News

Wheelhouse Weekly – September 08, 2006

September 8th 2006

 

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

Volume 10 . . . . . Number 36. . . . September 8, 2006

STORIES COVERED

Also

REMINDERS

T-AGS Oceanographic Survey Ships Info

Required Coursework

Security Clearances

MSC Physicals

MM&P Health & Benefit Plan News

Notice to Members who are taking Vioxx

NMHC Mail-Order Prescriptions Website Updated & Improved

WWII USCG Veterans Outreach

Company Gives Bucks Back for buying Safe Shoes

Website Offers Union-Made Goods and Services




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





 

NEW 5-YEAR CONTRACT REACHED WITH COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

On the evening of August 29th, agreement was reached on a 5-year contract with Columbia University. The spiraling costs of health care and pension contributions, subjects we are all well aware of, became the focus of the negotiations. The current method of calculating Health and Welfare payments was maintained and Pension contributions, although modified, were maintained at the existing level. A three percent raise in wages and wage related items commences on July 1st of each year of the contract. The contract was a result of three negotiating sessions at the Lamont-Doherty Campus in Palisades, NY with Rich May – Atlantic Coast VP, Richard Plant – Director of Special Projects and Gerry Gordon – New York Asst. Port Rep., comprising the MM&P committee.




 

MM&P MEMBERS AND FAMILIES TURN OUT FOR LABOR DAY EVENTS

MM&P members and their families participated in some of the hundreds of Labor Day events that took place last Monday. This is an especially critical year for working families. The AFL-CIO sent out the following report regarding the status of American workers.

“Our nation is at a tipping point. People are working harder and making less. We’re in a health care crisis that’s deeper than any of us ever imagined. We all worry about how we’ll retire with dignity. A good middle-class life is increasingly out of reach. Whoever thought that in America our children might not be better off than their parents?

America’s unions are committed to bringing workers together for good jobs, health care, a great education for every child and a secure retirement. We are working to make sure everyone, not just the CEOs, gets a fair share in a growing economy. Unions are making a real difference in people’s lives.

  • We’re standing up to raise the minimum wage and fighting for more corporate accountability, such as limits on CEO pay and lavish pensions.
  • We’re working for fair trade laws to hold nations accountable when they violate workers’ rights.
  • We’re championing laws to make workplaces safer, such as improvements in mine safety following the Sago coal mine tragedy.
  • This fall, we’re going to launch the most ambitious, sophisticated voter education and mobilization program we’ve ever run to take back our government for America’s workers.
  • Working America (www.workingamerica.org) the AFL-CIO’s community affiliate for workers who don’t have a union, opened seven new offices this year, bringing in about 200,000 new members a month this summer. Working America now has 1.5 million members. Some 57 million eligible nonunion workers, or 59 percent, say they would join a union if they could. We’re working for passage of the Employee Free Choice Act to ensure that workers who want a voice at work have the opportunity.”


BUSH VOWS CONTINUED SUPPORT OF JONES ACT

The Congressional Information Bureau newsletter reports that in Labor Dayremarks at the Seafarers International Union’s (SIU) Paul Hall Center, Piney Point, MD, President George Bush said that it is important for Presidents to embrace the Jones Act. “I have, so far, as five-and-a-half years as the President, supported the Jones Act, and will continue to do so as the President.”


VOTE NEARS FOR SHIPPING RULES COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Time is running out for members interested in serving on the Shipping Rules Committee. The Pacific Ports will vote on representatives to the committee at union meetings in September. Meetings are scheduled for Los Angeles/Long Beach 9/13, Seattle 9/14, San Francisco 9/19 and Honolulu 9/21. The Shipping Rules Conference will be held at MM&P HQ October 17-18. Members are encouraged to submit resolutions to the committee. For further info or to submit comments, contact Dave Boatner at dboatner@bridgedeck.org.


COAST GUARD CUTTER’S SKIPPER TEMPORARILY RELIEVED OF DUTY

The US Coast Guard’s Public Affairs office for the 13th District issued a press release last week stating that Vice Adm. Charles Wurster, commander of the Coast Guard’s Pacific Area, had “temporarily relieved Capt. Douglas Russell of command of the USCG cutter HEALY, citing a loss of confidence in the officer’s ability to command.” The move closely follows an accident in which two crew members of the USCG HEALY were killed during dive operations in the Arctic Ocean, approximately 500 miles north of Barrow, AK.

Capt. Daniel Oliver was assigned temporary command of the cutter, which is scheduled to return to its homeport of Seattle this week. According to the Coast Guard press release, Oliver had been in command of the HEALY in the past. Lt. Jessica Hill, 30, of St. Augustine, FL, died on August 17 during a routine dive operation in the Arctic Ocean approximately 500 miles north of Barrow. A second crewmember, Petty Officer 2nd Class Steven Duque, 26, of Miami was also killed in the accident. Memorial services for both crewmembers were held last week. The cause of the dive accident has not yet been determined and is still under investigation.


USCG REPORTS SUCCESSFUL SALVAGE EFFORTS FOR COUGAR ACE

The US Coast Guard said late last week that salvage crews were preparing the foreign flag car carrier COUGAR ACE for towing to Portland, OR, where she will discharge its cargo and undergo repairs. The vessel that developed a severe list south of the Aleutian Islands last month is finally upright. The salvage tug SEA VICTORY was reportedly set to tow the vessel, accompanied by the escort vessel GLADIATOR, in a trip which was expected to take about 10 days.

The vessel developed a severe list onto its port side on July 23rd as the crew attempted to adjust the ship’s ballast condition and an investigation to determine the exact cause of the incident by Singapore government agencies is still underway. The car carrier has been moored at a buoy northwest of Dutch Harbor since tugs delivered it on August 8th. Since that time, dewatering and salvage efforts have almost completely removed its list.

As of last week, the USCG reported that the resecuring of all cargo, some minor dewatering operations and final surveys were still left to be completed prior to the departure of the tow from Wide Bay. The Singapore-flagged car-carrier was loaded with about 5,000 Japanese-built Mazdas for the US market. The condition of the automobiles is still to be determined.


NEW WEB SITE HELPS CAPTAINS TRACK PIRACY INCIDENTS

Sea captains and ship owners whose vessels must travel through piracy hotspots have a new tool to help them prepare their voyage. The International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has launched an online piracy map which gives users a visual on the nature and location of attacks to help them better understand and track incidents.

The map is available as either a satellite view, provided by Google, a plain view (indicating countries and borders), or a combination of both. Viewers see not only the relief of the coastline but also the bays and coves from which pirates may initiate their attack.

“It is not easy to get an immediate picture of the piracy risk of an area by reading lengthy reports full of data and numbers,” said IMB Director Pottengal Mukundan. “We hope the map, coupled with the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) alerts, will help seafarers spot the warning signs and better prepare for possible attacks.”

While the map is primarily aimed at helping ship owners, managers and their crews, Captain Mukundan noted that law enforcement officials will find it useful in deciding where best to concentrate their searches for pirates, and researchers will benefit from actually seeing the geographical circumstances of piracy attacks to predict trends.

This user-friendly map can be accessed on the IMB website (www.icc-ccs.org). Red balloons mark actual attacks while yellow balloons show attempted attacks. Clicking on these initiates a pop-up with a summary of the attack including the date and time, the type of vessel attacked, the type of attack and the number of crew affected. As with IMB’s quarterly and annual piracy reports, the information comes directly from ship masters and ship owners. Once verified by IMB’s Piracy Reporting Center new attacks or attempts will be added to the map within 24 hours.

Users can click on the year of their choice to bring up the corresponding map of attacks and their details for previous years, making visual comparisons of hot-spot activity much easier to understand. Feedback on the map and suggestions for future development are welcome and should be directed to the IMB directorate.


MORE ON CRITERIA FOR EXTENSION OF LICENSES AND DOCUMENTS

As previously reported in the Wheelhouse Weekly, members are reminded that the USCG has issued an extension of the expiration dates of licenses, merchant mariners’ documents and certificates of registry held by certain merchant mariners impacted by Hurricane Katrina. The August 21st announcement said that authority for the temporary relief measure was included in the Coast Guard Maritime and Transportation Act of 2006. The details of the unusual program are contained in the August 16th Federal Register.

The Coast Guard move applies to certain mariners holding any of the above credentials that have expired on or after Aug. 29, 2005, or will expire before April 1, 2007. The requirements are detailed below:

  • Credentials are automatically extended for one year from the expiration date for mariners whose home of record is listed as Alabama, Mississippi, or Louisiana on their merchant mariner credentials. To serve under the authority of their existing credentials, these mariners must carry a copy of the Federal Register notice with their existing credentials.
  • Credentials issued by Regional Examination Center New Orleans are automatically extended for one year from the date of expiration. To serve under the authority of their existing credentials, these mariners must carry a copy of the Federal Register notice with their existing credentials.
  • Other mariners who believe their ability to renew their credentials in a timely manner has been adversely impacted by Hurricane Katrina should contact any regional examination center to establish their eligibility for an extension. Mariners who have lost or suffered damaged credentials due to Hurricane Katrina may apply to any regional examination center to receive a duplicate credential that will bear the same expiration date and information as the lost or damaged one.

The Coast Guard measure does not, because of international constraints, apply to STCW endorsements or certificates. These documents cannot be extended. Mariners who are holding a license, certificate of registry, or merchant mariner’s document that is eligible for extension and an STCW endorsement certificate that has expired, or will expire, should apply for renewal of their STCW endorsement certificate at any regional examination center.

All mariners whose credentials are within one year of expiration are encouraged to submit renewal applications as early as possible. Mariners may contact any regional examination center with questions regarding these temporary measures, to obtain a copy of the Federal Register notice, or for any other assistance. The Regional Examination Center locations and phone numbers are:

Anchorage, Alaska: 907-271-6736
Baltimore: 410-962-5132/5147
Boston: 617-223-3040/41/42
Charleston, SC: 843-720-3250 or 800-826-1511
Guam: 671-339-2001
Honolulu: 808-522-8264
Houston: 713-948-3350/51
Juneau: 907-463-2458
Los Angeles/Long Beach: 562-495-1307
Memphis: 901-544-3297 or 866-777-2784
Miami: 305-536-6548/49/6874 or 800-982-9374
New Orleans: 504-846-6190
New York: 212-668-7492/7864/4970/6395
Portland, OR: 503-240-9346
Oakland: 510-637-1124
San Juan: 787-729-2376
Seattle: 206-220-7327
St.Louis: 314-539-3091
Toledo: 419-418-6010


MITAGS SEEKS RETIRED NAVY OFFICERS AS SIMULATOR INSTRUCTORS

MITAGS is seeking retired US Navy Officers interested in providing simulator-based professional maritime training to US Navy students. Hiring instructors that are retired US Navy Officers is a Navy requirement of this contract. Subjects include shiphandling, navigation and maritime safety skills required for top performance in the fleet. Positions require a minimum of 18 months US Navy surface warfare command-at-sea experience. STCW, ARPA/ECDIS qualifications and designation as Navy Master Training Specialist are plusses. Employment would be in the following areas:

  • Norfolk, VA
  • San Diego, CA
  • Jacksonville, FL
  • Honolulu, HI
  • Everett/Bremerton, WA
  • Japan

E-mail resume and letter of interest to hr@mitags.org or fax to (443) 989-3341. For more information, visit the MITAGS Web site at www.mitags.org


AHL EMPLOYEES REQUESTED TO UPDATE CONTACT INFO

All current and former MM&P-contracted AHL Shipping Company employees are requested to contact the company as soon as possible to update their address info. Members are reminded that AHL has moved to new offices located at 219 E. Houston Street, Suite 300, San Antonio, TX 78205. The main phone number is 210-228- 2700; job line number is 210-228-2771; and fax number is 210-222-9102.


HOUSTON PILOTS HAVE POSITION OPENING

Any member interested in seeking employment as a Houston Pilot should contact the Port of Houston to obtain an application form. For more information, contact Jim Eldridge at 713-670-2550.


MITAGS TO HOST UPCOMING MERPAC MEETING SEPTEMBER 12-14

The next meeting of MERPAC and its working groups, sponsored by the US Coast Guard, will be held at MITAGS on September 12-14. MERPAC provides advice and makes recommendations to the agency on matters related to training, qualification, licensing, certification, and fitness of seamen serving in the US merchant marine.

The Task 52 “License Exam Topics” subcommittee will meet in 8N, Building 1 on Sept. 12th. The main MERPAC meeting will be on Sept 13-14, in the Auditorium, Building #3. The agenda for this MERPAC meeting includes the standard of competence on tanker safety; a voluntary training program for entry level mariners; and a national training program including integration of the STCW Code into the USCG license examination process.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

CLASS OPENINGS: Between now and the end of November 2006, seats are available in the following courses:


ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 9/12, 9/26, 10/10, 10/24, 11/14
AZIPOD-KAM-2 – Two-Day Azipod and Kamewa Steering and Propulsion Systems: 9/19, 9/23, 10/2

BRMP – Bridge Resource Mangement for Pilots: 9/27, 10/10
BST – Basic Safety Training: 9/25, 10/30, 11/13

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
*WX-BASREF-2 – Two day Basic weather refresher, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED PREP for Advanced Meteorology: 10/26
*CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 9/11, 10/30
CMM-ADVSTB – 9/11, 10/23, 11/27
CMM-CHS I – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 9/25, 11/13
CMM-CHS II – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 9/18, 11/6
CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 10/30
CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 10/9
CMM-WKP – Watchkeeping: 11/27

COMP-OPSYS – Basic Computer Course: 11/13
CONT-PLNG – Contingency Planning: 10/13

CSE-AASE – Confined Space Entry: 11/14

FF-BADV – Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 9/25, 10/30, 11/13

HAZ-Hazardous Materials (5-day): 9/11, 11/6

MEDIA-RSP – Media Response: 10/12, 11/9

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 9/24, 10/22
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 9/11, 10/16


[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-CBRD-1 (Chemical Biological Radiological Defense Orientation): 10/25
MSC-DC (Damage Control): 10/26
MSC-SMA-R – Small Arms Re-Qualification (2-day): 11/3 (must have proof of passing all 3 weapons within 2 years)

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal (5-day): 11/27
ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 10/9, 10/23, 11/13

SEC-OFF-VCF – Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 10/9, 11/6
SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 10/23
SHS-EMR – Emergency Shiphandling: 11/13

TPIC – Tankerman Person-In-Charge: 9/25


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 – Winter 2006

Come check out all the new and exciting things happening in Seattle at PMI.

NEW ARRIVALS
We have some new members on our team to introduce to all. Captain Doug Pine is our new Simulation Department Manager, and works on specialty projects for PMI also. Tami Otschko is our new Administrative Assistant, taking over Jenny Fowler’s clerical front-desk duties to free Jenny up to concentrate on her very busy duties as our Registrar. Tami is the first point of contact at PMI now in our newly constructed reception area. Jenny can now be reached at JFowler@mates.org and at her new direct line, 206 838-1126 for registration.

NEW WEB SITE FOR PMI
We have revamped our Web site completely and invite you to go online to take a look. We think you’ll find it a great improvement and much easier to navigate through. Check it out at www.mates.org.

MATE 500/1600 TONS Program Begins January 2007
Due to the high demand for this program, which began in May 2006 with seven candidates, we have now scheduled another. As of this date we have close to full enrollment already for this 2007 start! Thanks to all the companies who are backing our dream! See our website at www. mates.org for more information on this amazing new step into the industry!

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

September 2006

11-12 Search and Rescue
11-15 Basic Safety Training
11-23 100 Ton OUPV
12-15 Survival Craft / Lifeboatman
13-15 Emergency Procedures
18-22 Radar Observer Unlimited
18-22 Shiphandling – Basic
18-22 Able Bodied Seaman
18-6 Oct Terrestrial & Coastal Navigation with Compasses
25th Radar Recertification
25-29 ARPA
25-2 Oct Watchkeeping & BRM

October 2006
10/2-4 Ship Security Officer
10/2-4 Basic Safety Training
10/2-13 Shiphandling – Advanced
10/9-13 ECDIS
10/9-13 Radar Observer Unlimited
10/9-20 GMDSS
10/10-13 Survival Craft / Lifeboatman
10/16-20 Basic & Advanced Firefighting
10/23 Flashing Light
10/23-27 ARPA
10/23-27 Cargo Handling & Stowage – Basic
10/24-25 Simulation Assessment

November 2006
10/30-11/3 Tankerman Person in Charge
10/30-11/3 Able Bodied Seaman
10/30-11/3 Medical Person in Charge
10/30-11/3 Medical First Aid Provider
11/6-10 Tankerman Person in Charge
11/6-10 ARPA
11/6-10 Emergency Shiphandling
11/6-17 GMDSS
11/27-12/1 Radar Observer Unlimited

December 2007
12/4-8 ARPA
12/4-15 Shiphandling – Advanced
12/11-13 Security Officer – Vessel, Company, and Facility
12/11-22 GMDSS
12/18-22 ECDIS
12/18-22 ARPA
12/18-22 Medical First Aid Provider
12/19 Radar Recertification

January 2007
1/2 Mate Program Begins/Orientation
1/8-1/26 Ratings Forming Part of a Navigational Watch
1/22-1/26 Terrestrial and Coastal Navigation
1/22-1/26 Tankerman Person in Charge
1/22-1/26 Emergency Shiphandling
1/29-2/2 Medical First Aid Provider
1/29-2/2 Radar Observer Unlimited
1/29-2/9 Medical Person in Charge
1/29-2/9 GMDSS

For registration call Jennifer Fowler 888-893-7829

PMI MERCHANDISE FOR SALE!!!

High quality with embroidered PMI logo.
Navy or Khaki Hats : $16 / includes tax
———————————-
Button Down Long Sleeve Dress Shirts
Blue or Khaki: $38 / includes tax
———————————-
Pocket t-shirts with Logo: $12 / includes tax
————————————
15oz. Cobalt Blue Ceramic Mug: $8 / includes tax

Call DeeDee Lazik 206-838-8328 or e-mail dlazik@mates.org.


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 9-7

 

 D O W  N A S D A Q  S & P 500
11,3331.44 -49.69 for the week 2,155.29 -28.46 for the week 1,294.02 -9.80 for the week
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
Closing
Price
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
119.60
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
35.16
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
23.58
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
17.62
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
33.24
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.17
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX)
6.09
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
9.92
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
19.06
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
16.38
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
28.56
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
85.25
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
21.71
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
79.21
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
45.96
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
30.41

.






~ 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:

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

5.00 percent for 25-48 months;
5.75 percent for 49-60 months ($20,000 minimum); and
6.25 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

NOTICE TO MEMBERS WHO ARE TAKING VIOXX

On Sept.30, Merck & Co. voluntarily withdrew Vioxx, a popular anti-inflammatory medication, from the market. As a result, individuals who are currently taking the drug have been asked to contact their health care professionals to discuss discontinuing use of Vioxx and possible alternative treatments.

MM&P Plans Administrator Valerie Verrecchio reports that, “We have gotten a number of calls from members who want to know what to do with their remaining supply of Vioxx and whether the Plan or NMHC will refund their co-pay for the unused portion.

“Unfortunately, neither NMHC nor the Plan was aware of the Merck decision prior to the public announcement on Sept.30. As of that date, all deliveries of Vioxx to our members was suspended in accordance with Merck’s announcement. Orders that had already been processed and were in transit could not be stopped.

“In regard to refunds, Merck has set up a website at www.vioxx.com where members can obtain information on how to recover refunds from Merck for the unused portion of medication. Members can also call following toll free number for information: 1-888-368-4699.

“We are sorry for any inc onvenience this may have caused to members currently taking this medication, however, the matter is out of the control of the Plans.”



NMHC MAIL-ORDER PRESCRIPTIONS WEBSITE UPDATED & IMPROVED

MM&P Plans Administrator Valerie Verrecchio reports, “Good news! NMHC mail has finally gotten their website upgraded and functioning properly. I went in and tested it myself and found it to be quite user friendly.”

To use NMHC’s upgraded service, go to the NMHC Mail website at www.nmhcmail.com and click on “MEMBER LOGIN” at the bottom of the screen.

First-time and Registered users may bypass the welcome screen and go directly to the log-in page at https://members.nmhcrx.com/Login/Login.aspx.

  • First-time users should then click on the link marked “NEW USER: REGISTER HERE”.
    This will take you to a page titled “MEMBER REGISTRATION” where you will need to enter demographic information and submit it by clicking on the
  • “CREATE ACCOUNT” button.

After creating your account, NMHC will email you a password to gain entry into your records. With your first sign-in, the NMHC system will prompt you to change the NMHC password to one of your own choosing.

Once you are registered at NMHC, you can check the status of open orders by logging-in to the system through the “MEMBER LOGIN” page and going into the “MAIL ORDER” menu. You can look up all prescriptions and get the price our members will pay for any medication. You can also view an order history of all of your medication transactions (both retail and mail) for the last 24 months, locate 24-hour pharmacies in your zip code region as well as access other helpful member education information.

“We hope this welcome improvement will assist our members. Although you cannot order refills on line if you don’t provide a credit or debit card number, you can phone in your refill. Once you register on the website, you will still have access to all of the other information including checking the status of your order once it is phoned in,” said Ms. Verrecchio.



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., Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1941. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: iommp@bridgedeck.org. For further info or to subscribe contact John Peige at jpeige@bridgedeck.org. The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea and is posted on our web page.

.