Wheelhouse Weekly – February 05, 2007

February 5th 2007


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

Volume 11 . . . . . Number 5. . . .February 5, 2007




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.



M.E.B.A. and the MM&P recently jointly announced that we have signed the Merchant Officers’ Labor Alliance (MOLA) between the unions that will be sent out for a 90-day ratification vote via a ballot mailed to the respective memberships. It is anticipated that this ballot will be mailed on the first of March.

The MOLA spells out a number of goals that M.E.B.A. and MM&P would like to pursue together in the spirit of strengthening the fraternal relationship between our unions. It sets out a governing structure and a method of ratifying actions of a joint board of M.E.B.A. and MM&P officials.

The agreement is available for review at each of the MM&P union halls and is on the MMP website.*

This document has been available in the union halls since January 2, and had been discussed at various union meetings since this time. Effective today, MM&P is soliciting comments on the document prior to it being set out for the 90-day referendum. MM&P believes the MOLA will benefit the memberships of both MMP and MEBA but we are inviting comments on the document that could further fine-tune or enhance the effectiveness of this historic agreement.

Comments can be e-mailed to or, in the alternative, faxed to the attention of International President Timothy A. Brown, at 410-850 0973. Because the parties had originally sought a mid-February mail date for the referendums, we are asking that members expedite the delivery of their comments on the MOLA so that we may have them in hand by Friday, February 16th. Therefore, any suggestions for changes in the document please send them in before February 16, 2007. This announcement also appeared in MEBA’s Telex Times. * To view the agreement on the web, go to and click on the “What’s New” button in the left-hand column.


Richard Plant, MM&P’s Director of Special Projects, reports that the USCG’s National Maritime Center has produced hard copy documentation on their new merchant mariner licensing policy that went into effect on February 1. Plant says that the good news is that, “The raise in grade from 3rd Mate/Engineer and Chief Mate/1st Assistant Engineer to the next level will continue to be done “indefinitely” under the old raise in grade system. A PDF file containing the announcement from Captain Ernest Fink, Head of the National Maritime Center, is available at all MM&P Port Offices and can be found on the Internet at



The National Maritime Security Advisory Committee (NMSAC) formed a working group that it tasked with developing specifications for contactless TWIC readers to be installed at ports and aboard vessels. Mike Rodriguez, MM&P’s Executive Assistant to the President, was a participant. Here’s his brief report on the proceedings to date:

“You may recall that the joint rulemaking, published in May, between USCG and TSA was split into issuance of the cards with another rule regarding the readers to follow. We (seafaring labor) were not so concerned with the reader specs but we were concerned with the guiding principles the group was to go by. These were provided by the USCG and TSA.

Specifically, we were concerned with a principle that would allow “local applications”. This concerned us because it seemed to allow any port facility to do whatever it wanted with the card. This principle seemed to work against our position that the TWIC program should preempt state and local regulations.

We also wanted to add that the TWIC should be designed so that it woule be compatible with international standards for travel documents and ILO Convention 185 for Seafarer’s Identity Documents. This was important to us because we want to avoid problems getting access to shore leave or joining ships overseas. We also want to save mariners the expense of having to purchase another card for foreign ports.

In the end, the working group did agree to adopt the principle that the card should be compatible with international standards. We were also able to get the group to adopt the principle that any “local” use of the card must be approved by TSA.

The recommendations of this group will go to the full NMSAC meeting scheduled for February 28. Our job then will be to restate our case if necessary so that our proposals will remain in tact and be included in the regulations to follow.”


USNS Mary Sears, an oceanographic survey ship with MM&P licensed deck officers on board, has been commended by the Navy for locating the black boxes of a Boeing 737 that crashed on New Year’s Day after taking off from Surabaya, Indonesia. The flight, with 102 passengers and crew on board, was operated by Indonesia’s budget airline Adam Air.

The government of Indonesia had requested help from the United States in locating the wreckage.

After several days, and following a stop in a local port to load additional search equipment capable of piercing the over one-mile-deep water in the search area, the crew of the Mary Sears—which had been reassigned to help in the search—picked up the signals from the black boxes.

USNS Mary Sears, along with her five sister ships and the USNS John McDonnell, are operated by Horizon Lines.


Congressman Bob Filner (D-CA) has reintroduced HR 23, the “Belated Thank You to the Merchant Mariners of World War II Act of 2007.” This legislation would provide a $1,000 monthly benefit to eligible World War II merchant mariners or their surviving spouses. This legislation, according to Congressman Filner when he introduced HR 23 in 2005, is intended to “correct an injustice that has been inflicted upon a group of World War II veterans, the World War II United States merchant mariners.” During World War II, merchant mariners suffered the highest casualty rate of any of the branches of the Armed Forces other than the United States Marine Corps, and enemy forces sank more than 800 merchant vessels from 1941-1944 alone.

When the 109th Congress adjourned in December 2006 before HR 23 was enacted into law it meant that the bill would have to be reintroduced in 2007 and the legislative process on HR 23 would have to begin again. It also means that the Members of the House of Representatives that cosponsored HR 3 in the last Congress will have to be asked to cosponsor this bill in the 110th Congress – the bill that was introduced by Congressman Filner on January 4, 2007 already has seven cosponsors: Representatives Susan Davis (D-CA), Michael Michaud (D-ME), Dennis Moore (D-KS), Tim Murphy (D-PA), Linda Sanchez (D-CA), Zach Wamp (R-TN) and Robert Wexler (D-FL). To further attract cosponsors in order to demonstrate widespread support for the enactment of this legislation, MM&P President Captain Tim Brown has once again written to each Member of the House of Representatives to ask that they cosponsor this bill.

HR 23 has been referred to the House Committee on Veterans Affairs and to the House Committee on Ways and Means. Since the Democrats have taken control of the House of Representatives, Congressman Filner has been selected by his colleagues to serve as Chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee in the 110th Congress. The MM&P will again be working closely with Chairman Filner and his Committee in support of the enactment of this important, long-overdue legislation.


Seeking to restore what had been a balance between the rights of workers and the rights of employers, and to reaffirm the right of workers to form and join unions and to engage in collective bargaining, the AFL-CIO and its affiliates have made the enactment of the “Employee Free Choice Act of 2007” a high priority for the 110th Congress. This legislation would enable workers to form unions when a majority of the workers sign union authorization cards; would strengthen the penalties on companies that coerce or intimidate workers; and would establish mediation and binding arbitration when the employer and workers cannot agree on the terms of a first contract.

According to the AFL-CIO, workers who belong to unions earn 29 percent more than nonunion workers; are 62 percent more likely to have employer-provided health coverage; and four times more likely to have a pension. Yet today, according to the AFL-CIO, one out of every five activists who try to form a union is fired and half of all private employers threaten to shut down partially or totally if employees join together in a union.

The AFL-CIO and its affiliates, including the MM&P, are working to secure commitments from a majority of the House of Representatives to cosponsor the Employee Free Choice Act of 2007. Once this level of support is achieved, matching the support for this legislation that was achieved in the last Congress, the legislation will be introduced.


Under the reauthorized Maritime Security Act signed into law by President George Bush in December, 2005, Congress must appropriate the funds to support the operation of the 60-ship maritime security fleet each year. For fiscal year 2008, which runs from October 1, 2007 – September 30, 2008, Congress must appropriate $156 million to fully fund this critically important commercial sealift program that supports the operation of 60 militarily-useful commercial vessels under the United States-flag.

Without these funds and without the maritime security program, American flag vessel operators would have an even harder time competing against heavily subsidized and foreign state controlled fleets for the carriage of America’s foreign commerce. Equally important, without the MSP fleet of privately-owned militarily useful United States-flag commercial vessels and their US citizen crews, our government would have to rely on foreign flag, foreign crewed vessels to support American forces overseas, a scenario that would put American service men and women at even greater risk.

As in the past, members of the House Committee on Armed Services and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, which have jurisdiction over the maritime security program, are leading the fiscal year 2008 MSP funding effort. The MM&P will once again be working with these friends and supporters of the US-flag merchant marine and the maritime security program to make sure the necessary funds are made available.


The members of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation have been appointed by their respective party leadership for the 110th Congress. For the majority Democrats, the Subcommittee will be chaired by Congressman Elijah Cummings (MD) and will have the following members: Representatives Gene Taylor (MS), Rick Larsen (WA), Corrine Brown (FL), Juanita Millender-McDonald (CA), Brian Higgins (NY), Brian Baird (WA), and Tim Bishop (NY). The Republicans on the Subcommittee will be led by Ranking Member Steve LaTourette (OH) and will include Representatives Don Young (AK), Howard Coble (NC), Wayne Gilchrest (MD), Frank LoBiondo (NJ), and Ted Poe (TX).


For the 110th Congress, the Maritime Security Program and other maritime programs and policies affecting the national security of the United States will fall under the jurisdiction of the Seapower and Expeditionary Forces Subcommittee of the House Committee on Armed Services. The Subcommittee is chaired by Democratic Congressman Gene Taylor (MS) and includes Democratic Representatives Neil Abercrombie (HI), Rick Larsen (WA), Madeline Bordallo (Guam), Brad Ellsworth (IN), Joe Courtney (CT), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) and Joe Sestak (PA). The Ranking Republican on the Subcommittee is Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (MD). He will be joined by fellow Republican Representatives Ken Calvert (CA), Terry Everett (AL), Jo Ann Davis (VA), Randy Forbes (VA) and Joe Wilson (SC).


One of the drawbacks to being President of the MM&P is that I seem to learn about those who pass the final bar quicker than most of the membership. And this was the case this week, when Jack F. Harry passed away on Friday evening, January 26th. Jack F. Harry, who was born in November of 1927 in Canton, Ohio, represented the Masters, Mates and Pilots in the Government Employees Group for many years with this Administration and with past Administration. Jack had a long career with Military Ship Transport Service prior to joining Local 88 in August of 1962. Jack transferred membership to Local 14 when he moved to the Norfolk area in 1969. Jack began receiving his pension in April of 1991 but was hired as a consultant to continue to represent the Government employees. Jack was buried on January 29th at Moyock Memorial Cemetery. Captain Jack is survived by his wife, Erika, and his son, Reverend Randolph Harry, who officiated at the graveside service. Contributions on Jack’s behalf can be made to Albemarle Hospice, PO Box 189, Elizabeth City, NC. 27909. A full obituary will be covered in the next issue of the MMP newspaper.


The US Coast Guard reported that it had responded to a disabled, drifting 938-foot cargo ship. On January 31, the HYUNDAI CONFIDENCE had reported that it had experienced mechanical problems and was drifting in 20-foot seas, some 1200 miles west of Seattle, WA. The ship reported experiencing heavy rolling, which injured two of the 23 crew members on board. Later, weather conditions had significantly abated and eventually, the vessel’s Master reported that the injured crewmembers were in stable condition and that Coast Guard assistance with them would no longer be needed.

Coast Guard assets were deployed in response to the potential emergency, including a C-130 out of Kodiak, AK, as well as the US Coast Guard Cutter (CGC) MELLON. A commercial merchant vessel also responded to the call for help. On Wednesday, however, the vessel had conducted repairs and was reported to be once again under its own power. Coast Guard assets were then released and the HYUNDAI CONFIDENCE is reported to be continuing on to Los Angeles with its cargo. The cause of the engine problem Tuesday is unknown at this time. The vessel is a Hyundai Merchant Marine owned, Panamanian flagged vessel. The vessel had departed from Busan, Korea on a scheduled run to Los Angeles.


The Navy will distribute a total of $140 million in repair money to six different Gulf Coast shipyards who sustained damages from Hurricane KATRINA in August of 2005. How the money will be split is still unknown, subject to Navy negotiations with each of the parties. The funds were appropriated by Congress to assist the shipyards, all of which have existing Navy shipbuilding contracts.

Hurricane KATRINA resulted in billions of dollars in damages to Gulf Coast shipyards. Northrop Grumman shipyards were particularly hard hit, but the Navy has considered claims from at least 18 firms. Already approved for funding are the Austal USA and Atlantic Marine shipyards in Mobile, and four others.


Greek-based shipping companies Chian Spirit Maritime Enterprises, Inc. and Venetico Marine each pleaded guilty today in District court in Delaware to a felony violation related to the operation of the M/V IRENE E.M., a large bulk carrier. Chian Spirit, the carrier owner, and Venetico, the carrier operator, admitted to violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS) by misleading US Coast Guard investigators during the vessel’s port call to the United States in December 2005. The companies were sentenced by the Court to pay a total criminal penalty of $1.25 million dollars and to implement a detailed, court-monitored Environmental Compliance Plan.

According to the plea agreement, on December 5, 2005, the IRENE requested entry into the Delaware Bay, en route to Newark, NJ. During the Coast Guard’s routine boarding, officers aboard the Irene provided Coast Guard investigators with a false log book that omitted required entries of overboard oily waste discharges made during the recent voyages.

Further investigation revealed that the vessel’s oil water separator had been inoperable for several months during the previous year. A vessel crew member testified that the ship illegally discharged waste oil approximately four times per week into the open ocean. Most of these discharges took place at night or far from shore during trips to various ports, from Africa to Brazil, and from Brazil to the United States, so as to avoid detection. These illegal discharges were either recorded in the ship’s log inaccurately as having been “discharged through the oil water separator” or were not recorded at all. The IRENE’s engineers also constructed a bypass pipe, often referred to as the “magic pipe,” which was also hidden from investigators during Coast Guard boardings.

“Companies that illegally and intentionally pollute our oceans violate the law and harm one of our most precious and vulnerable natural resources,” said David M. Uhlmann, Chief of the Environmental Crimes Section of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “The Justice Department will continue to prosecute companies who fail to comply with the laws that protect our environment from illegal pollution.” As part of the plea agreement, the corporations will pay a combined penalty of $1.25 million, $250,000 of which will be dedicated to a marine-based environmental enhancement community service project on the Delaware Bay.

In a related case, the Chief Engineer of the IRENE, Adrien Dragomir, pleaded guilty in August 2006 to one APPS violation for falsifying the Irene’s oil record book. He was sentenced to serve a one-year term of unsupervised probation. Grigore Manolache, the ship’s master, pleaded guilty in July 2006 to a one-count information charging him with presenting false information to the US Coast Guard regarding the vessel’s illegal dumping.

This case was investigated by the US Coast Guard and the US Environmental Protection Agency Criminal Investigation Division. This case was prosecuted by the Environmental Crimes Section of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.


The Chief Engineer and Second Engineer of the M/V SUN NEW, owned and operated by The Sun Ace Shipping Company based in Seoul, South Korea, were sentenced last week for crimes related to vessel pollution in relation to the operation of the bulk carrier vessel, the Justice Department announced.

Chief Engineer Chang-Sig O was sentenced to five months in prison and two months of supervised release during which time he may not return to US navigable waters serving as a ship’s engineer. Second Engineer Mun Sig Wang was sentenced to three years of probation during which time he is prohibited from serving as an engineer on board any vessel that comes into the navigable waters of the US. The Sun Ace Shipping Company previously pleaded guilty, and was fined $400,000, ordered to pay $100,000 as a community service payment, and prohibited from returning to the US for three years for similar violations in conjunction with this case.

In December 2006, Chief Engineer Chang-Sig O pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice for maintaining a false oil record book and lying to the US Coast Guard about his knowledge of the bypass hoses. Second Engineer Mun Sig Wang also pleaded guilty in December 2006, to a violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships for presenting a false oil record book to the US Coast Guard in Camden, NJ, on Jan. 3, 2006. The false record book concealed the dumping of oily wastes overboard using the “magic pipe” built in order to bypass the vessel’s oily water separator.

A joint factual statement filed in federal district court in New Jersey stated that on the night of Jan. 3, 2006, US Coast Guard inspectors boarded the SUN NEW and discovered that members of the engine room crew had used bypass hoses to discharge oily wastes overboard into the ocean without using the vessel’s oily water separator. Upon further investigation, inspectors discovered that the crew of the SUN NEW had disposed of significant amounts of oil waste into the ocean at least twice during the voyage from South Korea to New Jersey. In September a grand jury in Newark, NJ, returned a three-count indictment charging Chang-Sig O and Mun Sig Wang with conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and a violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships in connection with the use of the two bypass hoses. The case was investigated by marine inspectors from Coast Guard Sector Delaware Bay, and special agents from the Coast Guard Investigative Service and the Environmental Protection Agency Criminal Investigation Division.


MM&P has received a notice from the post office advising that they will no longer deliver mail if it is addressed improperly. All mail must have:
1 – individual name (if going to person)
2 – business name
3 – street address and suite number
4 – city, state and zip+4 and this item must all be on the same line.

The example post office provided is:
700 Maritime Boulevard Suite B
Linthicum Heights, Maryland 21090-1941

The correct address for MM&P Plans is:
700 Maritime Boulevard Suite A
Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1996

The correct street address for MITAGS is:
692 Maritime Boulevard
Linthicum Heights, Maryland 21090-1996


CLASS OPENINGS: Between now and the end of April 2007, seats are available in the following courses:

AIS – Automatic Identification System: 3/16
ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 3/6, 4/3, 5/1

BRM Bridge Resource Management: 3/26, 4/23
BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 5/2
BST – Basic Safety Training: 3/12, 4/9

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 3/19, 4/2
CMM-CHS I – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 2/12, 4/23
CMM-CHS II – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 4/16
CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 2/19
CMM-SHMGT-I – Ship Management II (week 1): 4/30
CMM-SHMGT-II – Ship Management II (week 2): 3/5
Available on a “Stand-By Basis Only”: CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 3/12, 4/9
Available on a “Stand-By Basis Only”: CMM-SHS-ADV-II – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 2/12, 3/19, 4/16
CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 3/12

CSE-AASE – Confined Space Entry: 4/25

FF-BADV – Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 3/12, 4/9

HAZ-Hazardous Materials (5-day): 2/12, 4/16

MEDIA-RSP – Media Response: 3/22

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 2/17, 3/3, 4/21
MED-PIC – Medical Person In Charge: 2/26, 4/16
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 2/12, 2/26, 4/16

[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-CBRD-1 (Chemical Biological Radiological Defense Orientation): 3/30
MSC-DC (Damage Control): 3/22, 4/23
MSC-SMA-R – Small Arms Re-Qualification (2-day): 3/30 (must have proof of passing all 3 weapons within 2 years)

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal (5-day): 3/26
ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 3/5, 4/2, 4/30

SEC-OFF-VCF – Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 3/19
SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 2/19, 3/26, 4/23
SHS-EMR- Emergency Shiphandling: 2/12, 4/2, 4/30
SHS-EMR- BRMP-3- Emergency Shiphandling & Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 3/20

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:


Winter – Spring 2007

Due to the high demand for this program, PMI has now scheduled another that is already close to full enrollment for its 2007-start date. See the PMI Web site at for more info on this new development.


SCHEDULE OF COURSES – (Course schedule also posted online at

January 2007
22-26 TPIC
22-26 SHS EMR-5
29-2 ROP
29-2 MED PRO
29-9 MED PIC
29-9 GMDSS

February 2007
6-9 LFBT
12-16 BST
12-16 ENAV
12-16 MED PRO
12-14 SEC VCF
19-23 ECDIS
19-23 SHS BAS
19-2 CNAV
26-2 FF ADV
26-2 ARPA
26-9 SHS ADV

March 2007
5-6 SAR
6-9 LFBT
7-9 EP
12-16 BST
12-16 AB
12-16 STB BAS
12-16 ARPA
19-23 CHS BAS
19-23 SHS EMR-5

April 2007
2-6 WX BAS
2-6 TPIC
9-11 SEC VCF
9-13 FF BADV
9-13 SHS BAS
9-13 ARPA
9-13 ECDIS
9-20 GMDSS
16-27 WKP BAS
23-25 BRM
24-27 LFBT
30-4 AB
30-4 FF ADV
30-4 SHS BAS

May 2007
7-11 SHS BAS
7-18 GMDSS
7-18 CNAV
14-18 ARPA
14-18 SHS EMR-5
14-25 GMDSS
16-18 FF ADV
21-25 BST
21-25 ENAV
21-25 CHS BAS

June 2007
11-12         SHS ASSESS
11-15         ECDIS
11-13         SEC VCF
18-22         ARPA
18-22         SHS BAS
25-29         FF BADV
25-29         ROP

For registration call Jennifer Fowler 888-893-7829


High quality clothing embroidered with the NEW PMI log!.
We can ship these items also! Acceptable forms of payment are check, credit card, money order, and exact cash.
MEN’S WEAR: Button Down Long Sleeve Dress Shirt; Polo Shirt; Fleece Pullover; Hooded Sweatshirt; Windbreaker.
WOMEN’S WEAR: Button-Down Blouse; Sport Polo; Snap-Front Shirt 3/4 Sleeve; Fleece Pullover; Fleece Front Zip
ALSO: Navy and Stone Caps; 15oz. Cobalt Blue Ceramic Mug.
Call Laura Bendixen at 888-893-7829 or email her at for prices and ordering.



 D O W  N A S D A Q  S & P 500
12,653.49 +150.93 for the week 2,475.88 +54.98 for the week 1,448.39 +24.49 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)
 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 and is posted on our web page.

C 2006, International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots. All the material contained in this publication is protected by copyright. For permission to reprint text from the Weekly, contact the MM&P Communications Department: For changes of address, contact John Peige at