News

Wheelhouse Weekly – July 07, 2008

 

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

Volume 12 . . . . . Number 27. . . .July 7, 2008

STORIES COVERED

Also:

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.


TWIC COMPLIANCE DATE FOR GREAT LAKES ANNOUNCED

The Coast Guard and the Transportation Security Administration announced Wednesday that Oct. 31, 2008, is the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) compliance date for owners and operators of facilities located within the Captain of the Port Zones of Buffalo, N.Y., Duluth, Minn., Detroit, Sault Ste. Marie, Wis., and Lake Michigan.

The newly announced compliance date is in addition to the Oct. 15, 2008, compliance date previously set for the Captain of the Port Zones of Boston, Northern New England and Southeastern New England.

The Coast Guard plans to announce additional ports scheduled for the compliance phase of the TWIC program in coming weeks. Compliance will be phased in by Captain of the Port Zones between Oct. 15, 2008 and April 15, 2009, after which all ports must be in compliance and all credentialed mariners must be in possession of a TWIC. 


MM&P CONVENTION COVERED IN MARITIME INDUSTRY PUBLICATIONS

Several leading maritime industry publications have reported on the 82nd MM&P Convention and, in particular, on the emphasis placed by delegates and speakers on the need to examine candidates’ stance on the Jones Act before casting a vote in the November elections.

In separate articles, both MarEx and CIB Pubs described how convention speakers urged everyone who works in the U.S.-flag maritime industry to mobilize behind the presidential bid of Illinois Senator Barack Obama, a strong supporter of labor and the U.S.-flag maritime industry.

“Everything is on the line: your jobs, your benefits, your health care and your pension,” Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii) is quoted in the articles as saying. “We’ve got about five months to make sure that everyone understands that John McCain is the principal author of every legislative effort to destroy the American Merchant Marine and this union.”  

The articles also quoted Seafarers International Union President Mike Sacco and AFL-CIO President John Sweeney.

“Some of us may be Republicans and may have supported Republican administrations in the past,” Sacco is quoted as saying, “but charity begins at home and we have to look at our own bread and butter. This time around, the issues are monumental. Everything is on the table.”

Sweeney is quoted on the topic of McCain’s vigorous opposition to the Jones Act and cargo preference laws. The AFL-CIO president questioned how a man with McCain’s military background could be opposed to the Jones Act, since it serves to guarantee the availability to our country of U.S.-citizen crews in time of war or other national emergency. McCain “lost his bearings somewhere along the way and sailed over the edge,” Sweeney concludes.

Following the speeches, the delegates to the MM&P convention voted unanimously to endorse Obama in the November presidential race.


MM&P THANKS OBAMA FOR HIS SUPPORT OF MARITIME LABOR AND THE U.S.-FLAG SHIPPING INDUSTRY

The MM&P International Secretary-Treasurer wrote Sen. Barack Obama last week to inform him of the MM&P convention delegates’ unanimous vote to support him, saying, “We are proud to endorse your candidacy and grateful for your support of the American Merchant Marine, U.S. transportation workers and our country’s working families. We are especially pleased that you have recognized the importance of a strong, competitive U.S.-flag merchant marine to our nation’s economic and military security. We greatly appreciate your statements in support of the programs and policies important to our industry and your willingness to work to ensure that American maritime jobs are not outsourced to the benefit of foreign workers and foreign shipping interests.”  


IMPROVING MARINERS’ WORKING CONDITIONS ONLY WAY TO COUNTER MANPOWER SHORTAGE

Highly trained professional mariners will continue to be in short supply until governments and industry make significant improvements in the conditions under which they live and work, says maritime expert Michael Grey.

Grey, the honoree at last month’s Seamen’s Church Institute Silver Bells Award Ceremony in New York, says professional mariners “are finding that there are better opportunities ashore… and that there are too many nasty characteristics about the 21st century seafaring life for their peace of mind.”

Grey, himself a former mariner and now a leading maritime industry analyst and writer, cited a study carried out by a U.K. recruitment agency that surveyed seafarers to find out what their priorities were but also what they considered to be the worst aspects of life at sea. At the top of the list: long time spent apart from family and friends; too much paperwork; time away from children; fatigue; fear of being treated like a criminal; shortcomings of onboard living conditions; difficult to maintain contact with home; crews too small to share workload; few career opportunities.

“If people are our first line of defense in a world that will not tolerate error, then we need good people to stay with us,” Grey says. “If we are going to see our ships manned properly, by people we can depend upon… we must address these complaints.”  

What does the modern mariner want? “First,” says Grey, “respect for the job he does, by those with whom he comes in contact… Talk to seafarers and you are made painfully aware that they regard themselves as increasingly marginalized and routinely treated badly by shore side people, whether it is swinish immigration people, or corrupt or merely unpleasant officials coming into their floating homes and throwing their weight about. There’s no respect.”
He said the limits of questionable legality that some terminals and governments are placing on shore leave are taking their toll as well. “The ability of seafarers to go ashore has been greatly constrained by all manner of restrictions, many of which seem to single out the seafarer in a way that does not isolate the tourist, or even the airline aircrew,” Grey says. “How would you feel after some 40 days in a steel box, being parked alongside, but not even being allowed to go ashore to post a letter or stroll around on solid land?”
“The seafarer would also like rather more security than he gets as a casually employed person with a contract just as long as the voyage,” Grey says. “He would like decent conditions aboard ship, and I don’t care what anyone says, the accommodation 30 or 40 years ago was infinitely better than it is in the bog-standard merchant ship of today.”

Grey said seafarer’s pay and conditions have been going backwards in relative terms for years. “And as for young people, you may lure them to take a passing interest in shipping by the tales of early responsibility, foreign travel and the sheer excitement of a sophisticated modern ship, but when they find out that they cannot use broadband, or text, like their peers ashore, they will be off. If we cannot address the demand of youth for connectivity, we may as well give up trying to attract them.”

Grey said one often overlooked aspect of the looming manpower shortage is “the fact that we need, not just any old seafarers, not merely specialist seafarers, but expert, professional, well trained seafarers who will protect the industry from the awesome liabilities that shipping people face today.” He said the theory that “you could make up for a crew’s lack of expertise by equipping the ship with brilliant gear” has been completely discredited.
“Seafarers are not some sort of exotic creature, but people like everyone ashore. They are human beings, with exactly the same sort of ambitions and desires… If we are to surmount the current manpower shortage and look to the future with any degree of confidence, we have to examine what motivates seafarers and do something to address their wishes… We need radical thinking and imagination if we are to attract and retain good seagoing employees. We don’t need more of the same, because it won’t work anymore.”


UNITED STEELWORKERS AND BRITAIN’S LARGEST UNION JOIN FORCES

In an economy where multinational companies operate across borders, unions are developing global strategies to better represent their members and sustain the middle class. Last week, the United Steelworkers (USW) and Unite, Britain’s largest union, took a giant step in that direction by formally joining together to form the world’s first global union. The new union, dubbed Workers Uniting: The Global Union, will draw on the energies of the two unions’ more than 3 million active and retired workers from the United States, Canada, Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland. The members work in virtually every sector of the global economy, including manufacturing, service, mining and transportation. USW President Leo Gerard and Unite General Secretary Derek Simpson signed the agreement in a transatlantic ceremony broadcast live at the USW convention in Las Vegas. While the two unions will remain largely autonomous, they will have a joint leadership to coordinate common policy and collective bargaining. The two unions represent workers at some of the same companies in both countries and will be able to coordinate bargaining. 


APPLICANTS’ COURSE FOR MM&P CLASS D MEMBERSHIP JULY 9-10

The first course for MM&P applicants seeking Class D membership will be given July 9-10 in MM&P’s Los Angeles/Long Beach Hall. If you want to participate in the course, call MM&P’s LA/LB Hall today at 310-834-7201. Requirements for D-Book membership are: completion of the course; four written recommendations; applicant fee paid in full; and having shipped for 360 days in MM&P’s Offshore Division. Applicants who have completed the requirements for D-Book membership will be eligible for admission into the union at General Executive Board meetings subsequent to Jan. 1, 2009. Courses for applicants will be offered at MM&P union halls around the country this year. After that, it is anticipated that courses will be conducted at International Headquarters. The course lasts two full days, from 0900 to 1700. Additional courses will be announced in the Wheelhouse Weekly as they are scheduled.


MM&P FAMILY URGENTLY NEEDS OUR HELP

A 38-year-old member of MM&P, Brother William Fox of the Great Lakes & Rivers Group, died two weeks ago of pancreatic cancer, leaving a young family with limited means of support. Will, who had been employed by Grand River Navigation since 2001, began as an oiler and worked his way up to chief engineer on the MV MAUMEE. “He loved shipping on the Great Lakes and brought his wife, Suzanne, and daughter, Alycyn, on board for trips whenever possible,” says John Hayes of Grand River Navigation, who has launched an appeal for contributions “as a shipmate, for one of our own.” An account to benefit Will’s family has been established:

William Fox Benefit Account
c/o Traverse City State Bank
P.O. Box 192
Traverse City, MI 49685

“If you could see clear to donate one day’s pay, it would go very far to help out the family of a fellow shipmate,” Hayes says. “If that is too difficult, anything you can donate would help and be greatly appreciated.” If you have questions, please contact MM&P’s Great Lakes & Rivers Hall at 216-776-1667 or send an e-mail to cmalue@bridgedeck.org.


JOB OPENINGS FOR MM&P MEMBERS ON THE GREAT LAKES

There are job openings on the Great Lakes for MM&P members. Our contracted employers are seeking engineers and licensed mates with pilotage. Retirees are also encouraged to apply. 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 MM&P. Interested parties should call 216-776-1667 or e-mail cmalue@bridgedeck.org.


JIM CLEMENTS COMMENDED FOR EMERGENCY RESPONSE

Jim Clements, the head of the marine safety department at MITAGS, has received commendations from the Executive Director of the school for his prompt response to an incident that took place last month in the MITAGS restaurant. An MM&P Plans employee staggered and fell, hitting his head on a tile. “You dropped everything and were on the scene immediately,” the letter of commendation to Clements reads. “Had it not been for your prompt response, the outcome could have been dire indeed. Your actions are truly commendable, reflecting well on your personal professionalism, your concern for others, and MITAGS.”


TECHNOLOGIES TO REDUCE SHIP STRIKES OF WHALES ARE FOCUS OF RHODE ISLAND WORKSHOP

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has organized a workshop in Providence, R.I., July 8-10, that will focus on the use of new technologies to reduce the risk of ship strikes of large whales. MITAGS Business Development Manager Robert Becker will attend the workshop, which will be held at the Biltmore Providence Hotel.

Collisions with ships are a major threat to endangered large whales species, the North Atlantic right whale in particular. NOAA said in a statement that it is trying to address the threat through strategies that include modifications of vessel operations, providing whale sightings advisories, and proposed vessel speed regulations. 

The goals of the workshop are to (a) identify existing or emerging technologies that might be useful in reducing ship strikes, (b) assess the feasibility of each in reducing ship strikes, and (c) identify R&D and timelines needed to make a given technology useful in reducing the threat. Alarms systems, predictive modeling, remote sensing and active and passive acoustics are among the technologies that will be discussed.


COAST GUARD CUTTER AND FERRY COLLIDE

The Coast Guard says one of its cutters collided with a ferry carrying 257 passengers and eight crew about three miles north of Block Island, R.I., around 12:15 p.m. Thursday. There were no reported injuries. Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound received a call from the Cutter MORRO BAY, a 140-foot ice-breaking tug home-ported in New London, Conn., reporting they and the Block Island Ferry had collided. The ferry has a dent about five feet above the water line. The MORRO BAY reported minimal damage and was fully operational following the collision. Visibility at the time of the collision was reported to be about 200 yards. The ferry was in route to Block Island and the Morro Bay was in route to New London. The Coast Guard said the cause of the collision is under investigation.


PIRATES RELEASE DUTCH CARGO SHIP

A spokesman for Reider Shipping, the company that owns the 2,546 gt general cargo ship AMIYA SCAN, has reported that the pirates that had been holding the vessel since May 25 released the vessel and its crew of four Russians and five Filipinos last Wednesday. The company has refused to say whether a ransom was paid. Several members of the crew were said to be suffering from food poisoning when they were released, but were otherwise in good shape.


OPENINGS FOR PUGET SOUND PILOTS

The Washington State Board of Pilotage will administer a written exam in Seattle the week of Oct. 20 to qualified applicants for the Puget Sound Pilotage District. Applicants who pass the written test and the simulator evaluation will be placed on a waiting list to be called into training as needed. Successful completion of training will result in issuance of a state pilot license for the Puget Sound District. 

Applications to sit for the exam can be obtained in person at the offices of the Board of Pilotage Commissioners, 2901 Third Ave., Seattle, WA (Floor 1) or requested by letter or e-mail from: Judy Bell, Board of Pilotage Commissioners, 2901 Third Ave., Suite 500, Seattle, WA 98121; Fax: 206-515-3906; Phone: 206-515-3647; belljud@wsdot.wa.gov

Applications must be completed and received by the Board at 2901 Third Avenue by 5:00 p.m. on Sept. 19 unless prior written permission is obtained from the Board to file at a later time.


PRINCESS OF THE STARS TO BE REFLOATED

Authorities in the Philippines say they will require ship operator Sulpicio Lines to refloat the PRINCESS OF THE STARS so as to recover the ship’s cargo of the dangerous pesticide Endosulfan. Over 100 people died when the vessel capsized on June 21. The Philippine government decided to require the company to refloat the vessel after the salvage team abandoned a plan to drill holes in the hull to recover the boxed cargo of pesticide. Authorities are worried that seawater will weaken the seals of the pesticide cartons inside the container and begin to corrode the container itself, creating a leak that would contaminate the surrounding marine environment.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

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

AIS-1 � Automatic Identification System (1 day): 7/11

ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 8/11

BST – Basic Safety Training:  8/11
BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 7/21
BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 8/11

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 8/26
CMM-CHS II – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 7/7
CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display & Information Systems: 8/18
CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 7/28
CMM-SHS-ADV-I-Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 7/7, 8/4
CMM-SHS-ADV-II-Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 7/14, 8/11
CMM-SHMGT-I � Ship Management(week 1): 7/14
CMM-SHMGT-II � Ship Management(week 2): 7/21
CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 8/4
CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 8/11

FF-BADV – Combined Basic & Advanced Fire Fighting: 8/11

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day) course: 8/4

[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-CBRD-1 – CBRD Orientation: 8/29
MSC-DC – Damage Control: 8/25
MSC-SMA – Small Arms Training: 8/25

MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 7/21, 8/18
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 7/21, 8/18  
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 7/26, 8/23
MEDIA RSP – Media Response: 7/10

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original or Renewal (5 Day): 8/4
ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 7/7, 8/11

SEC-VCF – Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 7/7, 8/11
SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 8/18
SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling: 7/28, 8/25
SHS-ESH-BRMP 3 day – Emergency Shiphandling & Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 8/13

TPIC-LG – Tankship Liquefied Gases (PIC) LNG: 8/4

…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)

July 2008
14-18MED PIC
14-25CNAV
21-25ECDIS
21-25TPIC
21-25STB BAS
21-8/1SHS ADV
28-29SAR
28-30SEC VCF
28-8/8GMDSS
28-8/1TPIC
30-8/1EP

August 2008
4-8MED PRO
4-15GMDSS
11-15MED PRO
11-15SHS BAS
11-22GMDSS
18-19SAR
20-22EP
25-29MED PRO
25-29SHS BAS

September 2008
2FL
2-5APRA
2-6CHS BAS
2-6MED PRO
3ROR
8-12MED PIC
9-12SHS EMR-5
15-19WX BAS
15-19TPIC
15-26GMDSS
22-26MED PRO

October 2008
29-3 ROP
29-3 SHS BAS
6 ROR
6-10WKP BAS
7-10ARPA
13-17ECDIS
13-17TPIC
20-31GMDSS
20-24MED PRO
20-31MED PIC
22-26MED PRO
20FL

November 2008
3ROR
4-7ARPA
10-14MED PRO
10-21MED PIC
17-19SEC VCF

December 2008
1-5MED PRO
1-12GMDSS
1-12MED PIC
8-19GMDSS
15-19ECDIS
15-19TPIC

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 7-3-2008

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
11,216 2,251 1,262
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
57.86
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
116.29
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
35.48
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
21.40
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
17.38
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
26.18
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.21
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
29.82
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.52
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
15.84
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
21.98
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
13.51
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
19.09
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
11.50
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
12.04
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
12.38
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
12.97
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
13.39
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.00
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
30.65
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
18.93
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
14.19
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
21.63
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
9.91
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
78.11
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
16.11
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
64.79
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
19.03
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
39.01
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
35.01
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
25.23
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
10.99
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
11.80
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
13.54
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
14.00
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
14.22
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
8.31
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
9.78
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.11
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
33.49
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
44.87
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
27.87





~ 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.
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.

© 2008, 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.