News

Wheelhouse Weekly – July 21, 2006

July 21st 2006

 

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

Volume 10 . . . . . Number 29. . . . July 21, 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.





 

MM&P PACIFIC PORTS CLOSED JULY 28TH

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.




 

MM&P-MATSON WAGE RE-OPENER ARBITRATION DATE SET

The MM&P Legal Department has confirmed an arbitration date to determine wage and wage-related rates aboard Matson “A-3” Automated Class vessels from January 1, 2006 through December 31, 2008. The arbitration is scheduled for August 24th at MM&P Headquarters at Linthicum Heights, MD. Mr. Robert O. Harris, Esq., has been selected as arbitrator.


MATSON’S GOVERNMENT SERVICES GROUP SEEKS MASTERS AND C/MS

Matson Navigation’s Government Services group is looking for qualified Masters and Chief Mates. Matson is actively pursuing new opportunities aboard government contract vessels. The Company needs to identify a qualified pool of MM&P senior Licensed Deck Officers. MM&P members and applicants who have Master and/or Chief Mate experience, particularly aboard LMSR or other government-contract vessels, are urged to send their resumes to Teri Sullivan at the address listed below. Please note that resumes should be in the format recommended by Matson and the Military Sealift Command. The appropriate resume template may be obtained from Pacific Ports offices, or from Richard Plant or Mike Rodriguez (after 7-25) at MM&P Headquarters.

Address resumes to:
Teri Sullivan, Office Manager,
Matson Navigation Government Services
1521 Pier “C” Street, 4th Floor
Long Beach, CA 90813
Email: tsullivan@matson.com


USCG REGIONAL EXAMINATION CENTER RETURNS TO NEW ORLEANS

After Hurricane Katrina forced its temporary relocation last year, the Coast Guard Regional Examination Center at
New Orleans will reopen July 28th. The reopening of REC New Orleans coincides with other changes in the mariner licensing and documentation program that will result in central processing of all mariner applications at the National Maritime Center (NMC). Changes in the mariner licensing program will begin in September and will be completed nationwide by the summer of 2008. The NMC will be relocated to Martinsburg, WV, during 2007 as part of this process.

REC New Orleans will offer fingerprinting, examinations, and identification verification services for merchant mariner applications. Beginning in September, applications submitted to REC New Orleans will be reviewed in West Virginia as part of the first phase of the consolidated mariner credential issuing process. Applications received by REC New Orleans before September will be processed by other RECs. Applicants will be notified if their applications are forwarded. Application process changes at other RECs will be rolled out in phases as the consolidation of the mariner credential issuing process moves forward.

Since Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in August 2005, the employees of the REC have carried out the mariner licensing and documentation mission in Memphis, TN. The new address of REC New Orleans is:
Commander, Sector New Orleans
Regional Examination Center
201 Old Hammond Hwy.
Metairie, La. 70005
504-219-2719
Additional info on program changes may be obtained on the Internet at http://www.uscg.mil/stcw/index.htm.


CHRISTENING OF MV MAUNALEI SET FOR JULY 22ND

In keeping with long-standing shipbuilding tradition, a ceremony will be held this Saturday, July 22, to christen the fourth containership built at Aker Philadelphia Shipyard for MM&P-contracted Matson Navigation Company. With the breaking of a champagne bottle across its hull, the vessel will be christened the MV MAUNALEI by Mary Mildred “Millie” Akaka, wife of Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-HI). MM&P Atlantic Ports VP Rich May and Pacific Ports Agent Dave Boatner will be among those representing the MM&P at the ceremony.

The MAUNALEI, which means “Mountain Flower” in Hawaiian, is 681-feet long and weighs over 44,000-tons when fully loaded. Beginning in August, the vessel will be deployed in Matson’s Hawaii-Guam-China service alongside the other three containerships constructed by Aker Philadelphia Shipyard. Expected to speak at the ceremony are: Dave Meehan, president and CEO, Aker Philadelphia Shipyard; Geir Arne Drangeid, executive vice president, Aker ASA; James Andrasick, president and CEO, Matson Navigation Company; Allen Doane, chairman and CEO, Alexander and Baldwin Inc.; Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo (D-Guam); General Norton Schwartz, commander, United States Transportation Command; and Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI).


NEW ALCOHOL AND DRUG TESTING REQUIREMENTS FOR COMMERCIAL
MARINERS NOW EFFECTIVE

The Coast Guard has announced a significant change to the procedures for drug and alcohol testing of mariners involved in a serious marine incident. The new rule went into effect June 20th, and requires mariners to submit to an alcohol-use screening within two hours of the incident. Also the mariner must submit a specimen for drug testing within 32 hours – an increase from the previous 24-hour requirement.

The final rule revised the US Coast Guard’s requirements for alcohol testing after a serious marine incident as defined by Title 46, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 4.03-2. This ruling is intended to ensure that mariners involved in a serious marine incident are tested for alcohol use within two hours of the occurrence of the incident (46 CFR 4.06-3). Additionally, the time limit for collecting specimens for drug testing was increased from 24 to 32 hours (46 CFR 4.06-15).

A serious marine incident includes but is not limited to:
(1) One or more deaths;
(2) An injury to a crewmember, passenger, or other person requiring professional medical treatment beyond first aid,
and in the case of a person employed on board a vessel in commercial service, it must render the individual unfit to
perform routine vessel duties;
(3) Damage to property in excess of $100,000;
(4) Actual or constructive total loss of any vessel subject to inspection under 46 USC 3301;
(5) Actual or constructive total loss of any self-propelled vessel, not subject to inspection under 46 USC 3301 of 100
gross tons or more;
(6) A discharge of 10,000 gallons or more of oil into the navigable waters of the US;
(7) A discharge of a reportable quantity of a hazardous substance into the navigable waters of the US.

The final rule also requires that most commercial vessels have alcohol testing devices on board (46 CFR 4.06-15), and authorizes the use of saliva as an acceptable specimen for alcohol testing (46 CFR 4.06-20). If the owner of a commercial vessel chooses not to carry alcohol testing equipment on board they must have an effective plan in place to ensure the testing is completed in the amount of time required by law (2 hours). Following a serious marine incident, individuals determined to be directly involved are prohibited from consuming alcohol for eight hours or until after they are tested (46 CFR 4.06-3). Each day a person fails to implement, conduct or comply with these regulations a maximum penalty of not more than $5,000 for each violation may be assessed (46 USC 2115).

The final rule provides guidance for the collection of breath or saliva to be used in alcohol testing, most notably the individual conducting the test must be trained on the device used (46 CFR 4.06-20). The regulations permitting the collection of blood or urine specimens as an alternate means remain unchanged. All alcohol testing devices used must currently be listed on the Conforming Products List titled “Modal Specifications for Devices to Measure Breath Alcohol” or “Conforming Products List of Screening Devices to Measure Alcohol in Bodily Fluids”. These lists are published periodically in the Federal Register by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The Conforming Products List can also be found on the Department of Transportation website listed below.

If you would like more information pertaining to these requirements, please visit the following websites at
http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-m/moa/dapip.htm and http://www.dot.gov/ost/dapc/.


USCG EASES MARINER BURDEN REGARDING RECS

The USCG’s National Maritime Center has issued new guidance to field units establishing uniform procedures for provision of services to mariners at Regional Examination Center (REC) remote locations or by REC traveling examination teams. The MM&P believes that the concept of the USCG going to the mariner rather than always requiring the mariner to travel to the USCG location is a positive and encouraging development in the complex credentialing process brought about by increased security requirements. The text of the new USCG REC guidance may be seen at: www.uscg.mil/hq/g-m/marpers/pag/nmcguidancedocument0406.pdf


NMSAC TO MEET ON NATIONAL MARITIME SECURITY

The National Maritime Security Advisory Committee (NMSAC) will hold a meeting July 25th from 0900 to 1500 to discuss various issues relating to national maritime security. The meeting will take place at USCG HQ in Washington, DC. For further information contact: John Bastek, Executive Secretary, phone 202-267-2722, fax 202-267-4130.


NOAA TO HOLD MEETINGS ON WHALE SHIP STRIKE REDUCTION PLANS

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued a Notice stating that it will hold public meetings in Jacksonville (August 8); Baltimore (August 10); and Boston (August 14) to receive comments on its North Atlantic right whale ship strike reduction strategy and draft environmental impact statement. Written comments should be submitted by September 5th. For further info ontact Jessica Gribbon, Office of Protected Resources, NMFS, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910; phone: 301-713-2322.


SHIPPING COMPANIES AND PERSONNEL INDICTED FOR POLLUTION

A grand jury in Delaware returned a five-count indictment charging Greece-based shipping companies, Chian
Spirit Maritime Enterprises and Venetico Marine along with three key company personnel with conspiracy to commit environmental crimes and obstructing US Coast Guard investigations related to the operation of the tank vessel IRENE E/M. The IRENE is owned and operated by Chian Spirit.
A fourth individual pleaded guilty to a criminal information charging him with representing false information to the USCG.

The indictment alleges that the defendants and numerous subordinate officers and crew members of the IRENE conspired to create and maintain a false Oil Record Book, in violation of the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships, and to knowingly impede and attempt to influence a vessel inspection by members of the USCG.

The two shipping companies each face up to $2.5 million in criminal fines and 5 years probation. The vessel’s First Engineer faces up to 15 years in prison and a potential fine of $750,000. Two other company executives each face up to 10 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. A fourth company employee faces up to five years in prison, a potential fine and up to five years probation. The alleged illegal activity took place between October and December 2005.


CRUISE SHIP INCIDENT INJURES OVER 200 OFF FLORIDA COAST

US Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board investigators are looking at whether human error or a steering problem may have played a role in an accident aboard a Princess cruise ship that injured over 200 passengers off Florida on July 18th. The CROWN PRINCESS rolled suddenly to the right Tuesday afternoon just hours after departing Port Canaveral for New York on the final leg of a nine-day Caribbean voyage.

According to USA Today, about 240 of the 3,450 passengers were treated onboard for injuries ranging from cuts to broken bones. Of those injured, 94 were sent to hospitals upon return to Port Canaveral. All but four have since been released. The incident, in which the ship suddenly listed about 15 degrees to the right and sent passengers flying, is similar to one in February on a sister ship, the GRAND PRINCESS, that has since been blamed on mistakes by the bridge crew.

In the earlier incident, the cause “was strictly human error, and that captain was reprimanded,” says Princess spokeswoman Julie Benson. Though the line “hasn’t ruled anything out” in Tuesday’s event, “two possibilities that we’re looking at are something in the steering system and human error.” Benson says the line expects to have a final answer on the cause of the latest accident within days.

“It was like Niagara Falls. People who were in the pool were washed out of the pool,” says Alfred Caproni of North Adams, Mass., who says he was thrown to the deck as the ship rolled. “There were dozens of people with broken noses, bloody noses. We thought we were gone.” Hanford Ndlovu of Hershey, PA, who was on the ship’s pool deck at the time, says furniture and people were “falling and flying. It looked like some people over by the banister were barely holding on.” A Princess statement called the damage to the ship “considerable” but “superficial” and said it could be repaired quickly. The 113,000-ton ship began sailing a month ago and was making its fourth voyage.


PANAMA APPROVES LARGEST CANAL EXPANSION SINCE 1914 OPENING

Earlier this week, the Panamanian Congress formally approved a $5 billion plan to widen the Panama Canal, its biggest expansion since it opened in 1914. A growing number of ships are now too wide to go through the canal, and those ships that can pass often have to wait for many hours. The project will now go to a binding referendum to be held later this year. The 50-mile Panama Canal, which was controlled by the United States until 1999, handles nearly 5% of global trade.


ATTENTION ALL MM&P HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN PARTICIPANTS

Effective July 1, 2006, participants will be able to access discounted optical services through VSP, a major provider of optical services. You can sign on to the VSP site through www.vsp.com and get a listing of optical providers in your area.

VSP provides a 20% discount off the price of an exam. In addition, you’ll receive a 20% discount off the price of unlimited pairs of prescription glasses (lenses and frame) and a 15% discount on contact lens exams (fitting and evaluation) when eyewear is purchased within 12 months from the VSP doctor who performed your original exam.

Your eye exam includes the necessary tests to evaluate and monitor visual wellness. The contact lens exam is a special exam for ensuring proper fit of your contacts and evaluating your vision with the contacts.

Please remember that these discounted services are available even if you have exhausted your $360 every two-year benefit. You will still save money! You should also bear in mind that many practitioners will expect payment up front and you will have to send your receipts to the Plan office for any allowable reimbursement remaining for your benefit.


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.


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: 7/31, 9/18
CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 8/7
CMM-SHMGT-I – Ship Management I (week 1): 8/21
CMM-SHMGT-II – Ship Management II (week 2): 8/14
CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 8/21
CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 7/24
CMM-WKP – Watchkeeping: 8/28

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

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

SHS-EMR – Emergency Shiphandling: 7/31, 8/28

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

7/24-28 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 7-20

 

 D O W  N A S D A Q  S & P 500
10,928.10 +188.75 for the week 2,039.43 +2.34 for the week 1,240.09 +3.90 for the week

 

Fund Name & Trading Symbol
Closing
Price
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
115.15
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
34.22
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
22.23
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
17.13
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
32.26
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.01
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX)
6.02
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
9.79
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
18.83
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
15.85
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
33.30
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
83.73
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
20.75
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
76.28
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX) 44.23
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
29.09

 






~ 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.