News

Wheelhouse Weekly – October 13, 2005

October 13th 2005


 


THE MASTERS, MATES & PILOTS’
WHEELHOUSE WEEKLYonline

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

Volume 9 . . . . . Number 41 . . . . October 13, 2005


STORIES COVERED

Also

REMINDERS

 

 




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




MM&P’s NOLA PORT OFFICE RESUMES LIMITED HOURS

MM&P’s NOLA Hall will be reopening on Monday, October 17th. The initial hours of operation are from 1000 to 1400 daily. For further info, contact New Orleans representative Sue Bourcq at 504-837-5700. You can also e-mail Sue at sbourcq@bridgedeck.org.

 




 

MM&P DISASTER RELIEF FUND COLLECTING DONATIONS

The MM&P Disaster Relief Fund is still collecting donations to help members and applicants who have suffered severe financial losses due to 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.



 

MM&P-CREWED USNS COMFORT RETURNS TO BALTIMORE

The US Navy’s Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS COMFORT, crewed by MM&P Licensed Deck Officers, returned to Baltimore’s Canton Pier on Thursday, Oct. 13, following a six-week hurricane relief mission in the US Gulf Coast region. MM&P Executive Assistant to the President Mike Rodriguez attended COMFORT’s homecoming ceremonies.

COMFORT was activated in support of FEMA’s Hurricane Katrina relief efforts on Aug. 31 and sailed from her Baltimore homeport on Sept. 2. After stopping in Mayport, FL, to load additional supplies and personnel, COMFORT and her crew of more than 600 US Navy Sailors, civil service mariners and Project HOPE volunteers, arrived in Pascagoula, MS, on Sept. 9.

In 10 days, COMFORT’s medical staff treated 1,452 patients aboard ship and 376 patients ashore at the COMFORT Clinic, a temporary medical facility set up at the city’s Singing River Mall. Members of the ship’s civil service mariner crew also contributed to relief efforts by repairing a local church badly damaged by the storm. On Sept. 20, the ship left Pascagoula in order to evade Hurricane Rita.

On Sept. 27, COMFORT received orders to sail for New Orleans. After a 10-hour transit up the Mississippi River, COMFORT arrived in the city on Sept. 28. While in New Orleans, the ship served as an emergency trauma center as the city began to repopulate. During this time, COMFORT’s medical staff worked alongside local civilian physicians from Louisiana State University aboard ship in a partnership between the Navy and the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.

COMFORT is one of two hospital ships in the US Navy’s Military Sealift Command and is normally kept pierside in reduced operating status with a cadre crew of 58 Sailors and 18 civil service mariners aboard. US Navy medical personnel staff the ship’s hospital while mariners employed by MSC operate and maintain the ship’s navigation and engineering systems. When called into action, the ship can be ready to sail, crewed with additional personnel and loaded with supplies in five days. For this mission, the ship was ready to sail in three days.



 

HURRICANES DESTROY 109 OIL PLATFORMS

Hurricane Rita did the most damage in the Gulf of Mexico, which produces nearly one-third of US crude oil imports, Interior Secretary Gale Norton said. Rita destroyed 63 platforms and one drilling rig on Sept. 24, she said.

In August, Hurricane Katrina destroyed 46 platforms and four drilling rigs when it hit the Gulf. Katrina also caused extensive damage to another 20 platforms and nine drilling rigs. Rita seriously damaged 30 platforms and 10 drilling rigs.

“We had altogether, with both of the hurricanes, about 2,900 platforms that were in the path of the hurricanes,” she said. “We have no official estimate of the dollar value of the damage and the amount that it will cost to repair those facilities, but it will clearly be in the billions of dollars.”

A total of 342 platforms remain evacuated, roughly 40 per cent of the manned sites in the Gulf, Ms. Norton said. As a result, 90 per cent of crude production and 72 per cent of natural gas output is paralyzed, she said. But Ms. Norton also stressed that only one of the damaged platforms was built after federal construction standards were tightened in 1988. The ones that were destroyed were nearing the end of their lives. “As a result, only a very small percentage of production is expected to be permanently lost,” she added.

 


BUSH CALLS FOR CONSTRUCTION OF NEW US OIL REFINERIES

President Bush called for the US to build its first new refineries since the 1970s after hurricanes Katrina and Rita battered US oil production.

“It ought to be clear to everybody that this country needs to build more refining capacity to be able to deal with the issues of tight supply,” he said, calling it “amazing” that no new US refinery had been built in three decades. The storms that hit the Gulf coast also touched every American with higher prices at the pump.”

The hurricanes of the past month have laid bare the burdens on the strained US refinery system. Due in part to tougher environmental regulations and local opposition, the country has not built a refinery since 1976.

Bush said private business would have to pick up much of the tab for rebuilding New Orleans and other Gulf coast areas destroyed by Katrina, citing budget limits on what the federal government could pay.

With estimates of post-Katrina reconstruction topping $200 billion, Bush urged Congress to find areas to trim in the federal budget. According a recently released survey of US insurers, Hurricane Katrina is likely to result in at least $34.4 billion in personal and commercial property loss claims.

The property claim services unit of insurance risk and data firm ISO said that the preliminary estimate of damages to homes and businesses in six states would make Katrina the most costly US natural disaster, surpassing the inflation- adjusted $20.8 billion in losses from Hurricane Andrew in 1992.


MARITIME LABOR WINS ANOTHER COURT ROUND ON CIVMAR REGS

MM&P, along with a coalition of other maritime labor unions, won another round in the ongoing battle to keep Civilian Mariners (CIVMARS) out of the Dept. of Defense’s National Security Personnel System (NSPS). The victory came in a federal court case where the court upheld its previous decision to grant an injunction preventing the implementation of new Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) Personal System Regulations. The DHS regulations were used as a model to draft the DOD’s NSPS regulations. Both set of regs would establish new human resource management procedures at the DHS and DOD that many feel would negatively impact CIVMARS.

The Court held that the DHS regulations did not ensure collective bargaining, as required by the DHS enabling statute. The court denied the government’s interpretation that it did and stated: “Bargaining is an illusion if any resulting agreement is unenforceable, which is the effect of allowing one party to ignore negotiated terms,” which was at the core of the government’s case.


NEW TRANSCOM HEAD ASSURES CONTINUED TRUST RELATIONSHIP

In recent remarks regarding his new position as the head of US TRANSCOM, USAF General Norton Schwartz stated that he gives his, “Personal commitment to listen and explore all good ideas and bring the best practices to the table. You have my personal assurance that TRANSCOM will continue the personal relationship based upon trust.” General Schwartz replaced the retiring General John Handy who has now taken an executive position with MM&P-contracted Horizon Lines.

Gen. Swartz said that his job is to bring everyone’s best thinking towards one goal, that is, “A synchronized, end- to-end distribution center. My job is to continue to find ways for the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Military Sealift Command, Merchant Mariners and the Office of the Secretary of Defense including our partners in industry to work together. We will do that. We will champion this.”

Gen. Swartz also remarked that, “America’s capacity to engage our enemy at a distance, to aid our citizens at home and abroad, is strategic. Not only what we do is important in aiding young men and women abroad, but to make sure they are properly equipped with the equipment they need. We can get our folks to the fight in a way so that the enemy will NOT want to engage them in battle.”

In commenting on his vision of TRANSCOM for the future, Gen. Swartz said that, “We see transportation as an extension of our warehouse. We need to see this become successful just as private industry like Wal-Mart has accomplished this goal. We are creating a more efficient logistics process that will have a greater effect. We can and will manage information exchange that will link the processes that were part of distinct separate entities. This will save an estimated $500 million dollars per year.”


JOHN ROGERS, OF WORLD CITY MEGA SHIP FAME, DIES IN NEW YORK

The charismatic Chairman of World City Corporation, John Rogers, has died in New York of myeloma. After a distinguished career as a maritime lawyer, he spent the past 20 years heading up a project whose aim was to build a mammoth 250,000-GT US-flag cruise ship/floating convention center. The design was state-of-the-art and the build strategy was very innovative.

A friend of the MM&P, Rogers assembled a very knowledgeable team of high-caliber investors and participants for the World City endeavor. Unfortunately, final financing for the huge vessel always remained out of reach. Rogers’ funeral was held on Thursday at the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York and was attended by Richard May, MM&P’s Vice President-Atlantic Ports. Former Congresswoman Helen Bentley, a longtime friend of the US-flag maritime community and the MM&P, delivered the eulogy. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that a donation be made to the Multiple Myeloma Foundation, 12650 Riverside Drive, Suite 206, North Hollywood, CA 91607-3421. www.myeloma.org


US COAST GUARD SEIZES COCAINE MINI-SUB IN PACIFIC

The US Coast Guard recently intercepted a ship towing an unmanned submarine-like vessel that held more than two tons of cocaine. The vessel was raided off the coast of the Ecuadorian-owned Galapagos Islands. The underwater mini- sub, which was attached by a metal cable, was designed so smugglers could tow it below their boat and escape detection if drug agents searched the ship.

Increased vigilance in the Pacific has forced drug smugglers to come up with increasingly creative ways to hide their illegal shipments. In another case, over two tons of cocaine was discovered hidden in a vessel’s bunker tanks and eight suspects were arrested. Colombia is the world’s biggest producers of cocaine and a major supplier of heroin to the US.


NEW REPORT FINDS THAT INVASIVE SPECIES ARE STILL A THREAT

Invasive species from ballast water exchanges continue to threaten US waters, according to a federal study, which notes that individual states are now moving to fight the problem. The report from the Government Accountability Office, that was recently delivered to the House Regulatory Affairs Subcommittee, says that at least 160 non-native aquatic species have already established themselves in the Great Lakes.

Despite legislation passed by Congress in 1990 and amended in 1996, the GAO says the Coast Guard – the agency charged with enforcing the law – has had some success but has not been able to eradicate the problem. Among enforcement shortcomings are: many ships are exempt from current ballast water exchange requirements; the USCG has not established alternative discharge zones that could be used by ships unable to conduct ballast water exchange for various reasons; and perhaps most important, ballast water exchange is not always effective at removing or killing potential invasive species.

The report notes that the zebra mussel alone has caused up to $1 billion in costs between 1989 and 2000. Not contained in the report was any reference to the August 31 announcement by the Coast Guard of its new ‘No Ballast Onboard’ (NOBOB) policy that it launched to reduce the introduction of aquatic non-indigenous species into the Great Lakes. The policy sets best management practices for NOBOBs that encourages vessels to conduct mid-ocean ballast water exchange on ballast-laden voyages. If they are unable to conduct a mid-ocean ballast water exchange they are encouraged to conduct saltwater flushing of their empty ballast tanks.


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.


MITAGS OFFERS NEW PROGRAM FOR SAN FRANCISCO BAR PILOTS

Glen Paine, Executive Director MITAGS and PMI has announced that the schools are providing a custom training program for the San Francisco Bar Pilots under a three-year training contract with the State of California.

The custom seven-day course covers a wide range of subjects including: Emergency Shiphandling (ESH) simulation at close quarters, combined with the Principals of Bridge Resource Management for Pilots (BRMP); Advances in Electronic Navigation, including Electronic Charts (ECS/ECDIS) and Integrated Bridge Systems (IBS); Automatic Identification Systems (AIS and VHF Digital Selective Calling); Emergency Medical Response, Elementary First Aid, Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), and Automated External Defibrillators (AED); Legal Aspects of Pilotage; Sleep and Fatigue Issues; and Azipod and KamewaControl Systems.

“The Pilots worked very closely with MITAGS to maximize the training experience with the hours provided,” Paine said. “The San Francisco Bar Pilots work in a very unique operating environment, beginning with the swift currents of the Golden Gate Bridge, to navigating numerous islands and bridge structures scattered throughout the bay estuary. We are truly pleased to be their training partner.”


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

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


AIS – Automatic Identification System: 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: 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-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

10/17-28 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.


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 10-12

 


 D O W  N A S D A Q  S & P 500
10,174.89 -142.47 for the week  2,029.53  -73.49 for the week  1,170.42  -57.25 for the week

 

Fund Name & Trading Symbol
Closing
Price
Change
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
108.56
-1.70
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
31.64
-1.12
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
20.12
-.23
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
16.32
-.32
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
31.14
-.50
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.27
-.03
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX)
6.14
-.14
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.06
-.04
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
18.00
-.46
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
15.84
-.25
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
35.75
-.67
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
101.60
-1.59
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
21.78
-.77
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
74.12
-1.94
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
41.40
-.84

 





~ 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.

IOMMP

IOMMP

IOMMP

Latest posts by IOMMP (see all)