News

Wheelhouse Weekly – October 22, 2007

October 22nd 2007

 

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

Volume 11 . . . . . Number 42. . . .October 22, 2007

STORIES COVERED

Also

REMINDERS

T-AGS Oceanographic Survey Ships Info

Required Coursework

Security Clearances

MSC Physicals

MM&P FCU News

MM&P Health & Benefit Plan News

Meet Our New Prescription Benefit Manager, PHARMACARE

Notice to MM&P Health & Benefit Plan Participants

WWII USCG Veterans Outreach

Company Gives Bucks Back for buying Safe Shoes

Website Offers Union-Made Goods and Services




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


THREE MM&P-CREWED SHIPS SELECTED FOR AOTOS HONORED SEAFARER AWARDS

Three MM&P-crewed ships, HORIZON FALCON, USNS KANAWHA and MAERSK MARYLAND, will be honored by the maritime community for acts of heroism at the 2007 Admiral of the Ocean Sea (AOTOS) Awards ceremony on Nov. 2 in New York. The crew of HORIZON FALCON will be recognized for the heroic rescue of two Chinese seafarers who had been stranded in the ocean after their ship sank 375 miles northwest of Guam. Military Sealift Command fleet replenishment oiler USNS KANAWHA participated in the dramatic rescue of 16 crewmembers from a disabled merchant ship in the Arabian Sea in June. MM&P member Victor Manoli, third mate on MAERSK MARYLAND, will receive the AOTOS Mariner’s Rosette for his heroism in fighting a fire that broke out aboard the ship in the Port of Gioia Tauro, Italy, last October.

The AOTOS awards ceremony is organized by United Seamen’s Service (USS). Among this year’s awardees are: James S. Andrasick, president and chief executive officer of Matson Navigation Company; Morten Arntzen, president and chief executive officer of Overseas Shipholding Group; and John F. Reinhart, president and chief executive officer of Maersk Line Limited.


HOUSE PANEL SEEKS WAYS TO ATTRACT AND RETAIN PROFESSIONAL MARINERS

Congress should take steps to improve mariners’ working conditions so that the “best and the brightest” will continue to want to work in the maritime industry, MM&P told members of a House panel during testimony last week. Rep. Elijah Cummings, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, said he called the hearing to explore areas in which government can act to make shipboard employment more appealing in view of the pressures to which today’s mariners are exposed.  “No longer is a sailor’s life necessarily one of adventure” Cummings said in his opening remarks. “Deadlines are tight, and manning is at a minimum.”

MM&P’s testimony was presented by Mike Rodriguez, Executive Assistant to International President Tim Brown. The union took the opportunity to underline the importance of a number of issues on which it has testified before: the need to put a stop to the criminalization of mariners involved in accidents at sea and the need to separate marine safety investigations from investigations that could lead to criminal prosecution.

In addition, Rodriguez said, fatigue must be viewed as a serious health and safety issue. MM&P advocates that manning level determinations take into account the potential for fatigue and urges the Coast Guard to enforce hours of work regulations and support the development of international regulations for safe manning.

Citing the continued serious problems being experienced by mariners in U.S. ports as a result of new access control procedures, MM&P testified that the Coast Guard should be required to enforce the human rights provisions of the ISPS Code. The union says the USCG must begin to withhold approval of port and facility security plans that do not guarantee mariners’ right to shore leave.  

Another critical area destined to cause problems in the future, MM&P said, is the fact that the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC), as it is currently configured, does not preempt local access control requirements. This state of affairs will force mariners and others to apply for numerous different access cards. MM&P argues that the Merchant Mariner’s Document (MMD) should be accepted as an access/identification credential for mariners and that port facilities and terminals should accept the MMD in place of a TWIC.


RECENT NLRB DECISION UNDERCUTS ESTABLISHED LABOR LAW

A Sept. 29 decision by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has made it easier for a minority of dissenting workers to file decertification petitions in cases in which the employer has recognized the union by card check. The case, Dana Corp.-Metaldyne Corp. vs. UAW, is only the most recent in a long string of anti-union decisions by the labor relations board, a majority of whose members have been appointed by President Bush.

The two Democrats on the Board, Wilma Liebman and Dennis Walsh, said the recent decision “upsets a balance in labor relations and subverts both employee free choice and promotion of a stable bargaining relationship. It subjects the will of the majority to that of a 30 percent minority and destabilizes nascent bargaining relationships.”

Dana Corp. and Metaldyne Corp. had signed an agreement with the United Auto Workers promising not to interfere in workers’ efforts to form a union if a majority signed union authorization cards. But after the union was recognized, a minority of employees filed a petition seeking a decertification election. Until now, when a union achieved recognition, regardless of whether it was done by card check or election, there was a “recognition bar” of several years before dissenters (often covertly supported by employers) could try to eliminate the union. The recent decision has dramatically shortened the “recognition bar.” It authorizes dissenters to gather signatures for a decertification petition “before as well as after” the card-check recognition.

AFL-CIO President John Sweeney said the NLRB decision will “further strip employees of their free choice to join a union and bargain collectively… In allowing a small group of workers to undermine both the majority of workers and the employers’ wishes, the board is essentially making a mockery of the law’s allowance for voluntary recognition.” Labor leaders say the recent decision underlines the importance of electing a pro-labor President and Congress in 2008.



MOBILE BAR PILOTS TO OPEN BOOKS FOR NEW APPRENTICE PILOTS

The Mobile Bar Pilots (MBP) is seeking four new apprentice pilots to fill vacancies that will open up between now and 2010. MM&P masters and chief mates are encouraged to apply for these job opportunities, which are being created by the increase in trade at the Port of Mobile and retirements among the ranks of the existing pilots. Once the new container port is up and running, additional pilots may be needed on top of the four. Deep sea command experience is a plus for these jobs. 

In November, the State Pilot Commission of Alabama will announce an “open period” during which it will receive applications.

The State Pilot Commission of Alabama is the sole judge of the seniority and statutory qualifications of the applicants to be apprenticed and to select those it considers to be best qualified to fill the available slots on the Pilots’ Register, based on the following factors:

  1.  minimum age of 18,
  2. degree, extent, and continuity of progress toward meeting the statutory qualifications,
  3.  degree of cooperation with the Commission to determine the best qualified applicants,
  4. a permanent resident of the State of Alabama for six (6) consecutive months immediately preceding submission of application for apprenticeship,
  5. holding of or progress toward necessary Coast Guard licenses,
  6. the nature and extent of appropriate maritime employment and experience,
  7. a bachelor’s degree from a college, university or a nationally recognized maritime academy,
  8. good moral character.

To be accepted, applications must be on the official application form and must be postmarked neither before Nov. 10 nor after Dec. 31, 2007.

The official application form may be obtained by writing a letter to:

                                                   The Secretary
                                         State Pilotage Commission
                                              State Office Box 273
                                           Mobile, Alabama 36601

If you request an application form, you will also be sent a plain English brief summary of the process for becoming a bar pilot in Mobile.


FATIGUE PREDICTOR MODEL COULD HELP MANAGE FATIGUE AND PREVENT ACCIDENTS

Recent research in several different transport sectors has shown it is possible to predict the onset of fatigue. The resulting mathematical model, developed by a professor in Sweden, could be used to help prevent accidents and protect employees’ health and safety.

The fatigue management model was presented by the International Federation of Ship Masters’ Associations (IFSMA) to delegates to the International Maritime Organization’s Maritime Safety Committee, which met Oct. 3-12.  

The researcher who developed the model, Professor Torbjorn Akerstedt of the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and the University of Stockholm, says that while there is no consensus regarding the percentage of road, rail, air or sea transport accidents that can be attributed to fatigue, it is possible to make “a very good prediction” of when sleepiness will cause a person to become accident prone.

Estimates of the contribution of fatigue to accidents differ for a variety of reasons, not least because data are collected under different conditions. What is certain, however, is that fatigue (defined as “sleepiness” or “micro-sleep,” involving the first attempt to switch off the brain from interaction with the world) is the main contributing factor. By the same token, getting sleep is by far the best measure to counter accidents.

Akerstedt’s model uses four quantifiable determinants to measure fatigue and predict its effect on safety. The determinants are a person’s “biological clock,” time awake (expressed in terms of hours since last sleep), time asleep (duration and quality of last sleep) and workload. He says the model should be applied in the scheduling of work hours and watch times so as to reduce the risk of fatigue-induced health effects and the risk of accidents.


PIRACY ON THE RISE, ATTACKS IN NIGERIAN WATERS NEARLY TRIPLE

Piracy and armed attacks against ships rose by 14 percent in the first nine months of 2007, with the coastal waters off Nigeria and Somalia still posing the highest threat to vessels, according to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB). IMB’s Piracy Reporting Center received 198 reports of pirate attacks between January and September of this year, as compared to 174 cases in 2006. The number of attacks in Nigerian waters nearly tripled during the same period, with 26 incidents reported as compared to the nine cases reported last year. Crew assaults also rose dramatically in 2007, with 15 vessels hijacked, 172 crewmembers taken hostage, 63 kidnapped and 21 assaulted.

By contrast, the Malacca Straits offshore Indonesia continues to report a decline in attacks, due in large measure to cooperation among states bordering these waters. Authorities in both Indonesia and Thailand have stepped up efforts to protect the area.


ENGINEER CONVICTED IN MAGIC PIPE CASE

The former chief engineer on the U.S.-flag car carrier MV TANABATA has been convicted for using a removable pipe to bypass the ship’s oily-water separator. Mark Humphries was found guilty by a jury on a single count of conspiracy and two counts of making false statements. The jury found that the illegal discharges had been falsely recorded in the ship’s oil record book as having been processed through the separator.

Humphries was chief engineer of the Baltimore-based TANABATA between April 2002 and September 2003, during which period he traded shifts with the ship’s other chief engineer, a co-defendant in the case who pleaded guilty in March.

Sentencing has been set for Jan. 10. Humphries faces a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count.

The TANABATA was operated by Pacific Gulf Marine, Inc. (PGM). PGM pleaded guilty and was sentenced on Jan. 27 to charges of making illegal discharges of oil-contaminated waste from each of four ships managed by the company. PGM was sentenced to pay a $1 million criminal fine and $500,000 in community service payments and to serve three years probation under the terms of an Environmental Compliance Program subject to court approval.

Observers of the case note that oily-water separators on ships are often poorly designed and don’t work effectively. They are often too slow to treat the volume of oily water that is generated in normal operations, and the countries (United States included) which insist on strict adherence to the no discharge requirements often do not have shore side reception facilities to receive the ships’ oily water in ports. Since there is limited storage capacity aboard ships to continue to carry the oily water, some vessels resort to at-sea dumping. The real solution is to provide reception facilities at terminals so the oily water can be disposed of properly. Many argue that it should be a government responsibility to provide such disposal systems as an environmental protection measure.



COAST GUARD LENGTHENS TOWING VESSEL DESIGNATED EXAMINERS’ APPROVAL PERIOD

The Coast Guard’s National Maritime Center (NMC) has announced it will lengthen, to five years, the period for which designated towing vessel examiners can assess the competence of license candidates. Until now, designated examiners have been approved for two years. The Coast Guard said the change will apply to all original approvals and renewals of previously granted approvals that occur on or after Nov. 1. The new procedure will not change the expiration date of existing approvals. Those seeking approval to serve as a designated examiner should send a written request to NMC. For more information, contact James Cavo at James.D.Cavo@uscg.mil or (304) 724-9546.


NORTH COUNTRY GAZETTE HAS EXTENSIVE COVERAGE OF NTSB OFFICE OF MARINE SAFETY INVESTIGATION CONTROVERSY

In an article entitled “NTSB Chief Blasts Agency for Flawed Marine Reports” in the Oct. 15 issue of The Wheelhouse Weekly, we reported on a story that was broken by North County Gazette. The case involves a letter written by a former high-level employee of the National Transportation Safety Board’s Office of Marine Safety (OMS). In the letter, Donald Tyrrell, who retired from the agency in 2004 after 25 years of service, questions the value of NTSB’s recent marine accident investigations, arguing that the three OMS reports issued by the agency in 2007 are “sketchy, the analyses are weak and in some cases erroneous, and the recommendations are superficial.” For full coverage of Tyrrell’s letter and the three cases he describes, go to http: www.northcountrygazette.org.


HONOLULU JOB CALL TIME CHANGE

In accordance with the new shipping rules adopted by the membership effective Nov. 1, job call in Honolulu will be held at 10:00 a.m. This is a permanent change to the job call time.


NOTICE TO 401K ACCOUNT HOLDERS

Members are advised to check that their voluntary 401(k) contributions are actually being deposited into their accounts by the contracted company. It is good practice to check your statements on a regular basis.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

Attention:  Have you lost the bid on a job because you didn’t have EINS, COMP-OPSYS, or DCS listed on your training record, even though you have the training or experience?  You may qualify for an “equivalency” if you meet the criteria listed below:

–EINS (Electronic and Integrated Navigation Systems): If a member can demonstrate that he/she has received training in integrated navigation systems, global positioning systems, and electronic charting, an Electronic and Integrated Navigation Systems (EINS) equivalency will be issued.  Shipboard experience and/or training should be documented with a letter signed by the master indicating the types of equipment, the approximate hours of operational use or training, and affirmation that the individual has demonstrated competence in the employment of electronic and integrated navigation systems.  Individuals requesting equivalency for training received ashore should submit either a transcript or course certificate, along with a detailed course description.  All training should be in excess of 35 hours.

–COMP-OPSYS (Computer Operating Systems): MITAGS Computer Operating Systems course is designed for members who have little to no computer experience.  The course covers the fundamentals of computer operations and basic task proficiencies.  Members can submit evidence of basic computer training for equivalency in this program.  Certificates, transcripts, and course descriptions are preferred, but due to the elementary nature of the course and the proliferation of PCs, members’ e-mails, demonstrating to a degree and describing in detail their own level of competency, will be considered.

–DCS (Diesel Control Systems): The Diesel Control Systems (DCS) equivalency is one of the few situations in which the Trust/Union has specifically allowed onboard service, without a comparison to training objectives, to be equivalent to a course. MITAGS will issue a course equivalency if the member submits discharges detailing 90 days of U.S. Coast Guard sea service on (low/medium speed diesel) motor vessels in the capacity of a Deck Cadet or Deck Officer.

Requests for equivalencies should be directed to the Academic Coordinator at MITAGS.  Once approved, the course equivalency will be reflected in MITAGS’ MIDS Database.  Certificates will not be issued for equivalencies.  For additional information, contact the Academic Coordinator at (410) 859-5700, ext. 3238, or via e-mail at dford@mitags.org

The equivalency policy in its entirety, as well as all MM&P trust student policies, can be downloaded from www.mitags.org.

Remember: If you can’t make the class, make the call.  Be courteous, don’t be a “no show”.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SEC-VCF � Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 11/26

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


PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

Fall – Winter 2007

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

FOR REGISTRATION CALL JENNIFER FOWLER: 206 838-1126

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

October 2007
23-24 SHS ASSESS
25-26 SHS ASSESS
29-2    TPIC
29-9    SHS ADV

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

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

For registration call Jennifer Fowler 888-893-7829

PMI MERCHANDISE FOR SALE!!!

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


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 10-19-2007

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
13,522 2,725 1,501
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
68.68
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
138.31
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
41.78
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
27.69
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
21.36
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
36.81
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.25
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
33.10
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
6.06
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
17.34
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
25.73
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
14.33
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
21.70
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
12.33
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
13.46
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
14.17
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
15.13
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
15.62
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.07
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
36.24
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
22.05
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
16.99
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
29.65
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.21
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
99.17
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
22.06
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
86.97
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
24.67
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
45.48
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
43.41
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
31.52
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.70
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
12.92
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
15.46
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
16.58
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
17.27
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
10.23
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
11.92
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.38
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
41.00
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
53.15
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
34.38






~ Reminders ~




 

T-AGS OCEANOGRAPHIC SURVEY SHIPS MANNING REQUIREMENTS

REQUIRED COURSEWORK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Richard Plant, Director of Special Projects

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



SHIP SECURITY CLEARANCE NEEDED

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

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

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

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

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

From the “Type of Investigation” screen:

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

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



MSC PHYSICALS

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


MM&P FCU NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



 

MM&P HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN NEWS

MEET OUR NEW PRESCRIPTION BENEFIT MANAGER, PHARMACARE

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



NOTICE TO MM&P HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN PARTICIPANTS

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

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



WWII USCG VETERANS OUTREACH

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

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



 

COMPANY GIVES BUCKS BACK FOR BUYING SAFE SHOES

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

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

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

Vessels in the LMS footwear reimbursement program are:

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

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

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

LOOK FOR THE UNION LABEL:

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

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

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

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

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



 

WEBSITE OFFERS UNION-MADE GOODS AND SERVICES

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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