News

Wheelhouse Weekly – May 04, 2009

 

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

Volume 13 . . . . . Number 18. . . .May 4, 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.


MM&P MEMBER CAPTAIN RICHARD PHILLIPS AND MAERSK CHAIRMAN JOHN CLANCEY TESTIFY BEFORE CONGRESS

MAERSK ALABAMA Captain Richard Phillips and Maersk Chairman John Clancey testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Thursday about strategies to combat the growing problem of piracy off the Somali coast. The hearing was held in the wake of the attempted hijacking of MAERSK ALABAMA, followed by the dramatic, five-day stand-off between the U.S. Navy and four pirates holding Phillips hostage aboard a lifeboat.

Both Phillips and Clancey advocated heightened military involvement to protect U.S.-flag vessels. But they also told members of the Senate committee that there was no single solution to the piracy plague. “There’s no silver bullet,” Phillips said. “What’s needed is a multifaceted plan.”

Senators began the hearing by commending Phillips for offering himself as hostage to protect his vessel and crew. “It’s nice to be in the presence of someone who is so highly esteemed,” said Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.). “Thank you for your extreme professionalism and for how all of you conducted yourselves.”

Captain Phillips, Chief Mate Shane Murphy—who also attended the hearing–and Third Mate Colin Wright are members of MM&P. The other crewmembers aboard the ship belong to the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA) and the Seafarers International Union (SIU). 

“You have our admiration and our respect,” said Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.). “It wasn’t just me on that ship,” Phillips replied. “It was my chief mate, my chief engineer and the entire crew.”

Phillips began his official testimony with an expression of gratitude to everyone involved in the rescue. “All of us have returned home safely and for that my entire crew and I are deeply appreciative of the actions taken by the Administration, the Department of Defense and, most specifically, the U.S. Navy, the Navy SEALS and the crew aboard the USS BAINBRIDGE,” he said. “I want to use this opportunity to again say ‘thank you’ to everyone involved in our safe return, including managers at Maersk and Waterman Steamship Corp., who handled the situation, the crew and our families with great care and concern.”
 
He commended the officers and crew of MAERSK ALABAMA, saying they had responded to the incident “with the professionalism… typical of America’s merchant seamen, who are well trained, ready and able to respond when necessary to protect the interests of our country.”

Because of the ongoing criminal investigation into the attempted hijacking of the ship, Phillips limited his comments to suggestions of “what can or should be done to respond to piracy and protect American vessels and crews.” He told the senators that “the most desirable and appropriate solution is for the United States government to provide protection, through military escorts and/or military detachments aboard U.S. vessels.”

Maersk Chairman John Clancey agreed that government should play a leading role. In response to questioning from Kerry, who said he advocates “a rendezvous place, with convoys,” Clancey agreed, saying “there is a lot of promise in a corridor.” Both Phillips and Clancey pointed out, however, that vessels travelling in protected shipping lanes are still being attacked by Somali pirates on a regular basis. 

Several senators suggested that, as a deterrent to pirates, the U.S. flag be continuously flown by American vessels at sea as well as in port. They argued that in view of the strength of the U.S. military, and in particular in light of the favorable outcome of the MAERSK ALABAMA incident, pirates would look elsewhere in their search for vessels on which to prey. Phillips said he appreciated the idea but countered that piracy “is a crime of opportunity. They don’t look at the flag you’re flying,” he added, noting that pirates had recently “even attacked gray [Navy] ships.”He said the only way to deter pirates “is to show them you’re a hard target.”

Phillips testified that, in some cases, the captain and senior officers aboard ships should have access to weapons. “To the extent we go forward in this direction,” he said, “it would be my personal preference that only the four most senior officers have access to weaponry and that these individuals receive special training on a regular basis.” He said he realized “that even this limited approach to arming the crew opens up a very thorny set of issues.” In modern times, the maritime industry as a whole has historically been averse to arming seafarers because of fears about escalating violence and the potential legal problems, including those that would arise if firearms were used by non-military personnel and someone were to be injured or killed.

MM&P International President Tim Brown and Secretary-Treasurer Glen Banks both attended the Senate hearing. It is the official position of MM&P that protecting ships and crews from pirates is a government function, and that all the following options should be considered: military escorts; an on-board presence of armed military security detachments acting on behalf of the U.S. government; an on-board private security force; a limited arming of the crew.
 
In closing, Phillips asked that Congress consult with the country’s professional mariners in formulating responses to piracy. “The seafarers I’ve worked with over my career are resourceful, hardworking, adventurous, courageous, patriotic and independent,” he said. “They want whatever help you can offer to make the sea lanes more secure and their work environment safer. But we realize that while preparation is absolutely critical, not every situation can be anticipated. And we accept that reality as a part of the seafarer’s life.”

When asked by Sen. Kerry about his plans for the future, Phillips answered without hesitation that he would be going back to sea. “That’s what I do,” he said.

To read Phillips’ testimony in its entirety, go to www.bridgedeck.org and click on “What’s New.” More Congressional hearings on piracy are scheduled for the coming weeks.


MARITIME LABOR ASKS PRESIDENT OBAMA TO PROVIDE FORCE PROTECTION FOR SHIPS

The country’s maritime unions are asking President Barack Obama to provide force protection to U.S.-flag vessels sailing in pirate-infested waters. “When a vessel flies the U.S. flag, it becomes an extension of the United States, regardless of where it is operating,” the unions said in an April 22 letter to the President. “There should be no question but that it is the responsibility of the U.S. government to provide the protection necessary to ensure the safety of life and property aboard U.S.-flag ships.” The letter was signed by the presidents of MM&P, the American Maritime Officers (AMO), MEBA and SIU. The union presidents took advantage of the opportunity to thank the President and everyone in the Administration, on behalf of the officers and members of every maritime labor union, for their part in bringing the recent acts of piracy against U.S.-flag vessels and their U.S.-citizen crews to an end.


MAERSK CALLS FOR INCREASED INVOLVEMENT OF INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY

A.P. Moeller-Maersk has announced that it will allow only ships with high freeboard and that are fast enough to avoid pirate attacks to pass through an expanded area off the coast of Somalia. The company said it will keep its ships moving at full speed through the area and is taking other security precautions aimed at “making access to the vessel more difficult.” But the company says it will not arm crews or allow armed guards on board. Maersk called on the international community to find a solution to the problem, saying that since piracy is a threat to international trade lanes it must be construed as an issue of international security. A spokesman for Maersk advocated establishment of regional maritime sea patrols and a protected transit corridor. The company also said it welcomes the expected agreement between Denmark, Kenya and other countries to allow prosecution of pirates in Kenya.


PORTUGUESE SPECIAL FORCES CAPTURE, THEN FREE, PIRATES ARMED WITH EXPLOSIVES

Military forces aboard a Portuguese warship last week captured 19 Somali pirates carrying explosives. The men were reportedly attempting to hijack an oil tanker. The Portuguese Navy then freed the pirates, saying they were unable legally to detain them because they had not harmed Portuguese citizens or property. Hours later and hundreds of miles away, another band of pirates hijacked a Greek-owned cargo ship, the ARIANA and took its 17-member Ukrainian crew hostage, a NATO spokesman said Saturday. Somali pirates are reportedly now holding 17 ships and around 300 crewmembers.


MAERSK ALABAMA CREW RECOGNIZED AT SALUTE TO CONGRESS

Four MAERSK ALABAMA crewmembers who attended the International Propeller Club’s “Salute to Congress” received a standing ovation. The annual event is attended by representatives of maritime labor organizations, U.S.-flag ship operators, members of Congress, the military and the executive branch of government.

The MAERSK ALABAMA crewmembers recognized at the event were Chief Mate Shane Murphy, a member of MM&P, Second Mate Kevin Quinn, Chief Engineer Mike Perry and Bosun William Rios. “If there was ever an occasion in which we appreciate the fact that we have U.S.-citizen crews, this was it,” said Rolf Marshall, president of the International Propeller Club.

This year’s honoree was Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), chairman of the House Armed Service Committee and a staunch advocate of the U.S.-flag maritime industry. Skelton said his committee had held a hearing on piracy six weeks before the MAERSK ALABAMA was attacked. “I’m convinced that this phenomenon will continue until, as we say in Missouri, we thump the hell out of ‘em,” he commented.


D-BOOK COURSE IN LA/LB HALL MAY 6-7

There will be a D-Book Membership course in the LA/LB Hall May 6-7. All applicants should complete this course as soon as possible to avoid delays in becoming members. Applicants should take the course BEFORE completing 360 days of covered employment. For more information and to sign up for the course, call your local MM&P union hall.


LA/LB GENERAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING MOVED TO MAY 6

The monthly general membership meeting in the Los Angeles/Long Beach Hall is being held one week early this month to accommodate ongoing contract negotiations. The meeting will be held May 6. Everyone is encouraged to attend.


D-BOOK COURSE AND MEMBERSHIP MEETING IN CHARLESTON HALL MAY 7

There will be a D-Book Membership course in the Charleston Hall on May 7. All applicants should complete this course as soon as possible to avoid delays in becoming members. Applicants should take the course before completing 360 days of covered employment. The course begins at 9:30. To sign up, call the Charleston Hall at 843-766-3565 or the NY/NJ Hall at 201-963-1900. A membership meeting will be held in conjunction with the course at 1300. All applicants are urged to participate.


NEW HOURS FOR MM&P TAMPA HALL

MM&P’s Tampa Hall has changed its hours of operation. The Hall is now open from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. If you have any questions, please call the Tampa Hall at (813) 247-2164.


NUMBER OF IDLED CONTAINER SHIPS GROWS

Idled ocean container capacity grew slightly in the final two weeks of April, reversing an earlier decline in the seven-month long wave of lay-ups. Maritime consultants AXS-Alphaliner report that, overall, the top 20 ocean carriers may be facing total losses of over $4 billion for the first quarter of 2009, which would be the largest ever quarterly loss in the history of the shipping industry. The idled vessels represent 10.6 percent of the world fleet.


HEBEI SPIRIT OFFICERS STILL BEING HELD IN KOREA

South Korea’s high court last week overturned the sentences handed down by a lower court in the case of two officers of the HEBEI SPIRIT. But the high court refused to exonerate the two men, who have been imprisoned for over a year. Captain Jasprit Singh Chawla and Chief Officer Syam Chetan were originally sentenced to a year and a half in jail after being convicted of failing to prevent their VLCC from spilling 12,000 tons of oil after it was struck by a runaway Samsung barge. The Hong Kong Marine Department has blamed the crew of the Samsung tugs that were pulling the barge for the collision with the tanker, which was at anchorage. The future of the accused officers is dependent on Korean law, which, observers believe, is being manipulated by Samsung Industries, owner of the crane barge. “This is not about justice, but about shifting the blame to a non-Korean company and crew,” said a maritime expert familiar with the case.


ABS CEO ROBERT SOMERVILLE IS MASS MARITIME PERSON OF THE YEAR

Robert D. Somerville, chairman and chief executive officer of ship classification society ABS, has been named the Massachusetts Maritime Academy 2009 Maritime Person of the Year. The award will be presented Nov. 6 at the 15th Annual Admiral’s Ball at the InterContinental Hotel in Boston. Somerville has worked for ABS for 35 years. He has received numerous awards in recognition of his contributions to maritime safety and was inducted into the prestigious International Maritime Hall of Fame at the United Nations in 2006. In 2007, the Chamber of Shipping of America awarded him the Admiral Halert C. Shepheard Award for his outstanding contributions to merchant marine safety.


SWINE FLU FACT SHEETS POSTED ON WWW.BRIDGEDECK.ORG

MM&P Health & Benefits Plans providers Coventry and Ceridian LifeWorks have provided us with a list of frequently asked questions about swine flu, plus advice on how to deal with the epidemic. As is noted in one of the documents, in an average year in the United States, the flu causes 36,000 deaths (mostly among those aged 65 years or older) and more than 200,000 hospitalizations.

If you are concerned about the flu outbreak and would like more detailed information, LifeWorks can help. You can call LifeWorks anytime at 877-234-5151. Consultants are ready to help you: identify local and national resources that are available to help; find out how to protect your family; deal with any anxiety you may be feeling; find reliable sources of up-to-date information.

To view the frequently asked questions, go to www.bridgedeck.org, click on “What’s New” and scroll down to the bottom of the page. For the most up-to-date information, go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov/flu/swine. You may also follow developments on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) website at www.dhhs.gov.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

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

AIS � (1-Day) Automatic Identification System: 6/22
ARPA � Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 6/23
BRM � Bridge Resource Management: 5/4, 6/15, 7/27
BRMP � Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 6/25
BST � Basic Safety Training: 6/1
CONT PLNG � Contingency Planning: 5/15, 7/10

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 6/22
CMM-CHS I � Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 7/6
CMM-CHS II � Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 5/4, 6/29
CMM-ECDIS � Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems: 6/8, 7/27
CMM-MPP � Marine Propulsion Plants: 6/15
CMM-SHMGT I � Ship Management (week 1) : 5/11, 7/13
CMM-SHMGT II � Ship Management (week 2) : 5/18, 7/20
CMM-SHS-ADV-I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 6/1, 7/13
CMM-SHS-ADV-I I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 5/4, 6/8, 7/6, 7/20
CMM-VPEN � Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 6/1, 8/3
CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 5/25

CSE-AWR2 � Confined Space Entry Awareness (2 day): 5/14
CSE-AAES � Confined Space Entry, Atmospheric Analysis of enclosed Spaces (3 day): 7/13
ENVIRO-REGS PERMIT – Environmental Regulations In The Maritime Industry / EPA General Permit for Commercial Vessels (2 day): 5/27, 6/16, 7/29
ENVIRO-REGS – Introduction to Environmental Regulations in the Maritime Industry (1 Day): 5/27, 6/5, 6/16, 7/29
FF-BADV � Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting Combined: 6/1
HAZ � Hazardous Materials (5 day): 5/4
LEG � Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 6/24
LNG AWAR � Liquefied Natural Gas Awareness (2 day): 5/27

MEDIA RSP � Media Response Workshop: 6/26, 7/9
MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 6/8
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 5/4, 6/8
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 5/14, 6/13

[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-CBRD-1 � CBRD Orientation: 5/22, 7/18
MSC-DC � Damage Control: Special Evening MSC-DC Class: 5/18 to 5/21, 7/16
MSC-SMA � Small Arms Training: (stand by only) 5/18

[OICNW � Officer in Charge of a Navigation Watch Courses]
OICNW-CHS-BAS � Basic Cargo Handling and Stowage: 5/25
OICNW-EP � Emergency Procedures: 5/14
OICNW-SAR � Search and Rescue: 5/11
OICNW-TCNAV/CO � Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 7/13

ROP-5 � Radar Observer Program (Original or Renewal): 5/4
ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 6/22

SEC-VCF – Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 5/11, 6/23, 7/6
SEC-VSO-R � Vessel Security Officer Refresher (1 day): 5/15, 6/8, 6/22
SHS-BAS � Basic Shiphandling: 5/18, 6/15
SHS-EMR5 � Emergency Shiphandling: 6/22
SHS-EMR-BRMP3 � Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 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)

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

June 2009
1-5ECDIS
1-3Security VCF
4Security Refresher
8-19GMDSS
8-12Radar Observer Unlimited
8-12TPIC
12Flashing Light
15Radar Renewal
15-19Medical Care Provider
15-26Medical Person-in-Charge
22-24Security VCF
25Security Refresher

July 2009
6-10Basic Shiphandling
13Radar Renewal
14-17 ARPA
13-17Emergency Shiphandling

August 2009
3Radar Renewal
4-7ARPA
3-5Security VCF
10-14 ECDIS
10-14 TPIC

September 2009
21Radar Renewal
22-25ARPA
21-25Medical Care Provider
21-2Medical Person-in-Charge

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 5-2-2009

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
8,168.12 1,719.20 877.52
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
40.61
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
80.90
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
24.94
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
12.48
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
11.86
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
18.40
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.65
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
21.23
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
4.70
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
13.29
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
15.85
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
12.24
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
15.02
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
9.76
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
9.58
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
9.26
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
9.22
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
9.54
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.09
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
21.49
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
13.30
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
11.42
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
12.74
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
9.32
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
50.84
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
12.64
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
42.00
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
12.74
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
28.47
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
21.29
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
17.15
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
9.69
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
10.26
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
10.59
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
10.27
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
9.90
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
5.66
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
6.52
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
9.52
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
23.40
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
31.07
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
19.79





~ 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.