News

Wheelhouse Weekly – April 21, 2008

April 21st 2008

 

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

Volume 12 . . . . . Number 16. . . .April 21, 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.


NATIONAL MARITIME CENTER INSTITUTES 90-DAY DEADLINE FOR APPLICANTS TO RESPOND TO ITS REQUESTS FOR MISSING INFO

The National Maritime Center (NMC) has announced it has introduced a 90-day deadline by which mariners must supply any information it requests to process applications for documents. Applicants who do not respond in 90 days will have to start the application again from scratch and pay a second processing fee.

According to the new procedure, when a mariner receives a letter from the Regional Examination Center (REC) or the NMC requesting additional information, he or she will have 90-days from the date of the letter to respond. If the mariner does not provide the information during the 90-day time frame, the entire application and all associated documents will be withdrawn from processing and mailed back to the address listed on the mariner’s application, NMC says. If the mariner submits the information after 90 days, he or she will have to reapply and pay another fee.

The Coast Guard says mariners with questions or comments about the new procedure should submit them by e-mail to iasknmc@uscg.mil.

 


DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE INVESTIGATION TARGETS SHIPPING COMPANIES

As this issue of The Wheelhouse Weekly was being distributed, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) visited a number of offices of shipping companies doing business in Puerto Rico, including several MM&P contracted companies, as part of what has been called a pricing probe. Readers will be updated in future editions of The Wheelhouse Weekly as more news becomes available.


TRANSPORTATION TRADES DEPARTMENT ECHOES MM&P’S CALL FOR SHORT SEA SHIPPING PROGRAM

In testimony presented to the Senate Subcommittee on Surface Transportation on April 16, Ed Wytkind, President of the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department (TTD), called on Congress “to foster a domestic short sea shipping industry.” Wytkind told members of the subcommittee that, “Short sea shipping provides an environmental and worker friendly tool to address congestion problems.”

In expressing the position of MM&P, Wytkind stated that, “Use of commercial vessels for cargo carriage along our coasts can provide a cost-effective supplement to the rail and truck traffic that is pushed to capacity on many transportation corridors. The development of this transportation network would offer shippers an alternative means to transport the increasing volume of imported cargo. Furthermore, the domestic short sea shipping industry would be staffed by American mariners, and as, such the development of this industry would contribute to job creation.”


MM&P-CREWED USNS HEEZEN IS FIRST PATHFINDER-CLASS VESSEL TO VISIT INDIA

The USNS BRUCE C. HEEZEN (T-AGS 64), with MM&P licensed deck officers on board, completed a five-day visit to India last week. It was the first visit to India by a Pathfinder-class hydrographic and oceanographic survey ship.

HEEZEN, which carries an embarked staff of surveyors from the U.S. Naval Oceanographic Office (NVAO), visited the port city of Goa, on India’s western coast, to represent the United States at the 8th annual North Indian Ocean Hydrographic commission conference. HEEZEN uses sophisticated technology to create three-dimensional maps of the sea floor for use in military and commercial maritime navigation. The ship also uses sensors to measure water temperature, salinity and ocean currents.

Officers from the Indian National Hydrographic School and representatives of participating nations’ hydrographic offices took the opportunity to tour the ship. Guests also attended an evening reception, hosted by the ship’s CIVMAR Master, Captain Robert Reish and by U.S. Navy Captain John Cousins, NAVO’s commanding officer.


EPA ANNOUNCES NEW EMISSIONS STANDARDS FOR MARINE DIESELS

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a ruling requiring marine diesel engines below 30 liters per cylinder displacement to cut soot emissions by as much as 90 percent and nitrogen oxide emissions by 80 percent.  Under the new rule, harbor tugs, barges, ferries and recreational boats will be required to use cleaner fuel, to retrofit existing equipment and to replace older models with new, cleaner engines. The final rule, which sets the first national emission standards for existing marine diesel engines, applies to engines larger than 600 kW when they are remanufactured.  The rule also sets Tier 3 emissions standards for newly built engines that will phase in starting in 2009. Finally, the rule establishes Tier 4 standards for newly built commercial marine diesel engines above 600kW, phasing in 2014.

EU PROJECT ASSESSES MATURITY OF METHANOL-BASED TECHNOLOGY
After nearly one and a half years of research and development, trials of a prototype of a methanol-based solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) unit are scheduled to begin. The European Union (EU)-funded METHAPU (“Validation of renewable methanol based auxiliary power systems for commercial vessels) project prototype will be tested for performance and emissions under real life conditions onboard a car transport vessel involved in international trade. The one-year trial will help assess the maturity of methanol-based technology and its suitability for daily use in the shipping sector.

Det Norske Veritas (DNV), one of five project partners, said fuel cells represent an “interesting possible solution” to strategies to reduce local and regional emissions, but that the technology in this case is still “fairly unproven.”


TWIC DEADLINE JUST AROUND THE CORNER

MM&P reminds members that the Sept. 25 deadline for carrying a TWIC card is around the corner and urges those who haven’t pre-enrolled yet to do so now. Remember: Once you have applied, you can go online to check the status of your application and schedule an appointment to pick up your card at the enrollment center.


PROTECT YOUR JOB!SUPPORT THE CANDIDATES WHO SUPPORT AMERICA’S MERCHANT MARINE

MM&P strongly encourages all union members and their families to vote in November’s Federal elections. The candidates elected to Congress, and the individual elected to the Presidency, will be in a position to affect the future viability of our industry. Their actions will determine whether American shipboard jobs will remain under the U.S.-flag or be outsourced to foreign shipping interests. 

To see where all three candidates for the Presidency stand with regard to the Jones Act and other MM&P bread-and-butter issues, go to www.bridgedeck.org and click on “What’s New.” The information is listed under “U.S. Presidential Candidates Speak Out on the Jones Act, Cargo Preference and MSP

Also: a state-by-state list of the pro-maritime candidates that the union is actively supporting has been posted in the Members Only section of www.bridgedeck.org. We will update the list as decisions to support additional candidates are made.

Through the MM&P Political Contribution Fund (PCF), our union works to support candidates who, regardless of their political party affiliation, believe our country needs a strong U.S.-flag merchant marine. Every MM&P member and employee should contribute to the PCF and vote for candidates who support our union and our industry.


WILL I GET A $300-$600 REBATE CHECK? THE MM&P FEDERAL CREDIT UNION EXPLAINS

The MM&P Federal Credit Union (MM&P FCU) provides information on timely topics as part of its service to members. Today, the credit union explains the ins and outs of the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008.

In an effort to stave off a recession, interest rates on short-term loans were reduced and the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 was approved. From May to December of this year, more than 130 million people will receive extra money from “Uncle Sam.” How do I determine if I’m eligible for a rebate check? How much money will I receive? How do I claim my rebate check? When will I get my money? Here are the answers:

If you have income from wages, salary, tips, self-employment, Social Security, certain Railroad Retirement benefits and/or certain veterans’ benefits of at least $3,000, you may be eligible for a rebate. (Supplemental Security Income is not considered qualifying income for a rebate.) The rebate will range from $300 to $600 for individuals and from $600 to $1,200 for married couples filing a joint tax return. If you claim dependent children on your return who are under the age of 17, you’ll get an extra $300 for each child.

The information used by the Internal Revenue Service to determine the amount of your rebate will be gathered from your 2007 tax return. The amount of the refund is based on your net tax liability, which is the amount of taxes you owe before subtracting various “refundable credits,” such as the earned income credit and the child tax credit. People whose net tax liability is $600 or more will receive $600 plus an additional $300 for each qualifying child. If your net tax liability is $599 or lower, you’ll get an amount
equal to your net tax liability but no less than $300 plus an additional $300 for each qualifying child. Married filing jointly taxpayers whose net tax liability is $1,200 or more will get $1,200 plus an additional $300 for each qualifying child. If your net tax liability is $1,199 or lower, you’ll get an amount equal to your net tax liability but no less than
$600 plus an additional $300 for each qualifying child.

There are income restrictions on the rebate. For single filers whose adjusted gross income is above $75,000 and married filing jointly filers whose adjusted gross income is above $150,000, the rebate will be reduced by $50 for every $1,000 that exceeds $75,000 for single filers and $150,000 for married filing jointly filers. The credit will phase out completely for single filers with no children whose adjusted gross income is more than $87,000 and married filing jointly with no children whose adjusted gross income is more than $174,000.

In order to receive a rebate, you must file a tax return for tax year 2007. If you do not file a return, you will not receive a rebate. Low income workers, recipients of Social Security, certain veterans benefits and Railroad Retirement benefits who are generally not required to file taxes because they don’t have a tax liability must file a tax return this year in order to receive the rebate. People who fit this group will not incur a tax liability nor will other government benefits they currently receive be negatively affected.

The sooner you filed your tax return, the sooner you will receive your tax rebate check when the rebate checks starts rolling out in May 2008. Those who filed their tax return closer to the April 15 deadline will receive their rebate later in the year. Your rebate check will be issued to you in the same way you received your tax refund. If your tax refund was directly deposited to your personal banking account, the rebate will be direct deposited into the same account. If your tax refund was mailed to you, your rebate will be mailed to you. Just like the tax refund, you’ll receive your rebate faster if the money is directly deposited into your personal banking account.

The IRS has already mailed notices to taxpayers advising them of the rebate. Be on the lookout for identity thieves posing as the IRS via phone calls and e-mails seeking to obtain your personal information. Do not give your personal information to anyone unless you yourself initiated the phone call to the IRS.


NAUTILUS UK HEAD BRIAN ORRELL RECEIVES LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Brian Orrell, the general secretary of Nautilus UK, has been presented with the Lloyd’s List Lifetime Achievement award for 2008 in honor of three decades of service to the maritime industry. Orrell, who has been an official of Nautilus UK for 30 years, has also been chair of the Seafarers’ Section of the International Transportworker Federation. He led the seafarers’ group in negotiations that resulted in a number of international maritime instruments, including the International Maritime Labor Convention in 2006 and the Seafarers Identify Documents Convention. In addition, he has been a lead negotiator and policy developer on the International Bargaining Forum, which negotiates with employers’ groups to secure decent working conditions for seafarers on 3,700 flag of convenience vessels.


PIRATES ATTACK VESSELS IN CHINA SEA

Two ships were recently attacked by pirates off the coast of Indonesia, according to the International Maritime Bureau. The first incident took place close to the Island of Mangkai in the South China Sea on April 13, when pirates in a speedboat, armed with guns and swords, boarded a bulk carrier underway. Although the crew activated the security alarm system and aimed fire hoses at the pirates, they were still able to board the ship. They stole personal belongings of the crew, ship’s cash and property. After 50 minutes, they left the ship. No serious injuries to crew were reported. The second incident involved a product tanker. The IMB also reported that pirates armed with guns hijacked a fishing vessel that had sailed into Somali territorial waters. The fishing vessel, along with its 34-member crew, was released when a military helicopter intervened.


FRENCH MILITARY CAPTURES SIX YACHT HIJACKERS, OTHERS ESCAPE

The French government is holding six of the pirates who seized the luxury yacht PONANT off the coast of Somalia last week. Another eight to ten pirates escaped. The yacht’s 30-member crew was not harmed in the attack. Dramatic film footage posted on the Internet shows French helicopters chasing down a group of pirates who abandoned the ship and fled to the mainland. No passengers were on board the 288-foot, three-masted vessel when it was seized


NEW YORK MARINE SOCIETY SEEKS CONTRIBUTIONS

The New York Marine Society is raising funds for scholarships and to cover the cost of the Monomoy Races between Kings Point and New York Maritime. Contributors of at least $10 will receive a copy of “The History of the New York Marine Society.”  Mail your contribution to: New York Marine Society, 17 Battery Place, #714, New York, NY 10004. For more information, call: 212-425-0448.


CLARKE SHEEHAN APPOINTED TO NAVSAC

Clarke Sheehan, who teaches bridge resource management at MM&P’s Maritime Institute for Technology and Graduate Studies (MITAGS), has been appointed to serve a three-year term on the Navigation Safety Advisory Council (NAVSAC). NAVSAC advises the Secretary of Transportation, via the Coast Guard Commandant, on issues including the prevention of collisions and groundings. The council consists of 21 members with particular expertise in the Navigation Rules of the Road (international and inland), aids to navigation, navigational safety equipment, vessel traffic service and traffic separation schemes and vessel routing.


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.


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.   


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

CLASS OPENINGS: Between now and the end of June, 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: 4/22-23; 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

…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 by e-mail: 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
12,849 2,403 1,390
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
64.13
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
128.08
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
38.14
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
23.84
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
18.47
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
29.28
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.39
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
31.72
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.77
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
16.73
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
24.08
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
14.05
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
20.64
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
11.92
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
12.76
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
13.28
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
14.05
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
14.51
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.15
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
33.54
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
20.09
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
14.85
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
25.63
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
9.99
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
87.72
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
17.82
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
72.32
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
21.67
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
41.57
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
38.18
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
27.72
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.29
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
12.25
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
14.48
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
15.25
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
15.75
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
9.25
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
10.82
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.22
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
35.89
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
49.18
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
30.52





~ 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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