Wheelhouse Weekly – February 24, 2005

February 24th 2005



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

Volume 9 . . . . . Number 8 . . . . February 24, 2005




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


The Offshore Ballot Committee met on Feb.16, at MM&P HQ and was authorized to conduct a mail referendum of the recently negotiated contract with American Ship Management (ASM). The balloting period will be for a ninety-day period and will commence with the mailing of the ballots.

The ballots will be mailed on or before March 1 or as close to that date as practical. In order for ballots to be counted, they must be returned no later than 0900 hrs on June 6 or 90 days after the mailing of the ballots. They will be counted at MM&P HQ at 1000 hours on June 6.

Any member who wishes to mail literature concerning this ballot will be informed on how to make the necessary arrangements through a notice posted in Offshore Port Halls that will also be carried in the next issue of the Master, Mate & Pilot Union newspaper.


The role of the US-flag merchant fleet in America’s military, humanitarian and economic efforts will be a topic of major discussion when the Maritime Trades Department, AFL-CIO (MTD) Executive Board meets Feb.24-25 in Las Vegas.

Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta, along with members of Congress, representatives of the military and other administration officials, will address an audience of labor officials including MM&P’s International President Capt. Tim Brown and International Secretary-Treasurer Capt. Glen Banks during the two days of meetings. Representatives of other maritime organizations will also be in attendance.

The scheduled speakers for Feb.24, include US Representatives Shelley Berkley (D-NV) and Bennie Thompson (D-MS); General John Handy, Commander, US Transportation Command; Steven Blust, Chairman, Federal Maritime Commission; and John Jamian, Acting Administrator, US Maritime Administration.

Guests slated to speak before the MTD Executive Board on Feb.25, are Secretary Mineta; US Representatives Norm Dicks (D-WA), William Jefferson (D-LA) and Loretta Sanchez (D-CA); AFL-CIO President John Sweeney; and Sheila McNeill, President of the US Navy League.



Congressman Bob Filner (D-CA) has once again introduced legislation that would provide a monthly monetary benefit to certain individuals who served in the US merchant marine (including the Army Transport Service and the Naval Transport Service) during World War II. HR 23, the “Belated Thank You to the Merchant Mariners of World War II Act of 2005” was introduced last month. It was referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, and in addition to the Committee on Ways and Means.



A working group of the Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee (MERPAC), sponsored by the USCG, will meet in Wash, DC on March 21 and 22. One purpose of the meeting is to discuss Task Statement 47 concerning recommendations on knowledge and practical qualifications for engineers at the operational and management levels to serve on steam propelled vessels.

Another meeting objective is to review Task Statement 49 concerning recommendations for use of a model sea course project in conjunction with an approved program for officer in charge of an engineering watch coming up through the hawse pipe.

MERPAC advises the Secretary of Homeland Security on matters relating to the training, qualifications, licensing, certification, and fitness of seamen serving in the US merchant marine. These meetings will be open to the public. The MERPAC working group will meet on March 21 from 0830 to 1600 and March 22 from 0830 to 1600. These meetings may adjourn early if all business is finished.

Requests to make oral presentations should reach the Coast Guard before March 8 as well as requests to have any written material distributed to each member of the working group. Contact Mark Gould for further info at 202-267-6890, fax 202-267-4570, or Email



The Towing Safety Advisory Committee (TSAC) and its working groups will meet as required to discuss various issues relating to shallow-draft inland and coastal waterway navigation and towing safety. All meetings will be open to the public. TSAC will meet March 16 from 0800 to 1400. Working groups will meet on March 15, from 0830 to 1530 and may close early if all business is finished.

Written material for and requests to make oral presentations at the meetings should reach the USCG before March 2. TSAC will meet in Room 2415, USCG HQ, 2100 Second Street, SW., Wash, DC 20593. This notice and related documents are available on the Internet under the docket number USCG-2005-20400. For further info contact Gerald Miante at 202-267-0214, fax 202-267-4570, or Email at:



In a review of the port security grant program, the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Office of Inspector General found that, while various agencies within the department (Transportation Security Administration, Coast Guard and the Maritime Administration) put together a competitive grant program and leveraged expertise over several rounds of grant awards, “the program’s strategic impact is less apparent and its purpose and goals requires refinement to support national priorities effectively.”

Between the December 2003 and May 2004, the OIG reviewed the design and goals of the program, potential duplication of other programs, the roles and responsibilities of participating agencies and the grant evaluation and selection process. With the purpose of the program being “to reduce the vulnerability of American ports to potential terrorist attacks by enhancing facility and operational security,” it has doled out $560 million for over 1,200 projects, though the OIG says it has not always given the money to the highest priorities.



The Director of the Port Security Council of America, a watchdog group concerned with the safety of US ports, said his organization would be lobbying Congress this year to increase funding for port security.

Jay Grant said the lobbying effort is needed because the federal government had “virtually cast adrift” US ports, leaving them to cover the high cost of new security without federal funds. He said that since the US Treasury gets as much as $24 billion every year in port-related tax revenue and fees, some of that money could be returned to ports in amounts proportionate to their size to be utilized to increase their security.


The Korean flagged bulk carrier GREAT POLARIS has been re-floated after breaking down while transiting the Suez Canal late last week. A spokesman for owners reported that the ship had not suffered any damage. The 139,650-dwt. ship, which was carrying 74,000 tons of coal to Europe, was stranded at the southern entrance of the waterway where it blocked the passage of at least 40 ships.


Each year the Internal Revenue Code requires that the Plan Office perform a non-discrimination test for the MM&P IRAP 401(k) Plan. This test was conducted on an industry wide basis for Collectively Bargained members (i.e. – all MM&P members working for participating companies).

The Plan Office has just completed the testing and unfortunately, the Offshore and CNW Collectively Bargained Employees Group has failed the non-discrimination testing. This means that the contribution percentage made by specific Highly Compensated Employees in each division exceeded the ratio allowed by the Internal Revenue Service.

  • The Plan Office will be advising each member by mail who is affected by this test.
  • The Plan Office must return to the affected members their excess contributions plus earnings thereof in accordance with Internal Revenue Code regulations. The 401(k) Investment Manager (Fidelity Investments) will be calculating the amount and mailing your check in the next few days. Please note that the amount of this distribution must be reported as income for 2004 when filing your taxes. If you have already filed, it will be necessary to submit an amended return.
  • The gross amount of your excess contribution must be reported as income for 2004. The difference in the amount of your return of excess contributions and the gross amount of your check represents the gains/losses in your account. In January 2006, you will receive a 1099-R from Fidelity Investment which will represent the gains/losses on the amount listed above and must be reported as part of your 2005 taxes.


On Sept.27, 1995, about 40 officials from the American maritime industry including the MM&P gathered in a conference room in downtown Wash, DC to discuss a unified industry effort to respond to the most aggressive challenges to the Jones Act ever.

This meeting resulted in the birth of the Maritime Cabotage Task Force (MCTF). MCTF has just released its Annual Report for 2004, including an informative letter from the group’s chairman, Philip Grill.

Grill points out that 1995 was not a particularly happy time for the US maritime industry. He explained:
The maritime trade press was filled with headlines attacking the cabotage laws. Our industry’s response was uncoordinated and ineffective. A quotable, brash former Federal Maritime Commissioner named Rob Quartel was dominating the news media and Members of Congress were actively discussing the possibility of significant changes to American’s most venerable maritime laws.

The Maritime Cabotage Task Force was born that day at the Army-Navy Club in the face of unprecedented attacks, and today, a decade later, can rightly claim having played a significant role in beating back those attacks. Rob Quartel’s Jones Act Reform Coalition, MCTF’s primary adversary, is long gone. News stories about the demise of the Jones Act have all but disappeared. Ironically, Rep. Nick Smith, who sponsored many of the Jones Act repeal bills, retired at the end of the 108th Congress.

The outcome of these efforts has been that the American domestic maritime industry has emerged from this test stronger that ever. The greatest lesson from the battles of the mid-to-late 1990’s is the importance of a proactive initiative to tell the Jones Act story and educate key federal decision-makers. Because of the MCTF’s efforts, the Congress and the Executive Branch today have a far better understanding of the importance of America’s domestic maritime industry:

  • They now better comprehend the important role the domestic maritime infrastructure – vessels, yards and seafarers – makes to homeland security and to sealift in times of crisis;
  • They also understand the important economic benefits of our domestic fleet that employs thousands of American seafarers as well as the commercial benefits of the Jones Act fleet. Maritime transportation is, by far, the least expensive and most environmentally sound way for shippers to move goods domestically, and makes the most sense from a “least congestion” transportation mode standpoint.
  • The domestic shipping community also learned that if the US-flag industry comes together as one, in an organization like the MCTF, it will be stronger and more effective effort than if individual organizations fight these battles on their own.


There will be a Grand Opening Party/Open House on Wed., March 9 after the noon job call at the MM&P New Orleans Hall. The NOLA Hall’s new location is 3330 West Esplanade Avenue, South, Suite 209, Metairie, LA 70002-3454. The telephone number, 504-837-5700, remains the same. RSVPs are appreciated. For more info, contact Representative Sue Bourcq by phone or by Email at




Between now and the end of May 2005 seats are available in the following courses:

  • AIS – Automatic Identification System: 4/29, 5/7
  • ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 3/14, 4/4, 5/2, 5/9
  • BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 4/26
  • BST – Basic Safety Training: 3/07, 4/25, 5/23

    CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses

  • CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 5/2
  • CMM-CHS I- Cargo Handling & Stowage (week 1): 3/28
  • CMM-CHS II- Cargo Handling & Stowage (week 2): 3/21
  • CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display and Info Systems: 3/21, 4/18, 5/16
  • CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 3/28, 4/18, 5/23
  • CMM-SHS-ADV-II- Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 4/25
  • CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 5/9
  • CMM-WKP- Advanced Watchkeeping: 3/14, 4/11
  • CMM-VPEN-Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 4/25
  • CONT-PLNG – Contingency Planning: 3/04, 4/8, 5/6, 5/13
  • FF-BADV – (Combined) Basic and Advanced Firefighting: 3/07, 4/20, 5/23
  • HAZ – Hazardous Materials [5-day]: 3/28, 4/11, 5/2
  • LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 4/13, 4/26, 5/4, 5/10
  • MEDIA-RSP – Media Response: 3/03, 4/7, 5/5, 5/12
  • MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 3/19, 4/23, 5/14
  • MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 3/14, 4/18, 5/9
  • MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 3/14, 4/18, 5/9

    MSC – Military Sealift Command

  • MSC-CBRD-1 – Chemical Biological Radiological Defense Training Orientation: 3/03, 4/23, 5/1, 5/19
  • MSC-DC – Damage Control: 4/18, 4/27, 5/16
  • MSC-ENVPRO: Environmental Protection: 5/18
  • MSC-SMA – Small Arms Training (4-day): 4/25, 5/16
  • MSC-SMA-R – Small Arms Re-Qualification (2-day): 4/29, 5/20
    (must have proof of passing all 3 weapons within 2 years)
  • ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal (5-day): 3/28, 5/23
  • ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 3/14, 4/4, 5/2, 5/9
  • SEC-FSO – Facility Security Officer: 4/4
  • SEC-MAR-PRO – Maritime Security Professional Train The Trainer Training [5 days], 4/11
  • SEC-OFF-PCS – Security Officer: Port, Company, Ship: 2/28, 5/2
  • SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling (5-day): 3/28, 5/23
  • TRAC-TUG – Water Tractor and Azimuth Stern Drive Tugs: 5/5
  • TPIC – Tankerman Person-In-Charge: 4/4



If you are scheduled for a course, call, write, or Email admissions to advise whether or not you will attend. Many classes are in demand and maintain a Standby List. “No Shows” are missed training opportunities for other members.


Courses are subject to change. Check the MITAGS website for up-to-date course descriptions associated with all course title abbreviations, and for schedule revisions and updated course availability. You can also check future schedules, review detailed course descriptions and register on-line or contact Admissions at or by calling toll-free, 1-866-656-5568.


All the courses below will be conducted at our new facility at 1729 Alaskan Way South, home to the “Maritime Technology and Career Center” which houses PMI’s state-of-the-art Full Mission Ship Simulator.

February 2005

  • 2/28-3/4: Basic and Advanced Firefighting
  • 2/28-3/4: Basic Meteorology
  • 2/28-3/2: Ship/Company Security Officer
  • 2/28-3/11: GMDSS

March 2005

  • 3/07-11: Construction and Stability
  • 3/14-18: Basic Safety Training
  • 3/17-18: Basic Firefighting
  • 3/14-18: Cargo Handling and Stowage
  • 3/14-18: ARPA
  • 3/14-18: Tankerman Person-In-Charge
  • 3/21-25: Able Bodied Seaman
  • 3/21-24: Personal Survival Craft/Lifeboatman
  • 3/21-25: Medical Care Provider
  • 3/21-4/01: Medical Person-In-Charge
  • 3/21-25: ECDIS
  • 3/21-24: Fast Rescue Boat
  • 3/28-29: Ratings Forming Part of a Navigational Watch
  • 3/28-29: Search and Rescue
  • 3/30-4/01: Emergency Procedures
  • 3/28-4/01: ARPA
  • 3/28: Radar Recertification
  • 3/28-4/01: Emergency Shiphandling

For registration and more info call DeeDee Lazik or Jennifer Fowler at 888-893-7829, check the PMI website at or Email PMI at



 D O W    N A S D A Q
 10,673.79 -161.09 for the week  2,031.25  -56.18 for the week
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX)
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)

~ Reminders ~




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.

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:, 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 commences Oct.17, 2004 and will continue until Jan.3, 2005. Crew rotations will start beginning as early as January 2005 and will continue through as late as June 2005. 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:, by fax to 410-850-0973 or by mail to:

Richard Plant, Director of Special Projects

700 Maritime Blvd.
Linthicum Heights, MD 21090


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 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.

When complete and all information has been validated, click on “Communications” from the menu bar at the top of the screen and select “Transmit to Security Officer”. Save the file to the hard drive on your computer using your last name (surname) as the file name. Send this file as an email attachment to Mike Bohlman at Horizon Lines, His phone number is 908-259-2803. You will need to provide Mike Bohlman with your name and the case-sensitive password you assigned to the file in order for Horizon Lines to open the file and process your Security Clearance.


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.

On Dec.6, MM&P members will begin manning the third of seven T-AGS ships operated by Horizon. The USNS SUMNER will be crewed-up in Portland, OR. MM&P wishes the crew a safe voyage and happy holidays.



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.

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 or call 1-800-382-7777 toll-free.




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 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.”


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 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

  • 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.


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

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.



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)


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 and click on “Union Made Product Search”. To shop for union-made products online, go to



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,, 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: For further info or to subscribe contact John Peige at 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.