Wheelhouse Weekly – December 02, 2004

December 2nd 2004


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

Volume 8 . . . . . Number 49 . . . . December 2, 2004






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



The period for casting ballots in the MM&P election is coming to an end. Ballots must be received by 0900 Eastern Time on Dec.13 to be counted. Those members who have not received a MM&P election ballot in the mail and are interested in receiving a duplicate ballot, should contact MM&P Comptroller John Gorman at 410-850-8700×12 or Email him at: The ballot count will take place at MITAGS on Monday, Dec.13 commencing at 1100 hrs.

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MM&P’s Offshore Gulf Vice President reports that an agreement with MM&P-contracted Waterman Steamship Company has been reached for the US re-flagging of two containerships. The two ships, the P&O NEDLLOYD VERA CRUZ and BUENOS AIRES will be calling the Port of Houston with service to the Middle East expected.

The agreement covering these ships is similar to that of the LASH vessel M/V ATLANTIC FOREST. The term of the initial agreement extends until the existing Maritime Security Program ends on September 30, 2005. The Gulf Ports VP further reported that the Union anticipates reaching a long-term contract agreement covering the ships to coincide with the time period of the new MSP.

The two vessels have cranes and carry approximately 1800 TEUs. The M/V VERA CRUZ is scheduled to arrive in Houston on Saturday, Dec.4 and the M/V BUENOS AIRES will arrive in Houston approximately a week later. Smooth sailing to our members on these ships.

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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.

On Dec.6, MM&P members will begin manning the third of seven T-AGS ships operated by Horizon. The USNS SUMNER will be crewed-up in Portland, OR. MM&P wishes the crew a safe voyage and happy holidays.

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MM&P’s Honolulu membership turned out in force to send a message to Matson about fair-dealing. Seventeen local members and applicants were on hand to pass out leaflets to the public on Tue., Nov.23 at the Alexander & Baldwin HQ in Honolulu. Alexander & Baldwin, Matson’s corporate parent, was conducting a Board of Director’s meeting at the time.

MM&P membership, joined by contingents from the Sailors’ Union of the Pacific, Marine Fireman’s Union, Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association and the American Radio Association, passed out handbills describing Matson’s latest efforts to reap greater profits at the expense of labor.

The handbill, signed by all five unions, read as follows: “MATSON PROFITS AND RATES GO UP WHILE COMPANY LOOKS FOR CHEAP LABOR. The citizens of Hawaii should be aware that while Alexander & Baldwin’s principal revenue earning company, Matson Navigation Company, is earning record profits and raising your shipping rates, the Company is looking to outsource its seafarers.

“Despite the tremendous profits involved in the Hawaii trade, Matson has been engaged in a two year long effort to outsource its seafaring labor. Matson is looking for third-party operators to operate its vessels on the cheap paying labor rates that will draw mariners from “right to work” states where the cost of living does not approach the cost of living in Hawaii and the West Coast cities where most Matson mariners live.

“Hawaiians may not be aware that Matson will be increasing its shipping rates to and from Hawaii starting on January 1, 2005. They also might not be aware that Matson has had a tremendously profitable year. According to Allen Doane, the CEO of Alexander & Baldwin, the company had a net income of $82 million dollars during the first three quarters of 2004 which surpassed the total net income for 2003 which was $81.3 million. By far the largest part of this income was generated by cargo carried to and from Hawaii aboard Matson ships.

“Recently, all seagoing workers took major cuts in wages and benefits to keep Matson from outsourcing their two new container ships, M/V MANUKAI and M/V MAUNAWILI. In some cases these wage cuts were over 30 percent. Now Matson is demanding even greater cuts in wages and benefits for replacement vessels that it hopes to acquire in the near future. We find it hard to believe that Alexander & Baldwin would condone labor policies that threaten to farm out Hawaiian jobs to low-budget operators that specialize in substandard labor.

“If Matson does this many local mariners will be out of work. At best, they will have to fly to the mainland to seek employment. Their families and the local economy will suffer.

“Has Matson lost the spirit of ‘Ohana’? Is corporate greed alive and well at Matson Navigation Company?”

Two thousand handbills were distributed at the Alexander & Baldwin HQ and at Matson’s Sand Island terminal. MM&P’s Offshore Pacific Ports VP coordinated the efforts and reported: “the efforts of our local Honolulu membership and Port Representative Randy Swindell was outstanding. It was great to see five unions get together for this purpose. We expect that unless Matson changes its attitude there will be more opportunities in the future for cooperative action.”

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Crewed by MM&P Licensed Deck Officers and operated for the Military Sealift Command by Patriot Contract Services, one of the US Navy’s largest ships began loading Army combat equipment in Savannah, GA, this week in preparation for her trip to the Middle East in continuing support of the global war on terrorism.

The Military Sealift Command’s large, medium-speed, roll-on/roll-off ship USNS SEAY will load more than 257,000 square feet of military cargo for the 3rd Infantry Division, based at Fort Stewart, GA, as part of the rotation of US forces in the Middle East.

MM&P LDOs currently serving on the USNS SEAY are Roger Haskell, Master; Brian Koppel, C/M; Michael Anderson, 2/M; Robert Underwood, 3/M; and Laura Winkelbauer, 3/M.

The cavernous 950-foot ship, equipped with a giant stern ramp that extends from the main deck down to the pier, is ideally designed to move massive military equipment. Well over 1,000 wheeled and tracked vehicles will be driven aboard and then lashed securely to the SEAY’s reinforced interior decks. The ship also has two pair of 110-ton cranes onboard that will make it easy to load the more than 300 containers expected for this voyage. Forty helicopters will also be stowed inside the ship’s hull.

The SEAY, a noncombatant veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, is one of 19 LMSRs acquired by the US Navy beginning in the mid-1990s. Together, the LMSRs have moved more than 2,139,000 square feet of combat cargo in support of the global war on terrorism. That represents only a portion of the total US military cargo moved aboard a mix government-owned and chartered ships operated by the US Navy’s Military Sealift Command since Sept. 2001. In total, more than 62,764,000 square feet have been moved by sea in support of the effort.

SEAY is ordinarily kept pier-side in Philadelphia in reduced operating status with a small crew embarked. The ship was activated Nov. 25 and began sailing for Savannah on Nov. 29. Twelve Army personnel will board the ship in Savannah and will serve as cargo supervisors to monitor and maintain vehicles and equipment while at sea.

The LMSR ship program was introduced following the Persian Gulf War of the early 1990s. A congressionally mandated study determined that 19 LMSRs were needed to improve the military’s response capabilities in wartime or during other contingencies. The aircraft carrier-sized cargo ships were custom designed for military equipment and were built for the US Navy because the US merchant fleet had no comparable militarily useful cargo ships. All LMSR ships are operated under contracts by commercial operators and civilian commercial merchant mariner crews.

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The number two general at US Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) for the past couple years, Lt. Gen. Gary Hughey, deputy commander, has announced his retirement effective Jan.1, 2005. As of that date, Hughey will have completed 36 years, 9 months and 18 days of cumulative service to the Marine Corps and a grateful nation, leaving behind a legacy of visionary leadership and logistical innovations.

At an awards ceremony earlier this week, Gen. Hughey was presented with the Defense Distinguished Service Medal. His impact and contributions were noted in the award citation:

“During his tenure, USTRANSCOM flawlessly supported Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, transporting over 1.5 million passengers, over 4 million short tons of cargo, while concurrently supporting numerous high-visibility operations, peacekeeping efforts around the world, emergency response to the Space Shuttle disaster, Super Typhoon Pongsona, Iranian earthquake relief, the California wildfires, and hurricanes Charley, Frances, Jeanne and Ivan, as well as support to the National Science Foundation in Antarctica.”

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  • Boston – 12/20
  • Houston – 12/9 (1200-1600 – RSVP appreciated)
  • Jacksonville – 12/10 (1200-1600 at the hall)
  • Los Angeles ­ 12/10 (after job call starting at 1230. RSVP if possible)
  • Miami/Port Everglades – 12/21 (1100-1400 at the hall)
  • New Orleans – 12/8 (1200-1500 at the hall – RSVP appreciated)
  • New York/New Jersey – 12/15
  • Norfolk – 12/17
  • San Francisco ­ 12/9 (after job call starting at 1230. RSVP if possible)
  • San Juan ­ TBA
  • Seattle ­ 12/17 (after job call starting at 1230. RSVP if possible)


Contact the Union Halls directly for additional info. Additional events and info will be provided as available.

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A note from the MM&P Plan’s EAP Provider at LifeWorks that may help all those members and their spouses, families and loved ones at home (and working!) during the holidays : Make your holidays shine this year, with help from LifeWorks.

Feeling overwhelmed by the holidays?

If thoughts of shopping, cooking, family visits and travel leave you feeling stressed out, take a minute to get in touch with LifeWorks. You’ll find professional, caring consultants on the phone who can help you refocus, put things in perspective, and find new ways to make the holidays a happy time for you and your family. Call any time and you’ll get lots of ideas, advice and resources to help you handle a wide range of issues, from managing your time to managing your budget.

You can also go to anytime to use a quick online tool, How Resilient Are You?, or to read or download articles including the following:

  • Blending Traditions During the Holidays
  • Shopping Tips to Save Time and Money
  • Enjoying the Holidays with Your Children
  • The Holiday Season and Your Older Relative
  • 10 Ways to Bounce Back

Make this year’s holiday season the best ever. Call LifeWorks at 877-234-5151 anytime to speak with a LifeWorks consultant. To read or download articles, visit the LifeWorks web site at (user id: mmp; password: 5100) and click on “This Month’s Feature”. You can also order free materials or email a consultant.

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The Pacific Maritime Institute’s last “Company/Ship Security Officer” course for the year is December 20-22, 2004 (Mon.-Wed.). The deadline to take this course is December 31, 2004 for all Masters and Chief Mates. Sign up today by sending an email to or call toll-free 888-893-7829.

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Raffle tickets for a chance on winning a beautiful original painting of the SEAWANHAKA by MM&P member, Maryland Pilot and artist Capt. Brian Hope commissioned by the MM&P are available at $25 each, 5 for $100. Proceeds will benefit the Masters, Mates & Pilots Political Contribution Fund. (The fire aboard the SEAWANHAKA and the scapegoating of Capt. Charles Smith are the beginnings of the MM&P.)

Ticket purchases should be made payable to the MM&P PCF with a notation for the raffle in the memo line, and mailed to the MM&P PCF, 700 Maritime Blvd., Linthicum Heights, MD 21090. Tickets can also be obtained by members making PCF contributions through the Members Only section of the MM&P website, noting that the contribution is for the raffle. Tickets are also available through MM&P port offices.

Cutoff for ticket purchases is Dec.31, 2004. Drawing for the prize will take place at noon on Jan.7, 2005 at MITAGS. Also available at a later date will be a limited number of prints of this painting, numbered and signed by the artist, for a $50 contribution to the PCF designated for the print.

The fine print:
Raffle tickets are available only to those individuals who are otherwise eligible to make a contribution to the MM&P PCF. Contributions in exchange for raffle tickets or for a signed and numbered print do not qualify for any other PCF contribution incentive premiums. All contributions to the MM&P PCF, including contributions in exchange for raffle tickets, are voluntary contributions for political purposes and no physical force, job discrimination, financial reprisals or thereat thereof has been or will be used to secure such contributions. PCF contributions are not deductible for tax purposes.

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The Masters, Mates & Pilots Federal Credit Union is offering a special Holiday Signature Loan to give you some extra shopping cash or to pay off those higher-rate credit card balances.

Through Jan.31, 2005, eligible MM&P FCU members may borrow up to $1,500 for 10 months at a Standard Rate of 8.75 percent or a Preferred Borrower Rate of 8.00 percent. Special terms and conditions apply and funds for this promotion may be limited.



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.

For more info, contact FCU manager Kathy Klisavage toll-free at 1-800-382-7777 or Email her at

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Give the Gift of Good Jobs This Holiday Season: Buy Union Week: November 26 ­ December 5. Holiday shoppers can please friends and family and save good-paying US jobs by buying union-made gifts for the holidays.

“Buy Union Week,” Nov. 26 ­ Dec. 5 targets the busiest 10-day shopping period of the year. Shoppers will spend a projected one trillion dollars on gifts, food and other items for the winter holidays. Under the slogan “Give the Gift of Good Jobs,” Buy Union Week seeks to channel as many holiday shopping dollars as possible towards the purchase of union-made goods and services.

This is also the perfect time to visit for a comprehensive list of union-made products. Sponsored by the AFL-CIO Union Label and Service Trades Department, Buy Union Week highlights the many quality union-made products available for the holidays and every day.

The Union Privilege Program: MM&P members can check out special benefits and discounts on goods and services, and holiday discounts on union-made gifts at . MM&P members can access and learn more about their Union Privilege benefits by selecting “Masters, Mates and Pilots” from the alphabetical list on the “Tell Us Your Union” pop-up window or the “My Union Plus Benefits” link on the main page.

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1930: Mother Jones died at the Burgess Farm in Adelphi, MD. She was once quoted as saying “I’m not a lady; I’m a hell-raiser!”



1930: Kellogg cereal adopts 6-hour day.

1955: Rosa Parks refuses to go to the back of a Montgomery, AL bus, fueling the growing Civil Rights Movement’s campaign to win racial desegregation and end the so-called “Jim Crow” laws.

1994: United Garment Workers of America merge with United Food & Commercial Workers International Union.

1996: Metal Polishers, Buffers, Platers & Allied Workers International Union & United Rubber, Cork, Linoleum & Plastics Workers of America merge with International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers & Helpers.



1866: Textile strikers win 10-hour day, Fall River, MA.

1946: General strike in Oakland, CA.



1969: American Bakery & Confectionery Workers International Union merge with Bakery & Confectionery Workers International Union of America.

1970: Cesar Chavez jailed for 20 days for refusing to end United Farm Workers’ grape boycott.



1955: The two largest labor federations in the US, the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations, merge to form the AFL-CIO, with a membership estimated at 15 million.


This info and much more can be found by visiting

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In an effort to facilitate required contacted company and MSC recurrent training, MITAGS has developed “Course Clusters” that will be offered once a quarter during 2005. January options include:

Option 1
MSC-DC, Combined Basic & Advanced FF, MSC-CBRD-1, BST & MED-PIC

  • 01/24-25 – MSC-Damage Control
  • 01/26-28 – Begin Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting
    Must take entire BAFF course for a certificate.
  • 01/29 – MSC-CBRD 1 day orientation
  • 01/30 (Sunday-No classes)
  • 01/31-02/01 – Basic (BST) Portion of Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting, complete BAFF
  • 02/02-04 – Complete remaining modules of Basic Safety Training, complete BST
  • 02/07-18 – Medical Person-In-Charge


Option 2
Combined Basic & Advanced FF, CBRD-1, MSC-DC, SMA-Requal

  • 01/26-28 – Begin Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting (Must take entire BAFF course for a certificate)
  • 01/29 – MSC CBRD 1 day orientation
  • 01/30 – (Sunday-No classes)
  • 01/31-02/01 – Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting
  • 02/02-03 – MSC Damage Control
  • 02/04-05 – Small Arms Re-Qualification 2-day
    To be eligible, must present proof of attending a MSC SMA course within the preceding two years and passing all 3 weapons.


Option 3
SMA 4-day, CBRD-1, MED-PIC

  • 01/31-02/03 – MSC-Small Arms Qualification (4 day)
  • 02/04-05 – (Friday-Saturday-No classes)
  • 02/06 – MSC-CBRD-1
  • 02/07-18 – Medical Person-In-Charge


Given our resources, to accomplish as much training as possible in one trip to MITAGS may involve an unconventional schedule such as starting mid-week and/or weekend classes.

The complete “Company Required Courses” list can be accessed and downloaded from MITAGS’ website at



Between now and the end of February 2005, seats are available in the following courses:

  • ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 1/03, 2/07
  • AZIPOD – Azipod Propulsion System: 1/03


  • BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 1/24, 2/14
  • BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 12/07, 2/07
  • BST – Basic Safety Training: 12/13, 1/31


CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses

  • CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 2/14
  • CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 1/31
  • CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display and Info Systems: 1/10, 2/07
  • CMM-MMP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 1/17, 2/21
  • CMM-SHMGT-I – Ship Management (week 1): 12/06, 1/10, 2/07
  • CMM-SHMGT-II – Ship Management (week 2): 12/13
  • CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 12/06, 1/10, 1/24, 1/31, 2/14
  • CMM-SHS-ADV-II- Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 12/13, 1/17, 1/31
  • CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 1/24
  • CMM-WKP- Advanced Watchkeeping: 1/03


  • COMP-OPSYS – Computer Operating Systems: 1/17
  • CONT-PLNG – Contingency Planning: 12/09, 1/21, 2/11


  • FF-BADV – (Combined) Basic and Advanced Firefighting: 12/13, 1/26


  • GMDSS – Global Marine Distress and Safety System: 1/24


  • HAZ – Hazardous Materials [5-day]: 1/03


  • LAP – License Advancement Program: 1/10
  • LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage [Evening Seminar]: 12/07, 2/08


  • MEDIA-RSP – Media Response: 12/10, 1/20, 2/10
  • MED-DOT-DA – DOT Drug & Alcohol Testing: 1/15, 2/12
  • MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 1/10, 2/07
  • MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 1/10, 2/07


MSC – Military Sealift Command

  • MSC-CBRD-1 – Chemical Biological Radiological Defense Training Orientation: 12/12, 1/29, 2/06
  • MSC-DC – Damage Control: 12/10, 1/24, 2/02
  • MSC-SMA – Small Arms Training (4-day): 1/31
  • MSC-SMA-R – Small Arms Re-Qualification (2-day): 2/04
    must have proof of passing all 3 weapons within 2 years


  • ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal (5-day): 1/17
  • ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 12/07, 1/03, 2/07
  • ROR-1 – Evening Course Radar Observer Renewal: 12/13


  • SEC-FSO – Facility Security Officer: 2/08
  • SEC-OFF-PCS – Security Officer: Port, Company, Ship: 12/06, 1/17
  • SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 1/10
  • SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling (5-day): 1/17


  • TRAC-TUG – Water Tractor and Azimuth Stern Drive Tugs: 1/06
  • TPIC – Tankerman Person-In-Charge: 1/24


If you are scheduled for a course, call, write, or Email admissions to advise whether or not you will attend. Many classes are in demand and maintain a Standby List. “No Shows” are missed training opportunities for other members.



Courses are subject to change. Check the MITAGS website for up-to-date course descriptions associated with all course title abbreviations, and for schedule revisions and updated course availability. You can also check future schedules, review detailed course descriptions and register on-line or contact Admissions at or by calling toll-free, 1-866-656-5568.

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All the courses below will be conducted at the new Pacific Maritime Institute facility located in Seattle at 1727 Alaskan Way South, Pier 34. The new facility features a state-of-the art Ship Simulator that has to be experienced. PMI phone numbers remain the same. Come see the new facility at PMI’s “Maritime Technology and Career Center”.


  • Holidays:
    We will not be running classes from December 27-January 2, 2005 in observance of Christmas and New Years Day. The school will still be open that week.
  • 12/6-10: Basic and Advanced Firefighting
  • 12/6-17: GMDSS
  • 12/13-17: SAR/EP
  • 12/13-17: Basic Safety Training
  • 12/13-17: Advanced Meteorology
  • 12/13-17: Basic Shiphandling
  • 12/20-24: Radar Observer Unlimited

January 2005

  • 1/3-21: Terrestrial and Coastal Navigation/Compasses
  • 1/3-7: ARPA
  • 1/3/05: Radar Recertification
  • 1/10-11: Search and Rescue
  • 1/10-12: Ship/Company Security Officer
  • 1/12-14: Emergency Procedures
  • 1/17-28: GMDSS
  • 1/24-28: Radar Observer Unlimited
  • 1/24/28: Tankerman Person-In-Charge
  • 1/24-28: Medical Care Provider
  • 1/24-2/4: Medical Person-In-Charge
  • 1/24-28: Emergency Shiphandling
  • 1/31-2/4: ARPA
  • 1/31: Radar Recertification
  • 1/31-2/11: Advanced Shiphandling

For registration and more info call DeeDee Lazik or Jennifer Fowler at 888-893-7829, check the PMI website at or Email PMI at

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 D O W    N A S D A Q
 10,590.22 +97.62 for the week  2,138.23  +53.95 for the week

Fund Name & Trading Symbol

 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)

 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)

 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)

 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)

 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)

 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)

 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX)

 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)

 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)

 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)

 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)

 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)

 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)


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~ Reminders ~




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.

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:, 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 commences Oct.17, 2004 and will continue until Jan.3, 2005. Crew rotations will start beginning as early as January 2005 and will continue through as late as June 2005. 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 MM&P’s Director of Special Projects. Send resumes in an email or as a Word file attachment to:, by fax to 410-850-0973 or by mail to:

Director of Special Projects IOMM&P 700 Maritime Blvd. Linthicum Heights, MD 21090


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 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.

When complete and all information has been validated, click on “Communications” from the menu bar at the top of the screen and select “Transmit to Security Officer”. Save the file to the hard drive on your computer using your last name (surname) as the file name. Send this file as an email attachment to Mike Bohlman at Horizon Lines, His phone number is 908-259-2803. You will need to provide Mike Bohlman with your name and the case-sensitive password you assigned to the file in order for Horizon Lines to open the file and process your Security Clearance.

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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 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.”


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 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

  • 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.

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The U.S. Coast Guard has a number of jobs that might be of interest to retired MMP members. Go to the USCG website at then click on the link for “Coast Guard Jobs” in the lower left column, then “Jobs/Careers”, then “Civilian Careers” and then “Current Job Openings”.

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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

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.

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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)



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 and click on “Union Made Product Search”. To shop for union-made products online, go to

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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,, 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”.

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Members are reminded that for the duration of the MM&P election period the name or likeness of any known candidate for any elected MM&P position will not be referred to by name or photo in any MM&P publication. Reference may be made by title or in contact information such as an email address when it is directly relevant to the communication.

As example, the Master of a MM&P-contracted ship who has declared himself to be a candidate for a MM&P elective position was recently quoted in an article appearing in the “Master, Mate & Pilot”, but was referenced as the Master of the vessel and not by name. Similarly, this member’s likeness was not included in a photo published with the article. This same rule was applied within the same publication with regard to two other members employed by MM&P at Union headquarters who are candidates for elective position.

This rule has been put into effect to ensure that publications by the MM&P to MM&P members are not used on behalf of any candidate for campaign purposes. These exclusions will end upon completion of the election.

Members wanting to know more about this policy may contact International Counsel John Singleton at 410-850-8700 x19, email:, or Communications Director Karl Schwartz at 410-850-8700 x27, email: communications@bridgedeck. org.

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Those members who have not received a MM&P election ballot in the mail and are interested in receiving a duplicate ballot, should contact MM&P Comptroller John Gorman at 410-850-8700 x12 or Email him at:

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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: For further info or to subscribe contact John Peige at 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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