News

Wheelhouse Weekly – February 23, 2006

February 23rd 2006

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

Volume 10 . . . . . Number 8. . . . February 23, 2006

STORIES COVERED

    Also

REMINDERS

T-AGS Oceanographic Survey Ships Info

Required Coursework

Security Clearances

MSC Physicals

MM&P Health & Benefit Plan News

Notice to Members who are taking Vioxx

NMHC Mail-Order Prescriptions Website Updated & Improved

WWII USCG Veterans Outreach

Company Gives Bucks Back for buying Safe Shoes

Website Offers Union-Made Goods and Services

 

 




Did you miss a week? Back editions of the Wheelhouse Weekly are available in the section.





 

RICHARD PLANT APPOINTED TO PROPELLER CLUB EXEC COMMITTEE

Richard Plant, MM&P’s Director of Special Projects, has been appointed to the Executive Committee of the Propeller Club of the United States by its international president, A. Frank Baptista, Sr. The Propeller Club is a non-profit organization the members of which represent all sectors of the maritime industry. It is dedicated to the enhancement and well-being of all national and international maritime community interests.

“I am proud to have been selected to represent the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots on the Executive Committee of the national Propeller Club. I hope that I can provide and maintain the quality of service the club has displayed these past many years,” Plant said.




 

BUSH HIT BY TIDAL WAVE OF CRITICISM OVER PORT DEAL

A tidal wave of criticism from Democrat and Republican lawmakers has suddenly engulfed the Bush Administration over the pending takeover of the container operations at six major Atlantic and Gulf Coast ports by Dubai’s DP World. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) government-owned port operations company had won US government approval for its $6.8 billion purchase of the operations of the London-based Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O).

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff defended the security review of the purchase and said the government typically builds in “certain conditions or requirements that the company has to agree to make sure we address the national security concerns.” But Chertoff declined to discuss specifics, saying that information is classified.

The “Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States,” reviews security risks of foreign companies buying or investing in American industry. P&O is the world’s fourth-largest ports company. It runs commercial operations at shipping terminals in New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, New Orleans, Miami, and Philadelphia.

Many members of Congress have come out in opposition to the deal. House Homeland Security Committee chairman Peter King (R-NY), has reportedly asked President Bush to “freeze the contract”. Senators Hilary Clinton (D-NY) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) have introduced legislation to ban foreign companies from running US ports.

In addition, two Republican governors, New York Governor George Pataki and Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich, have expressed serious concerns about the deal. Pataki directed the Port Authority of NY/NJ to “explore all legal options”. Ehrlich issued a statement saying that he would review all options up to and including the possibility of voiding the contract for the Port of Baltimore. President Bush can intervene before March 2nd and force reconsideration of the deal, after which Congress would have to act to scuttle the transaction via legislation.

“I don’t understand why it’s okay for a British company to operate our ports but not a company from the Middle
East when we’ve already determined security is not an issue,” President Bush told reporters when asked about the growing furor over the deal. Bush questioned the need for congressional briefings about DP World, whose record, he says, is long known and who he said is an “ally in the war on terror.” He threatened to veto any legislation Congress passed that would block the deal from taking effect.


ILA JOINS MANY IN ASKING FOR NEW REVIEW OF PORT DEAL

The International Longshoremen’s Association, AFL-CIO, views the impending takeover of P&O’s port operations by DP World with great concern. John Bowers, the president of the ILA that serves as the collective bargaining representatives of many thousands of longshore workers in the affected ports, has joined many in Congress asking for hearings and a new federal review of the UAE-owned company.

“We echo United States Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) who correctly notes that our ports are the frontlines of the war on terrorism,” said President Bowers. “And the ILA is aligned with lawmakers led by Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Chris Dodd (D-CT) in calling for additional review of the acquisition of Peninsular and Oriental Steamship Navigation Co. (P&O) by DP World.”

The ILA statement noted that lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are expressing concern to President Bush that his Administration is not giving this case the appropriate level of scrutiny required by law and asking him to direct the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) to conduct a full 45-day investigation.

“ILA members on the Atlantic and Gulf Coast along with our West Coast counterparts are literally on the frontlines of the most vulnerable and strategic gates for movement of 90 percent or more of this nation’s import and export cargoes,” said President Bowers. “They also service US military cargo and equipment, including sensitive ammunition, which they load aboard vessels from terminals in those very ports, some of which the new owners will be operating, in deployments and retrograde movements from war zones smack within the geographical vicinity of DP World’s principals.”

The ILA said it is joining with key political leaders at the federal, state and local level in asking the Bush Administration to go the extra yard to avoid even the impression of unnecessary risks to the country’s critical economic and transportation structures and to those who make them work.

“We fully support those who have raised objections to this proposed venture,” President Bowers said. “We join with and encourage their call for open inquiries before it can go forward.” Bowers urged the Administration to promptly reconsider its position and to revisit its consideration with open discussion and debate. “The implications are simply too important and far-reaching to leave to the surreptitious disposition of an unaccountable panel,” Bowers concluded.


ADMINISTRATION REQUESTS $8.4 BILLION FOR 2007 USCG BUDGET

President Bush has requested $8.4 billion for the USCG in his FY 2007 budget to preserve the Coast Guard’s ability to respond to current mission demands while enhancing capabilities to counter emerging threats and strengthen its preparedness across a broad range of missions. The budget request targets specific capability and capacity gaps in the USCG’s layered maritime security responsibilities while supporting the vital modernization of major USCG surface and air assets.

The budget priorities aimed at strengthening maritime preparedness, awareness and responsiveness include:

— Medium endurance cutter mission effectiveness project. $37.8 million to help sustain the USCG’s fleet of medium endurance cutters.

— Personal protective equipment. $7.2 million to replace obsolete oxygen breathing apparatus aboard ships and training centers with safer self-contained breathing apparatus.

— Nationwide Automatic Identification System. $11.2 million to continue procurement plans and analysis for deployment of a nationwide system to identify, track and exchange information with vessels in the maritime domain.

— Deepwater. $934.4 million to continue replacing an obsolete fleet of cutters and aircraft, including the development of shipboard and land-based vertical unmanned aerial vehicle systems.

— National Capital Region air defense. $62.4 million to establish infrastructure, acquire additional aircraft and fund operations for this newly assigned homeland security mission in the nation’s capital.

— Maritime Security Response Team. $4.7 million to provide additional personnel and transform the prototype Enhanced Maritime Safety and Security Team in Chesapeake, VA, into an MSRT, providing on-call maritime counter-terrorism response capacity; will also enhance maritime counter-terrorism training facilities at the Coast Guard Special Missions Training Center at Camp Lejeune, NC.


NOAA’S NANCY FOSTER WINS MOC SHIP OF THE YEAR FOR 2005

The NOAA vessel NANCY FOSTER, crewed by Licensed Deck Officers from MM&P’s Government Employees’ Membership Group, was recently named Marine Operations Center (MOC) Ship of the Year for 2005. The ship was honored for being extremely effective and efficient in accomplishing her mission as well as other emerging requirements. During the Hurricane Katrina aftermath, the vessel conducted surveying operations, assessed levels of contamination in the water and associated fish stocks, and recovered a non-operational weather buoy for the National Data Buoy Center. The NANCY FOSTER’s ability to provide multi-mission support proved to be a great asset during the field season and during an emergency response.


SHORTAGE OF SENIOR MERCHANT MARINE OFFICERS WORSENS

The international maritime publication “Fairplay” reports that fears are growing that the shortage of senior deck and engine officers is worsening: some ship management and manning agents in the Philippines have turned down offers to provide crews for additional vessels because not enough officers are available.

Adonis Donato, president of the Masters and Mates Association of the Philippines (MMAP), told an industry forum last week that some of his colleagues had been forced to turn down crew management offers because they cannot provide the senior officers needed to man new tonnage.

While the Philippines has a surplus of ratings and junior officers, there is a shortage of senior officers. The situation has arisen because of the increased number of newbuildings delivered, but Donato expressed concern that the Philippines might not cope with the demand “if we do not provide drastic measures to increase the number of our senior officers.”


ILO AIMS TO BOOST RIGHTS FOR SEAFARERS

The International Labor Organization (ILO) reports that talks are underway to agree on a Bill of Rights for the world’s 1.2 million seafarers. The Maritime Labor Convention would lay down stringent rules on working hours, minimum age, and health and safety standards, and require ships to prove they are in compliance.

The three-week talks at the ILO, a United Nations agency, opened with a minute’s silence to honor hundreds of people who died when an Egyptian ferry recently sank in the Red Sea, as well as to honor seamen who have lost their lives while on the job. “The objective of this convention would be to eliminate sub-standard shipping. It would provide an incentive to good ship owners and a disincentive to the unscrupulous,” said Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, Director of the ILO’s international labor standards department.

“This is the first time that an ILO convention will require that there be a certificate of labor compliance,” she added. It would require vessels over 500-gross tons on international voyages to carry a 5-year labor certificate issued by their flag state and also make periodic inspections. The 100-page draft convention has been negotiated over more than four years. Some 1,000 delegates from 100 member states, employers’ and workers’ groups are taking part in the talks. A two-third majority is required for adoption of the text.

Some 85 percent of world trade is carried by sea, and most seafarers are from developing countries, mainly in Asia, according to the ILO. “They need to ensure that they have and enjoy decent work, and that their rights can be respected irrespective of the country from which they come or the ship on which they work,” Doumbia-Henry said. She also noted that 90 percent of maritime accidents were caused by human error, often through fatigue.


CHAVEZ THREATENS TO CUT OFF OIL TO US

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez recently warned he could cut off oil exports to the US, if Washington goes “over the line” in attempts to destabilize his government. Industry sources say that such an action would drive oil prices significantly higher in the US.

Chavez made the threat after US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the Venezuelan government posed “one of the biggest problems” in the region and that its ties to Cuba were “particularly dangerous” to democracy in Latin America.

“The government of the United States should know that if they go over the line, they are not going to have Venezuelan oil,” Chavez said. “I have already taken measures regarding this. I’m not going to say what, because they think that I can’t take these measures because we would not have any place to send the oil,” Chavez said.

“Many countries ask us for more oil, and we have had to tell many countries we can’t send them more,” because Venezuela, the world’s fifth largest oil exporter, ships 1.5 million barrels of oil a day to the United States, he told supporters at the presidential palace.


MITAGS HAS OPENING FOR CHIEF MATE/MASTER COURSE INSTRUCTOR

MITAGS is accepting applications for an Instructor to teach courses required for attainment of the Chief Mate/Master (CMM) license. The position requires an unlimited tonnage any ocean Master’s license, with five years or more experience sailing as Master. Excellent computer skills, experience with electronic bridge and integrated navigation systems desired. This is a part-time position to start.

Applicants should email resumes to hr@mitags.org; or fax to: HR Manager, 443-989-3341. See the MITAGS Web site, www.mitags.org, for more information.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

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


AIS – Automated Identification Systems: 5/5
ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 4/3, 5/1, 5/15
AZIPOD-KAM – Azipod and Kamewa Steering and Propulsion Systems: 3/14, 5/15

BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 5/15
BST – Basic Safety Training: 3/6, 4/24, 5/22

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-CHS I – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 3/20
CMM-CHS II – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 2/27, 3/27
CMM-ADVSTAB – Advanced Stability: 3/6, 4/3, 5/22
CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 3/13, 4/24
CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display and Info Systems: 3/20, 5/1, 5/21
CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 3/6, 4/17
CMM-SHMGT I – Ship Management (week 1): 2/27
CMM-SHMGT II – Ship Management (week 2): 3/6
CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 3/20, 4/17, 5/22
CMM-SHS-ADV-II – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 5/29
CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 3/27, 5/8
CMM-WKP – Watchkeeping: 3/13, 4/10

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

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

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

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


[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-CBRD-1 (Chemical Biological Radiological Defense Orientation): 4/19, 5/10
MSC-DC (Damage Control): 4/20, 5/11
MSC-SMA – Small Arms (4-day): 3/27, 5/15
MSC-SMA-R – Small Arms Re-Qualification (2-day): 3/31, 4/28, 5/19(must have proof of passing all 3 weapons within 2 years)

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

SEC-OFF-VCF – Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 3/20, 5/1

TPIC – Tankerman Person-In-Charge: 4/10


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


PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

Spring – Summer 2006

March 2006

3/4-5 Recreational Weather
3/6-10 BST
3/6-9 Lifeboat/Survival Craft
3/6-10 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
3/6-10 Basic Meteorology
3/6-18 100 Ton OUPV
3/13-24 GMDSS
3/13-17 CONSTB
3/14-15 MAXIMO
3/20-24 CHS BAS
3/22-24 Ship Security Officer
3/25-26 Simulator Assessment
3/27-31 MED PRO
3/27-31 ARPA
3/27 Radar Renewal
3/27-4/7 MEDPIC

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

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

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

August 2006
31 Jul-4 Aug Basic Shiphandling
7-11 ECDIS
7-11 Basic Safety Training
7-11 Meteorology – Basic
8-11 Survival Craft / Lifeboatman
14-18 Able Bodied Seaman
14-18 Basic and Advanced Firefighting
14-25 GMDSS
14-25 Shiphandling – Advanced
21-25 Ship Construction & Basic Stability
21-25 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
28-1 Sep Cargo Handling & Stowage – Basic

September 2006
5-9 (tu-sa) Medical Care Provider
5-9 (tu-sa) Emergency Shiphandling 5-day
5-15 Medical Person-In-Charge
11-12 Search and Rescue
11-15 Basic Safety Training
11-23 100 Ton OUPV
12-15 Survival Craft / Lifeboatman
13-15 Emergency Procedures
18-22 Radar Observer Unlimited
18-22 Shiphandling – Basic
18-22 Able Bodied Seaman
18-6 Oct Terrestrial & Coastal Navigation with Compasses
25th Radar Recertification
25-29 ARPA
25-2 Oct Watchkeeping & BRM

For registration call Jennifer Fowler 888-893-7829

PMI MERCHANDISE FOR SALE!!!

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

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


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 2-23

 

 D O W  N A S D A Q  S & P 500
11,137.17 +78.20 for the week 2,283.17 +6.74 for the week 1,292.67 +12.67 for the week

 

Fund Name & Trading Symbol
Closing
Price
Change
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
119.31
+1.19
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
36.38
+.49
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
22.21
+.35
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
18.38
+.17
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
32.50
+.42
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.27
+.04
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX)
6.20
+.02
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.01
+.04
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
20.09
+.24
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
16.39
+.08
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
35.33
+.36
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
110.06
+1.27
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
21.38
+.20
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
80.22
+1.05
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX) 45.85 +.46
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
31.01
+.41

 






~ Reminders ~





 

T-AGS OCEANOGRAPHIC SURVEY SHIPS MANNING REQUIREMENTS

REQUIRED COURSEWORK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Richard Plant, Director of Special Projects

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



SHIP SECURITY CLEARANCE NEEDED

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

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

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

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

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

From the “Type of Investigation” screen:

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

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

 



MSC PHYSICALS

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

 


MM&P FCU NEWS

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

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

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

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

5.00 percent for 25-48 months;
5.75 percent for 49-60 months ($20,000 minimum); and
6.25 percent for terms extending from 61-72 months ($25,000 minimum).
You can lower your loan rate even more — by 0.75 percent — by becoming a Preferred Borrower.

Are you paying a higher rate on your current vehicle loan at another institution? Consider refinancing your outside loan at the MM&P FCU and taking advantage of our lower loan rates.

MM&P FCU will finance up to 100 percent of your new vehicle loan, and up to 90 percent of NADA Book Value on a used vehicle. Maximum vehicle loan amount is $30,000.

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

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



 

MM&P HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN NEWS

NOTICE TO MEMBERS WHO ARE TAKING VIOXX

On Sept.30, Merck & Co. voluntarily withdrew Vioxx, a popular anti-inflammatory medication, from the market. As a result, individuals who are currently taking the drug have been asked to contact their health care professionals to discuss discontinuing use of Vioxx and possible alternative treatments.

MM&P Plans Administrator Valerie Verrecchio reports that, “We have gotten a number of calls from members who want to know what to do with their remaining supply of Vioxx and whether the Plan or NMHC will refund their co-pay for the unused portion.

“Unfortunately, neither NMHC nor the Plan was aware of the Merck decision prior to the public announcement on Sept.30. As of that date, all deliveries of Vioxx to our members was suspended in accordance with Merck’s announcement. Orders that had already been processed and were in transit could not be stopped.

“In regard to refunds, Merck has set up a website at www.vioxx.com where members can obtain information on how to recover refunds from Merck for the unused portion of medication. Members can also call following toll free number for information: 1-888-368-4699.

“We are sorry for any inc onvenience this may have caused to members currently taking this medication, however, the matter is out of the control of the Plans.”



NMHC MAIL-ORDER PRESCRIPTIONS WEBSITE UPDATED & IMPROVED

MM&P Plans Administrator Valerie Verrecchio reports, “Good news! NMHC mail has finally gotten their website upgraded and functioning properly. I went in and tested it myself and found it to be quite user friendly.”

To use NMHC’s upgraded service, go to the NMHC Mail website at www.nmhcmail.com and click on “MEMBER LOGIN” at the bottom of the screen.

First-time and Registered users may bypass the welcome screen and go directly to the log-in page at https://members.nmhcrx.com/Login/Login.aspx.

  • First-time users should then click on the link marked “NEW USER: REGISTER HERE”.
    This will take you to a page titled “MEMBER REGISTRATION” where you will need to enter demographic information and submit it by clicking on the
  • “CREATE ACCOUNT” button.

After creating your account, NMHC will email you a password to gain entry into your records. With your first sign-in, the NMHC system will prompt you to change the NMHC password to one of your own choosing.

Once you are registered at NMHC, you can check the status of open orders by logging-in to the system through the “MEMBER LOGIN” page and going into the “MAIL ORDER” menu. You can look up all prescriptions and get the price our members will pay for any medication. You can also view an order history of all of your medication transactions (both retail and mail) for the last 24 months, locate 24-hour pharmacies in your zip code region as well as access other helpful member education information.

“We hope this welcome improvement will assist our members. Although you cannot order refills on line if you don’t provide a credit or debit card number, you can phone in your refill. Once you register on the website, you will still have access to all of the other information including checking the status of your order once it is phoned in,” said Ms. Verrecchio.



WWII USCG VETERANS OUTREACH

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

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




 

COMPANY GIVES BUCKS BACK FOR BUYING SAFE SHOES

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

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

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

Vessels in the LMS footwear reimbursement program are:

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

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

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

LOOK FOR THE UNION LABEL:

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

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

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

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

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




 

WEBSITE OFFERS UNION-MADE GOODS AND SERVICES

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

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

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

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

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



The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 700 Maritime Blvd., Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1941. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: iommp@bridgedeck.org. For further info or to subscribe contact John Peige at jpeige@bridgedeck.org. The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea, broadcast worldwide via FEC marine telex and is posted on our web page.



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