News

Wheelhouse Weekly – June 14, 2010

June 14th 2010

 

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

Volume 14 . . . . . Number 24. . . .June 14, 2010

STORIES COVERED

REMINDERS

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.


TOP BP EXECUTIVES TO MEET WITH OBAMA OVER OIL SPILL

Adm. Thad Allen, national incident commander for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, has summoned BP executives to a meeting in Washington June 16 with President Obama. “The BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill is the largest environmental disaster in our nation’s history,” Allen wrote BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg. “BP is financially responsible for all costs associated with the response to the spill… and “must ensure that all individuals and communities impacted by the spill are made whole.” Allen met Friday with the BP executives responsible for administering financial claims in light of complaints from thousands of affected residents who are losing their livelihoods in the wake of the disaster. Allen said the government will ensure “that every legitimate claim is honored and paid in an efficient manner.”

Meanwhile, all Gulf ports remained in service Monday despite the widening spill zone. Oil has made its way into the inland waterways along coastal Alabama, leading the Coast Guard to close Perdido Pass, a main access route for fishermen and boaters, after high chop pushed the oil past protective booms. An Alabama official said that the Port of Mobile would remain open regardless of the location and severity of the slick. Beach cleanup continues across three states. On Friday, a government spokesman said, more than 3,400 people were deployed across beaches in Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida panhandle.

Last Thursday, the government released new estimates for the amount of oil spilling out of the ruptured well that are twice as high as the original ones, which means that somewhere between 42 and 100 million gallons have already spewed into the Gulf. The new figures mean Deepwater Horizon is producing an Exxon Valdez size spill every five to 13 days. The most recent estimates are for the flow before June 3, when a riser pipe was cut and capped and the company began to direct a percentage of the total flow to waiting ships for processing.

BP said that as of last week, it had spent $1.43 billion on oil spill response, containment, relief well drilling, grants to the states, claims and federal costs. Almost 18,000 National Guard troops have been deployed to the Gulf Coast, where they have joined forces with over 24,000 volunteers, contractors and government employees who are working to protect the shoreline and wildlife.
   
Last week, Federal On-Scene Coordinator Rear Adm. James A. Watson sent a letter to BP instructing the company to immediately develop plans to “put equipment, systems and processes in place to ensure that the remaining oil and gas flowing can be recovered, taking into account safety, environmental and meteorological factors.” The letter stressed the importance of redundancies to maintain collection rates in the event of operational problems, the need for multiple recovery vessels once additional capacity is needed, or severe weather, such as a hurricane.


PIRATES RELEASE U.K.-FLAGGED CAR CARRIER

European naval forces report that pirates on Friday released MV ASIAN GLORY. The U.K.-flagged car carrier was released after the pirates collected a ransom payment in the vicinity of Garacad, on the eastern coast of Somalia, where the ship was at anchor. The vessel and its 25-person crew had been seized Jan. 1, approximately 900 nautical miles north of the Seychelles and 600 miles east of the Somali coast.

In related news, 10 accused pirates captured by the Dutch military are facing trial in Germany for hijacking a German-flagged ship. One of the accused is a boy, thought to be 12 years old, who says he was working at an auto repair shop in Somalia, when a group of men offered him a shipboard job fixing motors. He says that when he accepted the job, he had no idea the men were pirates.


PIRACY SUSPECT IN UNITED STATES WANTS TRIAL MOVED

One of 11 Somali men accused of attacking a U.S. Navy ship off the coast of Africa is asking to have his trial moved from Norfolk. An attorney for Mohammed Jamah has filed a request to move the trial from Navy Station Norfolk on the grounds that impartial jury members could not be found in such close proximity to a U.S. Navy base. Jamah is one of six men accused in an April 10 attack on the USS ASHLAND, 380 miles off the coast of Djibouti.


ST. LAWRENCE SEAWAY PILOTS ASSOCIATION SEEKS APPRENTICE PILOT

The St. Lawrence Seaway Pilots’ Association is accepting applications for an apprentice pilot. The minimum requirements are: U.S. citizenship and 24 months’ licensed sea service (as a master, mate or pilot) on vessels of at least 4,000 gross tons.

To apply for the position, the following documents are required: copy (front and back) of U.S. Coast Guard License; current resume; service record; copy of TWIC; CG 4509 form (application); three letters of reference (current); letter/participation in random drug test program (within six months); copy of radar observer certificate; CG-719K-physical (within one year); copy of MMD; two full-face photos.

The information listed above should be sent by overnight mail to: Deputy Director (CG-5522); Attn: Great Lakes Pilotage; US Coast Guard; 2100 Second Street, SW STOP 7581; Washington, DC 20593-7581. For more information, contact the Deputy Director at 202-372-1537.


AMERICAN MERCHANT MARINE VETERANS WANTS YOU!

Members of the American Merchant Marine Veterans (AMMV) are reaching out to all readers of The Wheelhouse Weekly with the request that they get involved in AMMV’s efforts to inform the American public about the important role played by merchant mariners in our nation’s economy and national defense. AMMV members go to schools and libraries to talk about our work. They participate in patriotic functions where mariners and members of the armed services are honored. The ultimate goal of AMMV’s efforts is promote a better future for all mariners and for the maritime industry as a whole. For information about joining AMMV, please call Sindy Raymond at 800-545-4173 or e-mail her at saaren@frontiernet.net.


WALGREENS MAY WITHDRAW FROM CVS CAREMARK NETWORK

As you know, our prescription drug coverage is provided through CVS Caremark. We have received notification from CVS Caremark that confirms Walgreens pharmacies will no longer participate in the CVS Caremark pharmacy network effective July 9, 2010.  Although this could change due to continuing negotiations between CVS Caremark and Walgreens, you should assume until further notice that Walgreens is not a participant in the CVS Caremark network as of July 9.  This will only affect you if you currently use Walgreens for your prescription services.  

CVS Caremark is preparing a letter which will be mailed to the home addresses of participants and dependents who have filled a prescription at a Walgreens pharmacy within the past three months. The letter should include simple instructions for transferring prescriptions to a participating pharmacy in the CVS Caremark retail network. It also should list the three in-network pharmacies nearest to the zip code of the Walgreens where you last filled a prescription.

Participants and dependents can also locate a network pharmacy through a zip code search using the “Find a Local Pharmacy” feature at www.caremark.com. If you have any questions or need assistance, you can call the CVS Caremark customer service department at 1-888-364-6815. 


LET US KNOW IF YOUR ADDRESS HAS CHANGED

Many pensioners receive their monthly benefit payment by ACH direct deposit. When these pensioners move, they may sometimes neglect to inform the Plans of their new address since they retain the same bank and account number and thus still receive their monthly pension benefit payments. The Plans are required by law to send each Plan participant or beneficiary a number of different mailings during the course of the year, so please make sure that you notify the Plan Office in writing of any changes in your address. All change of address notifications must be signed by the participant or beneficiary. You should send changes of address to: MM&P Plans, 700 Maritime Blvd., Suite A, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1996.


COURSE EQUIVALENCIES FOR REQUIRED COMPANY TRAINING

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


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

CLASS OPENINGS: Between now and the end of July 2010, as of the Friday before this publication, seats are available in the following courses:

AB – Able Bodied Seaman: 6/14

AIS – Automatic Identification Systems: 7/21

BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 7/28

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 6/21

CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 6/28

CMM-CHS I – Advanced Cargo Operations (week 1): 7/12

CMM-CHS II – Advanced Cargo Operations (week 2): 7/19

CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information Systems: 6/21

CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants:  6/14

CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 6/21, 7/12

CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 7/19

CMM-SHMGT I � Ship Management (week 1): 7/26

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning: 7/15

CSE-AAES – Confined Space Entry-Atmospheric Analysis of Enclosed Spaces: 7/21

ECDIS/ENAV for PILOTS (2-day): 7/27

FSM for Pilots � Fatigue, Sleep & Medications: 7/22, 7/29

HAZ – Hazardous Materials Course (5-day): 6/21

MEDIA RSP – Media Response Workshop: 7/16

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 6/19

SEC-VCF – Security Officer, Vessel, Company and Facility: 7/12

SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 6/21

TC NAV – Terrestrial and Coastal Navigation: 7/12

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


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


PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

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

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

June 2010

21-25  Tankerman Person-In-Charge

July 2010

5-9      Basic Cargo Handling and Stowage
12-16   Radar Observer Unlimited
12-16   Train the Trainer
12-23  GMDSS
19-23  Electron Navigation
27-29  Security VCF

August 2010

2          Flashing Light
2-6      Medical Care Provider
2-13    Medical Person-In-Charge
3-5      ARPA
16-20  ECDIS
16-20  Tankerman Person-In-Charge
23        Radar Renewal


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 6-11-10

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
10,211.07 2,243.60 1,091.60
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund (VAARX)
49.35
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
100.96
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
34.19
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
15.68
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
15.15
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
22.91
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.94
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
26.70
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.36
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
15.31
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
19.42
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
13.60
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
17.81
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
11.15
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
11.35
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
11.25
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
11.43
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
11.83
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.60
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
27.25
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
15.33
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
13.82
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
15.69
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.42
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
62.81
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
58.49
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
16.00
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
37.76
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
24.97
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
23.56
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
10.82
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
11.44
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
12.40
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
12.34
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
12.08
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
6.94
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
8.04
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.73
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
31.71
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
38.79
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
25.92





~ Reminders ~



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.

© 2010, 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.




IOMMP

IOMMP

IOMMP

Latest posts by IOMMP (see all)