News

Wheelhouse Weekly – April 14, 2008

April 14th 2008

 

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

Volume 12 . . . . . Number 15. . . .April 14, 2008

STORIES COVERED

Also

REMINDERS

T-AGS Oceanographic Survey Ships Info

Required Coursework

Security Clearances

MSC Physicals

MM&P FCU News

MM&P Health & Benefit Plan News

Meet Our New Prescription Benefit Manager, PHARMACARE

Notice to MM&P Health & Benefit Plan Participants

WWII USCG Veterans Outreach

Company Gives Bucks Back for buying Safe Shoes

Website Offers Union-Made Goods and Services




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


MAJORITY VOTES TO MAINTAIN CURRENT SYSTEM OF SHIPPING JOBS

The majority of members who voted in the 90-day poll authorized by the Shipping Rules Committee has voted to retain the current system of shipping jobs rather than attempt to find a different method of shipping jobs. A total of 1,193 polls were mailed to members. Four hundred and seventy-one (471) were returned. Two hundred and fifty-seven (257) of those who responded voted to maintain the current system. Two hundred and four (204) voted in favor of authorizing the Shipping Rules Committee to attempt to find an alternative shipping method. The count took place at MM&P Headquarters on April 10.


SHIP INSURERS REPORT DRAMATIC INCREASE IN LOSSES AS VESSELS, CREWS BEING DRIVEN HARDER THAN ANYONE CAN REMEMBER

The International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) has reported a dramatic increase in the number of total and partial losses of ships. Weather remains the major cause of total losses, according to the report, but collisions have overtaken groundings as the next most common cause of accidents.

The insurers say they expect that the trend will continue.

The statistics released by IUMI, which represents marine underwriters, show that the number of total losses of ships over 500 gross tons jumped from 67 in 2006 to 82 in 2007, an increase of 37 percent. If the trend continues this year, a total of 112 ships will be lost by March 2009.

There has been an equally dramatic increase in major serious or partial losses. The report found 727 serious incidents in 2006, a 6 percent increase over the previous year, and a staggering 914 losses for 2007 so far.

Commenting on the statistics, Deirdre Littlefield, the New York-based president of IUMI, said: “These figures underline the relentless surge in marine claims that has come about due to a number of factors, not least being the shipping boom itself, with ships and crews being driven harder than anyone can remember.”


GET YOUR TWIC CARD NOW! ALSO: A REMINDER ON THE 60-DAY DEADLINE FOR APPEALS

Remember that mariners who do not have a Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC) must obtain a TWIC card by Sept. 25 to access the secure areas of ships and ports.

Also, keep in mind that if an initial application for a TWIC is turned down by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the mariner has only 60 days to submit a written reply to TSA, a written request for materials from TSA or a written request for an extension of time. If the applicant does not respond in writing within 60 days of receipt of the initial denial, the Initial Determination of Threat Assessment becomes a Final Determination of Threat Assessment. The relevant rule is 49 CFR § 1515.5 (f).

For more information on how to appeal an initial rejection by TSA, send an e-mail to communications@bridgedeck.org.

Information about pre-enrollment, card status and schedule is available on TSA’s TWIC Deployment website http://www.twicinformation.com/twicinfo/index.jsp.


MM&P MEMBERS URGED TO JOIN MASSIVE RALLY FOR GOOD JOBS IN LOS ANGELES ON APRIL 17

MM&P members in the vicinity of Los Angeles/Long Beach are urged to come out in force for a massive rally in support of America’s working families. The rally will take place at 1800 on Thursday, April 17, at the Port of Los Angeles.

MM&P members will meet at the MM&P banner at Berth 87 at 1730 on Thursday. Berth 87 is at W 1st St & S. Harbor Blvd., San Pedro, Calif. 90731. For more information, call the MM&P LA/LB Hall at 310-834-7201.

The march begins on Tuesday, April 15, when long-shore workers, actors, janitors and members of the community begin walking the 28 miles from Hollywood to the docks. Workers and their families will walk for three days, camping out overnight along the route.  The marchers are representing over 350,000 area workers who are fighting to remain in the middle class or raise their families out of poverty. Along the route, marchers will be talking with those they meet about the fight to retain middle class jobs in America and about how important it is to vote in the upcoming federal elections in November. All rank-and-file union members are encouraged to join the march.

The contracts of one third of the union members belonging to the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor are up for renegotiation in 2008. The federation says the context in which the march is taking place is “a labor market that has been stagnant since 1990, with all net job growth occurring in the informal, [non-unionized] economy.” More than a quarter of the local labor force lives below the poverty line. The average union member in the Los Angeles area earned $42,000 last year. Union workers earn an average of 27 percent more than non-union workers in the same occupation.


UNIONS HAIL HOUSE VOTE TO DEFY WHITE HOUSE ON CONTROVERSIAL COLUMBIA FREE TRADE PACT

Labor unions hailed last week’s decision by a majority of the members of the House of Representatives to block for the foreseeable future any action on a free trade agreement with Columbia. The vote was 224 to 195.

Hundreds of union members have been murdered in Colombia in recent years, often with the complicity of local authorities.

“In Colombia, joining a union or advocating for workers’ rights can be a de facto death sentence,” says AFL-CIO President John Sweeney. “Atrocities against union activists and their supporters are not isolated events; they are committed largely by the armed forces and by paramilitary organizations with ties to elected officials close to Colombia’s President.”

The AFL-CIO reports that in the first three months of 2008, Colombian union organizers were killed at a rate of one or more a week. Last year, 39 union workers were murdered, attempts were made on the lives of 11 others and 224 union members received death threats. Unions estimate that 2,500 union members in Colombia have been murdered because of their work over the past two decades.

“With the U.S. economy entering a potentially severe recession, with the trade deficit running at about $2 billion a day and with unemployment on the rise, the last thing we need is another flawed trade agreement with a country that cannot even guarantee the rule of law, let alone basic human rights for its workers,” Sweeney said. 

President Bush had attempted to fast track a vote on the Colombia Free Trade Agreement by sending it to the House.


NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD HOLDS HEARING ON SAN FRANCISCO OIL SPILL

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) held a two-day hearing April 8-9 on the events leading up to and following the approximately 58,000 gallon oil spill that took place last November in San Francisco Bay. The spill took place when a container ship, the COSCO BUSAN, allided with the San Francisco Bay Bridge in thick fog. Witnesses at the first day of hearings heard an extremely detailed report of the accident itself, as well as maintenance schedules, dating back to the 1990s, for the equipment in the wheelhouse. The chairman of the NTSB, Mark Rosenker, said the accident presents the board with many questions, including whether or not the COSCO BUSAN’s bridge navigation equipment was working properly.


MARINE PILOTING CELEBRATION AND SILENT AUCTION AT FORT SCHUYLER MARITIME MUSEUM

The Maritime Industry Museum at Fort Schuyler will host its sixth annual party and silent auction on Saturday, April 26, to celebrate the future of the Marine Piloting Profession and the dedication of the museum’s new piloting exhibit. All proceeds from ticket sales, sponsorships and the silent auction will be donated to the Maritime Industry Museum’s Endowment Fund.

A special presentation will be made by Andrew McGovern, president of the United New Jersey Sandy Hook Pilots Benevolent Association, and chairman of the NY/NJ Harbor Operations Committee. Museum Director Stan Bartels, Class of 1947, will be honored at the event for years of dedicated service.


MARK YOUR CALENDAR: NATIONAL MARITIME DAY IS FAST APPROACHING

May 22 is National Maritime Day, first declared so by Congress in 1933. The observance honors the contributions of members of our country’s merchant marine, civilians who have defended the freedom of the United States since 1775, and who executed the largest sealift the world has ever known during World War II. National Maritime Day also honors the maritime industry and the benefits it brings to all Americans in terms of transportation, jobs, goods and recreational opportunities. Maritime Day observances will be held all over the country. Is your organization planning an observance for National Maritime Day or during National Transportation Week (May 14-20)? Let the Maritime Administration know so that your event can be added to MARAD’s official online Maritime Day calendar. For a short history of Maritime Day go to: http://www.marad.dot.gov/Maritime_Day_2006/Maritime%20Day_History.html


AHL SHIPPING HAS 24-HOUR JOB LINE

AHL Shipping Company has a 24-hour job line: (210) 228-2771. When you call the number, you can listen to a recording that announces the jobs that will become available in the next 4-6 weeks. “The job line is an immense help to me and to all those in the field who receive daily calls about upcoming jobs,” says MM&P New Orleans Port Representative Sue Bourcq.


NEW YORK/NEW JERSEY APRIL MEETING THIS WEDNESDAY

Members please take note: The April meeting at the New York/New Jersey Hall will be held on April 16, the third Wednesday of the month, instead of the second Wednesday of the month, as is usual practice.


SMALL ARMS COURSE ADDED AT MITAGS APRIL 28-MAY 1

MITAGS has announced that it has just added another Small Arms Course (MSC-SMA 4-day) for the period April 28- May 1.


MITAGS SEEKS HEAD OF CHIEF MATE/MASTER PROGRAM

MITAGS is looking for a person to head its chief mate/master training programs. This individual will develop and present the various courses related to upgrade to chief mate/master.  The ideal candidate would have an unlimited master’s license and at least five years of sea experience on that license. Candidate must be skilled in the use of word processing and presentation software and be comfortable in public speaking.  Knowledge of instructional system design and online training programs is a real plus.  MITAGS is looking for a “hands on” person who can work with minimal oversight and enjoys working in a dynamic environment. The salary is commensurate with experience. For more information, please send your resume to Pablo Rodriguez, Human Resources, at prodriguez@mitags.org.   


MARAD SEEKS DIRECTOR FOR MIAMI OFFICE

The Maritime Administration is searching for a director for its new Gateway Office in Miami.  The Gateway Office will provide MARAD with a day-to-day presence throughout the marine transportation system, working with state and local authorities and a broad range of port, shipper and carrier stakeholders to cooperate on projects, identify federal and state funding sources, and work on environmental and community challenges in the ports and their intermodal connections. Candidates with a background in maritime, strong leadership, communication and management skills and a demonstrated ability to work with others are encouraged to apply. The vacancy announcement is posted at www.usajobs.gov as MARAD.SAR-2008-0007. 


USMMA ALUMNI FOUNDATION SEEKS NEW PRESIDENT

The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMAA) Alumni Foundation seeks a leader who will work to boost funding for the foundation through the development of programs that increase support from alumni as well as from other individuals, corporations and foundations. The position reports to the board of directors. Qualifications include good general business skills, nonprofit fundraising experience and the ability to adapt new technologies and practices to ensure the lowest administrative expenses. The position is located on the grounds of the USMM Academy on Long Island Sound. A detailed job description is posted on MM&P’s web site under “What’s New.” The need to hire a president for the foundation is an immediate concern for the academy and the timeframe is short. If, after reading the job description on the MM&P website, you believe you are qualified, please send your resume immediately to pete.rackett@alumni.usmma.edu.


STRANDED INDIAN CREW MEMBERS RECEIVE PAY

Twenty-two men stranded since January in Singapore on the LADY BELINDA have finally been paid $102,000 in wages. The seamen, all nationals of India, are now asking to get off the ship on the grounds that it is unseaworthy. The bulk carrier was transporting iron ore when it became immobilized on Jan. 5 in the Malacca Straits. It was towed to Singapore, where it was detained by authorities for not being seaworthy.

The crew got help from the Singapore Maritime Officers’ Union (SMOU). Representatives of the union who board the ship found it “in appalling condition.” They reported a hole at its stern just above the water line, and hardly any food or provisions on board.

The International Transport Workers’ Federation and the Maritime Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) helped the seafarers recover their wages. ITF and the SMOU are still working to get the vessel owner and employer to pay to repatriate the seamen and guarantee their wages until they are back home in India.


SHIP OPERATOR PLEADS GUILTY TO CONCEALING VESSEL POLLUTION

The Department of Justice reports that PACCSHIP, the operator and manager of 10 ships that carry goods between Asia and the United States, was sentenced to pay a $1.7 million fine for crimes related to improper transfers and discharges of oil-contaminated waste from two of its ships. The company pled guilty to obstructing justice and to falsifying records in the oil record book. It was also sentenced to serve four years’ probation. During this time, it will be required to implement a strict environmental compliance program that includes working under a court-appointed monitor and independent auditors. The company will also make a $400,000 community service contribution.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

CLASS OPENINGS: Between now and the end of June 2008, seats are available in the following courses:

AIS ECDIS 3 for Pilots � Automatic Identification System and Electronic Chart Display Information System (3 day) for Pilots: 6/23

ARPA � Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 6/2

BST � Basic Safety Training: 6/23
BRM � Bridge Resource Management: 5/19, 6/16
BRMP � Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 4/28, 6/26

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVSTB � Advanced Stability: 6/16
CMM-ADVWX � Advanced Meteorology: 6/9
CMM-CHS I � Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 4/21, 6/23
CMM-CHS II � Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 4/14
CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display & Information Systems: 6/16
CMM-MPP � Marine Propulsion Plants: 5/19
CMM-SHS-ADV-I-Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 5/5
CMM-WKP � Advanced Watchkeeping: 5/12

CONT PLNG � Contingency Planning Workshop: 5/9
CSE-AWR2 � Confined Space Entry Awareness (2 day): 6/16

FF-BADV � Combined Basic & Advanced Fire Fighting: 6/23

GMDSS � Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 4/21

HAZ � Hazardous Materials 5 day Course: 4/14

LEG � Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 4/29, 6/25

[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-CBRD-1 � CBRD Orientation: 6/20
MSC-DC � Damage Control: 6/18
MSC-SMA � Small Arms Training: 4/28

MED-PIC � Medical Person-In-Charge: 4/14, 5/12, 6/9
MED-PRO � Medical Care Provider: 4/14, 5/12, 6/9
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 4/19, 5/17, 6/7
MEDIA RSP � Media Response: 5/8

ROP-5 � Radar Observer Original or Renewal (5 Day): 5/26
ROR-1 � Radar Observer Renewal: 4/7, 6/2

SEC-VCF � Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 5/5
SHS-BAS � Basic Shiphandling: 6/16
SHS-EMR5 � Emergency Shiphandling: 5/26, 6/23
SHS-ESH- BRMP � Emergency Shiphandling & Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 4/30

TPIC � Tankship Dangerous Liquids (PIC): 6/9

�and remember: If you can’t make the class, make the call. Be courteous, don’t be a no show.

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

PMI Web site at www.mates.org for more info

FOR REGISTRATION CALL JENNIFER PITZEN: 206 838-1126

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

April 2008
28-5/2 WX BAS
28-5/16 TCNAV

May 2008
5-9       MED PRO
5-9       SHS EMR
8-9       BFF
12-15   SHS BAS
12-16   ECDIS
12-16   BST
12-16   ROP
12-15   TPIC
19-23   WKP BAS
19-23   ROP
26        ROR
27         FL
27-30  ARPA
27-29  AFF
27-31  WKP BAS/BRM
28-30 CHS BAS

June 2008
2          FL
2-20    TCNAV/CO
2-6      ROP
2-6      SHS ASSESS
3-5      AFF
9         ROR
9-13    SHS ASSESS
9-13    BST
9-20    GMDSS
10        FL
10-13  ARPA
16-20  MED PRO
16-20  SHS BAS
16-20  BST
16-27  MED PIC
23-25  SEC VCF
23-27  ROP
23-27  BAFF

July 2008
7-11ENAV
7-11MED PRO
7-18GMDSS
14-18MED PIC
14-25CNAV
21-25ECDIS
21-25TPIC
21-25STB BAS
21-8/1SHS ADV
28-29SAR
28-30SEC VCF
28-8/8GMDSS
28-8/1TPIC
30-8/1EP

August 2008
4-8MED PRO
4-15GMDSS
11-15MED PRO
11-15SHS BAS
11-22GMDSS
18-19SAR
20-22EP
25-29MED PRO
25-29SHS BAS

September 2008
2FL
2-5APRA
2-6CHS BAS
2-6MED PRO
3ROR
8-12MED PIC
9-12SHS EMR-5
15-19WX BAS
15-19TPIC
15-26GMDSS
22-26MED PRO

For registration call Jennifer Pitzen 888-893-7829

PMI MERCHANDISE FOR SALE!!!

High-quality clothing embroidered with the NEW PMI logo! We can ship these items also! Acceptable forms of payment are check, credit card, money order and exact cash. Call Laura Bendixen at 888-893-7829 for prices and to order. If we don’t have your size, we’ll be glad to special order for you at no extra cost.


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 4-11-2008

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
12,582 2,352 1,361
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
61.52
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
122.70
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
36.58
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
22.95
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
17.63
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
28.08
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.49
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
30.32
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.73
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
16.46
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
23.24
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
13.97
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
20.11
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
11.80
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
12.48
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
12.89
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
13.56
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
14.01
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.27
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
32.16
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
19.34
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
14.57
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
24.44
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.08
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
84.13
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
16.95
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
69.10
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
20.73
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
39.81
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
36.73
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
26.70
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.21
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
12.14
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
14.19
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
14.82
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
15.21
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
8.91
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
10.40
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.31
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
34.52
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
47.14
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
29.22





~ Reminders ~




 

T-AGS OCEANOGRAPHIC SURVEY SHIPS MANNING REQUIREMENTS

REQUIRED COURSEWORK

All MM&P members are reminded that to sail aboard the T-AGS ships that MM&P-contracted Horizon Lines will be operating, you must have the required training certification and your certificates must be current in accordance with Military Sealift Command requirements. Members are also required to have had a MSC pre-employment physical and to possess Ship Security Clearance (see below).

The MSC Contract calls for all training certificates required for manning of these vessels to be no older than 5 years and that all STCW-95 courses be renewed every 5 years, or annually, as applicable.

Five-year renewable courses include, but are not limited to:

  • Advanced Fire Fighting
  • Basic Safety Training, and
  • Damage Control

Small Arms certificates must be less than 1 year old and MUST NOT expire during your tour of duty.

Members interested in applying for one of the positions onboard the T-AGS vessels are advised to make sure your certificates are up to date. If not, contact Mary Matlock or Diane Ford at MITAGS Admissions, email: admissions@mitags.org, and schedule to take the course(s) needed.

Those MM&P members interested in obtaining more information and facts about the T-AGS Oceanographic Vessels are asked to email the Director of Special Projects requesting the “facts sheet”. It will be provided by return email in an Adobe Acrobat PDF format.

Members interested in employment on the T-AGS ships are asked to provide a 1-2 page resume. Please list the desired position you are seeking along with the certificates of training you possess and their dates. Upon receipt it will be forwarded to Horizon Lines and a confirmation sent back to the member. Vessel turnover commenced Oct.17, 2004. Positions for all ratings remain open.

The point of contact for sending a resume for employment on the Horizon Lines T-AGS Oceanographic Vessels is Richard Plant, MM&P’s Director of Special Projects. Send resumes in an email or as a Word file attachment to him at: rplant@bridgedeck.org, by fax to 410-850-0973 or by mail to:

Richard Plant, Director of Special Projects

IOMM&P
700 Maritime Blvd.
Linthicum Heights, MD 21090



SHIP SECURITY CLEARANCE NEEDED

Members who want to sail for Horizon Lines on the T-AGS Oceanographic Survey vessels the company is set to begin operating for MSC must have Ship Security Clearance before going aboard.

Special software must be downloaded from the US Government’s Defense Security Service to complete the Security Clearance application. You must have an Internet connection and a Windows-based computer to retrieve the application and run the program.

Go to https://sclient.dss.mil/download/w9xfull.htm to download the software titled “EPSQ SUBJECT2_2”.

After the software is installed and the program is launched, select “Create” from the menu bar at the top of the screen. You will be required to enter your Social Security Number and a case-sensitive password. A window titled “Type of Form” will appear.

All Deck Officers should select the first button titled “Request for Security Clearance (SF86)” and then click “OK” to go to the next screen, “Type of Investigation”.

From the “Type of Investigation” screen:

  • Masters and Radio Officers should select the first button, “Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI)”.
  • All other Deck Officers (C/M, 2/M, 3/M) should click on the second button, “National Agency Check (NAC or NACLC)”.

After selecting the appropriate investigation type, click on “OK” to begin filling in the forms.



MSC PHYSICALS

Horizon Lines requests all mariners seeking employment aboard the T-AGS Oceanographic vessels to take their MSC Physical at specially-designated facilities only after being advised to do so by the Company. This is to assure that all requirements of the MSC Physical are properly met.


MM&P FCU NEWS

GET NEW WHEELS OR LOWER EXISTING PAYMENTS WITH MM&P FCU VEHICLE FINANCING

Is it time to replace that car you’re driving? Vehicle loan rates are looking great at MM&P FCU.

Drive away in a new or used vehicle for a standard loan rate of:

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

6.75 percent for 25-48 months;
7.50 percent for 49-60 months ($20,000 minimum); and
8.00 percent for terms extending from 61-72 months ($25,000 minimum).
You can lower your loan rate even more — by 0.75 percent — by becoming a Preferred Borrower.

Are you paying a higher rate on your current vehicle loan at another institution? Consider refinancing your outside loan at the MM&P FCU and taking advantage of our lower loan rates.

MM&P FCU will finance up to 100 percent of your new vehicle loan, and up to 90 percent of NADA Book Value on a used vehicle. Maximum vehicle loan amount is $30,000.

PREFERRED BORROWERS GET LOWER LOAN RATES
MM&P FCU members can reduce the interest rate they pay on any new loan even further by becoming a preferred borrower. What is a preferred borrower? That’s a member who deposits at least 10 percent of the original loan amount into their MM&P FCU savings account and keeps those funds on deposit until the loan is paid in full. By doing this you save twice – first, your deposit works for you by earning our regular dividend savings rate, and second, you save money by reducing the interest rate on your loan by 0.75 percent.

Contact the MM&P FCU for full details on all loan programs by email to mmpfcu@bridgedeck.org or call 1-800-382-7777 toll-free.



 

MM&P HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN NEWS

MEET OUR NEW PRESCRIPTION BENEFIT MANAGER, PHARMACARE

As you know, effective July 1, 2007, MM&P will have a new Prescription Benefit Manager, PharmaCare. If you use the mail service and have not sent your Confidential Mail Service Enrollment Form to the MM&P Plan Office, you have until June 30 to do so. Otherwise, you can call PharmaCare’s customer service line and give them the information over the telephone or send the form with your first new mail prescription directly to PharmaCare. In the next couple of days, you will be receiving a letter with your new MM&P identification cards and a prescription booklet with information on how to obtain your prescriptions. PharmaCare’s customer service number is listed in the booklet. If you have any questions, please contact the MM&P Health & Benefit Plan Advisors.



NOTICE TO MM&P HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN PARTICIPANTS

As you know, MM&P Health & Benefit Plan members have a new prescription benefit manager, PharmaCare. When you first obtain a prescription at your retail drug store, please show your new Health & Benefit Identification Card with PharmaCare’s information. If you do not show your card, please inform your pharmacist of the following information so you can receive your prescriptions through the Plan. Your identification number HAS NOT CHANGED. Please provide the pharmacist with your full member identification number. You will have to also provide the following numbers. RxGrp#- Z50136968, RxBin: 610468 and RxPCN: PC2 

If your pharmacist has any questions, he or she should call PharmaCare directly at (800) 503-3241.  If you have any questions, PharmaCare members can call the company directly at (888) 364-6815.



WWII USCG VETERANS OUTREACH

The U.S. Coast Guard has announced an initiative to identify and collect the oral histories of its World War II veterans. Coast Guard WWII veterans, including SPARS and merchant mariners, are encouraged to record their histories online with the Library of Congress Veterans History Project at www.loc.gov/folklife/vets.

Those veterans needing assistance in recording their stories can receive help from their local Coast Guard Auxiliary public affairs contact by leaving a message at 1-877-875-6296, a toll-free call.



 

COMPANY GIVES BUCKS BACK FOR BUYING SAFE SHOES

LMS Ship Management, the company that manages vessels for Central Gulf, Sulphur Carriers and Waterman Steamship, wants to remind MM&P members that they offer their crewmembers a $75 reimbursement on the cost of purchasing certain slip-resistant shoes and boots for use aboard ship.

This offer has been in place for some time and LMS reports that “we have been pleased with the participation to date, but feel a reminder may be in order.” Their goal is for every crewmember to wear slip resistant footwear during working hours aboard their vessels.

The $75 reimbursement is available to each crewmember who provides LMS with an original receipt for the purchase of slip resistant footwear. In order for the crewmember to obtain the reimbursement, they must wear the shoes while on duty. Upon presentation of the receipt, the crewmember will be reimbursed on their pay voucher. The receipt will be retained by the Master and will remain aboard the vessel.
 

Vessels in the LMS footwear reimbursement program are:

  • Green Cove
  • Green Dale
  • Green Lake
  • Green Point
  • Atlantic Forest
  • Sulphur Enterprise
  • Energy Enterprise
  • SGT Matej C. Kocak
  • MAJ Stephen W. Pless, and
  • PFC Eugene A. Obregon

LMS notes that in order to receive reimbursement, crewmembers must purchase one of the following recommended brands:

  • WORX by Red Wing Slip Resistant Footwear
  • Caterpillar (must have steel toe & slip resistant sole)
  • Wolverine (must have steel toe and slip resistant sole)
  • Dunham Sierra Work Boot EH
  • Steel Toe Voyager
  • Georgia Boot 6- or 8-inch Safety Toe Boot
  • Dr. Marten’s (must have steel toe & slip resistant sole)

LOOK FOR THE UNION LABEL:

Of the boots listed above, Red Wing, Caterpillar and Wolverine boots are produced by US union labor.

Redwing’s Union-made products are: Red Wing shoes and boots, Red Wing motorcycle boots and Craftsman (Sears).

Wolverine World Wide manufactures boots under the Caterpillar brand using US union labor. (Other union made safety-shoe brands by Wolverine are the company’s Hy-Test, Durashock and Bates Military labels. The company’s Wolverine brand combat boots are also produced using US union labor.)

Most Dr. Marten’s shoes and boots are produced in the UK.

To find US, union-made products, visit the AFL-CIO Union Label Service and Trades website at www.unionlabel.org and click on “Union Made Product Search”. To shop for union-made products online, go to www.ShopUnionMade.org.



 

WEBSITE OFFERS UNION-MADE GOODS AND SERVICES

The Union Label recently went digital with a new website offering shoppers an array of union-made gifts, from clothing and chocolates to computers, games and greeting cards.

The website, www.shopunionmade.org, launches on the eve of the fall and winter holidays, when shoppers will spend an estimated $1 trillion on gifts, food, drinks and other seasonal items, explained Matt Bates, Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO Union Label & Service Trades Department. The all-union shopping site, however, will be a year-round operation because that is what consumers demand, he added.

“Shoppers spent $56 billion in Internet sales last year, and on-line spending is doubling every two to three years. Everyday we receive Email and calls from people who want to support good jobs by buying union-made goods and services. The website will reach millions of people, 24 hours a day, with a quick convenient way to shop union,” Bates said.

“The public is ready for this. People have seen millions of good jobs disappear and they are looking for ways to take a stand and make a difference,” he added.

The AFL-CIO will target the peak of the holiday shopping season by promoting “Buy Union Week” Nov. 26 through Dec. 5. The newly-launched, all-union shopping site will be a cornerstone of that campaign. MM&P has a link to the Shop Union Site on this website under “Links and Other Sources”.



The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 700 Maritime Blvd. Suite B, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1953. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: iommp@bridgedeck.org. For further info or to subscribe contact Lisa Rosenthal at lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org. The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea and is posted on our web page.

© 2008, International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots. All the material contained in this publication is protected by copyright. For permission to reprint text from the Weekly, contact the MM&P Communications Department: lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org. For changes of address, contact Lisa Rosenthal at lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org.

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