News

Wheelhouse Weekly – June 16, 2008

June 16th 2008

 

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

Volume 12 . . . . . Number 24. . . .June 16, 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.


ALASKA MARINE HIGHWAY’S FAST FERRY CHENEGA PLUCKS THREE FROM ICY WATER

On Sunday, June 8, the fast ferry CHENEGA, with MM&P licensed deck officers on board, saved the lives of three boaters whose small craft had been splintered by waves. Six minutes into its transit from Whittier to Cordova, the 3.400–gt CHENEGA encountered a debris field. The crew then spotted three people in the water. Captain Samuel Daniels shifted control of CHENEGA from the bridge to the port bridge wing to bring the ship closer to the stranded trio, 28-year-old Luke Renner and Andy Renner, 31, and his eight-year-old son Owen. Within three minutes, CHENEGA’s fast rescue boat crew sped to the boaters, who were clinging to debris to remain afloat.

Also on board CHENEGA at the time of the rescue were Chief Mate Paul Van Ettinger and Second Mate Skip Evans. “Skip actually sighted the vessel probably right when they were getting into trouble,” Daniels said. “However we believed they were slowing to pick up some fishing gear. When we didn’t see them again later, we assumed they had run a quarter mile south and joined a stream of vessels that were inbound along the shore. As we got closer to them on our departure track, the debris field became evident (a cooler in particular, surrounded by an unusual concentration of unidentified debris), and I began asking for other crew members to join the bridge team as additional lookouts. The vessel was sunk before we arrived on the scene.”

“Normally I would have brought the ship much closer, but with the mixture of debris and fishing gear, and not knowing how many persons we were dealing with, I chose to stand off and let the rescue boat crew do the work,” Daniels said. Chief Mate Van Ettinger helped launch and recover the rescue boat and assisted the three victims once they were on board.  The Renners were checked out by doctors who were among the 72 passengers on the fast ferry, and then treated for hypothermia when CHENEGA returned to Whittier.


MM&P AND MEBA MOVE FORWARD ON MERCHANT OFFICERS’ LABOR ALLIANCE

The committee established by MM&P and the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA) under the terms of the Merchant Officers’ Labor Alliance (MOLA) met for the first time on June 12 at MM&P Headquarters in Linthicum, Md. MEBA was represented by President Don Keefe, Secretary-Treasurer William Van Loo and West Coast Vice President Edward MacCormack. MM&P was represented by the International President, the Offshore Gulf Coast Vice President and the Offshore West Coast Vice President.

During the meeting, the group discussed: development of a closer working relationship between the unions’ lobbying and Washington advocacy organizations, MM&P’s Maritime Institute for Research and Industrial Development (MIRAID) and MEBA’s American Maritime Congress. Consideration was given to a plan to share more union halls, either through rentals or purchase. The MOLA Committee will meet again in September.


MOST TWIC CARD PRINTING MACHINES NOW BROKEN

More problems have surfaced in the Department of Homeland Security’s delay-plagued Transportation Worker Identification Card (TWIC) program. Eight out of 12 machines used to produce the cards have been returned to the manufacturer for repairs. The shortage of machines has increased production time tenfold, from one day to ten days, according to Rep. Bennie Thompson, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.

“At this juncture, it is difficult to determine which is more astonishing – the fact that the facility producing these cards is experiencing a 66 percent machine failure rate or the fact that this machine failure rate has resulted in a tenfold increase in the card production schedule,” Thompson wrote Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff on June 10.

The announcement of the machine breakdowns comes on the heels of widespread criticism of the TWIC call center, the phone line to which transportation sector industry workers are expected to turn to resolve TWIC-related questions or problems. 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.

In letters to Lockheed Martin, the contractor which is being paid to manage the call center, 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. 

A spokesman for the Transportation Security Administration said that the broken TWIC printing machines were expected to be back online in a matter of days.


MM&P CONVENTION STARTS NEXT MONDAY

The 82nd MM&P Convention will be held June 23-25 at Linthicum Heights, Md.   Nominations for elective office will be held on June 25. Resolutions were closed as of May 27, unless the Convention as a body decides otherwise. Speakers include AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, AMO President Tom Bethel, ILA President Richie Hughes, ILA-Atlantic Coast District President Steve Knott, MEBA President Don Keefe, SIU President Mike Sacco and Ron Dejuliis, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley’s labor envoy.


JONES ACT OPERATORS ASK FOR CLARIFICATION OF VESSEL REBUILD RULES

Representatives of shipping companies and shipbuilders involved in the U.S. coastal trades testified at a congressional hearing last week that the Coast Guard should clarify and strengthen its enforcement of rules regarding work performed on Jones Act vessels in foreign shipyards.  The hearing was convened by Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) before the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, which he chairs. “Fair and consistent enforcement of the Jones Act is essential to ensuring that… all the vessels certified for coastwise trade are competing on a level playing field,” Cummings said.

The Second Proviso of the Jones Act requires that to retain coastwise trading privileges, U.S.-flag vessels must be rebuilt in the United States. The relevant Coast Guard rule allows hull work to be carried out abroad if the individual components do not exceed 1.5 percent of the vessel’s total steel weight. In addition, total overseas ship work is not supposed to exceed 10 percent of the vessel’s weight.
 
Those testifying before the House subcommittee said that inconsistencies and lack of transparency in the Coast Guard’s second proviso approval process are interfering with companies’ ability to make good business decisions. Witnesses called on the Coast Guard to establish a new procedure that includes: public notice that an application for the work has been filed; an opportunity for interested parties to participate in the proceeding; a reasonable opportunity to pursue an administrative appeal within the Coast Guard; judicial review under the Administrative Procedures Act; publishing and indexing of Coast Guard decisions.

“The issues pertaining to the rebuilding of Jones Act vessels in foreign shipyards are highly complex,” Cummings said. “There is currently significant confusion regarding the exact meaning of some of the terminology utilized in existing regulations, as well as how those regulations are to be applied. Such confusion appears likely to undermine efforts to ensure that the Second Proviso is enforced as intended. It is my hope that the Coast Guard will take the opportunity to clarify its regulations.”


PUBLIC WEBSITE OFFERS INFO ON HOW TO VOTE VIA ABSENTEE BALLOT IN FEDERAL ELECTION

MM&P strongly encourages all union members and their families to vote in November’s federal elections. If you anticipate being out of town on Election Day, or if you would simply like to vote by absentee ballot to avoid the rush, how-to information is available on a public website: www.longdistancevoter.org. The site features an easy-to-use, state-by-state breakdown of dates and procedures for obtaining an absentee ballot. MM&P publishes the URL for this site for informational purposes only.


SEN. LAUTENBERG SAYS HE’LL PUSH FOR REAL IMPROVEMENTS IN PORT SECURITY

At a hearing on the requirement that all containers entering the United States be scanned by 2012, Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) expressed concerns about the rate at which container security programs are being implemented. The hearing was held before the Senate Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety, and Security.

In his opening remarks, Lautenberg said he was angry about delays that will cause the government to miss the July 2012 congressional mandate requiring all containers coming into U.S. ports to be scanned for nuclear weapons and radiation. Lautenberg said he planned to introduce legislation to bring about “real improvements in port security.”

“The Bush Administration has long believed that a ‘layered’ approach is adequate for securing our ports,” Lautenberg said. “But in practice, this ‘layered’ approach has been more like a ‘piece-meal’ one, leaving our country and our economy more vulnerable.
After the 9/11 attacks, the federal government installed equipment to scan 100 percent of passengers and baggage boarding a plane. It should not take another attack on our country for the federal government to secure our ports.”

Lautenberg said that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) had already testified before Congress that the Bush Administration’s cargo security programs were seriously compromised. For example, he said, there are still not even minimum standards for container security and the Department of Homeland Security has not yet established a standard lock for containers.


COAST GUARD INVESTIGATES BOSTON HARBOR ALLISION

An allision between a small cargo ship and the Fore River Bridge in Quincy has raised questions about the role of docking masters in Boston Harbor as well as an attempt to modify local licensing procedures. The 323-foot cargo ship MV COSETTE struck the fendering system on the side of the bridge on June 3. There were no injuries and no structural damage to the bridge was reported. The vessel, which was heading north, was moving freight to the former General Dynamics shipyard. According to the Coast Guard report, a privately employed docking master, not certified by the state of Massachusetts, was directing the vessel at the time of the allision. The Coast Guard says excessive speed may have been a cause of the accident. The accident has focused attention on an ongoing controversy regarding licensing of docking masters in the port of Boston. The effort, which is embodied in Massachusetts Senate bill 1349, has faced strong opposition and is said to be losing steam. The bill aims to grandfather in existing docking masters – all but one of whom work for a private towboat company – without testing or further examination. It would then exclude docking masters from local and regulatory oversight. The bill would specifically bar the Pilot Commission from imposing rate structures on the work. Currently, the local Boston Pilots are the only individuals officially licensed to dock and undock vessels in the port of Boston.


MM&P NY/NJ HALL MEETING WILL BE JUNE 18

Because of scheduling conflicts, the regular monthly meeting at MM&P’s New York/New Jersey Hall will be held on Wednesday, June 18, the third Wednesday of the month, instead of the second Wednesday. All MM&P members in the area are encouraged to attend.


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 to 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.


MM&P FEDERAL CREDIT UNION CLOSED FOR VACATION JUNE 16-20

The Masters, Mates & Pilots Federal Credit Union will be closed the week of June 16-20 for vacation. The credit union will reopen on Monday, June 23.


SECRETARY OF DEFENSE RECOMMENDS USTRANSCOM’S SCHWARTZ TO BECOME NEXT AIR FORCE CHIEF OF STAFF

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has recommended that President Bush nominate Air Force Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, commander of U.S. Transportation Command, to become Air Force Chief of Staff. Schwartz would replace Gen. T. Michael Moseley, who with Air Force Secretary Michael W. Wynne, resigned last week. 


HORIZON LINES NAMES NEW PUERTO RICO MANAGER

Horizon Lines Inc. has named Jacob M. Wegrzyn to serve as senior vice president and general manager of its Puerto Rico services division. Wegrzyn will have primary responsibility for operational, sales and strategic activities related to the Puerto Rico market. He joins Horizon Lines with more than 18 years experience in the transportation and distribution industry in Puerto Rico.


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 licensed mates with pilotage and engineers. 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.


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: 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-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

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

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day) course: 8/4
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: 7/21, 8/18
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 7/21, 8/18  
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 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: 7/7, 8/11

SEC-VCF – Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 7/7
SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 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-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
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

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 6-13-2008

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
12,307 2,455 1,360
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
62.95
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
125.72
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
39.22
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
22.96
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
18.73
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
28.50
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.11
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
32.22
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.72
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
16.51
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
23.70
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
13.87
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
20.30
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
11.75
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
12.58
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
13.09
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
13.85
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
14.31
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
9.92
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
33.28
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
19.89
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
14.75
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
23.88
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
9.82
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
85.33
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
17.86
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
71.22
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
20.69
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
41.65
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
37.08
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
27.09
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.10
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
11.97
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
13.99
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
14.66
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
15.06
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
8.84
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
10.44
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.05
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
36.90
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
48.28
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
29.92





~ 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.