News

Wheelhouse Weekly – March 31, 2008

March 31st 2008

 

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

Volume 12 . . . . . Number 13. . . .March 31, 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.


AMO AND MEBA PRESIDENTS ADDRESS MM&P GENERAL EXECUTIVE BOARD

In a demonstration of unity among America’s maritime labor unions, Tom Bethel, president of the American Maritime Officers and Don Keefe, president of the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association, addressed the MM&P General Executive Board (GEB) meeting in Linthicum Heights on March 25 and 26. Bethel, Keefe, and the members of the GEB had the opportunity to exchange ideas on a range of topics of importance to maritime labor. Unity among the professional officers’ unions, integrity and openness in our interactions with each other and our respective memberships were common threads in the discussion. In the interests of all the members of America’s unionized maritime work force, MM&P looks forward to many opportunities to continue the productive exchange of ideas in the future.


ITF SUPPORTS USE OF DISTILLATE MARINE DIESEL FUELS TO ACHIEVE GREENER SHIPPING

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has announced it supports a move to distillate marine diesel fuels as the best way to reduce air pollution and achieve greener shipping. John Bainbridge, Assistant Secretary of the ITF’s Seafarers’ Section, will present a paper on the topic at a March 31 meeting of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC).

 In its paper, the ITF states that global application of a 1 percent fuel standard in 2012 and 0.5 percent in 2015 is the cleanest way to proceed, even if the implementation dates for these remedies “may not be entirely practical.”

The ITF notes that society is demanding a global reduction in sulphur and CO2 emissions by the shipping industry “in the interests of the environment, climate change and public health concerns.” Ultimately, the paper states, “the control of emissions in a limited number of refineries rather than 50,000 ships must be preferred.”

The ITF paid particular attention to possible effects on the health of seafarers and port workers, as well as the wider public and environmental benefit, before deciding that “instituting an industry-wide change to low sulphur distillate fuel” is the way to go.

According to Bainbridge, a fact that is not widely understood outside the industry is that shippers move most of the world’s goods, but produce only a fraction of emissions. Nonetheless, he comments, there is a “consensus that we can and will improve further.” After considering alternatives, he says, “our research has identified a move to distillate fuels as the preferred option and we are therefore backing it as the best way ahead.”


FRIENDS OF MARITIME IN SENATE LAUNCH DRIVE FOR FULL MARITIME SECURITY PROGRAM FUNDING

A bipartisan group of 13 senators has initiated an effort to achieve full funding for the Maritime Security Program (MSP) in fiscal year 2009 at its authorized level of $174 million. The effort, strongly supported by a broad-based maritime industry coalition, including MM&P and MIRAID, is being led by Sens. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and Gordon Smith (R-Ore.).

In a communication the senators are circulating among their colleagues for signatures, and which they plan to send to the Senate Committee on Appropriations, they note 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.”

As reported previously, a similar letter in the House of Representatives has already attracted a bipartisan group of 46 signers.


NEW LICENSING PROCEDURES LIMIT RESPONSE TIME FOR SUBMITTING MISSING INFORMATION

The National Maritime Center (NMC) said it will implement new procedures on  April 7 to require mariners applying for merchant mariner credentials to respond to an agency request for additional information within 90 days—or risk having their application withdrawn.

Applicants now have a year to respond to such “awaiting information requests,” NMC said in a March 12 statement.  The time frame was set by internal policy, although “it is a common misconception that this one-year period was driven by regulation,” NMC states.

NMC said that 33 percent of the 25,949 applications currently being processed are missing information necessary to complete the evaluation. Letters have gone out to mariners asking them to submit the documentation, the agency said.


COAST GUARD WARNS GPS USERS OF COMPATIBILITY PROBLEMS

The U.S. Coast Guard’s Navigation Center announced that on February 27, the GPS constellation increased to 32 satellites (PRN 32), with the goal of providing a 5 percent increase in satellite availability and precision worldwide. At the same time, however, the Navigation Center announced it had been notified that some GPS equipment, especially older receivers, don’t recognize the additional satellite because they are not compatible with GPS interface standard IS-GPS-200.

The GPS was originally built to accommodate up to 31 satellite signals. For this reason, a signal numbered 32 can’t be tracked by devices that search for PRN numbers 0 through 31.

The Navigation Center advises all GPS users to monitor the operation of their GPS equipment and equipment embedded in GPS, such as Automatic Identification Systems (AIS), and to check with manufacturers for the need to make repairs. GPS or AIS problems should be reported to the USCG Navigation Center at www.navcen.uscog.gov, or directly to the USCG Navigation Information Service at 1-703-313-5900. Below is a list of affected equipment:

•    SAAB R3 Class A AIS
•    Northrop Grumman Sperry R3 Class A AIS
•    Northrop Grumman Sperry Navigation Heading Compass


USNS GRASP RECOVERS TWO AIR FORCE JETS

MM&P-crewed USNS GRASP, a Military Sealift Command (MSC) rescue and salvage ship, completed recovery operations for two US Air Force F-15 C fighter jets in the Gulf of Mexico. The jets crashed Feb. 20 mid-air over the Gulf nearly 50 miles from Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., according to the Department of the Navy. 

Recovery efforts began March 1 when GRASP arrived in the vicinity of the crash site to locate the wreckage, and ended March 22 when the last recoverable debris from the second aircraft was lifted onto the ship. More than half of each aircraft was salvaged including engines, data collecting devices (flight recorders) and main computers—items vital to the Air Force’s investigation to determine the cause of a crash.

“This recovery operation was extremely difficult,” said the ship’s master, Captain Jose Delfaus. “The wreckage was scattered across a wide area and the divers had to overcome dangerous depth and diving conditions. Some of the wreckage was so entangled that it took several dives to complete the mission.”

The salvage operations were conducted jointly by a crew of 28 civil service mariners and 20 sailors from Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) 2, based at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, Va. Since the exact position of the wreckage was unknown, the ship’s civilian crew worked with sailors of MDSU 2 to locate the debris by combining the ship’s navigational information with data obtained from the dive unit’s equipment.

Upon arrival at each site, civilian crew anchored the ship directly above the wreckage and the divers submerged to prepare the debris for recovery. GRASP’s 40-ton-boom then lifted the wreckage out of the water using a cable attached by the divers.

Four Air Force personnel, including a civilian wreckage photographer, were aboard during the salvage operations to conduct the initial research and data analysis surrounding the causes of the crash. The mid-air collision claimed the life of one of the two pilots. The jets were assigned to the 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin Air Force Base.


WARNING SHOT FROM MSC VESSEL KILLS EGYPTIAN IN SMALL BOAT

A warning shot fired from a U.S. naval vessel is believed to have killed an Egyptian on March 24, according to a statement by representatives of the U.S. 5th Fleet. The shot was apparently fired from the GLOBAL PATRIOT, which is on short term charter to Military Sealift Command. The vessel was heading in the direction of the Mediterranean after dark when it was approached by several small boats.

“The ship warned the small boats– via bridge-to-bridge radio and a series of warning steps–to turn away,” according to the official U.S. government report. “One small boat continued to approach the motor vessel, which then repeatedly fired shots.”

Small boats carrying vendors of cigarettes and other products are known to swarm civilian ships moving through the canal, but they know not to approach military vessels. But the cargo vessel looked like a civilian rather than a military ship. Vice Adm. Kevin J. Cosgriff, Commander of the U.S. 5th Fleet, expressed sympathy to the family of the man who was killed and said a full investigation of the incident was underway. “We will work through the investigation very thoroughly,” he said, “coordinating with authorities and the embassy to get a full account of what happened.”


DHS BEGINS COLLECTING 10 FINGERPRINTS FROM INTERNATIONAL VISITORS

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has begun collecting additional fingerprints from international visitors arriving at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). In a March 25 press release, DHS said that collecting 10 fingerprints—instead for the traditional two– “improves fingerprint-matching accuracy.”

For more than four years, U.S. Department of State consular officers and Customs and Border Protection officers have been collecting biometrics of U.S.-citizens between the ages of 14 and 79 when they apply for visas or arrive at U.S. ports. Under the U.S.-VISIT program, DHS checks a visitor’s fingerprints against DHS records of immigration violators and Federal Bureau of Investigation records of wanted persons from all over the world.

On an average day at JFK, almost 14,400 international visitors complete US-VISIT biometric procedures. Most visitors come from Mexico, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, France and Japan. JFK is the tenth port of entry to begin collecting 10 fingerprints Washington Dulles International Airport began 10-fingerprint collection on Nov. 29. DHS said it would evaluate 10-fingerprint collection initiatives at these airports as it considers how the technology can be used at sea and land border ports of entry.


GAO REPORT SAYS COAST GUARD INSPECTION PROGRAM HARD TO EVALUATE

A Government Accountability Office (GAO) study has reported the agency found it hard to tell whether the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) was doing a good job inspecting regulated maritime facilities because the Coast Guard didn’t identify in its database all the facilities that need to be inspected.

Federal regulations require that cargo and other maritime facilities have security plans in place to protect the nation’s ports against terrorist attacks. USCG is required to conduct inspections twice a year. One inspection is to be conducted unannounced.

While the USCG estimates that nearly 3,200 facilities require inspection, its records indicate only 2,126 annual inspections were conducted in 2006. USCG headquarters officials, the report points out, said that field units reported all required facility inspections had been conducted, but they also acknowledged that some may not have been recorded and others delayed because inspectors were diverted to other projects.

 GAO also questions USCG’s claim that the agency has enough trained inspectors to do the job because inspectors have other responsibilities and “spot checks” must include much more detailed information than in the past.

The USCG identified deficiencies in about one-third of the inspections, mostly problems with access control or missing documentation. Over 80 percent of the deficiencies identified were resolved by facility operators without having to resort to formal enforcement.

GAO recommends that USCG reassess the number of inspection staff needed and improve its facility compliance data. 


WRECKAGE OF WORLD WAR II WARSHIP FOUND OFF AUSTRALIAN COAST

An expeditionary search group has found the wreckage of the World War II Australian warship HMAS SYDNEY in the Indian Ocean, nearly 150 miles west of the Australian coast. The entire crew, 645 men, went down with the ship in November 1941. The location of the shipwreck had remained a mystery for more than 66 years.

The discovery was made less than 24 hours after the group found the wreckage of the German merchant raider KORMORAN, which is believed to have sunk the Australian warship. HMAS SYDNEY was found some 12 nautical miles from the KORMORAN, and eight nautical miles from the scene of the principal battle site, according to an official Australian government press release. The Australian ship was last seen badly damaged and steaming over the horizon after an exchange of gunfire with the KORMORAN, which also sank after the battle.

Government officials said members of the crew on the research ship the GEOSOUNDER found the KORMORAN using sonar technology. The GEOSOUNDER is expected to return to the site equipped with high resolution cameras to conduct further research.


NWS-OPC REQUESTS COMMENTS RELATING TO MARINE WEATHER ANALYSES

The National Weather Service (NWS) Ocean Prediction Center (OPC) is requesting comments relating to the importance of accurate and timely marine weather analyses to shipboard operations. Staffers at the center are especially interested in how this information is used to avoid damage, injury or loss of life. Equally important are comments associated with the use of this information to enhance vessel efficiencies (timely ETAs, reduced fuel consumption, etc.).  It would also be helpful if comments include how the situation today has improved in these areas, as compared with a decade ago (1990s).

All comments should be submitted to David Feit, Chief of the Ocean Forecast Branch, via e-mail at David.Feit@noaa.gov. Comments may also be mailed to David Feit, Ocean Prediction Center; National Weather Service; 5200 Auth Road, Room 410; Camp Springs, MD 20746


MERPAC TO MEET APRIL 8-10 IN DANIA BEACH, FLA.

The Coast Guard’s Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee is scheduled to meet April 8-10 in Dania Beach, Fla., at the RTM STAR Center, 2 West Dixie Highway.
The agenda for the working group meeting, scheduled for April 8, includes discussion of Task Statement 68, the draft Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular, ‘‘Medical and Physical Evaluation Guidelines for Merchant Mariner Credentials’’; and Task Statement 69, concerning revisions to forms CG–719K, Merchant Mariner Physical Examination Report, and CG–719K/E, Merchant Marine Certification of Fitness.

The full committee will meet April 9. New working groups may be formed to address issues proposed by the Coast Guard, MERPAC members, or members of the public. At the end of the day, the working groups will make a report to the full committee. No action will be taken on the reports on this date.

All meetings are open to the public. At the Chair’s discretion, members of the public may make oral presentations during the meetings. If you would like to make an oral presentation, please notify the Executive Director no later than March 26. Written material for distribution at a meeting should reach the Coast Guard no later than March 26. If you would like a copy of your material distributed to each member of the committee or subcommittee in advance of a meeting, please submit 25 copies to the Executive Director no later than March 26. Send written material and requests to make oral presentations to: Captain Michael Blair, Executive Director of MERPAC, Commandant (CG–5221, U.S. Coast Guard, 2100 Second St., SW, Wash., DC 20593–0001). For more information, contact Mark Gould, Assistant to the Executive Director of MERPAC, at 202–372–1409.


TSAC TO MEET APRIL 1-2

The Towing Safety Advisory Committee (TSAC) and its working groups on the Medical Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) and inspection of towing vessels will meet in Jeffersonville, Ind., April 1-2. The committee will also discuss issues relating to shallow-draft inland and coastal waterway navigation and towing safety. All meetings will be open to the public. The working groups will meet Tuesday, April 1, starting at 8:00 a.m. The full committee will meet April 2. Written material, requests to make oral presentations and material for distribution should reach the Coast Guard on or before March 24. All meetings will be held at the offices of American Commercial Lines, 1701 East Market Street, Jeffersonville, Ind. 47130; phone (812) 288-0347. TSAC is using Louisville Airport (SDF) and the Residence Marriott Hotel Downtown Louisville, KY.

For more information, contact Gerald P. Miante, Assistant Executive Director, TSAC; U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, CG-5221, Room 1210; 2100 Second Street, SW, Wash., DC 20593-0001; phone (202) 372-1401, fax (202) 372-1926, or e-mail at: Gerald.P.Miante@uscg.mil.


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.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

CLASS OPENINGS: Between now and the end of June 2008, seats are available in the following courses:

AIS ECDIS 3 for Pilots � Automatic Identification System and Electronic Chart Display Information System (3 day) for Pilots: 6/23

ARPA � Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 4/7, 6/2

BST � Basic Safety Training: 4/7, 6/23
BRM � Bridge Resource Management: 5/19, 6/16
BRMP � Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 4/28, 6/26

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVWX � Advanced Meteorology: 4/7, 6/16
CMM-CHS I � Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 4/14, 6/23
CMM-CHS II � Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 4/21
CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display & Information Systems: 6/16
CMM-MPP � Marine Propulsion Plants: 4/7, 5/19
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, 6/2
CMM-WKP � Advanced Watchkeeping: 5/12

CONT PLNG � Contingency Planning Workshop: 5/9
CSE-AWR2 � Confined Space Entry Awareness (2 day): 6/16

FF-BADV � Combined Basic & Advanced Fire Fighting: 4/7, 6/23

GMDSS � Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 4/21

HAZ � Hazardous Materials 5 day Course: 4/14

LEG � Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 4/29, 6/25

[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-CBRD-1 � CBRD Orientation: 6/20
MSC-DC � Damage Control: 6/18

MED-PIC � Medical Person-In-Charge: 4/14, 5/12, 6/9
MED-PRO � Medical Care Provider: 4/14, 5/12, 6/9
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 4/19, 5/17, 6/7
MEDIA RSP � Media Response: 5/8

ROP-5 � Radar Observer Original or Renewal (5 Day): 5/26
ROR-1 � Radar Observer Renewal: 4/7, 6/2

SEC-VCF � Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 5/5
SHS-BAS � Basic Shiphandling: 6/16
SHS-EMR5 � Emergency Shiphandling: 4/28, 5/28, 6/23
SHS-ESH- BRMP � Emergency Shiphandling & Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 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 PITZEN: 206 838-1126

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

April 2008
28-5/2 WX 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 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 3-28-2008

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
12,216 2,261 1,315
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
60.68
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
121.06
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
35.79
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
22.40
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
17.31
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
27.57
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.46
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
29.67
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.66
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
16.31
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
22.89
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
13.87
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
19.86
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
11.68
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
12.32
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
12.71
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
13.36
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
13.79
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.24
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
31.67
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
18.89
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
14.48
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
24.24
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.09
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
81.95
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
16.72
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
67.54
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
20.49
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
39.30
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
35.95
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
26.38
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.18
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
12.06
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
14.04
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
14.62
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
14.96
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
8.71
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
10.22
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.28
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
34.37
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
46.72
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
28.86





~ 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.

© 2008, International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots. All the material contained in this publication is protected by copyright. For permission to reprint text from the Weekly, contact the MM&P Communications Department: lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org. For changes of address, contact Lisa Rosenthal at lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org.

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