News

Wheelhouse Weekly – January 26, 2009

January 26th 2009

 

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

Volume 13 . . . . . Number 4. . . .January 26, 2009

STORIES COVERED

REMINDERS

T-AGS Oceanographic Survey Ships Info

Required Coursework

Security Clearances

MSC Physicals

MM&P FCU News

MM&P Health & Benefit Plan News

Meet Our New Prescription Benefit Manager, PHARMACARE

Notice to MM&P Health & Benefit Plan Participants

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.


PROCESSING TIME FOR MARINERS’ MEDICAL EVALUATIONS SKYROCKETS, COAST GUARD SAYS

The time it takes the Coast Guard to process mariners’ medical evaluations has more than doubled—from fewer than 40 days to 89 days—since the agency introduced centralized medical vetting procedures in the second half of 2008. The dramatic jump in processing time was revealed in the Coast Guard’s “Mariner Licensing and Documentation Program Performance Update,” released at the beginning of 2009.

Under the new system, which was established under Coast Guard NVIC 04-08, staffers at the agency’s National Maritime Center (NMC) in Martinsburg, West Va., determine mariners’ “fitness for duty” based exclusively on test results, without ever actually seeing the mariners. MM&P, other seafaring unions and some industry groups had warned the Coast Guard from the outset that the medical review system established under the NVIC would quickly become blocked by the volume of applications and the unnecessary medical tests and evaluations the NVIC requires.

At the beginning of January, there were over 4,400 medical evaluations at NMC awaiting action. Each application caught in the Coast Guard’s bottleneck can translate into lost work opportunities and financial hardship for mariners and their families.

In the “Performance Update,” the Coast Guard reports that although the “average age” of mariner credential applications has decreased by 49 percent since January 2008, “the average time to conduct medical evaluations has increased dramatically, to an average of 89 days.” In its report, the Coast Guard blames the jump on “an increase in the number of physical exam reports submitted by mariners and to a limited number of medically trained staff available to make fitness for duty determinations.” The agency reported that the increased time needed to deal with medical evaluations is “hampering efforts to reduce total [credential] processing time,” which averaged 80 days in the closing months of 2008.  

MM&P supports legislation that was introduced in the last session of Congress by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) which would allow doctors on a designated list of qualified medical examiners to perform physical exams and certify mariners as being fit for duty. It is hoped that the legislation will be reintroduced this year and acted on swiftly by Congress.


SEAFARERS’ RIGHTS ADVOCATE GEORGE QUICK WILL RECEIVE SETTING THE COURSE AWARD

MM&P Pilot Membership Group Vice President George A. Quick will be honored at the Seafarers & International House “Setting the Course” awards ceremony in New York on April 16 for his advocacy efforts on behalf of the world’s seafarers. Quick is part of an international network of labor representatives working to shape national and international laws and regulations to foster a political and regulatory environment that recognizes the human rights of seafarers. The group is active in a number of national and international forums on issues that include: the fair treatment of seafarers after maritime accidents; the criminalization of negligence; the acceptance by governments that access to shore leave is a human rights issue; and the establishment of mandatory international safe manning standards. Maersk Lines Limited President and CEO John Reinhart will also be honored at the April 16 event.


EMPLOYEE FREE CHOICE ACT ENJOYS SUPPORT OF MOST AMERICANS

The Employee Free Choice Act, a law that would make it easier for people to unionize, enjoys the support of the vast majority of Americans, according to research compiled recently by Hart Research Associates. Nearly four in five adults (78 percent) say they favor legislation that “makes it easier for workers to bargain with their employers for better wages, benefits and working conditions.” Almost as many (73 percent) say they specifically support the Employee Free Choice Act. The survey of 1007 adults, conducted from Dec. 4 to 10, was commissioned by the AFL-CIO.

Support for the Employee Free Choice Act is broad across political party and state lines. Three-quarters of moderate/liberal Republicans, 87 percent of Democrats and 69 percent of Independents support the legislation. Opposition is confined to Republicans who identify themselves as conservatives (yet even in this group, 36 percent say they support the Employee Free Choice Act).  

Of the three parts of the Employee Free Choice Act, the broadest public support is for the majority sign-up provision, which puts the choice of how to form a union in the hands of workers, not corporations. Seventy-five percent of adults favor allowing employees to have a union once a majority of employees in a workplace sign authorization cards saying they want one. Significant majorities also support strengthening penalties for companies that illegally intimidate or fire employees who try to organize unions and establishing third-party binding arbitration if necessary to ensure that workers who choose to form a union can get a contract. 

The AFL-CIO is engaged in a massive campaign to mobilize the public around restoring workers’ freedom to join unions.  In all 50 states, proponents of the legislation are working with local community and elected leaders to discuss the need for the Employee Free Choice Act. Over one million people have signed cards indicating their support for the legislation. “In today’s economic squeeze, workers need the freedom to bargain their way into the middle class more than ever,” said AFL-CIO President John Sweeney. “This new research confirms that the vast majority of Americans support workers’ freedom to form unions to improve their lives.”


CROWLEY UNDERWAY FOR GUAM WITH THREE CONTAINER CRANES

MM&P-contracted Crowley has announced it has loaded three large, Hitachi gantry container cranes in Los Angeles onto a 400-foot-long by 100-foot-wide deck barge. The barge and a powerful ocean-going tugboat are underway for the port of Apra, Guam. MM&P licensed deck officers on board the tug are Chief Mate Robert Whitehurst and Second Mate Paul Hite.

The most recent transfer marks the second delivery that Crowley has made of these types of cranes for Bickerton Iron Works Inc. The first shipment included three cranes for the SSA terminal in Manzanillo, Mexico. Crowley’s tug MARS and Barge 416, which were used in the transport of cranes to Manzanillo in late November and early December, are carrying the second set of cranes from Los Angeles to Guam with an anticipated delivery date of Feb. 6. Horizon Lines and Matson Navigation, which together own the cranes, had Bickerton completely rebuild them, adding additional strength, stiffening and elevation to handle heavier loads on the larger container ships that will be calling on Guam once the U.S. military begins shifting its operations from Okinawa, Japan, to Guam in 2010.

Bickerton hired Crowley to bring the barge into the dock where the three cranes were waiting. The detailed loading process took 11 days. Then the barge was ballasted to transit underneath the Vincent Thomas suspension bridge, which connects San Pedro to Terminal Island and Long Beach. Once clear of the structure, the barge was de-ballasted and put into ocean transit mode for the 5,600 nautical mile voyage to Guam.


MIAMI’S NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER OPENS DOORS TO MM&P MEMBERS

MM&P members have an opportunity to tour the National Hurricane Center in Miami on Saturday March 14. The tour will begin at 10:00 and should be finished at about 12:00. It will include the National Hurricane Center, Tropical Analysis & Forecast Branch, as well as the local Miami forecast center. The NHC tour can accommodate 25 to 30 people. NHC Director Bill Read and Executive Officer Christopher Burr will be on hand to answer questions. If you are interested in attending, contact the MM&P Miami/Port Everglades Hall at pompano@bridgedeck.org or (954) 946-7883 by March 1. The National Hurricane Center is co-located with the Miami National Weather Service Forecast Office on the main campus of Florida International University at 11691 SW 17th St., about 12 miles west of downtown and eight miles southwest of Miami International Airport. Parking is available near the main entrance on the south side of the center, which faces SW 17th Street.


TWIC COUNTDOWN: 79 DAYS UNTIL ALL MARINERS MUST HAVE A TWIC

Reminder: April 15 is the deadline for all mariners and other maritime industry workers to obtain the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC).


AS ECONOMY CONTINUES TO SLIDE, NEARLY FOUR JOB SEEKERS FOR EACH OPENING

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released data last week showing that there were 3.8 job seekers for every job in November 2008, up from 3.4 per job in October and from 1.8 per job a year earlier. “Seeing nearly four unemployed workers for every opening is a sobering indicator of how difficult it is to find a job in today’s weak market,” said economist Heidi Shierholz, who works at EPI, a Washington based economic think tank. “With so few job openings, it is easy to understand why nearly a quarter of unemployed workers have been out of a job for over six months.”  Overall unemployment passed 7 percent in December, the highest rate in 16 years, and is expected to reach double digits by mid-2010. Besides the high unemployment figures, there are now over 8 million “involuntary part-timers,” people who want a full-time job but can only find part-time work.


CONTAINER VOLUME DOWN 6 PERCENT FOR YEAR AT PORT OF LOS ANGELES

The Port of Los Angeles has reported that for the month of December, total container volume was 15.2 percent lower than in December 2007. A spokesman for the port said that for all of 2008, container volume dropped 6 percent. Across the country, port authorities and terminal operators are trying to lower costs. Terminals in Los Angeles and Long Beach, for example, will eliminate Saturday gate hours this year. The Virginia Port Authority’s operating company is cutting back on gate hours and equipment usage.


VESSEL GENERAL PERMIT REGULATIONS TAKE EFFECT FEB. 6

On Feb. 6, 2009, the Vessel General Permit (VGP) program will come into effect. This Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation addresses 26 separate discharges incidental to the normal operation of vessels in the United States. The VGP applies to all non-recreational vessels of 300 gross tons or greater and/or vessels that have the ability to hold or discharge more than eight cubic meters of ballast. Individual states may include additional regulations which would apply when a vessel enters their territorial waters. Vessels will be required to adopt best management practices for each type of discharge, subject to EPA approval. Under the VGP program, a vessel’s crew will be required to conduct routine monitoring, inspections and recordkeeping to meet the requirements of the permit.  There is a potential for crew liability. More information is available online at: http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/home.cfm?program_id=350.#


LIBERTY SHIPPING WITHDRAWS OFFER FOR INTERNATIONAL SHIPHOLDING

An affiliate of Liberty Shipping Group said it has dropped a proposal to acquire all shares of International Shipholding Corp. Liberty Shipping owns and operates six U.S.-flag dry bulk vessels and a pure car truck carrier (PCTC). ISH has a diverse fleet of ships including PCTCs and roll-on/roll-off vessels, breakbulk and bulk ships, containerships, a molten sulfur carrier, a tanker and two rail ferries operated between Mobile and Mexico.


MAERSK LINES EXECUTIVE ADDRESSES KINGS POINT MIDSHIPMEN

The Kings Point (KP) Alumni Associations of DC and the Chesapeake Bay held a rally and dinner on Jan. 19 at MITAGS for about 250 KP midshipmen who were to participate in the presidential inaugural the following day. The keynote speaker was Steve Carmel, senior vice president of Maritime Services at Maersk Lines, Limited, who graduated from Kings Point, class of 1979.  In his speech, Carmel encouraged future mariners to analyze our industry and work to ensure that a stronger more vibrant maritime sector evolves. In his speech, he referenced the IHS Global Insight Inc. report, “An Evaluation of Maritime Policy in Meeting the Commercial and Security Needs of the United States, Jan. 7, 2009” produced for the Maritime Administration. This document is available on the web at http://www.marad.dot.gov/documents/Final_Report_-_MARAD_Policy_Study_(2).pdf.


UPCOMING USMMA-KP EVENTS AT MITAGS

On Feb. 4, the KP Chessie Chapter of the USMMA will host a dinner centered on the theme of retirement. All are welcome to attend. The event begins at 5:30 in the main dining room at The Conference Center at MITAGS, 692 Maritime Boulevard, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090, tel: (866)-629-3196. Speakers are Harry A. Horn and Michael C. McFeeley of Academy Financial Inc. Topics to be covered include: retirement income planning; asset recovery and protection; income security; long-term care; wealth transfer; and asset allocation. RSVP by Feb. 2 to Gary G. Hicks, president, KP Chesapeake, 42 Idlewild Street, Bel Air, MD 21014, tel: (410) 420-0080 or e-mail: kpchesapeake@comcast.net.  The cost of the evening is $35, payable in advance or at the door by cash or check made out to KPChesapeake.


GREEK-BASED SHIP OPERATOR PLEADS GUILTY TO FALSIFYING RECORDS

Pendulum Ship Management, based in Greece, has pleaded guilty to conspiring with members of the crew of the MV QUANTUM, a commercial cargo ship, to defraud the United States by falsifying the oil record book. The company was sentenced in U.S. District Court to pay a $1.3 million fine. It was also given three years of probation and ordered to implement an environmental compliance plan.


JOBS AVAILABLE ON T-AGS VESSELS

There are positions currently open on the T-AGS oceanographic survey ships. The jobs can be bid with a port relief card instead of a regular shipping card. Mariners on vacation can also take these jobs. If you are interested, please immediately contact MM&P’s New York/New Jersey Hall, 201-963-1918 or nynj@bridgedeck.org.


APPLICANTS COURSE FOR D-BOOK MEMBERSHIP TO BE HELD IN NEW YORK, LOS ANGELES AND SEATTLE

The course for MM&P applicants seeking to qualify for D-Book Membership will be held on Jan. 28-29 in Seattle and in New York, and in Los Angeles on Feb. 10-11. All courses start at 0900 and finish around 1530. If you are interested in participating, please call the Seattle Hall (206-441-8700), the New York/New Jersey Hall (201-963-1900) or the Los Angeles Hall (310-834-7201) to reserve your seat. Class size is limited so sign up early. If you wish to be considered for D-Book status, you need to have completed this class, have four favorable recommendations, have paid the initiation fee and have at least 360 days sea time under MM&P contract. Courses may be cancelled if not enough applicants sign up.  


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

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

AIS � (1-Day) Automatic Identification System: 4/2
ARPA � Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 4/13
AZIPOD � (2-Day) Azipod Propulsion Systems: 4/20
BRM � Bridge Resource Management: 2/16, 5/4
BRMP � Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 2/9
BST � Basic Safety Training: 2/16, 4/6
CONT PLNG � Contingency Planning: 5/15

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVSTAB � Advanced Stability: 4/20
CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 4/6
CMM-CHS I � Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 2/9, 4/27
CMM-CHS II � Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 2/16, 5/4
CMM-ECDIS � Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems: 3/30
CMM-MPP � Marine Propulsion Plants: 4/13
CMM-SHMGT I � Ship Management (week 1) : 2/23, 5/11
CMM-SHMGT II � Ship Management (week 2) : 3/2, 5/18
CMM-SHS-ADV-I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 3/23, 4/27, 5/11
CMM-SHS-ADV-I I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 5/4, 5/18
CMM-VPEN � Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 3/23
CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 3/9, 5/25

CSE-AWR2 � Confined Space Entry Awareness (2 day): 5/11
CSE-AAES � Confined Space Entry � Atmospheric Analysis of Enclosed Spaces: 2/26
FF-BADV � Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting Combined: 2/16, 4/6
GCC-LG � Gas Carrier Course-Liquefied Gases: 2/2
GMDSS � Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 3/2, 4/6
HAZ � Hazardous Materials (5 day): 5/4
LAP � License Advancement Program for upgrade to Chief Mate/Master: 3/30
LEG � Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 2/10, 4/22

MEDIA RSP – Media Response: 2/27
MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 3/2, 4/13
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 3/2, 4/13, 5/4
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 2/7, 2/17, 3/7, 4/3, 4/18, 5/14

[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-CBRD-1 � CBRD Orientation: 2/25, 3/27, 5/22
MSC-DC � Damage Control: 2/23, Special Evening MSC-DC Class: 5/18 to 5/21
MSC-SMA � Small Arms Training: (3/23-Standby Only), 5/18

[OICNW � Officer in Charge of a Navigation Watch Courses]
OICNW-CHS-BAS � Basic Cargo Handling and Stowage: 4/20, 5/25
OICNW-CONSTB � Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 2/9
OICNW-CNAV � Celestial Navigation: 4/20
OICNW-ENAV � Electronic Navigation: 3/9
OICNW-EP � Emergency Procedures: 5/14
OICNW-SAR � Search and Rescue: 5/11
OICNW-WKP BAS � Basic Watchkeeping: 3/30
OICNW-WX BAS � Basic Meteorology: 3/23

ROP-5 � Radar Observer Program (Original or Renewal): 5/4
ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 4/13

SEC-VCF – Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 2/23, 3/30, 5/11
SEC-VSO-R � Vessel Security Officer Refresher (1 day): 2/26, 4/21, 5/14
SHS-BAS � Basic Shiphandling: 2/23, 4/27, 5/18
SHS-EMR � Emergency Shiphandling: 2/9, 4/20
SHS-ESH-BRMP3 � Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 2/11, 4/20

TPIC � Tankerman Person in Charge (Dangerous Liquids): 2/2, 5/25

…remember: If you can’t make the class, make the call.  Be courteous, don’t be a “no show.”

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 by e-mail: admissions@mitags.org.


PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

PMI Web site at www.mates.org for more info

FOR REGISTRATION CALL JENNIFER PITZEN: 206 838-1126

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

January 2009
29-30 SAR

February 2009
4-8ROP
12ROR
11-12SAR
12-15ARPA
13-15EP
16FL
18-22ENAV
18-22MED PRO
18-22SHS BAS
18-29MED PIC
25-3/7 CNAV
25ROR

March 2009
3-14GMDSS
10-11SAR
10-12SEC VCF
12-14EP
17-28GMDSS
24-4/4 GMDSS
24ROR
25-28ARPA

For registration call Jennifer Pitzen 888-893-7829

PMI MERCHANDISE FOR SALE!!!

High-quality clothing embroidered with the NEW PMI logo! We can ship these items also! Acceptable forms of payment are check, credit card, money order and exact cash. Call Laura Bendixen at 888-893-7829 for prices and to order. If we don’t have your size, we’ll be glad to special order for you at no extra cost.


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 1-23-2009

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
8,077.56 1,477.29 831.95
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
38.44
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
76.64
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
22.11
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
10.71
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
10.79
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
17.66
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.57
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
19.40
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
4.42
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
12.76
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
14.72
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
11.96
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
14.15
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
9.33
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
9.01
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
8.62
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
8.51
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
8.80
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.11
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
20.12
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
13.19
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
10.52
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
11.69
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
9.18
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
42.92
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
11.78
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
36.07
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
11.76
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
24.71
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
18.94
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
14.59
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
9.43
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
9.89
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
9.94
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
9.52
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
9.12
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
5.20
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
5.97
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
9.29
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
20.81
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
29.42
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
17.87





~ 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. Suite B
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:

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

6.75 percent for 25-48 months;
7.50 percent for 49-60 months ($20,000 minimum); and
8.00 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

MEET OUR NEW PRESCRIPTION BENEFIT MANAGER, PHARMACARE

As you know, effective July 1, 2007, MM&P will have a new Prescription Benefit Manager, PharmaCare. If you use the mail service and have not sent your Confidential Mail Service Enrollment Form to the MM&P Plan Office, you have until June 30 to do so. Otherwise, you can call PharmaCare’s customer service line and give them the information over the telephone or send the form with your first new mail prescription directly to PharmaCare. In the next couple of days, you will be receiving a letter with your new MM&P identification cards and a prescription booklet with information on how to obtain your prescriptions. PharmaCare’s customer service number is listed in the booklet. If you have any questions, please contact the MM&P Health & Benefit Plan Advisors.



NOTICE TO MM&P HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN PARTICIPANTS

As you know, MM&P Health & Benefit Plan members have a new prescription benefit manager, PharmaCare. When you first obtain a prescription at your retail drug store, please show your new Health & Benefit Identification Card with PharmaCare’s information. If you do not show your card, please inform your pharmacist of the following information so you can receive your prescriptions through the Plan. Your identification number HAS NOT CHANGED. Please provide the pharmacist with your full member identification number. You will have to also provide the following numbers. RxGrp#- Z50136968, RxBin: 610468 and RxPCN: PC2 

If your pharmacist has any questions, he or she should call PharmaCare directly at (800) 503-3241.  If you have any questions, PharmaCare members can call the company directly at (888) 364-6815.


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. Suite B, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1953. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: iommp@bridgedeck.org. For further info or to subscribe contact Lisa Rosenthal at lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org. The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea and is posted on our web page.

© 2009, International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots. All the material contained in this publication is protected by copyright. For permission to reprint text from the Weekly, contact the MM&P Communications Department: lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org. For changes of address, contact Lisa Rosenthal at lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org.