News

Wheelhouse Weekly – August 18, 2008

August 18th 2008

 

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

Volume 12 . . . . . Number 33. . . .August 18, 2008

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.


HEROIC SEAFARER AWARDS: CALL FOR NOMINATIONS

MM&P is assembling nominations of heroic actions by our members and contracted vessels for the United Seamen’s Service (USS) 2008 Admiral of the Ocean Sea (AOTOS) Awards ceremony, which will be held Nov. 7 in New York. As part of the annual program, Honored Seafarer Awards are bestowed on American mariners who have shown outstanding seamanship and bravery in the course of rescue operations carried out over the course of the past 12 months. Please send the names of your nominees and a detailed description of the rescue operation to communications@bridgedeck.org by Aug. 29, or call the MM&P Communications Department at: 410-850-8700 ext. 27. 


COME TO THE LOS ANGELES LABOR DAY MARCH!

The Los Angeles Labor Day March will be held on Monday, Sept. 1. Thousands of union members and their families attend the march every year to demonstrate their support for America’s working families and our country’s labor unions. As is our proud tradition, this year once again the Masters, Mates & Pilots will march shoulder to shoulder with the members of our fellow deep sea unions. All MM&P members, applicants and their families are encouraged to attend the march! The MM&P hall will be open by 0830. At 0900, we will begin the short, one-mile walk to the assembly area at Banning Park. Enjoy a fun morning with your fellow shipmates and show your union pride! Join with us as we march in Los Angeles Sept. 1 in honor of Labor Day.


HIGH NUMBER OF SHIP ORDERS WILL BOOST GLOBAL DEMAND FOR SKILLED MARINERS, SAYS UK CONSULTANT

With outstanding orders for 9,000 new ships “on the order books” of the world’s shipyards, the demand for skilled seafarers will increase significantly in the short term, according to British maritime researcher Martin Stopford. “This is probably the most important and pressing issue facing the industry at the moment,” Stopford told a group of journalists attending a briefing for the Shipbuilding Machinery and Marine Technology Trade Fair, which will be held in Hamburg, Germany, in September.

Stopford’s remarks were reported in the July issue of “Nautilus UK Telegraph,” the publication of the British and Dutch officers’ union. “You’re looking at an order book of 9,000 ships and, from a strict point of view, that means up to 20,000 extra seafarers and 9,000 masters in a short period,” “Nautilus” quoted Stopford as saying. The analyst “dismissed claims by employers that efforts are being made to boost training,” saying “it’s already too late for the current order book” because “it takes 10 years to train a master.”

Stopford said the insurance industry is already voicing concerns over the growing shortage of skilled senior ship officers and the fear that it may lead to inexperienced masters being put in charge of ships. He said the shipping order book is now at a historically high point, amounting to 46 percent of the current world fleet, and that, on this basis, the fleet is set to expand by 8-10 percent a year over the next three years.

There are caveats, however, according to other observers: the price of fuel and a slowing world economy could easily change the pace of globalization and the demand for shipping. Such trends could well lead to the scrapping of a lot of older, less fuel efficient ships, which would offset a substantial portion of the projected demand for officers. Shipping has always been a boom and bust business, with shipowners over-building in answer to the boom, and thus creating an oversupply of tonnage. This classic pattern could be magnified by the fuel equation and the downward heading world economy.


CALIFORNIA INTRODUCES WORLD’S TOUGHEST MARINE-FUEL USAGE STANDARD

In a measure which is being called the most stringent marine-fuel usage requirement in the world, the California Air Resources Board has adopted a regulation it says will cut diesel exhaust along the state’s coastline by 15 tons each day. The measure requires ocean-going vessels within 24 nautical miles of the state to use low-sulfur marine distillates, rather than bunker fuel, in their main and auxiliary engines and auxiliary boilers. The regulation will be implemented in two steps, beginning next year and ending in 2012. The board said the change will significantly reduce cancer rates and premature deaths associated with living near seaports and trade corridors along California’s coast.

During 2009, use of the cleaner fuels will result in immediate and significant reductions in the emissions from ocean-going vessels. Reductions will increase as the fuel sulfur content is progressively lowered. In 2009, about 75 percent of the diesel particulate matter, over 80 percent of the sulfur oxides and 6 percent of the nitrogen oxides will be eliminated.

In 2012, when the very low sulfur fuel requirement is implemented, reductions of diesel particulate matter will be 15 tons daily, an 83 percent reduction compared to uncontrolled emissions. Sulfur oxides will be reduced by 140 tons daily, a 95 percent reduction, and nitrogen oxides will be reduced by 11 tons per day, a 6 percent reduction.

An estimated 3,600 premature deaths between 2009 and 2015 will be avoided, and the cancer risk associated with the emissions from these vessels would be reduced by over 80 percent, the board says. The measure moves the state of California closer to its goal of reducing diesel particulate matter 85 percent by 2020.


MILITARY SEALIFT COMMANDER BRIEFS MARITIME UNION LEADERS ON FLEET READINESS

The MM&P International President and leaders of other maritime unions participated in an informational briefing led by Rear Adm. Robert D. Reilly Jr., head of Military Sealift Command (MSC). Besides the MM&P International President, other union leaders present at the Aug. 12 meeting were Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association President Don Keefe, Seafarers International Union Vice President Augustino Tellez, Sailors’ Union of the Pacific President Gunnar Lundeberg and Ed Kelley, vice president of the American Maritime Officers. During the course of the three-hour briefing, Reilly explained the new concept of “sea basing” as it relates to MSC assets and gave the union leaders a bird’s eye view of when new ships would be coming on line and when older ships would be decommissioned. The tone of the briefing was upbeat and positive, with participants agreeing that such meetings should be held more often.


MM&P GOVERNMENT GROUP MEMBERS IN THE NEWS

Members of MM&P’s Government Employees Group featured prominently in the most recent issue of “Sealift,” Military Sealift Command’s monthly newspaper. Captain Gregory L. Horner, civil service master of USNS ROBERT E. PEARY, was interviewed regarding the role of the new T-AKE ships, whose primary mission is to deliver ammunition, provisions and petroleum products to the Navy’s underway carriers and strike groups. “Introducing this ship to the fleet is a great step in modernizing the Navy and bringing in new capabilities,” Horner said.  The PEARY is the fifth in the Lewis and Clark-class to be delivered to the Navy. Captain Charles R. Rodriguez, civil service master of fleet ocean tug USNS APACHE, reported on the vessel’s participation in a simulated rescue of survivors from a submerged submarine. Engineers installed a weight system underneath the deck to ensure the ship would remain balanced once the rescue equipment was loaded. “APACHE’s bolt system allowed the equipment to be mobile and interoperable,” Rodriguez said. “The equipment can be taken off… without leaving behind extreme alterations to the ship.” Another article in “Sealift” reported on a search by scientists aboard the T-AGS ship USNS PATHFINDER, operated by MM&P-contracted Horizon Lines, to find the remains of a Finnish airplane that crashed during World War II.


UNION VETS CENTRAL TO AFL-CIO PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION STRATEGY

As part of its 2008 Presidential election campaign strategy, the AFL-CIO is working hard to publicize Sen. John McCain’s long history of “no” votes in the Senate on issues such as increased funding for veterans’ health care. The strategy targets the 2.1 million union members who are now on active military duty or have served in the country’s armed forces.

“McCain has voted the wrong way on numerous veterans’ issues, such as opposing increased funding for veterans’ health care the last four years in a row,” says Mark Ayers, president of the Building & Construction Trades Council. Ayers chairs the AFL-CIO’s newly formed Union Veterans Council, which is reaching out to the 14 percent of union members who are on active military duty or veterans of the armed forces.

“Every vet respects John McCain’s war service—it’s his record in the Senate that I have a problem with,” says Jim Wasser, a Vietnam Navy vet and union electrician who lives in Kankakee, Ill. Wasser appears in an ad that is airing on cable TV in some of the areas of the country that have been hit hardest by the economic downturn: small communities in Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.

The outreach campaign includes a new website, Union Veterans 2008, as well as door-to-door canvassing and visits to worksites by veterans who are union members. “With the formation of the Union Veterans Council, veterans will be front and center in the effort to put our country back on track,” said AFL-CIO President John Sweeney in announcing the campaign.


MM&P APPLICANTS’ COURSE FOR D-BOOK MEMBERSHIP IN SEATTLE SEPT. 10-11 AND IN SAN FRANCISCO SEPT. 17-18; COURSE SCHEDULE FOR OTHER HALLS TO BE ANNOUNCED

The course for MM&P applicants seeking to qualify for D-Book Membership will be held in Seattle, on Sept. 10 and 11, and in San Francisco, Sept. 17 and 18, from 0900 to 1600. If you are interested in participating in these classes, please call the Seattle Hall (206-441-8700) or the San Francisco Hall (415-777-5074) to reserve your seat. Class size is limited so sign up early. Courses in other MM&P halls will be announced in The Wheelhouse Weekly as soon as they are scheduled.

If you wish to be considered for D-Book status next year, you need to have completed this class, have four favorable recommendations, have paid the initiation fee and have at least 360 days sea time under MM&P contract. A packet detailing the requirements for D-Book Membership was recently mailed to all MM&P applicants. The packet includes four copies of an applicant evaluation form that can be given to the masters or chief mates who will write the letters of recommendation. If you have questions about D-Book Membership, please contact your Area Vice President, the MM&P Agent-Pacific Ports or MM&P Gulf Port Representative.


JOB OPENINGS FOR MM&P MEMBERS ON THE GREAT LAKES

There are job openings on the Great Lakes for MM&P members. Our contracted employers are seeking engineers and licensed mates with pilotage. Retirees are also encouraged to apply. The rules of the MM&P Pension Plan allow pensioners to accept without penalty employment–other than Covered Employment–aboard vessels covered by collective bargaining agreements with MM&P membership groups, on condition that the employment is first approved by MM&P. Interested parties should call 216-776-1667 or e-mail cmalue@bridgedeck.org.      


PACIFIC MARITIME INSTITUTE SEEKS TPIC AND CARGO HANDLING INSTRUCTORS

MITAGS/PMI is accepting applications for TPIC and Cargo Handling contract instructors for employment at the Pacific Maritime Institute in Seattle. The jobs, which are non-benefit positions, are an ideal opportunity for active or retired members to pass on their knowledge and experience. Applicants must meet Coast Guard approval requirements and have more than two years of experience in cargo handling or TPIC as senior mate/chief mate/master. Residence in Washington State or near PMI is a plus but not required. For more information, go to www.mates.org. Send resumes/ applications to hr@mitags.org or by fax to HR at (443) 989-3341.         


TOWING SAFETY ADVISORY COMMITTEE TO MEET AT MITAGS

The Towing Safety Advisory Committee (TSAC) and its working groups on the Revision of Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 04–01, the Inspection of Towing Vessels and the Medical NVIC will meet at MITAGS Sept. 17-18. The committee will also discuss issues relating to shallow-draft inland and coastal waterway navigation and towing safety. All meetings are open to the public. The working groups will meet on Sept. 17, from 0800 to 1700. TSAC will meet Sept. 18 from 0800 to 1500. The meetings may close early if all business is finished. Written material and requests to make oral presentations should reach the Coast Guard on or before Sept. 10. Requests to have a copy of your material distributed to each member of the committee or working groups should reach the Coast Guard electronically on or before Sept. 10. For more info, contact Gerald P. Miante, TSAC, Coast Guard Headquarters, CG–5221, Room 1210; 2100 Second St., SW, Wash., DC 20593–0001.; (202) 372–1401, fax (202) 372–1926, or by e-mail at Gerald.P.Miante@uscg.mil.       


COAST GUARD SEEKS MEMBERS FOR HOUSTON-GALVESTON NAVIGATION SAFETY ADVISORY COMMITTEE

The Coast Guard says it is looking for new members for the Houston-Galveston Navigation Safety Advisory Committee. The committee seeks to bring together groups with an interest in port optimization and security, including merchant mariners, labor organizations, shippers, pilots, stevedores, shipyards and the general public.

If you are interested in serving on the committee, go to http://www.hogansac.org to complete a short, online survey and attend the Sept. 16 meeting, starting at 0900, at the Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Galveston, 2101 FM 2004, Texas City, 77591. For questions, call Tava Foret at (281) 452-9940 or Hal Pitts at (713) 671-5164.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

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

ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 10/6

BST – Basic Safety Training:  10/6
BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 10/6

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVWX � Advanced Meteorology: 9/8
CMM-ADVSTB � Advanced Stability: 9/8
CMM-CHS I – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 9/15
CMM-CHS II – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 9/22
CMM-MPP � Marine Propulsion Plants: 9/29
CMM-SHS-ADV-I-Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 9/29
CMM-SHS-ADV-II-Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 10/6
CMM-SHMGT-I � Ship Management (week 1): 10/6
CMM-SHMGT-II � Ship Management (week 2): 10/13
CMM-WKP � Advanced Watchkeeping: 10/20
CMM-VPEN � Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 10/27

COMP-OPSYS � Basic Computer Operating Systems: 10/6
CONT PLNG � Contingency Planning Workshop: 9/26
CSE-AWR2 � Confined Space Entry Awareness (2 day): 9/25

FF-BADV – Combined Basic & Advanced Fire Fighting: 10/6

GMDSS � Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 10/20
HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day) course: 10/27

LAP � License Advancement Program: 9/15
LEG � Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 9/29, 10/7

[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-CBRD-1 – CBRD Orientation: 8/29
MSC-DC – Damage Control: 8/25
MSC-SMA – Small Arms Training: 8/25

MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 9/8, 10/13
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 9/8, 10/13
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 8/23, 9/13, 10/18
MEDIA RSP – Media Response: 9/25

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 10/6

SEC-VCF – Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 9/22
SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 9/22, 10/13
SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling: 8/25, 10/20
SHS-ESH-BRMP 3 day – Emergency Shiphandling & Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 10/8

TPIC-DL � Tankship Dangerous Liquids (PIC): 9/22

…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)

August 2008
21-22SAR
18-20EP
25-29MED PRO
25-29SHS BAS
25-29STB BAS

September 2008
2-5APRA
2-6CHS BAS
2-6MED PRO
3ROR
8-12MED PIC
9-12SHS EMR-5
15-19WX BAS
15-19TPIC
15-26GMDSS
22-26MED PRO

October 2008
29-3 ROP
29-3 SHS BAS
6 ROR
6-10WKP BAS
7-10ARPA
13-17ECDIS
13-17TPIC
20-31GMDSS
20-24MED PRO
20-31MED PIC
22-26MED PRO
20FL

November 2008
3ROR
4-7ARPA
10-14MED PRO
10-21MED PIC
17-19SEC VCF

December 2008
1-5MED PRO
1-12GMDSS
1-12MED PIC
8-19GMDSS
15-19ECDIS
15-19TPIC

January 2009
7-11ENAV
7-11STB BAS
8-11ARPA
14-18WX BAS
14-25GMDSS
14-18ROP
14-2/1TC NAV
21-2/1WKP
21ROR
22-25ARPA
28-2/8GMDSS
28-2/1MED PRO

February 2009
4-8ROP
12ROR
11-12SAR
12-15ARPA
13-15EP
16FL
18-22ENAV
18-22MED PRO
18-22SHS BAS
18-29MED PIC
25-3/7 CNAV
25ROR

March 2009
3-14GMDSS
10-11SAR
10-12SEC VCF
12-14EP
17-28GMDSS
24-4/4 GMDSS
24ROR
25-28ARPA

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 8-15-2008

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
11,660 2,453 1,298
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
59.63
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
119.87
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
37.90
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
20.47
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
17.63
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
29.97
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.24
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
30.79
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.47
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
16.07
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
22.39
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
13.68
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
19.42
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
11.60
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
12.21
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
12.57
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
13.20
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
13.63
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.00
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
31.81
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
19.15
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
14.16
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
22.20
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
9.87
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
77.10
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
17.90
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
68.29
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
19.36
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
40.24
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
32.89
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
26.46
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
10.93
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
11.81
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
13.48
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
13.94
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
14.16
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
8.28
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
9.72
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.06
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
35.61
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
45.99
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
28.82





~ 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.

© 2008, International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots. All the material contained in this publication is protected by copyright. For permission to reprint text from the Weekly, contact the MM&P Communications Department: lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org. For changes of address, contact Lisa Rosenthal at lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org.