News

Wheelhouse Weekly – July 20, 2009

July 20th 2009

 

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

Volume 13 . . . . . Number 29. . . . July 20, 2009

STORIES COVERED

REMINDERS

T-AGS Oceanographic Survey Ships Info

Required Coursework

Security Clearances

MSC Physicals

MM&P FCU News

MM&P Health & Benefit Plan News

Meet Our New Prescription Benefit Manager, PHARMACARE

Notice to MM&P Health & Benefit Plan Participants

WWII USCG Veterans Outreach

Company Gives Bucks Back for buying Safe Shoes

Website Offers Union-Made Goods and Services



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


COAST GUARD SEEKS TO ADVISE MARINERS ON HOW TO DEAL WITH CONSEQUENCES OF ITS DECISION TO MERGE LICENSE, MMD

After deciding to merge officers’ licenses and the MMD into a single unit, the Coast Guard is trying to deal with questions about how to display, use and protect the new document. In a notice entitled “Important Information for Mariners About Posting the New Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) On-Board a Vessel,” the Coast Guard advises that, “as a security measure, mariners should not post their credentials while the vessel is visiting foreign ports.”
 
“But in some foreign ports,” says MM&P headquarters staffer Mike Rodriguez, “officials take mariners’ documents and hold them while their vessel is in port. It is not an issue everywhere, but if government officials want to take mariners’ documents, what are our members supposed to do, refuse?”
 
The new MMC also serves as an international identity document because the Coast Guard and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) refused to use a biometric identifier on the TWIC that was compatible with international standards under the ILO Seafarer Identity Document (SID) Convention, ILO C185. For this reason, mariners may be required to carry the MMC, which now also includes their license, when going ashore in foreign ports.
 
The original concept was to have the license serve as a certificate of competency and the TWIC serve as a separate identity document. But the failure on the part of the Coast Guard and TSA to make the TWIC compliant with the SID Convention makes it useless in foreign ports as an ID. To address that problem, the USCG has grafted the International Labor Organization’s SID biometric identifier into the new license format so it can fulfill the function of the TWIC outside the United States. The problems this might create were clearly pointed out to the TSA and the USCG by maritime labor early on in the process of developing the TWIC, but the input was ignored.

And there is an additional problem: since the new MMC created by the Coast Guard is an identity document, posting it in any port, foreign or American, gives rise to the risk of document/identity theft. This risk is a direct consequence of the Coast Guard’s decision to combine the license and identity document into a single credential.
 
The union is very concerned over how this guidance by the USCG will be received overseas and we encourage our members to write or call in with their experiences.
“The transition to the MMC is something that MM&P opposed and we continue to monitor its implementation,” commented MM&P International President Tim Brown.


EUROPE LAUNCHES STUDY ON SEAFARER FATIGUE

The European Commission has launched an extensive research project to study the effects of fatigue on seafarers. Fatigue has become a major issue in the shipping industry and is believed to have been a contributory factor in a number of shipping accidents. The research, which will take two-and-a-half years to complete, will study the work and rest patterns of deck and engine officers, concentrating in particular on watch-keeping, which has become an area of increasing concern, with fatigue being identified as a major safety issue. The European Maritime Safety Agency reported that in 2008, 754 vessels were involved in 670 accidents and 82 seafarers lost their lives.


USCG MARINE SAFETY ALERT ON EPIRB AND PLB REGISTRATION

The Coast Guard has issued a safety alert about the importance of ensuring your Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) and Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) are properly registered with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  The Coast Guard said that one of the circumstances surrounding a recent major marine casualty involving an uninspected commercial fishing vessel was the improper registration of the vessel’s EPIRB.  The Unique Identification Number (UIN) entered into NOAA’s registration database was different from the actual UIN programmed into the EPIRB by the manufacturer and transmitted to the Search and Rescue Satellite System after the vessel sank. The improper registration of this vessel’s EPIRB delayed the notification to Search and Rescue personnel, and subsequently delayed the launching of rescue assets.
 
The Search and Rescue Satellite-Aided Tracking (SARSAT) System is composed of stationary and orbiting satellites. For any given location (outside of the Polar Regions), there is continuous coverage by a stationary satellite, and coverage by an orbiting satellite every 60 to 75 minutes on average (which includes the Polar Regions).  The stationary satellites can receive all the information transmitted by an EPIRB or PLB, but they are not capable of determining the position of the beacon unless the beacon has an optional GPS receiver (not all models carry this option). Normally, position identification is accomplished by the orbiting satellites. So, if a beacon is not equipped with the optional GPS, it could take up to 100 minutes for the orbiting satellites to identify the location of the beacon.
 
In the case of this casualty, the first notification was received by a stationary satellite soon after the vessel sank, but the orbiting satellites were not within range and the improper registration prevented the identification of the vessel’s name, homeport and emergency contact information from being forwarded to the Search and Rescue authorities.
 
As a result of this incident, NOAA has commenced an important safety initiative, e-mailing and mailing all owners/operators of EPIRBs and PLBs registered in the United States National Beacon Registration Database and requesting that they follow the steps listed below.  The Coast Guard supports this initiative, and strongly recommends all vessel owners and
operators:
 
1. Confirm that current EPIRB and PLB registrations are correct.
Cross-check that the UIN printed by the manufacturer on your EPIRB or PLB matches the UIN printed on the proof-of-registration decal sent to you by NOAA. The manufacturer-provided UIN is usually found on the exterior of the beacon, although in some cases the UIN is printed inside the beacon, under the beacon’s battery. You can also cross-check that the above UINs match the NOAA registration database by visiting the National Beacon Registration website at: www.beaconregistration.noaa.gov and choosing one of the links for your existing beacon registration. If any of the numbers or letters in the UINs are different, your beacon may not be registered properly and you should contact NOAA immediately at: (301) 817-4515 or 1-888-212-SAVE (7283). 
 
2. Update EPIRB and PLB registrations if there are any changes to the vessel information, owner/operator information, emergency contact information, or if your registration information has expired. Registration data must be renewed every two years. Updates and renewals can be made using the same registration methods listed below.
 
3. Register new or previously unregistered EPIRBs and PLBs with NOAA via the internet at: www.beaconregistration.noaa.gov. Note: Registration is mandatory and is required by federal regulation.
 
Alternatively, you can mail the registration form which can be found in the beacon’s packaging, or downloaded from the beacon registration website provided above, to the following address: Beacon Registration, NOAA/NESDIS, NSOF, E/SP3, 4231 Suitland Rd., Suitland, MD 20746. The registration form can also be faxed to: (301) 817-4565.
 
If you have already received a registration safety notification from NOAA and responded accordingly, no further action is required until your next beacon renewal or update.


PIRATE ACTIVITY INCREASES DRAMATICALLY; INDIAN SHIP RELEASED

Somali pirates have reportedly abandoned an Indian ship they used to attack a very large crude carrier in the Gulf of Aden. European Union authorities said the pirates had hijacked an Indian dhow earlier in the week. A helicopter dispatched by the French Navy was able to halt the attempted hijacking of the VLCC. There were no casualties.
 
In related news, the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has reported that pirate attacks have more than doubled in the first six months of 2009 as compared to the same period in 2008. The rise in overall numbers is almost entirely attributable to increased Somali pirate activity in the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Somalia. IMB said the attackers were heavily armed in the majority of incidents and that, “Violence against crew members continues to increase.”


MM&P HEADQUARTERS STAFFER ADDRESSES NATIONAL DEFENSE TRANSPORTATION ASSOCIATION MEETING ON PIRACY

MM&P headquarters staffer Mike Rodriguez was the speaker at the June meeting of the Baltimore Chapter of the National Defense Transportation Association (NDTA). Rodriguez, who reports directly to MM&P International President Tim Brown, began by describing the economic and political conditions in Somalia. “Somali pirates, who may be anyone from poor fishermen to former militiamen, face deplorable poverty ashore in a nation that lacks an effective central government,” Rodriguez told the group. He said the pirates often receive outside funding and that “links to terrorist organizations are a concern.”
 
Rodriguez told the audience of defense industry professionals that attacks on merchant vessels usually begin at dawn, when two or more skiffs, each with 4-6 pirates aboard, approach the target, looking for a low place to put up a ladder. The pirates often carry AK-47s, RPGs, semi-automatic pistols, hand grenades and even explosives. The pirates “gain control of the ship and take it to anchorage off the Somali coast,” Rodriguez said.
“The ships are usually held for 45-60 days or more while negotiations continue over the ransom.”

Rodriguez told the group that the international maritime community must do more to protect seafarers. In particular, he said, “shipowners must be more willing to share information to close intelligence gaps.” 


MM&P-CONTRACTED RESEARCH VESSEL FINDS TRACES OF AMERICAN AIRCRAFT IN PHU YEN SEA

The ocean-survey vessel BRUCE HEEZEN, operated by MM&P-contracted Horizon Lines, has discovered “a strange object” in the sea off the central province of Phu Yen which on-board personnel believe is an American helicopter that crashed during the Vietnam War. The BRUCE HEEZEN had been at the Port of Da Nang since June 24, participating in a search for remains of American servicemen missing in action in Vietnam’s coastal waters.
 
“This is the first time the Vietnamese government has allowed a U.S. naval ship to search underwater,” said the master of the HEEZEN, Captain Robert Reish. “The use of the U.S. Navy’s ocean-survey ship for humanitarian search activities in Vietnam can remarkably speed up the discovery of underwater locations of downed airplanes.” He said that in the past 12 days, the BRUCE HEEZEN had conducted searches in the waters off Khanh Hoa, Phu Yen and Quang Nam provinces in central Vietnam.


IMPORTANT NOTICE ABOUT VESSEL SECURITY OFFICER (VSO) TRAINING AND CERTIFICATION

The Coast Guard has amended its regulations to implement the VSO training and certification amendments to the Seafarers’ Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) Code. To facilitate processing of the endorsement, and in view of the large number of mariners who have applied for their VSO endorsements but did not receive the document in time to meet the July 1 deadline, the Coast Guard will be accepting proof of application, accompanied by a course completion certificate, as meeting the regulatory requirements for VSO. This is a temporary measure, which will remain in effect until September 1. The Coast Guard says mariners can show proof of application submission by going to the Homeport website, accessing the “Mariner Application Status” function and printing the information that is displayed.
 
Because many of the mariners who will be covered under the regulation have not applied for a VSO endorsement or attended a refresher VSO course, the Coast Guard will extend the refresher course completion deadline to July 1, 2011. Mariners must show the course provider documentary evidence that he/she met the criteria in 33 CFR Part 104.215(d)(4)(i) prior to July 1, 2009, which is the effective date of the regulation. If you have questions regarding this temporary measure, please contact Mayte Medina at 202-372-1406.


UPDATED VERSION OF SPERRY OPERATIONAL GUIDE NOW AVAILABLE

The book “GMDSS: Sailor/Sperry Operational Guidelines” has been recently updated to reflect the characteristics of the new and current Sailor/Sperry equipment. The book provides step-by-step directions on how to use the Sailor and Sperry GMDSS equipment. You can purchase the book at the MITAGS Ship Store or from Marine Education Textbooks Inc., 124 N. Van Ave., Houma, LA 703-63-5895; phone 985-879-3866. The author of the book is former MITAGS GMDSS instructor Ron Neuman.


NEW, TWO-DAY ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS SEMINAR AT MITAGS

MITAGS now offers a two-day seminar designed to keep the maritime community abreast of recent changes in the environmental regulations that apply to our industry. The first day provides a detailed overview of recent changes in domestic and international regulations. The second day focuses on how to develop and submit an EPA vessel general permit (VGP).  The VGP is now required for most vessels operating in U.S. waters. Ample time will be available during the seminar to discuss operational questions. For more information, visit www.mitags.org. If you are interested in taking the seminar, you can enroll on line, or by contacting Mary Matlock in theAdmissions Office: admission@mitags.org and 866-656-5568.  


BRUSCO TUG & BARGE MANAGER INDICTED FOR POLLUTION

The Department of Justice has accused Mark Guinn, general manager for Northern California of Brusco Tug & Barge, with illegally discharging or instructing others to illegally discharge dredged material. The government alleges the illegal activity took place between 2003 and 2007. Guinn is charged with violating the Clean Water Act in connection with dumping barges of dredged material in the waters around Winter Island, a privately owned property on the western edge of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta in Contra Costa County, which is managed as a freshwater wetland habitat and duck hunting club. The maximum statutory penalty for each count of violating the Clean Water Act is three years and a fine of $250,000.  


SILVER RECOVERED FROM VESSEL THAT MYSTERIOUSLY SANK IN JANUARY

Tens of divers aided by a robot have recovered a ton of unrefined silver from the POLAR MIST, a Chilean-flagged refitted fishing trawler which sank in January about 37 nautical miles offshore between Punta Dungense and Rio Gallegos. According to the customs manifest filed before the vessel set sail, it was carrying 9,359 kilos of gold and silver. The owners had insured it in London for $16.4 million. On Jan. 18 of this year, the vessel was abandoned by the crew in high seas, with its engine going at full speed, at the mouth of the Straits of Magellan. It sank two days later.
Although some silver has been recovered, questions remain as to why the crew abandoned the vessel, what exactly it was carrying and whether or not a tug company called in to save it from sinking was actually acting in the best interests of those on board.  


COURSE EQUIVALENCIES FOR REQUIRED COMPANY TRAINING

Given the number of required company training courses, it is extremely important for new members to request a transcript review to determine whether they meet the course equivalency requirements.  The courses that are eligible for equivalency are listed in the MITAGS Trust Student Guide located on www.mitags.org in the MM&P Member Section. You may also request a copy from Diane Ford (dford@mitags.org or call 443-989-3238). Remember, the dispatcher in the union hall cannot assign you a job unless you meet the company’s training requirements!


E-LEARNING SYMPOSIUM NOW UNDERWAY AT MEBA CALHOON SCHOOL

Promoters of the 2009 International Maritime E-Learning Symposium say there is still space available. The symposium is being hosted by the MEBA Calhoon School on July 21-23. It includes STCW-level online training and the design of STCW-approved distance learning systems. To find out more, go to:
http://conf09.cutwater.org/.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

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


ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 8/24, 9/22

AZIPOD – (2-Day) Azipod Propulsion Systems: 10/1

BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 7/27, 9/14

BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 8/27

BST – Basic Safety Training: 8/3

CONSTB – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 8/17

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning:  9/17

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 9/21

CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 8/10, 9/29

CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems: 7/27

CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 8/24

CMM-SHMGT I – Ship Management (week 1) : 9/7

CMM-SHMGT II – Ship Management (week 2) : 9/14

CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1):  8/3, 817, 8/24, 8/31, 9/14, 9/28

CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 8/10, 8/17, 8/31,

CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 8/3

CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 8/17, 8/31

ENAV – Electronic Navigation: 9/7

ENVIRO-REGS PERMIT – Environmental Regulations in the Maritime Industry / EPA General Permit for Commercial Vessels (2 day): 7/29

ENVIRO-REGS – Introduction to Environmental Regulations in the Maritime Industry (1 Day): 7/29

FF-BADV – Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting Combined: 8/3

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5-Day) course: 8/31

LAP – License Advancement Program (Chief Mate & Master Only): 9/14

LAP – License Advancement Program (Original Third Mate Only): 8/17

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 8/26, 9/28

LNG AWAR – Liquefied Natural Gas Awareness: 8/18

MEDIA RSP – Media Response Workshop: 9/18

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 8/10

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 8/15

[MSC – Military Sealift Command]

MSC-CBRD-1 – CBRD Orientation: 8/14

MSC-DC Damage Control: (Special Evening Course: 8/10 – 13/09)

MSC-SMA – Small Arms Training: 8/10, 9/14

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original or Renewal: 8/31

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 8/24, 9/21

SEC-VCF – Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 9/14

SEC-VSO-R – Vessel Security Officer Refresher (1 day):  8/14

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling: 8/10

SHS-EMR-BRMP3 – Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 8/24, 9/28

TPIC – Tankship Dangerous Liquids Person In Charge: 8/31

WKP BAS – Basic Watchkeeping: 9/21

WX BAS – Basic Meteorology: 9/14

…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 e-mail: admissions@mitags.org.


PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

Schedule of Courses – Please also see our schedule online at www.mates.org

For registration, call our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen, at (206) 838-1126

August 2009

3            Radar Renewal
4-7         ARPA
3-5        Security VCF
10-14    ECDIS
10-14    TPIC

September 2009

21          Radar Renewal
22-25    ARPA
21-25    Medical Care Provider
21-2      Medical Person-in-Charge


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 7-17-2009

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
8,743.94 1,886.61 940.38
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
42.36
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
86.75
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
26.68
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
14.28
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
12.84
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
19.81
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.63
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
22.97
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
4.95
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
13.84
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
16.87
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
12.55
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
15.73
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
10.22
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
10.17
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
9.94
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
9.98
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
10.33
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.17
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
23.02
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
13.98
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
12.22
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
13.64
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
9.76
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
54.45
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
13.34
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
44.75
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
13.68
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
30.10
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
23.73
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
18.94
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
10.07
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
10.66
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
11.26
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
11.03
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
10.70
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
6.13
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
7.10
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
9.97
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
25.05
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
33.26
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
21.84





~ Reminders ~



 

T-AGS OCEANOGRAPHIC SURVEY SHIPS MANNING REQUIREMENTS

REQUIRED COURSEWORK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Richard Plant, Director of Special Projects

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



SHIP SECURITY CLEARANCE NEEDED

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

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

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

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

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

From the “Type of Investigation” screen:

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

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



MSC PHYSICALS

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


MM&P FCU NEWS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



 

MM&P HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN NEWS

MEET OUR NEW PRESCRIPTION BENEFIT MANAGER, PHARMACARE

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



NOTICE TO MM&P HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN PARTICIPANTS

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

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


WWII USCG VETERANS OUTREACH

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

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



 

COMPANY GIVES BUCKS BACK FOR BUYING SAFE SHOES

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

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

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

Vessels in the LMS footwear reimbursement program are:

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

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

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

LOOK FOR THE UNION LABEL:

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

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

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

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

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


 

WEBSITE OFFERS UNION-MADE GOODS AND SERVICES

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

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

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

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

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



The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 700 Maritime Blvd. Suite B, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1953. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: iommp@bridgedeck.org. For further info or to subscribe contact Lisa Rosenthal at lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org. The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea and is posted on our web page.

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