News

Wheelhouse Weekly – August 10, 2009

August 10th 2009

 

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

Volume 13 . . . . . Number 32. . . . August 10, 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.


COAST GUARD SAYS NEW MEDICAL REVIEW FORMS TO BE RELEASED SEPT. 1; URGES ATTENTION TO DETAIL IN FILLING OUT TWIC-RELATED PAPERWORK

The Course Guard said it is working on new physical evaluation forms that will be used in the future and released to the public for the first time on Sept. 1. Mariners will not be required to use the new forms until Oct. 1. The Coast Guard says mariners who need to renew their documents now should use the current forms, 719K, Rev (01/02) and K/E, Rev (10/02).

The Coast Guard is also urging that mariners pay special attention to filling out TWIC-related paperwork. It said that Transportation Security Administration (TSA) data indicate that nearly one in five merchant mariner credential (MMC) applicants do not currently hold a TWIC, but that this finding may be the result of data inconsistencies. In particular, the Coast Guard advises that all mariners get a TWIC if they have not already done so. “Please understand that the NMC will not issue your MMC until we have confirmation from TSA that you hold a TWIC,” the agency says. You can get info on applying for a TWIC at: www.tsa.gov or by calling 866-347-8942.

It is also important to identify yourself as a merchant mariner to avoid delays in processing your MMC application, the agency says, since this identification is what triggers TSA to send your data to the Coast Guard. Applicants who have already received a TWIC and did not select “merchant mariner” as their occupation or can’t remember whether they did so or not should call the TSA help desk at 866-347-8942 to check or to switch their listed occupation. (Select 1 for English or 2 for Spanish. Select 4 to get a representative who can help you change or confirm your selected occupation.) The operator will ask you several questions to verify your identity and then make the change. The operator will also give callers a Help Desk Ticket Number that should be written down and saved. The Coast Guard says this number will enable the National Maritime Center (NMC) to quickly correct any further data problems associated with the occupation selection.

Finally, the Coast Guard says, be sure that the biographical information supplied to TSA is the same used to apply for the MMC. NMC says it has spent many hours researching and correcting data errors which prevented the Coast Guard and TSA from matching data (name spelling, SSN, birth date, etc).


MARINERS URGED TO ATTEND SEPT. 22-23 MERPAC MEETING AT NATIONAL MARITIME CENTER

The next meeting of the Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee (MERPAC) will be held Sept. 22-23 in Martinsburg, West Virginia, at the Coast Guard’s National Maritime Center. A major focus of the meeting will be the performance of the National Maritime Center in processing mariners’ documents requests, including licenses, upgrades and medical reviews.

MM&P has been very active in MERPAC, including in the long debate over the USCG’s medical evaluation process. The union has appeared before Congress and taken its concerns to the USCG Commandant. Members are strongly encouraged to attend this meeting. If you are planning to attend, there are several hotels in the area. The phone number of The Comfort Inn, which has 109 rooms, is 304-263-6200.


COAST GUARD ASKS FOR COMMENTS ON THE QUALITY OF ITS LICENSING SERVICE

The Coast Guard is asking mariners to rate its performance in issuing licenses and processing merchant mariners’ documents. To respond to the survey, go to the Coast Guard website, http://homeport.uscg.mil/mycg/portal/ep/home.do.

MM&P strongly encourages members who have had recent experiences with the Coast Guard’s license and document processing functions to take the time to respond to the survey. When you have responded, please let us know by sending a brief e-mail that summarizes your comments to communications@bridgedeck.org.


LABOR LAUNCHES 30-DAY HEALTH CARE REFORM CAMPAIGN

The AFL-CIO is calling on union members nationwide to support meaningful health care reform. The call comes in the wake of violent demonstrations at the town hall meetings which have been organized by members of Congress to discuss President Obama’s health care reform legislation during the August Congressional recess. At least one member of Congress working to pass health care reform legislation has received death threats.

In an official statement, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Rich Trumka deplored the violence at town hall meetings. “These mobs are not there to participate,” Trumka said. “As their own strategy memo states, they have been sent by their corporate and lobbyist bankrollers to disrupt, heckle and block meaningful debate. It’s a desperation move, meant to slow the momentum for change.”

Trumka and AFL-CIO President John Sweeney called on union members and working families to participate in a 30-day campaign that includes going to the town hall meetings to participate in real debate on the issues, as well as writing letters and making phone calls to members of Congress. “President Obama’s proposal would put people and their doctors in charge of their own health care, reduce health care cost inflation, outlaw insurance company abuses, give doctors better decision-making tools for care and require insurers to compete with a public health insurance option,” Sweeney said.

AFL-CIO unions are supporting: a robust public health insurance plan to compete with private insurers and drive down health costs; relief for company/union funds providing pre-Medicare retiree coverage; and no taxation of health benefits. To find out more, go to: http://www.afl-cio.org/.


SEAFARERS RIGHTS REP SAILING ON MM&P-CONTRACTED MAERSK IDAHO

Douglas B. Stevenson, director of the Seamen’s Church Institute’s (SCI) Center for Seafarers’ Rights, is on an eight-day journey aboard MAERSK IDAHO through the Suez Canal, the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden to Dubai. Stevenson, a vocal advocate for mariners worldwide, in particular as far as access to shore leave is concerned, says he has embarked on the trip to learn from the experiences of mariners who routinely sail through pirate-infested waters. Stevenson says he is also hoping to draw attention to the professional seafarers themselves and their work, “which is vital to the world’s prosperity.” To collect data and give exposure to his expedition, Stevenson will make careful observations, many of which will be disseminated in real-time using Twitter. (To keep an eye on Doug’s journey, follow dbs5218.) A series of “tweets” disseminated as this issue of The Wheelhouse Weekly was being compiled recounts details of the vessel’s arrival at the DP World terminal at Djibouti.

Stevenson’s work on the trip will also be used in the context of a study of piracy’s effects on merchant mariners and their families. This month SCI announced a multi-year study in conjunction with the Disaster Psychiatry Outreach Program at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and the New York Psychoanalytic Institute. The first of its kind in the maritime industry, the study explores the clinical assessment and treatment of piracy attack survivors. SCI’s Center for Seafarers’ Rights is the world’s only full-time, free legal aid program for merchant mariners. For more information on SCI, go to www.seamenschurch.org.


WAGE INCREASE FOR MM&P CIVMARS

MM&P members who sail as CIVMARS aboard Military Sealift Command (MSC) and NOAA vessels will receive a 4.15 increase in base pay, overtime, penalty pay and non-watchstanding rates. The increase is retroactive to July 1, 2009. CIVMAR wage adjustments are based on prevailing industry wages which include adjustments and increases negotiated in MM&P deep sea commercial contracts as well as other information, analysis and recommendations. MSC and the Department of Defense approved the increases which MM&P Government Fleet Rep Randi Ciszewski and MM&P headquarters staffer Mike Rodriguez were able to justify.


52 SAVED, SCORES MISSING, AFTER NEW ZEALAND FERRY SINKS

Fifty-two survivors have been recovered after the sinking of the inter-island ferry PRINCESS ASHIKA near Nuku’alofa, Tonga. On Friday, reports from Maritime New Zealand put the number of people still missing at somewhere between 30 and 70. Participants in the search included a Royal New Zealand Air Force Orion, three rescue vessels and a merchant ship.


SIX PRESUMED DEAD AFTER STORMS IN NORWAY SINK SHIP

A Norwegian cargo ship with six men on board sank last week in a heavy storm that also caused a Chinese freighter to run aground. The Norwegian cargo ship MV LANGELAND reportedly transmitted a satellite distress signal, but when rescuers arrived at the scene, they only found life vests, lifeboats and debris. The Norwegian-flag vessel was later located at the bottom of the Koster Fjord. The Russian–Ukrainian crew is presumed dead. The same storm caused the Chinese freighter MV FULL CITY to run aground near Lagesund, Norway. Some oil has reportedly spilled from the vessel.


PIRACY UPDATE: 24 RELEASED AFTER CARGO SHIP RANSOMED

After being held for five months, the 24-person crew of the MV HANSA STAVANGER was released along with the vessel itself after the ship’s owner paid a reported $2.7 million in ransom. The 20,000 ton cargo ship had been captured approximately 400 miles from the southern Somali port of Kismayu. In related news, a tugboat owned by Mas Indra Shipping was reportedly seized by Somali pirates as it left Yemen.


U.S. AND PHILIPPINES SIGN ANTI-PIRACY PACT

On July 31, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and President Gloria Arroyo of the Philippines signed a memorandum of cooperation on piracy. Pirates have carried out more than 82 attacks this year in the waters of the Gulf of Aden and off the Somali coast. Almost 200 seafarers are now being held captive. The problem deeply concerns both nations, since many U.S. vessels have been threatened by these activities, and the Philippines is the world’s largest supplier of seafaring labor. LaHood and Arroyo said that by working together, the two nations can improve counter-piracy training and education. The agreement calls on both countries to develop best practices to enhance vessel security, conduct drills to ensure seafarers are prepared to respond to acts of piracy and share information. 


COAST GUARD SEEKS MARINE TRANSPORTATION SPECIALIST GS-2101-13/14

The Coast Guard is looking for an expert to “develop national-level strategies for maritime personnel qualifications and labor issues.” To find out more, go to http://tiny.cc/USCGJob. The search closes Aug. 12.


SUPREME COURT REJECTS ARGUMENT THAT JONES ACT BARS PUNITIVE DAMAGE SUITS

The Supreme Court has ruled in a 5-4 decision that injured seamen may seek punitive damages when their employer willfully fails to pay them for “maintenance and cure.” Justice Clarence Thomas, writing for the majority, held that Atlantic Sounding Co., the owner of a tugboat on which a crew member was injured, was liable for punitive damages. He rejected Atlantic’s argument that the Jones Act barred availability of punitive damages. Thomas said the Jones Act created an “alternative” statutory claim for negligence, but did not affect existing common law claims and remedies for seamen that existed prior to it. He also rejected claims that the court’s previous ruling in Miles v. Apex Marine Corp. limited seamen only to remedies under the Jones Act.


ATTENTION ALL D-BOOK APPLICANTS: NEW DEADLINE FOR SUBMITTING YOUR PAPERWORK TO GEB

Applicants who intend to apply for D-Book membership are informed that a one-week deadline for document submission is now in effect. All back-up paperwork for your application, including a copy of the “D” Certificate for the D-Book membership class, your four letters of recommendation from senior officers and a copy of your discharge (if you got off a ship just before or at the deadline date) must be received by the MM&P Membership Department by close of business, 5:00 p.m. East Coast time, one week before the GEB meeting. Remember that your initiation fee must also be paid in full. The final two GEB meetings for 2009 will be held on Sept. 8-9 and Dec. 1-2. The deadline for submitting material to the Sept. 8 meeting is COB 5:00 p.m. East Coast time, Tuesday, Sept. 1. The deadline for submitting material to the Dec. 1 meeting is COB 5:00 p.m. East Coast time, Tuesday, Nov. 24.


OFFSHORE MARINE SERVICE ASSOCIATION SAYS NEW REGS AID JONES ACT ENFORCEMENT

The Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA) says a series of regulations proposed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) would “take important steps to help enforce the Jones Act more effectively and protect American maritime jobs.” CBP administers the Jones Act as it applies to offshore energy operations. The agency plans to revoke or modify 20 rulings to restore the original intent of the Jones Act as it applies offshore. “With this proposal, CBP is saying that there is a hard line between transportation and installation. Foreign boats may be able to install oilfield equipment, but only U.S. boats can carry it offshore,” said OMSA President Ken Wells. “The problem is that for many years, CBP rulings had allowed foreign vessels to carry cargo to subsea oil and gas locations as long as that vessel also installed it.” The CBP proposal is open for public comment until mid-August.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

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


ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 9/22, 10/6

AZIPOD – (2-Day) Azipod Propulsion Systems: 10/1

BST – Basic Safety Training: 10/5

BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 9/14

BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 8/27

CNAV – Celestial Navigation: 10/19

CHS-BAS – Basic Cargo Handling & Stowage: 10/5

CONSTB – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 8/17

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning:  9/17

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 9/21

CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 9/29

CMM-CHS I: 10/5

CMM-CHS II: 10/12

CMM-ECDIS:  Electronic Chart Display Information Systems: 10/19

CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 8/24

CMM-SHMGT I – Ship Management (week 1) : 9/7

CMM-SHMGT II – Ship Management (week 2) : 9/14

CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1):  817, 8/31, 9/14, 9/28, 10/12, 10/26

CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 8/17, 8/31, 10/5, 10/19

CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 8/17, 8/31

ENAV – Electronic Navigation: 9/7

ENVRO-REGS PERMIT – Environmental Regulations In The Maritime Industry / Epa General Permit For Commercial Vessels:  10/7

FF-BADV – Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting Combined: 10/5

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5-Day) course: 8/31, 10/12

LAP – License Advancement Program (Chief Mate & Master Only): 09/14

LAP – License Advancement Program (Original Third Mate Only): 08/17

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 8/26, 9/28

LNG AWAR – Liquefied Natural Gas Awareness: 8/18

MEDIA RSP – Media Response Workshop: 9/18

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 8/15, 10/17

[MSC – Military Sealift Command]

MSC-CBRD-1 – CBRD Orientation: 8/14

MSC-SMA – Small Arms Training: 9/14

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original or Renewal: 8/31

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 8/24, 9/21, 10/5

SEC-VCF – Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 9/14

SEC-VSO-R – Vessel Security Officer Refresher (1 day):  8/14

SHS-EMR-5:  Emergency Shiphandling: 10/12

SHS-EMR-BRMP3 – Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 9/28

TPIC – Tankship Dangerous Liquids Person In Charge: 8/31

WKP BAS – Basic Watchkeeping: 9/21

WX BAS – Basic Meteorology: 9/14

…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

September 2009

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


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 8-7-2009

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
9,370.07 2,000.25 1,010.48
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
44.91
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
93.30
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
29.57
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
15.54
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
13.59
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
21.48
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.59
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
24.17
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.19
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
14.37
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
18.04
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
12.82
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
16.56
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
10.55
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
10.70
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
10.57
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
10.73
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
11.10
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.17
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
24.89
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
14.51
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
12.83
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
14.76
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
9.87
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
59.19
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
14.58
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
51.77
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
15.14
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
32.79
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
25.70
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
20.97
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
10.36
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
11.00
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
11.88
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
11.77
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
11.50
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
6.62
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
7.69
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.14
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
27.19
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
35.78
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
23.43





~ 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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