News

Wheelhouse Weekly – March 10, 2008

March 10th 2008

 

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

Volume 12 . . . . . Number 10. . . .March 10, 2008

STORIES COVERED

Also

REMINDERS

T-AGS Oceanographic Survey Ships Info

Required Coursework

Security Clearances

MSC Physicals

MM&P FCU News

MM&P Health & Benefit Plan News

Meet Our New Prescription Benefit Manager, PHARMACARE

Notice to MM&P Health & Benefit Plan Participants

WWII USCG Veterans Outreach

Company Gives Bucks Back for buying Safe Shoes

Website Offers Union-Made Goods and Services




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


REPRESENTATIVES IN CONGRESS PUSH FOR FULL MSP FUNDING

A bipartisan group of 46 representatives has urged the House Committee on Appropriations to fully fund the Maritime Security Program (MSP) in fiscal year 2009 at its authorized level of $174 million. The effort, spearheaded by MM&P, MIRAID and other maritime organizations, was led by Congressmen Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) and Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), the chairman and ranking member of the Armed Services Committee.

In their joint communication to the Appropriations Committee, the representatives stated that, “The MSP was enacted to ensure that the United States has the U.S.-flag commercial sealift capability and trained U.S.-citizen merchant mariners it needs in time of war or other international emergency. Most importantly, the continued funding and implementation of the MSP ensures that America will in fact be able to support and supply our troops overseas by guaranteeing that American-flag vessels and American crews– and not foreign vessels and foreign crews– will continue to be available to transport the supplies and equipment our troops need.”

A complete list of the Members of Congress who signed this letter will be posted on www.bridgedeck.org.

A similar effort is underway in the Senate. We will report on it in the weeks ahead.


OIL SPILL LEGISLATION ADDRESSES MM&P’S CONCERNS

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine, has introduced legislation intended to “better protect America’s shores–and its economy– from the deadly and toxic effects of oil spills.” Lautenberg’s bill, S 2699, is cosponsored by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.).

The legislation as introduced would: require double hulls on bunker fuel tanks on non-tank vessels; direct the Coast Guard to make improvements to its vessel-tracking system; and phase out federal liability limits for oil spills from single-hull ships. In addition, the bill contains two provisions advocated by MM&P and other seafaring unions. The first establishes a Merchant Mariner Medical Program and the second requires the Coast Guard to conduct a Marine Casualty Study into the causes of marine accidents, with specific attention to be given to the effects of fatigue and manning levels as factors in marine accidents. A more detailed analysis of this important legislation will be available soon.


USCG COMMANDANT REMINDS EMPLOYEES TO TREAT MARINERS WITH PROFESSIONALISM AND RESPECT

U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Commandant Adm. Thad W. Allen has issued an official message to all Coast Guard units urging the agency’s employees to strengthen their relationship with the maritime industry by soliciting advice on the its programs and policies and treating mariners and maritime organizations with the “utmost professionalism and respect.”

In the announcement, Allen said he had received reports “from highly respected professionals recounting Coast Guard boardings, inspections, and investigations not displaying professionalism.”  Some individuals, he added, said “they lost the complete trust they once had in the Coast Guard and are fearful of retribution if they challenge the Coast Guard’s conduct.” 

Allen said he expects unit commanders to ensure boarding teams, inspectors and examiners provide contact information when requested by vessel masters, port engineers and facility operators. 

He also said USCG commanders must “solicit candid feedback” as soon as possible from individual mariners, industry association representatives and facility operators to identify the concerns of each stakeholder group in the areas of marine safety, security and stewardship. He said districts must then hold sector conferences to propose solutions, and submit recommendations through area commanders to the assistant commander for marine safety, security and stewardship by June 1, 2008. Suggestions will be considered in the USCG’s marine safety improvement efforts.

“My goal is to purge the past and reset for the future,” Allen said. “Open communication, critical self-examination, and a willing transparency are hallmarks of great organizations, including the Coast Guard.”


EU AMBASSADOR SAYS SCANNING LAW WILL REDUCE TRADE

The European Union’s (EU) Ambassador to the United States, John Bruton, warned during a visit to Baltimore that recently passed legislation calling for EU ports to scan all U.S.-bound containers will result in less trade between the two continents. The law, he said in a statement, is particularly unfair because it does not require containers on ships leaving U.S. ports to be inspected in the same way.

Bruton said that the EU will soon issue its estimates on how much it will cost ports to comply with the law, which takes effect in July 2012. He said he fears that smaller, older ports will not be able to “foot the bill for expensive imaging equipment, additional personnel and even rebuilding of ports,” and will be forced to discontinue shipping to the United States.

Scanning every container, he warned, will also result in longer shipping times, and backlogs at ports, ultimately increasing the costs of imports for all consumers. The 100 percent scanning measure will have an especially pronounced impact on the Port of Baltimore, he said, because of the volume of trade from the EU it handles. In 2006 alone, he said, Baltimore received more than 2.3 million containers, valued at $16.3 billion, from the European Union.


WHAT THE U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THE JONES ACT, CARGO PREFERENCE LAWS AND THE MARITIME SECURITY PROGRAM

Every MM&P member, employee and their families should know where the Presidential candidates stand with regard to three issues of critical importance to maritime labor: the Jones Act, cargo preference laws and the Maritime Security Program. To inform MM&P members and their families about the candidates’ views on these issues, we have posted the voting records and statements of Sen. Hillary Clinton, Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain on www.bridgedeck.org. All MM&P members, employees and their families are strongly encouraged to access this information, which has now been placed in the publicly accessible portion of the site. Go to www.bridgedeck.org, click on the “What’s New” button in the left-hand column, then click on “U.S. Presidential Candidate Info.”


INTERNATIONAL MARITIME ORGANIZATION WEIGHS IN BEHIND FAIR TREATMENT OF SEAFARERS CAMPAIGN

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has expressed its full support of the newly launched campaign to ensure seafarers are informed of their right to fair treatment under the law in the event that they are involved in a marine casualty. The campaign has been spearheaded by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), the International Shipping Federation (ISF) and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS). The three organizations have joined forces to promote widespread awareness of the IMO and International Labor Organization (ILO) Guidelines on the Fair Treatment of Seafarers in the Event of a Maritime Accident.

The guidelines require that seafarers be treated fairly by the port or coastal state, the flag state, the seafarer’s state and ship owners. The guidelines also seek to ensure that no discriminatory or retaliatory measures are taken against seafarers as a result of their participation in accident investigations.

IMO Secretary-General Efthimios E. Mitropoulos said the guidelines will help seafarers have a “clearer understanding of the fundamental elements of fair treatment” in the case of accidents at sea. Seafarers will hopefully feel “encouraged by the knowledge that they have the international community at their side, which, should the situation arise, is prepared and willing to pay attention to their plight,” he said.

He said the campaign should also reassure young people considering a maritime career that “seafarers are not alone and unprotected when something goes wrong while at sea.”


ILA PRESIDENT RICHARD HUGHES NAMED TO AFL-CIO EXECUTIVE COUNCIL

The AFL-CIO Executive Council announced that it has approved the election of four new council members, including Richard Hughes, president of the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA). The Executive Council, which is composed of 47 union leaders, is a key decision-making body of the 10.5 million member AFL-CIO.Hughes replaces former ILA President John Bowers, who stepped down last year. Before being elected president of the ILA, Hughes served as the union’s executive vice president and secretary-treasurer of the ILA’s Atlantic Coast District. He is a third-generation longshoreman who worked in the Port of Baltimore, where he was a leader in Local 953.


ASPHALT COMMANDER TO BE SCRAPPED

The crew of the MT ASPHALT COMMANDER sends word that the vessel has discharged her last cargo and is on her way to Chittagong, Bangladesh, for scrapping. The Sargeant Marine vessel, vertically manned by MM&P, left Newport News, Va., on Feb. 25, under the command of Captain David McLean. It is expected that the vessel will arrive in Bangladesh around April 18, with beaching scheduled between the 20th and 23rd. 


OWNERS OF COSCO BUSAN WILL REIMBURSE SAN FRANCISCO $2 MILLION FOR SPILL CLEAN-UP

The Hong-Kong based company that owns the COSCO BUSAN, the containership involved in last November’s oil spill in San Francisco Bay, has agreed to send an initial payment of $2 million to cover some of the cleanup costs. The vessel struck the Bay Bridge on Nov. 7, causing over 50,000 gallons of oil to spill into the bay. Studies are underway to document the effects of the spill on local marine life. The amount that the company will ultimately be required to pay depends on the outcome of the studies, and other factors. The Coast Guard has already estimated that the cleanup costs are nearing $61 million.


BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR E-MAIL SCAMS

The Masters, Mates & Pilots Federal Credit Union warns members that e-mail scams are everywhere these days. The IRS has recently issued a warning about yet another new scheme. A fraudulent e-mail, supposedly from the IRS, is aimed at tricking taxpayers into providing their Social Security numbers, driver’s license information and bank and credit card numbers via a Web site set up to look as if it belongs to a federal agency. The information can be used by identity thieves to take over a person’s financial accounts, run up charges on credit cards, apply for loans and file fraudulent tax returns.

It is highly unlikely that a federal agency or legitimate business would ask for personal financial information via an e-mail message. If you receive such a request, contact the sender to verify whether the e-mail is legitimate or not.

Here are some common sense precautions you should take to safeguard your financial information:

  • Make sure your credit card company has your current phone number so it can contact you if suspicious charges appear on your statement.
  • Don’t use a debit card for online purchases. Unlike credit cards, most debit cards don’t have limits on liability for fraud.
  • Don’t authorize payment or give out personal information over the phone unless you call a specific creditor and know its reputation.
  • Review your credit card and checking account statements regularly. Many thieves will “test out” a card by charging small amounts, such as the purchase of gas.
  • Notify your card issuer if a monthly statement fails to arrive in the mail.
  • Shred pre-approved credit card offers, statements, and bills that contain account numbers or other personal information before throwing them away.
  • Keep a record of your account numbers, their expiration dates, and the card issuer’s phone number in a safe place—not in your wallet.
  • When traveling, be careful about using your credit card at Internet cafes or anywhere with a wireless connection.

Check your credit report at least once a year. If you are a victim of fraud, call the fraud unit of one the three national credit card bureaus—Equifax, Experian and TransUnion—to have a fraud alert placed on your file.


BERNADETTE HERTEL RETIREMENT GIFT

An MM&P member has volunteered to collect donations of money, cards and testimonials for Bernadette Hertel, who has retired as MM&P dispatcher. If you’d like to send a gift to Bernadette, please make your check payable to Kevin McHugh (captyoga@yahoo.com) and mail it as soon as possible to MM&P’s LA/LB Hall, 533 N. Marine Ave., Wilmington, CA 90744-5527. Please write “Attention: Bernadette Retirement” on the envelope. The goal is to collect all the testimonials, gifts, photos, etc., in the course of the next five weeks, so if you would like to send something, please do so as soon as possible.


PGM CHIEF ENGINEER PLEADS GUILTY

The former chief engineer of the Pacific Gulf Marine (PGM) vessel FIDELIO has pleaded guilty to conspiracy and falsifying the oil record book. PGM itself was sentenced in 2007 to pay $1 million in criminal fines and $500,000 in community service. The company will serve a three-year probation under an environmental compliance plan, which includes third-party audits that will be reviewed by an outside agency.

The government said that the chief engineer deliberately flushed contaminated bilge through a “magic-pipe” for years and lied about it to the Coast Guard. The engineer admitted to using the bypass pipe on the vessel from 1994 to 2003. The Coast Guard found the pipe during an inspection in Baltimore, and stated that the magic pipe appeared to be part of the vessel’s original construction.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

CLASS OPENINGS: Between now and the first week of May 2008, seats are available in the following courses:

ARPA � Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 4/7

BST � Basic Safety Training: 4/7
BRM � Bridge Resource Management: 3/24
BRMP � Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 3/27, 4/28

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVWX � Advanced Meteorology: 3/31
CMM-CHS I � Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 4/14
CMM-CHS II � Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 4/21
CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display & Information Systems: 3/31
CMM-MPP � Marine Propulsion Plants: 4/7
CMM-SHMGT-I � Ship Management (week 1): 4/28
CMM-SHMGT-II � Ship Management (week 2): 5/5
CMM-SHS-ADV-I-Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 4/21, 5/5
CMM-VPEN � Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 3/17

CONT PLNG � Contingency Planning Workshop: 5/9
CSE-AWR2 � Confined Space Entry Awareness (2 day): 3/20

FF-BADV � Combined Basic & Advanced Fire Fighting: 4/7

HAZ � Hazardous Materials 5 day Course: 4/14
HAZMAT � Hazardous Materials Seminar (1 day) Course: 3/21

LEG � Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 3/26, 4/29

MED-PIC � Medical Person-In-Charge: 4/14
MED-PRO � Medical Care Provider: 4/14
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 3/15, 4/19
MEDIA RSP � Media Response: 3/20, 5/8

ROR-1 � Radar Observer Renewal: 4/7

SEC-VCF � Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 3/17, 5/5
SHS-BAS � Basic Shiphandling: 3/24, 4/21
SHS-EMR5 � Emergency Shiphandling: 3/31, 4/28
SHS-ESH- BRMP � Emergency Shiphandling & Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 3/24, 4/30

�and 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 Email: admissions@mitags.org.


PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

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)

March 2008
3-14GMDSS
10-11SAR
10-12SEC VCF
12-14EP
17-21TPIC
17-28GMDSS
24ROR
24-28ECDIS
24-4GMDSS
24-28SHS ADV
25-29ARPA
31-4SHS EMR

April 2008
7          ROR
7-11     STB BAS
7-11     SHS EMR
7-11     BST
8-11     ARPA
14-18  CHS BAS
14-18  SHS ADV
21-25  ROP
22-25  AFF
28-5/2 WX BAS
28-5/2 SHS BAS
28-5/16 TCNAV

May 2008
5-9       MED PRO
5-9       SHS EMR
8-9       BFF
12-15   SHS BAS
12-16   ECDIS
12-16   BST
12-16   ROP
12-15   TPIC
19-23   WKP BAS
19-23   ROP
26        ROR
27         FL
27-30  ARPA
27-29  AFF
27-31  WKP BAS/BRM
28-30 CHS BAS

June 2008
2          FL
2-20    TCNAV/CO
2-6      ROP
2-6      SHS ASSESS
3-5      AFF
9         ROR
9-13    SHS ASSESS
9-13    BST
9-20    GMDSS
10        FL
10-13  ARPA
16-20  MED PRO
16-20  SHS BAS
16-20  BST
16-27  MED PIC
23-25  SEC VCF
23-27  ROP
23-27  BAFF

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 3-7-2008

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
11,894 2,212 1,293
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
59.9
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
119.52
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
35.19
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
22.20
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
17.16
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
27.71
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.32
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
29.48
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.68
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
16.23
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
22.51
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
13.84
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
19.55
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
11.55
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
12.14
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
12.50
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
13.13
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
13.56
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.15
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
31.26
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
18.60
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
14.36
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
23.79
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.15
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
81.32
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
16.25
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
66.59
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
20.01
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
38.57
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
35.66
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
25.21
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.16
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
12.04
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
13.96
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
14.50
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
14.82
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
8.67
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
10.11
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.28
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
33.88
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
45.90
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
28.10





~ Reminders ~




 

T-AGS OCEANOGRAPHIC SURVEY SHIPS MANNING REQUIREMENTS

REQUIRED COURSEWORK

All MM&P members are reminded that to sail aboard the T-AGS ships that MM&P-contracted Horizon Lines will be operating, you must have the required training certification and your certificates must be current in accordance with Military Sealift Command requirements. Members are also required to have had a MSC pre-employment physical and to possess Ship Security Clearance (see below).

The MSC Contract calls for all training certificates required for manning of these vessels to be no older than 5 years and that all STCW-95 courses be renewed every 5 years, or annually, as applicable.

Five-year renewable courses include, but are not limited to:

  • Advanced Fire Fighting
  • Basic Safety Training, and
  • Damage Control

Small Arms certificates must be less than 1 year old and MUST NOT expire during your tour of duty.

Members interested in applying for one of the positions onboard the T-AGS vessels are advised to make sure your certificates are up to date. If not, contact Mary Matlock or Diane Ford at MITAGS Admissions, email: admissions@mitags.org, and schedule to take the course(s) needed.

Those MM&P members interested in obtaining more information and facts about the T-AGS Oceanographic Vessels are asked to email the Director of Special Projects requesting the “facts sheet”. It will be provided by return email in an Adobe Acrobat PDF format.

Members interested in employment on the T-AGS ships are asked to provide a 1-2 page resume. Please list the desired position you are seeking along with the certificates of training you possess and their dates. Upon receipt it will be forwarded to Horizon Lines and a confirmation sent back to the member. Vessel turnover commenced Oct.17, 2004. Positions for all ratings remain open.

The point of contact for sending a resume for employment on the Horizon Lines T-AGS Oceanographic Vessels is Richard Plant, MM&P’s Director of Special Projects. Send resumes in an email or as a Word file attachment to him at: rplant@bridgedeck.org, by fax to 410-850-0973 or by mail to:

Richard Plant, Director of Special Projects

IOMM&P
700 Maritime Blvd.
Linthicum Heights, MD 21090



SHIP SECURITY CLEARANCE NEEDED

Members who want to sail for Horizon Lines on the T-AGS Oceanographic Survey vessels the company is set to begin operating for MSC must have Ship Security Clearance before going aboard.

Special software must be downloaded from the US Government’s Defense Security Service to complete the Security Clearance application. You must have an Internet connection and a Windows-based computer to retrieve the application and run the program.

Go to https://sclient.dss.mil/download/w9xfull.htm to download the software titled “EPSQ SUBJECT2_2”.

After the software is installed and the program is launched, select “Create” from the menu bar at the top of the screen. You will be required to enter your Social Security Number and a case-sensitive password. A window titled “Type of Form” will appear.

All Deck Officers should select the first button titled “Request for Security Clearance (SF86)” and then click “OK” to go to the next screen, “Type of Investigation”.

From the “Type of Investigation” screen:

  • Masters and Radio Officers should select the first button, “Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI)”.
  • All other Deck Officers (C/M, 2/M, 3/M) should click on the second button, “National Agency Check (NAC or NACLC)”.

After selecting the appropriate investigation type, click on “OK” to begin filling in the forms.



MSC PHYSICALS

Horizon Lines requests all mariners seeking employment aboard the T-AGS Oceanographic vessels to take their MSC Physical at specially-designated facilities only after being advised to do so by the Company. This is to assure that all requirements of the MSC Physical are properly met.


MM&P FCU NEWS

GET NEW WHEELS OR LOWER EXISTING PAYMENTS WITH MM&P FCU VEHICLE FINANCING

Is it time to replace that car you’re driving? Vehicle loan rates are looking great at MM&P FCU.

Drive away in a new or used vehicle for a standard loan rate of:

6.50 percent for terms up to 24 months.
Standard loan rates for longer-term loans are:

6.75 percent for 25-48 months;
7.50 percent for 49-60 months ($20,000 minimum); and
8.00 percent for terms extending from 61-72 months ($25,000 minimum).
You can lower your loan rate even more — by 0.75 percent — by becoming a Preferred Borrower.

Are you paying a higher rate on your current vehicle loan at another institution? Consider refinancing your outside loan at the MM&P FCU and taking advantage of our lower loan rates.

MM&P FCU will finance up to 100 percent of your new vehicle loan, and up to 90 percent of NADA Book Value on a used vehicle. Maximum vehicle loan amount is $30,000.

PREFERRED BORROWERS GET LOWER LOAN RATES
MM&P FCU members can reduce the interest rate they pay on any new loan even further by becoming a preferred borrower. What is a preferred borrower? That’s a member who deposits at least 10 percent of the original loan amount into their MM&P FCU savings account and keeps those funds on deposit until the loan is paid in full. By doing this you save twice – first, your deposit works for you by earning our regular dividend savings rate, and second, you save money by reducing the interest rate on your loan by 0.75 percent.

Contact the MM&P FCU for full details on all loan programs by email to mmpfcu@bridgedeck.org or call 1-800-382-7777 toll-free.



 

MM&P HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN NEWS

MEET OUR NEW PRESCRIPTION BENEFIT MANAGER, PHARMACARE

As you know, effective July 1, 2007, MM&P will have a new Prescription Benefit Manager, PharmaCare. If you use the mail service and have not sent your Confidential Mail Service Enrollment Form to the MM&P Plan Office, you have until June 30 to do so. Otherwise, you can call PharmaCare’s customer service line and give them the information over the telephone or send the form with your first new mail prescription directly to PharmaCare. In the next couple of days, you will be receiving a letter with your new MM&P identification cards and a prescription booklet with information on how to obtain your prescriptions. PharmaCare’s customer service number is listed in the booklet. If you have any questions, please contact the MM&P Health & Benefit Plan Advisors.



NOTICE TO MM&P HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN PARTICIPANTS

As you know, MM&P Health & Benefit Plan members have a new prescription benefit manager, PharmaCare. When you first obtain a prescription at your retail drug store, please show your new Health & Benefit Identification Card with PharmaCare’s information. If you do not show your card, please inform your pharmacist of the following information so you can receive your prescriptions through the Plan. Your identification number HAS NOT CHANGED. Please provide the pharmacist with your full member identification number. You will have to also provide the following numbers. RxGrp#- Z50136968, RxBin: 610468 and RxPCN: PC2 

If your pharmacist has any questions, he or she should call PharmaCare directly at (800) 503-3241.  If you have any questions, PharmaCare members can call the company directly at (888) 364-6815.



WWII USCG VETERANS OUTREACH

The U.S. Coast Guard has announced an initiative to identify and collect the oral histories of its World War II veterans. Coast Guard WWII veterans, including SPARS and merchant mariners, are encouraged to record their histories online with the Library of Congress Veterans History Project at www.loc.gov/folklife/vets.

Those veterans needing assistance in recording their stories can receive help from their local Coast Guard Auxiliary public affairs contact by leaving a message at 1-877-875-6296, a toll-free call.



 

COMPANY GIVES BUCKS BACK FOR BUYING SAFE SHOES

LMS Ship Management, the company that manages vessels for Central Gulf, Sulphur Carriers and Waterman Steamship, wants to remind MM&P members that they offer their crewmembers a $75 reimbursement on the cost of purchasing certain slip-resistant shoes and boots for use aboard ship.

This offer has been in place for some time and LMS reports that “we have been pleased with the participation to date, but feel a reminder may be in order.” Their goal is for every crewmember to wear slip resistant footwear during working hours aboard their vessels.

The $75 reimbursement is available to each crewmember who provides LMS with an original receipt for the purchase of slip resistant footwear. In order for the crewmember to obtain the reimbursement, they must wear the shoes while on duty. Upon presentation of the receipt, the crewmember will be reimbursed on their pay voucher. The receipt will be retained by the Master and will remain aboard the vessel.
 

Vessels in the LMS footwear reimbursement program are:

  • Green Cove
  • Green Dale
  • Green Lake
  • Green Point
  • Atlantic Forest
  • Sulphur Enterprise
  • Energy Enterprise
  • SGT Matej C. Kocak
  • MAJ Stephen W. Pless, and
  • PFC Eugene A. Obregon

LMS notes that in order to receive reimbursement, crewmembers must purchase one of the following recommended brands:

  • WORX by Red Wing Slip Resistant Footwear
  • Caterpillar (must have steel toe & slip resistant sole)
  • Wolverine (must have steel toe and slip resistant sole)
  • Dunham Sierra Work Boot EH
  • Steel Toe Voyager
  • Georgia Boot 6- or 8-inch Safety Toe Boot
  • Dr. Marten’s (must have steel toe & slip resistant sole)

LOOK FOR THE UNION LABEL:

Of the boots listed above, Red Wing, Caterpillar and Wolverine boots are produced by US union labor.

Redwing’s Union-made products are: Red Wing shoes and boots, Red Wing motorcycle boots and Craftsman (Sears).

Wolverine World Wide manufactures boots under the Caterpillar brand using US union labor. (Other union made safety-shoe brands by Wolverine are the company’s Hy-Test, Durashock and Bates Military labels. The company’s Wolverine brand combat boots are also produced using US union labor.)

Most Dr. Marten’s shoes and boots are produced in the UK.

To find US, union-made products, visit the AFL-CIO Union Label Service and Trades website at www.unionlabel.org and click on “Union Made Product Search”. To shop for union-made products online, go to www.ShopUnionMade.org.



 

WEBSITE OFFERS UNION-MADE GOODS AND SERVICES

The Union Label recently went digital with a new website offering shoppers an array of union-made gifts, from clothing and chocolates to computers, games and greeting cards.

The website, www.shopunionmade.org, launches on the eve of the fall and winter holidays, when shoppers will spend an estimated $1 trillion on gifts, food, drinks and other seasonal items, explained Matt Bates, Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO Union Label & Service Trades Department. The all-union shopping site, however, will be a year-round operation because that is what consumers demand, he added.

“Shoppers spent $56 billion in Internet sales last year, and on-line spending is doubling every two to three years. Everyday we receive Email and calls from people who want to support good jobs by buying union-made goods and services. The website will reach millions of people, 24 hours a day, with a quick convenient way to shop union,” Bates said.

“The public is ready for this. People have seen millions of good jobs disappear and they are looking for ways to take a stand and make a difference,” he added.

The AFL-CIO will target the peak of the holiday shopping season by promoting “Buy Union Week” Nov. 26 through Dec. 5. The newly-launched, all-union shopping site will be a cornerstone of that campaign. MM&P has a link to the Shop Union Site on this website under “Links and Other Sources”.



The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 700 Maritime Blvd. Suite B, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1953. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: iommp@bridgedeck.org. For further info or to subscribe contact Lisa Rosenthal at lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org. The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea and is posted on our web page.

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