Wheelhouse Weekly – June 04, 2007


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

Volume 11 . . . . . Number 22. . . .June 4, 2007




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, the Maritime Administration (MARAD) and other leading players in the development of new LNG training standards for U.S. mariners will participate in a signing ceremony tomorrow in Washington, D.C.

MM&P International President Tim Brown, Maritime Administrator Sean Connaughton and Rear Admiral Richard Gurnon, president of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA) as well as other union and maritime school principles, will sign the training standards document Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. at the Center for Liquefied Natural Gas in the Capital Hilton’s Pan American Room.

The ceremony follows on the heels of the announcement last week that MM&P will crew as many as nine ships for international energy industry leader Suez LNG.  The historic agreement, which includes MMA, covers recruitment, training and manning of Suez LNG vessels with licensed deck officers and engineers.

Development of the training standards was spearheaded by MM&P Special Projects Director Richard Plant, Chester Urban of Fort Schuyler and the American Maritime Officers, and Chris Moore of MARAD. Representatives of all the nation’s state, federal and union maritime schools participated in the development of the new standards.

The training program encompasses courses at three levels: awareness (for cadets and unlicensed personnel); specific duties (for those assigned responsibilities during cargo operations) and person-in-charge.

After the signing ceremony, the program will be sent for review, approval and acceptance to the Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee (MERPAC), the U.S. Coast Guard-National Maritime Center and the U.S. Delegation to the International Maritime Organization.


There’s still time for Congress to address the fundamental shortfalls of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC), according to MM&P. The massive access control program, which will eventually cover somewhere between 750,000 and 1.5 million transport industry workers, was recently put on indefinite hold by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

MM&P offered its most recent input in the form of a written follow-up to the testimony presented on behalf of the union by Mike Rodriguez, Executive Assistant to International President Tim Brown. Rodriguez testified April 12 before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.

It is standard for senators to submit detailed questions to witnesses as a follow-up to their oral testimony. In this case, senators asked MM&P to provide more information about why the card should be compatible with international standards and why the TWIC program should preempt all state and local access schemes.

The union had testified that TWIC should employ the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) technology standards currently in use worldwide for passports, visas and other travel documents. “We believe that one of the reasons [the TWIC progam] is falling behind lies with the policy decision to use the unproven and inappropriate FIPS-201 standard, rather than the widely used and internationally recognized ICAO standards,” Rodriguez told the committee in the follow-up to his testimony. “If the TWIC program were designed to comply with the ICAO standards, then TSA and the U.S. Coast Guard would have a much greater chance of meeting the deadlines established by Congress.”

The standard chosen by TSA and the Coast Guard is an internal federal government technology format that will never be interoperable with international standards and is untested and unproven on the massive scale required for the TWIC program. As the program is currently envisioned by the government, American seafarers would not be able to use their TWIC cards abroad for access to facilities in foreign ports.

“We understand that TSA and the Coast Guard have invested a great deal of time and money in trying to develop a new technology for the TWIC program,” the union said. “However, TSA has issued not even a single working TWIC card five years after being directed to do so by Congress.  We believe it is not too late to get the program right by moving forward with a simple, internationally accepted and interoperable identification program based on the ICAO standards.”

The union also urged Congress to ensure the TWIC preempts local cards. Under the existing statute, there is no federal preemption. “If individual states and port facilities are permitted to retain their own unique access control systems, the national character of the TWIC card will be destroyed and the TWIC program will be worthless from the standpoint of mariners, ship service personnel, long haul truck drivers, rail crews and other traveling workers who require a single credential that can be used across the entire system,” MM&P said.

Rodriguez reiterated the union’s message in a recent letter to Rep. Loretta Sanchez, who chairs the Subcommittee on Border, Maritime and Global Counterterrorism. The letter rebuts testimony before the subcommittee in April by the TWIC program director, who called TWIC “a single common credential that can be used across the entire network.”

The lack of a federal preemption rule means that, “Statements made by the government regarding a ‘common’ and  ‘national’ TWIC are simply not true,” the union wrote. “The effect of this lack of federal control will be that individual states, ports and terminals will launch and retain their own incompatible security systems and the national character of the TWIC card will be lost.”



The 82nd Convention of the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots will be held June 23-25 in Linthicum Heights, Md. The convention will kick off at 1000 on June 23. Only members in good standing for two continuous years in payment of their union dues are eligible to run for elected office. The two-year period for good-standing as far as nominations is April 1, 2006, through March 31, 2008. Members in good standing as of June 30, 2008, are eligible to vote.


Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) has introduced legislation that would expand the applicability of the tonnage tax so that U.S.-flag vessels operating on a domestic and foreign trade voyage could take advantage of its provisions.  At present, the tonnage tax is not available to vessels that operate in the Jones Act trade for more than 30 days in a calendar year. This interferes with the ability of these vessels to use the tonnage tax for the international trade portion of their voyage. The legislation, S 1495, has been cosponsored by Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.).

In his remarks, Sen. Inouye stated that “American tax policy and maritime policy should facilitate the participation of these American-built ships. Instead, the 30-day limit makes them ineligible to use the tonnage tax, further handicaps American vessels when competing for international cargo . . . [and] exacerbates America’s 97 percent reliance on foreign ships to carry its international cargo.  Repealing the tonnage tax’s 30-day limit on domestic operations is a necessary step toward providing tax equity between U.S.-flag and foreign-flag vessels.”  Enactment of S 1495 would benefit a number of domestic shipping companies, including MM&P-contracted Matson Navigation.


A bipartisan group of legislators has asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to audit the Department of Homeland Security’s $1 billion radiation-detection container scanning program.  
In a letter to GAO, the legislators said they worried DHS may be making hasty decisions about the program to expedite its implementation — setting itself up for performance glitches and cost overruns. At a congressional staff briefing, DHS officials reported that the field validation testing for the scanners would be limited to two or three weeks at selected ports of entry and that certification could start as early as this summer.

“We are concerned about the management challenges that are inherent in evolutionary or spiral advanced technology development acquisition of the type [the department] is conducting,” the group said. The GAO was also asked to examine projected costs over a 10- year cycle to determine whether the technology employed would be worth the price.

Among lawmakers backing the request were Sen. Joseph Lieberman (Independent-Conn.) and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.)


U.S. Embassy representatives in Santiago, Chile, and crewmembers of the USS PEARL HARBOR conducted a wreath laying ceremony on May 25 at the gravesite of 60 boys and men who died in action aboard USS ESSEX in her final engagement against two Royal Navy warships in the War of 1812.

The ceremony was held at the request of MM&P member and U.S. Navy veteran Bertil James Haney. Haney wrote the U.S. Embassy informing them of the existence of the graves and asking that a formal gesture be made to honor the sacrifice of these brave mariners.
Capt. Richard Goodwyn, defense and naval attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Santiago, responded enthusiastically. “To be completely honest with you,” he wrote,” we were unaware that these grave sites existed and wholeheartedly agree that something should be done to recognize the sacrifice.” Since the USS PEARL HARBOR was docked at the Valparaiso Naval Pier as part of a four-ship task group, its crewmembers were on hand to participate in the ceremony.


In the latest twist in a case that will almost certainly go all the way to the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has denied a petition that it review an earlier federal court ruling requiring Exxon to pay Alaska fishermen, natives and property owners $2.5 billion in punitive damages in the EXXON VALDEZ case. The punitive damages were assessed in addition to the compensatory damages the company was required to pay for clean-up of the catastrophic 1989 oil spill.

Several judges issued strong dissents to the most recent decision. “For centuries, companies have built their seaborne businesses on the understanding that they won’t be subject to punitive damages if they ‘[n]either directed, nor countenanced, nor participated in’ the wrong… The panel opinion has thrown this protection overboard,” one judge wrote. Another dissenter argued that the ratio of punitive damages to compensatory damages in the case was excessive.


A man has been sentenced to 30 months in prison for operating as a ship’s captain on a forged license, neglect of duty by a seaman resulting in the sinking of the MV MARGARET ANN, and negligently causing a diesel fuel spill in Lake Michigan, the U.S. Coast Guard has reported. The man was also ordered to pay $750,000 in restitution to Holly Marine Towing, the owner of the vessel that sank in Lake Michigan under his command. The sinking of the MARGARET ANN caused a 250-gallon diesel spill in navigable waters.


The Maritime Institute of Technology & Graduate Studies (MITAGS) is seeking two part-time operators for its full-mission ship simulator. This is an ideal opportunity for computer-savvy MM&P members who know how to maneuver ships in a variety of situations and environments. Applicants should enjoy computer gaming, be creative and have demonstrated the ability to master computer programs. These are ideal positions for MM&P members who want to alternate between shipboard deployments and teaching. Excellent communications and computer skills are a must. E-mail resume to or fax to HR Manager at (443) 989-3341. 


CLASS OPENINGS: Between now and the end of August 2007, seats are available in the following courses:

AIS – Automatic Identification System: 7/13, 8/3
AIS ECDIS 3 for Pilots – Automatic Identification System and Electronic Chart Display Information System (3 day) for Pilots:  6/12
ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 7/24

BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 7/17, 8/1

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-CHS II – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 7/9
CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 7/30
CMM-SHMGT-I – Ship Management(week 1): 7/16
CMM-SHMGT-II – Ship Management (week 2): 7/23
CMM-SHS-ADV-I-Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 7/9
CMM-SHS-ADV-II-Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 6/25

CSE-AWR-2 – Confined Space Entry Awareness (2 day): 7/12

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5-day): 6/11, 7/23

LAP – License Advancement Program: 7/23
LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage(Evening): 7/17, 8/1

MEDIA-RSP – Media Response Workshop: 7/12
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 6/16, 7/28
MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge:  6/11, 7/23
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 6/11, 7/23

[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-CBRD-1 – Chemical Biological Radiological Defense Orientation: 6/28, 7/21
MSC-DC – Damage Control: 6/26, 7/19
MSC-SMA – Small Arms: 6/25
MSC-SMA-R – Small Arms Re-Qualification (2-day): 6/29 (must have proof of passing all 3 weapons within 2 years)

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 7/23, 7/30
ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original or Renewal (5 days): 7/9

SEC-OFF-VCF – Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility:  7/9
SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling:  7/23
SHS-EMR- Emergency Shiphandling: 6/18, 7/30
SHS-ESH- BRMP-3– Emergency Shiphandling & Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 7/10

Check the MITAGS website at 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:


Spring – Fall 2007

Due to the high demand for this program, PMI has now scheduled another that is already close to full enrollment for its 2007-start date. See the PMI Web site at for more info on this new development.


SCHEDULE OF COURSES – (Course schedule also posted online at

June 2007
4-8      TPIC
4-8      MED PRO
4-15    MED PIC
4-15    WKP
4-22    TCNAV
5-8      LFBT
11-13  SEC VCF
11-13  WKP
11-15  BST
11-15  AB
11-29  TCNAV
18-22 ARPA
25-29 ROP
25-29 BAFF

July 2007
9th      FL
9-13    ARPA
9-13    BST
10-13  LFBT
16-20 AB
16-20 MED PRO
16-20 ENAV
23-27  SHS BAS
23-3    CNAV
30-3   ARPA
30-3   MED PRO
30-10 MED PIC      

August 2007
6-7      SAR
6-10    BST
7-10    LFBT
8-10    EP
14-17  LFBT
13-17  AB
13-17  CONSTB
13-17  SHS EM5
13-17  ECDIS
13-17  TPIC
20-24 AB
20-31 SHS ADV
20-24 CHS BAS
27-31  BAFF
27-31  ENAV
27-31  MED PRO
27-8    GMDSS
27-29  CSO/SSO

September 2007
4-7      LFBT
4-8      WX BAS
4-8      TCNAV
10-14  BST
10-14  AB
10-14  MED PRO
10-14  TCNAV
10-14  SHS BAS
17-21  MED PRO
17-21  ARPA
17-21  SHS BAS
17-21  TCNAV
17-28  GMDSS
19-21  AFF
24-5    WKP
24-28 ROP
26-28 AFF

For registration call Jennifer Fowler 888-893-7829


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.



D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
13,649.09 2,610.03 1,535.31
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX)
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)


~ Reminders ~




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:, 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:, by fax to 410-850-0973 or by mail to:

Richard Plant, Director of Special Projects

700 Maritime Blvd.
Linthicum Heights, MD 21090


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 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.


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.



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.

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 or call 1-800-382-7777 toll-free.




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 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.”


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 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

  • 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.


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

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.



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)


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 and click on “Union Made Product Search”. To shop for union-made products online, go to



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,, 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: For further info or to subscribe contact John Peige at The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea and is posted on our web page.

C 2006, 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: For changes of address, contact John Peige at