News

Wheelhouse Weekly – July 07, 2006

 

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

Volume 10 . . . . . Number 27. . . . July 7, 2006

STORIES COVERED

Also

REMINDERS

T-AGS Oceanographic Survey Ships Info

Required Coursework

Security Clearances

MSC Physicals

MM&P Health & Benefit Plan News

Notice to Members who are taking Vioxx

NMHC Mail-Order Prescriptions Website Updated & Improved

WWII USCG Veterans Outreach

Company Gives Bucks Back for buying Safe Shoes

Website Offers Union-Made Goods and Services




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





 

81ST MM&P CONVENTION TO CONVENE AUGUST 22ND AT MITAGS

Members are reminded that a regular convention of the MM&P will be convened at 1000 hrs on Tuesday, August 22, 2006, at MITAGS, 692 Maritime Boulevard, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090. In accordance with Article IV, Section 6., Subsection b), all proposed resolutions must be forwarded to the International Secretary-Treasurer at least 30 days prior to the opening day of the Convention for inclusion on the Agenda and determination by the Convention. For further info, contact Diane Chatham at dchatham@bridgedeck.org.




 

CAPT. PILLSBURY REMEMBERED BY SAN FRANCISCO BAR PILOTS

At the July 5th meeting of the San Francisco Bar Pilots, MM&P member Kip Carlson sadly reported the “Crossing of the Bar” by Captain Charles Pillsbury. SFBP members present observed a minute of silence and the bell was struck three times to honor his career and to wish him fair winds on his new voyage.


MM&P-BACKED PORT ACCESS LANGUAGE INCLUDED IN USCG BILL

MM&P has registered a significant victory in the drive to guarantee that its members and other seafarers have access to port facilities and terminals under terms that are consistent with international law and US treaty obligations. Language that mandates appropriate port and terminal access is included in the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2006, introduced in Congress immediately before the summer recess by Rep. Don Young (R- AK).

The need for action comes in response to reports that many US port facilities and terminals have instituted cumbersome and inflexible access limitation measures of questionable legality. In the name of security, service personnel have in some cases been barred from traversing terminals to board ships, ships have been forced to take on stores while underway in the channel and some vessels have been turned into “floating prisons” from which mariners — despite being in possession of the appropriate documents — are not allowed to disembark.

According to reports received by MM&P and other unions and international organizations, some port facilities and terminals have even turned their “security procedures” into profit centers, requiring mariners to pay hefty fees for escort services to take them from the vessel to the area beyond the terminal gate. A provision in Young’s bill would require “facility security plans to provide a system for seamen assigned to a vessel at that facility and representatives of seamen’s welfare and labor organizations to board and depart the vessel through the facility in a timely manner at no cost to the individual.” The bill could ultimately become law in October. It will first have to pass through a number of congressional committees, as well as a reconciliation process.

“This is the first step, but an extremely important step, in the process to rectify this egregious situation,” commented C. James Patti, president of MIRAID, which represents the interests of MM&P and its contracted companies in Washington. “Hopefully this legislation will bring US terminals into line with international obligations protecting the human rights of mariners,” said George Quick, MM&P vice president for pilotage. “This action reinforces our belief that the system works if you have the opportunity to be heard.”


MM&P URGES AGENCIES TO REVISIT NEW SECURITY PROPOSALS

In a strongly worded, 20-page statement, MM&P has urged the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to make sweeping changes to its proposal for a new Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC). MM&P told DHS the union “had looked forward to the introduction of the TWIC” as a security enhancement but that, “the proposal as drafted will place an impossible task on ships and mariners.”

Among MM&P’s biggest concerns:

  • Mariners may have to carry an assortment of access cards because TWIC as currently proposed will not preempt local security card programs already in place at US ports and terminals.
  • TWIC is not in compliance with the International Labor Organization convention on the seafarers’ identity card, which means it may not be accepted internationally, a situation that could interfere with US mariners’ access to foreign terminals and ports for shore leave.
  • Mariners and other maritime sector workers are required to bear the initial start-up costs of the entire program, which will ultimately be extended to cover millions of other transportation industry workers.
  • The interactive card readers are not practical for use aboard ships and raise serious data connectivity issues.
  • The requirement that detailed records on everyone boarding a ship be held for two years is onerous, as is a provision that ship personnel transcribe information on holders of foreign identity cards, including those issued in languages other than English.

MM&P has also expressed serious concerns about a proposal made by the US Coast Guard (USCG) in tandem with TWIC. USCG is proposing to consolidate all merchant mariner documents and licenses into a single Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC). MM&P supports retention of the Merchant Mariner Document in its current role, as both an identity document and a certificate of qualifications at the unlicensed level. The union advises that the functionality of today’s MMD be upgraded to comply with the TWIC and ILO standards, to reduce the regulatory burden on mariners and eliminate the need for them to carry both a TWIC and an MMD. The union also urges that the combined MMD/TWIC be issued on the basis of a single criminal record check that meets the requirements of all agencies concerned.

DHS has paired the TWIC proposal with new ship access control regulations that are also a source of concern to MM&P. MM&P has told DHS that the TWIC program as proposed would further undercut the profitability of US-flag shipping. “Requiring US ships to continually operate under more difficult and time consuming security procedures than their foreign counterparts will place them at an even more serious competitive disadvantage than already exists because of US regulatory and tax policies,” the union wrote.

Below are the links for the MM&P’s Comments on TWIC and MMC that can be found on the MM&P Web site. For MMC go to:
. For TWIC: .
By the middle of next week, both documents can be accessed by clicking on the “What’s New” button that is currently being installed on the MM&P Web site.


MMC AND TWIC PROPOSED RULES ON TSAC TELECONFERENCE AGENDA

The Towing Safety Advisory Committee (TSAC) will hold a teleconference for TSAC to present its comments to the Coast Guard on the joint Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) and Coast Guard’s Transportation Worker’s Identification Credential (TWIC) proposed rule. Comments will also be presented on the Coast Guard’s Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) proposed rule.

The teleconference call will take place on Wednesday, July 12th, from 1230 until 1430 hrs EDT. The meeting may adjourn early if all business is finished. Members of the public may participate by dialing 1-202-366-3920, pass code 4803. Public participation is welcomed; however, the number of teleconference lines is limited and available on a first- come, first-served basis. For questions on this notice, contact Gerald Miante, Assistant Executive Director TSAC, at phone: 202-372-1401, fax: 202-372-1926, or e-mail: gmiante@comdt.uscg.mil.


HOUSE PASSES USCG & MARITIME TRANSPORTATION ACT OF 2006

Last week, the House of Representatives approved legislation that will allow the US Coast Guard to better perform its vital missions, including homeland security, illegal drug and migrant interdiction, search and rescue, and fisheries enforcement. Under suspension of the rules, the House approved the conference report to accompany HR 889, the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2006, by a vote of 413 to 0.

“This bill authorizes $8.7 billion in funding for the Coast Guard, including $1.6 billion for the recapitalization of Coast Guard vessels, aircraft and support systems,” said Rep. Don Young (R-AK), Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and coauthor of the original legislation. The bill includes language providing incentives for LNG companies to use American officers as well as provisions to regulate the use of foreign riding gangs on US-flag vessels. “Funding at this level would result in the acceleration of the Deepwater Program and would provide a new, more capable fleet to support the Coast Guard’s many traditional and homeland security missions,” Young said.


USCG AUTHORIZATION ACT HAS POSITIVE PROVISIONS FOR MARINERS

The Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2006 (HR 889) contains a number of key provisions that will help the US-flag maritime industry address licensing concerns and potential threats to the Jones Act. The final conference report on the bill was passed by the House of Representatives on June 27 and by the Senate on June 28. It now awaits Presidential signature.

Among its many provisions, the bill contains a measure that would allow the USCG to extend mariner licenses that are set to expire. The extension can last until April of 2007, although it will be up to the USCG to determine how long each extension will last. Hurricane Katrina destroyed the Coast Guard’s Regional Examination Center in New Orleans and, since then, mariners have faced major delays in the processing of license and documentation applications.


NAVY CHRISTENS USNS SACAGAWEA

The Navy christened the USNS SACAGAWEA, the newest ship in the Lewis and Clark class of underway replenishment ships on June 24th at National Steel and Shipbuilding in San Diego, CA. She will be crewed by Licensed Deck Officers from MM&P’s Government Employees’ Membership Group.

The name Sacagawea is in honor of the Lemhi Shoshone woman who acted as guide and interpreter for Lewis and Clark on their expedition into the Northwest region of the US. This well documented expedition of 2 years and 6,000 miles opened routes to vast new territories throughout the American West. Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) delivered the christening ceremony’s principal address.

The USNS SACAGAWEA is the second ship in the Navy’s new 11- ship T-AKE Class. T-AKE is a combat logistics force vessel intended to replace the current capability of the T-AE 26 KILAUEA-Class ammunition ships, T-AFS 1 MARS-Class combat stores ships and, when operating with T-AO 187 HENRY J.
KAISER-Class oiler ships, the AOE 1 SACRAMENTO-Class fast combat support ships. The USNS SACAGAWEA is 689 feet in length, has an overall beam of 105 feet, a navigational draft of 30 feet, and displaces approximately 42,000 tons. Powered by a single-shaft diesel-electric propulsion system, the ship can reach a speed of 20 knots.


BILL PASSED TO STRENGTHEN CHECKS OF FOREIGN INVESTMENT

The House Financial Services Committee has unanimously passed bipartisan legislation that would strengthen the process by which the Committee on Foreign Investments in the US (CFIUS) reviews foreign acquisitions within America.

The National Security FIRST Act (HR 5337), would make changes to the foreign investment process that include: a mandatory 45-day investigation for all acquisitions involving foreign governments, requiring CFIUS to consult the Director of National Intelligence, automatic congressional notification after each investigation and requiring the Treasury and Homeland Security Secretaries or Deputy Secretaries to sign off on approvals.

The House committee passed the measure in response to the failed Dubai ports deal earlier this year that caused a tidal wave of criticism on Capitol Hill when it was revealed that the US had a weak system of checks of foreign investment. The legislation now makes its way to the House of Representatives floor for a vote.


NEW IMO RULES TAKE EFFECT ON PERSONS IN DISTRESS AT SEA

On July 1, several new International Maritime Organization (IMO) rules took effect regarding amendments to the SOLAS and SAR Conventions, adopted in May 2004, concerning the treatment of persons rescued at sea. The amendments were developed in response to highlighted concerns surrounding the treatment of persons rescued at sea, including undocumented migrants, asylum seekers and refugees and stowaways. The prime concern with respect to such incidents was that, unless the matter was considered in all its aspects and appropriate action was taken, there might be a negative impact on the integrity of the global search and rescue system which IMO has put in place.

The amendments include adding a definition of search and rescue services. They add to and clarify the existing longstanding obligation to provide assistance, adding the words: “This obligation to provide assistance applies regardless of the nationality or status of such persons or the circumstances in which they are found.” The amendments mandate co-ordination and co-operation between nations to assist the ship’s master in delivering persons rescued at sea to a place of safety. They also add a new regulation regarding the master’s discretion, which states that: “The owner, the charterer, the company operating the ship, or any other person shall not prevent or restrict the master of the ship from taking or executing any decision which, in the master’s professional judgement, is necessary for safety of life at sea and protection of the marine environment.”


MM&P PACIFIC PORTS JULY 2006 HOLIDAY SCHEDULE NOTICE

MM&P Union Halls in the ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach, San Francisco and Seattle will be closed for a Longshore holiday on Friday, July 28th in observance of the birthday of legendary West Coast labor leader Harry Bridges.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

 

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

JUST ADDED: CMM-ADVSTB – 8/21


ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 7/25, 9/12, 9/26
AZIPOD-KAM-2 – Two-Day Azipod and Kamewa Steering and Propulsion Systems: 9/19, 9/23

BRMP – Bridge Resource Mangement for Pilots: 8/7, 9/27
BST – Basic Safety Training: 8/28, 9/25

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 9/11
CMM-ADVSTB – 8/21, 9/11
CMM-CHS I – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 9/25
CMM-CHS II – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 9/18
CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart and Display Information System: 9/18
CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 8/7
CMM-SHMGT-I – Ship Management I (week 1): 7/10, 8/21
CMM-SHMGT-II – Ship Management II (week 2): 8/14
CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 8/7, 8/21
CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 7/24
CMM-WKP – Watchkeeping: 8/28

CONT-PLNG – Contingency Planning: 7/14
CSE-AASE – Confined Space Entry: 8/28

FF-BADV – Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 8/28, 9/25

HAZ-Hazardous Materials (5-day): 7/31, 9/11

LAP-License Advancement Program (5 weeks including USCG Exam): 7/24

MEDIA-RSP – Media Response: 7/13
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 7/14, 7/29, 8/12, 9/24
MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 7/24, 8/14, 9/11
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 7/24, 8/14, 9/11


[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-CBRD-1 (Chemical Biological Radiological Defense Orientation): 8/23
MSC-DC (Damage Control): 8/24
MSC-SMA – Small Arms: 8/28
MSC-SMA-R – Small Arms Re-Qualification (2-day): 9/1 (must have proof of passing all 3 weapons within 2 years)

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal (5-day): 8/28
ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 7/15, 7/24, 9/25

SEC-OFF-VCF – Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 7/10
SHS-EMR – Emergency Shiphandling: 7/31, 8/28, 9/5

TPIC – Tankerman Person-In-Charge: 9/25


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 2006

July

7/10 Radar Recertification
7/10-14 Basic Safety Training7/
7/10-14 Medical Care Provider
7/10/14 ARPA
7/10-21 Medical Person-In-Charge
7/11-14 Survival Craft / Lifeboatman
7/17-19 Ship Security Officer
7/17-21 Electronic Navigation
7/17-21 Emergency Shiphandling 5-day
7/17-21 Able Bodied Seaman
7/24-28 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
7/24-8/4 Celestial Navigation

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

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

October 2006
10/2-4 Ship Security Officer
10/2-4 Basic Safety Training
10/2-13 Shiphandling – Advanced
10/9-13 ECDIS
10/9-13 Radar Observer Unlimited
10/9-20 GMDSS
10/10-13 Survival Craft / Lifeboatman
10/16-20 Basic & Advanced Firefighting
10/23 Flashing Light
10/23-27 ARPA
10/23-27 Cargo Handling & Stowage – Basic
10/24-25 Simulation Assessment

For registration call Jennifer Fowler 888-893-7829

PMI MERCHANDISE FOR SALE!!!

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

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


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 7-6

 

 D O W  N A S D A Q  S & P 500
11,255.30 +105.08 for the week 2,155.09 -17.00 for the week 1,274.08 +3.88 for the week

 

Fund Name & Trading Symbol
Closing
Price
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
117.40
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
35.98
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
22.99
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
17.88
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
32.54
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
9.93
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX)
6.03
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
9.71
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
19.47
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
16.20
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
34.60
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
87.43
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
21.69
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
78.50
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX) 45.31
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
29.73

 






~ Reminders ~





 

T-AGS OCEANOGRAPHIC SURVEY SHIPS MANNING REQUIREMENTS

REQUIRED COURSEWORK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Richard Plant, Director of Special Projects

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



SHIP SECURITY CLEARANCE NEEDED

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

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

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

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

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

From the “Type of Investigation” screen:

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

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

 



MSC PHYSICALS

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

 


MM&P FCU NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



 

MM&P HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN NEWS

NOTICE TO MEMBERS WHO ARE TAKING VIOXX

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

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

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

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

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



NMHC MAIL-ORDER PRESCRIPTIONS WEBSITE UPDATED & IMPROVED

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



WWII USCG VETERANS OUTREACH

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

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




 

COMPANY GIVES BUCKS BACK FOR BUYING SAFE SHOES

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

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

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

Vessels in the LMS footwear reimbursement program are:

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

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

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

LOOK FOR THE UNION LABEL:

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

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

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

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

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




 

WEBSITE OFFERS UNION-MADE GOODS AND SERVICES

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

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

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

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

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



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



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