News

Wheelhouse Weekly – June 25, 2007

June 25th 2007

 

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

Volume 11 . . . . . Number 25. . . .June 25, 2007

STORIES COVERED

Also

REMINDERS

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 MEMBERS VOTE IN FAVOR OF MERCHANT OFFICERS’ LABOR ALLIANCE WITH MEBA

MM&P members have voted by an overwhelming margin to approve the Merchant Officers’ Labor Alliance (MOLA) with the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA). The agreement, which was the object of a 90-day ballot, was approved by a vote of 1,720 to 170, or 91 percent. The votes were tallied June 19. MEBA members had earlier approved the alliance by a vote of 745-426.

“Passage of this agreement is an excellent first step in bringing our two unions into synch with each other and with the other sectors of the American Merchant Marine,” said MM&P International President Timothy Brown. “The Masters, Mates & Pilots and the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association share the same culture, the same types of health and benefit plans and the same interest in a strong American Merchant Marine. It is clear from this vote that both membership groups realize there are far more issues that unite us than there are that divide us,” he said.

Under the terms of the agreement, the next step will be appointment of three MM&P officers and three MEBA officers to serve on a joint operating committee (JOC). The committee will pursue joint collective bargaining efforts, Washington advocacy work and organizing campaigns. In addition to the officers, each union can appoint one rank-and-file member from the Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific coasts to serve as an alternate director of the JOC.

The JOC will also appoint a committee to put together a draft unification agreement that takes into account similarities and differences between MM&P an MEBA in areas including constitutions, by-laws, shipping rules and collective bargaining agreements. The MOLA specifies that any subsequent unification agreement would be subject to the ratification of each organization’s members in separate, secret-ballot votes.


ATTENTION LNG JOB SEEKERS: SEND YOUR RESUMES TO MM&P, NOT SUEZ LNG

Members interested in working on the vessels that will be covered by the accord between MM&P and Suez-LNG should submit their resumes to the union via MM&P Special Projects Director Richard Plant or MM&P Atlantic Ports Vice President Rich May.

Under the terms of the agreement, MM&P will crew as many as nine ships for Suez LNG.  The historic agreement, which includes the Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA), covers recruitment, training and manning of Suez LNG vessels with licensed deck officers and engineers. The company will deploy three vessels to deliver LNG to the Neptune Deepwater Port, in Massachusetts Bay. Six more ships will operate internationally. 

If you are interested in working on the vessels covered under the agreement, send your resume to both:

MM&P Special Projects Director Richard Plant – rplant@bridgedeck.org; 410-850-8700 ext. 36 (phone); 410-850-0973 (fax)
– and –
MM&P Atlantic Ports Vice President Rich May – rmay@bridgedeck.org; 201-963-1900 (phone); 201-963-5403 (fax).

The membership will be informed as to the status of negotiations as the news develops. In the meantime, any questions regarding the agreement should be directed to Richard Plant or Rich May. Members are asked not to contact Suez LNG directly.


 

HOUSE COMMITTEE MOVES SHORT SEA SHIPPING PROGRAM

The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, under the leadership of Congressman Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.), has reported legislation that would encourage the development of short sea transportation programs as a means to “relieve landside congestion along coastal corridors.”  As reported by the committee, the short sea shipping proposal is strongly supported by MM&P and MIRAID. It authorizes federal loan guarantees to facilitate the construction or reconstruction of vessels for short sea shipping operations; allows operators to use vessels built with Capital Construction Fund (CCF) monies in short sea operations and to deposit earnings from vessels engaged in short sea shipping operations into a (CCF) so they can accumulate the private capital necessary to build vessels in the United States; and encourages federal agencies to use short sea shipping for the movement of federally owned or generated cargo.

The short sea shipping initiative was included as part of HR 2701, the Transportation Energy Security and Climate Change Mitigation Act of 2007.  Chairman Oberstar and his committee want to encourage the use of energy efficient short sea shipping as a means to reduce the pollution caused by congestion on our nation’s highways. 


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.


COAST GUARD SAYS IT WANTS FEEDBACK FROM MARINERS

The U.S. Coast Guard’s Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee (MERPAC) has created a program aimed at generating feedback on its performance in the areas of mariner licensing and documentation, as well as on the relocation of the National Maritime Center. Mariners who would like to provide input to the USCG in these areas should send an e-mail to  MERPACfeedback@gmail.com. Trade associations, labor unions and schools are also encouraged to use the system to tell MERPAC how the licensing program is affecting their constituents. One goal is to provide “an early warning system” so that any serious problems affecting mariners or their representative groups can be brought to USCG’s attention immediately.


HOUSE BILL SEEKS TO GET DEEPWATER PROGRAM BACK ON TRACK

A program that would revamp the Coast Guard’s troubled “Deepwater” acquisitions program has been introduced in the House by Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation. He was joined in introducing the bill by Rep. James Oberstar (D-Minn.), chairman of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. If approved, the act would bar use of a private-sector lead systems integrator for the Deepwater program two years after its enactment, require open competition for acquisitions and mandate use of third-party certification for assets acquired under Deepwater, including the classification of new cutters by the American Bureau of Shipping. It would also require that the head of acquisitions in the Coast Guard be a civilian reporting directly to the Commandant of the Coast Guard. “I believe that the appointment of a civilian with extensive career experience in acquisitions management will bring to that position expertise that simply is not currently cultivated among uniformed Coast Guard officers, given the service’s mission requirements,” Cummings said in introducing the bill. He commended Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen on his efforts to get Deepwater back on track and said the bill would facilitate efforts already underway at the agency to correct the problems that have been uncovered.



PANAMA CANAL AUTHORITY EXTENDS BID DEADLINE ON EXCAVATION TENDER

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has modified and extended the deadline on its request for bids for excavation of the new Pacific Locks access channel. The expansion project will create a new traffic lane along the canal, which will double its transiting capacity and allow passage of bigger ships. This tender covers the first of five dry excavation projects that will link the new Post-Panamax Locks on the Pacific end of the Canal with the existing Gaillard Cut (the narrowest stretch in the Panama Canal).  The ACP says it will award the contract in July or August 2007.  Information on the tender (No. 67252) is available through the ACP’s online bidding system (SLI),http://www.pancanal.com/esp/procsales/buy.html, on the ACP’s Web site at http://www.pancanal.com or by phone: + 507.272.7241 or + 507.272.7271


MM&P-CREWED CAPE JACOB IN OPERATION SOUTHERN FRONTIER

The CAPE JACOB, which is operated by MM&P-contracted Matson Navigation Company as part of the Maritime Administration’s Ready Reserve Force, recently participated in Operation Southern Frontier, delivering U.S. Marine Corps Air Ordnance to Darwin Australia as part of a joint U.S./Australian military exercise. The MM&P members aboard the CAPE JACOB were: Captain Joe Klenczar, Chief Mate Mike Lee, Second Mate Kyle Hamill and Third Mate Evan Barbis. The ship was offloaded jointly by Naval Cargo Handling Battalion 1 and the Sailors’ Union of the Pacific members on board.

For her support of Operation Southern Frontier, the ship received a Bravo Zulu from the Commander of Task Force 73.  The CAPE JACOB, one of the few remaining C-4 hull “stick ships” under the U.S. flag, was built as the SS CALIFORNIA for States Lines in 1961. Matson Navigation Government Services has operated the CAPE JACOB since August 2005.

The vessel is tasked with moving ordnance for CTF 73 in the Western Pacific until September 2007. After completion of her current assignment, she will revert back to Maritime Preposition Squadron 3.


MASS MARITIME GRADUATES HEAR FROM GOVERNOR, MARAD ADMINISTRATOR

Bay State Governor Deval Patrick, Maritime Administrator Sean Connaughton and MMA President Adm. Richard Gurnon were among the speakers who addressed members of Mass Maritime Academy’s 2007 graduating class. MM&P Atlantic Ports Vice President Rich May attended the ceremony, at which both Connaughton and Patrick were awarded honorary degrees. MM&P is partnering with MMA under a recently announced agreement with Suez LNG, which plans to employ MM&P members and MMA cadets and graduates on as many as nine vessels.


MARK YOUR CALENDAR: MM&P 2008 CONVENTION DATES ANNOUNCED

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.


JOBS AVAILABLE ON THE GREAT LAKES

MM&P Great Lakes and Rivers Representative Charlie Malue reports that numerous jobs are available on the Great Lakes for licensed mates with pilotage, engineers, QMEDS and able-bodied seamen. Retirees are also encouraged to apply for these jobs. 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 Charlie Malue at 216-776-1667 or e-mail him at cmalue@bridgedeck.org.


MITAGS OPENINGS FOR SHIP SIMULATOR OPERATORS

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 hr@mitags.org or fax to HR Manager at (443) 989-3341. 


BRIDGE RESOURCE MANAGEMENT IS FOCUS OF NAUTICAL INSTITUTE MEETING AT MITAGS

The Northeast Coast USA Branch will hold a series of meetings on training requirements for the use of new bridge technology on merchant vessels. The first meeting in the series will be held Aug. 15 at MM&P’s training institute, MITAGS. The event starts at 1700 with a social hour. Dinner is at 1800. Presentations begin at 1900. The cost of the event is $30.00. For more information, contact George Sandberg, branch chairman, at 516-773-5447 or e-mail sandbergg@usmma.edu; or John Carlisle, MITAGS coordinator, 443-989-3311 or e-mail jcar2001@yahoo.com.


MAERSK WINS SHIPPING LINE OF THE YEAR AWARD

Maersk Line has been selected as “shipping line of the year” by International Freighting Weekly magazine. The company was selected by a panel made up of freight-forwarding and shipping executives who subscribe to the magazine. Maersk was chosen from a group of five semifinalists on the basis of factors including customer service and product quality.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

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
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): 7/16

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

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5-day): 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: 7/28
MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge:  7/23
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 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-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, 7/16

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

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 Email: admissions@mitags.org.


PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

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 www.mates.org for more info on this new development.

FOR REGISTRATION CALL JENNIFER FOWLER: 206 838-1126

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

July 2007
9th      FL
9-13    ARPA
9-13    BST
10th     RADAR RENEWAL
10-11  SIM ASSESS
10-13  LFBT
16-20 AB
16-20 MED PRO
16-20 ENAV
23rd     RADAR RENEWAL
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
10th    RADAR RENEWAL
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

October 2007

1-3      BRM
1-5      ARPA
2-5      LFBT
2-5      AFF
8-19    GMDSS
8-12    SHS EM5
8-12    BST
8-12    AB
15-19  ECDIS           
15-19  MED PRO
15-26  MED PIC
17-19  SEC VCF
15-19  BAFF
22        FL
23-24 SHS ASSESS
25-26 SHS ASSESS
29-2    TPIC
29-9    SHS ADV

November 2007
5-16    SHS ADV
6-9      LFBT
13        ROR
12-16  BST
12-16  AB
13-15  SEC VCF
26-7    GMDSS
26-30 ROP
26-30 MED PRO
26-30 SHS BAS

December 2007
3-7      ARPA
3-7      SHS EM5
3-7      BAFF
3-14    CNAV
4-7      LFBT
11        ROR   
10-14  BST
10-14  AB
17-21  ENAV
17-19  SEC VCF
17-21  ARPA
17-21  TPIC
17-21  SHS BAS

For registration call Jennifer Fowler 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 6-22-2007

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
13,360.26 2,588.96 1,502.56
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
68.08
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
138.32
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
42.45
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
26.48
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
20.65
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
37.57
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
9.98
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
6.16
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
17.03
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
14.01
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
21.22
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
11.93
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
13.14
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
13.90
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
15.39
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
9.79
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
36.35
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
20.19
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
16.86
 Fidelity Ginnie Mae Fund (FGNMX)
10.56
 Fidelity Government Retirement Money Market (FGMXX)
10.56
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
33.70
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.13
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
95.27
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
22.87
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
89.96
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
53.37
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
35.70

 

.






~ 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:

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.

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

NOTICE TO MEMBERS WHO ARE TAKING VIOXX

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 www.vioxx.com 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.”



NMHC MAIL-ORDER PRESCRIPTIONS WEBSITE UPDATED & IMPROVED

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 www.nmhcmail.com 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 https://members.nmhcrx.com/Login/Login.aspx.

  • 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.



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., Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1941. 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.

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: lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org. For changes of address, contact Lisa Rosenthal at lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org.

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