Wheelhouse Weekly – December 29, 2005

December 29th 2005



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

Volume 9 . . . . . Number 52 . . . . December 29, 2005

  • Also


T-AGS Oceanographic Survey Ships Info

Required Coursework

Security Clearances

MSC Physicals

MM&P Health & Benefit Plan News

Notice to Members who are taking Vioxx

NMHC Mail-Order Prescriptions Website Updated & Improved

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.




If you are a believer in Murphy’s Law, you know that if anything can go wrong, it will, usually at the most inopportune time. On Christmas day, while serving as Chief Mate on the SS METEOR, part of MARAD’s Ready Reserve Force fleet operated by MM&P-contracted Matson Navigation, Chief Mate Gene Spaulding had the opportunity to experience Murphy’s Law up close and personal.

All had been quiet until 1900 hrs when a bilge alarm suddenly activated and it wasn’t signaling the arrival of Santa. Six minutes later Spaulding discovered progressive flooding was underway in the ship’s starboard shaft alley as she lay at her berth in Alameda, CA. Spaulding immediately secured the shaft alley watertight door and began making calls for assistance to the vessel’s crewmembers ashore and to Matson shoreside personnel.

A few minutes later, 2/E Fred Dean arrived and together with C/M Spaulding reopened the shaft alley door to attempt temporary repairs to a pipe that had failed causing the flood. An estimated 100 gallons of water per minute was flowing into the ship. At 2000 hrs, Matson personnel were updated on the situation and the continued flooding of the shaft alley space. They authorized pumping the clean seawater overboard (into the catch basin of the oil containment boom that surrounded the ship) in order to effect temporary repairs.

By 2006 hrs, the de-watering operation commenced. A short time afterward, further assistance was rendered by 3/E George Morris who arrived after a 30-mile drive from his home. By 2042, the flooding was under control and notification of the proper port and governmental agencies was underway. The quick actions taken by MM&P’s Spaulding and MEBA engineers Dean and Morris averted what could have become an extremely wet and blue Christmas for the METEOR and her crew.




Acting Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England has relinquished his post as secretary of the Navy, Defense Department officials announced on Dec 29th. He will continue to serve as acting deputy secretary of defense, officials said.

Over two terms as Navy secretary, England served a total of 48 months. His terms were separated by his service as the first deputy secretary of the Homeland Security Department. For the past eight months, he has served in both the Navy post and as acting deputy secretary of defense. Effective immediately, Navy Undersecretary Dionel Aviles will serve as acting Navy secretary. Donald Winter, who was confirmed by the Senate last month, will be sworn in as the 74th secretary of the Navy on Jan. 3.


Lower harbor fees will be the reward for vessel operators that comply with a request to reduce ship speed on the approach to Long Beach. Under the new Green Flag program, ships are asked to slow their speeds to 12-knots within a 20-mile radius of Point Fermin. Carriers that comply with the request 90% of the time during 2006 will be eligible for a 15% reduction in dockage rates in 2007. Those that comply 100% of the time will be eligible for a Green Flag environmental achievement award. Speed calculations will begin on January 1 and will be monitored by the Marine Exchange of Southern California using radar. Monthly compliance reports will be posted on the port website at beginning in February.


The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has cleared Norwegian Cruise Lines of any wrongdoing in an April 16th incident where the NORWEGIAN DAWN was struck by a ‘rogue wave’ in the Atlantic. According to the NTSB’s report, the incident represented an “unavoidable encounter with severe weather and heavy seas” during which the master did indeed lower speed and alter the itinerary to minimize passenger discomfort – even though it would require a delayed arrival in New York.

The NTSB finding counters claims asserting that the ship was rushing back to New York for an appearance on the TV show “The Apprentice”. According to the NTSB investigation, the DAWN was hit by not one but three very large waves between 0600 and 0615 on April 16, with the third wave cascading directly over the bow and striking the vessel’s forward superstructure. Four passengers and one crewmember were injured.

A DNV survey found that two cabins were severely damaged, 63 were flooded with an inch of seawater, deck supports under the spare anchor were damaged, a fire hose station was destroyed, and various windows and one watertight door required repairs.


New research recently released by MM&P-contracted APL shows the Panama Canal, while currently coping with the growth in tonnage/transits, is unlikely to be able to mitigate the continuing pressure on North American West Coast Ports and rail infrastructure over the next 10 years.

The APL-commissioned research shows that use of the Panama Canal climbed sharply last year as shippers moved to all-water services in response to congestion at US West Coast ports and deteriorating performance of the trans-continental railroads. While the Panama Canal Authority is making improvements that will have the result of improving its capacity over the next several years, the research indicates that a 3% annual growth in vessel numbers would be enough to swallow the increased throughput by as early as 2008.

APL Chief Executive Ron Widdows said, “Unfortunately, given the high demand for more all-water container services from Asia to the US East Coast, the canal improvements capable of being made in the near term will not suffice over the longer term, and will not be enough to materially take the pressure off the North American West Coast. Shippers who were pinning their hopes on all-water services to the East Coast as a significant relief valve will need to factor this into their supply chain planning.”

The APL report highlights the growing importance of the Panama Canal to US trade. Around 70% of the estimated $100 billion container trade passing through the canal each year is either destined to or coming from the US. Total container cargoes transiting through the canal almost doubled from an estimated 2.76 million TEU to 5.22 million TEU between 1995 and 2003. Vessels on the Panama route have been getting steadily larger, with average size tripling over the past 45 years and more than doubling in the past 15 years.


The regulations requiring cargo vessels traveling in international waters to carry a voyage data recorder (VDR) adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) last year will become effective in 2006. Cargo ships greater than 20,000 gross tons are now required to have a VDR installed on their first scheduled dry-docking after July 1, 2006 but not later than July 1, 2009. Cargo ships of 3,000 gross tons and upwards but less than 20,000 gross tons are now required to have a VDR installed at their first scheduled dry-docking after July 1, 2007 but not later than July 1, 2010.


The Board of Pilot Commissioners is accepting applications for the Pilot Trainee Program. Minimum requirements:
USCG License: Master, 1600 tons with unlimited radar endorsement, Experience: 2 years command on vessels over 1600 tons and/or towing vessels engaged in ship assist or towing vessels with combined GRT of 1600 tons within the last 5 years (one year’s experience must be within the last 3 years).

For details go to Title 7, Sections 213 & 214. Obtain further information and applications from or write to Board of Pilot Commissioners, Pier 9, Suite 102, San Francisco, CA 94111. Telephone: 415-397-2253, fax 397-9463, e-mail: Applications must be received by March 15. Written Examination administered at California Maritime Academy, Vallejo on May 1. Simulator Examination administered to successful candidates May 4-6.


As the 2005 tax year comes to a close, members are reminded that the MM&P Disaster Relief Fund has officially been approved as a tax-exempt organization. The tax-exempt status means that all contributions are deductible.


It is with deep sorrow that MITAGS announces the passing of Capt. Gerald Smith, who served as a former Shiphandling course consultant. Capt. Smith passed away peacefully on Christmas morning at his home.

Massachusetts Maritime Academy has also lost a dear friend in Lee Van Gemert, Class of 1940. Mr. Van Gemert passed away on December 20 at his home in Marblehead. Many alumni will recall that Mr. Van Gemert literally wrote the book on stability and trim. He also secured the ship model museum from Bethlehem Steel that resides in the Academy’s Hurley Library.



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.



NEW COURSE: *WX-BASREF-2 – Two day Basic weather refresher, offered prior to Advanced Meteorology. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED PREP, see guidelines below.

CMM Advanced Meteorology IS AN ADVANCED COURSE. Students should register for the basic Weather Refresher course prior to CMM-WXADV if they do not have a foundation of weather knowledge that includes the following:

— Knowledge of the atmosphere and its properties, including change of state of water vapor.
— Atmospheric stability: the atmospheric profiles that are conducive to fog and thunderstorm formation.
— Atmospheric pressure and understanding of diurnal variations versus weather system passages.
— Wind: Be able to estimate wind speed from the Beaufort scale and from observations at sea.
— Be able to calculate geostrophic approximation from isobaric pattern on synoptic charts and convert to true wind speed.
— Be able to calculate true wind speed and direction given ships own course and speed.
— Knowledge of the basic cloud groups and their causes.
— Knowledge of the global wind and pressure systems over the oceans both summer and winter.
— Understanding basic weather systems depicted on synoptic weather charts.
— Understanding of shipboard observations. Determine when and why shipboard observations do not agree with synoptic analyses and forecast charts.
— Be able to revise and construct your own 24 hour weather forecasts based on your local observations and facsimile weather chart information.


CLASS OPENINGS: Between January and the end of March 2006, seats are available in the following courses:

ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 2/13, 3/20
AZIPOD-KAM – Azipod and Kamewa Steering and Propulsion Systems: 1/24, 3/14

BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 2/13
BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 2/8
BST – Basic Safety Training: 1/30, 3/6

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-CHS I – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 2/20, 3/20
CMM-CHS II – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 2/27, 3/27
CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display and Info Systems: 1/9, 1/30, 3/20
*WX-BASREF-2 – Two-day Basic weather refresher, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED PREP for Advanced Meteorology: 2/4
*CMM- ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology 2/6
CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 1/16, 1/23
CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 1/23, 2/13, 3/13, 3/27
CMM-SHS-ADV-II – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 1/16, 1/30, 3/20
CMM-SHMGT I – Ship Management (week 1): 1/9, 2/6, 2/27
CMM-SHMGT II – Ship Management (week 2): 3/6
CMM-ADVSTAB – Advanced Stability: 2/13
CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 1/30, 3/27
CMM-WKP – Watchkeeping: 2/20, 3/13

CONT-PLNG – Contingency Planning: 1/20, 2/10, 3/24

FF-BADV – Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 3/6

HAZ-Hazardous Materials (5-day): 1/9, 3/27

LAP – License Advancement Program: 1/9
LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 2/8

MEDIA-RSP – Media Response: 1/19, 2/9, 3/23
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 1/14, 2/11, 3/18
MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 1/9, 2/6, 3/13
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 1/9, 2/6, 3/13

[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-SMA-R – Small Arms Re-Qualification (2-day): 2/3 (must have proof of passing all 3 weapons within 2 years)

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal (5-day): 1/16, 3/27
ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 2/13, 3/8, 3/20

SEC-OFF-VCF – Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 1/16, 2/6, 3/20
SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 1/9, 2/20
SHS-EMR-Emergency Shiphandling: 2/20, 3/27

TPIC – Tankerman Person-In-Charge: 2/13

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


PMI is offering a USCG Crew Endurance Management Coaches Seminar in Seattle from October 26-27 in addition to its regular course offerings listed below. This training is designed to provide commercial mariners the knowledge and skills to develop, deploy, and assess Crew Endurance Management Systems (CEMS) within their companies.

As a Crew Endurance Coach, the employee is critical to the success of CEMS implementation. Coaches provide education and guidance on the principles of light and sleep management, assist with changes to the work and rest environment, make recommendations on schedule changes, and help create personal endurance plans for each crewmember. Once successfully completing the training the Coach will have the necessary training to educate personnel on a vessel, and the processes and practices specific to the USCG Crew Endurance Management Program. The training session spans two full days and includes a written exam. Cost: $425 per person To Register: Call Pacific Maritime Institute at 206-441-2880 or toll free 888-893-7829.

January 2006

1/ 2-6 BST
1/9-27 TCNAV
1/9-12 Lifeboat/Survival Craft
1/9-13 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
1/9-20 GMDSS
1/9-21 100 Ton OUPV
1/16-20 ECDIS
1/16-20 ARPA
1/16-20 Emergency Shiphandling 5-day
1/23-27 MEDPRO
1/23-2/3 MEDPIC
1/30-2/1 Ship Security Officer
1/30-2/3 RADAR Observer Unlimited
1/30-2/10 GMDSS

February 2006

2/6-10 BST
2/6-9 Lifeboat/Survival Craft
2/6-10 ARPA
2/6 Radar Renewal
2/13-17 ENAV
2/20-3/3 CNAV
2/20-3/3 Advanced Shiphandling
2/20-3/4 100 Ton OUPV
2/27-3/3 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
2/27-3/3 ARPA
2/27 Radar Renewal

March 2006

3/6-10 BST
3/6-9 Lifeboat/Survival Craft
3/6-10 Basic Meteorology
3/6-18 100 Ton OUPV
3/13-24 GMDSS
3/13-17 CONSTB
3/20-24 CHS BAS
3/27-31 MEDPRO
3/27-31 ARPA
3/27 Radar Renewal
3/27-4/7 MEDPIC

For registration call Jennifer Fowler 888-893-7829

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



 D O W  N A S D A Q  S & P 500
10,796.26 -53.32 for the week 2,228.94 -8.09 for the week 1,258.17 -6.74 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)
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX) 43.65 -.29
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)


~ 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 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:, 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:, 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 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.



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.




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.

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 or call 1-800-382-7777 toll-free.




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.


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.



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



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”.

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.