News

Wheelhouse Weekly – April 26, 2010

April 26th 2010

 

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

Volume 14 . . . . . Number 17. . . .April 26, 2010

STORIES COVERED

REMINDERS

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.


EXECUTIVE ORDER ON SOMALIA GENERATES UNCERTAINTY, CONFUSION

The maritime industry is urgently seeking answers following the release of an Executive Order, signed by President Obama, which blocks the property of 11 people and an organization named on a list of persons considered to be “engaged in acts that directly or indirectly threaten the peace, security or stability of Somalia.” Although spokesmen for government agencies have asserted that the Executive Order is not intended to block ransom payments to pirates holding seafarers hostage, because two of the people on the list are known to operate pirate organizations–and because the list is likely to be expanded–the maritime unions and U.S.-flag shipping companies are extremely concerned that the Executive Order could be called into play in future hijacking incidents–with extremely serious consequences.

Representatives of the maritime unions, including MM&P International President Tim Brown and Pilot Group Vice President George Quick, met last week with officials of the Coast Guard and other government agencies to obtain definitive reassurance, but concrete answers were not forthcoming. “I find the new Executive Order re: Somalia to be highly confusing,” said a spokesman for MM&P. “Piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia are mentioned in the preamble of the Executive Order, but the real focus seems to be on individuals and entities that threaten the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). The Executive Order does not mention whether the payment of ransom to pirates or anyone else is prohibited. The Executive Order does succeed in causing uncertainty within the international maritime community. Could a zealous U.S. attorney charge a foreign ship owner that has a U.S. presence, or a U.S. cargo owner shipping onboard a foreign ship, or their insurers, for participating in the payment of a ransom to pirates on the list? It is now a possibility. At the least, there could easily be a very messy and expensive court proceeding if such charges were brought.”

MM&P will continue to work with the rest of the U.S.-flag maritime community to obtain assurances that the Executive Order would not be called into play in the event of a hijacking. We will update readers through the Wheelhouse Weekly as more information becomes available.


MM&P HAILS PROFESSIONALISM OF AHL CREWS

MM&P members aboard the AHL tankers are to be commended for their discipline and professionalism in the face of adversity, say MM&P Secretary-Treasurer Don Marcus and Gulf Ports Vice President Wayne Farthing after visits to three of the vessels. Following the collapse of the domestic tanker market and the abandonment by Shell Trading Company of its new-build tanker program, AHL announced earlier this month it intends to file for bankruptcy. The SS ANASAZI remains in Jacksonville pending court proceedings. The SS MONSEIGNEUR and the SS NEW RIVER are in Port Arthur. The SS H.A. DOWNING has been laid up for some time in New Orleans with minimal crew aboard.


MEBA PRESIDENT DON KEEFE RECEIVES FRIEND OF SEAFARERS AWARD

Don Keefe, president of the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA) is the recipient of the 2010 Seafarers & International House (SIH) “Outstanding Friend of Seafarers” award. Keefe accepted the award on behalf of MEBA members and all mariners. Also honored at the event was Liberty Maritime Corporation President Phil Shapiro, who received several standing ovations for his call that the U.S. government deploy armed military security teams aboard ships carrying government-impelled cargo if they are at risk of being hijacked by pirates. The third SIH honoree was Fordham University School of Law Professor Joseph Sweeney, who also serves as an appointed Emory S. Land Professor of Maritime Affairs at the U.S. Naval War College and Distinguished Professor of Law at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. The Seafarers and International House was founded in 1873 as a charitable organization to provide seafarers and travelers with pastoral care, hospitality, social assistance and advocacy.


PIRATES TAKE THREE FISHING VESSELS, 77 HOSTAGES

Three Thai fishing vessels have been hijacked 1,200 nautical miles east of the coast of Somalia. Pirates have taken the 77 crewmembers and mariners aboard hostage. Authorities said the hijackings occurred about 600 miles outside the normal operating range of the pirates and European Union Naval Force patrols. Twenty-six vessels have been boarded by pirates during the first three months of 2010. Not including the three latest boats, there are 12 ships and 245 hostages currently being held.


SHIP THAT GROUNDED ON GREAT BARRIER REEF TO BE TOWED OVERSEAS

The SHEN NENG 1, the coal ship that grounded earlier this month on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, is in the port of Gladstone to unload coal and undergo repairs before being towed overseas. Authorities said an initial assessment by salvage experts has shown the ship’s hull has been breached in at least two places. As reported previously, the master and officer-on-watch of the vessel were arrested for damaging a section of the reef measuring 1.9 miles in length and 820 feet in width. The captain faces a $70,000 fine. The officer-on-watch faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a fine of more than $200,000. 


UNITED INLAND GROUP MEMBERS AT CROWLEY APPROVE CONTRACT

Members of MM&P’s United Inland Group (UIG) employed at Crowley Maritime have approved a new three-year contract. The votes were tallied at MM&P headquarters on April 21 in the presence of Nigel Raithby of Crowley Valdez. “Given prevailing conditions in the maritime industry and in the economy as a whole, I believe this is a good contract,” said MM&P United Inland Group Vice President C. Michael Murray. “I want to take the opportunity to thank the membership for moving us forward by voting ‘yes.’”

The members of the negotiating team were Andy Constant, Greg Johnson, Laurence Christie, Richard Birge, Brett Spellman, Michael Santini, Aron Morgan, Perry Overton and Dave Porada. “I want to thank each and every member of the MM&P negotiating team for doing an excellent job,” Murray said. “I also want to commend our branch agents, Tim Saffle and Ray Shipway, for their high level of professionalism and for their many contributions to the process.”


MM&P OFFSHORE PENSION PLAN INFORMATION ON WWW.BRIDGEDECK.ORG

New information regarding the MM&P Offshore Pension Plan has been posted in the Members Only pages of www.bridgedeck.org. The same information was also mailed to all Pension Plan participants on April 15. To view the material, go to www.bridgedeck.org and log in as a member. Then click on “Offshore Pension Plan Information” at the top of the page.


LONG-TIME MM&P NORFOLK REP PATTY POWELL RETIRES

Patty Powell, a familiar face in the MM&P Norfolk Hall for 43 years, has retired. Friends gave Patty a warm send-off at a good-bye party that drew union members and residents of the surrounding community who have known Patty for years. “Patty Powell is the longest-serving MM&P employee,” said MM&P International President Tim Brown. “We value her service to the union and we will miss her quick wit and warm smile.” We will miss you Patty! Fair winds and following seas during your well-earned retirement!


 

DIRECTOR OF INTERNATIONAL HYDROGRAPHIC ORGANIZATION AT MITAGS ON MAY 13

IHO Director Robert Ward will speak at MITAGS on Thursday, May 13, at 0930, on the use and misuse of nautical charts and the proper use of ECDIS. Ward is one of the foremost experts in the world on ECDIS. He will be available after the morning lecture to take questions from the audience. There is no charge for the lecture, but seating is limited. To sign up, please send an e-mail to Glen Paine at gpaine@mitags.org. Hotel and meal accommodations are available for attendees. Please indicate in your e-mail if you need hotel and/or meal arrangements. For more information, please call 443-989-3233.


DAVE LYMAN SCHOLARSHIP FUNDRAISER JUNE 30 IN HONOLULU

Pilot Dave Lyman, the legendary Hawaiian mariner and MM&P member who touched the hearts of so many because of his love of the sea, generosity and guidance to young sailors, will be honored June 30 at the Aloha Tower Market Place with a fundraising dinner intended to provide tuition assistance to maritime students in Hawaii. The first event held to honor Lyman was a huge success: over $30,000 was raised. Coupled with the pledge to match funds from the California Maritime Academy, the grand total was over $60,000. “Please join us again this year for this premier Honolulu waterfront event! Great friends, great food and a great cause. For more information, contact Leilani at (808) 848-1259 or lperchan@matson.com.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

CLASS OPENINGS: Between now and the end of June 2010, as of the Friday before this publication, seats are available in the following courses:

AB – Able Bodied Seaman: 6/14

ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 5/17

BST – Basic Safety Training: 6/7

BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 5/24

BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 5/13

CNAV � Celestial Navigation: 5/3

CONT PLNG � Contingency Planning Workshop: 5/13

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 6/21

CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 5/17, 6/28

CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants:  6/14

CMM-SHMGT I � Ship Management (week 1): 5/3

CMM-SHMGT II � Ship Management (week 2): 5/10

CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 5/24, 6/21

CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 6/7, 6/28

CMM-VPEN � Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 5/24

ECDIS/ENAV for PILOTS (2-day): 5/18

ENVRO-REGS PERMIT – Environmental Regulations In The Maritime Industry / Epa General Permit For Commercial Vessels: 5/26

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Basic & Advanced Combined: 6/7

FSM for Pilots � Fatigue, Sleep & Medications: 5/13, 5/20

HAZ – Hazardous Materials Course (5-day): 6/21

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 5/3, 5/13

LNG-GCC-Term – Liquefied Natural Gas for Terminal Operators: 4/26

MEDIA RSP � Media Response Workshop: 5/14

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 5/8, 6/19

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 6/14

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 5/3, 6/14

[MSC-Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC CBRD-1 � CBRD Orientation: 5/21

MSC-DC � Damage Control (Special Evening Course): 5/17 to 5/20

MSC-SMA � Small Arms Training: (Standby Only 5/17)

ROP-5 � Radar Observer Original or Renewal: 5/3

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 5/17

SEC-VCF – Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 5/10

SHS-BAS � Basic Shiphandling: 6/21

TPIC � Tankerman Person-in-Charge: 5/17

No classes scheduled for Memorial Day week (May 31-June 6).

…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 e-mail: admissions@mitags.org.


PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

Schedule of Courses – Please also see our schedule online at www.mates.org

For registration, call our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen, at (206) 838-1126

May 2010

3          Radar Renewal
3-7      Medical Care Provider
10-14  Tankerman Person-in-Charge
10-14  Medical Care Provider
10-21  Basic Watchkeeping w/ BRM
24-28 Medical Care Provider
24-28 ECDIS
26-28 Security VCF

June 2010

1-3       Security VCF
7-10    ARPA
7-11     Medical Care Provider
7-18    Medical Person-in-Charge
7-18    GMDSS
8-10    BRM & Emergency Shiphandling for Pilots
11         Radar Renewal
14-2    Terrestrial & Coastal Navigation w/ Compasses
21-25  Tankerman Person-in-Charge


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 4-23-10

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
11,204.28 2,530.15 1,217.28
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund (VAARX)
52.00
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
112.22
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
38.47
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
17.63
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
16.89
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
25.90
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.73
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
29.84
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.62
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
15.86
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
21.15
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
13.72
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
18.88
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
11.48
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
12.05
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
12.19
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
12.64
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
13.07
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.44
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
30.42
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
16.66
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
14.65
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
17.82
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.33
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
70.63
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
67.21
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
18.17
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
42.15
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
28.60
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
26.80
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.10
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
11.78
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
13.22
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
13.39
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
13.33
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
7.74
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
9.04
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.70
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
35.68
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
43.10
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
28.64





~ Reminders ~



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.

© 2010, 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.