News

Wheelhouse Weekly – February 19, 2007

February 19th 2007

 

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

Volume 11 . . . . . Number 7. . . .February 19, 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.


MM&P, MIRAID URGE MARAD TO PROMOTE U.S.-FLAG LNG SHIPS

MM&P and MIRAID are urging the Maritime Administration to take two “separate but equally important” steps: to promote development of a U.S.-flag LNG fleet and to push for employment of American seafarers aboard foreign-flag vessels carrying LNG into this country. In comments submitted Feb. 16 to the Maritime Administration, MM&P and MIRAID stated that “the ultimate goal of the Maritime Administration’s efforts should and must be the development of a U.S.-flag LNG fleet, not simply the employment of some American mariners aboard foreign-flag ships.” The comments were submitted in response to a Maritime Administration notice soliciting input from the public on programs to maximize the use of U.S.-flag LNG vessels and the employment of American personnel on foreign-flag LNG ships.

In the joint letter of comment, the union and MIRAID urged the government to “proceed on two separate but equally important fronts. . .  First, make clear to all concerned that it is the policy of the United States that those seeking to own and operate LNG facilities in our country and those seeking to import LNG into our country must incorporate into their plans the use of U.S.-flag LNG vessels… Second, the U.S. government, labor and management must work together to eliminate the disincentives and barriers to the operation of LNG vessels under our flag and to the employment of Americans on LNG ships…” The comments can be viewed in their entirety on MM&P’s website. Go to www.bridgedeck.org, click on the “What’s New” button in the left-hand column and scroll down to the second item.



COMMENT PERIOD EXTENDED ON MM&P-MEBA AGREEMENT

Some members have asked for additional time to comment on the Merchant Officers’ Labor Alliance (MOLA), the agreement signed by MM&P and MEBA with the goal of strengthening the fraternal relationship between the two unions. The deadline for submitting comments has thus been extended by an additional week, to Feb. 23. The Feb. 23 deadline is final, because the ballot for the 90-day referendum must be mailed as close to March 1 as possible. The MOLA is available for review in 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 “What’s New” button in the left-hand column. Comments can be e-mailed to mola.iommp@bridgedeck.org or faxed to the attention of International President Timothy A. Brown, at 410-850-0973.



 

USCG COMMANDANT ANNOUNCES ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGES

USCG Commandant Adm. Thad Allen has outlined plans to restructure the Coast Guard’s command structure and standardize its operating systems to meet the needs of the 21st century and respond to what he calls “a radically changed mission environment.”

In his first State of the Coast Guard address, Allan said the USCG’s Pacific and Atlantic fleets will report to a single commander. He said some functions that are currently being managed separately, including the design, acquisition and construction of new ships and aircraft and the maintenance of the fleet, will in future be overseen by the new deputy commandant for mission support.

In other changes, Allan said, the Coast Guard will work to standardize its reporting, accounting and human resources management systems and move towards further integration with the systems in place at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  “The Coast Guard needs to evolve to keep pace,” Allan said in the speech, delivered Feb. 13.

“We need a clear coherent way to employ our forces to create a layered defense for the Nation,” Allan said. “We need to consider our operational forces as a strategic trident: shore-based, multi-mission forces assigned to sectors; long-range patrol and interdiction deepwater forces and our polar icebreakers; and deployable specialized forces organized into a single unified operational structure, the Deployable Operations Group (DOG).” Allan announced that as part of the restructuring, the USCG would establish logistics centers for surface forces, shore facilities and other organizational units.

As part of the government’s response to the 9/11 attacks, the Coast Guard was moved from the Department of Transportation to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Since then, USCG staff has increased by 4,000 and the annual budget has nearly doubled, to $8 billion dollars, Allen said, adding “We have never been more relevant and more visible to the nation we serve.”

In the speech, which was peppered with references to acts of bravery and devotion to duty by individual Coast Guard employees and reservists, Allan presented highlights of the past year, when he said the USCG helped almost 45,000 people, saved about 5,000 lives and responded to over 4,000 reports of hazardous materials discharges.

He said in the future, the USCG will expand its joint efforts with other national and international organizations, giving as an example its work with the International Maritime Organization “to implement long range tracking and expand AIS carriage requirements to smaller, less regulated vessels.” He said the Coast Guard is also “beginning to discuss” what should be done “to address regimes regarding recreational vessels, uninspected tugs and barges and small passenger vessels.” He cited DHS’s work on the Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC) as “a great example” of standardization of “more reliable maritime worker credentials” to increase cooperation and awareness across government bodies. The speech is posted in its entirety at: http://www.uscg.mil/comdt/speeches/docs/transcript.pdf



WHITE HOUSE THREATENS TO VETO LABOR LEGISLATION

Vice President Dick Cheney, in a speech to the National Association of Manufacturers, said the President would veto the Employee Free Choice Act (HR 800) if it reached his desk. The Vice President’s remarks came in response to the action taken by the House Committee on Education and Labor, which voted 26–19 on Feb. 14 to favorably report the bill to the full House.

The Employee Free Choice Act levels the playing field to give workers a fighting chance to have a union and bargain for better wages and benefits. It puts in place real penalties for employers who violate workers’ freedom to make their own choice about a union. The bill would allow a neutral party to determine a first contract if the company and employees could not reach agreement. Finally, it would institute a card check system that would enable workers to form unions when a majority indicates in writing that they want one.



“MARINE HIGHWAY” BEST SOLUTION TO ROAD CONGESTION

Short sea shipping, the use of inland and coastal waterways to move commercial freight, is the only viable way to stem increasing truck traffic on our nation’s roads, according to witnesses who testified Feb. 15 before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure’s Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation.

Maritime Administrator Sean Connaughton told the subcommittee that America loses “44 billion person hours a year due to transportation delays, translating into billions of dollars of lost productivity.” He said short sea shipping, which he calls “America’s marine highway,” has the potential to facilitate enhanced freight flow, expand freight capacity, reduce congestion and improve air quality. “We can’t pave ourselves” out of our current traffic problems, he said.

“Just building more roads or expanding rail capacity to meet projected demand are simply not viable options,” said Mark Yonge, managing member of Maritime Transport & Logistics Advisors LLC, based in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

The witnesses agreed that congressional action was needed before any progress could be made in shifting freight onto marine highways and off congested motorways: the Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT), which applies to marine traffic but not to truck or rail, would have be waived, certain custom fees would have to be changed and money for new ship construction would have to be generated through credit assistance in the form of the MARAD Title XI loan guarantee program or other sources.

Yonge said Horizon Lines CEO Chuck Raymond had authorized him to tell the subcommittee that “if the domestic HMT is removed, his company would seriously pursue dedicating up to four 21-knot 600+ FEU containerships to the coastwise trade by mid-2007.”

Subcommittee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) urged MARAD to move quickly on a proposal detailing the steps Congress should take to create a framework in which short sea shipping programs can move forward.


SENATE MERCHANT MARINE SUBCOMMITTEE MEMBERS NAMED

The Senate Commerce Committee has released the names of the senators who will serve on its Merchant Marine Subcommittee in the 110th Congress. The subcommittee will be chaired by Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg (N.J.) who will be joined by Democrats John Rockefeller (W. Va.), John Kerry (Mass.), Byron Dorgan (N.D.), Maria Cantwell (Wash.), Mark Pryor (Ark.), Tom Carper (Del.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.) and Amy Klobuchar (Minn.). The lead Republican on the panel will be Senator Gordon Smith (Ore.). Other members will include Republicans John McCain (Ariz.), Trent Lott (Miss.), Kay Bailey Hutchison (Texas), Olympia Snowe (Maine), Jim DeMint (S.C.), David Vitter (La.) and John Thune (S.D.).  The Senate Merchant Marine Subcommittee has jurisdiction over laws, issues and policies relating to a wide range of maritime programs, including the Maritime Security Program, cargo preference and the Jones Act.


SEN. JOHN WARNER TO RECEIVE SALUTE TO CONGRESS AWARD

Sen. John Warner has been selected to receive this year’s “Salute to Congress” Award for his “consistent and strong support” of the U.S. maritime industry, the International Propeller Club of the United States has announced.

The Virginia Republican was first elected to the Senate in 1978. He served in the Navy during World War II and as an officer in the Marine Corps during the Korean War. From 1969 to 1974, he served first as undersecretary, then as secretary of the Navy, leading the Navy and the Marine Corps through the second half of the Vietnam conflict.

Now in his twenty-ninth year in the Senate, Warner is the former chairman, and now the second-ranking Republican, on the Senate Armed Services Committee. He is the second-ranking Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee and the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works. He also serves on the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs.

In announcing the award, a spokesperson for the Propeller Club said Warner “has earned a reputation as a savvy legislator whose style reflects the character of the Senate itself, favoring pragmatism over partisanship.”

The twenty-third annual Salute to Congress will be held Tuesday, May 1, at the Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md. Four hundred people are expected to attend, including members of Congress, Executive Branch officials, maritime industry leaders and Propeller Club members from across the United States.

The first “Salute to Congress” Award was presented to Speaker Thomas “Tip” O’Neill in 1984. Recent recipients have included Rep. Jim Oberstar,  (D-Minn.), then ranking member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Rep. Duncan Hunter, (R-Calif.) former chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Sen. Ernest Hollings (D-S.C.), then ranking member of the Senate Commerce Committee and Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Ala.), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The International Propeller Club of the United States is a grassroots, non-profit organization dedicated to the enhancement and well-being of the maritime community. For additional information, to buy tickets or to reserve an ad in the event program, call the International Propeller Club at 703-691-2777 or go to www.propellerclubhq.com.

 


PORT SECURITY STILL UNDERFUNDED

Ports are a bulwark in the nation’s defense, yet the only federal grant program focused on port facility security continues to be grossly under funded. In testimony before the House Appropriations Committee, Susan Monteverde, vice president of the American Association of Port Authorities, urged the Subcommittee on Homeland Security to provide $400 million in grants authorized under the SAFE Port legislation to help protect port facilities from security threats.

Only 20 percent of the requests for security enhancements have received funding so far under the Port Security Grant program, she said, leaving ports with the difficult choice of delaying security improvements or paying the balance themselves at the expense of other improvement projects. Implementing the requirements of the TWIC program will add further to the financial pressures being faced by the nation’s ports, Monteverde said. She told members of the subcommittee that the Port Security Grant program is the “lifeblood” of facility security enhancements at ports and should be given priority.


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.


MARITIME ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCES MARITIME DAY PLANS

The Maritime Administration (MARAD) has announced it will organize a Maritime Day observance on the morning of Tuesday, May 22, at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, D.C.  A spokesperson for MARAD says the unusual venue was chosen “to honor the role President Roosevelt played in the Merchant Marine Act of 1936.” In conjunction with National Maritime Day, MARAD will distribute a pocket statistical guide to the maritime industry. The MARAD Public Affairs Department is also in the process of producing a short video promoting greater use of the marine highways in the U.S. transportation network.


GENERAL HOYT S. VANDENBERG TO BECOME ARTIFICIAL REEF

The GENERAL HOYT S. VANDENBERG will be become an artificial reef off Key West, Fla., later this year, joining other ships from the Maritime Administration’s National Defense Reserve Fleet. The VANDENBERG will be towed from the James River Reserve Fleet at Fort Eustis, Va., to the Colonna Shipyard in Norfolk, Va., on its way to becoming part of the Artificial Reefing Program. Constructed in 1943 as the troop ship GENERAL HARRY S. TAYLOR, the VANDENBERG was refitted as a missile-tracking ship in 1963, then featured in the Hollywood movie “Virus.”


CRUISE SHIP ON MISSISSIPPI RIVER HIT BY RICE BARGE

A barge struck the Carnival Cruise Lines ship FANTASY Feb. 10. The collision left a 30-foot gash approximately five feet above the waterline on the port side of the ship. The Coast Guard reported that the barge, which was being pushed by the towing vessel REPENTANCE, collided with the river bank before striking the cruise ship as it waited to dock down river from New Orleans. There was minor damage to the rice barge, one of six being pushed at the time by REPENTANCE.


IMPORTANT NOTICE ABOUT ALL MM&P & MITAGS MAILING ADDRESSES

MM&P has received a notice from the post office advising that it will no longer deliver mail that it considers incorrectly addressed. All mail must have: the name of the individual (if going to a person); the name of the organization; the street address and suite number; and, on the same line, the city, state and zip+4.

The correct address for MM&P headquarters is:  
MM&P
700 Maritime Boulevard, Suite B
Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1941

The correct address for MM&P Plans is:
700 Maritime Boulevard, Suite A
Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1996
The correct address for the MM&P Federal Credit Union is:
Kathy Ann Klisavage, Credit Union Manager
Masters, Mates & Pilots Federal Credit Union
700 Maritime Blvd., Suite B
Linthicum Heights,  MD  21090-1941

The correct address for MITAGS is:

692 Maritime Boulevard
Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1996


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-SHMGT-I – Ship Management II (week 1): 4/30
CMM-SHMGT-II – Ship Management II (week 2): 3/5
Available on a “Stand-By Basis Only”: CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 3/12, 4/9
Available on a “Stand-By Basis Only”: CMM-SHS-ADV-II – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 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: 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: 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
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 2-16-2007

 

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
12,767.70 2,496.31 1,455.54
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
134.32
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
40.93
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
24.85
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
19.62
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
35.79
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.21
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX)
6.28
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.00
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
19.65
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
16.54
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
31.98
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
93.81
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
21.66
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
85.64
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
51.62
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
34.52

.






~ 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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