News

Wheelhouse Weekly – April 27, 2009

April 27th 2009

 

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

Volume 13 . . . . . Number 17. . . .April 27, 2009

STORIES COVERED

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.


PIRACY TAKES CENTER STAGE IN CONGRESS AFTER ATTACKS AGAINST U.S.-FLAG SHIPS

The attempted hijacking of MM&P-contracted MAERSK ALABAMA and its equally dramatic aftermath have focused the attention of the country’s elected officials on the issue of how to combat piracy in the Gulf of Aden and protect U.S.-flag ships and crews. Members of the House of Representatives last week passed a resolution commending Captain Richard Phillips, who offered himself as a hostage to protect his vessel and crew. As has been widely reported by media outlets the world over, Phillips was held hostage by four pirates in a lifeboat for five days. He was freed by Navy SEAL sharpshooters and U.S. Navy personnel. Three of the pirates were killed. The fourth will be tried in the United States.


CAPTIAN PHILLIPS, CHIEF MATE SHANE MURPHY AND THIRD MATE COLIN WRIGHT ARE ALL MEMBERS OF MM&P.

The House of Representatives resolution “commends the crew of MAERSK ALABAMA and Captain Phillips, who selflessly placed himself in harm’s way; recognizes the U.S. Navy, the crews of the USS BAINBRIDGE, BOXER, HALYBURTON and Patrol Squadron (VP) 8 for their role in the rescue; congratulates the Navy SEALs for their decisive action that resulted in the rescue of Captain Phillips; and joins all Americans in expressing great relief that the crew has returned home safely.”

In the search for solutions to the growing piracy problem, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has scheduled hearings this week at which Captain Phillips is scheduled to testify.

In a speech at a recent maritime industry event, former U.S. Maritime Administrator Sean Connaughton said the MAERSK ALABAMA incident “highlights the importance of a well-trained and well-led crew that can and does respond appropriately to whatever emergency is thrown at them.” Connaughton said maritime labor, union- and company-managed maritime schools, the nation’s maritime academies and Maersk Lines Limited “should be proud of the quality of seafarer they have generated.”

Among the elected officials who last week called for a tough government response to the piracy crisis was Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.). “Piracy should not be tolerated. It is a violation of international law, and for centuries the use of force to stop it has been supported by virtually every nation,” Webb wrote in a letter to Carl Levin, chairman, and John McCain, ranking member of the Committee on Armed Service. In his letter, Webb suggested that as a last resort, armed personnel, either military or private, be placed aboard U.S.-flag ships travelling in pirate-infested areas.

The maritime industry has traditionally been averse to arming seafarers aboard merchant ships because of fears about escalating violence and a plethora of potential legal problems, including prohibition against arms by some flag states and ports, and a huge number of highly complex international legal questions if firearms are used by non-military personnel and someone is injured or killed.


PIRACY ATTACKS ALMOST DOUBLE IN FIRST QUARTER OF 2009

The Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau (IMB) is calling for increased naval intervention to stop the spiraling wave of pirate attacks off the coast of Somalia. According to IMB, there has been a near doubling in the number of ships attacked during the first quarter of this year compared with the same period in 2008. A total of 102 incidents were reported to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre in the first three months of 2009, compared to 53 incidents in the first quarter of 2008. Attacks have also increased by almost 20 percent over the last quarter of 2008. The increase in the first quarter of 2009 is due almost entirely to increased Somali pirate activity off the Gulf of Aden and the east coast of Somalia.

IMB reported that, worldwide, a total of 34 vessels were boarded and 29 vessels were fired on in the first three months of this year. Nine vessels were hijacked. A total of 178 crew members were taken hostage, nine were injured, five kidnapped, and two killed. In addition to Somalia, Nigeria continues to be a high-risk area. In the first quarter of 2009, IMB received reports of seven incidents in the waters around Nigeria, mostly involving vessels employed in the oil industry. Unconfirmed reports suggest that at least 13 other attacks occurred in the same period.

It was also reported that there have been seven attacks in the waters around Peru. Only one incident was reported in the Malacca Straits. IMB said that the decrease in the number of attacks in that area “is due to increased vigilance and patrolling by the littoral states and the continued precautionary measures on board ships.” The situation has also improved in Bangladesh (Chittagong) and Tanzania (Dar es Salaam), with a slight decrease in the number of incidents reported in the first quarter as compared to the same period last year.


MARITIME LABOR UNITED IN SUPPORT OF LAUTENBERG BILL TO OVERHAUL MEDICAL REVIEW PROCESS; BILL WOULD ALSO REQUIRE AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE ROLE PLAYED BY UNDER-MANNING IN CAUSING MARITIME ACCIDENTS

The nation’s maritime unions have come out strongly in favor of a bill introduced by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) that would address grave deficiencies in the medical review process for merchant mariner credentials that was unilaterally implemented last year by the Coast Guard. The proposed legislation would establish a national registry of medical examiners for merchant mariners: a medical review system based on a network of physicians, akin to those that have long been successfully employed in other transportation modes. The bill would also require the Coast Guard to investigate the causal effect between under-manning and accidents at sea. 

Lautenberg is chairman of the Senate, Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security.

The provisions in the Lautenberg bill “are extremely important to American merchant mariners and will, in our opinion, greatly enhance the health and well-being of American seafaring personnel and the safe operation of American vessels of all types,” the unions wrote in an April 22 letter. They said the bill, S 685, would provide greater quality control as well as a more timely administration of the medical review process.

As has been widely reported, since the Coast Guard centralized the medical review process in its West Virginia facility, mariners have been waiting an average of 90 days, and frequently much longer, to obtain the documents they need to be able to work.

“Through the implementation of the procedures contained in your legislation, we believe the quality and efficiency of the medical review process will be enhanced, as the physicians who actually examine the individuals will again be playing a key role in determining the physical fitness of those seeking to continue or pursue a career in the maritime industry,” the unions wrote.

The system the Coast Guard put in place last year subjects mariners to unconscionable delays. “For the individual mariner,” the unions said, the Coast Guard’s current system has led to demands for multiple medical specialty consultations, additional laboratory tests and procedures and numerous evaluations for each condition noted by the physician during the physical examination. “As a result, mariners who have heretofore been able to pursue their chosen career at sea upon a clear demonstration and certification by their physician that their medical condition is not only controllable but poses no direct risk to the safety of the vessel, the crew or to themselves, are now subjected to multiple costly, time consuming and unnecessary medical interventions that are not deemed necessary by their examining physicians. For American mariners, the longer the delay in receiving merchant mariner documents or licenses, the longer they are literally unable to work.”

Since the Coast Guard first announced its intention to centralize the medical review process and remotely vet mariners’ fitness for duty, MM&P has continuously warned that the move would subject mariners to unconscionable delays. The ‘hands-on’ medical evaluation system that had been in place for the maritime industry prior to the current system implemented by the Coast Guard had served the maritime industry and the United States well. The previous system, and the system that would result through enactment of Lautenberg’s legislation, recognize that nothing can replace the good judgment of a well-informed, knowledgeable physician who has the experience and the information necessary to evaluate and determine whether a mariner is physically able to work at sea.

The unions said they are especially pleased that the bill would direct the Coast Guard to gather information that would help it assess the role that workload, fatigue and manning play in causing accidents at sea. “We have long argued that the failure on the part of the government to address such factors is, at best, shortsighted and dangerous,” they wrote. “Dramatically reduced manning levels, including those resulting in a one-man bridge operation, and the resulting increased workloads and lack of adequate rest and sleep for mariners, should no longer be ignored by the Coast Guard when determining the cause of marine accidents and when making recommendations to prevent similar accidents and incidents in the future.”

To read the letter the unions sent to Sen. Lautenberg in support of his bill, go to www.bridgedeck.org and click on “What’s New.”


JONES ACT A TOPIC AT LABOR UNIONS’ MEETING WITH U.S. TRADE REPRESENTATIVE

The importance of the Jones Act in protecting U.S.-flag shipping and American maritime jobs was reaffirmed at a recent meeting between members of the country’s labor unions and Ambassador Ron Kirk, the new United States Trade Representative. Kirk’s office is responsible for the development and oversight of U.S. trade policy, including strategy, negotiation, implementation and enforcement of the country’s trade agreements, environment, labor, development and preference programs. Participants in the meeting included MM&P International President Tim Brown, Mike Rodriguez of the MM&P headquarters staff, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney and Secretary-Treasurer Rich Trumka. During the meeting, maritime labor strongly urged that the Jones Act and other critically important maritime programs not be included in international trade negotiations.


MM&P ATTENDS MERPAC MEETING

MM&P Special Projects Director Richard Plant attended the April 16-17 meeting of the Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee (MERPAC) at Massachusetts Maritime Academy. In remarks to the committee, Plant underlined the fact that American merchant mariners are still being subjected to illegal limits on access to shore leave in some U.S. ports and terminals. He also spoke of the “unconscionable delays” that MM&P members and other professional mariners are being subjected to as part of the Coast Guard’s controversial medical review process. Plant introduced MM&P member John Lynskey, who reported to the group on his four-month-long and still ongoing odyssey to obtain renewal of his license under the Coast Guard’s centralized medical vetting system. In view of Lynskey’s statement, it was recommended that the next MERPAC meeting be held at the Coast Guard’s National Maritime Center in Martinsburg, W. Va. MM&P wishes to thank John Lynskey for his efforts and for speaking at the MERPAC meeting.


GLOBAL UNIONS CALL ON GOVERNMENT TO PUT PEOPLE FIRST

Global union federations have outlined a set of alternative strategies for the world’s economy that emphasize getting people back to work and promoting humanitarian values. The federations have put forward the plan in a new magazine, “Getting the World to Work: Global Union Strategies for Recovery.” The strategies were agreed by members of the world’s global unions, including the International Transport Workers Federation, of which MM&P is a member. They underline the labor movement’s demand for a change of direction and “a break with the greed, self-interest and inequalities of the past.” Governments, they insist, should put people first. “This publication reflects a unified approach by union federations to tackling the economic crisis and is set to reinforce global trade unions’ influence in discussions about the future,” said ITF General Secretary David Cockroft. “We believe that it is vital that the strategies outlined are taken on board by government leaders,” he said.

To download the publication visit: http://www.global-unions.org/IMG/pdf/Getting_the_World_to_Work.pdf


PIRACY AND NEW SECURITY MEASURES FOCUS OF MAY 21 SEMINAR

Maritime leaders will gather to discuss industry security in a seminar to be held May 21 in Washington in conjunction with National Maritime Day. The title of the seminar is “Security and the Seafarer: A Cautionary Tale.” The seminar will be held at the National Press Club in the Holeman Room from 3:00 to 5:00p.m. It is being presented by the North American Maritime Ministry Association (NAMMA), and the North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA). Speakers include MM&P International President Tim Brown and Congressman Elijah E. Cummings.

 The panel discussion will explore the role of government and industry in protecting the nation and the seafarer, the enforcement of regulations, commercial solutions and tools, a call for cooperation amongst the stakeholders, legal challenges and the human factor. It will also address the current piracy situation off the coast of Somalia. Registration is required. Interested parties should send an e-mail to contact@namepa.net or call +203 255 4686.


D-BOOK MEMBERSHIP COURSE IN LOS ANGELES HALL MAY 6-7

There will be a D-Book Membership Course in MM&P’s Los Angeles Hall May 6-7. All applicants should complete this course as soon as possible to avoid delays in becoming members. Applicants should take this course before completing 360 days of covered employment. For more information and to sign up for the course, call your local MM&P union hall.


MITAGS AND PMI ANNOUNCE NEW PROGRAM: INTRODUCTION TO ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS IN THE MARITIME INDUSTRY/EPA GENERAL PERMIT FOR COMMERCIAL VESSELS

MITAGS and PMI have added the “Introduction to Environmental Regulations in the Maritime Industry/EPA General Permit for Commercial Vessels” program to the course schedule. The program has been designed as two, one-day modules. Module one is an introduction to the environmental aspects of vessel operations and the basic structure of the marine regulatory environment. It is intended to give vessel operators a broad perspective on the potential environmental impact of their operations and a greater appreciation for why a vessel general permit is required. Module two is devoted to the vessel general permit. Attendees will be given a copy of the permit. This module will involve discussion and analysis of the permit language. It will also focus on how the permit requirements apply to the specific vessels operated by the students. Module one is a prerequisite for module two. The course will be held at MITAGS May 27-8; June 16-17; and July 29-30. It will be held at PMI May 27-28; and June 23-24. For more information or to register for the course at MITAGS, contact Robert Becker: (443) 989-3235; (866) 656-5569; rbecker@mitags.org. For more information or to register for the PMI course, contact Gregg Trunnell: (206) 838-7422; (888) 893-7829; gtrunnell@mates.org.


SHIP SECURITY OFFICER REFRESHER COURSE WILL BE HELD ON THE WEST COAST TOMORROW AND THURSDAY

MITAGS and Matson are sponsoring three, one-day VSO refresher courses on the West Coast in April. The courses are designed for members who have not yet taken a certified VSO course. Anyone who took the MITAGS or PMI VCF or PCS course after April 2003 has taken a certified course. (If you are in doubt about whether you need the refresher course, please check with Diane Ford at dford@mitags.org.)  Captain John Kessler of PMI will be presenting the course. The schedule is as follows; please call the MM&P halls at the numbers listed in parentheses to confirm your seat:  Tuesday, April 28, Los Angeles, at the MM&P Hall (310-834-7201) and Thursday, April 30, San Francisco at the MM&P Hall (415-777-5074).


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

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

AIS � (1-Day) Automatic Identification System: 6/22
ARPA � Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 6/23
BRM � Bridge Resource Management: 5/4, 6/15, 7/27
BRMP � Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 6/25
BST � Basic Safety Training: 6/1
CONT PLNG � Contingency Planning: 5/15, 7/10

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 6/22
CMM-CHS I � Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 7/6
CMM-CHS II � Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 5/4, 6/29
CMM-ECDIS � Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems: 6/8, 7/27
CMM-MPP � Marine Propulsion Plants: 6/15
CMM-SHMGT I � Ship Management (week 1) : 5/11, 7/13
CMM-SHMGT II � Ship Management (week 2) : 5/18, 7/20
CMM-SHS-ADV-I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 6/1, 7/13
CMM-SHS-ADV-I I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 5/4, 6/8, 7/6, 7/20
CMM-VPEN � Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 6/1, 8/3
CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 5/25

CSE-AWR2 � Confined Space Entry Awareness (2 day): 5/14
CSE-AAES � Confined Space Entry, Atmospheric Analysis of enclosed Spaces (3 day): 7/13
ENVIRO-REGS PERMIT – Environmental Regulations In The Maritime Industry / EPA General Permit for Commercial Vessels (2 day): 5/27, 6/16, 7/29
ENVIRO-REGS – Introduction to Environmental Regulations in the Maritime Industry (1 Day): 5/27, 6/5, 6/16, 7/29
FF-BADV � Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting Combined: 6/1
HAZ � Hazardous Materials (5 day): 5/4
LEG � Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 6/24
LNG AWAR � Liquefied Natural Gas Awareness (2 day): 5/27

MEDIA RSP � Media Response Workshop: 6/26
MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 6/8
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 5/4, 6/8
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 5/14, 6/13

[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-CBRD-1 � CBRD Orientation: 5/22, 7/18
MSC-DC � Damage Control: Special Evening MSC-DC Class: 5/18 to 5/21, 7/16
MSC-SMA � Small Arms Training: (stand by only) 5/18

[OICNW � Officer in Charge of a Navigation Watch Courses]
OICNW-CHS-BAS � Basic Cargo Handling and Stowage: 5/25
OICNW-EP � Emergency Procedures: 5/14
OICNW-SAR � Search and Rescue: 5/11
OICNW-TCNAV/CO � Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 7/13

ROP-5 � Radar Observer Program (Original or Renewal): 5/4
ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 6/22

SEC-VCF – Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 5/11, 6/23, 7/6
SEC-VSO-R � Vessel Security Officer Refresher (1 day): 5/15, 6/8, 6/22
SHS-BAS � Basic Shiphandling: 5/18, 6/15
SHS-EMR5 � Emergency Shiphandling: 6/22
SHS-EMR-BRMP3 � Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 6/22

TPIC � Tankerman Person in Charge (Dangerous Liquids): 5/25

…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 2009
27ROR
28-5/1ARPA
27-5/1TPIC

May 2009
11ROR
11-22GMDSS
12-15ARPA
26SEC VCF REFRESHER
26-29SEC VCF

June 2009
1-5ECDIS
1-3Security VCF
4Security Refresher
8-19GMDSS
8-12Radar Observer Unlimited
8-12TPIC
12Flashing Light
15Radar Renewal
15-19Medical Care Provider
15-26Medical Person-in-Charge
22-24Security VCF
25Security Refresher

July 2009
6-10Basic Shiphandling
13Radar Renewal
14-17 ARPA
13-17Emergency Shiphandling

August 2009
3Radar Renewal
4-7ARPA
3-5Security VCF
10-14 ECDIS
10-14 TPIC

September 2009
21Radar Renewal
22-25ARPA
21-25Medical Care Provider
21-2Medical Person-in-Charge

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 4-24-2009

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
7,957.06 1,694.29 866.23
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
40.21
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
79.84
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
24.44
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
12.27
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
11.66
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
18.19
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.68
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
20.89
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
4.59
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
13.18
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
15.65
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
12.18
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
14.87
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
9.72
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
9.48
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
9.15
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
9.09
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
9.41
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.09
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
21.17
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
13.21
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
11.25
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
12.65
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
9.26
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
50.51
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
12.41
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
41.16
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
12.59
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
28.27
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
20.86
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
16.78
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
9.64
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
10.18
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
10.46
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
10.12
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
9.73
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
5.56
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
6.40
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
9.45
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
22.87
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
30.66
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
19.58





~ 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. Suite B
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.

© 2009, 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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