News

Wheelhouse Weekly – August 18, 2005

August 18th 2005


 


THE MASTERS, MATES & PILOTS’
WHEELHOUSE WEEKLYonline

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

Volume 9 . . . . . Number 33 . . . . August 18, 2005


STORIES COVERED

ALSO

REMINDERS

 

 




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




MARAD SEEKS INFO TO IMPROVE COORDINATION OF COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN US-FLAG MERCHANT SHIPS AND US MILITARY VESSELS

To All MM&P Masters Operating in the Middle East and Southwest Asian waters of the North Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, Persian Gulf, Gulf of Aden, Red Sea and the Suez Canal: In response to a need for greater communication and coordination between US-flagged shipping and the US armed forces, the US Maritime Administration, Office of Ship Operations is requesting general info regarding vessel security and communications with the US armed forces.

Please be advised that MARAD is not seeking Security Sensitive Information or other specifics from your vessel’s security plan. Kindly respond within one week of the receipt of this message to the following survey by e-mail to: Opcentr1.marad@dot.gov .

1. Do you maintain a higher MARSEC level during operations in the above areas?
2. Do you take any additional measures during above area operations such as additional anti-piracy watches and roving patrols?
3. Are additional security force personnel hired aboard during transit? If so, which specific areas?
4. Does your crew carry small arms?
5. Do you have access to and follow MARAD Advisory procedures? MARAD Advisories can be found at: http://www.marad.dot.gov.
6. Do you utilize threat information reports, e.g. Anti-Shipping Activities Messages, and Worldwide Threat to Shipping Reports disseminated by the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency?
7. Please provide information of any additional intelligence sources you use for threat assessments.
8. What is the most reliable intelligence source for security force protection and information that you utilize?
9. Do you communicate via VHF (bridge to bridge) with US or allied Navy warships?
10. Does your vessel make a report to the NATO Shipping Center if transiting the Suez Canal according to MARAD Advisory 02-02 (03 Jun 02)?
11. Do you report (under Commander, US Naval Forces Central Command) to MARLO, Maritime Liaison Office of planned vessel movements?
12. Do you file regular AMVER position reports? Do you report more frequently in specific areas?
13. Do you utilize a Vessel Tracking System?
14. Is there a better position reporting system?
15. What improvements could be made to coordinate communications between US-flag vessels and US military forces, (e.g. checkpoints, bridge-to-bridge call ins, military forces meeting vessel in port).
16. What ports or routes does your vessel regularly call upon?
17. What is your vessel’s forecasted service frequency at the above ports (e.g. every 7 days)?
18. What cargo is carried by your vessel, (i.e., commercial, military, US government cargo).

MM&P members who have any questions regarding this survey can contact Mike Rodriguez, MM&P’s Executive Assistant to the President at e-mail: mrodriguez@bridgedeck.org .

 




 

US TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY MINETA PRAISES RRF PROGRAM

As previously reported in the Wheelhouse Weekly, MM&P-contracted Patriot Contract Services, Matson Navigation and Horizon Lines recently won new contracts to maintain and operate Ready Reserve Force (RRF) ships for the US Maritime Administration.

In commenting on the contract awards, US Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta praised the RRF Program. “We have seen first hand that the Ready Reserve Force provides a vital link to the men and women of the armed services by carrying thousands of military vehicles, aircraft, and other materiel to support operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. This is an extremely cost effective and well-run program that keeps us prepared to rapidly respond to the military’s needs,” Mineta said.

Most of the new ship management contracts are built on a four-year base period and include two three-year extension options that will be based on the company’s performance. The management firms are responsible for keeping the ships in a constant state of readiness and for getting the ships fully crewed with US-citizen merchant mariners when an activation call goes out.

“The Ready Reserve Force has moved an extraordinary amount of cargo over the past several years, and our nation’s maritime industry has kept this fleet in good working order and worked diligently to show its value,” Acting Maritime Administrator John Jamian said.

RRF ships are kept in a high state of readiness at fifteen ports located on the Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf coasts of the US. Some ships also are kept in a prepositioned status overseas. There have been 91 activations of Ready Reserve Force Ships since December 2002. RRF ships have carried nearly 14,927,306 square feet of cargo – about 310 football fields of materiel.



 

HORIZON STILL REQUIRES EPSQ SECURITY CLEARANCE

Members interested in positions onboard MSC T-AGS Oceanographic vessels are reminded that MM&P-contracted Horizon Lines still requires the use of the EPSQ software until approval for the updated e-Qip software can be obtained. A new MSC Oceanographic Facts EPSQ.pdf file has been created by Richard Plant, MM&P’s Director of Special Projects and e-mailed to all ports and union officials. Any mariner interested in sailing on the T-AGS Oceanographic vessels should first send a resume as an attachment to Richard Plant at rplant@bridgedeck.org. He will then send the Facts pdf file via return e-mail.

On a related issue, MM&P strongly recommends that all members taking a physical do so to the MSC standard. By doing this, a member opens up employment opportunities to sail on commercial as well as military chartered vessels. Commercial shipping companies will accept the MSC physical forms as will the MSC contracted companies. For those needing a copy of the MSC physical forms, e-mail Plant as the older SF 88 and SF 93 forms are now obsolete. In any event, DO NOT send in your security clearance forms or take your MSC physical for Horizon Lines without first being instructed to do so by a representative of Horizon Lines.



 

RECORD SET FOR DIESEL AND OIL PRICES

According to a report issued by the Energy Information Administration, diesel prices surged 16 cents last week, climbing to a record $2.57 a gallon for the week ending Aug. 15, The average price of diesel in the US is now more than 74 cents above year-ago levels. Diesel prices could rise even further in the near term, experts say.

Oil prices, which hit an all-time high near $67 a barrel last week in New York, are expected to remain at or near record levels. Diesel prices on the West Coast, which jumped nearly 21 cents the previous week on refinery outages in California, climbed an additional 9 cents in the week ended Aug. 15. In California, diesel prices topped $3 a gallon, hitting $3.04 while the price of gasoline is already well over $3 a gallon for all grades.

 


US MILITARY PARTICIPATES IN SE ASIA SEA SECURITY DRILL

Singapore and a dozen other nations staged Southeast Asia’s first military exercise in the South China Sea earlier this week under a US-led initiative to halt the spread of weapons of mass destruction. Military officers from 13 countries, including Australia, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, the US and others used Singapore’s Changi Naval Base as a command and staging area for a Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI) drill.

President Bush launched the initiative in May 2003 aiming to stop global trafficking of weapons of mass destruction, such as nuclear, chemical and biological arms. The plan, in which ships and aircraft suspected of carrying WMD can be intercepted, has the support of more than 60 countries, although some legal experts say it could violate international law.

Singapore, one of the world’s busiest ports, sits at a junction of the South China Sea and the Strait of Malacca, one of the world’s busiest corridors for ocean-going trade.
Japan hosted the previous exercise in Asia last October.
The exercise, one of the largest PSI demonstrations to date, involved 2,000 personnel from the military, coast guard, customs and other agencies from the 13 countries.
This is the 17th exercise to be held since PSI drills were first launched in 2003.


INSURANCE RATES TO RISE FOR MALACCA STRAIT TRAFFIC

Ship owners whose vessels transit the Malacca Strait or call on Indonesian ports will soon have to pay for additional insurance coverage after the Joint War Committee (JWC) of Lloyd’s Market Association declared it a high-risk area. This declaration will have a significant impact on the more than 50,000 ships that annually pass through the Strait and other Indonesian waters.

The on-going piracy in the Strait is the key factor behind the increase. The Strait has now been added to the JWC’s list of 21 shipping areas worldwide that are in jeopardy of war, strikes, terrorism, and related perils, joining countries like Somalia, Iraq, and Lebanon. Usually shipping companies attempt to reclaim such increases in premiums by applying “war risk surcharges” on the cargoes they carry.


PIRACY INCREASING AT ALARMING RATE OFF SOMALI COAST

The International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) Piracy Reporting Center reports that acts of piracy are increasing at an alarming rate off the East Coast of Somalia. Somali is located in eastern Africa, bordering the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, east of Ethiopia. Fifteen violent attacks on shipping have been recorded since mid-March, a dramatic rise compared with only two attacks in all of 2004. The IMB warns that the threat posed by Somali militiamen to vessels is very real and should not be understated.

The Center says that armed pirates in speedboats and gunboats are frequently firing at ships, seeking to hijack the vessel and hold the crew for ransom. The IMB now advises ships to stay at least 150 miles off the eastern and northeastern coast of Somalia unless specifically calling at a Somali port, and to keep radio communications, including VHF, to a minimum.


NAVY SAYS $1.2 BILLION SAN ANTONIO POORLY CONSTRUCTED

A report issued by the US Navy says its new $1.2 billion helicopter and troop carrier SAN ANTONIO was poorly constructed. The report says Northrop Grumman Ship Systems should have found the 15,000 deficiencies before they presented the ship to the Navy’s Board of Inspection and Survey. The vessel is the first of 12 new amphibious ships the Navy has ordered.

Inspectors say that it is typical for a new class of ship to have bugs, but the SAN ANTONIO was constructed with poor craftsmanship. For instance, welders inadvertently used a set of upside-down blueprints; inspectors found stanchions intended to hold television sets in a lounge area were protruding from the floor rather than hanging from the ceiling.

With less and less warships being built, defense authorities say that there should have been much more attention paid to the details. With the commissioning of the SAN ANTONIO set for October 1, the ship is already two years behind schedule and $400 million over budget.


STRICTER IMO RULES CALLED FOR TO CUT DRINKING ON SHIPS

The German government wants to launch an initiative at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for stricter rules on drinking onboard merchant ships. It plans to submit its proposals to the Maritime Safety Committee for a full ban on alcohol on ferries as well as on dangerous goods carriers, and a limit of 50 milliliters of alcohol per litter of blood for all other types of vessels. (That works out to a US equivalent of .026 or about 2 ounces of alcohol. While alcohol is banned while operating US-flag ships, the DWI rate for driving in many states is .08.)

The proposed rules, which could be included in the STCW code or SOLAS chapters V and IX, would apply to masters, officers and ABs on watch. The German parliament adopted these limits for its territorial waters two months ago after an accident in Hamburg last year when the ENA 2 capsized with a cargo of sulfuric acid. The master was found to have an alcohol level of 219 milliliters.


 

MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

CLASS OPENINGS: Between now and the end of November 2005, seats are available in the following courses:

AIS – Automatic Identification System: 9/2, 10/13
ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 9/26, 10/24
AZIPOD-KAM – pod and Kamewa Steering and Propulsion: 10/03

BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 10/11, 11/2
BST – Basic Safety Training: 8/29, 9/26, 10/31

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 10/3
CMM-CHS I – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 8/22, 11/14
CMM-CHS II – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 11/7
CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display and Info Systems: 9/19
CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 10/24
CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 8/22, 9/26, 10/10, 10/24, 11/14
CMM-SHS-ADV-II – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 10/03, 10/31
CMM-SHMGT I – Ship Management (week 1): 9/26
CMM-SHMGT I I- Ship Management (week 2): 9/19, 10/31
CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 9/12, 10/31

CONT-PLNG – Contingency Planning: 9/9, 10/7, 11/11

FF-BADV – (Combined) Basic and Advanced Firefighting: 8/24, 9/26, 10/26

HAZ-Hazardous Materials (5-day): 9/12, 10/17, 11/14

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage [Evening Seminar]: 9/21

MEDIA-RSP – Media Response: 9/8, 10/6, 11/10
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 9/24, 10/22
MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 9/26, 10/17
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 9/26, 10/17 (1st week of MED-PIC)
MED-SMC – Shipboard Medical Care (4 weeks): 10/17

[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-SMA – Small Arms Training (4 day): 9/5, 10/31
MSC-SMA-R – Small Arms Re-Qualification (2-day): 9/8, 11/4 (must have proof of passing all 3 weapons within 2 years)

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal (5-day): 8/22
ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 8/20, 9/26, 10/17, 10/24

SEC-OFF-VCF – Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 10/4, 11/7
SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 10/24, 11/7
SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling (5 day): 8/29, 10/10

TPIC – Tankerman Person-In-Charge: 9/26

Check the MITAGS website at www.mitags.org for course descriptions associated with the course title abbreviations, and schedule revisions. For class availability or info on MITAGS courses and programs, contact admissions toll-free at 866-656-5568 or Email: admissions@mitags.org.

 

PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

 

August 2005

8/22-26 Basic Cargo Handling & Stowage
8/22-9/2 GMDSS
8/23-26 Lifeboat/Survival Craft
8/29-9/2 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
8/29-9/2 Basic Shiphandling
8/30-31 MAXIMO

September 2005

9/6-9 Basic Shiphandling
9/12-16 Medical Care Provider
9/12-16 Radar Observer Unlimited
9/12-24 100 Ton OUPV (12 days Mon.-Sat.)
9/12-23 Medical Person-In-Charge
9/12-23 GMDSS
9/19-23 Basic Safety Training
9/19-23 Emergency Shiphandling – 5 day
9/19-23 ARPA
9/19/05 Radar Renewal
9/19-20 Search and Rescue
9/20-23 Lifeboat/Survival Craft
9/21-23 Emergency Procedures

October 2005

10/3-7 ECDIS
10/3-14 Basic Watchkeeping
10/10-12 Bridge Resource Management
10/10-10-14 Basic Safety Training
10/10-14 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
10/10-14 Emergency Shiphandling – 5 day
10/17-28 GMDSS
10/18-21 Lifeboat/Survival Craft
10/24-26 Ship Security Officer
10/24-28 ARPA
10/24 Radar Renewal
10/31 Flashing Light

November 2005

10/31-11/2 Medical Care Provider
10/31-11/11 Medical Person-In-Charge
11/7-11 TPIC
11/7-18 GMDSS
11/7-19 100 Ton OUPV
11/14-18 ECDIS
11/28-12/2 Radar Observer Unlimited
11/28-12/2 Emergency Shiphandling 5-day

December 2005

12/5-9 Medical Care Provider
12/5-9 ARPA
12/5-16 Basic Safety Training
12/5-16 GMDSS
12/5-16 Medical Person-In-Charge
12/13-16 Lifeboat/Survival Craft
12/19-21 Ship Security Officer
12/19-23 ARPA
12/19-23 Basic Shiphandling
12/26-30 Emergency Shiphandling 5-day

 

For registration call Jennifer Fowler 888-893-7829

PMI Merchandise for Sale: High quality with embroidered PMI logo. All prices include tax. Navy Caps: $18.00; Button Down Long Sleeve Dress Shirts Blue or Khaki: $38.00; Coming Soon: Navy, Burgundy, Khaki T-shirts, high quality thick Hanes shirt with pocket $22.00; 15 oz. Beautiful Cobalt Blue Ceramic Mug $10.Call DeeDee Lazik 206-838-8328 or e-mail dlazik@mates.org.


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 8-17

 


 D O W  N A S D A Q  S & P 500
10,550.71 -64.96 for the week  2,145.15  -12.66 for the week  1,220.24  -8.89 for the week

 

 

Fund Name & Trading Symbol
Closing
Price
Change
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
112.74
-.76
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
32.91
-.21
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
19.90
-.07
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
16.82
-.12
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
31.85
-.22
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.34
+.02
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX)
6.26
+.01
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.16
+.04
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
18.49
-.33
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
16.22
-.05
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
38.01
-.23
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
105.22
-.94
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
22.53
-.18
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
77.15
-1.51
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
43.29
-.29





~ 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:

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

5.00 percent for 25-48 months;
5.75 percent for 49-60 months ($20,000 minimum); and
6.25 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

NOTICE TO MEMBERS WHO ARE TAKING VIOXX

On Sept.30, Merck & Co. voluntarily withdrew Vioxx, a popular anti-inflammatory medication, from the market. As a result, individuals who are currently taking the drug have been asked to contact their health care professionals to discuss discontinuing use of Vioxx and possible alternative treatments.

MM&P Plans Administrator Valerie Verrecchio reports that, “We have gotten a number of calls from members who want to know what to do with their remaining supply of Vioxx and whether the Plan or NMHC will refund their co-pay for the unused portion.

“Unfortunately, neither NMHC nor the Plan was aware of the Merck decision prior to the public announcement on Sept.30. As of that date, all deliveries of Vioxx to our members was suspended in accordance with Merck’s announcement. Orders that had already been processed and were in transit could not be stopped.

“In regard to refunds, Merck has set up a website at www.vioxx.com where members can obtain information on how to recover refunds from Merck for the unused portion of medication. Members can also call following toll free number for information: 1-888-368-4699.

“We are sorry for any inc onvenience this may have caused to members currently taking this medication, however, the matter is out of the control of the Plans.”



NMHC MAIL-ORDER PRESCRIPTIONS WEBSITE UPDATED & IMPROVED

MM&P Plans Administrator Valerie Verrecchio reports, “Good news! NMHC mail has finally gotten their website upgraded and functioning properly. I went in and tested it myself and found it to be quite user friendly.”

To use NMHC’s upgraded service, go to the NMHC Mail website at www.nmhcmail.com and click on “MEMBER LOGIN” at the bottom of the screen.

First-time and Registered users may bypass the welcome screen and go directly to the log-in page at https://members.nmhcrx.com/Login/Login.aspx.

  • First-time users should then click on the link marked “NEW USER: REGISTER HERE”.
    This will take you to a page titled “MEMBER REGISTRATION” where you will need to enter demographic information and submit it by clicking on the
  • “CREATE ACCOUNT” button.

After creating your account, NMHC will email you a password to gain entry into your records. With your first sign-in, the NMHC system will prompt you to change the NMHC password to one of your own choosing.

Once you are registered at NMHC, you can check the status of open orders by logging-in to the system through the “MEMBER LOGIN” page and going into the “MAIL ORDER” menu. You can look up all prescriptions and get the price our members will pay for any medication. You can also view an order history of all of your medication transactions (both retail and mail) for the last 24 months, locate 24-hour pharmacies in your zip code region as well as access other helpful member education information.

“We hope this welcome improvement will assist our members. Although you cannot order refills on line if you don’t provide a credit or debit card number, you can phone in your refill. Once you register on the website, you will still have access to all of the other information including checking the status of your order once it is phoned in,” said Ms. Verrecchio.



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., Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1941. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: iommp@bridgedeck.org. For further info or to subscribe contact John Peige at jpeige@bridgedeck.org. The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea, broadcast worldwide via FEC marine telex and is posted on our web page.

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