News

Wheelhouse Weekly – April 07, 2006

April 7th 2006

 

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

Volume 10 . . . . . Number 14. . . . April 7, 2006

STORIES COVERED

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.





 

TRAINING REMINDER FOR MEMBERS WHO SAIL ON HORIZON VESSELS

Rich May, MM&P’s Vice President for Atlantic Ports, has sent the following memo regarding training requirements for members who sail on MM&P-contracted Horizon Line vessels:

“The current Collective Bargaining Agreement completed between MM&P and Horizon Lines in June 2004 contained major modifications to Section X. TRAINING. Certain courses must be completed by prescribed dates in accordance with the Agreement. Many course titles have changed and they will be granted equivalencies of credit to courses previously offered. Others are very new in content and have no equivalent in previously offered courses.

Of note is the Emergency Ship Handling course (SHS-EMR) that must be taken by Masters by December 31, 2006. Basic Ship handling (5 days) will be required by all rotary Second Mates by the same date. All Chief Mates must also complete the 5-day HAZMAT course by December 31, 2006.

All permanent employees, prospective employees, and rotary mates should plan to have the necessary courses by the required date. Early reservations should be made with MITAGS due to the fact that several of the courses require simulator time that is limited. It may be difficult to complete the courses in time if members wait to the last minute and try to secure a place in a class that has already been filled.

The following list contains the courses that are currently required which have replaced the previous courses in their entirety:

MASTER
HAZMAT (evening seminar)**
MED-PIC (10 days once every 5 years)
WX
Emergency Ship Handling (SHS-EMR)
Ship Security Officer (SSO)

CHIEF MATE
HAZMAT (5) DAY
MED-PIC (10 DAYS ONCE EVERY 5 YEARS)
Watch Keeping (CMM-WKP)*
Ship Management (CMM-SHMGT-week 1)*
Ship handling Intermediate 1&2 (CMM-SHS-ADV I & CMM-SHS- ADV II-total 10 days)
DCS (Diesel ships only)
Ship Security Officer (SSO)

SECOND MATE
HAZMAT (evening seminar)**
Basic Ship handling (5 days)
DCS (Diesel Ships Only)
Ship Security Officer

THIRD MATE
HAZMAT (evening seminar)**
DCS (Diesel Ships only)
Ship Security Officer (SSO)
*Required for all new permanent Chief Mates after June 2004
** Required once every 3 years per CFR.

For more info or questions on the Horizon training requirements, contact Rich May by email at rmay@bridgedeck.org or call the NY/NJ Hall at 201-963-1900.




 

NEW COMMANDANT OF US COAST GUARD CONFIRMED

Earlier this week, Thad Allen was confirmed by the Senate as the 23rd Commandant of the US Coast Guard. Homeland Security Department Secretary Michael Chertoff said, “Thad is a highly-respected Coast Guard veteran who has served our nation with distinction for more than three decades. He will more than justify the confidence that the President and Senate place in him. I commend the Senate for acting quickly to confirm Thad, and I look forward to his continued leadership at the department.” Allen gained wide praise for his performance after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast last summer. He is credited for marshalling federal response efforts in the aftermath of the storm.

 


ACTING MARAD ADMINISTRATOR ANNOUNCES HIS RESIGNATION

Acting US Maritime Administrator John Jamian, who has been at the MARAD helm since Capt. William Schubert resigned over a year ago, has announced that he will resign from his position effective May 1 to return to the private sector.
As reported in last week’s Wheelhouse Weekly, the nomination of David Sanborn was withdrawn last week by President Bush to head the US Maritime Administration. The President took the action after Sanborn, a former executive with DP World, sent a letter to Bush asking that his nomination be withdrawn. No replacement nominee has been named by the Administration.

Washington insiders say Sanborn’s nomination came at an inopportune time in view of the storm of controversy that erupted over security issues regarding Dubai-owned DP World providing operations at US ports. Although Sanborn received a rather positive reception at his Washington confirmation hearings, his nomination was ultimately doomed by the huge controversy over the DP-World deal.

 


USCG AND FBI AT ODDS OVER PORT SECURITY

The way in which the US government should respond to a terrorist incident at sea is a matter of a growing dispute between the Coast Guard and the FBI. According to Washington sources familiar with the flap, the confusion threatens to undermine and perhaps cripple the effectiveness of anti-terrorism efforts.

The simmering feud came to a boil during a weeklong anti-terrorism drill in 2005, when the USCG said the FBI blocked its plans to drill a new team in a mock assault on a ferry off the coast of Connecticut. A 103-page, partially censored, Justice Department report indicated that the FBI wanted to limit the assault exercise to its elite Hostage Rescue Team. The USCG ultimately changed the drill scenario in an effort to circumvent the FBI’s lead agency role.

In addition, a plan released in October that was formulated to address this very problem does not sufficiently clarify the agencies’ roles, a Justice Department spokesman said. “In our judgment, unless such differences over roles and authorities are resolved, the response to a maritime incident could be confused and potentially disastrous,” Fine said.

The Inspector General’s report addresses the FBI’s efforts to protect 360 US seaports. The report went on to say that special weapons and tactics teams nearest to 14 key shipping ports have received training specially intended to respond to maritime threats and incidents.


NEW MARAD WEB SITE PROMOTES SHORT SEA SHIPPING INITIATIVE

The US Maritime Administration (MARAD) has launched a new Web site to promote the Short Sea Shipping (SSS) program. Officials from the US, Canada and Mexico will be meeting in Vancouver later this month to discuss SSS opportunities between the three countries. International shipping is projected to more than double in the coming two decades and that is expected to greatly increase the stress on already overcrowded road and rail systems.

According to a MARAD spokesman, “The conference is the result of collaboration between Canada, the United States, and Mexico following the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation on Short Sea Shipping in 2003. The conference represents a commitment between the three nations under the Security and Prosperity Partnership, a trilateral action plan designed to increase the security, prosperity, and quality of life in North America,” The new MARAD Web site can be found at: http://www.marad.dot.gov/sss


HOUSE COMMITTEE PASSES AMENDMENT TO SCAN 100% OF CONTAINERS

Earlier this week, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee adopted an amendment by Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Ranking Member James Oberstar (D-MN) to implement 100-percent scanning of shipping containers bound for the United States. Nadler and Oberstar introduced a standalone version of the legislation, the Sail Only if Scanned (S.O.S.) Act, in March.

The S.O.S. Act, H.R. 4899, calls for all shipping containers bound for the US to be scanned for radiation and density at the port of origin. The bill also calls for every container to bear a tamper-proof seal that would notify US authorities of a breach before the container entered American waters. The bill is supported by House Democratic Leadership, and constitutes of a major tenet of the newly unveiled Democratic Real Security Agenda.

“It’s common knowledge that Al Qaeda wants to sneak a nuclear weapon into this country – yet this Administration has been content to let 95 percent of the shipping containers we receive go uninspected,” Congressman Nadler said. “We will only be safe when we know the contents of every container headed for our shores. Democrats are committed to making 100-percent scanning the policy of the United States.”

“Under the amendment, we’ll be approaching total scanning of containers destined for the US in three years,” Congressman Oberstar said. “That is significant progress. This amendment represents a major step forward in protecting the American people from the threat of a shipping container loaded with a weapon of mass destruction.”

“Our port security system is full of holes – and that has put our entire country at risk,” said House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). “This legislation, based on the work of Congressmen Nadler and Oberstar, helps to protect our country by scanning and sealing containers before they ever reach our shores, and move through our waterways and across the country. These are the kind of tough and smart policies that make up the Democratic Real Security Agenda, and will keep Americans safe.”


AFL-CIO: WAL-MART OPPOSED BETTER US PORT SECURITY

The AFL-CIO accused Wal-Mart Stores earlier this week of using its lobbying muscle to oppose port safety measures because they would reduce profits. Through its lobbying group, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA), Wal-Mart opposed several port security measures, including proposals to make shipping containers more secure, to beef up inspections and to provide more prompt cargo information, according to the AFL-CIO.

“Wal-Mart, America’s largest importer, is using its clout to block new port security measures,” the labor federation said in a report, “Unchecked: How Wal-Mart Uses It’s Might to Block Port Security.” The report follows a national port security flap last month that forced a United Arab Emirates-owned company to pull out of a deal to manage terminals at six US ports. The controversy also revived criticism of efforts to better secure US ports and cargo headed for America’s shores. US seaports handle two billion tons of freight each year but only about five percent of containers entering the US are inspected on arrival.

In its new report, the AFL-CIO details legislative moves it says Wal-Mart made through RILA since the September 11 attacks to oppose port and supply-chain security rules that could reduce its profits. “Wal-Mart and its Washington allies repeatedly put their profits ahead of America’s security,” said the report. The report said Wal-Mart dominates RILA and has used it as a front to push a legislative agenda it shares with other companies to block or water down new port security measures.

Among other things, RILA cautioned Congress against requiring use of “smart containers” and “electronic seals” for cargo entering US ports, fought off efforts to require outside inspections of its members’ supply-chain security claims and opposed a requirement to give US customs officials 24-hour notice before loading US-bound cargo on ships, the AFL-CIO said. The AFL-CIO report recommends using “electronic seals” on inbound containers, more physical inspections of containers, screening of all cargo and independent investigations of security measures importers claim to use in their supply chains.


MM&P, OTHER UNIONS URGE ACTION ON MARINERS WW II BILL

MM&P President Capt. Tim Brown along with the presidents of MEBA, AMO and SIU sent a letter to Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs earlier this week expressing their strong support for HR 23, the “Belated Thank You to the Merchant Mariners of World War II Act of 2005”. The following are some excerpts from that correspondence:

“We urge your Subcommittee to favorably report this legislation. The organizations we represent have the privilege of including among our retired and active seagoing members individuals who served our country with honor and distinction during World War II, and their descendents. These World War II merchant mariners are truly representative of the “Greatest Generation”, and we are extremely proud of them and the example they have set for all merchant mariners who continue to respond to our Nation’s call whenever and wherever they are needed.”

“When Congressman Bob Filner (D-CA) introduced HR 23, he stated that he did so to correct an injustice that has been inflicted upon a group of World War II veterans, the World War II United States merchant mariners. We sincerely thank Congressman Filner for his initiative in working to address this injustice by sponsoring legislation to provide long-overdue recognition and benefits to World War II merchant mariners. We are grateful to you, Mr. Chairman, for cosponsoring HR 23 and to this Subcommittee’s Ranking Member, Congresswoman Shelley Berkley (D-NV), and the other members of this Subcommittee, all of who have added their names to the bipartisan list of 247 cosponsors of HR 23.”

“Despite their record of exemplary, indispensable service to the war effort, American merchant mariners were not given the formal recognition and benefits granted other services by the Congress through the GI Bill of Rights in 1945. In fact, no legislation to recognize the contributions made by World War II merchant mariners was enacted until Congress extended limited veterans’ status to these gallant American citizens in 1988.”

“We believe, as Congressman Filner has stated, that it is time to correct this injustice. We believe our country has an obligation to the remaining World War II merchant mariners, and to the descendents of those who died during the War and since, to fully acknowledge their service and to give them the measure of benefit called for in HR 23. We ask you and your Subcommittee, Mr. Chairman, to take the first step in righting this wrong and to favorably report HR 23 to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.”


REMINDER: SEATTLE OFFSHORE HIRING HALL HAS MOVED

The Seattle Hiring Hall and Offshore Division offices have moved to 15208 52nd Ave. S., Suite 100, Seattle, WA 98188. Telephone and fax numbers are unchanged: tel: 206-441-8700, fax: 206-448-8829. Please call for directions. The location is at the intersection of Interstate 5 and Interstate 405, just northwest of Southcenter Mall, near SeaTac Airport.


REMINDER: USCG LA-LB REC CLOSED UNTIL APRIL 13TH

The US Coast Guard, Los Angeles-Long Beach Regional Exam Center (REC) is now in the process of relocating to its new location on the sixth floor of the Long Beach Federal Building located at 501 W. Ocean Blvd. Suite 6200, Long Beach, CA. The REC closed its Seaside Avenue location on March 23rd and is scheduled to reopen to the public at its new Long Beach location on April 13th.

All mail-in credentialing business should be sent to the following new address starting on April 10, 2006:
US Coast Guard
Regional Examination Center
501 W. Ocean Blvd. Suite 6200
Long Beach, CA 90802

To view updates on the REC move go to the USCG Web page at: http://www.uscg.mil/d11/sectorlalb/recdiv.htm
For replacement of lost credentials during the closure, contact REC San Francisco Bay at 510-637-1124.


CAPTAIN CHARLES PILLSBURY RELEASED FROM HOSPITAL

Capt. Charles Pillsbury was released from the hospital earlier this week and is now recovering at home. Members who would like to send cards to Chuck to help speed his recovery can do so by addressing them to MM&P HQ, 700 Maritime Blvd., Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1941.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

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


AIS – Automated Identification Systems: 5/5
ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 5/1, 5/15, 6/5
AZIPOD-2 – Two-Day Azipod Steering and Propulsion: 6/5

BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 5/15, 6/12
BST – Basic Safety Training: 4/24, 5/22, 6/26

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-CHS I – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 6/12
CMM-CHS II – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 6/19
CMM-ADVSTAB – Advanced Stability: 5/22
*WX-BASREF-2 – Two day Basic weather refresher, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED PREP for Advanced Meteorology: 6/22
CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 5/22, 6/26
CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display and Info Systems: 5/15
CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 4/17, 6/26
CMM-SHMGT – Ship Management I (week 1): 6/19
CMM-SHMGT – Ship Management II (week 2): 6/12
CMM-SHS-ADV-II – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 5/29
CMM-ADVSTB Advanced Stability: 5/22
CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 5/8, 6/5
CMM-WKP – Watchkeeping: 4/10, 6/5

COMP-OPSYS – Basic Computer Operating Systems: 6/26
CONT-PLNG – Contingency Planning: 6/9
CSE-AASE – Confined Space Entry: 5/15

FF-BADV – Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 4/24, 5/22, 6/26

HAZ-Hazardous Materials (5-day): 4/10, 5/1, 6/12

MEDIA-RSP – Media Response: 5/4, 6/8
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 4/22, 5/13, 6/10, 6/24
MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 4/17, 5/8, 6/5, 6/19
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 4/17, 5/8, 6/5, 6/19


[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-CBRD-1 (Chemical Biological Radiological Defense Orientation): 4/19, 5/10, 6/19
MSC-DC (Damage Control): 4/20, 5/11, 6/20
MSC-SMA – Small Arms (4-day): 5/15, 6/19
MSC-SMA-R – Small Arms Re-Qualification (2-day): 4/28, 5/19, 6/23 (must have proof of passing all 3 weapons within 2 years)

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal (5-day): 5/22
ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 5/1, 5/15, 6/5, 6/21

SEC-OFF-VCF – Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 5/1, 6/5
SHS-EMR – Emergency Shiphandling: 6/26

TPIC – Tankerman Person-In-Charge: 4/10


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

Spring – Summer 2006

April 2006

4/10-14 ECDIS
4/10-14 Radar Observer Unlimited
4/10-14 AB
4/10-21 GMDSS
4/17-21 ARPA
4/17 Radar Renew
4/17-21 Basic Shiphandling
4/24-5/5 Watchkeeping (BRM Inc.)

May 2006
5/1-3 BRM
5/1-5 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
5/2-5 Survival Craft (Lifeboatman)
5/8-12 Basic Shiphandling
5/8-12 BST
5/8-12 AB
5/8-19 GMDSS
5/8-20 100 Ton OUPV
5/15-19 MEDPRO
5/15-26 MEDPIC
5/22 Flashing Light

June 2006
6/5-9 ECDIS
6/5-9 ARPA
6/5-9 BST
6/6-9 Survival Craft (Lifeboatman)
6/5-23 TCNAV/CO
6/19-23 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
6/19-30 GMDSS
6/26-30 Radar Observer Unlimited
6/26-30 Basic Shiphandling

August 2006
31 Jul-4 Aug Basic Shiphandling
7-11 ECDIS
7-11 Basic Safety Training
7-11 Meteorology – Basic
8-11 Survival Craft / Lifeboatman
14-18 Able Bodied Seaman
14-18 Basic and Advanced Firefighting
14-25 GMDSS
14-25 Shiphandling – Advanced
21-25 Ship Construction & Basic Stability
21-25 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
28-1 Sep Cargo Handling & Stowage – Basic

September 2006
5-9 (tu-sa) Medical Care Provider
5-9 (tu-sa) Emergency Shiphandling 5-day
5-15 Medical Person-In-Charge
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

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 4-6

 

 D O W  N A S D A Q  S & P 500
11,216.50 -37.77 for the week 2,367.17 +67.02 for the week 1,287.25 -12.68 for the week

 

Fund Name & Trading Symbol
Closing
Price
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
120.60
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
37.71
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
23.75
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
18.88
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
32.85
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.15
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX)
6.16
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
9.86
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
20.37
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
16.57
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
36.13
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
114.55
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
22.22
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
80.30
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX) 46.54
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
31.19

 






~ 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, broadcast worldwide via FEC marine telex and is posted on our web page.



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