News

Wheelhouse Weekly – July 28, 2008

July 28th 2008

 

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

Volume 12 . . . . . Number 30. . . .July 28, 2008

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.


WEST COAST HALLS CLOSED FOR HARRY BRIDGES DAY

The MM&P union halls in Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles will be closed today in honor of Harry Bridges, the charismatic labor leader who participated in the founding of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and then led the organization for four decades.


HOUSTON REC SHIFTS OPERATIONS TO WEST VIRGINIA

The Coast Guard has announced that its Regional Examination Center (REC) in Houston will begin shifting operations to the National Maritime Center (NMC) in Martinsburg, W. Va., on Aug. 5. The Coast Guard said that the Houston REC will begin operating only as a storefront, where staffers will take fingerprint impressions and help mariners complete their applications for documents. Once applications are complete, the REC will forward them to Martinsburg. There, NMC staff will conduct the entire evaluation, including security check, professional qualification check and medical evaluation. Fifteen other RECs have already transitioned to the Martinsburg central document processing facility, the Coast Guard said.


88TH ILA CONVENTION FOCUSES ON IMPORTANCE TO MARITIME WORKERS OF UPCOMING PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

The International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) South Atlantic and Gulf Coast District held its 88th Convention last week in Las Vegas. Among the speakers were the MM&P International President and ILA Secretary-Treasurer Robert E. Gleason, who emphasized the importance to maritime industry workers of the upcoming Presidential election.

Gleason focused in particular on the fact that John McCain, the Republican nominee, has consistently called for the repeal or elimination of many of the laws and programs that are key to the survival of the U.S.-flag maritime industry.

The ILA official cited several of McCain’s recent votes in Congress that would have the effect of undermining port security, including a vote against $1.7 billion in funding for the Coast Guard and another vote against $965 million in funding for anti-terror programs for ports, including strengthening port inspections.

Gleason also pointed out that McCain has advocated repeal of the Jones Act, which protects the jobs of American maritime workers. He has also advocated outsourcing the Maritime Security Program to foreign ships and eliminating the cargo preference laws. His opposition to labor unions is well-known. “We must streamline our workforce… and not let good workers be crippled by the fine print of the latest union contract,” McCain said in a recent speech.

“We have all heard about John McCain the patriot, the war hero,” Gleason said…“but there are very serious questions about whether he should occupy the White House.”

In related news, the AFL-CIO’s Transportation Trades Department (TTD) has posted several PowerPoint presentations about McCain’s record on the Transportation Trades Department section of the Working Families Toolkit (www.workingfamiliestoolkit.com), which is the AFL-CIO’s website for election materials.  The website is password protected, but it includes simple and quick process for union members to gain access. 

TTD said that to compile the presentations, it had “looked at thousands of Sen. McCain’s votes, years of floor statements and hundreds of press releases during his long history in Congress. John McCain opposes unions, collective bargaining, transportation security spending and investment.” 

MM&P is one of the 32 transportation sector unions that belong to TTD. For more information, visit www.ttd.org.


STIMULUS SPENDING ON TRANSPORTATION, INCLUDING PORTS, WOULD ADDRESS CRITICAL NEEDS, CREATE GOOD JOBS

America’s seaports could reap crucial benefits from an economic stimulus program to create new jobs through targeted investments in infrastructure, according to TTD President Edward Wytkind. “Economic stimulus spending on our nation’s aging transportation system is a win-win,” Wytkind said. “Not only would it go a long way to spur our stumbling economy by creating thousands of good jobs, it would make lasting improvements to a transportation network in ill-repair.” He called on Congress and the President to quickly enact a stimulus bill.

“Public transportation authorities have documented more than 3,000 highway projects, worth $18 billion, which could be started in 90 days,” he said. “The mass transit industry has compiled a similar project list totaling over $3.6 billion in ready-to-go transit needs. Amtrak has years of backlogged maintenance, infrastructure and equipment upgrades, and bridge, tunnel and track repair projects that need to be addressed. This nation’s congested airports are ready to build new runways and add capacity to help avoid aviation traffic jams. The same is true of our country’s seaports, where additional capacity and infrastructure improvements are in dire need to keep commerce moving. For every billion dollars of federal spending in transportation and infrastructure, upwards of 35,000 good paying, family-supporting jobs are created,” Wytkind said.


HUGE OIL SPILL FROM BARGE PULLED BY TUGBOAT SHUTS DOWN MISSISSIPPI RIVER

An oil sheen coated 100 miles of the Mississippi River last week after the collision on Wednesday of a barge that was being pushed by a tug, the MEL OLIVER, and a tanker. Coast Guard officials said the operator of the tugboat pushing the barge, from the local DRD Towing Company, was improperly licensed, possessing only the equivalent of an apprentice certificate.

The industrial fuel pouring from the barge could be smelled for miles in New Orleans neighborhoods up and down the river. Almost 100,000 feet of containment boom was deployed by contractors to protect drinking water supplies and wildlife sanctuaries. The Mississippi was closed to all boat traffic. The effect on the area’s economy is significant, with the Port of New Orleans estimating a loss of at least $100,000 a day. Some suburbs stopped drawing drinking water from the river.

The 61-foot barge was carrying 419,000 gallons of the heavy fuel it had just picked up from an oil distributor when it collided with the 600-foot tanker, the TINTOMARA, around 1:30 a.m. The tanker did not leak.

Congressman Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, called the spill “nothing less than a tragedy.” He said legislators would “thoroughly examine the causes leading up to this devastating event.”

“It is of great concern that we have witnessed two major oil spills on U.S. waters in less than one year, and we must identify and implement whatever actions are necessary to prevent such mishaps from occurring in the future,” he added.


CHARGES FILED AGAINST COSCO BUSAN SHIP MANAGEMENT COMPANY

A federal grand jury in San Francisco has indicted Fleet Management Ltd., a Hong Kong ship management company, for negligently causing the discharge of 50,000 gallons of oil in the COSCO BUSAN case and falsifying documents after the crash to conceal its negligence. The company has been charged with six felony counts for making false statements and obstruction of justice. 

The company is also charged with negligence for failing to adequately train the new crew that it had placed on the ship and failing to post an adequate lookout. According to the indictment, these failures led to the COSCO BUSAN striking the bridge and discharging oil into San Francisco Bay.

According to the indictment, Fleet Management, acting through senior ship officers and shore-based supervisory officials, concealed documents with the intent to obstruct and influence investigation of the spill. The falsified documents include a fictitious passage plan for Nov. 7, 2007, the day of the crash, as well as two prior voyages made after Fleet assumed management of the vessel in October 2007.  The company’s safety procedures and U.S. law mandated berth-to-berth passage plans for each voyage. But according to the indictment, Fleet falsified plans after the crash and concealed the ship’s real records. The indictment also charges Fleet Management with misdemeanor crimes for violating the Clean Water Act (CWA), as amended by the Oil Spill Act of 1990, and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The pilot on board the vessel at the time of the accident is a co-defendant in the case.


MARITIME COMMUNITY PROTESTS CONTINUED DETENTION OF HEBEI SPIRIT CREW

Representatives of the world maritime community have issued a strong statement in support of the officers of the HEBEI SPIRIT, who are still being held in Korea seven months after their vessel was struck by a run-away crane. The Round Table of International Shipping Associations, the International Transport Workers Federation, the International Group of P&I Clubs and the Hong Kong Shipowners Association all signed on to the protest, which has been released to the press and sent to the Korean Ambassador in London.

The statement criticizes “the continuing unjust and unreasonable detention” of the two men, who were recently acquitted by a South Korean court of all charges of violating the nation’s ocean pollution law. But the Korean courts have decided to detain the ship’s officers for as long as a year pending further hearings. “Such measures are unjustified, unreasonable and in contravention of the men’s rights,” according to the official statement. “We strongly believe that they should be permitted to leave the country.” The two men being detained are Captain Jasprit Chalwa and Chief Officer Syam Chetan. During their trial, it was determined that another vessel, which had been towing a floating crane, struck the anchored tanker and was wholly responsible for the incident.
“What on earth can [the authorities in Korea] be trying to establish?” asks maritime expert Michael Grey in a recent article in Lloyd’s List. “That [Captain Chalwa] somehow failed to hoick up the anchor of his very large crude carrier in minutes and briskly get under way to clear the seas from this out-of-control tow, which should never have been at sea in this prevailing weather? That would be nonsense on stilts.”


ITF SPEAKS OUT AGAIN ASTONISHING VERDICT JAILING CROATION MASTER IN DRUG BUST

A 59-year-old Croatian master has been sentenced to 14 years in prison in Greece in a contentious verdict on drug smuggling. Captain Kristo Laptalo was sentenced in Patras after spending almost a year in custody in Greece. Two other crew members were released. The captain and mate of the Belgian-owned, Bahamas-flagged reefer CORAL SEA were arrested at the Greek port of Aigion in July 2007 after 51.5 kg of cocaine was found in the ship’s cargo of bananas. The cargo had been loaded in Ecuador and part of it had been discharged during a call in Italy. The captain and crew denied any knowledge of the drugs. During the trial, testimonials were given to Laptalo’s good character, and the Aigion harbormaster, a witness for the prosecution, said he did not believe that Laptalo and two members of his crew could have hidden drugs on the ship.

A spokesman for the International Transport Workers Federation called the verdict “unexpected and impossible to reconcile with the evidence heard in court.” The ITF coordinator for Croatia, Predrag Brazzoduro, called the verdict “astonishing. We were all shocked when Captain Laptalo was found guilty of something that he couldn’t control,” he said, adding “The court has sentenced a 59-year-old man to spend most of the rest of his life in jail solely on the basis that he was the captain, so must be guilty.”


NTSB SAYS MASTER’S MISTAKE LED TO EMPRESS OF THE NORTH GROUNDING

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has concluded that the probable cause of the grounding of the EMPRESS OF THE NORTH was the failure of the officer on watch and the helmsman to navigate the turn at Rocky Island. But the Board said the underlying cause of the accident was the master’s decision to assign the midnight to 4:00 a.m. watch to a newly licensed junior third mate who was not familiar with the route, the vessel’s handling characteristics or the equipment on the bridge. EMPRESS OF THE NORTH, which was operated by Majestic America line, ran aground on May 14, 2007, on a charted rock at the intersection of Lynn Canal and Icy Strait in southeastern Alaska. Passengers and crewmembers were evacuated safely without injuries.


NOL SUBMITS NON-BINDING BID FOR HAPAG-LLOYD

Neptune Orient Lines Limited (NOL) announced it has made an indicative, non-binding bid to purchase Hapag-Lloyd’s container shipping business, APL. The combination would create the world’s third-largest container carrier. Possible future finalization of the offer would be subject to, among other steps, due diligence, acceptance of the final bid, regulatory approvals and NOL shareholders’ approvals. Details of the proposal are confidential.


PACIFIC MARITIME INSTITUTE SEEKS TPIC AND CARGO HANDLING INSTRUCTORS

MITAGS/PMI is accepting applications for TPIC and Cargo Handling contract instructors for employment at the Pacific Maritime Institute in Seattle. The jobs, which are non-benefit positions, are an ideal opportunity for active or retired members to pass on their knowledge and experience. Applicants must meet Coast Guard approval requirements and have more than two years of experience in cargo handling or TPIC as senior mate/chief mate/master. Residence in Washington State or near PMI is a plus but not required. For more information, go to www.mates.org. Send resumes/applications to hr@mitags.org or by fax to HR at (443) 989-3341.                


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.


PMI ANNOUNCES FIRST WORKBOAT ACADEMY GRADUATION

The Pacific Maritime Institute (PMI) and the MITAGS-PMI Workboat Academy have announced the graduation of the first class from the Workboat Mate Program. The program, which lasts two years, includes 25 weeks of shore-side instruction and 52 weeks of onboard training. Upon graduation, the participant receives a Mate 500-1,600 Gross Tons license, with Towing Endorsement (if serving on tugs), STCW-95 Officer in Charge of a Navigational Watch and an Able-Bodied Seaman Limited endorsement. “The quality of our trainees has been impressive and, because there are many more applicants than places on board, the companies get to pick and choose the best,” Trunnell said. “It’s the most cost-effective way for companies to find good people who are willing to invest a great deal of time and money to become a workboat mate.” Today there are almost 80 cadets in the program. For more information, contact Trunnell at gtrunnell@mates.org, visit www.workboatacademy.com, or contact Victor Tufts at MITAGS, vtufts@mitags.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: 8/11

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

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 8/26
CMM-CHS I – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 9/15
CMM-CHS II – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 9/22
CMM-SHS-ADV-I-Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 8/4
CMM-SHS-ADV-II-Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 8/11
CMM-ADWX � Advanced Meteorology: 9/8

CONT PLNG � Contingency Planning Workshop: 9/26
CSE-AWR2 � Confined Space Entry Awareness (2 day): 9/25

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

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

LAP � License Advancement Program: 9/15

[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: 8/18, 9/8
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 8/18, 9/8  
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 8/23, 9/13
MEDIA RSP – Media Response: 9/25

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

SEC-VCF – Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 9/22
SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 8/18, 9/22
SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling: 8/25
SHS-ESH-BRMP 3 day – Emergency Shiphandling & Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 8/13

TPIC-DL � Tankship Dangerous Liquids (PIC): 9/22

…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)

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 7-25-2008

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
11,371 2,311 1,258
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
57.62
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
115.92
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
36.40
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
21.30
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
17.26
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
26.29
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.14
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
29.71
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.50
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
15.79
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
21.95
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
13.45
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
19.04
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
11.44
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
12.02
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
12.37
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
12.97
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
13.39
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
9.91
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
30.71
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
18.74
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
13.93
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
21.41
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
9.80
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
76.17
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
17.01
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
64.91
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
18.88
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
38.77
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
34.45
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
25.28
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
10.88
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
11.72
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
13.40
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
13.84
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
14.07
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
8.23
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
9.68
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
9.99
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
34.19
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
44.48
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
27.88





~ 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.