Wheelhouse Weekly – December 23, 2004

December 23rd 2004



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

Volume8 . . . . . Number 52 . . . . December 23, 2004





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

Friday, December 24:

Monday, December 27: 



After being re-elected by overwhelming margins, MM&P officials wereback at work last week charting the future direction of Union as the GeneralExecutive Board met at MM&P HQ in Linthicum Heights, MD.

In reflecting on the election, International President Capt. Tim Brownsaid, I am grateful, humbled and appreciative that the membership of theMasters, Mates and Pilots has re-elected me for a fourth consecutive four-yearterm and am also pleased that the membership has once again returned tooffice the current Offshore Vice Presidents, Rich May, Bob Groh and DonMarcus, who also ran in contested elections.

Capt. Glen Banks, International Secretary-Treasurer, ran unopposedas did Capt. George Quick, Pilot Vice President, and Steve Demeroutis,United Inland Vice President. I am very pleased that the membership hasplaced faith in those officials who will lead the union over the next fouryears.



MM&P is working with Horizon Lines to get crew assignments for theT-AGS Oceanographic Vessels. The last two ships to be crewed will be inNorfolk, VA in mid-January.

MM&P and Horizon Lines will soon start on the crewing of the RELIEFCREW that will commence in early to mid-February. Resumes are needed fromthose mariners interested in ALL positions aboard the T-AGS vessels andtheir resumes should be sent to MM&P’s Director of Special ProjectsRichard Plant at

Plant advisies that the following is the response he gets from Horizonlines regarding billets aboard T-AGS vessels: This message (“get the training”)should be part of your standard response to all the individuals who areasking you what their status is and what their chances are of obtainingemployment aboard one of the T-AGS ships.

Those MM&P members interested in employment aboard the T-AGS OceanographicVessels must acquire the proper training needed. All inquiries regardingT-AGS employment opportunities should be sent to Richard Plant at the aboveEmail address.

Plant also advises that, Mariners who have obtained training at schoolsOTHER than MITAGS or PMI should verify with MITAGS and PMI the equivalencyin the course so that the MITAGS and Union Port Shipping databases canbe updated and properly maintained. This is especially important for Hawsepipersand Applicants from Maritime Academies and Schools. Some MM&P CollectiveBargaining Agreements and Memorandums Of Understanding that MM&P andthe Shipping Companies have agreed to stipulate that LDO positions requirethat certain courses be taken. Please verify your records to see that youare in compliance with these requirements and that you have the properequivalency where appropriate.



The USCG has commissioned its new Maritime Law Enforcement (MLE) Academylocated at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) Charleston,SC. The new facility is designed to harden the nation’s maritime homelandsecurity through improved training.

Following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, increasing homeland securityrequirements placed a greater demand on the USCG’s law enforcement capabilitiesrequiring an expansion of its training program. Working with its fellowDepartment of Homeland Security agency, FLETC, the USCG began planningto establish the MLE Academy.

The December 1 action marks the culmination of an 18-month reorganizationeffort that combined the USCG’s two previous training programs, the MaritimeLaw Enforcement School in Yorktown, VA, and the Boarding Team Member Schoolin Petaluma, CA, into one single facility co-located with FLETC Charleston.This move will standardize training, leverage the powerful resources ofFLETC and increase the USCG’s training capacity.

The USCG began its first courses at the MLE Academy on Nov.1. In a typicalyear, the school will train and graduate 768 boarding officers and 1080boarding team members. In addition, each year 128 state marine resourceofficers will attend its marine patrol officer course, which facilitatesthe sharing of expertise and resources between federal, state and localenforcement officers.

As a snapshot of the USCG’s law enforcement efforts the following statisticsfor the last year are provided:
Conducted more than 50,000 law enforcement and security boardings;enforced 103 security zones; served as the lead maritime law enforcementagency for five National Security Special Events (Superbowl, G-8 Summit,Pres. Reagan’s funeral, DNC and RNC); seized a record-setting 242,000 poundsof cocaine and 25,000 pounds of marijuana and arrested 326 suspected smugglers;and interdicted 10,899 illegal migrants, the most since 1994.



Al-Qaeda is set to stage a waterborne Sept.11-style attack in the next12 months, UK security experts claimed last week. The terror “spectacular”would not even have to succeed to throw the global economy into chaos.

Simply capturing a ship on the key Red Sea route between Europe andAsia could cause a world trade crisis. And an attempt can be expected followingthe recent appointment of the maritime terrorism specialist Saud Hamundal-Utaibi as the head of al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia.

The warning comes from Aegis Defence Services, the British firm headedby Lieutenant-Colonel Tim Spicer, which holds a $293 million US governmentcontract to provide “security services” in Iraq. The firm’s intelligencedirector, Dominic Armstrong, said: “Ideally from their point of view itwould be a spectacular, a big bang to get people’s attention, but it wouldnot need to be.”

Armstrong noted that, Even if attempts to blow up a vessel carryinga hazardous cargo were foiled, the impact on insurance premiums could putthe Red Sea out of bounds. That would roughly double the shipping timefor goods from China to the West, drastically hitting global trade.



Iridium Satellite has announced that it is extending and expanding itspopular Crew Calling programs for 2005, to make it easier and less costlyfor crew members to place satellite calls at sea.

Iridium is waiving its monthly fee for crew-calling service for qualifiednew SIM activations through June 30, 2005. The $0 monthly fee promotion,which we launched in 2004, has proven to be very popular, said Don Thoma,executive vice president of Iridium Satellite. We are extending it throughthe first six months of 2005 to make it easier for crew members to stayin touch with their families and friends while they are at sea.

Iridium Satellite has also announced that it will continue its FamilyFirst program through 2005. The program provides discounts of 35-percentfor satellite phone calls on the first day of each month, weekends andholidays. The holidays covered under the plan for 2005 include New Year’sDay (Jan.1), Eid al Adha (Jan.21), Lunar New Year (Feb.9), Valentine’sDay (Feb.14), Easter Sunday (March 27), All Saint’s Day (Nov.1), Dipawali(Nov.1), Eid al Fitr (Nov.4), Christmas (Dec.25) and New Year’s Eve (Dec.31).

The Christmas and New Year holidays are popular for Family First calling,and we expect to see high usage during the 2004 holiday season, said Thoma.Iridium applies Family First discounts automatically to calls made withIridium Crew Calling prepaid cards, which are available from Iridium’sservice partners. The discounts apply for 24 hours, based on GMT, and areindependent of the location of call origination or termination.

Iridium Satellite LLC ( the only provider of truly global satellite voice and data solutionswith complete coverage of the earth (including oceans, airways and PolarRegions). Iridium delivers essential communications services to and fromremote areas where no other form of communication is available. Iridiummakes this possible through its constellation of 66 low-earth orbitingsatellites. For further info, contact Liz DeCastro at 301-571-6257 or Emailher at




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

Feeling overwhelmed by the holidays? If thoughts of shopping, cooking,family visits and travel leave you feeling stressed out, take a minuteto get in touch with LifeWorks. You’ll find professional, caring consultantson the phone who can help you refocus, put things in perspective, and findnew ways to make the holidays a happy time for you and your family. Callany time and you’ll get lots of ideas, advice and resources to help youhandle a wide range of issues, from managing your time to managing yourbudget.

You can also go to www.lifeworks.comanytime to use a quick online tool, “How Resilient Are You?” or to reador 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 877-234-5151anytime to speak with a LifeWorks consultant. To read or download articles,visit the LifeWorks web site at id: mmp; password: 5100) and click on “This Month’s Feature”. Youcan also order free materials or email a consultant.


December 31st Deadline to Obtain Tickets…


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

Ticket purchases should be made payable to the MM&P PCF with a notationfor the raffle in the memo line, and mailed to the MM&P PCF, 700 MaritimeBlvd., Linthicum Heights, MD 21090. Tickets can also be obtained by membersmaking PCF contributions through the Members Only section of the MM&Pwebsite, noting that the contribution is for the raffle. Tickets are alsoavailable through MM&P port offices.

Time is running out. Cutoff for ticket purchases is Dec.31, 2004. Drawingfor the prize will take place at noon on Jan.7, 2005 at MITAGS.
The fine print:
Raffle tickets are available only to those individuals who are otherwiseeligible to make a contribution to the MM&P PCF. Contributions in exchangefor raffle tickets or for a signed and numbered print do not qualify forany other PCF contribution incentive premiums. All contributions to theMM&P PCF, including contributions in exchange for raffle tickets, arevoluntary contributions for political purposes and no physical force, jobdiscrimination, financial reprisals or thereat thereof has been or willbe used to secure such contributions. PCF contributions are not deductiblefor tax purposes.



Now is a great time to start thinking about the holidays and the Masters,Mates & Pilots Federal Credit Union is offering a special Holiday SignatureLoan to give you some extra shopping cash or to pay off those higher-ratecredit card balances.

From November 12004 through January 31, 2005, eligible MM&P FCUmembers may borrow up to $1,500 for 10 months at a Standard Rate of 8.75percent or a Preferred Borrower Rate of 8.00 percent. Special terms andconditions apply and funds for this promotion may be limited.


Is it time to replace that car you’re driving? Vehicle loan rates are lookinggreat 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 becominga Preferred Borrower.

Are you paying a higher rate on your current vehicle loan at anotherinstitution? Consider refinancing your outside loan at the MM&P FCUand 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 vehicleloan amount is $30,000.


MM&P FCU members can reduce the interest rate they pay on any new loaneven 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 amountinto their MM&P FCU savings account and keeps those funds on deposituntil the loan is paid in full. By doing this you save twice – first, yourdeposit works for you by earning our regular dividend savings rate, andsecond, you save money by reducing the interest rate on your loan by 0.75percent.

Contact the MM&P FCU for full details on all loan programs by emailto orcall 1-800-382-7777 toll-free.

Loan percentage rates for all loans are APR, orAnnual Percentage Rate. Savings percentage rates are APY, or Annual PercentageYield. Loan and Dividend rates are subject to change without notice. Loanapproval is subject to income requirements and credit review.




COMP-OPSYS (Computer Operating Systems), designed for members with littleor no computer experience, will be offered January 17-21, 2005. Don’t missthe opportunity to attend this seldom-offered course.


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

  • ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 1/03, 2/07, 3/14
  • AZIPOD – Azipod Propulsion System: 1/03
  • BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 1/24, 2/14
  • BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 2/07
  • BST – Basic Safety Training: 1/31, 3/07

CMM – Chief Mate and MasterCourses

  • CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 2/14
  • CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 1/31
  • CMM-CHS I- Cargo Handling & Stowage (week 1): 3/28
  • CMM-CHS II- Cargo Handling & Stowage (week 2): 3/21
  • CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display and Info Systems: 1/10, 2/07, 3/21
  • CMM-MMP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 1/17, 2/21
  • CMM-SHMGT-I – Ship Management (week 1): 1/10, 2/07, 2/28
  • CMM-SHMGT-II – Ship Management (week 2): 3/07
  • CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 1/24, 1/31, 2/14, 3/14, 3/28
  • CMM-SHS-ADV-II- Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 1/31, 3/21
  • CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 1/24
  • CMM-WKP- Advanced Watchkeeping: 1/03, 3/14
  • COMP-OPSYS – Computer Operating Systems: 1/17
  • COMP-NET – Computer Networking: 2/28
  • COMP-DB – Computer Databases: 3/28
  • CONT-PLNG – Contingency Planning: 1/21, 2/11, 3/04, 3/16
  • CSE-AAES – Confined Space Entry, Atmospheric Analysis of Enclosed Spaces(2 day): 3/14
  • FF-BADV – (Combined) Basic and Advanced Firefighting: 1/26, 3/07
  • GMDSS – Global Marine Distress & Safety System: 1/24
  • HAZ – Hazardous Materials [5-day]: 1/03, 3/28
  • LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 2/08
  • MEDIA-RSP – Media Response: 1/20, 2/10, 3/03, 3/17
  • MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 1/15, 2/12, 3/19
  • MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 1/10, 2/07, 3/14
  • MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 1/10, 2/07, 3/14

MSC – Military Sealift Command

  • MSC-CBRD-1 – Chemical Biological Radiological Defense Training Orientation: 1/29, 2/06, 3/03
  • MSC-DC – Damage Control: 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 all3 weapons within 2 years)
  • ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal (5-day): 1/17, 3/28
  • ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 1/03, 2/07, 3/14
  • SEC-FSO – Facility Security Officer: 2/08
  • SEC-OFF-PCS – Security Officer: Port, Company, Ship: 1/17, 2/28
  • SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 1/10
  • SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling (5-day): 1/17, 3/28
  • TPIC – Tankerman Person-In-Charge: 1/24
  • TRAC-TUG – Water Tractor and Azimuth Stern Drive Tugs: 1/06


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


Courses are subject to change. Check the MITAGS website for up-to-datecourse descriptions associated with all course title abbreviations, andfor schedule revisions and updated course availability. You can also checkfuture schedules, review detailed course descriptions and register on-lineor contact Admissions at admissions@mitags.orgor by calling toll-free, 1-866-656-5568.


All the courses below will be conducted at the new Pacific Maritime Institutefacility located in Seattle at 1727 Alaskan Way South, Pier 34. The newfacility 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 “MaritimeTechnology 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 stillbe open that week.
  • 12/20-24: Radar Observer Unlimited
  • 12/20-23: Ship/Company Security Officer

January 2005

  • 1/03-21: Terrestrial and Coastal Navigation/Compasses
  • 1/03-07: ARPA
  • 1/04: Radar Recertification
  • 1/10-11: Search and Rescue
  • 1/10-12: Ship/Company Security Officer
  • 1/10-14: ECDIS
  • 1/10-14: Basic Safety Training
  • 1/12-14: Emergency Procedures
  • 1/13-14: Basic Firefighting
  • 1/17-21: Able Bodied Seaman
  • 1/18-19: MAXIMO
  • 1/17-28: GMDSS
  • 1/24-25: Ratings Forming Part of a Navigational Watch
  • 1/24-28: Radar Observer Unlimited
  • 1/24-27: Personal Survival Craft/Lifeboatman
  • 1/24-27: Fast Rescue Boat
  • 1/24/28: Tankerman Person-In-Charge
  • 1/24-28: Medical Care Provider
  • 1/24-2/04: Medical Person-In-Charge
  • 1/24-2/04: GMDSS
  • 1/24-28: Emergency Shiphandling
  • 1/31: Radar Recertification
  • 1/31-2/04: ARPA
  • 1/31-2/04: Electronic Navigation
  • 1/31-2/11: Advanced Shiphandling

February 2005

  • 2/07-11: Electronic Navigation
  • 2/07-18: GMDSS
  • 2/14: Radar Recertification
  • 2/14-18: Basic Safety Training
  • 2/14-18: ARPA
  • 2/14-18: Emergency Shiphandling
  • 2/14-25: Celestial Navigation
  • 2/14-25: 100 Ton Course
  • 2/21-25: Personal Survival Craft/Lifeboatman
  • 2/21-25: Basic Shiphandling
  • 2/21-24: Fast Rescue Boat
  • 2/28-3/4: Basic and Advanced Firefighting
  • 2/28-3/4: Basic Meteorology
  • 2/28-3/2: Ship/Company Security Officer
  • 2/28-3/11: GMDSS

March 2005

  • 3/07-11: Construction and Stability
  • 3/14-18: Basic Safety Training
  • 3/17-18: Basic Firefighting
  • 3/14-18: Cargo Handling and Stowage
  • 3/14-18: ARPA
  • 3/14-18: Tankerman Person-In-Charge
  • 3/21-25: Able Bodied Seaman
  • 3/21-24: Personal Survival Craft/Lifeboatman
  • 3/21-25: Medical Care Provider
  • 3/21-4/01: Medical Person-In-Charge
  • 3/21-25: ECDIS
  • 3/21-24: Fast Rescue Boat
  • 3/28-29: Ratings Forming Part of a Navigational Watch
  • 3/28-29: Search and Rescue
  • 3/30-4/01: Emergency Procedures
  • 3/28-4/01: ARPA
  • 3/28: Radar Recertification
  • 3/28-4/01: Emergency Shiphandling

For registration and more info call DeeDee Lazik or Jennifer Fowler at888-893-7829, check the PMI website at mates.orgor Email PMI at



 DO W    NA S D A Q
 10,808.80 +117.35 for the week  2,155.31  -7.35 for the week
Fund Name & TradingSymbol
 Vanguard 500 IndexFund (VFINX)
 Vanguard Extended MarketIndex Fund (VEXMX)
 Vanguard InternationalGrowth Fund (VWIGX)
 Vanguard Morgan GrowthFund (VMRGX)
 Vanguard Windsor IIFund (VWNFX)
 Vanguard GNMA Fund(VFIIX)
 Vanguard High YieldCorporate Fund (VWEHX)
 Vanguard Total BondIndex (VBMFX)
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
 Fidelity Asset Manager(FASMX)
 Fidelity Growth andIncome (FGRIX)
 Fidelity Magellan Fund(FMAGX)
 Spartan US Equity IndexFund (FUSEX)

~Reminders ~




All MM&P members are reminded that to sail aboard the T-AGS ships thatMM&P-contracted Horizon Lines will be operating, you must have therequired training certification and your certificates must be current inaccordance with Military Sealift Command requirements. Members are alsorequired to have had a MSC pre-employment physical and to possess ShipSecurity Clearance (see below).

The MSC Contract calls for all training certificates required for manningof these vessels to be no older than 5 years and that all STCW-95 coursesbe 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 theT-AGS vessels are advised to make sure your certificates are up to date.If not, contact Mary Matlock or Diane Ford at MITAGS Admissions,, and scheduleto take the course(s) needed.

Those MM&P members interested in obtaining more information andfacts about the T-AGS Oceanographic Vessels are asked to email the Directorof Special Projects requesting the “facts sheet”. It will be provided byreturn email in an Adobe Acrobat PDF format.

Members interested in employment on the T-AGS ships are asked to providea 1-2 page resume. Please list the desired position you are seeking alongwith the certificates of training you possess and their dates. Upon receiptit will be forwarded to Horizon Lines and a confirmation sent back to themember. Vessel turnover commences Oct.17, 2004 and will continue untilJan.3, 2005. Crew rotations will start beginning as early as January 2005and will continue through as late as June 2005. Positions for all ratingsremain open.

The point of contact for sending a resume for employment on the HorizonLines T-AGS Oceanographic Vessels is Richard Plant, MM&P’s Directorof Special Projects. Send resumes in an email or as a Word file attachmentto him at:,by fax to 410-850-0973 or by mail to:

Richard Plant, Director of Special Projects
700 Maritime Blvd.
Linthicum Heights, MD 21090


Members who want to sail for Horizon Lines on the T-AGS Oceanographic Surveyvessels the company is set to begin operating for MSC must have Ship SecurityClearance before going aboard.

Special software must be downloaded from the US Government’s DefenseSecurity Service to complete the Security Clearance application. You musthave an Internet connection and a Windows-based computer to retrieve theapplication and run the program.

Go 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 thescreen. You will be required to enter your Social Security Number and acase-sensitive password. A window titled “Type ofForm” will appear.

All Deck Officers should select the first button titled “Requestfor 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, “SingleScope 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 “Transmitto Security Officer”. Save the file to the hard drive on your computerusing your last name (surname) as the file name. Send this file as an emailattachment to Mike Bohlman at Horizon Lines, phone number is 908-259-2803. You will need to provide Mike Bohlmanwith your name and the case-sensitive password you assigned to the filein order for Horizon Lines to open the file and process your Security Clearance.


Horizon Lines requests all mariners seeking employment aboard the T-AGSOceanographic vessels to take their MSC Physical at specially-designatedfacilities only after being advised to do so by the Company. This is toassure that all requirements of the MSC Physical are properly met.

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




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

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

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

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

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


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

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

First-time and Registered users may bypass the welcome screen and godirectly 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 youwill need to enter demographic information and submit it by clicking onthe
  • “CREATE ACCOUNT” button.

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

Once you are registered at NMHC, you can check the status of open ordersby logging-in to the system through the “MEMBER LOGIN” page and going intothe “MAIL ORDER” menu. You can look up all prescriptions and get the priceour members will pay for any medication. You can also view an order historyof all of your medication transactions (both retail and mail) for the last24 months, locate 24-hour pharmacies in your zip code region as well asaccess other helpful member education information.

“We hope this welcome improvement will assist our members. Althoughyou cannot order refills on line if you don’t provide a credit or debitcard 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 checkingthe status of your order once it is phoned in,” said Ms. Verrecchio.


The U.S. Coast Guard has announced an initiative to identify and collectthe oral histories of its World War II veterans. Coast Guard WWII veterans,including SPARS and merchant mariners, are encouraged to record their historiesonline with the Library of Congress Veterans History Project at

Those veterans needing assistance in recording their stories can receivehelp from their local Coast Guard Auxiliary public affairs contact by leavinga message at 1-877-875-6296, a toll-free call.



LMS Ship Management, the company that manages vessels for Central Gulf,Sulphur Carriers and Waterman Steamship, wants to remind MM&P membersthat they offer their crewmembers a $75 reimbursement on the cost of purchasingcertain slip-resistant shoes and boots for use aboard ship.

This offer has been in place for some time and LMS reports that “wehave been pleased with the participation to date, but feel a reminder maybe in order.” Their goal is for every crewmember to wear slip resistantfootwear during working hours aboard their vessels.

The $75 reimbursement is available to each crewmember who provides LMSwith an original receipt for the purchase of slip resistant footwear. Inorder for the crewmember to obtain the reimbursement, they must wear theshoes while on duty. Upon presentation of the receipt, the crewmember willbe reimbursed on their pay voucher. The receipt will be retained by theMaster and will remain aboard the vessel.

Vessels in the LMS footwear reimbursement programare:

  • 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 bootsare produced by US union labor.

Redwing’s Union-made products are: Red Wing shoes and boots, Red Wingmotorcycle boots and Craftsman (Sears).

Wolverine World Wide manufactures boots under the Caterpillar brandusing US union labor. (Other union made safety-shoe brands by Wolverineare the company’s Hy-Test, Durashock and Bates Military labels. The company’sWolverine 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 Serviceand Trades website at www.unionlabel.organd click on “Union Made Product Search”. To shop for union-made productsonline, go to



The Union Label recently went digital with a new website offering shoppersan 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 willspend an estimated $1 trillion on gifts, food, drinks and other seasonalitems, explained Matt Bates, Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO UnionLabel & Service Trades Department. The all-union shopping site,however, will be a year-round operation because that is what consumersdemand, he added.

“Shoppers spent $56 billion in Internet sales last year, and on-linespending is doubling every two to three years. Everyday we receive Emailand calls from people who want to support good jobs by buying union-madegoods and services. The website will reach millions of people, 24 hoursa day, with a quick convenient way to shop union,” Bates said.

“The public is ready for this. People have seen millions of good jobsdisappear 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-unionshopping site will be a cornerstone of that campaign. MM&P has a linkto the Shop Union Site on this website under “Links and Other Sources”.

The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the officialelectronic 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: further info or to subscribe contact John Peige at Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vesselsat sea, broadcast worldwide via FEC marine telex and is posted on our webpage.