News

Wheelhouse Weekly – May 12, 2005


 


THE MASTERS, MATES & PILOTS’
WHEELHOUSE WEEKLYonline

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

Volume 9 . . . . . Number 19 . . . . May 12, 2005


STORIES COVERED

ALSO

REMINDERS




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




AFL-CIO PRESIDENT TO ADDRESS MARITIME LABOR AWARDS DINNER

AFL-CIO President John Sweeney will give a special address at a gala honoring American Maritime Labor to be held by the United States Merchant Marine Academy Alumni Foundation on May 19. Mr. Sweeney will also be introducing US Department of Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta. Secretary Mineta will be the keynote speaker and award presenter for the evening. The event will benefit The American Merchant Marine Museum at Kings Point and will be held at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.

Eugene McCormick, foundation president, said: “The museum at the Merchant Marine Academy is as much a testimony to the union members that helped build the maritime industry as it is to the industry itself.”

The unions being honored are the MM&P, American Maritime Officers, American Radio Association, International Longshoremen’s Association, Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific, International Longshoremen’s & Warehousemen’s Union, Marine Engineer’s Beneficial Association, District 1, Marine Fireman’s Union, Sailors Union of the Pacific and the Seafarers’ International Union of North America. Tickets are $425 each and are available through Carly Gottsegen at 1-800-807-1787. Souvenir journal info can be obtained from BSY Associates Inc., Barbara Yeninas or Scott Saltz at museum@bsya.com.

 




 

MM&P MSC MARINERS COLLECT MONEY FOR EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS

Before the MM&P Licensed Deck Officers and civilian mariners aboard the Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS MERCY, combat stores ships USNS NIAGARA FALLS and USNS SAN JOSE and underway replenishment oiler USNS YUKON left the area for other assignments, they collected more than $3,800 for patients being treated aboard MERCY in the aftermath of the March 28 earthquake that struck Nias Island, Indonesia. As previously reported in the Wheelhouse Weekly, MERCY and her supply ships have been providing humanitarian assistance to the island since April 5.

MERCY’s Master and MM&P member Capt. Michael Leahy put out the call for donations after talking with MERCY’s combined US Navy and NGO Project HOPE medical staff and compiling a list of items needed by the patients on board, specifically the children. “I sent out an e-mail to the Masters of NIAGARA FALLS, SAN JOSE and YUKON to chip in some money,” said Leahy. The list of requested items included playpens, car seats, baby bottles, pacifiers, toys, clothing, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo and soap.
“Word spread quickly and collections were taken from the entire crews,” continued Leahy. “Almost $4,000 was raised in just a few days.”

In contrast to personnel-heavy US Navy combatant ships, MSC ships are crewed by a small number of civil service mariners. The 400-person crew of a single Navy cruiser nearly equals the number of mariners aboard MERCY, NIAGARA FALLS, SAN JOSE and YUKON combined. YUKON’s crew, in port in Saesbo, Japan, April 17-19, shopped for the supplies and transferred them to MERCY during a vertical replenishment operation conducted April 21.

“Seeing the joy on the kids’ faces as they held their new stuffed animals, seeing a teenager wearing a new Guess shirt and a parent place their infant in a car seat to be fed is something I’ll never forget,” said Leahy after MERCY’s mariners handed out the gifts to patients in the wards.

The Master of NIAGARA FALLS, MM&P member Capt. Dan Laporte, said that operating alongside of MERCY in Nias has been rewarding work because “we get to see actual progress with the people we are assisting. I think the fact that over $2,100 was collected from my crew and that we have a steady supply of crew members that desire to go ashore in support of community relations operations speaks volumes about how dedicated this crew is to the mission.”

Capt. LaPorte also noted that investing their own time and money into the lives of the people of Nias will have a lasting impact on the NIAGARA FALLS crew, as well as their captain. “I will forever have a connection with the island of Nias,” said LaPorte. “Instead of simply a place on the [navigation] chart that we pass from time to time, I will always think of the children here and their welfare.”



 

MARITIME DAY 2005 TO BE HELD MAY 19 IN WASHINGTON DC

The Maritime Administration’s ceremony observing National Maritime Day will be held this year on May 19, at 1030 hrs, in the auditorium of the US Navy Memorial and Naval Heritage Center at 701 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, in Washington, DC.

In Conjunction with the Kings Point Club of Washington, the Propeller Club of Washington will be hosting a luncheon at part of Maritime Day celebrations on Thursday, May 19th at the Navy Yard’s Catering & Conference Center. Guest speaker will be Federal Maritime Commission Chairman Steven Blust. Reservations may be made no later than May 16 by emailing: james.meade@bkalogistics.net.



 

A.P. MOLLER-MAERSK MAKES OFFER TO BUY P&O NEDLLOYD NV

P&O Nedlloyd, (PONL) the Anglo-Dutch container shipping company, confirmed earlier this week that it is in talks over a possible buyout by AP Moller-Maersk (APM). APM and the management of PONL have already reached agreement on the terms of the offer. The agreed price per share corresponds to a purchase price of approx. $3.7 billion. The Board of Directors of PONL has recommended that the company accept the offer. Acceptance by holders of at least 70% of the share capital of PONL will be a necessary prerequisite for a subsequent takeover as will approval by government regulators.

APM operates the world’s largest container fleet with 303 vessels and 74 more on order. PONL is the fourth largest with 129 vessels and 26 more on order. An A.P. Moller spokesman said that, “Taking over the shares in Royal P&O Nedlloyd NV will create a unique opportunity for further development of the global container business of the two companies to the benefit of customers, employees as well as shareholders.”

In a written statement on its website, APM noted that, “Our activities are highly complementary. The combined network of vessels, offices, IT, and the extensive knowledge and experience of the employees will enable us to provide improved products and services to our customers. Joining forces will also benefit our colleagues. They will become part of an industry leader that will provide growth opportunities and a motivating place to work across the world.”

 


USCG BLACKLISTS SEVEN COUNTRIES FOR LAX PORT SECURITY

Anti-terrorism safeguards are so lax in seven countries, five of them in Africa, that USCG officials will now board and screen all ships which recently docked there before allowing them to enter the United States.

The USCG said Madagascar, Liberia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mauritania, Guinea-Bissau, Albania and Nauru had failed to comply with the ISPS international maritime security standards imposed last year and therefore lacked effective anti-terrorism measures in their ports.

The USCG also said that beginning May 23, all ships which had docked in these states on one of their last five stops would automatically be denied entry to the US unless they took tough new security precautions, such as placing guards at all access points to the ship while in a blacklisted state.

Fearing a maritime attack by militant groups such as al Qaeda, the USCG has vowed to strictly enforce the ISPS rules that became effective last July 1 by turning away ships that are not security-certified or delaying ones that have called at “contaminated ports.” About 200 ships call on the 361 ports located in the US every day.


CONGRESSMAN JEFFERSON RECEIVES SALUTE TO CONGRESS AWARD

Earlier this week, the Propeller Club of the United States presented US Representative William Jefferson with the “2005 Salute to Congress Award”. Jefferson was honored for his tireless efforts in Congress on behalf of the maritime industry. Jefferson fought vigorously for passage of the tonnage tax provision as part of the 2004 corporate tax bill; it adjusts the way US-flag fleet ships engaging in international trade are taxed, allowing US-flag ships to compete better in the international market.

Rep. Jefferson said he was honored to receive such a prestigious award and remarked that, “I have worked very closely with the maritime industry throughout my tenure in Congress, and am especially pleased that I was able to gain House passage of vital US-flag tonnage tax legislation that will strengthen the US-flag fleet and provide additional employment for our hard-working merchant mariners.”


 

THIRD MATE NEEDED FOR VINTAGE LST EAST COAST VOYAGE

LST-325, a World War II vintage museum ship is scheduled to get underway from Mobile, AL, on May 17 for an East Coast voyage with several stops along the way, including a layover at Massachusetts Maritime Academy from June 3-8. Capt. Ron Colpus, MMA ’67, sailing as Master, will lead the all volunteer crew.

LST-325 is in need of a Third Mate for the following at-sea periods: May 26-June 3 sailing north from Virginia to various points in Massachusetts, and sailing south from Massachusetts to her home port in Mobile from June 22-July 4. Volunteers may crew any or all of these periods. Transportation to and from the ship will be paid. For further info, contact Capt. Ron Colpus at 781-983-0945 or Bill Colpus at 972-712-3394.

 


MARAD ANNOUNCES TWO SENIOR LEVEL POSITIONS ARE OPEN

The Maritime Administration has announced that two senior level positions are open:
1. Position: DEPUTY SUPERINTENDENT
Announcement number: MARAD-SES-2005-0002
Open: April 26, 2005; Close: May 26, 2005.
ES-0301, Salary Range ($107,550 – $162,100) – Agency has a certified SES Performance Appraisal System Office: Office of United States Merchant Marine Academy
Location: Kings Point, NY
Relocation Expenses will not be paid.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES: The incumbent reports to the Superintendent, USMMA. This position is located at the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA), Maritime Administration (MARAD), United States Department of Transportation (DOT). Responsibilities include the development of scholastic standards, develops and enunciates polices and programs to facilitate placement of midshipmen aboard US-flag vessels for prescribed periods of training for graduates in seafaring professions; near-term and long-rang planning for the Academy; promoting an espirt de corps among midshipmen and encouraging through the regimental system, the development of maturity and leadership qualities; and promoting the Department’s commitment to work force diversity.

2. Position: Director, Office of Ship Operations
Announcement number: MARAD-SES-2005-1
Open: April 15, 2005; Close: May 21, 2005.
ES-0301, Salary Range ($107,550 – $162,100) – Agency has a certified SES Performance Appraisal System Office: Office of Ship Operations (Immediate Office)
Location: Washington, DC.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES: The incumbent reports to the Department of Transportation-Maritime Administration’s Associate Administrator for National Security. Responsibilities include planning, developing, directing, coordinating and administering national programs and policies for the acquisition, operation, maintenance, and repair of Government-owned or acquired merchant ships. In support of military defense sealift requirements, duties also include the maintenance, inspection, and reactivation activities of the Ready Reserve Force (RRF) and the National Defense Reserve Fleet (NDRF). In discharging these responsibilities, the Director, Office of Ship Operations, exercises direction over the following functions: Ship Maintenance and Repair, Reserve Fleet, Ship Disposal, Logistics Support, and Operations Support. Full details on both positions may be found on MARAD’s website: www.marad.dot.gov. Full job descriptions and requirements are also available electronically at MM&P Port Offices.


EXXONMOBIL FACES TOUGH OPPOSITION ON GULF LNG TERMINAL

According to published industry reports, ExxonMobil is getting a taste of what the environmentalists and sports fishermen have already done to Shell Oil Company. There has already been stiff opposition to Shell’s ‘Gulf Landing’ LNG terminal, which is scheduled to open in 2010, about 38 miles offshore from Cameron Parish, LA. The ExxonMobil’s Pearl Crossing is in the same area.

Environmentalists are upset that the LNG facilities Shell & ExxonMobil plan to use millions of gallons of Gulf water a day to convert nearly frozen liquefied natural gas into gas. The concern is that these offshore terminals will kill fish eggs and zooplankton-organisms that fish eat– when the terminals intake water.

Sports fishermen, environmentalists, along with the Governor of Louisiana, Kathleen Blanco, want the LNG terminals to use a “closed-loop” system, which would recycle water and use natural gas to heat up the LNG. Both oil companies designed their terminals to use an “open-loop” system, which continually uses fresh seawater.

The two oil companies have stated that the “closed-loop” systems are expensive and would make their offshore terminals less competitive. Furthermore, a spokesperson for ExxonMobil says that the impact on fisheries would be insignificant, because the terminal’s intake would be 46 feet below the water and that there would be a grid over the unit to keep out marine life.

Governor Blanco did not veto the Shell facility’s charter, and environmentalists have taken their opposition to federal court, arguing that the plans for the LNG terminal did not undergo a thorough review.


PRIVATE ARMED VESSELS PROVIDING ESCORT IN MALACCA STRAIT

Against the wishes of the Indonesian government, private companies are currently providing armored-plated armed vessels to escort ships through the pirate infested Malacca Straits between Sri Lanka and the South China Sea. Published reports indicate the private escorts are charging about $50,000 per mission. Over 50,000 vessels use the Straits’ shipping lanes each year. The International Maritime Bureau says that crew deaths from pirate attacks rose by 42 percent last year, which indicates that attacks on commercial shipping are becoming much more violent.

An Indonesian foreign ministry spokesperson said that the responsibility for maintaining security should remain with the governments of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore and not with private contractors. The spokesman also said that the Indonesian government now plans to detain ships with private armed escorts.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

You may think it will never happen … experience risky shiphandling scenarios that rarely occur or are too dangerous to practice in the field … be on the bridge of our full-mission ship simulator in the next five day Emergency Shiphandling Class beginning 5/23/05.

CLASS OPENINGS

Between now and the end of July 2005 seats are available in the following courses:

  • AIS – Automatic Identification System: 7/23
  • ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 6/13, 7/18, 7/25
  • BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 6/13
  • BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 6/14
  • BST – Basic Safety Training: 5/23, 6/27
  • CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses

  • CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 7/18
  • CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 6/6
  • CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display and Info Systems: 8/1
  • CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 6/27
  • CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 6/20, 7/25
  • CMM-SHS-ADV-II – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 7/18
  • CMM-SHMGT I – Ship Management (week 1): 6/20, 7/11
  • CMM-SHMGT II – Ship Management (week 2): 6/13
  • CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 7/25
  • CMM-WKP- Advanced Watchkeeping: 6/6
  • CONT-PLNG – Contingency Planning: 6/17, 7/15, 7/22
  • FF-BADV – (Combined) Basic and Advanced Firefighting: 5/23, 6/27
  • HAZ – Hazardous Materials [5-day]: 6/6, 7/25
  • HF-FSM – Human Factors-Fatigue, Sleep & Medications: 7/20
  • LAP License Advancement Program: 7/11
  • LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 5/16, 6/8, 6/14
  • MEDIA-RSP – Media Response: 6/16, 7/14, 7/21
  • MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 5/14, 6/25, 7/30
  • MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 6/13, 7/25
  • MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider (1st week of MED-PIC): 6/13, 7/25

MSC – Military Sealift Command

  • MSC-CBRD-1 – Chemical Biological Radiological Defense Training Orientation: 5/18
  • MSC-DC – Damage Control: 5/16
  • MSC-ENVPRO: Environmental Protection: 5/19
  • MSC-SMA – Small Arms Training (4 day): 6/20
  • MSC-SMA-R – Small Arms Re-Qualification (2-day): 5/20, 6/24
    (must have proof of passing all 3 weapons within 2 years)
  • ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal (5-day): 5/23
  • ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 5/25, 6/13, 7/18, 7/21, 7/25
  • SEC-OFF-VCF – Security Officer,Vessel, Company & Facility: 6/13
  • SEC-OFF-FSO Security Officer, Facility: 7/12
  • SEC-PLT-AWR Security Awareness for Pilots: 7/19
  • SHS-ESH-BRMP-3: Emergency Shiphandling/Bridge Resource Management for Pilots (3-day): 7/20
  • TPIC Tankerman Person-In-Charge: 6/27
  • TRAC-TUG – Water Tractor and Azimuth Stern Drive Tugs: 7/18

 


ATTENDANCE VERIFICATION & CANCELLATION IS VITAL

If you are scheduled for a course, call, write, or Email admissions to advise whether or not you will attend. Many classes are in demand and maintain a Standby List. “No Shows” are missed training opportunities for other members.

SCHEDULES, UPDATED COURSE AVAILABILITY, INFO & REGISTRATION

Courses are subject to change. Check the MITAGS website for up-to-date course descriptions associated with all course title abbreviations, and for schedule revisions and updated course availability. You can also check future schedules, review detailed course descriptions and register on-line or contact Admissions at admissions@mitags.org or by calling toll-free, 1-866-656-5568.




 

MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF May 11, 2005 CLOSE


 D O W  N A S D A Q  S & P 500
 10,300.25 -84.39 for the week  1,971.55  +9.32 for the week  1,171.11  -4.54 for the week

 

Fund Name & Trading Symbol
Closing
Price
Change
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
108.11
-.35
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
29.96
+.10
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
18.45
-.17
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
15.68
+.07
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
30.82
-.13
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.40
-.01
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX)
6.14
-.02
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.20
-.01
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
17.36
+.10
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
15.72
+.05
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
37.05
-.17
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
99.90
-.67
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
20.42
+.04
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
70.89
+.34
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
41.51
-.13





~ 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.

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 commences Oct.17, 2004 and will continue until Jan.3, 2005. Crew rotations will start beginning as early as January 2005 and will continue through as late as June 2005. 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.

When complete and all information has been validated, click on “Communications” from the menu bar at the top of the screen and select “Transmit to Security Officer”. Save the file to the hard drive on your computer using your last name (surname) as the file name. Send this file as an email attachment to Mike Bohlman at Horizon Lines, Mbohlman@horizon-lines.com. His phone number is 908-259-2803. You will need to provide Mike Bohlman with your name and the case-sensitive password you assigned to the file in order for Horizon Lines to open the file and process your Security Clearance.



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.

On Dec.6, MM&P members will begin manning the third of seven T-AGS ships operated by Horizon. The USNS SUMNER will be crewed-up in Portland, OR. MM&P wishes the crew a safe voyage and happy holidays.


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:

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

5.00 percent for 25-48 months;
5.75 percent for 49-60 months ($20,000 minimum); and
6.25 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

NOTICE TO MEMBERS WHO ARE TAKING VIOXX

On Sept.30, Merck & Co. voluntarily withdrew Vioxx, a popular anti-inflammatory medication, from the market. As a result, individuals who are currently taking the drug have been asked to contact their health care professionals to discuss discontinuing use of Vioxx and possible alternative treatments.

MM&P Plans Administrator Valerie Verrecchio reports that, “We have gotten a number of calls from members who want to know what to do with their remaining supply of Vioxx and whether the Plan or NMHC will refund their co-pay for the unused portion.

“Unfortunately, neither NMHC nor the Plan was aware of the Merck decision prior to the public announcement on Sept.30. As of that date, all deliveries of Vioxx to our members was suspended in accordance with Merck’s announcement. Orders that had already been processed and were in transit could not be stopped.

“In regard to refunds, Merck has set up a website at www.vioxx.com where members can obtain information on how to recover refunds from Merck for the unused portion of medication. Members can also call following toll free number for information: 1-888-368-4699.

“We are sorry for any inc onvenience this may have caused to members currently taking this medication, however, the matter is out of the control of the Plans.”



NMHC MAIL-ORDER PRESCRIPTIONS WEBSITE UPDATED & IMPROVED

MM&P Plans Administrator Valerie Verrecchio reports, “Good news! NMHC mail has finally gotten their website upgraded and functioning properly. I went in and tested it myself and found it to be quite user friendly.”

To use NMHC’s upgraded service, go to the NMHC Mail website at www.nmhcmail.com and click on “MEMBER LOGIN” at the bottom of the screen.

First-time and Registered users may bypass the welcome screen and go directly to the log-in page at https://members.nmhcrx.com/Login/Login.aspx.

  • First-time users should then click on the link marked “NEW USER: REGISTER HERE”.
    This will take you to a page titled “MEMBER REGISTRATION” where you will need to enter demographic information and submit it by clicking on the
  • “CREATE ACCOUNT” button.

After creating your account, NMHC will email you a password to gain entry into your records. With your first sign-in, the NMHC system will prompt you to change the NMHC password to one of your own choosing.

Once you are registered at NMHC, you can check the status of open orders by logging-in to the system through the “MEMBER LOGIN” page and going into the “MAIL ORDER” menu. You can look up all prescriptions and get the price our members will pay for any medication. You can also view an order history of all of your medication transactions (both retail and mail) for the last 24 months, locate 24-hour pharmacies in your zip code region as well as access other helpful member education information.

“We hope this welcome improvement will assist our members. Although you cannot order refills on line if you don’t provide a credit or debit card number, you can phone in your refill. Once you register on the website, you will still have access to all of the other information including checking the status of your order once it is phoned in,” said Ms. Verrecchio.



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., Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1941. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: iommp@bridgedeck.org. For further info or to subscribe contact John Peige at jpeige@bridgedeck.org. The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea, broadcast worldwide via FEC marine telex and is posted on our web page.

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