News

Wheelhouse Weekly – October 29, 2007

October 29th 2007

 

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

Volume 11 . . . . . Number 43. . . .October 29, 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.


ORGANIZED CRIME TRYING TO INFILTRATE TWIC SYSTEM, COAST GUARD SAYS

The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) has warned that criminals in the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are soliciting information on the Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC). “The information is believed to be used to create false/fraudulent identity cards or other means to bypass the TWIC system,” the USCG says in an Oct. 23 advisory to the maritime community.

In response to the USCG advisory, two members of Congress with oversight authority over the controversial, delay-plagued TWIC program have written to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Michael Chertoff to express their concern.

“The lack of card readers for the TWIC program makes it an attractive target for gangs and other criminal elements,” wrote Rep. Bennie Thompson, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security and Rep. Loretta Sanchez, chairwoman of the House Subcommittee on Border, Maritime and Global Counterterrorism. The two said that in absence of card readers, which DHS has yet to finalize the groundwork for, the TWIC is little more than a glorified “flash pass—one that is subject to fraud and misuse.”

The legislators have instructed DHS to be prepared to answer questions about the recent attempts to breach TWIC security at a hearing scheduled for Oct. 31, at which MM&P is also scheduled to testify. It will be the third time the union has gone before Congress to advocate for members’ rights as the Administration implements the TWIC program. MM&P Pilot Membership Group Vice President George Quick will testify at the hearing for MM&P.

Mariners will not be required to carry a TWIC until Sept. 25, 2008. MM&P is advocating that they be given even more time to comply because of the government’s lengthy delays in rolling out the program.

Meanwhile, TWIC enrollment is slated to open in Corpus Christi on Thursday. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says that in November, enrollment will begin in Baton Rouge, Beaumont, Honolulu, Oakland, Tacoma, Chicago/Calumet, Houston, Port Arthur, Providence and Savannah.

The agency says mariners can save time by pre-enrolling for the TWIC on its website: www.tsa.gov/twic. For more information about enrollment, TSA is encouraging calls to its customer service line: (866) 347-8942.


BIPARTISAN PLAN UNDER DEVELOPMENT IN CONGRESS TO ADDRESS PROBLEMS IN COAST GUARD ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE PROGRAM

Members of Congress are working on a bipartisan basis to address allegations that mariners have been treated unfairly by the Coast Guard’s administrative law judge (ALJ) program. “We are working in a bipartisan way on removing ALJs from under the Coast Guard,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings in an Oct. 17 hearing before the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, which he chairs.

MM&P testified last July 31 on problems with the current ALJ system. The union’s testimony at the July hearing was presented by attorney William Hewig, a Coast Guard specialist at the law firm Kopelman and Paige.

The hearing was called in the wake of allegations by two administrative law judges, numerous mariners and their attorneys that the USCG is not administering the ALJ system in an impartial way. “It is absolutely essential to the integrity of the Coast Guard’s regulatory and supervisory powers over the industry that the ALJs who preside over this segment of Coast Guard authority be truly independent from any control, supervision or interference by the Coast Guard,” Hewig testified.

The idea of having a different government agency hear charges brought by the Coast Guard was embraced by Cummings and by the subcommittee’s ranking member, Rep. Steven LaTourette (R-Ohio). Cummings said on Oct. 17 that there was agreement among members of the subcommittee from both sides of the aisle that action was needed to remove the ALJ program from the Coast Guard. “We’re just trying to figure out the best way to do that,” he said.


COAST GUARD LAUNCHES NEW LICENSING AND DOCUMENTATION UPDATE SERVICE

The Coast Guard is working to make information on licensing and documentation more accessible to the maritime community. As part of this strategy, the USCG’s National Maritime Center and Mariner Licensing and Documentation program is distributing updates on an array of topics. To automatically receive information via e-mail, just go to http://cgls.uscg.mil/groups.php?ID=10 and follow the on-screen instructions.

Once on the site, you can register to receive information about: NMC performance; changes in mariner licensing policy; Regional Examination Center (REC) locations, hours of operation and contact information; and USCG-approved courses. If you have questions or need assistance subscribing to a list, contact Lieutenant Hilary Stickle at 304-724-9557 or via e-mail at Hilary.Stickle@uscg.mil.



SEN. JOHN EDWARDS PLEDGES SUPPORT FOR POLICIES EMBRACED BY MARITIME LABOR

Sen. John Edwards says that if he is elected President, he will pursue policies that are closely aligned with those of maritime labor, including support of the Jones Act, cargo preference laws and the Maritime Security Program (MSP).

“As President, I will vigorously enforce the Jones Act, and subject any requests for waivers to strict scrutiny,” Edwards said.

The senator made these remarks in response to a questionnaire distributed to all the presidential candidates by the AFL-CIO’s Transportation Trades Department (TTD). MM&P is a member of TTD through its membership in the AFL-CIO. The Edwards campaign is the only one to respond to the questionnaire to date. The Wheelhouse Weekly will report on the responses from the other candidates when they are received.

In response to a question about a worker’s right to appeal denial of a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC), Edwards said: “Fulfilling the government’s essential duty to keep Americans safe does not mean that it has to disregard its constitutional obligation to ensure due process. I strongly support procedural due process protections for workers on the front lines.” Edwards also said it was “outrageous to make individual workers pay out of their own pockets for the cost of public safety systems” such as TWIC.

He said that once the TWIC is established, it should preempt state and local security card requirements. Edwards said it would be “costly and counterproductive” to require transportation workers to carry multiple, duplicative cards.

Edwards took the opportunity to underline his support for the U.S.-Flag Merchant Marine, including cargo preference laws and full funding for the Maritime Security Program. “I will work to preserve a vibrant, strong American fleet,” Edwards said. “MSP is a relatively small investment that could be expanded within the context of a responsible budget… A strong maritime fleet is in our best interest both economically and militarily.”


AFL-CIO FILES INTERNATIONAL COMPLAINT OVER RECENT NRLB DECISIONS

The AFL-CIO has filed a complaint with the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) Committee on Freedom of Association regarding a number of decisions issued by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) over the past several years. In the complaint, the AFL-CIO charges that the NLRB, now dominated by a Bush Administration majority, has engaged in a systematic effort to deny workers’ rights in violation of international labor standards.

“Under Bush, America’s labor board has so failed our nation’s workers that we must now turn to the world’s international watchdogs to monitor and intervene,” said AFL-CIO President John Sweeney.

In its complaint, the AFL-CIO cites “aggressive efforts by the Board to curtail workers’ rights of freedom of association and collective bargaining.” 

“Faced with a rise in unlawful employer conduct, the Board has responded by shrinking the National Labor Relations Act’s coverage, limiting the rights protected by the statute, strengthening management’s prerogative to discriminate, harass, and intimidate and steadfastly refusing to apply the few meaningful remedies available under the Act,” the AFL-CIO says in the complaint. 


FRIENDS OF LABOR IN CONGRESS CONTINUE TO BATTLE NSPS

A number of House lawmakers continue to challenge implementation of the Pentagon’s controversial National Security Personnel System (NSPS). In a letter to Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Reps. Tom Davis, (R-Va.), Frank Wolf (R-Va.) and James Moran (D-Va.) urged the Pentagon to honor its commitment to federal employees enrolled in the first wave of the program by ensuring they receive the pay raises they were told they could expect. The three said they were concerned that “these employees…reportedly were informed from the outset that for the first year in NSPS they would at least receive their base pay increase.”

Their actions are in response to a Pentagon announcement last month that the 110,000 employees already working under NSPS would only get half of their regular 2008 pay increases.  The rest of the increase, the Pentagon said, would be added to performance pay pools and distributed based on quality of work. 

On another front, some House Democrats are asking fellow members to sign a letter calling on House and Senate negotiators to include provisions in the fiscal 2008 defense authorization bill that would repeal parts of NSPS. Reps. Tom Allen (D-Maine), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Jay Inslee (D-Wash.)  said the new personnel rules, which curb union rights at the Defense Department, are a “bad deal” for Defense civil service employees, and are “taking its toll on the morale of this loyal workforce.”

President Bush has said he will veto the authorization bill if it includes such a provision. MM&P members and other civilian mariners are excluded from the human resource and appeals provisions of NSPS, but not from the labor relations provisions.


FINDINGS ON PASHA BULKER GROUNDING MONTHS OVERDUE, MAREX REPORTS

An official investigation into why the 40,000-ton coal carrier PASHA BULKER ran aground in June off the coast of New South Wales is several months’ late, writes Valerie Leichtman in the Oct. 25 issue of Maritime Executive (MarEx). The ship, which ran aground on June 8, at Nobbys Beach, Newcastle, during high seas and gale force winds, is owned by a Japanese company, Fukujin Kisen. At the time of the accident, it was chartered by a Danish firm that had sublet it to another Japanese shipper. The 22 members of the crew were safely airlifted from the vessel on the afternoon of the grounding.

There are suggestions that the accident occurred because of a lack of ballast water. In any case, it remains unclear how the vessel ran aground, since officials say they ordered it out to sea long before the weather had completely deteriorated.

The complicated salvage and refloating operations took several months to complete. The investigation, which was supposed to be released this summer, was launched by the government of New South Wales as part of a campaign to ensure local taxpayers were not saddled with the $5 million bill for the disaster.



MITAGS SCHEDULES ADDITIONAL MED-PIC COURSE

MITAGS has added another 10-Day MED-PIC course to its schedule. The additional course is scheduled to run from Monday, Dec. 3 through Friday, Dec. 14, 2007. Those interested should call Mary Matlock toll free at 866-656-5568, fax 410-815-5181, e-mail Admissions@mitags.org, or enroll on line at www.mitags.org.


MM&P PRESCRIPTION BENEFIT MANAGER WILL CHANGE NAME

PharmaCare, MM&P’s new prescription benefit manager, will change its name to Caremark effective Jan. 1. The name change is the result of the merger between CVS Corp./PharmaCare and Caremark Rx Inc. MM&P members will still be able to use their current MM&P Health & Benefit Plan identification cards and get their prescriptions filled at their same local pharmacies. The phone numbers and website for PharmaCare have not changed. Additional information will be reported in the next edition of The Master, Mate & Pilot.


SS CAPE JACOB NEWS

Members and applicants who want to sail as chief mate aboard Matson’s SS CAPE JACOB will now be required to have taken the Retail Ordnance Logistics Management System(ROLMS) course.  The course is being offered in Colts Neck, N.J., on Nov. 6-9.

Matson has also announced that it is accepting resumes for a relief chief mate (approximately 45 days) beginning on or about Nov. 15. Applicants for the job must have the following courses: Small Arms (must be current), Advanced Fire-Fighting (within five years), Materials Handling Equipment (“MHE,” or forklift training), Ordnance Handling Equipment (“OHE,” or cargo gear training), Medical Person-in-Charge (“MED-PIC”), Anti-Terrorism, Level 2, Drug/Urine Testing, AED/CPR (defibrillator/CPR), Helicopter Control Officer, Advanced CBRD Training, Retail Ordnance Logistics Management System (ROLMS).  Members and applicants interested in sailing as chief mate (45 days) and/or taking the ROLMS course should contact Teri Sullivan, via e-mail at tsullivan@Matson.com.


DRUG AND ALCOHOL TESTING CLASS AT PMI IN NOVEMBER

A “MED-DOT” class will be held at the Pacific Maritime Institute (PMI) in Seattle on Friday, Nov. 16.  The course fulfills the federal requirements for initial training and “refresher” training for drug and alcohol testing aboard ship. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations require that refresher training be completed every five years. Interested members should contact the Seattle Hall at (206) 441-8700, or by e-mail: kmoran@bridgedeck.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.


MARK YOUR CALENDAR: MM&P 2008 CONVENTION DATES ANNOUNCED

The 82nd Convention of the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots will be held June 23-25 in Linthicum Heights, Md. The convention will kick off at 1000 on June 23. Only members in good standing for two continuous years in payment of their union dues are eligible to run for elected office. The two-year period for good-standing as far as nominations is April 1, 2006, through March 31, 2008. Members in good standing as of June 30, 2008, are eligible to vote.


JOBS AVAILABLE ON THE GREAT LAKES

MM&P Great Lakes and Rivers Representative Charlie Malue reports that numerous jobs are available on the Great Lakes for licensed mates with pilotage, engineers, QMEDS and able-bodied seamen. Retirees are also encouraged to apply for these jobs. The rules of the MM&P Pension Plan allow pensioners to accept without penalty employment–other than Covered Employment–aboard vessels covered by collective bargaining agreements with MM&P membership groups, on condition that the employment is first approved by the Organization. Interested parties should call Charlie Malue at 216-776-1667 or e-mail him at cmalue@bridgedeck.org.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

If you are unable to attend your scheduled class, you can contact MITAGS 24 hours a day using voice mail, email or the manned switchboard.  Most CMM courses run full with a standby list.  A “NO SHOW” denies members on standby, and deprives MITAGS of revenue.  Take a minute of your time to cancel your course and support MITAGS’ continuing commitment to provide you with world class training and comfortable accommodations.    

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-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

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

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

[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-SMA-R – Small Arms Re-Qualification (2-day): 12/1 (must have proof of passing all 3 weapons within 2 years)

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 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 2008

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)

November 2007
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

January 2008
7-11ENAV
7-11STB BAS
7-11TPIC
7-11BST
8-11ARPA
8-11LFBT
14-18AB
14-18WX BAS
14-18SHS BAS
14-25GMDSS
14-1TCNAV
21-1WKP
22ROR
28-1MED PRO
28-2GMDSS
28-8MED PIC
28-1FF ADV
28-29FF BAS

February 2008
4-8 ROR
4-8 BST
4-8 AB
11-15TPIC
12-15LFBT
11ROR
11-12SAR
11-15TPIC
12-15ARPA
12-15LFBT
13-15EP
16FL
18-22ENAV
18-22MED PRO
18-29MED PIC
18-22SHS BAS
25ROR
25-29ARPA
25-29ECDIS
25-7CNAV

March 2008
3-7BST
3-14GMDSS
4-7LFBT
10-11SAR
10-12SEC VCF
10-14AB
12-14EP
17-21TPIC
17-28SHS ADV
17-28GMDSS
24-28ECDIS
24-28FF ADV
24-4GMDSS
27-28FF 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 10-26-2007

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
13,807 2,804 1,535
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
70.15
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
141.51
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
42.68
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
28.68
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
21.77
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
37.59
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.26
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
33.93
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
6.06
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
17.55
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
26.32
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
14.43
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
22.08
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
12.49
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
13.69
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
14.47
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
15.48
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
15.99
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.07
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
37.08
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
22.76
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
17.17
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
30.18
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.19
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
102.48
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
22.39
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
88.86
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
25.20
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
46.64
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
44.73
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
32.07
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.75
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
13.00
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
15.66
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
16.87
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
17.63
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
10.45
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
12.20
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.35
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
41.86
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
54.38
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
35.13






~ 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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