Wheelhouse Weekly – June 23, 2005

June 23rd 2005



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

Volume 9 . . . . . Number 25 . . . . June 23, 2005




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


The following is an important message to all members concerning USCG license renewals. Recently two MM&P members who are permanent employees lost trips because the US Coast Guard could not process their license renewal in an appropriate time frame. If you are a permanent employee who needs to renew a license during a vacation period, it is strongly suggested that you approach your employer and have the employer write a letter certifying that you are a permanent employee and that you are scheduled to return to work on such-and-such a date. This technique has been found to be useful in moving applications upstream to the extent that you may have a better chance to get your license renewal processed in time. As a reminder: you can begin the renewal process one-year before your USCG license actually expires.




On America’s waterways and on the high seas, there are men and women proud of their profession, mariners who long ago organized for safety, not just for themselves but for the public and the environment. In peace and war, in a history spanning three centuries, these mariners have served with expertise and valor. They are the members of the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots.

This union was born in tragedy, when neither government nor private enterprise would take responsibility for safety. On Long Island Sound on June 28, 1880, the steamer SEAWANHAKA suffered a boiler room explosion and fire. There were over 300 passengers on board. Many panicked and began jumping overboard. Dozens were to perish in the disaster. But Captain Charles Smith stayed at the wheel. Attacked by flames and smoke, he was able to steer the vessel to shallow water, where passengers could jump to safety. Captain Smith was rescued, unconscious, and taken to the hospital.

Heroic behavior? Above and beyond the call of duty? Incredibly, Captain Smith was made a scapegoat. Still in bandages, he and the vessel’s engineer were hauled away and imprisoned for manslaughter. The scapegoating of Charles Smith angered his fellow mariners. They resolved to organize for justice on the water. The result was an association known as Harbor Number 1. Captain Smith was eventually exonerated, but the organization continued. By the end of the 19th century, it had become the American Association of Masters and Pilots of Steam Vessels, and it had various numbered Harbors, or union halls, throughout the country.

In the early 20th century, the mates were added, giving us the American Association of Masters, Mates and Pilots.
On February 26, 1916, the American Federation of Labor granted a Certificate of Affiliation to the National Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots of America.
By the early 1950s, it had become the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots.

In 1971, the MM&P affiliated with the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA). Both organizations have worked together to promote a stronger, healthier American merchant marine. The Masters, Mates & Pilots is a member of the AFL-CIO, a federation of 58 national and international labor unions.

Today, the MM&P has over 6,000 members around the world. They include licensed deck officers, state-licensed pilots and other marine personnel, including engineers and unlicensed mariners on US-flag commercial vessels in the international and domestic trade; on inland waters and the Great Lakes; and on US Government-owned and operated vessels.

The MM&P celebrated its 125th Anniversary on May 24th with a three-hour dinner cruise on the BAY LADY of Baltimore. MM&P members, members of Congress, other trade union officials (both retired and active), employer representatives, and many guests who have been friends of the Masters, Mates and Pilots through the years attended the event. “We are optimistic that this event will kick off the second 125 years of progress for the Masters, Mates and Pilots,” said International President Capt. Tim Brown.



The beautiful large print of the SEAWANHAKA being sold to benefit the MM&P Political Contribution Fund, can now be viewed on the MM&P web site at Members should click on “Members Only” and then select “Make a PCF Contribution” and then select the link: “Click here to see MM&P rewards you earn.” Suitable for framing, this lovely print is just $40 and would make an excellent addition a home or office. All are signed by the artist, MM&P-member Capt. Brian Hope, whose paintings hang in several museums and in many businesses in the Baltimore-Washington area.

As detailed in the article above, the fire aboard the SEAWANHAKA and the scapegoating of her Master, Capt. Charles Smith one hundred and twenty-five years ago, mark the beginnings of the MM&P. For more info on how you can obtain one of these great prints while also assisting the MM&P PCF, contact Assistant Comptroller Beverly Gutmann at MM&P HQ, 700 Maritime Blvd., Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1941. Phone: 410-850-8700 ext. 11, Fax: 410-850-8384, Email:



The House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations has approved its fiscal year 2006 appropriations legislation for the Departments of Treasury, Transportation and Housing and Urban Development. Included within this legislation is $156 million for FY’06 for the Maritime Security Program, the amount requested by the President and supported by the maritime industry. This is the amount necessary to fully support the operation of 60 US-flag MSP vessels, the number called for in the MSP reauthorization legislation signed into law in 2003. The appropriations bill is scheduled to be considered by the full House of Representatives prior to the Congressional July 4th recess, and by the Senate before Congress recesses in August.



The upcoming Ship Operations Cooperative Program (SOCP) meeting that will be held in Seattle on July 12-13 offers a firsthand opportunity to learn about the latest developments in new ship operations technology as well as regulatory issues that affect operations.

As part of that meeting, SOCP is inviting MM&P members to take a survey on enhanced LORAN (eLORAN) as a “back-up” to Global Positioning System technology. GPS is presumed to have become the primary navigation aid employed in the commercial shipping industry today. However, a report issued by the Volpe National Transportation Center in August 2001 indicates GPS is susceptible to both intentional and unintentional interference.

In order to mitigate the vulnerability of GPS, the Department of Transportation has determined that alternate technologies and procedures must be identified that can sustain navigation, positioning and timing capabilities for the nation’s critical infrastructure and industries in the event of a loss of GPS. The purpose of this survey is to ascertain the navigation, positioning and timing technologies and procedures you use, or would use as a member of the commercial shipping industry in the event that GPS service was unavailable.

A LORAN Survey web page has been created at A link to the survey as well as reference info is provided on this web page. SCOP would appreciate your responses by July 1. As a follow-up to the survey, SCOP plans to have a discussion at the July 12-13 SOCP meeting being hosted by USCG & PMI in Seattle, WA. SCOP invites you to attend this meeting and provide any additional comments in person. If you have any questions about this survey, please feel free to contact Ram Nagendran via e-mail at or voice at 703-620-8676 or Todd Ripley via e-mail at or voice at 202-366-2625.

Among those making participating in presentations at the SOCP meting will be MM&P’s Director of Special Projects Richard Plant and Special Representative Capt. Joe Stone. Gregg Trunnell, Director of the MITAGS-affiliated Pacific Maritime Institute will host a reception for SOCP attendees. Tours of the PMI facility and Seattle VTS will also be available. All MM&P members are welcome to attend the meeting and there is no registration fee.

Those interested in attending the meeting should contact Kim-Anh Rester at e-mail or by phone at 202-366-0364. Those interested in reserving a seat should provide their name, position title, organization, address, phone, fax, and e-mail address. SOCP is an industry-government partnership that was formed in 1993 to share resources in an effort to improve the competitiveness of the US maritime industry.


Glen Paine, Executive Director of MITAGS and PMI, has announced that the US Coast Guard National Maritime Center and Maritime Administration (MARAD) have approved their “Vessel, Company, and Facility Officer” security training. Det Norske Veritas (DNV) has also certified the program.

“Before publication of the International Maritime Organization course models, MITAGS and PMI were presenting the Ship, Company, and Facility Security Officer program,” said Glen Paine. “This new certification by important US governmental authorities validates the comprehensive approach that has been undertaken by MITAGS and PMI in the maritime security training arena.”

MITAGS and PMI’s 21-hour course meets and exceeds the requirements of the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002, SOLAS, the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS), relevant USCG regulations, and the following IMO model courses: Ship Security Officer (3.19),
Company Security Officer (3.20) and Port Facility Security Officer (3.21).

For more info on the Vessel, Company, and Facility Officer security training or any other program available at MITAGS, please contact Capt. Robert Becker toll-free at 866-656-5569 or via e-mail at You may also visit the MITAGS website at For security training or information on any other programs available at PMI, contact Gregg Trunnell at 206-719-2801 or via e-mail at You may also visit the PMI website at



A 25-minute maritime security training video, which was originally developed for Coast Guard field personnel, has been released to the maritime industry. The video details various items that should be checked during a vessel examination to help verify compliance with the International Ship and Port Security (ISPS) Code and the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA). The video provides consistent and uniform enforcement of the security requirements, with minimal disruption to shipping. The film is not copyright protected and does not contain any confidential security information.

MITAGS can provide copies of this video for $25, which covers the cost of copying and shipping. To place an order, please contact Capt. Robert Becker toll-free at 866-656-5569 or via e-mail at Please indicate the preferred format (CD-ROM or VHS). For additional info on security, you may also visit the following websites: MITAGS:


Attention MM&P Health Plan members living in Texas — here’s important news about First Health PPO hospitals.
The list of Preferred Hospitals for First Health is constantly changing. New hospitals are added and others leave the network when both parties fail to come to terms that are acceptable for renewal.

The following term list affects many members who live in Texas. The listing includes in-network hospitals that you may consider as a substitute. Please note that Cypress Fairbanks Hospital, which is on the First Health Term Notice, is currently identified on the MultiPlan website as a participating PPO acute care hospital. Please check with the facility if you plan on using them to make sure they have not also dropped out of MultiPlan.

All Are Effective As of May 31, 2005:


Terminating Hospital Alternate Hospital

Cypress Fairbanks Med. Cntr.
10655 Steepletop Dr
Houston, TX 77065

Methodist Willowbrook Hosp.
18220 Tomball Pkwy
Houston, TX 77070
Houston Northwest Med. Cntr.
710 FM 1960 W
Houston, TX 77090
Methodist Willowbrook Hosp.
18220 Tomball Pkwy
Houston, TX 77070
Providence Memorial Hosp.
2001 N. Oregon
El Paso, TX 79902
Las Palmas Medical Center
1801 N. Oregon St.
El Paso, TX 79902
Rio Vista Rehab. Hosp.
1740 Curie
El Paso, TX 79902
Las Palmas Medical Cntr.
1801 N Oregon St
El Paso, TX 79902
Park Plaza Hospital
1313 Hermann Dr.
Houston, TX 77004
CHRISTUS St Joseph Hospital
1919 La Branch St.
Houston, TX 77002
Memorial Hermann Hospital
6411 Fannin St.
Houston, TX 77030


The US Coast Guard Regional Examination Center (REC) in Baltimore, MD has announced their operating hours for the summer months. During this time, please adhere to the following schedule:
Monday: 0900 to 1530
Closed for lunch from 1200 to 1300
Tuesday to Thursday: 0730 to 1530
Closed for lunch from 1200 to 1300
Friday: Closed to Walk-In Applicants
For additional info on the summer operating hours for the REC in Baltimore, call 410-962-5132.




Between now and the end of August 2005 seats are available in the following courses:

  • AIS – Automatic Identification System: 7/23, 8/5, 9/2
  • ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 7/18, 7/25, 8/15
  • BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 8/1
  • BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 8/9
  • BST – Basic Safety Training: 8/29

CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses

  • CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 7/18
  • CMM-CHS I – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 8/22
  • CMM-CHS II – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 8/15
  • CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display and Info Systems: 8/1
  • CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 6/27, 8/8
  • CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 8/15, 8/22
  • CMM-SHS-ADV-II – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 8/15
  • CMM-SHMGT I – Ship Management (week 1): 7/11
  • CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 7/25
  • CMM-WKP- Advanced Watchkeeping: 8/29
  • CONT-PLNG – Contingency Planning: 7/22
  • FF-BADV – (Combined) Basic and Advanced Firefighting: 6/27, 8/24
  • HF-FSM – Human Factors-Fatigue, Sleep & Medications: 7/20
  • LAP License Advancement Program: 7/11
  • LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 8/9
  • MEDIA-RSP – Media Response: 7/21, 8/4
  • MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 6/25, 7/30, 8/20
  • MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 8/15
  • MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider (1st week of MED-PIC): 8/15

MSC – Military Sealift Command

  • MSC-SMA – Small Arms Training (4 day): 8/29
  • MSC-SMA-R – Small Arms Re-Qualification (2-day): 6/24, 9/2
    (must have proof of passing all 3 weapons within 2 years)
  • ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal (5-day): 8/22
  • ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 7/18, 7/25, 8/20, 8/15
  • SEC-OFF-VCF – Security Officer,Vessel, Company & Facility: 8/1
  • SEC-PLT-AWR Security Awareness for Pilots: 7/19
  • SHS-ESH-BRMP: Emergency Shiphandling/Bridge Resource Management for Pilots (3-day): 7/20
  • SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling (5 day): 8/29
  • TPIC Tankerman Person-In-Charge: 6/27



If you are scheduled for a course, call, write, or Email admissions to advise whether or not you will attend. Many classes are in demand and maintain a Standby List. “No Shows” are missed training opportunities for other members.


Courses are subject to change. Check the MITAGS website for up-to-date course descriptions associated with all course title abbreviations, and for schedule revisions and updated course availability. You can also check future schedules, review detailed course descriptions and register on-line or contact Admissions at or by calling toll-free, 1-866-656-5568.


MM&P Market Watch as of June 22, 2005 Close


 D O W  N A S D A Q  S & P 500
 10,587.93 +21.56 for the week  2,092.03  +17.11 for the week  1,213.88  +7.30 for the week



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)

~ 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.

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 commences Oct.17, 2004 and will continue until Jan.3, 2005. Crew rotations will start beginning as early as January 2005 and will continue through as late as June 2005. 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.

When complete and all information has been validated, click on “Communications” from the menu bar at the top of the screen and select “Transmit to Security Officer”. Save the file to the hard drive on your computer using your last name (surname) as the file name. Send this file as an email attachment to Mike Bohlman at Horizon Lines, His phone number is 908-259-2803. You will need to provide Mike Bohlman with your name and the case-sensitive password you assigned to the file in order for Horizon Lines to open the file and process your Security Clearance.


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.

On Dec.6, MM&P members will begin manning the third of seven T-AGS ships operated by Horizon. The USNS SUMNER will be crewed-up in Portland, OR. MM&P wishes the crew a safe voyage and happy holidays.



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, broadcast worldwide via FEC marine telex and is posted on our web page.