News

Wheelhouse Weekly – October 19, 2009

October 19th 2009

 

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

Volume 13 . . . . . Number 42. . . . October 19, 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.


NEW LEADER TAKES HELM AT MILITARY SEALIFT COMMAND

In a change-of-command ceremony conducted Oct. 16 on the flag deck of hospital ship USNS COMFORT, Rear Adm. Mark Buzby, a decorated naval veteran with extensive experience in combat and ship operations, became the new Commander of Military Sealift Command (MSC). Besides his combat roles, Buzby had previously served in staff positions that include deputy for surface ships, deputy for surface warfare, deputy for expeditionary warfare and, most recently, commander of Joint Task Force Guantanamo.

Buzby assumed command of MSC from Rear Adm. Robert Reilly. In his farewell speech, Reilly recognized maritime labor and the U.S.-flag shipping companies, saying “without their support, we wouldn’t be here today.” MSC ships “are operated by a wonderful combination of naval and civilian mariners,” said Adm. John C. Harvey Jr., Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command, who also addressed the crowd assembled on COMFORT’s flag deck. COMFORT and her sister ship, USNS MERCY, are both crewed by MM&P licensed deck officers.

The night before the change-of-command ceremony, Buzby was welcomed into his new role at a dinner at MITAGS attended by the Honorable Helen Delich Bentley and representatives of maritime labor, including MM&P International President Tim Brown, Atlantic Ports Vice President Rich May and Government Fleet Representative Randi Ciszewski.


REP. FRANK LOBIONDO CALLS FOR SHORT SEA SHIPPING, WATERWAY MAINTENANCE

New Jersey Republican Frank LoBiondo, ranking minority member on the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, told the audience at a maritime industry luncheon last week that a growing number of his colleagues in Congress “are beginning to focus their attention on elimination of the Harbor Maintenance Tax,” which stands as a barrier to establishment of a marine highway system. “We have to find a way to relieve the congestion on our roads, and short sea shipping is a common-sense approach,” he said. LoBiondo is a cosponsor of HR 3486, the Short Sea Shipping Act of 2009. The bill, introduced by Rep. Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.), would exempt the domestic waterborne transportation of cargo from the Harbor Maintenance Tax.

During his speech, LoBiondo also called for better maintenance of the nation’s waterways. “We must start spending down the massive $5 billion balance of the harbor maintenance fund,” he said. He cited the statistic that 30 percent of U.S. port calls are now constrained by inadequate waterway maintenance.

LoBiondo also said he had recently completed a fact-finding mission to Africa aimed at exploring ways to combat piracy. In Manda Bay, Kenya, he met with U.S. Navy SEALS on hand to train Kenyan forces in anti-piracy techniques. LoBiondo said the local authorities have reported a spike in the real estate market in Nairobi that is being fueled by the ill-gotten gains of pirate gangs who continue to prey on merchant ships.


NEW ADDRESS FOR MM&P’S BOSTON HALL STARTING NOV. 1

On Nov. 1, MM&P’s Boston Hall will begin a space-sharing arrangement with the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association. The new address of the MM&P Hall will be:
MM&P, Marine Industrial Park, 12 Channel St., Suite 606-A, Boston, MA 02210-2333. The new phone number will be 617-671-0769; the new fax number will be 617-261-2334. The new office is located near Black Falcon Terminal and South Boston.


GERMAN WARSHIP DISARMS, THEN RELEASES, SUSPECTED PIRATES

Last Tuesday, a helicopter launched by the German warship BREMEN intervened after on-board personnel identified suspected pirate craft, a mother skiff and two smaller skiffs, near the Seychelles Islands. The helicopter fired warning shots and the skiffs stopped. The helicopter crew observed that the suspected pirates threw a number of items over board. A boarding party found grappling hooks, ammunition, GPS equipment and 10 barrels of fuel. The skiffs had no fishing equipment onboard. After confiscating the suspected pirate equipment, the German officers released the mother skiff and crew.


SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER ISSUE OF MM&P MAGAZINE NOW ONLINE

The new edition of “The Master, Mate & Pilot” will be arriving in your mailbox soon. In the meantime, look for it online at www.bridgedeck.org. In this issue:

  • a visit to MM&P’s Great Lakes & Rivers Group—photos of MM&P members and friends in Cleveland and aboard MV MAUMEE and MV MANITOWOC;

  • MM&P-backed bills advance in Congress;

  • International Maritime Organization (IMO) proclaims 2010 “The Year of the Seafarer”;
  • piracy update: debate continues over whether or not to arm merchant ships; and,
  • Coast Guard seeks to assist mariners dealing with its decision to merge license and MMD into a single document.
  • To read these articles and others in the September-October issue of “The Master, Mate & Pilot,” just go to www.bridgedeck.org, click on MM&P Magazine and then Current Issue.


    MM&P INTERNATIONAL HEADQUARTERS SEEKS SENIOR STAFF MEMBER

    As has been reported in previous editions of The Wheelhouse Weekly, Michael Rodriguez has left the position of executive assistant to the MM&P International President for a new job as a senior professional staff member on the House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

    Within the next few months, we will be interviewing candidates to fill the vacancy created by Mike’s departure. We are most interested in candidates who have experience writing contracts and the ability to work with spreadsheets to develop contract proposals and bids, as well as an understanding of what it takes to represent MM&P in matters before the U.S. government in Washington, D.C., as well as internationally.

    We understand there may not be one individual who possesses all these talents. Consequently, we are looking for the individual whose experience best matches our interests and requirements. We would prefer to hire an MM&P member and would encourage those with a law degree and/or experience writing contract proposals to apply. If you are interested in being considered for this position, please send your resume to:

    Timothy A. Brown
    MM&P International President
    c/o Audrey Scharmann
    Masters, Mates & Pilots
    700 Maritime Blvd., Suite B
    Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1953


    COAST GUARD SEEKS SECURITY SPECIALIST IN SAN PEDRO, CALIF.

    The U.S. Coast Guard is searching for qualified candidates to apply for the civilian position of Port Security Specialist, GS-0080-11/12 in San Pedro, Calif. The full-time, permanent position is open to all U.S. citizens. Announcement #:  09-2420-WE-DM-D
    Salary Range:  $62,678 – $97,658. The deadline for applying for this job is Oct. 30. The successful candidate will serve as a port security planner and subject matter expert for maritime security, infrastructure recovery including salvage response and resumption of maritime commerce, and related preparedness planning and incident management. To find out more about this job and apply for it, go to http://tiny.cc/coastguardjob


    LETTER FOR MM&P OFFSHORE PENSION PLAN PARTICIPANTS POSTED ONLINE

    A letter that was sent at the beginning of the month to all participants in the Masters, Mates & Pilots Offshore Pension Plan and to all MM&P-contracted vessels by e-mail last week has been posted in the Members’ Only pages of the MM&P website at https://secure.bridgedeck.org/PensionLetter/PensionLetter.pdf. To view the letter, MM&P members should log into the Members’ Only site using their e-mail address and password.


    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.


    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.


    HOUSE APPROVES BILL TO PROMOTE MARINER EDUCATION

    A bill introduced by Rep. Elijah Cummings to address the education needs of America’s merchant mariners has been passed by the House of Representatives on a voice vote. More than two-thirds of the House voted in favor of HR 2651, the Maritime Workforce Development Act. The legislation would direct the Secretary of Transportation to establish a student loan program to attract new workers to the maritime industry. Loans would also go to help those already in the industry obtain the certifications and training they need to move ahead in their careers. “Anyone who knows anything about the maritime industry knows it will be increasing… to a very large extent,” Cummings said in an official statement. “This is money that is needed.” Cummings said the new legislation was particularly important because many of those who currently work in the maritime industry are nearing retirement age. Under the new legislation, mariners could receive up to $60,000 in loans over the course of a lifetime.


    IRAN ACCUSED OF USING GERMAN VESSEL FOR WEAPONS SHIPMENTS

    American soldiers in the Gulf of Suez have reportedly discovered ammunition aboard the cargo ship HANSA INDIA, in transit to Syria from Iran. When the soldiers boarded the vessel, which is registered to Hamburg-based shipping company Leonhardt & Blumberg, they found 7.62-millimeter bullets, reportedly for use in Kalashnikov rifles by the Syrian army or Hezbollah. According to U.S. officials, the shipment is in violation of a U.N. Security Resolution which forbids all weapons shipments to and from Iran. The ship is under charter to Iran’s state-owned shipping company.


    GREENPEACE SUES OIL TRADER OVER TOXIC WASTE

    A London-based oil trading company, Trafigura, has been sued by the environmental rights group Greenpeace over a 2006 toxic waste incident in the Ivory Coast. The toxic waste was carried by the Panamanian tanker PROBO KOALA, which was docked at the port of Abidjan. According to local reports, after the vessel arrived in Abidjan, it offloaded 400 tons of toxic sludge that was then transported by truck to 18 sites. Over 100,000 Ivorians fell sick in the weeks that followed and 15 died. Trafigura agreed to pay $48 million in compensation in September but Greenpeace is continuing its suit in British courts. The company had already agreed to pay $160 million to the Ivory Coast government for cleanup.


    MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

    CLASS OPENINGS: Between now and the end of January 2010, seats are available in the following courses:

    ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 11/16, 1/5

    BST – Basic Safety Training: 12/7

    BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 11/16

    BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 12/3, 1/18

    [CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

    CMM-ADVSTB � Advanced Stability: 12/14

    CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 11/16, 1/18

    CMM-CHS I � Advanced Cargo Operations (week 11): 01/04

    CMM-CHS II – Advanced Cargo Operations (week 2): 1/11

    CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information Systems: 1/25

    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):  11/30, 12/14, 1/11, 1/25

    CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 11/2, 11/16, 12/7, 01/04, 1/18, 1/25

    CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 11/9

    CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: 1/28

    EP – Emergency Procedures: 11/4

    ENVRO-REGS PERMIT – Environmental Regulations In The Maritime Industry / Epa General Permit For Commercial Vessels:  11/11, 1/13

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

    HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5-Day) course: 1/18

    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

    MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 11/9, 01/04

    MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 11/9, 01/04

    MEDIA RSP – Media Response Workshop: 11/19, 1/29

    MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 11/14, 1/9

    [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: 11/9, 11/16, 1/04

    SAR – Search & Rescue: 11/2

    SEC-VCF – Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 11/16, 1/25

    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

    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 10-16-2009

    D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
    10,062.94 2,156.80 1,087.68
    Fund Name & Trading Symbol
     Closing
    Price
     Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
    48.27
     Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
    100.34
     Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
    32.18
     Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
    17.11
     Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
    14.76
     Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
    23.07
     Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
    10.76
     Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
    26.16
     Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
    5.34
     Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
    15.09
     Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
    19.47
     Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
    13.30
     Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
    17.69
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
    11.12
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
    11.41
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
    11.36
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
    11.61
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
    12.01
     Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
    10.42
     Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
    26.84
     Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
    15.02
     Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
    13.68
     Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
    15.82
     Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
    10.18
     Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
    63.43
     Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
    15.80
     Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
    56.83
     Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
    16.31
     Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
    35.99
     Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
    28.26
     Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
    23.23
     Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
    10.75
     Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
    11.47
     Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
    12.65
     Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
    12.65
     Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
    12.46
     Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
    7.19
     Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
    8.37
     Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
    10.47
     Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
    30.05
     Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
    38.49
     Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
    25.45





    ~ 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.