Wheelhouse Weekly – January 26, 2006

January 26th 2006

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

Volume 10 . . . . . Number 4 . . . . January 26, 2006




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.



The Seattle Hiring Hall and Offshore Division offices are being temporarily re-located!! Effective Monday, February 6, and until further notice, the new location will be at the Pacific Maritime Institute Building on 1729 Alaskan Way S., Seattle, WA 98134.



An interim rule published on Jan. 13th in the Federal Register requires applicants for mariners’ licenses and certificates of registry to be fingerprinted, submit to a criminal record review and provide evidence of their identity before those credentials will be issued.

This rule brings the regulations that apply to applicants for merchant mariners’ documents and licenses into close alignment to applicants for certificates of registry. The rule applies to all applicants for original licenses and certificates of registry as well as renewals for continuity, duplicates, and raises of grade.

Licensed or registered officers are now required to appear in person to be fingerprinted, undergo a criminal record review and have their identity verified prior to issuance of a license or certificate of registry. The purpose of this rule is to amend the regulations and strengthen the security of the licensing process by increasing the likelihood that licenses and certificates of registry are issued only to eligible mariners. The new regulations apply to any application received on or after Jan. 13, 2006.


As of February 2007, the National Maritime Center will no longer offer to mariners a Raise-In-Grade (RIG) license exam from their ORIGINAL 3rds to 2nd or from their ORIGINAL Chief Mate/First Assistant to Master/Chief Engineer. You will be required to comply with the new regulations and sit for the combined 3rd/2nd (Mate or Asst.) or Chief Mate/Master (First Assistant/Chief Engineer) license exam.

Please note that the upper level exams require numerous Management Level Courses to first be completed prior to sitting for the exam. Act accordingly if you wish to raise your ORIGINAL license before February 2007. Please contact MITAGS/PMI to set a date to sit for your exam.


For the fifth straight year, the Lowes Companies Home Improvement Transportation Division has awarded MM&P-contracted Horizon Lines with the honor of Outstanding Ocean Service Provider for 2005. Horizon was the only ocean carrier so honored. Kevin Gill, Horizon Lines Vice President of Marketing accepted the award.

In his remarks, Gill said that, “The people of Horizon Lines are adept at finding ways to partner with our customers to reduce cycle time and meet tight delivery schedules. This is a perfect compliment to the aggressive growth plans of Lowes. Being recognized for five years in a row is a great source of pride for our entire team as it validates these efforts.”


President Bush has nominated Vice Adm. Thad Allen to be the next commandant of the US Coast Guard. The USCG was generally recognized as one of the few agencies that performed well in rescue and relief missions after Hurricane Katrina ravaged Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama late last summer and Allen played a key role in that massive effort.

Allen currently serves as chief of staff for the USCG. He previously was commander of the Coast Guard Atlantic Area, Fifth District, and the US Maritime Defense Zone, Atlantic Fleet. He also he led the Atlantic forces in response to the 9/11 terrorist attack. If confirmed by the Senate, Allen would replace Adm. Thomas Collins, whose four-year tour as commandant expires soon.


The chief officer of the APL PANAMA, which ran aground on Christmas night off the port of Ensenada, Mexico, has blamed the ship’s captain, according to transcripts of sworn testimony taken by the harbor master and obtained by the “San Diego Union Tribune” newspaper. The Polish first officer Teo Motusic is quoted as testifying: “My opinion is that the captain did not come to the bridge on time.” The ship was approaching the harbor too fast and was navigating too close to shore with no pilot aboard, according to testimony.

Carrying 900 containers, the ship was approaching from the north on a routine stop when the mishap occurred just after sunset. The ship’s captain, Zupan Branko of Croatia, testified that a change in arrival times resulted in no pilot being aboard during the initial entry into the harbor and he added that the pilots did not respond to repeated radio calls from the ship. Motusic added in his testimony that Branko was slow to respond when channel buoys were pointed out and that by the time the captain gave the “hard to port” order, the ship was already headed into the sand.

Under questioning from Ensenada’s harbormaster, the ship’s captain said it was his fourth time entering the port of Ensenada, and that all the equipment on board was functioning. It was not until 1805 hrs that he realized the vessel was in danger, he said. Seven minutes later it ran aground. “Why did you not drop any of the anchors?” the harbormaster asked. “I did not consider that possibility because it was a very short time span,” the captain replied. Asked what he could have done to prevent the accident the first officer replied: “Everything happened very, very fast, and I was showing the captain the position of the buoys, the channel, pilot boat and breakwater.”

The vessel, sailing under an Antigua and Barbuda flag, is owned by a company based in Bremen, Germany, Mare Britannicum Schiffahrtgesellschaft mbH & Co KG, and chartered by APL. The 25 men on board were an international group. The deck and engine officers were from Croatia and Poland and the unlicensed crew was from Myanmar.

The probe into the incident is being led by Mexico’s Communications and Transportation Ministry and is being treated as an accident. Both officers and other crewmembers have reported that weather and sea conditions were fair when the incident occurred and that no mechanical faults contributed to the grounding.


A Liberian-flagged and German-owned bulker bound for the Port of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic only made it to the harbor entrance before running aground earlier this week. Local media reported that the 29,517-dwt MARIELLE BOLTEN was scheduled to arrive at 0600 but attempted to enter the channel shortly after 0100. This was the first call at a Dominican Republic port by the ship’s Polish master. This grounding was very near the rusted hull of the TIKAL, which grounded there years ago. High winds may have contributed to the grounding by causing a wave surge that pushed the freighter into a coral reef that borders the channel.


The master and one crewmember of a Turkish-owned vessel was killed and six crewmembers injured when a 54-year-old ship broke up and sank near the entrance to the Port of Tartous in Syria last week. Media reports said the North Korean-flagged GUCLU 4, loaded with 2,050 tons of marble, broke into two parts and sank without being able to send SOS signals. The incident is being attributed to poor seaworthiness of the vessel and bad weather.


“The Container Story” is a beautifully shot, entertaining and surprising documentary about how Malcom McLean, a farmer’s son from North Carolina, turned a simple metal box into one of the most influential inventions of the past century. The film celebrates the 50th anniversary of containerized shipping that was first introduced on April 26, 1956 from a dock in Newark, NJ.

The “Container Story” is a feature documentary that uses rare archival footage, sensitive interviews with some key figures like Malcom McLean, Paul Richardson and Charles Cushing – as well as unexpected, artistic photography and editing, interweaving history with the present. It is the only comprehensive documentary to tell the history of 50 years of containerization and McLean’s life and work.

The documentary has been broadcast in Europe and Asia. Shipping companies are using it in their development and training departments worldwide. The film is also being incorporated into educational programs by leading US maritime schools and transportation libraries. It is available for personal, corporate or institutional use through the web site, or by contacting the production company’s producer and US representative Tanya Bandmann at phone: 973-218-1198, or e-mail: .


The US Navy boarded an apparent pirate ship in the Indian Ocean and detained 26 men for questioning. The guided missile destroyer USS WINSTON CHURCHILL fired two warning shots during the chase, which ended about 40 miles off the coast of Somalia, the Navy said. US sailors boarded the vessel and seized a cache of small arms. They found 16 Indians and 10 Somali men aboard ship.

Those on board the vessel were questioned on the “CHURCHILL” to determine if they were pirates or legitimate crewmembers. US Navy investigators said that pirates hijacked a vessel six days ago near Mogadishu and, thereafter, used it to stage pirate attacks on merchant ships. The CHURCHILL is part of a multinational task force patrolling the western Indian Ocean and Horn of Africa region to thwart terrorist activity and other lawlessness during the US-led war in Iraq.


The labels inside the US Border Patrol uniforms have been making many federal agents feel uncomfortable. It’s not the fit or feel of the olive-green shirts and pants, but what their labels read: Made in Mexico. “It’s embarrassing to be protecting the US-Mexico border and be wearing a uniform made in Mexico,” says T.J. Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council, a 6,500-member union, affiliated with the government employees AFL-CIO.

Agents and lawmakers are concerned about the consequences if the uniforms for agents charged with combating illegal immigration fall into the hands of criminals or terrorists. “If we’re manufacturing uniforms in Mexico, what’s to stop someone from walking across the border in a Border Patrol uniform?” asked Rep. John Carter (R-TX). “How do you know who are our guys and who are their guys?”

For more than a year, the shirts and pants worn by agents and inspectors with US Customs and Border Protection have been made in Mexico. The uniforms are supplied by VF Solutions of Nashville, TN, which subcontracts its work to plants in the US, Mexico, Canada and the Dominican Republic. “The principle of it seems almost like an oxymoron,” said James Stack, the National Border Patrol Council’s vice-president for the region that includes Texas and New Mexico. “Most agents don’t like it.”

Customs officials say they haven’t detected any security breaches or misuse of the uniforms. Strict security measures are in place, including on-site inspections at the Mexican plant. A recently released statement from the US Customs and Border Protection reported that US officials conducted a review in August. “Based on this review, a report will be submitted to the CBP commissioner for determination on the made-in-Mexico issue, and no decisions have been made at this point,” the statement said. Some House members say they plan to press a measure that would require the uniforms be made in the US.


The Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies (MITAGS) and the Pacific Maritime Institute (PMI), have announced that MITAGS/PMI have been contracted to provide ship modeling for three major pilot groups.

The Pilots’ Association for the Bay and River Delaware has contracted MITAGS/PMI to develop a hydrodynamic model of the “STENA VISION Class” Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCC), including a simulated visual database for the entrance of the Delaware River to Sun Oil Dock near the Philadelphia Shipyards. The model and database are an integrated part of a comprehensive training program that has been created for all new Delaware Pilots for each class of vessel. The course will also cover advanced control systems, such as Azipod and Kamewa.

The Chilean Pilots, in conjunction with the Centro de Instruccion y Capacitacion Maritima (CIMAR) School in Valparaiso, Chile, has contracted with MITAGS/PMI to provide advanced ship familiarization training using
a hydrodynamic model of the Queen Mary II. The project will include a full visual database of the Beagle Channel and adjoining straits, which was developed by CIMAR. The Queen Mary II is scheduled to arrive in Chilean waters beginning later this year.


The MM&P Student Policies and General Information Booklet is now available on From the home page click on the first bullet: Maritime Advancement Training and Education Program (MATES). On the left-hand side column, click on MMP Trust Student Policies. Click on Download Trust Student Policies and General Information-rev. 12/22/05.

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

ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 2/13, 3/20, 4/3
AZIPOD-KAM – Azipod and Kamewa Steering and Propulsion Systems: 3/14

BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 2/13
BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 2/8
BST – Basic Safety Training: 1/30, 3/6, 4/24

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-CHS I – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 2/20, 3/20
CMM-CHS II – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 2/27, 3/27
CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display and Info Systems: 3/20
CMM-ADVSTAB – Advanced Stability: 2/13
CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 4/24
CMM-SHMGT I – Ship Management (week 1): 2/6
CMM-SHMGT II – Ship Management (week 2): 2/13
CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 1/30, 3/27
CMM-WKP – Watchkeeping: 2/20, 3/13, 4/10

CONT-PLNG – Contingency Planning: 2/10, 3/24

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

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

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 2/8

MEDIA-RSP – Media Response: 2/9, 3/23
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 2/11, 3/18, 4/22
MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 2/6, 3/13, 4/17
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 2/6, 3/13, 4/17

[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-SMA – Small Arms (4-day): 4/24
MSC-SMA-R – Small Arms Re-Qualification (2-day): 4/28 (must have proof of passing all 3 weapons within 2 years)

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal (5-day): 3/27
ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 2/8, 2/13, 3/8, 3/20, 4/3

SEC-OFF-VCF – Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 2/6, 3/20
SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 2/20, 4/10
SHS-EMR-Emergency Shiphandling: 2/20, 3/27

TPIC – Tankerman Person-In-Charge: 2/13, 4/10

Check the MITAGS website at 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:


PMI is offering a USCG Crew Endurance Management Coaches Seminar in Seattle from October 26-27 in addition to its regular course offerings listed below. This training is designed to provide commercial mariners the knowledge and skills to develop, deploy, and assess Crew Endurance Management Systems (CEMS) within their companies.

As a Crew Endurance Coach, the employee is critical to the success of CEMS implementation. Coaches provide education and guidance on the principles of light and sleep management, assist with changes to the work and rest environment, make recommendations on schedule changes, and help create personal endurance plans for each crewmember. Once successfully completing the training the Coach will have the necessary training to educate personnel on a vessel, and the processes and practices specific to the USCG Crew Endurance Management Program. The training session spans two full days and includes a written exam. Cost: $425 per person To Register: Call Pacific Maritime Institute at 206-441-2880 or toll free 888-893-7829.

January 2006

1/30-2/1 Ship Security Officer
1/30-2/3 RADAR Observer Unlimited
1/30-2/10 GMDSS

February 2006

2/6-10 BST
2/6-9 Lifeboat/Survival Craft
2/6-10 ARPA
2/6 Radar Renewal
2/13-17 ENAV
2/20-3/3 CNAV
2/20-3/3 Advanced Shiphandling
2/20-3/4 100 Ton OUPV
2/27-3/3 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
2/27-3/3 ARPA
2/27 Radar Renewal

March 2006

3/6-10 BST
3/6-9 Lifeboat/Survival Craft
3/6-10 Basic Meteorology
3/6-18 100 Ton OUPV
3/13-24 GMDSS
3/13-17 CONSTB
3/20-24 CHS BAS
3/27-31 MEDPRO
3/27-31 ARPA
3/27 Radar Renewal
3/27-4/7 MEDPIC

For registration call Jennifer Fowler 888-893-7829

PMI Merchandise for Sale: High quality with embroidered PMI logo. All prices include tax. Navy Caps: $18.00; Button Down Long Sleeve Dress Shirts Blue or Khaki: $38.00; Coming Soon: Navy, Burgundy, Khaki T-shirts, high quality thick Hanes shirt with pocket $22.00; 15 oz. Beautiful Cobalt Blue Ceramic Mug $10.Call DeeDee Lazik 206-838-8328 or e-mail



 D O W  N A S D A Q  S & P 500
10,709.53 -145.33 for the week 2,260.65 -98.99 for the week 1,264.31 -21.50 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)
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX) 44.78 -.47
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)


~ 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 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:, 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:, 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.



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.




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.