News

Wheelhouse Weekly – July 02, 2007

 

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

Volume 11 . . . . . Number 26. . . .July 2, 2007

STORIES COVERED

Also

REMINDERS

T-AGS Oceanographic Survey Ships Info

Required Coursework

Security Clearances

MSC Physicals

MM&P Health & Benefit Plan News

Notice to Members who are taking Vioxx

NMHC Mail-Order Prescriptions Website Updated & Improved

WWII USCG Veterans Outreach

Company Gives Bucks Back for buying Safe Shoes

Website Offers Union-Made Goods and Services




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


MM&P HOLIDAY OFFICE CLOSINGS

On July 4, all MM&P and MM&P Plans offices, the MM&P Federal Credit Union and all MM&P union halls will be closed in honor of Independence Day. Union halls in the ports of Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles will also be closed on July 5 in remembrance of Bloody Thursday, a Longshoreman’s holiday in West Coast ports.


COAST GUARD AUTHORIZATION BILL WOULD ADDRESS MARINERS’ COMPLAINTS ABOUT TERMINALS THAT LIMIT ACCESS TO SHORE LEAVE

Language in the pending Coast Guard Authorization Act would require ports and terminals to have in place a system to allow seamen, pilots, and representatives of welfare and labor organizations to board and depart vessels through the facility in a timely manner at no cost to the individual. The measure is intended to address numerous complaints from professional mariners, shipping companies, ship chandlers and others who have seen their freedom of movement at some terminals sharply curtailed in recent years by onerous security schemes of questionable legality.

For several years, MM&P has vigorously advocated on numerous fronts for the passage of legislation that would safeguard mariners’ rights in this area.

The Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2007, HR 2830, was introduced by Rep. Jim L. Oberstar (D-Minn.), chairman of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation. The legislation authorizes more than $8.3 billion for the U.S. Coast Guard for fiscal year 2008.

The bill would also create an ombudsman to serve as a liaison between the maritime industry and the Coast Guard. The ombudsman would not have authority to override USCG decisions, Cummings said, but would work to ensure that input of groups such as ports, terminal operators, shipowners and labor unions are taken into account.  

In addition, the bill would set a nationwide goal of eliminating invasive species from ballast water discharged into U.S. waters by 2015. To meet the objective, the bill would require ships entering U.S. waters to conduct ballast water exchange at least 200 miles off the U.S. coastline. It would also require ballast water treatment equipment to be installed on ships after their first drydocking after Jan. 1, 2009, but not later than Dec. 31, 2013.

The legislation would also:

— allow states to inspect and enforce the federal ballast water treatment standards established in the bill;
— make permanent the post-9/11 increase in the Coast Guard’s allowable number of officers from 6,200 to 6,700;
— authorize the Coast Guard to establish a training program for the operators of commercial fishing vessels and require that new fishing vessels be constructed and maintained to specific standards; and
— allow the Coast Guard to establish a safety management system for domestic passenger vessels.


 

NEWSPAPER REPORT SAYS COAST GUARD’S ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE PROGRAM IS SKEWED AGAINST MARINERS

To the detriment of due process, many of the U.S. Coast Guard’s administrative law judges (ALJs) take the Coast Guard’s side against mariners almost as a matter of routine, according to a recently published newspaper report.

The charge was made in a detailed piece of investigative journalism, published under the heading “Justice Capsized,” in the June 24 issue of The Baltimore Sun. The article was researched and written by one of the newspapers staff reporters, Robert Little. The Sun published an editorial on the same topic, “A Listing Court,” in its June 26 edition.

Fallout from the news reports has spread quickly throughout the maritime community and beyond. In Washington, Rep. Elijah Cummings, chairman of the House subcommittee responsible for oversight of the Coast Guard, said he will convene a hearing to investigate the allegations that the agency’s administrative law system is not impartial and that its judges are under pressure to rule in favor of the Coast Guard.

Cummings also said he will ask USCG Commandant Thad W. Allen to look into whether it is necessary to take immediate action to protect the rights of defendants whose cases are now before USCG courts.

“This needs to be looked at quickly,” said Cummings, chairman of the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation. “Even the appearance of injustice or impropriety cannot be tolerated.”

Much of the article in The Sun is based on a sworn statement given by Jeffie J. Massey, who worked until recently as a USCG administrative law judge. Massey, who reports she was pressured into retiring from the Coast Guard, said in a sworn statement that she was instructed by Chief Judge Joseph N. Ingolia not to act as a judge but rather as a tool to assure rulings favorable to the USCG. “I was specifically told [by Ingolia] that I should always rule for the Coast Guard,” she testified.

An excerpt from the article provides more details on her testimony: “According to Massey, court records and internal memorandums obtained by The Sun, Ingolia told other judges how to rule in cases and dictated policy through private memos that were never shared with defendants or their lawyers, a practice that could violate federal laws requiring that agency judicial procedures be published and subject to challenge,” writes Sun reporter Robert Little. “And staff attorneys for the chief judge and the commandant’s office discussed cases with Coast Guard investigators, possibly violating mariners’ right to an impartial hearing.”

“I practiced law for 20 years, and I can’t imagine some of this stuff happening,” said Cummings. “You don’t have investigators and judges’ staff talking to each other, not if what you’re looking for is fairness. If these things that are being said are accurate, then anyone in the mariner’s position would be hard pressed to believe that they’re going to have their case heard in a fair and impartial manner.”

Cummings said he wants Massey to testify before Congress. The Sun quoted Massey as saying that she is “willing to tell the truth about what happened at the Coast Guard with anyone who will listen. What they are doing is wrong, and people need to know about it.”

In response, the Coast Guard issued a carefully worded press release which stated in essence that the article in the Sun “emphasizes statistics that may leave readers with an erroneous impression.”

The Coast Guard took issue primarily with the fact that The Sun cited a computer analysis of the court’s records which showed “mariners losing virtually every case before the court over the past eight years.” It said mariners had prevailed in just 14 of the more than 6,300 charges filed by Coast Guard investigators since 1999. “Including dismissals, the Coast Guard wins or reaches a settlement in 97 percent of its cases,” the article alleged. The reporter compared this figure with the success rate of Social Security Administration prosecutions, which went in favor of the government only 43 percent of the time.

In the official press release, a Coast Guard official, Rear Adm. Mary E. Landry, director of governmental and public affairs, contested these statistics, saying that 2,400 of the cases described in the article as USCG wins against mariners had actually been “administratively withdrawn, fully admitted, or have not yet been assigned to an administrative law judge.” Another 2,800 charges settled voluntarily prior to assignment to an administrative law judge.” She said these 5,200 charges, all of which were classified by the newspaper as USCG victories, actually had little or no administrative law judge involvement.

The Wheelhouse Weekly will continue to report on this story as it evolves.


HARPOON SHEDS LIGHT ON AGE OF WHALE

A 19th century weapon found in the neck of a 50-ton bowhead whale caught off Alaska was at least 115 years old, supporting long-held notions among researchers that these mammals can survive up to 150 years. A biologist in Alaska spotted fragments of the weapon pulled from the whale’s blubber by Eskimos, who are permitted to kill 255 whales over the next five years under a monitoring agreement with the International Whaling Commission.

A historian from the New Bedford Whaling Museum, in Massachusetts, analyzed the pieces of the projectile and confirmed the exploding lance was made in that city in the late 1800s, when New Bedford was the world’s whaling capital. “It’s pretty rare that you get the chance to date the age of a whale,” John Bockstoce, the whaling historian, told the Associated Press.

The research is, however, inconclusive because a harpoon made in the 1830s may have been traded and used 40 years later—a fact which casts some doubt over how old the whale was when it was killed.


INTERNATIONAL LONGSHOREMEN’S ASSOCIATION CONVENTION TO BE HELD IN JULY

The International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) will holds its convention at the Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa in Hollywood, Fla., from July 21 to July 26. MM&P is the marine affiliate of the ILA.


IMO LOGS 16 PIRATE ATTACKS IN MARCH

Sixteen ships were attacked by pirates and armed robbers between Feb. 28 and March 31, according to a report issued by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).  In one case, ten armed pirates jumped aboard a tanker in the South China Sea, tied up and blindfolded the crew at gunpoint, and ordered the master to turn the ship northeast. After traveling for 45 minutes, the ship’s engine stalled, and the pirates, unable to restart it, escaped in speed boats.
Warnings by the Maritime Administration, the Navy and other maritime organizations advising ships to stay at least 200 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia remain in effect.



JOBS AVAILABLE ON THE GREAT LAKES

MM&P Great Lakes and Rivers Representative Charlie Malue reports that numerous jobs are available on the Great Lakes for licensed mates with pilotage, engineers, QMEDS and able-bodied seamen. Retirees are also encouraged to apply for these jobs. The rules of the MM&P Pension Plan allow pensioners to accept without penalty employment–other than Covered Employment–aboard vessels covered by collective bargaining agreements with MM&P membership groups, on condition that the employment is first approved by the Organization. Interested parties should call Charlie Malue at 216-776-1667 or e-mail him at cmalue@bridgedeck.org.


MITAGS OPENINGS FOR SHIP SIMULATOR OPERATORS

The Maritime Institute of Technology & Graduate Studies (MITAGS) is seeking two part-time operators for its full-mission ship simulator. This is an ideal opportunity for computer-savvy MM&P members who know how to maneuver ships in a variety of situations and environments. Applicants should enjoy computer gaming, be creative and have demonstrated the ability to master computer programs. These are ideal positions for MM&P members who want to alternate between shipboard deployments and teaching. Excellent communications and computer skills are a must. E-mail resume to hr@mitags.org or fax to HR Manager at (443) 989-3341. 

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 e-mail: admissions@mitags.org.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

If you are unable to attend your scheduled class, you can contact MITAGS 24 hours a day using voice mail, e-mail or the manned switchboard. Most CMM courses run full with a standby list. A “no show” denies members on standby the opportunity to take the course. It also deprives MITAGS of revenue.  Take a minute of your time to cancel your course and support MITAGS continuing commitment to providing you with world-class training and comfortable accommodations.   

CLASS OPENINGS: Between now and the end of August 2007, seats are available in the following courses:

AIS – Automatic Identification System: 7/13, 8/3
ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 7/24, 8/28

BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 7/17, 8/1

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVWX � Advanced Meteorology: 8/27
CMM-CHS II – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 7/9
CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 7/30
CMM-SHMGT-I – Ship Management(week 1): 7/16
CMM-SHMGT-II – Ship Management (week 2): 7/23
CMM-SHS-ADV-I-Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 8/6, 8/20
CMM-SHS-ADV-II-Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 7/16, 8/13, 8/27
CMM-WKP � Advanced Watchkeeping: 8/6

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5-day): 7/23

LAP – License Advancement Program: 7/23
LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage(Evening): 7/17, 8/1

MEDIA-RSP – Media Response Workshop: 7/12
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 7/28
MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge:  7/23
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 7/23

[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-CBRD-1 – Chemical Biological Radiological Defense Orientation: 7/21
MSC-DC – Damage Control: 7/19
MSC-SMA – Small Arms Training: 8/13
MSC-SMA-R – Small Arms Re-Qualification (2-day): 8/17 (must have proof of passing all 3 weapons within 2 years)

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 7/23, 7/30, 8/27
ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original or Renewal (5 days): 7/9, 7/16, 8/6

SEC-OFF-VCF – Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility:  7/9
SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling:  7/23

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


PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

Summer – Fall 2007

Due to the high demand for this program, PMI has now scheduled another that is already close to full enrollment for its 2007-start date. See the PMI Web site at www.mates.org for more info on this new development.

FOR REGISTRATION CALL JENNIFER FOWLER: 206 838-1126

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

July 2007
9th      FL
9-13    ARPA
9-13    BST
10th     RADAR RENEWAL
10-11  SIM ASSESS
10-13  LFBT
16-20 AB
16-20 MED PRO
16-20 ENAV
23rd     RADAR RENEWAL
23-27  SHS BAS
23-3    CNAV
30-3   ARPA
30-3   MED PRO
30-10 MED PIC      

August 2007
6-7      SAR
6-10    BST
7-10    LFBT
8-10    EP
14-17  LFBT
13-17  AB
13-17  CONSTB
13-17  SHS EM5
13-17  ECDIS
13-17  TPIC
20-24 AB
20-31 SHS ADV
20-24 CHS BAS
27-31  BAFF
27-31  ENAV
27-31  MED PRO
27-8    GMDSS
27-29  CSO/SSO

September 2007
4-7      LFBT
4-8      WX BAS
4-8      TCNAV
10th    RADAR RENEWAL
10-14  BST
10-14  AB
10-14  MED PRO
10-14  TCNAV
10-14  SHS BAS
17-21  MED PRO
17-21  ARPA
17-21  SHS BAS
17-21  TCNAV
17-28  GMDSS
19-21  AFF
24-5    WKP
24-28 ROP
26-28 AFF

October 2007

1-3      BRM
1-5      ARPA
2-5      LFBT
2-5      AFF
8-19    GMDSS
8-12    SHS EM5
8-12    BST
8-12    AB
15-19  ECDIS           
15-19  MED PRO
15-26  MED PIC
17-19  SEC VCF
15-19  BAFF
22        FL
23-24 SHS ASSESS
25-26 SHS ASSESS
29-2    TPIC
29-9    SHS ADV

November 2007
5-16    SHS ADV
6-9      LFBT
13        ROR
12-16  BST
12-16  AB
13-15  SEC VCF
26-7    GMDSS
26-30 ROP
26-30 MED PRO
26-30 SHS BAS

December 2007
3-7      ARPA
3-7      SHS EM5
3-7      BAFF
3-14    CNAV
4-7      LFBT
11        ROR   
10-14  BST
10-14  AB
17-21  ENAV
17-19  SEC VCF
17-21  ARPA
17-21  TPIC
17-21  SHS BAS

For registration call Jennifer Fowler 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 6-29-2007

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
13,408.62 2,603.23 1,503.35
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
68.13
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
138.43
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
42.39
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
26.72
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
20.61
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
37.67
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.01
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
32.00
 Vanguard Federal Money Market Fund (VMFXX)
5.09
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
6.11
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
17.07
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
25.38
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
14.05
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
21.27
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
11.93
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
13.17
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
13.93
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
14.93
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
15.41
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
9.82
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
36.36
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
20.21
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
16.88
 Fidelity Ginnie Mae Fund (FGNMX)
10.59
 Fidelity Government Retirement Money Market (FGMXX)
4.98
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
33.24
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.14
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
93.80
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
22.66
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
89.81
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
25.02
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
47.43
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
41.05
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
33.97
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.67
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
12.70
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
15.08
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
16.16
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
16.84
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
9.99
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
53.41
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
35.66

 

.






~ Reminders ~





 

T-AGS OCEANOGRAPHIC SURVEY SHIPS MANNING REQUIREMENTS

REQUIRED COURSEWORK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Richard Plant, Director of Special Projects

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



SHIP SECURITY CLEARANCE NEEDED

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

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

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

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

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

From the “Type of Investigation” screen:

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

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



MSC PHYSICALS

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


MM&P FCU NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



 

MM&P HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN NEWS

NOTICE TO MEMBERS WHO ARE TAKING VIOXX

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

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

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

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

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



NMHC MAIL-ORDER PRESCRIPTIONS WEBSITE UPDATED & IMPROVED

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



WWII USCG VETERANS OUTREACH

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

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




 

COMPANY GIVES BUCKS BACK FOR BUYING SAFE SHOES

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

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

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

Vessels in the LMS footwear reimbursement program are:

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

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

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

LOOK FOR THE UNION LABEL:

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

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

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

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

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




 

WEBSITE OFFERS UNION-MADE GOODS AND SERVICES

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

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

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

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

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



The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 700 Maritime Blvd., Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1941. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: iommp@bridgedeck.org. For further info or to subscribe contact 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.

C 2006, International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots. All the material contained in this publication is protected by copyright. For permission to reprint text from the Weekly, contact the MM&P Communications Department: lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org. For changes of address, contact Lisa Rosenthal at lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org.

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