News

Wheelhouse Weekly – March 23, 2009

March 23rd 2009

 

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

Volume 13 . . . . . Number 12. . . .March 23, 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.


NEW CONTRACT WITH LMS SHIP MANAGEMENT FOR PCTCS

MM&P and LMS Ship Management have signed a new, three-year contract for the Pure Car/Truck Carriers (PCTCs): the GREEN RIDGE, the GREEN BAY, the GREEN COVE, the GREEN DALE, theGREEN POINTand theGREEN LAKE. The contract calls for wage and wage-related increases of three percent to take effect Jan. 1, 2009, Jan. 1, 2010 and Jan. 1, 2011. “We enjoy a good working relationship with LMS,” said MM&P Gulf Ports Vice President Bob Groh. “I’m pleased that we’ve secured a contract on the car carriers.”


COAST GUARD ISSUES FINAL RULE ON MERCHANT MARINER CREDENTIALS

The Coast Guard has issued its final rule on Merchant Mariner Credentials. The rule was published in the Federal Register on March 16. In an announcement describing the rule, the Coast Guard underlined the fact that, after April 15, 2009, mariners are required to hold a valid Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) in order to serve under the authority of their Merchant Mariner Credential. The agency said no mariner credentials will be issued without confirmation from TSA that an applicant has been approved to hold a TWIC. MM&P is in the process of analyzing the final rule. A copy of the final rule is available on the Federal Register’s website (MMC Final Rule) or http://www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/ and quick search MMC.


OVER 11 PERCENT OF WORLD CONTAINER FLEET NOW IN LAY-UP

Almost 500 containerships, representing a total capacity of 1.4 million TEUs, have been laid up as a result of the global economic slump, according to maritime consulting firm AXS Alphaliner. The company said the total represents 11.3 percent of the world’s container fleet. AXS-Alphaliner said that while the number of ships being idled is growing, the rate at which ships are being laid up has slowed.


MAERSK SEEKING TO TRIM EXPENSES BY $1 BILLION

A.P. Moeller- Maersk says it is trying to cut $1 billion in expenses in 2009. “With a tumbling container market characterized by overcapacity and loss-making freight rates, 2009 will prove to be difficult for most business units,” writes Maersk CEO Nils Andersen in an article in the company employee newsletter.” “This means we have to reduce investments and improve cash management. All operating and capital expenses in all business units are in play. In addition, we need to control our costs better, and we have set a target of cutting costs by $1 billion this year in addition to already planned cost cuts.” Andersen said the cost cutting “does not mean that the group is in financial trouble or expects to get into a situation like that; on the contrary, we are striving to enhance our financial stability and strength.”


EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT STRENGTHENS MARITIME SAFETY RULES

The European Parliament has adopted a new set of rules aimed at safeguarding the coasts of Europe from maritime disasters and improving protections for passengers and crews. The directives strengthen safety requirements for ships flying the flags of European Union (EU) member states and navigating in European waters. The new regulations include permanent blacklisting of dangerous ships, tougher and more frequent inspections and stricter insurance requirements for ship owners.

For the U.S.-flag maritime industry, the most significant rules are contained in the section on flag state obligations. One of the major problems in the international shipping industry is in fact the lack of enforcement of international standards and guidelines by flag-of-convenience states. Some flag states use lax enforcement of international standards as a means to attract foreign shipowners to their registry to gain a competitive advantage. The results are substandard ships and working conditions, and the solution lies in tougher port state enforcement of international standards as the EU is attempting to do. Unfortunately, manning levels that lead to excessive workload and fatigue and that are the underlying cause of most accidents are still within the exclusive control of flag states. This issue is now being debated at the International Maritime Organization and there is some possibility of changes taking place in the regulation of manning levels and workload.


U.S. GOVERNMENT SUSPENDS IMPLEMENTATION OF NATIONAL SECURITY PERSONNEL SYSTEM

The Department of Defense (DOD) and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) will undertake a review of the National Security Personnel System (NSPS), the controversial personnel management program introduced by the Bush Administration. Labor unions that represent government employees, including MM&P, oppose NSPS on the grounds that it illegally limits collective bargaining rights.

During a four-year fight marked by numerous court battles and the introduction of a number of laws in Congress, the Bush Administration succeeded in extending NSPS to 200,000 Defense Department workers not covered by union contracts. MM&P, as part of a broad labor coalition, was able to defeat an attempt to incorporate into the system the civilian mariners and wage grade employees who sail on ships in the government fleet.

In announcing the suspension of NSPS, Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn said the Obama Administration “is committed to operating fair, transparent and effective personnel systems and we are undertaking this review to assess whether NSPS meets these objectives.” During the review, which DOD says will take several months, government departments already covered by NSPS will continue to operate under current NSPS policies, regulations and procedures.
             
Matt Biggs, legislative director of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, called the decision to review NSPS, “clearly a step in the right direction. The foundation on which NSPS was created was based on ideology, has lacked any transparency and has needlessly cost taxpayers untold amounts of resources,” he said.


TWIC COUNTDOWN: 23 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).


HAWAII SUPERFERRY CEASES OPERATION

Hawaii Superferry announced it will pull the ALAKAI out of operation in Hawaii, at least temporarily, following a March 16 decision by Hawaii’s Supreme Court. The court found that a state law allowing the high-speed ferry to operate while an environmental impact study (EIS) was being conducted was unconstitutional. “The problem before us today is there appears to be no short-term solution to this ruling,” said Hawaii Superferry President and Chief Executive Officer Thomas Fargo in a news conference. “To conduct another EIS, even with the work done to date and move it through the legal review that might take a year or so, and other options do not provide the certainty that’s necessary to run a business.”


MEETINGS ON THE MM&P OFFSHORE PENSION PLAN: A NOTE FROM THE INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT

A number of members have expressed interest in attending the meetings on the MM&P Offshore Pension Plan that will take place on May 19 and 20. At the moment, we are setting aside two, one-hour sessions during which members can direct questions to Plans Co-Counsel or the Plans Actuary.

If you are planning to attend and need a room, please call MITAGS at 410-859-5700 to make a reservation at the union rate. MITAGS Executive Director Glen Paine is currently setting aside 30 rooms. The cost, including three meals and taxes, is $151.57. There are also a number of hotels within walking distance of the meeting site. The Wingate is charging $99.00 per night but this does not include taxes or meals. The Hyatt Place is charging $139.00, again without meals or taxes.


TRANSPORTATION UNIONS APPLAUD OBAMA’S CHOICE FOR NATIONAL MEDIATION BOARD

The Obama Administration has named Linda Puchala, an expert in labor relations, to the National Mediation Board. “We applaud the President’s selection of Linda Puchala,” said Edward Wytkind, president of the AFL-CIO’s Transportation Trades Department (TTD), in an official press release. “Linda is a true professional in the field of labor relations and she has dedicated herself to fostering productive collective bargaining and resolving labor-management disputes.” TTD represents 32 member unions, including the Masters, Mates & Pilots, in the aviation, rail, transit, trucking, highway, longshore, maritime and related industries.


NTSB VOWS TO CONTINUE BATTLING FATIGUE IN TRANSPORTATION INDUSTRY

National Sleep Awareness Week, March 1-8, provided an opportunity for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to underline its commitment to eliminating fatigue in the transportation industry. “Fatigue presents unnecessary risks to the traveling public,” said NTSB Board Member Deborah Hersman in an official release. “Fatigue can impair a person behind the wheel or at the helm much like alcohol or other drugs. We must ensure that as much as possible is being done to protect our transportation system from the insidious effect of human fatigue.” NTSB advocates setting work limits based on research into human fatigue and sleep/rest requirements that reduce unnecessary risk to the traveling public. Since 1972, the NTSB has issued over 100 fatigue-related recommendations in all modes of transportation. MM&P and representatives of the rest of the international seafaring labor community are working to have the International Maritime Organization adopt international standards for determining ship manning levels that provide for sufficient numbers of crew. Excessive workload and the resulting fatigue, which are caused by insufficient and unsafe manning levels, are a factor in a majority of maritime accidents.


MAERSK LINES FUNDRAISER FOR UNITED SEAMEN’S SERVICE

In an effort to generate support for the United Seamen’s Service (USS), Maersk Lines, Limited (MLL) has launched a company-wide fundraising drive: the company will provide a dollar-for-dollar match of all donation made to USS by MLL employees from February through October 2009. MLL will present a check for the matching amount in November to the USS at the annual Admiral of the Ocean Sea (AOTOS) dinner in New York City. USS is a non-profit organization that provides services for American and international merchant seamen. Since 1942, USS has operated centers around the world where mariners have access to services such as counseling, food and recreation.


PIRACY UPDATE: UN SECRETARY-GENERAL CALLS ON MEMBER STATES TO HELP END LAWLESSNESS IN SOMALIA

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, saying piracy off the coast of Somalia will only stop when order has been restored to the country itself, is encouraging UN member states to support the Djibouti peace process and the African Union mission. Somalia has not had a functioning government since 1991. Ban Ki-Moon says the international community should use the world’s legal framework to prosecute pirates. Of great concern to the UN, he says, is ensuring the transit of ships carrying food aid on which millions of Somalis depend.


MEXICO HIKES TARIFFS AFTER CONGRESS BLOCKS MEXICAN TRUCKS

Mexico is raising tariffs on U.S. imports in retaliation for a decision by Congress to scrap a provision of the North American Free-Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that allowed Mexican trucks access to the continental United States. Mexico on Thursday began imposing tariffs on a range of U.S. exports ranging from grapes and Christmas trees to shampoo and cordless phones. A spokesman for the Mexican government said sanctions will be applied to up to 90 U.S. agricultural and manufactured goods originating from a total of 40 U.S. states. Opponents of the truck access program, including the Teamsters, claimed that the Mexican trucks aren’t subject to the same safety standards as their U.S. counterparts. Meanwhile, the World Bank has issued a report showing that since the financial crisis began in September, 47 countries have implemented trade restrictions or subsidy programs to protect domestic industries.


COURSE EQUIVALENCIES FOR REQUIRED COMPANY TRAINING

Given the number of required company training courses, it is extremely important for new members to request a transcript review to determine whether they meet the course equivalency requirements.  The courses that are eligible for equivalency are listed in the MITAGS Trust Student Guide located on www.mitags.org in the MM&P Member Section. You may also request a copy from Diane Ford (dford@mitags.org or call 443-989-3238). Remember, the dispatcher in the union hall cannot assign you a job unless you meet the company’s training requirements!


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).


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 June, seats are available in the following courses:

AIS � (1-Day) Automatic Identification System: 4/2, 6/22
ARPA � Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 4/13, 6/23
AZIPOD � (2-Day) Azipod Propulsion Systems: 4/2
BRM � Bridge Resource Management: 5/4, 6/15
BRMP � Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 6/25
BST � Basic Safety Training: 4/6, 6/1
CONT PLNG � Contingency Planning: 5/15

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 4/6, 6/22
CMM-CHS I � Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 4/27
CMM-CHS II � Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 5/4
CMM-ECDIS � Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems: 6/8
CMM-MPP � Marine Propulsion Plants: 4/13, 6/15
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): 6/1
CMM-SHS-ADV-I I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 5/4, 6/8
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, 6/1
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, 6/24
LNG AWAR � Liquefied Natural Gas Awareness (2 day): 5/27

MEDIA RSP � Media Response Workshop: 6/26
MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 4/13, 6/8
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 4/13, 5/4, 6/8
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 4/3, 4/18, 5/14, 6/13

[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, 6/22

SEC-VCF – Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 3/30, 5/11, 6/23
SEC-VSO-R � Vessel Security Officer Refresher (1 day): 4/21, 5/14, 6/8, 6/22
SHS-BAS � Basic Shiphandling: 6/15
SHS-EMR5 � Emergency Shiphandling: 6/22
SHS-EMR-BRMP3 � Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 3/31, 6/22

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
23-3 CNAV

April 2009
3/30-4/3MED PRO
3/30-4/3SHS BAS
3/30-4/10MED PIC
13-24GMDSS
13-17ROP
20-24ECDIS
20-22SEC VCF
23SEC VCF REFRESHER
27ROR
28-5/1ARPA
27-5/1TPIC

May 2009
11ROR
11-22GMDSS
12-15ARPA
26SEC VCF REFRESHER
26-29SEC VCF

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 3-20-2009

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
7,278.38 1,457.27 768.54
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
36.19
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
71.20
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
20.48
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
10.74
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
10.45
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
16.04
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.67
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
18.71
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
4.28
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
12.43
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
13.98
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
11.79
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
13.62
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
9.19
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
8.71
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
8.25
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
8.07
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
8.35
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.08
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
18.71
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
12.41
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
10.33
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
11.12
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
9.08
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
42.64
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
10.68
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
32.56
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
10.97
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
24.12
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
18.65
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
13.82
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
9.26
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
9.73
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
9.66
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
9.17
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
8.71
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
4.94
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
5.65
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
9.21
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
19.44
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
27.34
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
16.74





~ 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.