News

Wheelhouse Weekly – September 03, 2007

September 3rd 2007

 

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

Volume 11 . . . . . Number 35. . . .September 3, 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.


MM&P LABOR DAY OFFICE CLOSINGS AND LOS ANGELES MARCH

On Monday, Sept. 3, MM&P headquarters, MM&P Plans, the MM&P Federal Credit Union and all port offices will be closed for Labor Day. And remember: if you are in Los Angeles, join your MM&P shipmates at the Labor Day march. Coffee and donuts will be available in the hall from 0800 until we leave for the parade at 0900. For more details, call the MM&P Los Angeles/Long Beach Hall at 310-834-7201.


CHIEF MATES STILL NEEDED FOR T-AGS VESSELS

MM&P is urgently seeking licensed deck officers to sail as chief mates on the T-AGS oceanographic vessels. If you are interested, please contact MM&P Atlantic Ports Vice President Rich May at rmay@bridgedeck.org or 201-963-1918.



CALIFORNIA CPA BARRED FROM PREPARING TAX RETURNS THAT CLAIM SO-CALLED “MARINER’S TAX DEDUCTION”

A federal judge in Los Angeles has barred Martin A. Kapp, a certified public accountant based in El Segundo, Calif., from preparing federal income tax returns that claim the so-called “mariner’s tax deduction” for meals received free from their employers. The judge ordered Kapp to give the Justice Department a list of the names, addresses, e-mail addresses, and Social Security numbers of customers for whom he had claimed the deductions. The judge also ordered Kapp to post a copy of the permanent injunction on his web site for a year. The Justice Department filed suit against Kapp on April 11, 2006, claiming that the returns he had prepared for mariners who worked on barges and tugs understated the mariners’ correct tax liabilities by deducting purported business expenses that were not actually incurred. To access the Justice Department’s ruling, go to http://www.usdoj.gov/opa/pr/2007/August/07_tax_641.html.


HAVE YOU BEEN DENIED ACCESS TO A TERMINAL OR PORT FACILITY? MM&P WANTS TO HEAR ABOUT IT NOW!

As many readers of MM&P publications are aware, our union has repeatedly told Congress that MM&P members and other mariners, as well as ship chandlers and other service providers to ships, are being denied free access to ports and terminal facilities and to and from their vessels. Some have had to pay for access, to hire private security services to transit from the ship to the terminal gate, or even to ride launches around facilities and vessels so as to comply with local rules. MM&P has been invited to talk about this issue again with Congressional staff. It would be helpful if you could share with us reports of any difficulties you have had in gaining access to your vessel, to terminals and port facilities. Please report any such incidents to Mike Rodriguez, Executive Assistant to MM&P International President Tim Brown, at mrodriguez@bridgedeck.org or 410-850-8700 ext. 23 as soon as possible.


MM&P-CONTRACTED AHL IS FEATURED IN MAGAZINE COVER STORY

AHL’s plan to build three, shallow-draft, 49,000-DWT Jones Act tankers under a charter agreement with Shell Trading Company is the focus of a cover story in the August 2007 issue of Maritime Reporter and Engineering News. All AHL ships are crewed top-to-bottom by MM&P. According to the publisher of the magazine, Greg Trauthwein, the new tankers “represent a milestone for the U.S. shipbuilding industry.”

“First,” he writes, “they are the first ships to be built in this country under the common structural rules adopted by the International Association of Classification Societies, which came into effect in April 2006. Second, the tankers will be exclusively a North American design…. Last, but certainly not least, is the fact that a modular ship construction process will be employed, using several different shipbuilding facilities…”

The article quotes AHL President Richard Horner and Bob Salmon of Shell Trading. Horner explains that AHL decided to design the ship from the ground up to meet Shell’s specific needs. As an example, he cited the requirement that the new tankers maximize cargo carriage capability in the face of the stringent draft requirement of 34.5 feet in the port of Tampa, an important distribution point for Shell.

The three new vessels will go on long-term time charter to Shell in 2009-10.
The company will use the vessels, which will have a cargo capacity of 330,000 barrels, to transport crude oil, chemicals and other products within its domestic U.S. trade lanes, Salmon said. He said Shell “engaged with a number of shipowners” before selecting AHL on the basis of that company’s excellent reputation. “Their business culture is a safety-conscious one, and they have a track record of delivering on spec and on time,” he said.

AHL currently operates a fleet of four U.S.-built Jones Act OPA90-compliant tankers serving crude and chemical customers throughout the coastal United States.



MIGHTY MACK” IN THE SPOTLIGHT: MM&P DREDGE CAPTAIN INTERVIEWED ON FOX NEWS

An interview with MM&P member Tom Evans, captain of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers hopper dredge MCFARLAND, aired Aug. 29 on Philadelphia’s Fox News. “Mighty Mack,” as she is called, is assigned to an emergency dredging project on the Delaware River until mid-September. The 300-foot MCFARLAND, with MM&P licensed deck officers on board, is the only vessel of her kind assigned to the East Coast.

Delaware River Pilots had complained of the lack of action on shoaling in the area of Palmyra, N.J. The crewmembers on the dredge are helping to deepen the river’s more than 100-mile long shipping channel from 40 to 45 feet to make it possible for bigger ships to enter Philadelphia-area ports. Palmyra residents in the vicinity of Dragon Fly Pond initially expressed concerns over the project but are now beginning to see the benefits of increased water flow through the area.

MCFARLAND and her crew were also called upon in support of dredging projects in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Captains on the MCFARLAND serve 14-day tours. Evans shares the job with Captain Karl Van Florcke.


PIRATES RELEASE DANICA WHITE AND CREW, PLUS MASTER AND CHIEF ENGINEER KIDNAPPED IN MALACCA STRAIT

Somali pirates released the DANICA WHITE and her crew on Aug. 22, after receiving a $1.5-million ransom. A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry of Denmark reported that the crewmembers “appeared to be in fairly good shape – given the circumstances.” The ship had been seized by pirates June 1, 130 miles off the coast of Somalia. On the heels of the incident, Denmark has called for an increase in international cooperation to prevent piracy in the area in which the vessel and her crew were seized.

The master and chief engineer of a Malaysian barge, kidnapped by pirates in the Malacca Strait on Aug. 13, were released on Aug. 24 after a ransom of an unspecified amount was paid. The other six Indonesian crewmembers were not hurt in the attack. The ICC International Maritime Bureau says this is the first kidnapping by pirates reported in the area in over three years.


HAWAII SUPERFERRY BLOCKED INDEFINITELY

The Hawaii Superferry, a four-story behemoth intended to move high volumes of passengers and their vehicles between Honolulu and some of Hawaii’s most pristine marine settings, has been put on hold. Environmentalists on surfboards, or simply swimming in front of the giant vessel, succeeded in blocking the 349-foot long ALAKAI outside Nawiliwilli Harbor Monday night. The environmental activists, several of whom were arrested, braved the water as well as officers of the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), who had announced the imposition of a “safety zone” around the ship. The ferry’s first voyage thus ended ignominiously with a forced return to Honolulu Harbor. “We are ferociously against the assault on the oceans by the superferry,” said Diana LeBedz, an organizer of the protest who was interviewed by USA Today. Last week, the Hawaii Supreme Court had placed an initial roadblock in the way of the superferry’s operators when it ruled that the state must complete a thorough environmental assessment of the project’s impact on local harbors and waterways, and on marine life. There has been no word on when the ferry might resume service.


THE MARITIME ADMINISTRATION ADDS PORT DEVELOPMENT TO ITS ARRAY OF SERVICES*

The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) has added another service to its growing sphere of influence in the maritime world. On the heels of getting U.S. mariners onto foreign flag ships calling at U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) import facilities, MARAD and its Administrator, Sean Connaughton, told Maritime Executive this week that the agency had successfully begun a program designed to help port authorities ramp up their infrastructure. “It is a value-added tool with which port development can be expedited and in some cases, costs reduced,” Connaughton told Maritime Executive Managing Editor Joseph Keefe. As a case in point, Connaughton cited the port of Anchorage, where MARAD recently assisted in securing funds, eased the regulatory burden of getting permits and environmental studies and probably reduced the timeframe for the project to four years, down from 7?10 years.

The port of Anchorage needed new berths and better rail and highway connections. The ambitious project was expected to cost $400 million. In stepped MARAD, says Connaughton, to help pull together funding and partners, as well as to lead and expedite the regulatory effort by helping with state and federal permits and environmental studies. The MARAD effort was, adds Connaughton, “a first of its kind initiative, a learning experience and a foundation for how to do it elsewhere. We were the Project Manager for the port.”

Anchorage presented unique challenges to the stakeholders, but also represented an opportunity for a “win-win” situation. The port itself did not have easy access to road and rail service. Right next door was Elmendorf Air Force Base, with similar problems and real sealift needs. The military angle was a sidebar to the primary focus, but it didn’t hurt. Elmendorf eventually partnered with the project by supplying surplus gravel needed for building purposes at the port, a move which measurably lowered construction costs (by more than 50 percent on the delivered material). For Elmendorf, removal of the gravel also helped lower an impediment to jets and improved access to the port.

MARAD’s involvement with the project didn’t just involve moving government money around. Instead, says Maggie Blum, MARAD’s associated administrator for intermodal system development, “We are helping to pull in private money, too. Along the way, we are lowering costs.” Beyond this, she said, “We made sure that the community supported it before going forward. We’re not a large government bureaucracy at MARAD, but we do have the expertise to help get things done; cheaper and quicker.” In this case, about three percent of the federal funding for the project went back to MARAD to defray expenses and salaries associated with the effort.

Possibly the most valuable part of MARAD’s effort to make this project happen came in the form of guidance when it came time to study environmental impact. Michael Carter, director of MARAD’s Office of Environment, said, “We made sure the project did not get stuck in the mode of environmental studies. In the case of Anchorage, we were able to work through the National Environmental Protection Act without getting into the Environmental Impact Study process, which would have certainly extended the project.” Alaska is particularly well known for its environmental lobby and when that fails, there is usually someone from the lower 48 who is willing to come up and carry the ball. In the end, the go-ahead for construction was given in record time. Local “buy-ins” were therefore important. A native Alaskan Company is being used to perform much of the general contracting work.

As MARAD’s role in this project ends, Connaughton is reaching out to other port authorities to do the same thing. In doing so, he’s hoping to put real meaning behind the words, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” But there’s an ulterior motive, as well. Connaughton says that port infrastructure in the United States is not keeping pace with growth and cargo volumes that are expected to double in the next 10 years. MARAD’s newest port initiative, he adds, is consistent with the agency’s mission of improving and strengthening the U.S. marine transportation system -including infrastructure, industry and labor -to meet the economic and security needs of the nation.

Every port project is different and the challenge of transferring this promising model to other parts of the country will require close cooperation between private and public entities. In some places – Maersk’s new Hampton Roads facility, for example – the decision was made to not use federal money. For some, however, the lure of a smoother regulatory process coupled with a less expensive overall operation might just be the ticket to success. And, if Anchorage is any yardstick, the learning curve just got a little shorter, and a lot less painful. –

*This article was reprinted in its entirety, with permission, from the Aug. 30 edition of Maritime Executive.


MARAD REMOVES LAST TOP PRIORITY VESSELS FROM JAMES RIVER RESERVE FLEET

MARAD will pay the North American Ship Recycling, Sparrows Point, Md., over $2.1 billion to remove the last set of high priority vessels from the James River Reserve Fleet. The disposal of CAPE CHARLES, PRIDE, SCAN, SOUTHERN CROSS and SPHINX brings the total number of ships removed from the fleet since January 2001 to 66 vessels.

The SPHINX, a cable-laying ship built in Japan in 1944, was slated for removal years ago, but its fate remained in limbo while charitable groups tried to raise money to save it. The rest of the ships were built in the 1960s for Moore-McCormack Lines as combination freight and passenger vessels. The CAPE CHARLES, a freighter launched in 1963, was constructed at the Bethlehem Steel shipyard at Sparrows Point, the site at which it will be dismantled.

MARAD keeps ships in three National Defense Reserve Fleets sites to support Armed Forces movements and respond to national emergencies, and then arranges for their disposal when they become obsolete.


JOBS AVAILABLE ON THE GREAT LAKE

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

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

AIS – Automatic Identification System: 11/30
ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 9/18, 11/12

BRMP � Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 10/17
BST � Basic Safety Training: 10/8

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-CHS I � Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 9/17, 11/26
CMM-CHS II � Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 9/24
CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 11/12
CMM-MPP � Marine Propulsion Plants: 10/1
CMM-SHS-ADV-I-Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 11/26
CMM-SHMGT-I � Ship Management (week 1): 10/15
CMM-SHMGT-II� Ship Management (week 2): 10/8
CMM-VPEN � Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 10/8, 11/5
CMM-WKP � Advanced Watchkeeping: 10/22

COMP-OPSYS � Basic Computer Operating Systems: 10/8
CONT PLNG � Contingency Planning: 9/21
CSE-AAES � Confined Space Entry, Atmospheric Analysis of Enclosed Spaces: 9/24, 11/5

FF-BADV � Combined Basic & Advanced Fire Fighting: 10/8

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

LEG � Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 10/17 (evening class)
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 9/15, 11/10
MED-PRO � Medical Care Provider: 9/10, 11/5
MEDIA RSP � Media Response: 9/20, 11/29

[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-CBRD-1 � CBRD Orientation: 10/28
MSC-DC � Damage Control: 10/26
MSC-SMA – Small Arms Training: 10/22
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: 9/17, 10/15
ROP-5 � Radar Observer Unlimited (Original/Renewal): 10/1, 11/5

SEC-VCF � Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 9/17, 11/26
SHS-BAS � Basic Shiphandling: 10/15
SHS-ESH- BRMP – Emergency Shiphandling & Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 11/26
SHS-EMR5 � Emergency Shiphandling: 10/22

TPIC � Tankerman Person-In-Charge: 9/10
TTT � Train the Trainer (Instructor training): 9/17

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

Summer – Fall 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)

August 2007
27-31  BAFF
27-31  ENAV
27-31  MED PRO
27-8    GMDSS
27-29  CSO/SSO

September 2007
4-7      LFBT
4-8      WX BAS
4-8      TCNAV
10th    RADAR RENEWAL
10-14  BST
10-14  AB
10-14  MED PRO
10-14  TCNAV
10-14  SHS BAS
17-21  MED PRO
17-21  ARPA
17-21  SHS BAS
17-21  TCNAV
17-28  GMDSS
19-21  AFF
24-5    WKP
24-28 ROP
26-28 AFF

October 2007

1-3      BRM
1-5      ARPA
2-5      LFBT
2-5      AFF
8-19    GMDSS
8-12    SHS EM5
8-12    BST
8-12    AB
15-19  ECDIS           
15-19  MED PRO
15-26  MED PIC
17-19  SEC VCF
15-19  BAFF
22        FL
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 8-31-2007

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
13,357.74 2,596.36 1,473.99
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
67.34
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
136.16
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
40.85
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
26.13
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
20.60
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
36.43
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.13
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
32.02
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.94
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
17.09
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
25.04
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
14.18
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
21.17
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
12.03
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
13.11
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
13.78
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
14.70
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
15.18
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
9.95
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
35.63
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
20.96
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
16.62
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
31.96
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.12
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
93.16
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
22.17
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
86.35
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
24.42
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
47.65
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
40.32
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
33.40
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.55
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
12.65
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
14.95
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
15.95
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
16.57
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
9.81
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
52.31
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
34.01






~ 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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