News

Wheelhouse Weekly – September 22, 2006

September 22nd 2006

 

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

Volume 10 . . . . . Number 38. . . . September 22, 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.





 

IMPORTANT LICENSE CHANGES GO INTO EFFECT THIS FEBRUARY

MM&P’s Director of Special Projects Richard Plant advises that as of February 2007, license requirement changes will go into effect that will affect all members who want to raise their current license rating. Beginning in February, in order to sit for the Management (upper) level deck exam, candidates will be required to take 10 to 12 weeks of training courses. Plant says that, “If you have the sea time and meet the current qualifications please consider raising your license from Third to Second and from Chief Mate to Master or First Assistant to Chief Engineer before February 2007.”

Plant explains that, “Presently, mariners wishing to raise their license from Third to Second only need to take the Second’s exam. Mariners raising their license from Chief Mate to Master or First Assistant to Chief Engineer only need take the Master or Chief Engineer exam. As of February 2007, mariners wishing to raise their license from Third to Second will have to take the combined Third and Second exam. Mariners raising their license from Chief Mate to Master or First Assistant to Chief Engineer will have to take the combined Chief Mate and Master or First Assistant and Chief Engineer exam.” For more info, contact Richard Plant at 410-850-8700 ext. 36 or e-mail him at: rplant@bridgedeck.org.




 

MSC COMMANDER SPEAKS TO USMMA CHESAPEAKE CHAPTER ALUMNI

Rear Admiral Robert Reilly, Jr., who became the commander of the Military Sealift Command earlier this year, presented an overview of the MSC and briefed members of the US Merchant Marine Academy Alumni Foundation – Chesapeake Chapter, on the lessons he’s learned since assuming command. The presentation was made to a dinner meeting of the organization on September 20th at MITAGS. He recently made a similar presentation to the Washington, DC Propeller Club.

Reilly said that he had grown up in and around ships and comes from a seafaring family and considers himself blessed to be in charge of what he sees as a $3 billion business with 9,000 people operating in a global maritime economy. That said, he stressed the need to be cost-conscious and stated that he was on the lookout as to where costs are headed. Reilly noted that he continues to watch the price of fuel and the costs of manpower.

Reilly said that the first thing he learned at MSC is that it is an organization that is tied to those fundamental tenants of US national posture that go back to the days of the founding of the Constitution. He noted that the Constitution speaks to the requirements of maintaining a Navy because of piracy and threats off America’s shores and the need to protect the country’s sea-lanes.

Quoting from a Navy Director of Intelligence memo from 1992, Reilly said that there is a national crisis every 15 years, and with that, we have to be concerned about global maritime security. Reilly said that of the Navy’s 281 ships that are battle-force capable, around 35 to 41 of those ships are MSC ships. On daily basis, MSC has 120 ships a day in 22 different time zones, with 80 percent of his employees out at sea. He pointed out that 167 ships were moving Department of Defense (DOD) cargo in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and noted the cooperation that it takes to perform its mission.

As part of that mission, Reilly observed that the MSC has a national strategic dependency on its enduring relationships with American shipping companies, with the American fleet, and how the MSC does that will be integral to the next phase of the nation’s history. He identified that phase as the global war on terror. Reilly said one of the main challenges in a changed world is how the MSC, the DOD and the country positions itself for the future.

While identifying some of the challenges he faces as the new MSC commander, he made a point to say that he’s privileged to be at the helm. He said that part of that privilege is to be able to walk aboard one of MSC’s ships and to see someone that he knows, “someone that loves to be there, somebody that understands that the sea can be a pretty interesting adventure. It can be hard work, it can be gratifying work, and it takes everybody on that vessel to deliver.”

MM&P’s Government Employees’ Membership Group Representative Randi Ciszewski represents Licensed Deck Officers employed by the MSC.


SHIPPING RULES CONFERENCE TO BE HELD AT MM&P HQ IN OCTOBER

The Shipping Rules Conference will be held at MM&P HQ October 17-18. For further info or to submit comments, contact Dave Boatner at dboatner@bridgedeck.org.


MM&P-CONTRACTED APL HONORED AS TOP IT INNOVATOR

MM&P-contracted APL has been honored as among the most innovative user of information technology by a respected industry journal. APL was ranked first among all ocean container-shipping lines in the 18th annual “InformationWeek” 500 listing of top business technology innovators. The ranking – based on rigorous application and screening processes – is the latest in a series of technology-related honors for APL.

APL’s entry highlighted the use of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and active RFID at its marine terminals.
Among other benefits, the application of technology has reduced trucker wait times at terminal gates by 40 percent and enabled APL to reduce the time it takes to locate cargo in a crowded container yard from hours to just seconds. This is the seventh consecutive year that APL has been named to InformationWeek’s top 500. For the past six years it has placed among the top 100.


VOTE NOVEMBER 7 TO PROMOTE THE US MERCHANT MARINE!

Tuesday, November 7, is Election Day. People across the country will have the opportunity to vote for their representatives and, in 33 states, for their senators. This is an opportunity for all of us who care about the US Merchant Marine to make a decision that will affect our future and help determine whether our country maintains a US-flag shipping industry.

This is our opportunity to vote for our jobs, to protect our economic interests and to promote a stronger, larger and more competitive US-Flag Merchant Marine.

Every vote counts. Remember that whether or not we are disillusioned by what has or hasn’t happened in Washington, the candidates who are ultimately elected November 7th will control the fate of our industry and thus, our future.

Log onto MM&P’s website at , for a list of candidates who support: funding and expansion of the Maritime Security Program; enforcement of the Jones Act; implementation of cargo preference programs; the right of American workers, including licensed maritime officers, to join and belong to unions and bargain collectively. Please review the candidate recommendation page.

If we take the time to learn about an individual’s position on issues important to our industry and if we use that information when deciding how to vote, we can and will make a difference. We can elect candidates who will fight by our side for a stronger US-Flag Merchant Marine.

Go to today to view our Candidate Recommendations. If you don’t have access to the Internet and want information on the candidates, send an e-mail to Jim Patti at MIRAID in Washington, DC at jpatti@miraid.org or contact him by phone at 202-463-6505.


COURT ORDERS EPA TO REGULATE SHIPS DUMPING BALLAST WATER

Finding that EPA’s regulation exempting ballast water discharges from the Clean Water Act is “plainly contrary to the congressional intent,” earlier this week a federal court ordered the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to come up with new regulations in two years. The order follows the court’s finding last year that EPA had illegally exempted ships’ ballast water discharges from Clean Water Act permit requirements.

The ruling directs EPA to take specific action by September 30, 2008 to ensure that shipping companies comply with the Clean Water Act and restrict the discharge of invasive species in ballast water. Over 21 billion gallons of ballast water from international ports is discharged into US waters each year. The cost of invasive species to the US economy is estimated in the billions of dollars annually.


IMO TO CELEBRATE WORLD MARITIME DAY 2006 ON SEPT.28TH

The International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) World Maritime Day 2006 will be celebrated on September 28th. IMO’s theme for this year’s World Maritime Day is “Technical Co-operation: IMO’s response to the 2005 World Summit”, which was chosen to focus on the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) adopted by the United Nations as the world community’s response to challenges such as hunger, disease and environmental degradation.

“Maritime activity has a key role to play in meeting the Millennium Development Goals, for shipping not only moves the world’s burgeoning trade, but can also contribute substantially to sustainable development, while international commerce promotes production, job creation and greater socio-economic prosperity. And the combination of all these has, undoubtedly, the potential to lift people from hunger and poverty and also eradicate life-threatening diseases,” said Efthimios Mitropoulos, IMO Secretary-General. Maritime Day is also used to focus attention on the importance of shipping safety, maritime security, and marine environmental protection.


USCG AMENDS REGULATIONS ON NAVAL VESSEL PROTECTION ZONES

The US Coast Guard amended its regulation relating to naval vessel protection zones to reflect the recent legislative expansion of authority to extend to waters out to 12 nautical miles seaward of the baseline from which the US territorial sea is measured. This amendment became effective on September 15th. For more info on this rule, call Brad Kieserman, USCG Office of Maritime and International Law at 202-372-3798.


FORMER USCG COMMANDANT ADMIRAL KIME DIES AT 72

Adm. J. William Kime (Ret.), a former US Coast Guard commandant who was passionate about maritime safety and environmental protection issues, died September 14th in Baltimore following a valiant struggle with cancer. He was 72 and served as commandant of the Coast Guard from 1990 to 1994. He was a giant in the field of marine safety and environmental protection. Among other things, he spearheaded the effort to adopt and implement the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, which resulted in a major reduction in the amount of oil entering US waters from ships. He also established the position of drug interdiction coordinator.

During his USCG career, he served afloat in deck and engineering positions and ashore in the law enforcement, marine safety and environmental protection fields. His assignments included commanding the USCG district in Long Beach, CA, directing operations for the USCG district in Miami, heading of the USCG’s technical division in New York and Washington. He also served as Captain of the Port in Baltimore and Chief of the Marine Safety, Security and Environmental Protection office in Washington. He was a key leader in the USCG’s response to the EXXON VALDEZ oil spill. After retiring from the USCG with 41 years of service, Kime served as Chief Executive Officer of ship management companies in the US, the UK, Norway and Sweden.

Admiral Kime will be honored at a memorial service at 1100 hrs on September 29th at the Memorial Chapel at Ft. Myer, VA. The chapel is located at Building 480, McNair Road, Ft. Myer, VA 22211. The memorial will be followed by burial with full military honors on Coast Guard Hill in Arlington National Cemetery. Letters of condolence be may be sent to: The Kime Family, c/o COMDT (G-IPA-3), 2100 Second Street SW, Washington, DC 20593.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to any of the following charities and marked in memory of Adm. J. William Kime:

Coast Guard Mutual Assistance
4200 Wilson Blvd, Suite 610
Arlington, VA 22203-1804

Hospice of Baltimore
Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care
6601 North Charles St.
Baltimore, MD 21204

The National Cancer Institute
Building 31, Room 11A16
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD 20892


ONE DEAD, TWO RESCUED AFTER VESSELS COLLIDE IN L.I. SOUND

A woman died and two men were rescued following an early morning collision between a 600-foot freighter and a 92-foot sailboat 5 miles north of Roanoke Point Shoals in Long Island Sound that occurred on Sept. 20th. Roanoke Point Shoals is located north of Riverhead, NY, along Long Island’s North Shore.

A USCG rescue boat from Station New Haven recovered two of the three-person sailboat crew and transferred them to local EMS. The woman was pronounced dead at Yale New Haven Hospital. A man was being treated for mild hypothermia. The third crewman, the sailboat captain, was rescued by the freighter’s small boat and was transported by the USCG rescue boat to shore. He is reportedly in good physical condition.

The 600-foot coal carrier BARKALD was transiting outbound to Halifax, Nova Scotia, from Bridgeport, CT, and a 92-foot sailing vessel was transiting inbound to Greenwich, CT, when the collision occurred. Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound received the initial call at 0404 and immediately launched a rescue boat from Station New Haven. The USCG rescue crew arrived on scene at 0429. Seas were reported at two-to-three feet.

The Coast Guard Captain of the Port for Long Island Sound ordered the Marshall Islands-flagged BARKALD to a New Haven anchorage area pending the start of an investigation. As is standard for all marine incidents, the USCG ordered drug and alcohol screening of the BARKALD’s crew. The sailing vessel sank with 600 gallons of diesel onboard. The Coast Guard is monitoring for potential pollution from this incident. Photos of the M/V BARKALD can be found on the internet at http://www.taft.com/Ships/Barkald/Barkald.html.


BAHAMIAN-FLAGGED BULKER REFLOATED OFF PORT EVERGLADE, FL

Just before dawn on September 20th, a 645-foot Bahamian-flagged bulk cargo vessel was freed from where it ran hard aground five days ago just outside of Port Everglade, about one mile east of Fort Lauderdale Beach, FL. At the time of the grounding, the USCG was tracking the CLIPPER LASCO on radar and noticed the vessel was in imminent danger of running aground. USCG watchstanders directed the vessel to alter its course several times. It has been reported the vessel did not have a pilot on board as it transited to the port. The ship was carrying more than 30,000 tons of bauxite, which is an ore that is used to make aluminum.

In order to refloat the ship, about 2,000 tons of ore were removed from the vessel utilizing a barge and crane. After being freed, the vessel was anchored nearby to await a Coast Guard inspection of her hull. Florida officials also plan to inspect the area of the grounding over the next few days to assess potential damage to the reef. The USCG is investigating the incident and the environmental effects of the grounding.


MITAGS TO HOST SOCP MEETING

The next Ship Operations Cooperative Program (SOCP) Meeting will be held at MITAGS on November 1st and 2nd. All SOCP meetings are open to the general public. SOCP works with the support of Maritime Administration (MARAD) and various industry, labor, and government organizations to address common challenges and identify new solutions for improvements in ship operations. For more info, visit the SOCP website at http://www.socp.org or contact Todd Ripley at 202-366-2625.


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: 10/10, 10/24, 11/14
AZIPOD-KAM-2 – Two-Day Azipod and Kamewa Steering and Propulsion Systems: 10/2

BRMP – Bridge Resource Mangement for Pilots: 9/27, 10/10
BST – Basic Safety Training: 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: 10/30
CMM-ADVSTB – 10/23, 11/27
CMM-CHS I – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 9/25, 11/13
CMM-CHS II – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 11/6
CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart and Display Information System: 10/16
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: 10/30, 11/13

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

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

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 10/22
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 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-EMR – Emergency Shiphandling: 11/13


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 and Winter: 2006-2007

MATE 500/1600 TONS Program Begins January 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.

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

September 2006
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 9-21

 

 D O W  N A S D A Q  S & P 500
11,533.23 -27.54 for the week 2,237.75 +2.16 for the week 1,318.03 -1.84 for the week
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
Closing
Price
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
121.90
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
35.80
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
23.71
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
18.10
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
33.88
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.20
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX)
6.11
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
9.98
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
19.18
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
16.49
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
29.03
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
86.65
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
22.22
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
80.79
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
46.84
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
31.17

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~ 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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