ. 1112.

Last week’s ALCOAST directive “applauds local Captains of the Port for working closely with stakeholders on seafarer access issues.” It adds, however, that “despite your best efforts, there are still cases where seafarer access through a facility is outright denied for shore leave or crew change.” The ALCOAST points out that the situation is sometimes exacerbated by requirements put in place by facility or vessel owners or operators that require seafarers to pay for authorized escorts.

The ALCOAST specifies that the Coast Guard is continuing “to move forward on several fronts in an effort to further facilitate seafarer access nationwide…” In particular, it points out that a recent legal opinion has determined the Coast Guard has the authority to mandate that the facilities it regulates provide reasonable access.

As an immediate first step, the ALCOAST says Captains of the Port should seize the opportunity offered by the five-year review process for facility security plans to ensure that each plan “clearly defines” the requirement outlined in the regulation for facilitation of seafarer access.

The ALCOAST directive says that “facility security plans that indicate that all mariner access will be denied should not be approved,” and that in cases in which a plan has already been approved and an annual inspection or spot check uncovers a bar on seafarer access, the port facility in question should be required to amend its plan.

Captains of the Port are requested to notify Coast Guard headquarters via the chain of command of specific facilities that continue to deny access to seafarers, charge exorbitant fees, greatly limit the hours of access or institute other overly restrictive policies that discourage or refuse access.

MM&P International President Tim Brown said he applauds this new direction taken by the Coast Guard in that it acknowledges the human rights of seafarers contained in the ISPS Code and IMO policy guidance. “This could be a major step forward in the relationship between the Coast Guard and the seagoing maritime community,” he said.

The Coast Guard has established a “seafarer access community” on its Homeport site and encourages maritime industry stakeholders to blog about their experiences on the GCaptain site, at http://gcaptain.com/. We urge members who continue to experience problems to inform the Coast Guard through their website with a copy to MM&P headquarters, communications@bridgedeck.org.


CONGRESS MOVES TO REPEAL PENTAGON’S CONTROVERSIAL PAY-FOR-PERFORMANCE SYSTEM

A House-Senate Conference Committee working on the 2010 Defense appropriations bill has repealed the National Security Personnel System (NSPS), the controversial program introduced by the Bush Administration that denied collective bargaining rights to covered employees. MM&P was part of a labor union coalition that fought against NSPS for six years. The action by the Congressional conference committee mandates the return of all NSPS employees to their previous pay system by Jan. 1, 2012.

Six years ago, Congress approved the concept of NSPS as a way to convert most DOD civilian employees to a performance-based personnel management system. Critics charged that the Bush Administration overstepped the intent of Congress. Unions representing federal employees went to court a number of times to stop implementation of parts of NSPS. MM&P members and other civilian mariners were excluded from the human resource and appeals provisions of NSPS, but not from the labor relations provisions.

“I am pleased that my fellow Armed Services conferees agreed that it is time to end this short-sighted policy, which threatens the rights and protections of the DOD civilian work force,” commented Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii). “Employees throughout the federal government, especially those charged with defending the nation, deserve a fair personnel system. I believe this agreement will more appropriately protect DOD employee rights while giving DOD the additional performance management and hiring flexibility it needs.”

Under the new conference committee agreement, the Secretary of Defense would have to begin returning the 200,000 Defense employees covered by NSPS to their previous pay system within six months of the law’s enactment.


RELEASE OF NEW COAST GUARD MERCHANT MARINER MEDICAL EVALUATION FORMS DELAYED

The Coast Guard says it is delaying release of the new versions of forms CG-719 K (Merchant Mariner Credential Medical Evaluation Report) and CG-719 K/E (Merchant Mariner Evaluation of Fitness for Entry Level Ratings). [All officers will use the CG-719 K form; mariners seeking an entry-level credential (ordinary seaman, wiper or steward’s department) will use CG-719 K/E.] The agency now says the new forms will be available by Nov. 1. Mariners can choose to use the new forms when they become available. They can continue using the current four-page form until Dec. 31, after which the new forms will be mandatory. The Coast Guard says that the new forms will be considerably longer and more complex than the current forms. It plans to conduct an informational campaign to reduce confusion over changes.


FRENCH, BELGIAN AND SPANISH MILITARY FORCES CLASH WITH PIRATES

French, Belgian and Spanish military forces have arrested several groups of Somali pirates. In the first incident, during the early morning hours of Oct. 2, the Spanish tuna fishing vessel ALAKRANA was hijacked some 360 nautical miles off the east coast of Somalia. Late in the evening of Oct. 3, two suspected pirates who were part of the group that had hijacked the fishing vessel the day before were arrested by the Spanish warship CANARIAS after they had left the ALAKRANA with a small boat. During the arrest, one of the pirates was slightly injured.

On the morning of Oct. 3, while conducting a patrol in the Gulf of Aden, the Belgian warship LOUISE-MARIE intercepted a distress call from a merchant vessel transiting in the gulf which reported a skiff approaching to 300 meters. A helicopter from LOUISE-MARIE was immediately launched to investigate. When it arrived on the scene, the skiff took off at great speed. The helicopter crew fired two bursts of warning shots with their on-board machine gun. The skiff then stopped and was boarded for a search. Although no weapons or ladders were found, 13 fuel drums were discovered. The skiff’s crew stated that they were fisherman but no fishing material was found. They were warned about high speed approaches to merchant vessels and then released.

In another incident, early on the morning of Oct. 7, pirates attempted an attack on the French navy flagship LA SOMME after mistaking it for a cargo vessel. The pirates, who were on two vessels, opened fire on LA SOMME with rifles and then tried to flee once they had realized their mistake. French naval forces pursued them for over an hour, before capturing five pirates aboard one of the skiffs. The second pirate skiff escaped. LA SOMME is in the Indian Ocean overseeing French air, sea and land forces. At the time of the attack, it was operating 250 nautical miles off the Somali coast, on its way to resupply fuel to ships patrolling shipping lanes as part of the European Union’s Operation Atalanta anti-piracy mission

In related news, the authorities have reported that the bulk carrier MV HORIZON 1 was released on Oct. 5. The Turkish-flagged ship, with 23 crewmembers aboard, had been hijacked July 8 in the Gulf of Aden while on its way from Saudi Arabia to Jordan.


MM&P OFFICERS TO BE HONORED NOV. 13 BY UNITED SEAMEN’S SERVICE

The officers and crews of five American ships and an MM&P member who extinguished a fire will be honored for heroism by United Seamen’s Service at the 40th annual Admiral of the Ocean Sea (AOTOS) awards ceremony on Nov. 13. The Coast Guard will also receive a special award at the event. Awards will go to the officers and crew of MAERSK ALABAMA for fighting off a dramatic pirate attack in April. The officers who will be honored for heroism in relation to the attack are Captain Richard Phillips, Chief Mate Shane Murphy and Third Mate Colin Wright, all of whom are members of MM&P, along with Second Mate Ken Quinn, who is a member of the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association. The seafarer who will receive a Mariners’ Rosette is MM&P member Victor Manoli III. The event will be held at the New York Sheraton Hotel and Towers.


OCT. 25 PORT OF BALTIMORE DOCUMENTARY PREMIERE OPEN TO PUBLIC

The Baltimore Museum of Industry (BMI) invites the public to the premiere of “The Port That Built a City and State,” a 60th anniversary documentary video about Baltimore’s historic, long-running maritime TV series. The premiere takes place in the museum on Sunday, Oct. 25, from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. The documentary was created from over 150 hours of film that has been in storage in the BMI archives and has not been seen by the public since the program’s final broadcast in 1965. A grant from the Port Tricentennial Committee in 2007 made the documentary possible. The documentary will be offered to the public in the form of a DVD.

As part of this project, veteran Maryland broadcaster Alan Walden interviewed the Honorable Helen Delich Bentley about her historic TV series. The interview touches on the highlights of the15 years that Bentley and her film crew produced weekly stories on the port, its people, its influences and the needs and issues of the day. Various topics from the interview are seen on the DVD including the Old Bay Line, Domino Sugar, tugboats, bay pilots, the frigate CONSTELLATION, the B&O Railroad, A. Aubrey Bodine, the Harbor Tunnel, Bethlehem Steel, Liberty Ships and the creation of the Port Authority and more. The event is free to the public. Refreshments will be served. Reservations should be made by contacting Gena Morris at 410-727-4808 ext. 132 or gmorris@thebmi.org. For more information contact Lori Finkelstein at 410-727-4808 ext. 132 or lfinkelstein@thebmi.org.


SHIP OPERATIONS COOP (SOCP) MEETING AT MITAGS NOV. 10-11

The next meeting of the Ship Operations Cooperative Program (SOCP), on the topic of air emissions, will be held at MM&P’s training institute, MITAGS, in Linthicum, Md. The meeting will be held Nov. 10-11. Among the invited speakers are Cole Cosgrove of Crowley Liner Services, Acting/Deputy U.S. Maritime Administrator David Matsuda and former Maritime Administrator Sean Connaughton, who is now with the American Bureau of Shipping. Among the specific topics to be discussed are diesel emissions reduction technology, incentives and funding.


WOMEN ON THE WATER CONFERENCE OCT. 15-17 IN MAINE

The Maritime Administration is encouraging everyone interested in the maritime industry to attend its 3rd annual “Women on the Water” conference at Maine Maritime Academy Oct. 15 to 17. The event brings midshipmen and cadets attending America’s maritime academies together with successful members of the maritime industry to discuss current issues. This year’s conference will address topics that include piracy, fatigue, health and criminalization.  You can register online at http://wow.mma.edu or by calling Rhonda Varney in the Conferences Department at Maine Maritime Academy, (207) 326-2283.  


LIBERTY SHIP CRUISE FOR VETERANS AND ACTIVE DUTY PERSONNEL

On Saturday, Nov. 7, the Liberty Ship SS JOHN W. BROWN will set sail from the Port of Baltimore on the Kings Point Chesapeake Veterans Day Commemoration Cruise. The vessel departs at 10 a.m. Only veterans and active duty personnel and their guests are invited to participate. Please visit the website for additional details: liberty-ship.com/html/cruise/2009veterans.html. The deadline for receipt of ticket orders (mail order only) is Oct. 24. Each veteran can bring one guest. Tickets are $20 per person.


MARITIME INDUSTRIES ACADEMY HIGH SCHOOL IN BALTIMORE SEEKS INSTRUCTOR

The Maritime Industries Academy, an urban public school in Baltimore that serves approximately 450 students in grades 9-12, is looking for a full-time faculty member to teach the 9th grade introductory course, “Maritime Professional Studies.” The full-time teaching position will require curriculum development, maritime program coordination and direct instruction.

In most cases, minimum qualifications will include a bachelor’s degree in an appropriate discipline related to maritime studies, excellent communication and leadership skills, mastery of  Microsoft Office and a USCG license as third mate or third assistant engineer. However, exceptional candidates with significant maritime experience who do not meet minimum qualifications may be considered. Salary is commensurate with the education and experience of the individual. A background investigation is required prior to employment. Applicants should submit a letter of interest, resume and the names, addresses and telephone numbers of at least three professional references. Send application documents by e-mail, fax or regular mail to Joy Pinder Savage, Principal, 5001 Sinclair Lane, Baltimore, MD 21206, jsavage@bcps.k12.md.us, 410-396-0242 or 410-396-0085 (fax).


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

CLASS OPENINGS: Between now and the end of 2009, seats are available in the following courses:


AB � Able Bodied Seaman: 10/12

ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 11/16

BST – Basic Safety Training: 12/7

BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 11/16

BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 12/3

CNAV – Celestial Navigation: 10/19

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

CMM-ADVSTB � Advanced Stability: 12/14

CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 11/16

CMM-CHS II – Advanced Cargo Operations (week 2): 10/12

CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 11/2

CMM-SHMGT I – Ship Management (week 1) : 11/30

CMM-SHMGT II – Ship Management (week 2) : 12/7

CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1):  11/9, 11/30, 12/14

CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 10/19, 11/2, 11/16, 12/7

CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 11/9

EP – Emergency Procedures: 11/4

ENVRO-REGS PERMIT – Environmental Regulations In The Maritime Industry / Epa General Permit For Commercial Vessels:  11/11

FF-BADV – Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting Combined: 12/7

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5-Day) course: 10/12

LAP – License Advancement Program (Original Third Mate Only): 11/30

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 12/2

LNG AWAR � Liquefied Natural Gas Awareness: 12/14

MEDIA RSP – Media Response Workshop: 11/19

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 10/17, 11/14

[MSC – Military Sealift Command]

MSC-CBRD-1 – CBRD Orientation: 11/20

MSC-DC Damage Control: (Special Evening Course: 11/16 – 19/09)

MSC-SMA – Small Arms Training: 11/16

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 10/12, 11/9, 11/16

SAR – Search & Rescue: 11/2

SEC-VCF – Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 11/16

SEC-VSO-R – Vessel Security Officer Refresher (1 day):  11/13

SHS-EMR-5 – Emergency Shiphandling: 12/7

SHS-EMR-BRMP3 – Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 11/30

…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 e-mail: admissions@mitags.org.


PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

Schedule of Courses – Please also see our schedule online at www.mates.org

For registration, call our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen, at (206) 838-1126

October 2009

19-30  GMDSS
19-23  Tankerman Person In Charge
26        Radar Renewal
26-30 Medical Care Provider
27-29  Security VCF

November 2009

2-13    Watchkeeping with BRM
2-6      Radar Observer Unlimited
9          Radar Renewal
9-13    Medical Care Provider
9-20    Medical Person In Charge
10-12  Security VCF
16-20  Tankerman Person In Charge
20       Flashing Light
30       Security Refresher

December 2009

7          Radar Renewal
8-11     ARPA
14-16   Security VCF


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 10-9-2009

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
9,864.94 2,139.28 1,071.49
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
47.76
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
98.84
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
31.94
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
16.81
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
14.57
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
22.79
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.75
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
25.77
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.32
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
14.99
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
19.24
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
13.24
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
17.53
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
11.04
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
11.30
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
11.23
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
11.46
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
11.86
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.42
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
26.48
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
14.86
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
13.54
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
15.58
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.17
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
63.05
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
15.58
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
56.06
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
16.07
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
35.45
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
27.83
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
22.91
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
10.70
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
11.42
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
12.54
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
12.53
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
12.31
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
7.11
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
8.27
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.46
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
29.83
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
37.91
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
25.11





~ 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.

© 2009, 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.