Wheelhouse Weekly – April 14, 2005

April 14th 2005


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

Volume 9 . . . . . Number 15 . . . . April 14, 2005

  • ALSO


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


US Department of Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta will be the keynote speaker and award presenter at a gala honoring US Maritime Labor to be held by the United States Merchant Marine Academy Alumni Foundation on May 19. The event will benefit the US Merchant Marine Museum at Kings Point and will be held at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York.

“The appreciation America has for its maritime labor and their contributions to our country’s world commerce is evidenced by Secretary Mineta’s appearance at this significant event,” said Eugene McCormick, foundation president. “The museum at the Merchant Marine Academy preserves the legacy of the single industry that serves as a foundation of our country’s development-ocean shipping-and the seafarers that sail and service our vessels.”

MM&P President Capt. Tim Brown, a Kings Point graduate, is serving as event chairman. “This is a wonderful opportunity for our industry and friends to help support this wonderful museum, which is available for public viewing, and at the same time to pay homage to our labor force. In addition, the Starlight Ballroom venue and events for the evening will make this a memorable event to attend and support.”

Along with the MM&P, the unions being honored are: American Maritime Officers, American Radio Association, International Longshoremen’s Association, Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific, International Longshoremen’s & Warehousemen’s Union, Marine Engineer’s Beneficial Association – District 1, Marine Fireman’s Union, Sailors Union of the Pacific and the Seafarers’ International Union of North America.


As reported in last week’s Wheelhouse Weekly, the US Navy’s Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS MERCY and MSC combat stores ship USNS NIAGARA FALLS are providing disaster relief and humanitarian assistance following the most recent earthquake that occurred off the west coast of northern Sumatra on March 28. Both vessels are crewed by MM&P Licensed Deck Officers.

MM&P’s Government Employees’ Membership Group Representative Randi Ciszewski reports that currently onboard the NIAGARA FALLS are: Capt. Danny LaPorte, Chief Mate Susan Orsini, commencing turnover with Chief Mate Alex Halliday, Second Mate Eric Ness, Second Mate Peter Morway, Third Mate Clifford Twaddell and Third Mate Todd Christensen.

Currently onboard the MERCY are: Capt. Michael Leahy, Chief Mate Michael Flanagan, Second Mate Calvin Baker, Third Mate Richard Paramore, Third Mate Teague Murphy and Third Mate Ursula Rutledge.



Michael Chertoff, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, has appointed Glen Paine, Executive Director of MITAGS and PMI to the Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee (MERPAC) for a term of office that expires on January 31, 2007.

“It is a pleasure to appoint you to the Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee. I greatly appreciate your willingness to serve on the Committee and am confident the Department will benefit from your ideas and experience,” said Mr. Chertoff.

“I appreciate the opportunity to work with Mr. Chertoff, Mr. Norman Mineta, Secretary of the Department of Transportation, and with Admiral Thomas Collins, Commandant of the United States Coast Guard, on matters relating to the training, qualification, licensing, certification, and fitness of seamen in the US Merchant Marine,” Mr. Paine said.

MERPAC was established in 1992, in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The Committee consists of nineteen members who have particular areas of expertise, knowledge, and experience in the maritime industry. Most members have terms that last for three years. The Committee was designed to advise, consult, and make recommendations reflecting its independent judgment on the enormous task of developing a comprehensive set of STCW-95 performance guidelines. For more info on MERPAC, please visit the USCG website at



US District Judge Susan Illston said the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) exemption to the discharging of ballast water by ships in US harbors and coastal waters contradicts the interpretation of the 1972 Clean Water Act, and exceeds the agency’s regulatory authority.

The Ocean Conservatory, one of six environmental groups that sued the EPA, focused on ballast discharges in San Francisco Bay and the Great Lakes. Every year, over 21 billion gallons of international ballast water is brought into US territorial waters, and contains non-native and alien species that are threatening the entire marine ecosystem of America.

Invasive marine species introduced by ballast water discharges have affected not only waterways, but businesses, taxpayers, and economies around the US. These invasive species harm commercial fishing and shell-fishing, clog intake pipes of power plants and drinking water treatment facilities, destroy habitats, and push threatened species to the brink of extinction. The federal judge’s decision will apply nationally, unless it is reversed on appeal.



Charles “Tony” Robertson, Jr. has joined MM&P-contracted Maersk Line, Limited’s (MLL) board of directors as an outside director. Robertson was elected to the board on April 5th during the annual board meeting in New Jersey. “Tony Robertson’s wealth of experience and knowledge is a significant addition to our board of directors and will add substantial value to Maersk Line, Limited’s core business,” said John Reinhart, MLL’s president and chief executive officer.

Robertson’s credentials are numerous and varied. During his 33-year career with the Air Force, he held a variety of operational and staff positions, including command at the squadron, wing and numbered air force levels. As a command pilot, he logged 4,700 hours in airlift, tanker and bomber aircraft, including 150 combat missions as a gunship pilot in Vietnam. A retired US Air Force general, Robertson most recently served as commander in chief of the US Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM), and commander of the Air Mobility Command at Scott Air Force Base, IL. Currently, Robertson serves as vice president of the Air Force Support Programs for Boeing.

Robertson holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering science from the US Air Force Academy and a master’s degree in industrial management from Central Michigan University. In 1985, he attended the National War College and later attended the National and International Security Program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.



The US Transportation Command won the Award for Excellence in Supply Chain Operations, sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Logistics and Materiel Readiness, and the Supply-Chain Council. The award was presented by Mr. Alan Estevez, Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Supply Chain Integration) during the Supply Chain World North America Conference in Anaheim, CA, on April 7. Receiving the award on behalf of USTRANSCOM were: Lt. Col. Rex Adee, Lt. Col. James Garner, and Lt. Col. Bobbi Leyes.

The award spotlights world-class DOD organizations that have recognized the critical role that supply chain performance plays in reaching organizational goals, committed to optimizing their supply chain performance, and demonstrated this commitment through the implementation of supply chain improvement projects.
Flt. Lt. Jo Tribble, an officer serving with USTRANSCOM from the United Kingdom, was instrumental in putting together the nomination package.

“We used the US Central Command (CENTCOM) Deployment and Distribution Operations Center as the basis for the nomination,” Tribble said. “The CDDOC’s successes since its implementation made it easy to write the nomination. The CDDOC was the first major initiative after USTRANSCOM’s designation as the DOD’s Distribution Process Owner in September 2003,” the lieutenant said. “This initiative brought the national logistical partners together with a common goal. With all that the CDDOC has accomplished, it is now used as the benchmark for other DDOCs around the world; KDDOC in Korea, PDDOC in Pacific Command, and EDDOC in European Command to name some of them.”

The aim of the CDDOC was to bridge the gap between strategic and theater distribution. The team bridged many of the gaps affecting theater distribution and force movement. The provisions of logistics subject matter experts and their specialized ability of reach back to the numerous national partners were vital to the success of the CDDOC. “The key benefit of the CDDOC is the concept of reach back and reach forward,” Tribble pointed out. “Being right where the action is empowered them to make quick decisions to keep stuff rolling.”

Reach back and connectivity with logistical partners empowered CDDOC members with the ability to make quick decisions on behalf of their respective commands, ultimately providing better support to the warfighters. The CDDOC quickly provided solutions, such as those occurring during force rotations. Located where the action was happening and working for USCENTCOM, CDDOC members were able to anticipate issues and provide timely solutions.

“I think the reason that this award gained so much kudos was that the initiative will change the way theater logistics is carried out in the future,” she added. “The process has been continually revised and efficiencies gained, and the CDDOC template was proof that this initiative will indoctrinate the way we carry out business in the future.”


Citing sustained increases in fuel costs, MM&P-contracted Matson Navigation Company will raise its fuel surcharge in its Hawaii and Guam/Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) services from 9.2 to 10.5 percent, effective April 18. Matson also announced that it is implementing a new program in which fuel costs will be reviewed on a quarterly basis, with the fuel surcharge adjusted accordingly, up or down.

“Record high fuel prices have been widely reported in the media and is a subject that touches virtually all consumers,” said Dave Hoppes, vice president, ocean services. “For transportation companies, fuel consumption is an unavoidable and significant component of operating costs. Many of the major railroads, trucking companies and international ocean carriers currently have fuel surcharges exceeding 13 percent. While we continue to invest in modern, fuel-efficient vessels that help reduce our overall fuel consumption, the impact of fuel prices on Matson’s business remains a cost factor we cannot simply absorb. In the past two months, bunker fuel prices have risen 20 percent, necessitating this new adjustment.”

Hoppes added: “Rather than monitoring fuel prices on an ongoing basis, the new quarterly review process will better allow our customers to plan their shipping costs and anticipate any adjustments on a regular, predictable schedule. We will announce adjustments, up or down, each quarter, 21 days in advance of implementation, with the effective date being the first Sunday of the respective month. No adjustments will be made between these quarterly reviews, despite any strong fluctuations in fuel costs.”


This Saturday, April 16th there will be a rare opportunity in the Tampa Bay area to steam back into history onboard one of America’s maritime treasures, the S/S AMERICAN VICTORY. This historic vessel, which served in WWII, the Korean War and Vietnam, is sixty years old this summer. There will be plenty of entertainment, good food and unique memories for all. This will be the last cruise for this season for the vessel. Please help support this great effort to preserve an important part of the merchant marine heritage for future generations while having a great time with friends and family upon the beautiful waters of Tampa Bay. Plenty of tickets are available. For more info call 813-228-8766 or e-mail:


MM&P has received reports of terminals and port facilities improperly denying access to crewmembers and visitors to and from ships in violation of the ISPS code. We are planning to protest the practice at the national and if need be international level, but to do so, we need your help. Please send an e-mail to to report incidents of access denial, as well as cases in which a fee to access port facilities is levied on crewmembers or their visitors. Please provide the day the incident took place, the names of the port, facility and ship, and a brief description of what occurred.





Between now and the end of June 2005 seats are available in the following courses:

  • AIS – Automatic Identification System: 4/29, 5/7
  • ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 5/2, 5/9, 6/13
  • AZIPOD – Azipod Propulsion System (2 day): 4/30
  • BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 6/13
  • BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 4/26, 6/13
  • BST – Basic Safety Training: 4/25, 5/23, 6/27
  • CEM- Crew Endurance Management Coaches Training (2 day): 5/2

    CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses

  • CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 5/2
  • CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 5/9, 6/6
  • CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display and Info Systems: 5/16
  • CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 6/27
  • CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 5/23, 6/20
  • CMM-SHS-ADV-II – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 6/27
  • CMM-SHMGT I – Ship Management (week 1): 6/20
  • CMM-SHMGT II – Ship Management (week 2): 6/13
  • CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 4/25
  • CMM-WKP- Advanced Watchkeeping: 6/6


  • CONT-PLNG – Contingency Planning: 5/6, 5/13, 6/17
  • FF-BADV – (Combined) Basic and Advanced Firefighting: 4/20, 5/23, 6/27
  • GMDSS – Global Marine Distress and Safety System: 6/20
  • HAZ – Hazardous Materials [5-day]: 5/2, 6/6
  • LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 5/4, 5/10, 5/18, 6/8, 6/14
  • MEDIA-RSP – Media Response: 5/5, 5/12, 6/16
  • MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 4/23, 5/14, 6/25
  • MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 4/18, 5/9, 6/13
  • MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 4/18, 5/9, 6/13
  • MED-SMC – Shipboard Medical Care (4 weeks): 6/6

    MSC – Military Sealift Command

  • MSC-CBRD-1 – Chemical Biological Radiological Defense Training Orientation: 4/23, 5/19
  • MSC-DC – Damage Control: 4/18, 5/16
  • MSC-ENVPRO: Environmental Protection: 5/18
  • MSC-SMA – Small Arms Training (4 day): 6/20
  • MSC-SMA-R – Small Arms Re-Qualification (2-day): 4/29, 5/20, 6/24
    (must have proof of passing all 3 weapons within 2 years)


  • ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal (5-day): 5/23
  • ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 5/2, 5/9, 6/13
  • SEC-OFF-PCS – Security Officer, Port, Company & Ship: 6/13
  • SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling (5-day): 5/23
  • SHS-ESH-BRMP-3: Emergency Shiphandling/Bridge Resource Management for Pilots (3-day): 5/2
  • TRAC-TUG – Water Tractor and Azimuth Stern Drive Tugs: 5/5



If you are scheduled for a course, call, write, or Email admissions to advise whether or not you will attend. Many classes are in demand and maintain a Standby List. “No Shows” are missed training opportunities for other members.


Courses are subject to change. Check the MITAGS website for up-to-date course descriptions associated with all course title abbreviations, and for schedule revisions and updated course availability. You can also check future schedules, review detailed course descriptions and register on-line or contact Admissions at or by calling toll-free, 1-866-656-5568.



 D O W    N A S D A Q
 10,403.93 -82.09 for the week  1,974.37  -24.77 for the week
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX)
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)

~ Reminders ~




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.

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:, 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 commences Oct.17, 2004 and will continue until Jan.3, 2005. Crew rotations will start beginning as early as January 2005 and will continue through as late as June 2005. 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:, by fax to 410-850-0973 or by mail to:

Richard Plant, Director of Special Projects

700 Maritime Blvd.
Linthicum Heights, MD 21090


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 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.

When complete and all information has been validated, click on “Communications” from the menu bar at the top of the screen and select “Transmit to Security Officer”. Save the file to the hard drive on your computer using your last name (surname) as the file name. Send this file as an email attachment to Mike Bohlman at Horizon Lines, His phone number is 908-259-2803. You will need to provide Mike Bohlman with your name and the case-sensitive password you assigned to the file in order for Horizon Lines to open the file and process your Security Clearance.


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.

On Dec.6, MM&P members will begin manning the third of seven T-AGS ships operated by Horizon. The USNS SUMNER will be crewed-up in Portland, OR. MM&P wishes the crew a safe voyage and happy holidays.



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.

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 or call 1-800-382-7777 toll-free.




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 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.”


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 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

  • 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.


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

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.



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)


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 and click on “Union Made Product Search”. To shop for union-made products online, go to



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,, 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: For further info or to subscribe contact John Peige at 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.