News

Wheelhouse Weekly – February 09, 2009

February 9th 2009

 

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

Volume 13 . . . . . Number 6. . . .February 9, 2009

STORIES COVERED

REMINDERS

T-AGS Oceanographic Survey Ships Info

Required Coursework

Security Clearances

MSC Physicals

MM&P FCU News

MM&P Health & Benefit Plan News

Meet Our New Prescription Benefit Manager, PHARMACARE

Notice to MM&P Health & Benefit Plan Participants

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.


MM&P CLOSED NEXT MONDAY FOR PRESIDENTS’ DAY

On Feb. 16, MM&P headquarters, MM&P Plans, the MM&P Federal Credit Union and all MM&P port offices will be closed for the Presidents’ Day federal holiday. In addition, all Pacific Ports Halls will be closed on Feb. 12 for Lincoln’s Birthday, a contracted holiday on most MM&P vessels.


PIRACY UPDATE: UKRAINIAN ARMS SHIP FREED, UAE SHIP DISAPPEARS, REP. CUMMINGS CONVENES CONGRESSIONAL HEARING ON PIRACY

The intractable problem of piracy off the coast of Somalia continues to occupy headlines worldwide. Last week, Somali pirates released MV FAINA, the arms ship which had been held for more than four months. The U.S. Navy had maintained a round-the-clock presence within visual range of the ship since September. The FAINA initially had a crew of 21, but the ship’s captain suffered a fatal heart attack shortly after being taken hostage. The pirates, who reportedly received $3.2 million in ransom, had seized the ship as it headed to Kenya with a cargo of 30 Russian-made tanks. Meanwhile, a United Arab Emirates ship crewed by 14 Indian sailors has been reported missing in Somali waters and is thought to have been seized. According to an official tally, an additional eight ships and nearly 150 merchant mariners are now being held hostage by pirates.
  
In the United States, Congressman Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, convened a hearing on piracy on Feb. 4. “Piracy threatens the lives of innocent mariners and may also increase shipping rates at a time of deepening economic recession,” Cummings said in an official statement. He commended the U.S. Coast Guard and Navy for their involvement in Combined Task Force 151 and its Coast Guard law enforcement detachment, adding that the problem of piracy cannot be solved unless the world addresses “the underlying problems that are leading individuals down the road of piracy,” including poverty and political instability in Somalia.


ABOUT 6.5 PERCENT OF CONTAINER CAPACITY NOW IDLE

Approximately 6.5 percent of container capacity worldwide is idle as a result of the economic downturn, according to maritime consulting firm AXS-Alphaliner. The company says East/West container capacity has fallen 15 percent since Aug. 1, 2008. The figures by major trade lanes are as follows: a 21 percent drop in capacity in the Far East/Europe lane; a 9 percent drop in the Far East/North America trade; a 4.5 percent drop in North America/North Europe-Mediterranean trade.


USNS RICHARD E. BYRD RESCUES STARVING FISHERMEN

USNS RICHARD E. BYRD, a T-AKE 4 vessel with MM&P licensed deck officers on board, saved the lives of three fishermen whose boat had been stranded for days in the Indian Ocean. After the crew sighted three people on the smaller vessel waving bits of clothing in a desperate effort to attract attention, officers on board USNS BYRD launched a rigid-hull inflatable boat carrying an engineer, food, water and fuel. The engineer ascertained that the fishing boat’s engine was so damaged that it would be impossible to fix it at sea. Crew reported that the fishermen were extremely hungry and immediately ate all the food that had been dispatched. The decision was made to bring the fishermen aboard BYRD and their small boat was loaded onto the larger vessel’s flight deck. A medical exam showed that the fishermen were suffering from mild dehydration and malnutrition. After showers and more food, the three were given beds to sleep in and the ship continued on its way to its next port of call. 


COLUMBIA BAR PILOTS PROFILED IN SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE

A dramatic feature story in the Jan. 24 issue of “Smithsonian Magazine” details the day-to-day work of the pilots who navigate the Columbia River Bar. “Despite all the jet-powered wizardry at their disposal, the pilots’ stock in trade is still their feel for the water,” writes journalist Matt Jenkins. He describes the work as “highly technical, difficult, wet and dangerous…” While researching the article, the journalist accompanied Captain Dan Jordan on his “morning commute.” He says the trip “felt like riding a mechanical bull through a dunk tank.” To read the article, “Steering Ships Through a Treacherous Waterway,” go to http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/37443744.html


BATTLE FOR PASSAGE OF EMPLOYEE FREE CHOICE ACT GAINS STEAM

Thousands of workers gathered on Capitol Hill last week to deliver 1.5 million signatures in support of passage of the Employee Free Choice Act. Sen. Tom Harkin, Rep. George Miller, union members and progressive organizations were on site to showcase widespread public support for the bill, which would make it easier for workers to form unions.

The AFL-CIO has launched a website on the Employee Free Choice Act: http://www.aflcio.org/joinaunion/voiceatwork/efca/. Visitors to the site will find an array of resources to use for talking to union members and others about Employee Free Choice. Among them are: stories from workers who were harassed or fired for supporting a union; videos of labor leaders discussing Employee Free Choice on national television; a printable list of ten key facts to remember when discussing the Employee Free Choice Act.

Among the statistics: one in four employers illegally fire at least one worker for union activity during organizing campaigns; 75 percent of employers hire union-busting consultants to fight organizing drives; after workers form a union under the National Labor Relations Board process, 44 percent of employers continue to refuse to negotiate a contract.


TRANSPORTATION UNIONS CONGRATULATE TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY LAHOOD

Members of the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department, including MM&P, are congratulating the new Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “The Senate has confirmed a strong leader as the nation’s 16th Transportation Secretary,” said TTD President Edward Wytkind in an official statement. “Americans should feel confident that President Obama has placed the nation’s vast transportation system and infrastructure in the hands of a highly skilled and capable public servant with a distinguished record of service.” LaHood, previously a Republican congressman from Illinois, has a reputation for bipartisanship and a deep network of relationships with members of Congress from both parties.


TWIC COUNTDOWN: 65 DAYS UNTIL ALL MARINERS MUST HAVE A TWIC

Reminder: April 15 is the deadline for all mariners and other maritime industry workers to obtain the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC).


FROM MAREX NEWSLETTER:


FIVE SOLUTIONS FOR REPAIRING THE NATION’S INFRASTRUCTURE

The most recent edition of MarEx newsletter quotes construction expert Barry B. LePatner on five steps that must be taken to rebuild America’s infrastructure. The article, by Dottie DeHart, is posted in its entirety on MM&P’s website. Just go to www.bridgedeck.org and click on “What’s New.”

“Our infrastructure system is silently deteriorating,” LePatner says. As an example, he writes, by some estimates America has experienced “over 500 bridge failures since 1989.” According to LePatner, there are five steps to take:

1) Creation of a national clearinghouse and database, accessible to every state transportation agency and the general public, that identifies all design and construction issues affecting our nation’s infrastructure;

2) An increase in efforts by state governments to protect and inform citizens, through hearings, press conferences or news releases, about bridges that have received structurally deficient ratings;

3) Enactment of a plan to deal with the nationwide shortage of civil and structural engineers;

4) Investment in advanced technologies that help save money and provide more accurate inspections;

5) Enactment of reforms to help avoid another “Big Dig,” the most expensive highway project ever, a Boston infrastructure boondoggle that Le Patner says “epitomizes everything that is wrong with the construction industry, including cost overruns and missed schedules.”

LePatner is coauthor, with Sidney M. Johnson, of Structural & Foundation Failures (McGraw-Hill, 1982). He is also author of Broken Buildings, Busted Budgets: How to Fix America’s Trillion-Dollar Construction Industry (The University of Chicago Press, October 2007, ISBN-13: 978-0-226-47267-6, ISBN-10: 0-226-47267-1, $25). For more information, contact Dottie DeHart, DeHart & Company, at (828) 325-4966 or: DehartDottie@aol.com.


SHIPPING COMPANY EXEC SENTENCED TO JAIL FOR ANTITRUST VIOLATION

The Department of Justice says a former shipping company executive has been sentenced to four years in prison for involvement in an antitrust conspiracy linked to the ocean transport of goods between the continental United States and Puerto Rico. The former executive, Peter Baci, was also sentenced to pay a $20,000 fine. The Justice Department said that the conspiracy, which lasted from around May 2002 to April of last year, involved suppression of competition in the pricing of coastal water freight transportation, including allocation of customers, price fixing and rigging bids made to government and private clients. Related antitrust charges are pending against several other shipping company executives.


JOBS AVAILABLE ON T-AGS VESSELS

There are positions currently open on the T-AGS oceanographic survey ships. The jobs can be bid with a port relief card instead of a regular shipping card. Mariners on vacation can also take these jobs. If you are interested, please immediately contact MM&P’s New York/New Jersey Hall, 201-963-1918 or nynj@bridgedeck.org.


APPLICANTS COURSE FOR D-BOOK MEMBERSHIP IN LOS ANGELES

The course for MM&P applicants seeking to qualify for D-Book Membership will be held in Los Angeles on Feb. 10-11. All courses start at 0900 and finish around 1530. If you are interested in participating, please call the Los Angeles Hall (310-834-7201) to reserve your seat. Class size is limited so sign up early. If you wish to be considered for D-Book status, you need to have completed this class, have four favorable recommendations, have paid the initiation fee and have at least 360 days sea time under MM&P contract. Courses may be cancelled if not enough applicants sign up.  


NEW PMI COURSE ON MARINE VESSEL OPERATIONS & THE ENVIRONMENT

The Pacific Maritime Institute (PMI) has announced a new course for mid-level and senior vessel and operations managers, port captains, ship superintendents, deck and engineering officers, regulatory agency personnel and inspectors, marine safety and environmental auditors and anyone with environmental management, operational or reporting responsibilities in the maritime industry. Courses are scheduled at PMI in Seattle on March 16 and April 15. Courses may be arranged at other locations and additional dates. The course will be a prerequisite for the two-day “EPA Vessel General Permit (NPDES)” course now under development. Both courses will be combined and offered as a three-day session. For more information, contact Gregg Trunnell at (206) 838-7422 or by e-mail at gtrunnell@mates.org. For future training dates at MITAGS, contact Captain Bob Becker at (443) 989-3235 or by e-mail: rbecker@mitags.org


MIAMI’S NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER OPENS DOORS TO MM&P MEMBERS

MM&P members have an opportunity to tour the National Hurricane Center in Miami on Saturday, March 14. The tour will begin at 10:00 and should be finished at about 12:00. It will include the National Hurricane Center, Tropical Analysis & Forecast Branch, as well as the local Miami forecast center. The NHC tour can accommodate 25 to 30 people. NHC Director Bill Read and Executive Officer Christopher Burr will be on hand to answer questions. If you are interested, contact the MM&P Miami/Port Everglades Hall at pompano@bridgedeck.org or (954) 946-7883 by March 1. The National Hurricane Center is located with the Miami National Weather Service Forecast Office on the main campus of Florida International University, 11691 SW 17th St., about 12 miles west of downtown and eight miles southwest of Miami International Airport. Parking is available near the main entrance on the south side of the center, which faces SW 17th Street.  


NTSB ISSUES REPORT ON EMPRESS OF THE NORTH GROUNDING

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has issued its report on the grounding of EMPRESS OF THE NORTH in southeast Alaska, on May 14, 2007. Among the mariners who came to the aid of the passengers and crew of the grounded cruise ship were MM&P members Captain Phil Taylor and the crew of MV COLUMBIA, who received the Coast Guard Meritorious Public Service Award for courage.

The NTSB found in its report that a contributing cause of the accident was the decision by the master of EMPRESS OF THE NORTH to put an inexperienced third mate on watch without supervision or guidance. The board accompanied release of the accident report with recommendations to state and federal maritime academies that they use the accident as a teachable moment, reminding students of their responsibility as newly licensed officers to prepare themselves for assigned duties and to express their concerns if placed in situations for which they are unprepared.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

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

AIS � (1-Day) Automatic Identification System: 4/2
ARPA � Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 4/13
AZIPOD � (2-Day) Azipod Propulsion Systems: 4/20
BRM � Bridge Resource Management: 5/4
BST � Basic Safety Training: 4/6
CONT PLNG � Contingency Planning: 5/15

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVSTAB � Advanced Stability: 4/20
CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 4/6
CMM-CHS I � Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 4/27
CMM-CHS II � Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 5/4
CMM-ECDIS � Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems: 3/30
CMM-MPP � Marine Propulsion Plants: 4/13
CMM-SHMGT I � Ship Management (week 1) : 2/23, 5/11
CMM-SHMGT II � Ship Management (week 2) : 3/2, 5/18
CMM-SHS-ADV-I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 4/27, 5/11
CMM-SHS-ADV-I I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 5/4, 5/18
CMM-VPEN � Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 3/23
CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 3/9, 5/25

CSE-AWR2 � Confined Space Entry Awareness (2 day): 5/11
CSE-AAES � Confined Space Entry � Atmospheric Analysis of Enclosed Spaces: 2/26
FF-BADV � Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting Combined: 4/6
GMDSS � Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 2/23, 4/6
HAZ � Hazardous Materials (5 day): 5/4
LAP � License Advancement Program for upgrade to Chief Mate/Master: 3/30
LEG � Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 4/22

MEDIA RSP – Media Response: 2/27
MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 3/2, 4/13
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 3/2, 4/13, 5/4
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 2/26, 3/7, 4/3, 4/18, 5/14

[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-CBRD-1 � CBRD Orientation: 2/25, 3/27, 5/22
MSC-DC � Damage Control: 2/23, Special Evening MSC-DC Class: 5/18 to 5/21
MSC-SMA � Small Arms Training: 3/23, 5/18

[OICNW � Officer in Charge of a Navigation Watch Courses]
OICNW-CHS-BAS � Basic Cargo Handling and Stowage: 4/20, 5/25
OICNW-CNAV � Celestial Navigation: 4/20
OICNW-ENAV � Electronic Navigation: 3/9
OICNW-EP � Emergency Procedures: 5/14
OICNW-SAR � Search and Rescue: 5/11
OICNW-WKP BAS � Basic Watchkeeping: 3/30
OICNW-WX BAS � Basic Meteorology: 3/23

ROP-5 � Radar Observer Program (Original or Renewal): 5/4
ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 4/13

SEC-VCF – Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 2/23, 3/30, 5/11
SEC-VSO-R � Vessel Security Officer Refresher (1 day): 2/26, 4/21, 5/14
SHS-BAS � Basic Shiphandling: 2/23, 4/27, 5/18
SHS-EMR � Emergency Shiphandling: 4/20
SHS-ESH-BRMP3 � Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 4/20

TPIC � Tankerman Person in Charge (Dangerous Liquids): 5/25

…remember: If you can’t make the class, make the call.  Be courteous, don’t be a “no show.”

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 by e-mail: admissions@mitags.org.


PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

PMI Web site at www.mates.org for more info

FOR REGISTRATION CALL JENNIFER PITZEN: 206 838-1126

SCHEDULE OF COURSES – (Course schedule also posted online at www.mates.org)

February 2009
9-11 SEC VCF
12 Security Refresher
10-13 ARPA
9-13 TPIC
17 ROR
16-20 MED PRO
16-27 MED PIC
23-27 ROP

March 2009
2 ROR
2-6 WX BAS
9-20 GMDSS
10-13 ARPA
9-20 SHS ADV
16-20 ENAV
23-3 CNAV

For registration call Jennifer Pitzen 888-893-7829

PMI MERCHANDISE FOR SALE!!!

High-quality clothing embroidered with the NEW PMI logo! We can ship these items also! Acceptable forms of payment are check, credit card, money order and exact cash. Call Laura Bendixen at 888-893-7829 for prices and to order. If we don’t have your size, we’ll be glad to special order for you at no extra cost.


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 2-6-2009

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
8,250.59 1,591.71 868.60
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
40.11
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
80.13
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
23.40
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
11.51
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
11.44
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
18.20
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.52
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
20.58
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
4.51
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
13.05
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
15.39
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
12.10
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
14.63
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
9.52
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
9.29
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
8.96
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
8.91
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
9.22
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.04
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
21.09
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
13.69
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
10.88
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
12.39
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
9.19
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
45.50
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
12.33
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
37.85
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
12.29
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
25.97
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
20.10
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
15.48
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
9.51
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
10.01
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
10.20
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
9.84
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
9.50
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
5.43
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
6.25
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
9.32
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
22.03
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
30.77
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
18.92





~ 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. Suite B
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:

6.50 percent for terms up to 24 months.
Standard loan rates for longer-term loans are:

6.75 percent for 25-48 months;
7.50 percent for 49-60 months ($20,000 minimum); and
8.00 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

MEET OUR NEW PRESCRIPTION BENEFIT MANAGER, PHARMACARE

As you know, effective July 1, 2007, MM&P will have a new Prescription Benefit Manager, PharmaCare. If you use the mail service and have not sent your Confidential Mail Service Enrollment Form to the MM&P Plan Office, you have until June 30 to do so. Otherwise, you can call PharmaCare’s customer service line and give them the information over the telephone or send the form with your first new mail prescription directly to PharmaCare. In the next couple of days, you will be receiving a letter with your new MM&P identification cards and a prescription booklet with information on how to obtain your prescriptions. PharmaCare’s customer service number is listed in the booklet. If you have any questions, please contact the MM&P Health & Benefit Plan Advisors.



NOTICE TO MM&P HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN PARTICIPANTS

As you know, MM&P Health & Benefit Plan members have a new prescription benefit manager, PharmaCare. When you first obtain a prescription at your retail drug store, please show your new Health & Benefit Identification Card with PharmaCare’s information. If you do not show your card, please inform your pharmacist of the following information so you can receive your prescriptions through the Plan. Your identification number HAS NOT CHANGED. Please provide the pharmacist with your full member identification number. You will have to also provide the following numbers. RxGrp#- Z50136968, RxBin: 610468 and RxPCN: PC2 

If your pharmacist has any questions, he or she should call PharmaCare directly at (800) 503-3241.  If you have any questions, PharmaCare members can call the company directly at (888) 364-6815.


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. Suite B, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1953. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: iommp@bridgedeck.org. For further info or to subscribe contact Lisa Rosenthal at lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org. The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea and is posted on our web page.

© 2009, 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: lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org. For changes of address, contact Lisa Rosenthal at lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org.




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