News

Wheelhouse Weekly – February 12, 2007

February 12th 2007

 

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

Volume 11 . . . . . Number 6. . . .February 12, 2007

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.


PRESIDENT’S DAY PORT OFFICE HOLIDAY CLOSINGS

MM&P Headquarters, MM&P Plans and MM&P Port Union Halls will be closed on Feb. 19, President’s Day, a national and MM&P contract holiday. Pacific Ports Union Halls will also be closed on Feb. 12, Lincoln’s Birthday, a holiday for some MM&P-contracted companies.



VIEW THE MERCHANT OFFICERS’ LABOR ALLIANCE (MOLA) ONLINE

All MM&P members are encouraged to view the Merchant Officers’ Labor Alliance (MOLA), which was recently signed by MM&P and the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA). The MOLA spells out a number of goals that MEBA and MM&P would like to pursue together in the spirit of strengthening the fraternal relationship between our unions. It will be sent out for a 90-day ratification vote via a ballot mailed to the respective memberships.
The agreement is available for review at each of the MM&P union halls and is also posted on the MM&P website. To view the agreement on the web, go to www.bridgedeck.org and click on the in the left-hand column. Comments can be e-mailed to mola.iommp@bridgedeck.org or, in the alternative, faxed to the attention of International President Timothy A. Brown, at 410-850-0973. We are asking members to expedite delivery of their comments so that we have them in hand by Friday, Feb. 16. It is anticipated that the ballot on the MOLA will be mailed to members for ratification on March 1.



 

LANDMARK LABOR LEGISLATION INTRODUCED

Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor in the House of Representatives, has introduced HR 800, the “Employee Free Choice Act.”  This legislation, one of the AFL-CIO’s top legislative priorities, would, among other things, require an employer to negotiate a first contract with a union that is able to demonstrate majority support among the workforce, without an election having to be held. In addition to allowing workers to form a union through “card check” or a “card-based” procedure, HR 800 would provide for mediation and arbitration to resolve impasses during the negotiations for a first contract. It would also impose meaningful sanctions on employers who violate the law while employees are attempting to organize and negotiate.

The lead cosponsor on HR 800 is Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.).  An additional 230 representatives, including five other Republicans, have cosponsored HR 800 to date.  The bill has been referred to the Committee on Education and Labor.  It is expected that companion legislation will be introduced in the Senate within the next few weeks.



PRESIDENT’S BUDGET CALLS FOR MSP FUNDING

The Federal budget proposal sent to Congress by President Bush Feb. 6 asks Congress to appropriate approximately $154 million for the Maritime Security Program (MSP) for fiscal year 2008. MSP authorizes the operation of a Maritime Security Fleet comprised of 60 privately owned, militarily useful U.S.-flag, U.S.-crewed commercial vessels, including 42 ships operated by companies which have a collective bargaining relationship with MM&P.

Under legislation enacted in 2005 that extended and expanded MSP, each vessel participating in the program in fiscal year 2008 is eligible to receive $2.6 million to help offset the costs of doing business under the U.S. flag, costs that result largely from U.S.-government imposed rules, regulations and tax obligations. To fully fund the program at this congressionally authorized level in fiscal year 2008, Congress would have to appropriate $156 million rather than the amount requested by the President.



MARAD ISSUES FINAL M&R RULE FOR MSP SHIPS

Under a rule issued Feb. 5 by the Maritime Administration, the pilot program established by Congress to encourage the maintenance and repair (M&R) of Maritime Security Program vessels in U.S. shipyards will be voluntary for the 60 vessels participating in MSP under existing operating agreements. The Maritime Administration concluded that making the pilot program mandatory for existing vessels would run counter to congressional intent. The Maritime Administration did conclude, however, that “entering into an M&R agreement will be a condition of future awards of MSP operating agreements, such as awards for replacements or transfers of existing MSP agreements, or the award of new agreements in the event that MARAD is authorized to award more than 60 agreements.”

Under the pilot program, an MSP operator can enter into an agreement with the Maritime Administration whereby the operator is reimbursed for the costs of performing M&R in a U.S. shipyard. The reimbursement level is set at 80 percent of the difference between the fair and reasonable cost of having the M&R work carried out in a U.S. shipyard and the cost of having the same work performed in a foreign shipyard.


MITAGS ANNOUNCES GRAND OPENING OF NEW SIMULATOR

MM&P’s Maritime Institute of Technology & Graduate Studies (MITAGS) has announced that the grand opening of its new simulator will be held March 26, from 1630 to 2030 hours. The event, which is open to the entire maritime community, will include a reception and continuous tours of the school’s full-mission bridges, towing simulators, vessel traffic system, all-weather navigation simulator and new crane simulator. RSVP to Brandi Smith at bsmith@mitags.org no later than March 19.


MM&P ADVOCATES LIMITS TO VOYAGE DATA RECORDERS’ ROLE

Ferries should not be required to carry voyage data recorders (VDRs) because the information recorded is more likely to be used for finger-pointing than shedding light on what caused an accident, MM&P has warned in comments submitted in response to a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) study. Integrated navigation systems with playback functions should be carried instead because such systems improve safety and generate data investigators can use to analyze accidents.
           
MM&P’s suggestions were incorporated in comments filed Feb. 6 with DHS regarding the feasibility and costs associated with installing VDRs on passenger vessels. The Coast Guard and the Maritime Transportation Act of 2006 required the agency to conduct a study on this topic.

MM&P told DHS that installing a VDR in the wheelhouse could actually cause more harm than good, inhibiting crewmembers from discussing navigational problems. If the study finds that VDRs must be installed on ships in the domestic trades, DHS should place limits on access to recorded conversation between crewmembers, the union argues. MM&P advised DHS not to compare air transport with maritime in the context of the study, because the two industries operate under different conditions. Few if any crew or passengers survive airline crashes, making black boxes the only available means of determining what happened. In most serious accidents in the maritime industry, by contrast, the ship and its equipment are reasonably intact and there are surviving witnesses who can tell the story.


REMEMBERING MARITIME INDUSTRY VIP PETER FINNERTY

Former Sealand Service Vice President and maritime industry leader Peter Finnerty has died. During a distinguished career that spanned over 40 years, he served in the highest echelons of management at numerous maritime companies, including American Ocean Enterprises, American International Car Carrier and CSX Corp. He was also the deputy director of the American Association of Port Authorities, assistant to the president of the American Merchant Marine Institute, national president of the Propeller Club of the United States, vice chairman of the U.S. Coast Guard Foundation and national vice president of the Navy League of the United States. During his time with Sealand, he also served as a member of the Board of Directors of MIRAID. “With Peter’s passing, the maritime industry has lost one of its strongest supporters and one of its most effective spokesmen and proponents,” said MM&P International President Timothy Brown. “MM&P and MIRAID have lost one of our closest friends. He will be sorely missed.”


MM&P WARNS PROPOSED CHEMICAL FACILITY SECURITY RULES COULD CREATE NEW HURDLES TO ACCESS

A proposed rule on chemical facility security could lead to conflicts with the security plans already in place in ports and on vessels, further infringing on mariners’ right to shore leave and on shipowners’ operational requirements, MM&P has told the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in comments submitted on DHS’s proposed rules for Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards.

Maritime security regulations require that security officers of port facilities and vessels work together to ensure mariners’ access to terminals. The proposed chemical facility rules could conflict with security plans already in place, the union says. Under the proposal, for instance, chemical facilities would have leeway to impose their own background check and access requirements. MM&P argues that the regulations should address how conflicting security requirements will be handled and prohibit approval of chemical facility security plans that don’t include access provisions. When conflicts arise, the regulations should allow port facility and vessels security plans to override chemical plants’ rules, the union said.


CAPTAIN SCHROEDER SET FREE, SENTENCED TO TIME SERVED

Wolfgang Schroeder, former master of the ZIM MEXICO III, has been set free after spending four months in jail. Chief U.S. District Judge Ginny Granade sentenced him to time served, disregarding prosecutors’ requests for a longer sentence. The judge maintained that despite the “terrible consequences” resulting from his negligence, “what he has been convicted of is something that is really a civil offense.”

“I am delighted to see Captain Schroeder released based on time served,” said MM&P International President Captain Timothy Brown. “But I believe that a claim of negligence should have been the charge. Accidents happen at sea, docking, undocking, and in drydocks. Those who do not make their living sailing have trouble understanding this.”

The case resulted from a fatal collision in March 2006 between the ZIM MEXICO III and a crane in the state port in Mobile, Ala. Prosecutors had argued that Schroeder was criminally liable because he knew that his vessel had been sufering from bow thruster problems before the crash. After sentencing, Schroeder was given 72 hours to leave the country.   


MASSACHUSETTS OFFICIALS PUSH FOR U.S. CREWS ON LNG VESSELS

Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick have asked the Maritime Administration to ensure that U.S.-citizen crews are employed on the LNG tankers that will make deliveries into the newly approved LNG terminals in Massachusetts ports. Markey, who serves on the House Energy and Commerce and Homeland Security Committees, has released an official statement expressing his support for a request made by the governor to MARAD Administrator Sean Connaughton in a Feb. 5 letter. The two said requiring U.S.-trained American crews on LNG tankers would go a long way towards alleviating the security concerns some Massachusetts residents have about the siting of LNG terminals in proximity to populated areas.


NEW CONTRACT FOR AKER SHIPYARD AND METAL TRADES UNION

The AFL-CIO Philadelphia Metal Trades Council and Aker Philadelphia Shipyard announced ratification of a new collective bargaining agreement which will remain in force until January 2011. The contract, although good news for all parties concerned, was signed against the backdrop of an ongoing court battle over the use by Aker and other U.S. shipyards of foreign-made modular parts. The Metal Trades Department has brought suit against the U.S. Court Guard in an attempt to block what it says are rulings that violate the Jones Act and allow U.S. shipbuilders to mass produce “kit ships.”


MM&P-CREWED SHIPS IN THE GOVERNMENT FLEET IN THE NEWS

USNS LEWIS AND CLARK, crewed by MM&P licensed deck officers, carried out its first underway replenishment in December as part of an operational evaluation that will continue through May 2007, according to an article in the Military Sealift Command (MSC) publication “Sealift.”  The LEWIS AND CLARK was delivered to MSC last year. It is the first in what is expected to be a group of 11 new Navy dry cargo-ammunition ships built to operate independently at sea for long periods of time. USNS SACAGAWEA, the second of the new ships in the Lewis and Clark class, was christened last summer. The third T-AKE ship, USNS ALAN SHEPARD, was christened in December.

In other government fleet news, USS SALVOR, a rescue and salvage vessel, was decommissioned from active duty service and transferred to MSC in January. Redesignated as USNS SALVOR, the ship will be crewed by MM&P licensed deck officers. MSC said USNS SALVOR would serve as “a vital part of the Mobile Logistics Support Force in the Pacific,” carrying out rescue, assistance, recovery and salvage operations.


MILITARY RESUMES ANTHRAX VACCINE PROGRAM

Starting this month, CIVMARS and contract mariners employed in the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) area of responsibility will have to be vaccinated against anthrax. The vaccine will also be mandatory for uniformed personnel working in mission-essential services in CENTCOM’s area of jurisdiction, which includes the Middle East, East Africa and Central Asia. The vaccination is administered in a six-part series. Navy medical personnel will administer the vaccinations on board Military Sealift Command (MSC) ships, in MSC work spaces or at military medical facilities. A website established by the Navy to illustrate the program warns that anthrax spores are tasteless, odorless and invisible, and that inhalational anthrax can be fatal within a day or two of the appearance of symptoms. Mariners who are required to take the vaccine will be notified by their chain of command. Individuals who have already received one dose, but would not otherwise be required to take the vaccine, can complete the series if they wish and receive any boosters. For more information, contact Mike Rodriguez at MM&P Headquarters: 410-850-8700 ext. 23 or mrodriguez@bridgedeck.org


TERMINAL ACCESS PROBLEMS CONTINUE

MM&P continues to receive reports from members about terminal access limitations being imposed on ships and on seafarers in contravention of US Coast Guard regulations and international law. One member reports four crewmembers being forced to pay $100 to a terminal-approved limo service to travel a distance of two miles through a terminal. “I have had seamen miss flights because of the lack of transportation out of the terminal,” he said in a recent e-mail to MM&P Headquarters.  MIRAID and MM&P are continuing to work in Congress to promote the passage of legislation that guarantees seafarers’ rights to shore leave. An MM&P-backed bill that would have achieved the desired result was on the table when the last Congress adjourned and thus must be introduced again.


MM&P MAGAZINE NOW ONLINE

The January-February issue of The Master, Mate & Pilot will arrive in your mailbox soon. In the meantime, look for it online on our Web site, . In this issue of The Master, Mate & Pilot:

  1. MM&P members and friends honored at 2006 AOTOS awards ceremony;
  2. Photos of the holiday celebrations in the ports;
  3. MM&P registers another victory in ongoing Brusco Tug & Barge case before the National Labor Relations Board;
  4. Photo chronicle of a trip on the MM&P-contracted HORIZON HAWAII;
  5. Horizon Lines President Chuck Raymond and Maritime Administrator Sean Connaughton visit MITAGS.

To download The Master, Mate & Pilot, go to , click on “MM&P Magazine” and then on “Download Current Issue.”


PACIFIC-GULF MARINE FINED FOR POLLUTION

A federal judge in Baltimore has ordered the New Orleans-based company Pacific-Gulf Marine (PGM) to pay a $1 million fine for improperly discharging into the water thousands of gallons of oil-contaminated waste. The company pled guilty to the charges. As part of the sentence, PGM will be required to contribute $500,000 to the local  community and, in particular, to a fund created to restore and protect waterways in the state of Maryland. The case, which involved four PGM vessels, resulted from an investigation conducted in Baltimore by the U.S. Coast Guard.  


FEDERAL PILOT MISSING AFTER FALL FROM VESSEL

The U.S. Coast Guard reported it had ended its search for Lynn Deibert, 52, of the Chesapeake Federal Pilots Association, who fell into the water off Cape Henlopen  on the night of Feb. 4, while attempting to board the ENERGY ENTERPRISE. According to the Coast Guard, Deibert fell off the ship’s ladder and into the water, which was reportedly at a temperature of 39 degrees Fahrenheit. Helicopters, rescue boats and a Hercules long-range aircraft searched for the missing pilot for much of the following day. In all, the Coast Guard reported it conducted 13 rescue sorties before abandoning the search. Deibert was wearing a personal flotation device at the time of the accident and witnesses said they threw several life preservers into the water. On-scene weather at the time of accident was reported as 20-25 knot winds, 6-foot seas and clear visibility.


PRINCESS CRUISES TO PAY FINE IN WHALE DEATH

“Fairplay” magazine reports that Princess Cruises has agreed to pay $750,000 as settlement in a 2001 case involving the death of a humpback whale. Humpback whales are an endangered species. The whale died “in the vicinity” of a DAWN PRINCESS cruise in Alaska. The magazine reports that Princess Cruises will pay $200,000, the maximum fine, plus $550,000 to the National Park Service Foundation. The company does not admit the vessel killed the whale, which was pregnant. The company did admit, however, that it had violated federal regulations by knowingly failing to operate the vessel at a safe speed in the presence of two humpback whales in Glacier Bay, Ala. According to the “statement of facts” published in “Fairplay”: “The vessel made no report of a possible collision and the captain did not preserve the recording of the bridge conduct on the vessel’s black box.” 


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

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


AIS – Automatic Identification System: 3/23
ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 3/6, 4/3, 4/30

BRM Bridge Resource Management: 3/26, 4/23
BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 5/3
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): 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): 2/19, 3/12, 4/9
Available on a “Stand-By Basis Only”: CMM-SHS-ADV-II – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 3/19

CSE-AASE – Confined Space Entry: 4/25

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

HAZ-Hazardous Materials (5-day): 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: 2/26, 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, 4/23
SHS-EMR- Emergency Shiphandling: 4/2, 4/30
SHS-EMR- BRMP-3- Emergency Shiphandling & Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 3/19


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 – 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 www.mates.org for more info on this new development.

FOR REGISTRATION CALL JENNIFER FOWLER: 206 838-1126

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

February 2007
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
19 RADAR RENEWAL

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
16-4 TCNAV/CO BEGIN APRIL ’07 AB TO MATE PROGRAM
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
15TH RADAR RENEWAL
16-18 FF ADV
21-25 BST
21-25 ENAV
21-25 CHS BAS
21ST FL
22-23 SHS ASSESS
29TH FL

June 2007
TCNAV/CO – BEGIN JUNE ’07 AB TO MATE PROGRAM
LICENSE PREP
TPIC
MEDPRO
MED PIC
WKP BAS
GMDSS
LFBT
BST
AB
11-12         SHS ASSESS
11-15         ECDIS
11-13         SEC VCF
18-22         ARPA
18-22         SHS BAS
19TH      RADAR RENEW
SHS ASSESS
25-29         FF BADV
25-29         ROP

For registration call Jennifer Fowler 888-893-7829

PMI MERCHANDISE FOR SALE!!!

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 TOtschko@mates.org for prices and ordering.


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 2-9-2007

 

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
12,580.03 2,459.82 1,438.06
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
133.63
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
40.40
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
24.31
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
19.36
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
35.32
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.18
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX)
6.26
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
9.96
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
19.46
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
16.38
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
31.61
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
92.18
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
21.52
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
84.36
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
50.97
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
33.97

.






~ 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 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: lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org. For changes of address, contact John Peige at jpeige@bridgedeck.org.

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