News

Wheelhouse Weekly – February 09, 2006

February 9th 2006

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

Volume 10 . . . . . Number 6. . . . February 9, 2006

STORIES COVERED

    Also

REMINDERS

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.





 

ACTION FROM THE PLANS TRUSTEES MEETING FEBRUARY 1-2

The Trustees have agreed to increase the earnings limitations in both the Health Plan and Pension Plan to $28,000 for the calendar year 2006. Therefore, in the Heath Plan, a pensioner can earn up to $28,000 in 2006 without losing Health Care Coverage in the MM&P Plan. In addition, the pensioner will be eligible for a COLA increase if his earned income is below $28,000.

In addition, as reported previously, effective February 1st, the Trustees have agreed to provide contraceptive coverage for members and dependent spouses.




 

CONTRACT SIGNED FOR ENERGY ENTERPRISE

On February 3rd, MM&P and Central Gulf concluded negotiations on a 6-year contract extending through 2400 on June 30th, 2011, The following improvements are provided in this contract:

Wages:
1) 3 percent increase retroactive to 7/01/05
2) 3 percent increase on the anniversary date of the contract (July 1st) each year

Vacation:
1) One additional vacation day paid effective July 1, 2005.
2) One additional vacation day paid effective July 1, 2007.

In addition, the vacation wage shall be increased by allowing a percentage of Non-Watch Allowance pay to be included as follows:
July 1, 2005 10%
July 1, 2006 20%
July 1, 2007 30%
July 1, 2008 40%
July 1, 2009 50%

The rate for Cargo Mates and the Penalty and Premium rate were increased in line with the percentage increase each year of the contract.

Master’s Overtime
The Master shall receive 2.5 hours of overtime per day as a flat guaranteed maximum payment which shall be included in his base pay for the purpose of calculating contributions and benefits payable by the MM&P Pension Plan.

IRAP Contributions
All participants shall receive a 3 percent plus Feinberg contribution.

Central Gulf has also agreed to Full Pension contribution as well as Full Medical Contribution along with increases in contributions to MIRAID and JEC. In addition, coveralls of good quality shall be provided for the Master and all LDO’s.


MATSON CONTRACT RE-OPENER APPEARS HEADED FOR ARBITRATION

After three negotiating sessions with Matson Navigation Company conducted on January 11, 12 and 27 in San Francisco, the 2005 MM&P-Matson contract re-opener appears headed for arbitration. Negotiations to determine wage and wage related increases for 1/1/06, 1/1/07 and 1/1/08 aboard Matson’s standard contract vessels stalled with Matson’s insistence that MM&P Licensed Deck Officers accept a wage freeze.

Negotiating in concert with MEBA and the ARA, the Union bargaining committees were disappointed by the unwillingness of Matson to share their record profits. “A six month freeze followed by a two percent increase in June, 2007 and a two percent increase in June, 2008, is unacceptable to our bargaining committee” stated Pacific-Ports Vice President Don Marcus. “When you consider that the inflation rate is running 3-4 percent and that Alexander & Baldwin, the parent corporation of Matson, proclaimed 2005 to be a “benchmark year” for profits, it is not surprising that MM&P and the company will have to resolve our differences in arbitration.”


MATSON TO CONVERT C-9 MV MOKIHANA TO COMBINATION RO/RO

MM&P-contracted Matson Navigation announced on Feb. 9th that it is proceeding with the first conversion of one of its C-9 containerships, MV MOKIHANA, to a combination roll-on/roll-off (Ro/Ro) and container vessel to further strengthen its Hawaii service capabilities. With the conversion, the vessel will have Ro-Ro and container capacity comparable to two vessels in Matson’s service today, the dedicated Ro-Ro vessel GREAT LAND and the containership SS LIHUE.

The new garage will have the capacity to carry 1,350 vehicles. The plan is part of a multi-phase program that began in 2003 and is designed to provide Matson’s auto customers with the two service features they prefer: frequency of service and Ro-Ro capacity. The total cost for this phase of the project, which includes construction of the garage, expansion of the company’s inter-island barge capacity, shoreside facility improvements and investments in new information technology for auto shipments, is estimated to be $45 million, with completion by mid-2007.

“Matson’s C-9s are the largest vessels in our fleet and are diesel-powered, making them more fuel efficient,” said Dave Hoppes, senior vice president, ocean services. “By adding garage capacity, the combination vessel will provide the fastest and most economical method of shipping vehicles, with one vessel transporting the equivalent capacity of two ships in our service today. The new garage units will have all of the features of a pure car carrier, including a fully enclosed garage, ventilation, lighting and various safety components to minimize damage in transit.”

The converted ship will join Matson’s two other combination Ro-Ro/containerships in the company’s Hawaii service in 2007. The MOKIHANA is one of three C-9s in Matson’s Hawaii fleet. “Matson is particularly gratified that it has continued to receive the support of most of the major auto manufacturers,” said Hoppes. Matson has new multi-year agreements with Ford Motor Company and General Motors for the carriage of their vehicles to and from Hawaii.

While the specifics of the agreements are confidential, they encompass service to all of Hawaii, including the Neighbor Islands. The Ford agreement includes Volvo Cars, Jaguar and Land Rover. In addition to these agreements, Matson has multi-year agreements with Dollar Thrifty Group, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Toyota and Nissan.


MAERSK TO CHANGE NAMES OF PO NEDLLOYD US-FLAG VESSELS

As part of the Maersk buyout of P&O NedLloyd, Maersk has announced that it will be changing the names of the PO NEDLLOYD vessels on the following dates:

ENDEAVOR became the MAERSK VERMONT on Feb. 1
ENTERPRISE became the MAERSK MAINE on Feb. 3
ENDURANCE becomes the MAERSK MARYLAND on Feb. 19
PONL BUENOS AIRES becomes the MAERSK TEXAS on May 23.
PONL VERA CRUZ becomes the MAERSK LOUISIANA with an effective date yet to be announced.


REMINDER: MM&P’S UIG OFFICE HAS RELOCATED TO EDMONDS

Effective February 1, the MM&P’s United Inland Membership Group has relocated to new offices located in Edmonds, Washington. The new address is 144 Railroad Avenue, Suite 205, Edmonds, WA 98020. The new phone number is 425-775-1403. The new fax number is 425-775-1418.


REMINDER TO ALL OFFSHORE MEMBERS/APPLICANTS

The Seattle Hiring Hall and Offshore Division offices have been temporarily relocated. Effective Monday, February 6, and until further notice, the Hall’s new location is at the Pacific Maritime Institute Building on 1729 Alaskan Way S., Seattle, WA 98134.


SANBORN SAYS HE WANTS TO BRING US FLEET BACK TO PROMINENCE

At a Senate conformation committee hearing to become the next US Maritime Administrator earlier this week, David Sanborn said that he will dedicate his tenure to making the US cargo infrastructure “the envy of our trading partners.”
As previously reported in the Wheelhouse Weekly, President Bush nominated Sanborn to succeed Capt. William Schubert who left MARAD’s top spot a year ago.

Sanborn also said that efficient cargo-handling, improving US shipyards, improving intermodal transportation on the West Coast and “bringing the US-flag fleet back to pre-eminence” in the world were among his other priorities. Several senators on the committee praised Sanborn, who is a graduate of the US Merchant Marine Academy, for his insight and ambition.


ALL VESSELS IN US WATERS SUBJECT TO DRUG & ALCOHOL TESTING

International and US-flag vessel operators must comply with the following USCG chemical testing regulations, effective June 20, 2006: Any individual engaged or employed on board a vessel operating in US waters who is involved in a serious marine incident must be tested for drugs and alcohol. Alcohol testing must be conducted within two hours of when the serious marine incident occurred.

Drug testing must be conducted within 32 hours of when the serious marine incident occurred. The USCG defines a serious marine incident as:
— One or more deaths;
— An injury that requires medical treatment beyond first aide;
— Damage to property over $100,000;
— Actual or constructive loss of any inspected vessel;
— Actual or constructive loss of any uninspected, self-propelled vessel of 100-gross tons or more;
— Discharge of 10,000 gallons or more of oil into US waters;
— A reportable discharge of a hazardous substance into US waters or release of reportable quantities of hazardous material into the US environment.

All drug and alcohol test results must be reported to the USCG on the Form 2692B (Report of Required Chemical Testing Following a Serious Marine Incident). All alcohol testing devices must be currently listed on the “Conforming Products List” (CPL) which is published in the Federal Register. All vessel operators must have a sufficient number of urine-specimen collection, shipping kits and DOT Chain-of-Custody Forms (COC) meeting the requirements of 49 CFR Part 40 that are readily accessible for use following a serious marine incident (46 CFR Part 4, Section 4.06-20)

The laboratory must be certified by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Agency (“SAMHSA”). Only SAMHSA certified laboratories are authorized to perform DOT and USCG testing. The Medical Review Officer (“MRO”) must be certified. The MRO is the physician/toxicologist who reviews and verifies the drug test results. The USCG will not authorize medical practitioners to perform MRO functions unless they have nationally recognized certification (49 CFR 40.121).

Vessel personnel, who are assigned drug and alcohol testing functions following a serious marine incident, must be trained pursuant to the following requirements:
(a) Basic Information & Methodology of Regulatory Testing: knowledge of DOT regulation, Part 40, current DOT specimen collection procedures and the USCG’s chemical testing regulations.
(b) Qualification Training: all steps necessary to complete a specimen collection correctly; knowledge of problem collections, fatal and correctable flaws, securing the specimen collection facility, ensuring privacy, security of the specimen and professional conduct.
(c) Initial Proficiency Training: the vessel supervisor must conduct five error-free mock specimen collections, which must include – two uneventful collections, one insufficient quantity collection, one temperature out of range and one refusal to sign or initial the chain-of-custody form. The proficiency demonstration must be performed in front of an authorized person who monitors and evaluates the proficiency.


PRESIDENT BUSH PROPOSES SIX PERCENT INCREASE FOR USCG

In his $2.7 trillion budget for fiscal 2007, President Bush has proposed a six percent increase in the USCG’s allocation, to $7.117 billion. Of that amount, $935 million will go to the USCG’s Deepwater Program.

In explaining the USCG increase, the administration notes that it is an 87 percent increase since 2001. The Deepwater program, a replacement and renewal project for the USCG’s aircraft and largest seagoing ships is “an investment in future USCG capabilities and will ensure that the service is able to execute its critical missions, like Port and Waterways Security and Migrant Interdiction.”


TSAC AND TOWING VESSEL GROUP SET MEETINGS

The Coast Guard’s Towing Safety Advisory Committee (TSAC) and its working groups will meet as required to discuss various issues relating to shallow-draft inland and coastal waterway navigation and towing safety. All meetings will be held at USCG HQ in Wash, DC and will be open to the public.

TSAC will meet on Thursday, March 2. The Towing Vessel Inspection Working Group will meet on Tuesday, February 28. The Towing Vessel Inspection Working Group will meet again on Wednesday, March 1, followed by a general plenary meeting, to discuss the status of other working groups. Written material for and requests to make presentations at the meetings should reach the USCG before February 21. For further info, contact Gerald Miante at 202-267-0214, fax
202-267-4570, or e-mail at: gmiante@comdt.uscg.mil


PMI OFFERS SIMULATOR COURSE FOR PILOTS AND CAPTAINS

The Pacific Maritime Institute (PMI) recently completed a simulation evaluation project used to qualify applicants to join a pilot training program. PMI developed a fictitious simulation area with high detail visual and radar presentation and the evaluation criteria used to grade applicant performance. Pilot applicants where ranked based on the score from the simulation evaluation combined with the score from a written exam.

PMI is offering a 14-hour simulation-training course for Pilots and Captains who want to:
Improve Piloting and Shiphandling Skills
Improve Communication Skills
Improve Decision Making Skills
Improve Emergency Response Skills
Improve Situational Awareness
Improve your Bridge Resource Management Skills

Realistic simulation scenarios will challenge and test your knowledge and skills. Experienced instructors will help you improve your knowledge and skills so you achieve a higher level of performance and confidence.

This course is ideal for pilot applicants preparing for upcoming pilot exams. Weekend training available for a minimum of three attendees. Custom simulation development and training is available for groups of four or more.

PMI uses a Transas simulator system with Transas displays and controls. The Transas Group is currently a world-leading manufacturer of software and hardware systems for professional training and certification. Their simulation systems are used nationwide including at King’s Point and California Maritime Academy.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

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


AIS – Automated Identification Systems: 5/5
ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 2/13, 4/3,5/1
AZIPOD-KAM – Azipod and Kamewa Steering and Propulsion Systems: 3/14

BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 2/13, 5/15
BST – Basic Safety Training: 3/6, 4/24, 5/23

[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: 3/20, 5/1, 5/21
CMM-ADVSTAB – Advanced Stability: 3/6, 4/3, 5/22
CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 3/13, 4/24
CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 2/27, 4/17
CMM-SHMGT I – Ship Management (week 1): 2/6
CMM-SHMGT II – Ship Management (week 2): 2/13, 3/6
CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 3/20, 4/17, 5/22
CMM-SHS-ADV-II – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 5/29
CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 3/27, 5/8
CMM-WKP – Watchkeeping: 2/20, 3/13, 4/10

CONT-PLNG – Contingency Planning: 3/24
CSE-AASE – Confined Space Entry: 5/15

FF-BADV – Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 3/6, 4/24, 5/22

HAZ-Hazardous Materials (5-day): 3/27, 4/10, 5/1

MEDIA-RSP – Media Response: 3/23, 5/4
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 2/11, 3/18, 4/22, 5/13
MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 3/13, 4/17, 5/8
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 3/13, 4/17, 5/8


[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-CBRD-1 (Chemical Biological Radiological Defense Orientation): 3/15, 4/19, 5/10
MSC-DC (Damage Control): 3/16, 4/20, 5/11
MSC-SMA – Small Arms (4-day): 4/24, 5/15
MSC-SMA-R – Small Arms Re-Qualification (2-day): 4/28, 5/19(must have proof of passing all 3 weapons within 2 years)

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal (5-day): 3/27, 5/22
ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 3/20, 4/3, 4/5, 5/1, 5/15

SEC-OFF-VCF – Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 3/20, 5/1
SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 4/10
SHS-EMR-Emergency Shiphandling: 2/20, 3/27

TPIC – Tankerman Person-In-Charge: 2/13, 4/10


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


PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

Winter – Summer 2006

February 2006

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

April 2006
4/3-4 Search and Rescue
4/5-7 Emergency Procedures
4/3-7 BST
4/4-7 Survival Craft (Lifeboatman)
4/10-14 ECDIS
4/10-14 Radar Observer Unlimited
4/10-14 AB
4/10-21 GMDSS
4/17-21 ARPA
4/17 Radar Renew
4/17-21 Basic Shiphandling
4/24-5/5 Watchkeeping (BRM Inc.)

May 2006
5/1-3 BRM
5/1-5 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
5/2-5 Survival Craft (Lifeboatman)
5/8-12 Basic Shiphandling
5/8-12 BST
5/8-12 AB
5/8-19 GMDSS
5/8-20 100 Ton OUPV
5/15-19 MEDPRO
5/15-26 MEDPIC
5/22 Flashing Light

June 2006
6/5-9 ECDIS
6/5-9 ARPA
6/5-9 BST
6/6-9 Survival Craft (Lifeboatman)
6/5-23 TCNAV/CO
6/19-23 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
6/19-30 GMDSS
6/26-30 Radar Observer Unlimited
6/26-30 Basic Shiphandling

For registration call Jennifer Fowler 888-893-7829

PMI MERCHANDISE FOR SALE!!!

High quality with embroidered PMI logo.
Navy or Khaki Hats : $16 / includes tax
———————————-
Button Down Long Sleeve Dress Shirts
Blue or Khaki: $38 / includes tax
———————————-
Pocket t-shirts with Logo: $12 / includes tax
————————————
15oz. Cobalt Blue Ceramic Mug: $8 / includes tax

Call DeeDee Lazik 206-838-8328 or e-mail dlazik@mates.org.


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 2-8

 

 D O W  N A S D A Q  S & P 500
10,907.99 -45.96 for the week 2,2841.02 -29.54 for the week 1,272.65 -9.81 for the week

 

Fund Name & Trading Symbol
Closing
Price
Change
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
116.73
-1.46
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
35.84
-.69
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
21.94
-.57
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
18.16
-.33
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
31.66
-.42
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.27
-.01
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX)
6.18
-.01
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
9.99
-.01
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
19.76
-.44
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
16.20
-.11
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
34.67
-.64
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
109.02
-11.16
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
21.06
-.21
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
78.60
-1.05
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX) 44.86 -.56
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
30.34
-.29

 






~ Reminders ~





 

T-AGS OCEANOGRAPHIC SURVEY SHIPS MANNING REQUIREMENTS

REQUIRED COURSEWORK

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

The MSC Contract calls for all training certificates required for manning of these vessels to be no older than 5 years and that all STCW-95 courses be renewed every 5 years, or annually, as applicable.

Five-year renewable courses include, but are not limited to:

  • Advanced Fire Fighting
  • Basic Safety Training, and
  • Damage Control

Small Arms certificates must be less than 1 year old and MUST NOT expire during your tour of duty.

Members interested in applying for one of the positions onboard the T-AGS vessels are advised to make sure your certificates are up to date. If not, contact Mary Matlock or Diane Ford at MITAGS Admissions, email: admissions@mitags.org, and schedule to take the course(s) needed.

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

Members interested in employment on the T-AGS ships are asked to provide a 1-2 page resume. Please list the desired position you are seeking along with the certificates of training you possess and their dates. Upon receipt it will be forwarded to Horizon Lines and a confirmation sent back to the member. Vessel turnover commenced Oct.17, 2004. Positions for all ratings remain open.

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

Richard Plant, Director of Special Projects

IOMM&P
700 Maritime Blvd.
Linthicum Heights, MD 21090



SHIP SECURITY CLEARANCE NEEDED

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

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

Go to https://sclient.dss.mil/download/w9xfull.htm to download the software titled “EPSQ SUBJECT2_2”.

After the software is installed and the program is launched, select “Create” from the menu bar at the top of the screen. You will be required to enter your Social Security Number and a case-sensitive password. A window titled “Type of Form” will appear.

All Deck Officers should select the first button titled “Request for Security Clearance (SF86)” and then click “OK” to go to the next screen, “Type of Investigation”.

From the “Type of Investigation” screen:

  • Masters and Radio Officers should select the first button, “Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI)”.
  • All other Deck Officers (C/M, 2/M, 3/M) should click on the second button, “National Agency Check (NAC or NACLC)”.

After selecting the appropriate investigation type, click on “OK” to begin filling in the forms.

 



MSC PHYSICALS

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

 


MM&P FCU NEWS

GET NEW WHEELS OR LOWER EXISTING PAYMENTS WITH MM&P FCU VEHICLE FINANCING

Is it time to replace that car you’re driving? Vehicle loan rates are looking great at MM&P FCU.

Drive away in a new or used vehicle for a standard loan rate of:

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.

PREFERRED BORROWERS GET LOWER LOAN RATES
MM&P FCU members can reduce the interest rate they pay on any new loan even further by becoming a preferred borrower. What is a preferred borrower? That’s a member who deposits at least 10 percent of the original loan amount into their MM&P FCU savings account and keeps those funds on deposit until the loan is paid in full. By doing this you save twice – first, your deposit works for you by earning our regular dividend savings rate, and second, you save money by reducing the interest rate on your loan by 0.75 percent.

Contact the MM&P FCU for full details on all loan programs by email to mmpfcu@bridgedeck.org or call 1-800-382-7777 toll-free.



 

MM&P HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN NEWS

NOTICE TO MEMBERS WHO ARE TAKING VIOXX

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 www.vioxx.com 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.”



NMHC MAIL-ORDER PRESCRIPTIONS WEBSITE UPDATED & IMPROVED

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 www.nmhcmail.com 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 https://members.nmhcrx.com/Login/Login.aspx.

  • 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.



WWII USCG VETERANS OUTREACH

The U.S. Coast Guard has announced an initiative to identify and collect the oral histories of its World War II veterans. Coast Guard WWII veterans, including SPARS and merchant mariners, are encouraged to record their histories online with the Library of Congress Veterans History Project at www.loc.gov/folklife/vets.

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




 

COMPANY GIVES BUCKS BACK FOR BUYING SAFE SHOES

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

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

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

Vessels in the LMS footwear reimbursement program are:

  • Green Cove
  • Green Dale
  • Green Lake
  • Green Point
  • Atlantic Forest
  • Sulphur Enterprise
  • Energy Enterprise
  • SGT Matej C. Kocak
  • MAJ Stephen W. Pless, and
  • PFC Eugene A. Obregon

LMS notes that in order to receive reimbursement, crewmembers must purchase one of the following recommended brands:

  • WORX by Red Wing Slip Resistant Footwear
  • Caterpillar (must have steel toe & slip resistant sole)
  • Wolverine (must have steel toe and slip resistant sole)
  • Dunham Sierra Work Boot EH
  • Steel Toe Voyager
  • Georgia Boot 6- or 8-inch Safety Toe Boot
  • Dr. Marten’s (must have steel toe & slip resistant sole)

LOOK FOR THE UNION LABEL:

Of the boots listed above, Red Wing, Caterpillar and Wolverine boots are produced by US union labor.

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

Wolverine World Wide manufactures boots under the Caterpillar brand using US union labor. (Other union made safety-shoe brands by Wolverine are the company’s Hy-Test, Durashock and Bates Military labels. The company’s Wolverine brand combat boots are also produced using US union labor.)

Most Dr. Marten’s shoes and boots are produced in the UK.

To find US, union-made products, visit the AFL-CIO Union Label Service and Trades website at www.unionlabel.org and click on “Union Made Product Search”. To shop for union-made products online, go to www.ShopUnionMade.org.




 

WEBSITE OFFERS UNION-MADE GOODS AND SERVICES

The Union Label recently went digital with a new website offering shoppers an array of union-made gifts, from clothing and chocolates to computers, games and greeting cards.

The website, www.shopunionmade.org, launches on the eve of the fall and winter holidays, when shoppers will spend an estimated $1 trillion on gifts, food, drinks and other seasonal items, explained Matt Bates, Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO Union Label & Service Trades Department. The all-union shopping site, however, will be a year-round operation because that is what consumers demand, he added.

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

“The public is ready for this. People have seen millions of good jobs disappear and they are looking for ways to take a stand and make a difference,” he added.

The AFL-CIO will target the peak of the holiday shopping season by promoting “Buy Union Week” Nov. 26 through Dec. 5. The newly-launched, all-union shopping site will be a cornerstone of that campaign. MM&P has a link to the Shop Union Site on this website under “Links and Other Sources”.



The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 700 Maritime Blvd., Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1941. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: iommp@bridgedeck.org. For further info or to subscribe contact John Peige at jpeige@bridgedeck.org. 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.