News

Wheelhouse Weekly – August 25, 2008

August 25th 2008

 

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

Volume 12 . . . . . Number 34. . . .August 25, 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.


MARITIME LABOR SPEAKS WITH ONE VOICE: IT’S OBAMA

All of America’s seagoing labor unions have now joined the Masters, Mates & Pilots and its parent union, the International Longshoremen’s Association, in endorsing Sen. Barack Obama for President of the United States. The International Longshore and Warehouse Union and the AFL-CIO have also endorsed Obama.

In June, the delegates to the 82nd MM&P International Convention had voted unanimously to endorse Obama on the basis of his strong record of support for the U.S.-flag maritime industry and America’s working families. AFL-CIO statistics show the stark contrast between the two candidates: Obama has voted in support of America’s working families 98 percent of the time; Sen. John McCain has voted in support of working families only 16 percent of the time. 

Delegates to the MM&P convention decided to endorse Obama after hearing speaker after speaker contrast the Illinois senator’s support for the U.S.-flag maritime industry with McCain’s efforts in the Senate to undercut the laws that protect it. “John McCain is the principal author of every legislative effort to destroy the American Merchant Marine and this union,” said one speaker, Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii). “John McCain has consistently voted to roll back the cargo preference laws,” said AFL-CIO President John Sweeney. “McCain says the Jones Act has a negative effect on the American consumer.”

To find out more about what Barack Obama and John McCain have said about the Jones Act and other issues essential to protecting our jobs and our families, go to www.bridgedeck.org and click on “What’s New.” The information is listed under “U.S. Presidential Candidates Speak Out on the Jones Act, Cargo Preference and the Maritime Security Program.”


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 one mile 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 short, one-mile march! The MM&P hall will be open by 0830. At 0900, we will walk to the nearby assembly area and then march up Avalon Blvd. to Banning Park, where there will be speeches, free hot dogs and soda. Enjoy a fun morning with your shipmates and show your union pride! Join with us as we march in Los Angeles Sept. 1 in honor of the working men and women of America.


PUBLIC WEBSITE OFFERS INFO ON HOW TO VOTE VIA ABSENTEE BALLOT IN FEDERAL ELECTION

MM&P strongly encourages all union members and their families to vote in November’s federal elections. If you anticipate being out of town on Election Day, or if you would simply like to vote by absentee ballot to avoid the rush, how-to information is available on a public website: www.longdistancevoter.org. The site features an easy-to-use, state-by-state breakdown of dates and procedures for obtaining an absentee ballot. MM&P publishes the URL for this site for informational purposes only.


ANOTHER PIRACY WARNING FOR GULF OF ADEN

The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) is warning vessels in the Gulf of Aden to be on the lookout for pirates. During the past three months, nine vessels have been attacked in the region. The most recent attack took place Aug. 19, when a tanker and 28 crewmembers on board were hijacked. A week earlier, a cargo ship was hijacked and taken to Somali waters near the South Puntland border. A ransom request for return of that vessel and its crew has been received. Since the beginning of June, three unsuccessful hijacking attempts have been launched, another ship was hijacked and several vessels have been fired on by pirates.

In each instance, the vessels have been approached by speedboats full of men armed with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenade launchers. Coalition warships are said to have intervened to help prevent two of the attacks. “Although the intervention of coalition navies has helped in isolated cases, it is by no means a long-term solution,” said a spokesman for the IMB. “It is clear that the threat or presence of coalition navies has done little to stem the tide of attacks in this region.”

The IMB advises that ship masters in the area maintain strict 24-hour piracy watches and be especially wary of any approaching smaller craft. 


GREEN INITIATIVES OF MM&P-CONTRACTED HORIZON LINES HIGHLIGHTED IN MARINE LOG

The August issue of “Marine Log” features an overview of energy conservation initiatives being undertaken by Horizon Lines. The article, which details initiatives introduced by the company as part of its “Horizon Green” program and to help compensate for increased fuel costs, includes interviews with Horizon Lines Inc. Chairman and CEO Chuck Raymond and HL President John Keenan. “We were able to effectively mitigate the impact of steep fuel cost increases in the [second quarter of 2008] through a combination of conservation, strict vessel scheduling and fuel cost recovery measures,” Raymond is quoted as saying.

The company has also introduced “Horizon Green,” a program which includes vessel management controls and audits, ballast water management, waste stream analysis, usage of low sulfur diesel fuel and marine terminal pollution mitigation plans. “Energy and sustainability are the two most critical issues confronting the shipping market today,” Keenan is quoted as saying.

He said Horizon Lines does not see emission trading as a real solution to reducing greenhouse gases: “It allows someone with money to keep on exceeding the established emission standard rather than seeking and implementing the best available and practical solution to reducing emissions.” He said a better approach is to set realistic, industry-specific standards and then expect every industry player to meet them.

Keenan also seized the opportunity to express the company’s support for legislation in Congress that would lift the Harbor Maintenance Tax and make short sea shipping economically feasible in the United States as a way to ease road congestion.


REP. STEPHANIE TUBBS JONES REMEMBERED

Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Ohio), a long-time friend of America’s working families and a staunch supporter of the maritime industry, died last week after suffering a brain aneurysm while driving her car in Cleveland Heights. Tubbs Jones, who was in her fifth congressional term, had been named Great Lakes Legislator of the Year for 2008 by the Great Lakes Maritime Task Force for her strong support of U.S.-flag shipping. She was the first African-American woman to chair the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct and the first to serve on the Ways and Means Committee.


SEEKING KNOWLEDGE OF PRE-WWII BRANDIS SEXTANTS

The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) seeks help from MM&P members who collect or have knowledge of pre-WWII Brandis sextants. As part of its research (http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/AEdescr.html) into the disappearance of Amelia Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan in 1937, TIGHAR is compiling a database relating Brandis sextants to U.S. Navy sextants to U.S. Naval Observatory “Certificate(s) of Inspection.” TIGHAR is also interested in modifications made to the original cases to accommodate Brandis seagoing sextants that were “bubble modified” for aviation use. Please direct any information to “Brandis@Select-GIS-Services.com.”


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.


NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD ISSUES THREE RECOMMENDATIONS

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has issued three recommendations as a consequence of its investigation into the allision between the MV KITION and the Interstate Highway 10 bridge at Baton Rouge, La. NTSB issued Safety Recommendations M-08-8, 9 and 10, aimed at both the Coast Guard and the Board of New Orleans-Baton Rouge Steamship Pilot Examiners for the Mississippi River.

NTSB recommended that the Coast Guard retrain its investigating officers regarding post-accident alcohol testing by Coast Guard personnel, verify whether the regulations for alcohol testing after serious marine incidents are being followed, and if not, identify corrective measures. The Safety Board also recommended that the Baton Rouge Steamship Pilot Examiners verify that “the pilots assigned to challenging locations such as the Apex dock have received adequate training in docking and undocking large vessels at such locations.”

The allision took place on Feb. 10, 2007, when a Louisiana state pilot moved the nearly 800-foot-long Bahamas-registered tankship MV KITION away from the Apex Oil dock on the west bank of the Mississippi, just upriver of the Interstate Highway 10 bridge at Baton Rouge. According to the NTSB, the pilot used three tugs, one pulling on the bow and two pushing on the stern, to turn the vessel around so as to head downriver. When the vessel was approximately parallel to the bridge, the second officer warned that its bow was about to hit the bridge pier. The master and pilot ordered the engine to full astern, but about three minutes later, the KITION’s underwater hull (bulbous bow) struck the fender system around the pier. The fender system began to collapse, forcing the tug at the bow to let go of its line and back clear. Moments later, the starboard bow of the KITION struck the bridge pier, knocking out a 2- to 3-foot section of concrete. The accident did not affect the safety of the bridge but caused an estimated $8 million in damage to the pier. The KITION sustained hull damage estimated at $726,500. No one was injured and no pollution resulted from the accident.


AMERICAN BUREAU OF SHIPPING MAKES $2.5 MILLION GIFT TO MAINE MARITIME

Ship classification society ABS has donated $2.5 million to Maine Maritime Academy (MMA). A spokesman for MMA said the donation was the largest in the institution’s history. In announcing the gift, MMA President Leonard Tyler unveiled plans for an environmentally friendly classroom building to be named in honor of ABS: the ABS Center for Applied Engineering and Research, an educational hub that will serve as a model of energy efficiency with a focus on alternative energy sources. The facility will incorporate a renewable and alternative energy laboratory and a co-generation plant. The building, expected to be completed in summer 2011, will be 40 percent more efficient than a conventional classroom building. “ABS wants to be a catalyst for helping to make American maritime colleges and universities the best in the world,” said ABS Chairman and CEO Robert D. Somerville in announcing the gift. “It is our sincere hope that this commitment is the start of what will continue for generations here on the Maine Maritime Academy campus and beyond.” He said the gift is the first of several the class society will be making over the next year to fund infrastructure on the campuses of major U.S.-based maritime institutions.          


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.    


DOWNLOAD INSTRUCTIONS FOR DIGITAL CHARTS AND PUBLICATIONS ON MITAGS WEBSITE

MITAGS has created a handout that provides detailed instructions for downloading online charts and publications from: the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGIA); the U.S. Naval Observatory (USNO); and the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO).

The handout is posted at http://www.mitags.org/t-course_downloads.aspx. For more information, contact Deborah Walton, MITAGS registrar, at (443) 989-3224 or at dwalton@mitags.org.

   


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)

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 8-22-2008

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
11,628 2,415 1,292
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
59.37
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
119.36
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
37.43
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
20.36
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
17.61
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
26.77
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.23
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
30.73
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.44
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
16.03
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
22.28
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
13.66
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
19.35
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
11.58
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
12.17
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
12.52
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
13.13
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
13.56
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
9.99
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
31.63
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
19.17
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
14.13
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
21.91
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
9.83
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
77.29
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
17.52
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
67.25
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
19.22
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
40.09
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
32.92
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
26.13
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
10.92
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
11.79
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
13.44
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
13.88
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
14.09
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
8.24
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
9.67
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.04
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
35.16
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
45.80
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
28.63





~ 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.