News

Wheelhouse Weekly – October 26, 2009

October 26th 2009

 

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

Volume 13 . . . . . Number 43. . . . October 26, 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.


ALASKA MARINE HIGHWAY FERRY TAKU IN DRAMATIC RESCUE

The officers and crew of the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) ferry TAKU saved two men forced to abandon ship near Funter Bay after a fire in the engine room of their fishing vessel, ALASKA PRIDE. The rescue took place on the evening of Oct. 20.

TAKU Captain Thomas Moore spotted the two men in a life raft, their burning fishing boat listing in the background.  The winds were blowing in the darkness around 35 knots with 8- to 10-foot seas. TAKU, en route to Hoonah, from Juneau, changed course to rescue the two men and was there in about 30 minutes.

The fishermen were able to put out a mayday call before abandoning the ship for the life raft tethered to the flaming boat. Moore brought the ferry close to the life raft and lowered a lifeboat to the water with half a dozen men, who plucked the two fishermen out of the raft. Neither one was injured.

A passenger aboard the TAKU who witnessed the nighttime rescue said he was impressed by how smoothly it went, especially considering the weather. “The wind was blowing hard, it nearly blew my glasses off,” he said. “These guys train and train and train in calm weather, but the real push was last night. The real test, they pulled through miraculously. … Someone’s really on the ball.”


PRE-OCT. 21 TWIC CARDS FULLY FUNCTIONAL, COAST GUARD SAYS

The Coast Guard is reiterating assurances to mariners who hold TWIC cards issued before Oct. 21 of last year that the cards are “fully functional,” unless they require a PIN reset. The issue concerns an Oct. 21 power outage which made it impossible for the agency to reset the PIN numbers on cards issued on or before that date.

“The power outage that disrupted TWIC activations on Oct. 21 only affected our ability to reset PINs on cards activated prior to that date,” a Coast Guard spokesman told MM&P. A problem arises only “if a person forgot his or her PIN and subsequently locked their cards by attempting the PIN unsuccessfully 10 times.” In this case, the mariner may request a replacement card, free of charge. Before requesting a new card, the Coast Guard recommends that mariners visit an enrollment center to attempt the PIN.

If the card is locked, the mariner can request a replacement by contacting the TWIC Help Desk at 1-866-DHS-TWIC (1-866-347-8942) between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and noon, Monday through Friday. Hit # 1 for English, # 3 for Pin Issues, # 1 for pre-October 21, 2008 and you will get a live person after a short hold. It takes at least 14 days to obtain a new card, which you can pick up at the TWIC center. Be sure to write down the application ID and ticket number you receive from the person who processes your claim. You can also e-mail TWIC.Helpdesk@gcrm.com to request a new card.

“Please keep your card on your person until your replacement arrives,” the Coast Guard says. “At that time, we request you return your old card to the TWIC enrollment center in exchange for your new card. If you do not turn in your old card when you receive your replacement card, you will be charged $60 as this will be treated as a lost card. The new card will be issued with the same expiration date as the old card.”

If you activated your card AFTER October 2008 and have forgotten your PIN, you can visit your nearest TWIC enrollment center and reset your PIN at any time during business hours.


GROUND-BREAKING CEREMONY FOR NEW SAN FRANCISCO FERRY TERMINAL

San Francisco ferry operator WETA held a ground-breaking ceremony last Monday for the South San Francisco Ferry Terminal, the first new terminal in the Bay Area in over 10 years. “The new ferry service from Oyster Point will help alleviate Bay Area freeway congestion and provide both short-term construction jobs and full-time employment for ferry and terminal crews,” said Rep. Jackie Speier, who spoke at the ceremony. “In addition, it will be a vital emergency resource in the event that area bridges are damaged in an earthquake or other regional disaster.”

MM&P United Inland Group Vice President Mike Murray attended the ceremony, along with MM&P San Francisco Representative Ray Shipway. MM&P members employed by Blue and Gold lines crew two San Francisco Bay ferries, PISCES and GEMINI. The vessels are America’s most environmentally friendly ferryboats. Their exhaust is 85 percent cleaner than EPA emissions standards for Tier II (2007) marine engines and ten times cleaner than that of other Bay Area ferries. The new vessels also incorporate innovative measures to protect bay and marine life, including low-wake, low-wash hulls. GEMINI set sail on the Tiburon-San Francisco commute in December 2008.

The new ferry service between Oyster Point and the East Bay provides an alternative transit option for people commuting to jobs in South San Francisco. “The WETA is elated to deliver on our plan to expand ferry service,” said WETA Board Chair Charlene Haught Johnson. “With a daytime population of over 100,000, South San Francisco is a dynamic, growing destination well-suited to ferry service.”


DESIGNATED THIRD PARTIES CAN NOW HANDLE MARINERS’ CREDENTIAL APPLICATIONS

The Coast Guard has published procedures to allow family members and others, such as an employer, to manage processing of mariners’ credential applications while they are at sea. To authorize the National Maritime Center (NMC) to work directly with others, mariners must first send NMC a written third party release. The Coast Guard has posted a sample release at http://www.uscg.mil/nmc/applications_forms.asp. The sample release need not be followed exactly. However, the Coast Guard says it will only accept a release that meets the following criteria: includes mariner’s full name and signature, the date on which the release expires, the unique Mariner Reference Number (MRN) if the mariner has one or a Social Security number for first-time credential applicants. The release must also include the full name, address, phone number and other contact information of the authorized third party, as well as specific instructions on what information can and cannot be discussed with this person. The release can be included in the credential application packet, scanned and e-mailed to IASKNMC@uscg.mil, faxed to 304-433-3416 or mailed to NMC Headquarters.


HEBEI TWO GIVE THANKS TO THE SHIPPING COMMUNITY

The most recent issue of the magazine of the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) carries a message of thanks from Captain Jasprit Singh Chawla, master of the HEBEI SPIRIT, who was imprisoned for 18 months in South Korea along with Chief Mate Syam Chetan after an oil spill that occurred when their vessel was struck by a runaway Samsung crane barge in a violent storm. In a message to ITF, Chawla thanked supporters who waged a battle in the South Korean courts and the international mass media to obtain their release. “Thanks to you, I am finally home with my loved ones,” he said. “Samsung tried everything to prove us guilty and keep us in Korea but the support and determination from you and the whole of the shipping community was too strong.” The captain said the expression “thank you” seems “too insignificant to express my feelings of gratitude….” 


CHANGE IN MEDICAL MARIJUANA POLICY DOES NOT CHANGE RULES FOR TRANSPORT WORKERS

Workers who operate ships, planes, trains, trucks and other transport vehicles would still be in violation of Department of Transportation (DOT) rules against drug use if they use marijuana, despite a recent change in federal law enforcement rules. The DOT Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance issued a clarifying notice Oct. 22, after receiving queries about how the new policy stance by the Department of Justice might affect transportation workers. DOT clarifies that marijuana use remains unacceptable for any safety-sensitive employee subject to drug testing under the Department of Transportation’s drug testing regulations. “We want to make it perfectly clear that the Department of Justice guidelines will have no bearing on the Department of Transportation’s regulated drug testing program,” wrote Jim Swart, director of the DOT Drug and Alcohol Policy office. “We will not change our regulated drug testing program based upon these guidelines to federal prosecutors.”


U.S. DRONES ON PIRATE PATROL

Last week, U.S. military surveillance drones capable of carrying missiles began patrolling the waters off Somalia in an effort to stem the surge in pirate attacks. The unmanned surveillance planes, called MQ-9 Reapers, are stationed on the island nation of Seychelles. The 36-foot-long Reapers are the size of a jet fighter, can fly about 16 hours and are capable of carrying a dozen guided bombs and missiles. They are outfitted with infrared, laser and radar targeting. Military officials have said that the drones would not immediately be fitted with weaponry, but they did not rule out doing so in the future.

A recent newspaper article quoted Cyrus Mody, an expert on piracy at the London branch of the International Maritime Bureau, as saying that he expects the drones will help ward off attacks by acting as an early-warning system for vessels traversing waters off the Somali coast. “What we hope will happen is that they will get much earlier warning of suspicious vessels or suspected (pirate) mother ships that can then be targeted by the naval vessels. Or alerts and broadcasts can be sent out indicating the positions of these ships (and) indicating they should keep as clear a distance as possible,” he said.

Peter Chalk, an expert on piracy at the Washington-based RAND Corp., has said, however, that he believes the new drones will be “largely irrelevant” in bringing an end to the lawlessness because problems with Somalia’s government need to be addressed first. “The risks to pirates of being caught are very low (and even lower in terms of being successfully prosecuted) while the potential rewards are enormous, at least in a Somali context,” Chalk says.


PIRATES HIJACK CHINESE BULKER, THREATEN LIVES OF CREW

The Somali pirates who hijacked a Chinese cargo vessel in the Indian Ocean last week are threatening to kill the 25 crewmembers if any attempt is made to rescue them. The ship, the DE XIN HAI, was en route to India from South Africa with a load of coal when it was attacked 700 miles east of the Somali coast.


SOMALI PIRATES TAKE SINGAPORE-FLAG CONTAINER SHIP

Pirates in the Indian Ocean hijacked a Singapore-flag container ship, the KOTA WAJAR, some 300 nautical miles north of the Seychelles. There are reportedly 21 crewmembers aboard the ship, which was traveling from Singapore to Kenya.


INTERNATIONAL MARITIME BUREAU REPORTS UPSWING IN ARMED ATTACKS

With the end of the monsoon season, the International Maritime Bureau reports that pirate attacks against merchant shipping are becoming more frequent and are now more likely to involve guns. The IMB Piracy Reporting Center reported 306 piracy incidents in the first nine months of 2009, as compared to 293 in the same period in 2008. Current reports put the number of seafarers now being held hostage by pirates at 146.


COAST GUARD SEEKS MARINE INVESTIGATOR IN NEW ORLEANS

The Coast Guard is searching for qualified candidates to apply for the civilian position of Marine Investigator, GS-1801-12 in New Orleans. Announcement #:  09-2094-WE-DM-D-R1. The position is open to all U.S. citizens. Open period: Oct. 20 to Nov. 3. Salary range:  $67,613.00 – $87,893.00. Position information:  Full time, permanent.Duties: assists and advises field units in conducting marine investigations and statutory requirements. Please review the full vacancy announcement at www.usajobs.gov for additional duties, the qualification requirements, and how to apply for this position. To view the vacancy announcement, paste the following link in your browser: http://jobview.usajobs.gov/getjob.aspx?JobID=84052147&q=marine+investigator&.


ARMY CORPS SEEKS SEAGOING TUG MASTER IN DETROIT

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is seeking a permanent master for a seagoing tug in the Detroit Area Office, Operations & Maintenance Branch. The closing date to apply for this job is Oct. 29. The job is posted at www.usajobs.gov. Just paste the following link in your browser: http://jobsearch.usajobs.gov/search.aspx?sort=rv&vw=d&brd=3876&ss=0&FedEmp=N&FedPub=Y&q=tug+master+detroit . The job is also posted on www.cpol.army.mil. If you have any questions, contact Christopher V. Lindman, Chief of O&M Detroit Area Office, 313-226-3856, christopher.v.lindman@usace.army.mil.


SHIP OPERATIONS COOPERATIVE (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.


DO YOU KNOW WHAT NPDES, MARPOL, VGP AND NOI MEAN?

If not, you are encouraged to take the MITAGS/PMI “Introduction to Environmental Regulations in the Maritime Industry – EPA General Permit for Commercial Vessels” Seminar.  The next two-day seminar is at MITAGS Nov. 11-12. For more information, go to www.mitags.org or contact Admissions at 866-656-5568.


CHANGES IN PACIFIC PORTS MEMBERSHIP MEETING SCHEDULE

Pacific Ports General Membership Meetings will be held in Honolulu on Wednesday Nov. 4 and, because of Veterans Day, on Thursday, Nov. 12 in Los Angeles/Long Beach. Both meetings will be held directly after job call.


NEW ADDRESS FOR MM&P BOSTON HALL

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.


GREEK CARGO SHIP CAPTAIN SENTENCED FOR POLLUTION

The captain of the Greek cargo ship MV THEOTOKOS has been sentenced in federal court to 10 months in prison and in a community confinement facility, the Justice Department announced. Panagiotis Lekkas had pleaded guilty in July to one count of obstruction of justice, one count of violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, and two counts of violating the Ports and Waterways Safety Act. He was also fined $4,000. Polembros Shipping, which managed the vessel, has also pleaded guilty. Sentencing for the company is scheduled on Dec. 9.


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.


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: 11/2, 12/2, 1/19

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 10-23-2009

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
10,081.31 2,154.47 1,079.60
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
47.95
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
99.62
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
31.57
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
17.09
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
14.75
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
23.01
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.74
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
26.05
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.37
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
15.04
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
19.35
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
13.27
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
17.60
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
11.08
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
11.35
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
11.29
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
11.54
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
11.93
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.40
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
26.60
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
14.95
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
13.64
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
15.65
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.18
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
62.57
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
15.52
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
56.01
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
16.21
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
35.79
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
28.20
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
22.91
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
10.74
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
11.46
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
12.61
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
12.60
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
12.38
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
7.15
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
8.32
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.48
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
29.54
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
38.21
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
25.31





~ 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.