News

Wheelhouse Weekly – March 09, 2009

March 9th 2009

 

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

Volume 13 . . . . . Number 10. . . .March 9, 2009

STORIES COVERED

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.


ABOUT 11 PERCENT OF WORLD CONTAINER CAPACITY NOW IDLE

Approximately 11 percent of containership capacity worldwide is idle as a result of the economic downturn, according to maritime consulting firm AXS-Alphaliner. More than 450 ships are now without work. The company said the number of idled ships has tripled since the beginning of 2009. It said that the shipping slowdown has affected all sectors and sizes of the containership market, but that the feeder sector (1,000-to-2,000 TEUs) has been hit the hardest.


AFL-CIO APPLAUDS OBAMA ADMINISTRATION’S BUDGET

AFL-CIO President John Sweeney has issued a statement commending the Obama Administration for proposing a budget that “takes us in the right direction towards creating an economy that works for everyone.” Chief among the budget items Sweeney cited: guaranteed, affordable, quality health care for all Americans.

“President Obama’s budget signals just how serious he is about addressing the profound imbalances in our country and repairing the economic damage,” Sweeney said.  It “sets out ambitious – but achievable – proposals for bold new reforms in energy, healthcare, education, and infrastructure, while also laying out a concrete plan to fund these programs over the next decade.”

The budget would boost funding of the Labor Department by 4.7 percent. The added funds will go to shoring up unemployment insurance, new training programs and better enforcement of workplace health and safety and wage and hour laws.


OMNIBUS SPENDING BILL WITH MSP FUNDING STILL HUNG UP IN SENATE

As this issue of the Wheelhouse Weekly was being distributed, the Senate had not yet been able to clear the omnibus FY 2009 spending bill which contains the $18 million in funding for the Maritime Security Program (MSP) that is necessary to bring the program to its full funding level through Sept. 30, 2009. As a result, Congress is expected to pass another short-term continuation that would fund the government through this Wednesday. 


SEEKING RESUMES FOR WORK ON GOVERNMENT CONTRACT VESSELS

Officers holding Unlimited Chief Mates’ or Masters’ licenses who seek employment aboard government contract vessels are urged to submit their resumes to LMS Shipmanagement and the Patriot Group at the following addresses:

John Howe
Senior Project Manager
The Patriot Group
Fax: 877-573-1094
john.howe@asmhq.com

And

W. M. Cameron
Senior Vice President
LMS Shipmanagement, Inc.
11 North Water Street
Suite 18290
Mobile, AL 36602
Fax: 251-706-6944
camerowm@intship.com


TWIC COUNTDOWN: 37 DAYS UNTIL ALL MARINERS MUST HAVE A TWIC

Reminder: April 15 is the deadline for all mariners and other maritime industry workers to obtain the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC).


IN WAKE OF ANTARI ACCIDENT REPORT, BRITISH PRESS ECHOES CALL FOR ADEQUATE MANNING LEVELS

The British press has given wide play to the findings of the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) investigation into the grounding of the cargo ship ANTARI on the coast of Northern Ireland in June 2008.

The Daily Telegraph, for example, in an article headlined “Exhausted Sailors Working 98-Hour Weeks,” has echoed the call by investigators that the government “take immediate action to ensure ships are properly manned.”

In its report on the ANTARI, the MAIB found that the officer on watch, who was alone on duty, fell asleep for three hours and was only woken when the vessel had beached itself. The MAIB discovered that the officer had been working six hours on, six hours off for the previous three and a half months. He had fallen asleep in the wheelhouse almost as soon as he had taken over the watch shortly after midnight on a warm June 29 in calm seas.

MAIB Chief Inspector Stephen Meyer said the six-on, six-off schedule is “as close to slavery that we have in the U.K.,” adding, “people are working 98-hour weeks, week after week, and they do not have a single night’s sleep in that time. They never get more than five hours and the cumulative effect is enormous.”

The MAIB said recommendations it made five years ago to try and prevent such incidents had been largely ignored. “But it is only a matter of time until an unmanned ship travelling three hours across a main shipping channel– like an unguided missile– hits an oil tanker or a passenger ship and we are going to have a catastrophic accident.” The investigators said they had analyzed the causes of nine other groundings over the course of the past five years. In six of the nine cases, the officer on watch had fallen asleep.

Meyer called on the British government to put pressure on the International Maritime Organization to review the issue of fatigue and manning on board ships as a matter of urgency.


AMERICAN MERCHANT MARINE VETERANS MEMORIAL: CONTACT INFORMATION

As noted in last week’s edition of the Wheelhouse Weekly, the American Merchant Marine Veterans (AMMV) Memorial Committee is embarking on a fundraising campaign to ensure the continued survival of the Merchant Marine Veterans Memorial in San Pedro, Calif. The memorial was built with private funds raised by merchant seamen and others, including the city of Los Angeles. The inspiration for the memorial was a group of MM&P members led by Captain Richard Connelly, a former Sealand master.

Over the years, there have been attempts to relocate the memorial to make way for redevelopment of the property on which it is sited. Although the AMMV Committee has so far been successful in fighting off these attempts, its members believe that more money is needed to ensure the survival of the monument going forward.

If you are interested in finding out more about the memorial or contributing to the fund that maintains it, please contact Paul Nielsen, former MM&P Pacific Ports Vice President, at (310) 325-3506 or by e-mail 7-seas@sbcglobal.net. You can also mail a contribution to: AMMVC Memorial Inc., P.O. Box 1659, Wilmington, CA 90748-1659.


AFL-CIO SECRETARY-TREASURER TRUMKA NAMED TO PRESIDENTIAL ADVISORY PANEL: NEW LABOR SECRETARY GIVES FIRST OFFICIAL SPEECH

Richard Trumka, secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO, has been named to an economic advisory panel created by President Obama. The role of the panel, which is known as the White House Economic Recovery Advisory Board, is to work with the President and the Administration to create new jobs, shore up the country’s economy and rebuild America’s middle class. The other members of the panel are leading economists, corporate executives and academics.

In related news, in her first public address after being confirmed as the country’s new secretary of labor, Hilda Solis told a group of union members gathered at a church in Miami that she would work to strengthen enforcement of regulations that protect the rights of workers. Solis, whose parents were both union members, was confirmed by the Senate on Feb. 24. In her speech, she talked about her blue-collar upbringing and criticized the Bush administration’s handling of labor issues. “’They were prioritizing going after unions,’” she said. “You can rest assured that there is now a new sheriff in town.”


NOW ON WWW.BRIDGEDECK.ORG: NEW PHOTOS OF MM&P MEMBERS AND SHIPS!

New photos of MM&P members and vessels will be posted this week on the union’s home page: www.bridgedeck.org. Check out the new photo sequence today. And remember: we are always looking for stories about MM&P members, ships and our contracted employers, to post on the website and publish in the Wheelhouse Weekly and the Master, Mate & Pilot. Please send your photos and news, or any questions about format or content, to communications@bridgedeck.org.


PANAMAX TANKER LIA ESCAPES PIRATES

The LIA, a Liberian-flagged Panamax tanker, was saved from pirates by a Chinese naval vessel and helicopter in an attack that occurred at the end of February. LIA had loaded a cargo of naphtha in Amsterdam and was on its way to China. The vessel and three other ships were being escorted by a Chinese warship through the Gulf of Aden when, on Feb. 24, it experienced an engine malfunction and was forced to stop. At that point, the crew radioed the Chinese warship that two high-speed craft were approaching. The Chinese warship dispatched a helicopter, which positioned itself over the smaller vessels. The pirates dispersed and the LIA was able to complete its transit of the Gulf.  The Seaarland Shipping Management vessel has a crew of 26, all citizens of India. Last year, Seaarland announced that it would route all its ships via the Cape of Good Hope unless a military escort through the Gulf of Aden were available.


PILOT IN COSCO BUSAN CASE ACCEPTS PLEA AGREEMENT

Captain John Cota, the pilot in the wheelhouse of the container ship COSCO BUSAN when it struck the fendering of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in November 2007, has accepted a plea agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, Cota could spend between two and 10 months in prison and pay a fine of $3,000 to $30,000. Final disposition of his case will be made by the trial judge at sentencing in June. Cota pled guilty to negligently causing the oil spill and violating the Clean Water Act and Migratory Bird Treaty Act, both misdemeanors which carry a total maximum prison sentence of 18 months.


IMPORTANT NOTICE ON MITAGS GMDSS COURSE

Important changes have been implemented in the schedule of the MITAGS Global Maritime Distress and Safety Systems (GMDSS) course. Effective immediately, week one of the ten-day GMDSS course will now convene Monday to Saturday.  Week two of the class will run Monday to Thursday. You should take note of this schedule if you plan to take the GMDSS class at MITAGS.

These changes do not affect the GMDSS course at the Pacific Maritime Institute (PMI). 

To register for GMDSS or any other MITAGS course, go to www.mitags.org and click on “Schedule and Registration.” You can also contact the MITAGS Admissions Department: (410) 859-5700, ext. 3226; (866) 656-5568; or admissions@mitags.org.


NEW MITAGS AND PMI COURSE ON MARINE VESSEL OPERATIONS & THE ENVIRONMENT

MITAGS and PMI have announced a new course for mid-level and senior vessel and operations managers, port captains, ship superintendents, deck and engineering officers, regulatory agency personnel and inspectors, marine safety and environmental auditors and anyone with environmental management, operational or reporting responsibilities in the maritime industry. Courses are scheduled at PMI in Seattle on March 16 and April 15. Courses may be arranged at other locations and additional dates. The course will be a prerequisite for the two-day “EPA Vessel General Permit (NPDES)” course now under development. Both courses will be combined and offered as a three-day session. For more information, contact Gregg Trunnell at (206) 838-7422 or by e-mail at gtrunnell@mates.org. For future training dates at MITAGS, contact Captain Bob Becker at (443) 989-3235 or by e-mail: rbecker@mitags.org


NEW ADDRESS FOR MM&P’S NEW YORK/NEW JERSEY HALL

MM&P’s New York/New Jersey Hall has moved to a new location: 35 Journal Square, Suite 912. The new office is in the Capital-One Bank Building (look for the Capital-One sign atop the building) a short distance from the old location at 26 Journal Square.  The entrance to the new office is on Bergin Avenue. The phone and fax numbers of the hall will remain the same: 201-963-1900 (phone) 201-963-1918 (fax).


SHIP SECURITY OFFICER REFRESHER COURSE WILL BE HELD ON THE WEST COAST IN APRIL

MITAGS and Matson are sponsoring three, one-day VSO refresher courses on the West Coast in April. The courses are designed for members who have not yet taken a certified VSO course. Anyone who took the MITAGS or PMI VCF or PCS course after April 2003 has taken a certified course. (If you are in doubt about whether you need the refresher course, please check with Diane Ford at dford@mitags.org.)  Captain John Kessler of PMI will be presenting the course. The schedule is as follows; please call the MM&P halls at the numbers listed in parentheses to confirm your seat:  Friday, April 17, Honolulu at the Matson Terminal Tower (808-523-8183); Tuesday, April 28, Los Angeles, at the MM&P Hall (310-834-7201) and Thursday, April 30, San Francisco at the MM&P Hall (415-777-5074).


MERPAC WILL MEET APRIL 16-17 AT MASS MARITIME

The Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee (MERPAC) will meet in Buzzards Bay, Mass., to discuss issues relating to the training and fitness of merchant marine personnel. The meetings are open to the public. Printed material and requests to make oral presentations should reach the Coast Guard on or before March 26. The committee will meet in the Bay State Conference Center at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, 101 Academy Drive, Buzzards Bay. Send written material and requests to make oral presentations to Mark Gould, Assistant to the Designated Federal Officer of MERPAC, at Commandant (CG-5221), U.S. Coast Guard, 2100 Second St., SW, Wash., D.C. 20593-0001. For more info, contact Mark Gould at 202-372-1409.


PREVIOUSLY REPORTED NEWS ON THE MM&P DEFINED BENEFIT PENSION PLAN

As previously reported in the Wheelhouse Weekly, the MM&P Board of Trustees met Feb. 3–4 to discuss the current economic situation as it has affected the MM&P Defined Benefit Pension Plan. As permitted by the Worker, Retiree, and Employer Recovery Act of 2008, agreement was reached to remain in the “green,” or safe zone under the Pension Protection Act of 2006. All current benefit options will be available for another year. As part of this agreement, employer pension plan contributions will be increased and deductions will be taken from Offshore vacation pay. The Board of Trustees will meet again in May 2009 to discuss long-term pension plan design changes and other measures to safeguard our retirement security.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

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

AIS � (1-Day) Automatic Identification System: 4/2
ARPA � Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 4/13
AZIPOD � (2-Day) Azipod Propulsion Systems: 4/20
BRM � Bridge Resource Management: 5/4
BST � Basic Safety Training: 4/6
CONT PLNG � Contingency Planning: 5/15

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 4/6
CMM-CHS I � Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 4/27
CMM-CHS II � Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 5/4
CMM-MPP � Marine Propulsion Plants: 4/13
CMM-SHMGT I � Ship Management (week 1) : 5/11
CMM-SHMGT II � Ship Management (week 2) : 5/18
CMM-SHS-ADV-I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): Standby Only: 4/27, 5/11
CMM-SHS-ADV-I I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 5/4
CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 5/25

CSE-AWR2 � Confined Space Entry Awareness (2 day): 5/14
FF-BADV � Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting Combined: 4/6
GMDSS � Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 4/6
HAZ � Hazardous Materials (5 day): 5/4
LAP � License Advancement Program for upgrade to Chief Mate/Master: 3/30
LEG � Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 4/22

MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 4/13
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 4/13, 5/4
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 4/3, 4/18, 5/14

[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-CBRD-1 � CBRD Orientation: 3/27, 5/22
MSC-DC � Damage Control: Special Evening MSC-DC Class: 5/18 to 5/21
MSC-SMA � Small Arms Training: 3/23, 5/18

[OICNW � Officer in Charge of a Navigation Watch Courses]
OICNW-CHS-BAS � Basic Cargo Handling and Stowage: 4/20, 5/25
OICNW-CNAV � Celestial Navigation: 4/20
OICNW-EP � Emergency Procedures: 5/14
OICNW-SAR � Search and Rescue: 5/11
OICNW-WKP BAS � Basic Watchkeeping: 3/30
OICNW-WX BAS � Basic Meteorology: 3/23

ROP-5 � Radar Observer Program (Original or Renewal): 5/4
ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 4/13

SEC-VCF – Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 3/30, 5/11
SEC-VSO-R � Vessel Security Officer Refresher (1 day): 4/21, 5/14
SHS-BAS � Basic Shiphandling: 5/18

TPIC � Tankerman Person in Charge (Dangerous Liquids): 5/25

…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)

March 2009
9-20 GMDSS
10-13 ARPA
9-20 SHS ADV
16-20 ENAV
23-3 CNAV

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 3-6-2009

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
6,626.94 1,293.85 683.38
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
32.56
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
63.26
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
18.02
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
9.60
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
9.53
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
14.19
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.59
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
16.97
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
4.18
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
11.70
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
12.58
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
11.35
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
12.53
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
8.67
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
8.06
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
7.50
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
7.24
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
7.49
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.01
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
16.60
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
11.58
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
9.73
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
9.78
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
9.02
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
36.83
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
9.60
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
27.96
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
9.43
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
21.58
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
16.70
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
11.90
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
8.99
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
9.41
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
9.05
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
8.45
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
7.90
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
4.46
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
5.07
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
9.14
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
17.10
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
24.29
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
14.99





~ 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. Suite B
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.

© 2009, 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.