News

Wheelhouse Weekly – June 02, 2008

 

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

Volume 12 . . . . . Number 22. . . .June 2, 2008

STORIES COVERED

Also

REMINDERS

T-AGS Oceanographic Survey Ships Info

Required Coursework

Security Clearances

MSC Physicals

MM&P FCU News

MM&P Health & Benefit Plan News

Meet Our New Prescription Benefit Manager, PHARMACARE

Notice to MM&P Health & Benefit Plan Participants

WWII USCG Veterans Outreach

Company Gives Bucks Back for buying Safe Shoes

Website Offers Union-Made Goods and Services



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


TWIC HELPDESK PROBLEMS REQUIRE AN IMMEDIATE FIX, SAYS CONGRESSMAN BENNIE THOMPSON

Mismanagement of the TWIC Helpdesk, the contractor-run telephone service that is supposed to help workers and employers with problems related to the Transportation Worker Identification Card, is having a profoundly negative effect on the men and women who comprise “the valuable eyes and ears of our nation’s transportation system,” says Congressman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security. In a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, Thompson called the TWIC Helpdesk “yet another example of a poorly designed and managed program.”  

Thompson said his office had received complaints about the Helpdesk from transportation workers across the country. Some said they had been put on hold for hours by the TWIC Helpdesk, only to receive incorrect or misleading information from the person on the other end of the phone. Thompson said he had received reports that some companies were considering hiring additional administrative staffers specifically to help employees deal with the TWIC Helpdesk.

Thompson called on Chertoff to immediately detail the remedial measures the Department of Homeland Security has asked the contractor, Lockheed Martin, to take. Thompson also asked Chertoff whether Lockheed Martin or the American taxpayer will foot the bill for the attempt to fix the Helpdesk.

“This failure exposes yet another flaw in an already troubled program,” Thompson said in a statement released to the press. “The Helpdesk was established to be the primary means of communication between TSA and more than a million transportation workers. But the phones are ringing and nobody’s home. The Department of Homeland Security must improve its oversight of this program if it hopes to salvage TWIC and prevent another contract management fiasco like Deepwater.”

In letters to Lockheed Martin, the government says that at the beginning of May, the average caller wait-time for TWIC Helpdesk contacts was over 20 minutes and that 70 percent of callers generally give up after spending eight minutes on hold. 


COAST GUARD DETAILS ID REQUIREMENTS FOR MARINERS CALLING AT NEW ENGLAND PORTS

Mariners calling at New England ports, which are required to implement the TWIC in advance of the new April 15, 2009, compliance date will need only to show their merchant mariner’s document (MMD) or license, plus a photo ID, until the nationwide deadline goes into effect next year.

The Coast Guard detailed the requirement applicable to mariners calling at New England ports during a recent conference call for TWIC stakeholders. The three Captain of the Port zones required to be in compliance with TWIC regulations by Oct. 15 of this year, or in other words in advance of the rest of the country, are Northern New England, Boston and Southern New England. The Coast Guard said it selected these three ports for advance implementation based on favorable conditions, including: geographic proximity, the size of their TWIC enrollment population, and respective enrollment efforts to date. The Coast Guard said that in coming weeks, it will announce additional ports slated for early compliance. The agency has said it will provide at least 90 days notice prior to enforcement.


APPLICANTS’ COURSE FOR MM&P CLASS D MEMBERSHIP ANNOUNCED

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


PROTECT YOUR JOB!SUPPORT CANDIDATES WHO SUPPORT AMERICA’S MERCHANT MARINE

MM&P strongly encourages all union members and their families to vote in November’s federal elections. The candidates elected to Congress, and the individual elected to the Presidency, will be in a position to affect the future viability of our industry. Their actions will determine whether American shipboard jobs will remain under the U.S.-flag or be outsourced to foreign shipping interests. 

To see where all three candidates for the Presidency stand with regard to the Jones Act and other MM&P bread-and-butter issues, go to www.bridgedeck.org and click on “What’s New.” The information is listed under “U.S. Presidential Candidates Speak Out on the Jones Act, Cargo Preference and MSP.”

Also: a state-by-state list of the pro-maritime candidates that the union is actively supporting has been posted in the Members Only section of www.bridgedeck.org. We will update the list as decisions to support additional candidates are made.

Through the MM&P Political Contribution Fund (PCF), our union works to support candidates who, regardless of party affiliation, believe our country needs a strong U.S.-flag merchant marine. Every MM&P member and employee should contribute to the PCF and vote for candidates who have demonstrated their support for our union and our industry.


SHORTAGE OF OFFICERS MAY SET STAGE FOR BETTER CONDITIONS FOR MARINERS, SAY SHIPPING CONSULTANTS

The drive to attract and retain qualified ship officers could lead to an improvement in working conditions for professional mariners, according to a study conducted by Drewry Shipping Consultants that was reported on in last week’s Weekly. The study, “Manning 2008,” concludes that the shortage of experienced officers will worsen in coming years, increasing from what may be 34,000 this year to as many as 90,000 by 2010.

Drewry identified an officer supply requirement of 498,800 in 2008. The consultants said that although this represents a 23.8 percent increase in officer availability since 1990 and a 7 percent increase from 2005, there will still be “a substantial officer shortfall,” with the picture worsening between now and 2012.  

The consultants predict that remuneration levels will remain under pressure and that more escalation in officer wage costs is “an almost certainty.”
“In addition to rising wages, it must be expected that in order to retain staff, employers will be forced to look at employment patterns, incentives and training as a way of retaining personnel,” the consultants said.

“Retention is an issue – as owners and managers seem quite willing to ‘poach’ personnel – but this only adds to debate on topics such as who provides and pays for training.  Perhaps what the industry should expect is that over the near term the lot of the seafarer is set to improve (and not just in pure remuneration terms).”


SEA SERVICE RENEWAL CALCULATOR AVAILABLE ONLINE

The National Maritime Center (NMC) has posted a sea service renewal calculator on its website, Homeport. In a May 27 press release, the Coast Guard said the calculator is designed to help mariners determine if they meet the sea service requirements for renewing their Master, Mate, Engineer, Pilot, OUPV and MMD credentials. 

To access the calculator, click on http://homeport.uscg.mil, then on “Merchant Mariners.” Scroll down on the left tab and click on “Sea Service Renewal Calculator.” Follow the instructions on the screen for further information on renewal requirements. 

In its quarterly report on mariner credentialing, USCG noted that the timely processing of credentials was most frequently impeded by: insufficient sea service demonstrated for credential requested; missing, incomplete, or improper drug testing compliance documentation; missing or incomplete physical exams.


CROWLEY SWITCHES WEST COAST TUGS TO ULTRA-LOW-SULFUR FUEL

Crowley Maritime Corp. has announced that its West Coast harbor tugboat fleet is now running exclusively on ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel. Crowley made the switch after Rainier Petroleum, the major marine fuel supplier in Puget Sound, began offering the more environmentally friendly alternative. Crowley has 15 tugs in its West Coast harbor fleet.

Ultra-low-sulfur diesel costs about four cents more per gallon than regular diesel but has a much lower sulfur content (less than 15 parts per million (ppm), as compared to the 500 ppm diesel previously available. The reduction in sulfur content is expected to result in an approximate 16 percent reduction in particulate matter emitted from the stacks of the tugs.

“Although we are not required to switch to ultra-low-sulfur diesel in Puget Sound, we felt that this was the right thing to do for the environment and for our fellow citizens who live, work and play in and around the sound,” said Crowley Vice President Chris Peterson. He said the company has been running its California harbor tugs on ultra-low-sulfur diesel for some time and had planned to make the switch in Seattle as soon as the fuel became available. He said Crowley had specifically asked Rainier to make the fuel available, “and to their credit, they came through.”


MATSON WINS TWO LOGISTICS AWARDS FROM TOYOTA

Matson Navigation has won two Toyota Logistics Excellence Awards: one for marine quality and one for outstanding achievement. Matson announced last week that it had been given the quality award for meeting Toyota’s damage percentage requirements and for implementing a comprehensive damage prevention program to ensure the safe transportation of vehicles. The outstanding achievement award was given to Matson for its sailing and delivery priorities for Toyota’s rollout program for its new Tundra truck with auto dealers in Hawaii and Guam.


UNITED STEELWORKERS AND BRITISH UNION MERGE TO CREATE FIRST TRANS-ATLANTIC LABOR UNION

The United Steelworkers is merging with Britain’s largest union, UNITE, as part of a drive to globalize the labor movement in an era of multinational corporations. The merger will create the first trans-Atlantic labor organization. UNITE represents more than 2 million workers in Britain’s transportation, energy and public sectors. The United Steelworkers represents nearly 850,000 members in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean.

UNITE spokesman Andrew Murray said the unions joined forces because labor needs to keep up with globalization. “We’re dealing with global companies that can move capital—and employment—around the world, at will in many cases,” he said. “While big business is global, and labor is national, we’re going to be at a disadvantage.”

Murray said the new super-union’s structure was still being worked out. He said the two component parts would maintain their separate identities, at least at first. He added that the new grouping hoped to enlist other foreign unions. “There are a number of legal complexities,” he said. “This is only very much a first step.”


SOMALI PIRATES HIJACK PANAMANIAN-FLAGGED SHIP

Nine men are being held hostage on a Panamanian-flagged freighter, the MV AMIYA SCAN, by a group of Somali pirates that hijacked the vessel on May 25. The Dutch vessel, which was under charter to a Danish company to move a defunct oil platform, was seized off the Somali coast in the vicinity of Mogadishu. The AMIYA SCAN is reported to be the sixth ship hijacked by pirates since the beginning of the year. The ship’s owner, Reider Shipping BV, is said to be negotiating with the pirates for release of the crew, four Russians and five Filipinos.


THE MASTER, MATE & PILOT POSTED ON WWW.BRIDGEDECK.ORG

The May-June issue of The Master, Mate & Pilot will be in your mailbox soon. In the meantime, look for it online at www.bridgedeck.org. In this issue of The Master, Mate & Pilot: deadline for TWIC card extended to April 15, 2009; United Inland Group members on MV COLUMBIA honored by Coast Guard for heroic Alaska rescue;protecting the Jones Act is a job for all of us. To read The Master, Mate & Pilot online, go to www.bridgedeck.org, click on “MM&P Magazine” and then on “Current Issue.”


SHIPS WILL TRANSPORT WATER TO DROUGHT-STRICKEN REGION OF SPAIN

With reservoirs in some of Spain’s Mediterranean cities at 30 percent of capacity as the country suffers its worst drought in decades, the Spanish government has announced a plan to bring in water reserves by ship. The situation is particularly grave because the tourist season is about to get underway. As part of the recently announced emergency plan, which also includes hefty fines for those who waste water, six ships will transport water in tanks to Barcelona for the duration of the tourist season.


JOBS AVAILABLE ON THE GREAT LAKES

The MM&P Great Lakes and Rivers Representative reports that numerous jobs are available on the Great Lakes for 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 the Organization. Interested parties should call 216-776-1667 or e-mail cmalue@bridgedeck.org.


SAFETY ZONE ESTABLISHED AROUND AMBROSE LIGHTHOUSE

The Coast Guard has announced it is establishing a temporary safety zone within a 250-yard radius of the recently damaged Ambrose Lighthouse, approximately 8.35 nautical miles east of Sandy Hook, N.J. The Coast Guard said in a statement that the safety zone is necessary in view of the hazards associated with the damaged structure and during survey and debris removal operations.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

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

AIS-1 � Automatic Identification System (1 day): 7/11
AIS ECDIS 3 for Pilots – Automatic Identification System and Electronic Chart Display Information System (3 day) for Pilots:  6/23

ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 8/11

BST – Basic Safety Training:  6/23, 8/11
BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 6/16, 7/21
BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 6/26, 8/11

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 8/26
CMM-ADV-WX � Advanced Meteorology: 6/9
CMM-CHS I – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1):  6/23
CMM-CHS II – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 7/7
CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display & Information Systems: 8/18
CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 7/28
CMM-SHS-ADV-I-Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 8/4
CMM-SHS-ADV-II-Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 7/14, 8/11
CMM-SHMGT-I � Ship Management(week 1): 7/14
CMM-SHMGT-II � Ship Management(week 2): 7/21
CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 8/4
CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 8/11

CSE-AWR2 – Confined Space Entry Awareness (2 day): 8/25

FF-BADV – Combined Basic & Advanced Fire Fighting: 6/23, 8/11

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 6/25

[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-CBRD-1 – CBRD Orientation: 6/20, 8/29
MSC-DC – Damage Control: 6/18, 8/25
MSC-SMA – Small Arms Training: 8/25 (6/16 Standby Only)

MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 6/9, 7/21, 8/18
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 6/9, 7/21, 8/18  
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 6/14, 7/26, 8/23
MEDIA RSP – Media Response: 7/10

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original or Renewal (5 Day): 8/4
ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 6/2, 7/7

SEC-VCF – Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 7/7
SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 6/16, 7/21, 8/18
SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling: 6/23, 7/28, 8/25
SHS-ESH-BRMP 3 day – Emergency Shiphandling & Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 8/13

TPIC-DL – Tankship Dangerous Liquids (PIC): 6/9
TPIC-LG – Tankship Liquefied Gases (PIC) LNG: 8/4

…remember: If you can’t make the class, make the call.  Be courteous, don’t be a “no show.”

Check the MITAGS website at www.mitags.org for course descriptions associated with the course title abbreviations, and schedule revisions. For class availability or info on MITAGS courses and programs, contact admissions toll-free at 866-656-5568 or by e-mail: admissions@mitags.org.


PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

PMI Web site at www.mates.org for more info

FOR REGISTRATION CALL JENNIFER PITZEN: 206 838-1126

SCHEDULE OF COURSES – (Course schedule also posted online at www.mates.org)

June 2008
9         ROR
9-13    SHS ASSESS
9-13    BST
9-20    GMDSS
10        FL
10-13  ARPA
16-20  MED PRO
16-20  SHS BAS
16-20  BST
16-27  MED PIC
23-25  SEC VCF
23-27  ROP
23-27  BAFF

July 2008
7-11ENAV
7-11MED PRO
7-18GMDSS
14-18MED PIC
14-25CNAV
21-25ECDIS
21-25TPIC
21-25STB BAS
21-8/1SHS ADV
28-29SAR
28-30SEC VCF
28-8/8GMDSS
28-8/1TPIC
30-8/1EP

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

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

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 5-30-2008

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
12,638 2,523 1,400
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
64.79
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
129.31
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
39.94
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
24.40
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
19.13
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
29.64
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.30
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
32.75
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.77
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
16.85
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
24.43
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
14.10
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
20.84
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
12.00
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
12.90
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
13.47
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
14.29
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
14.75
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.07
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
34.16
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
20.09
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
15.06
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
24.97
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
9.94
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
87.39
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
18.41
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
73.79
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
21.43
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
42.44
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
38.94
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
27.90
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.23
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
12.09
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
14.25
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
15.00
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
15.45
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
9.08
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
10.74
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.19
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
37.67
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
49.66
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
31.01





~ 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.