Wheelhouse Weekly – May 19, 2006


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

Volume 10 . . . . . Number 20. . . . May 19, 2006




T-AGS Oceanographic Survey Ships Info

Required Coursework

Security Clearances

MSC Physicals

MM&P Health & Benefit Plan News

Notice to Members who are taking Vioxx

NMHC Mail-Order Prescriptions Website Updated & Improved

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.



A ballot count was held at MM&P HQ on Wednesday, May 17, on a number of MM&P contracts. The following contracts were ratified by overwhelming majorities:

Matson Navigation – Maunalei
Sargeant Marine – Licensed
Sargeant Marine – Unlicensed
E-Ships – Argonaut
Sulphur Carriers
Trinity – Prevail
Horizon Lines – RRF
American Ship Management – RRF
Matson Navigation – RRF



Monday, May 22, is National Maritime Day. Its observance honors the contributions of the American Merchant Marine, civilians who have defended the freedom of the United States since 1775, and who executed the largest sealift the world has ever known during World War II. Observance of National Maritime Day also honors the maritime industry and the benefits it brings Americans in terms of transportation, jobs, goods, and recreational opportunities. Maritime Day observances will be held all over the country this year. For up-to-date info on National Maritime Day commemorative activities nationwide, go to



On National Maritime Day, Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta will honor representatives of the crews and operating companies of US Maritime Administration (MARAD) ships that supported recovery efforts from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The ceremony is scheduled for 0930 hrs at the US Department of Transportation HQ in Washington, DC.

Among those receiving recognition will be MM&P member Capt. John P. Kelley, who is Master of the MARAD Ready Reserve Force (RRF) LASH vessel SS CAPE FLORIDA. Capt. Kelley will accept the honor on behalf of the entire complement of MM&P Licensed Deck Officers and crew who were onboard the CAPE FLORIDA during her 52-day activation from mid-September to mid-November last year.

The CAPE FLORIDA is home-ported in Orange, TX, which is a small port close to Beaumont, and was activated several days before Rita hit. “Initially, our crew worked to further secure two unmanned MARAD RRF vessels berthed nearby before Rita arrived, then we secured our ship and rode out the storm at berth,” Capt. Kelley recalls.

“The hurricane caused a number of empty LASH barges to break free from their moorings. They drifted into the Beaumont ship channel and became partially submerged,” Capt. Kelley said. In the storm’s aftermath, the CAPE FLORIDA’s crew worked diligently to recover those barges and clear the channel. Once recovered, the barges, along with others belonging to another LASH vessel, were returned to Beaumont. While there, the CAPE FLORIDA’s crew assisted in additional hurricane recovery efforts.

The unprecedented activation of RRF ships and training ships for a domestic emergency provided the stricken Gulf Coast with urgently needed supplies, water, generation of electricity, assistance for oil spill cleanup, and food and shelter for rescue and recovery workers. MARAD ships provided 269,000 meals and 83,165 berth nights for recovery workers and evacuees.


The following article honoring the contributions of US merchant mariners was received from Rear Admiral Robert D. Reilly Jr., USN, Commander, Military Sealift Command:

“Every day, the men and women who proudly wear the uniform of our nation’s military work tirelessly around the world. They ensure our national security, spread democracy and preserve the American way of life. Some even pay the ultimate sacrifice. As a nation, we hail them as heroes, and rightfully so.

But not all heroes wear military uniforms or even work for the government. Often overlooked, but no less important, are US merchant mariners. Few people know that May 22nd marks National Maritime Day, a special day that recognizes the unsung heroes of our nation’s maritime industry who work side-by-side with our military to uphold freedom and democracy. These highly skilled seamen, just as the generations of mariners who preceded them, operate around the world 24/7, going in harm’s way to keep US forces supplied and combat-ready.

Their history of service is legendary. US merchant mariners have never shied away from the call of duty, honor and country. They have been the backbone of our nation’s maritime service, especially in war. They have served in every US conflict since the birth of our nation. During the Revolutionary War, merchant mariners helped capture the first British vessel, UNITY. During World War II, merchant ships faced danger from submarines, mines, armed raiders, destroyers and aircraft. One in 26 merchant mariners died while serving in WWII, putting the death toll at 8,380 — a per capita death rate second only to the Marine Corps.

During the past year alone, mariners distinguished themselves in the performance of their jobs with the highest level of professionalism, competence, and dedication.

In the recovery and relief efforts following Hurricane Katrina, 5 of the 15 US Navy ships on location on the Gulf Coast for hurricane relief efforts were Military Sealift Command (MSC) ships crewed with your US merchant mariners. The United States Naval Ship (USNS) POLLUX remained pierside in the New Orleans area during Katrina while mariners provided shelter to emergency responders, fuel to power emergency generators at local hospitals and water pressure to keep kidney dialysis machines operating until arrangements could be made to evacuate patients. In just one week, the crew provided more than 220,000 gallons of much needed diesel fuel. In Pascagoula, MS, hospital ship USNS COMFORT’s medical staff treated patients, while mariners rebuilt a local church. Other MSC ships and crews provided food, fuel and supplies to Navy ships in the area.

Piracy continues to be a hazard that mariners have faced since the 1800s. Escalating piracy off the coast of Somalia, in Indonesia and Malaysia continues to affect trading routes, yet US merchant mariners work in these waters every day to help deliver goods and products that fuel our nation’s participation in the global economy.

MSC is the ocean transportation provider for the Department of Defense and the largest employer of US ocean-going merchant mariners today, more than 50 percent of them. MSC’s 120 active ships, all crewed by commercial or federally employed mariners, move millions of tons of military equipment and supplies by sea every year to deployed US war fighters.

These mariners crew the sealift ships that deliver billions of gallons of fuel, combat vehicles and equipment in support of the global war on terror. US civil service mariners preposition these supplies around the world for use by the Army, Marine Corps, Air Force and Navy whenever and wherever they are needed. Civilian mariners crew MSC ships and deliver the goods, anywhere and everywhere in the world.

Today’s US merchant mariners continue in the proud tradition of those who have served the nation on the high seas for centuries and will continue for generations to come. They willingly go in harm’s way to preserve our freedoms and help our nation prosper. They have the experience, knowledge and commitment to deliver on time, every time, everywhere. On this day, around the nation and in many ports around the world, we honor them; we thank them, and we say, ‘well done, shipmates, well done.'”


As part of the National Maritime Day events being held on May 22 in venues around Washington, DC, the North American Maritime Ministry Association (NAMMA) will be hosting a panel discussion of the newly crafted Maritime Labor Convention under discussion for national ratification. The panel will be held at 1500 hrs at the Convention Center of the Washington Navy Yard.

The Maritime Labor Convention, adopted in February of this year, was designed to update and consolidate the approximately 60 earlier instruments dating back to the 1920’s. The Convention applies to all ocean-going ships with few exceptions, and is expected to take three-to-five years for ratification by maritime nations. For security reasons, register to attend by sending an e-mail to Rev. Lloyd Burghart at For further info, contact Carleen Lyden-Kluss at 203-255-4686 or


MM&P-contracted Matson Navigation has announced that it is raising its fuel surcharge for its Hawaii and Guam/Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) services from 18.5 to 21.25 percent, effective June 4. The company also announced that due to the extreme volatility of the world oil market in recent months, it has decided to suspend its quarterly review process and resume adjusting its fuel surcharge based on sustained trends.

“Fuel prices are a subject of concern for virtually everyone today,” said Dave Hoppes, senior vice president, ocean services. “With bunker fuel prices hitting unprecedented record highs, transportation companies have been particularly negatively impacted. Fuel consumption is an unavoidable and significant component of our operating costs, with every dollar increase per barrel adding over two million dollars in annual expenses. In the past month alone, bunker fuel prices have risen 16 percent.”

Hoppes continued by saying that, “Given the dramatic spikes in fuel prices in recent months, Matson has decided to suspend its quarterly review program for fuel surcharges. When the program was implemented in April 2005, the operating environment was far more conducive to planning and determining our quarterly adjustments. With the current world situation, we need to have the flexibility to respond to steep fluctuations in bunker fuel prices as merited. We will continue to monitor fuel prices and make adjustments, upward or downward, accordingly.”


At a conference on vessel tracking and identification recently held in London, Dana Goward, the US Coast Guard’s Director of Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) said that the growing adoption of Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) will play the key role. “While AIS is currently only required on SOLAS-classed vessels, as technology matures we will see more vessels required to carry it,” he said, and in this context the US is considering requiring notification from vessels entering its waters down to the smallest pleasure or fishing craft.

The USCG sees the expanded role of AIS being used in a four-step maritime security process of collecting, sorting, analyzing and disseminating vessel threat information to those who need it. The more the USCG can ID vessels by their destinations and cargoes, the better those responsible for maritime security can, “identify the good guy, the bad guy and the indifferent,” he said.


The United Nations’ International Maritime Organization (IMO) has said that is reviewing new proposals to track potentially suspect ships by satellite to fight terrorism and prevent the transport of weapons of mass destruction on the water. The idea comes at a time when the world’s maritime community is already staggering under the weight of countless other new security measures like the International Ship and Port Security (ISPS) code came into effect in July 2004.

Under the new proposals, commercial ships would be required to utilize satellite-based technology to make clear their identity, location, date, and time of the position. If adopted, the new tracking regulations would become mandatory and would be included in the existing Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention.


Published reports say that US Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA) has been approached by an unnamed LNG company that wants to simulate an attack on an obsolete, gas-filled vessel. According to the reports, the company proposes to hit the ship with a missile in a test that might answer questions about the consequences of a marine accident or terrorist attack in Boston Harbor.

The prospect of a tanker fire or explosion in the harbor has long worried Massachusetts’ lawmakers and citizens alike. While smaller scale demonstrations have been carried out in the past, USCG officials say that this idea would be a first. They also said that to their knowledge, there were no definite plans to carry out such a large-scale experiment.


Today, May 19, is National Defense Transportation Day and President Bush issued the following Proclamation:

On National Defense Transportation Day and during National Transportation Week, we thank all those who contribute to a sound transportation infrastructure that keeps our country moving, advances our economic growth, and strengthens our national defense.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower recognized the importance of having the world’s most efficient and reliable transportation system. In a message to the Congress, he wrote of “a vast system of inter-connected highways criss-crossing the Country and joining at our national borders with friendly neighbors to the north and south.” Fifty years after he signed the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956, the Interstate Highway System is a vital part of America’s transportation infrastructure.

My Administration remains committed to providing the American people with the best possible transportation system. In August 2005, I signed the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users, to upgrade our Nation’s network of roads, bridges, and mass transit systems, introduce new safety standards, and fund needed road improvements that will ease traffic congestion in communities across our country. My Administration is also increasing research in advanced transportation technologies that will improve our environment, help us end our reliance on foreign sources of energy, and strengthen our economic and national security.

Modern transportation also enables our Armed Forces to quickly deploy troops, move crucial supplies and equipment, and assist with emergency situations. Whether on land, over water, or in the air, our citizens rely on the safety and efficiency of our transportation systems to arrive at work, deliver goods and services, and travel with family and friends. America is grateful to the dedicated transportation professionals and military service members for their tireless efforts to make America’s transportation network the best in the world.

To recognize the men and women who work in the transportation industry and who contribute to our Nation’s well being and defense, the Congress, by joint resolution approved May 16, 1957, as amended (36 U.S.C. 120), has designated the third Friday in May each year as “National Defense Transportation Day,” and, by joint resolution approved May 14, 1962, as amended (36 U.S.C. 133), declared that the week during which that Friday falls be designated as “National Transportation Week.”

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Friday, May 19, 2006, as National Defense Transportation Day and May 14 through May 20, 2006, as National Transportation Week. I encourage all Americans to learn how our modern transportation system contributes to the security of our citizens and the prosperity of our country and to celebrate these observances with appropriate ceremonies and activities.


Notice: Check the date of your MED-DOT-DA certificate. In accordance with CRF Title 49, Subtitle A, Part 40 –Procedures For Transportation Workplace Drug And Alcohol Testing Programs, a refresher must be taken every FIVE YEARS. MITAGS began offering MED-DOT-DA over five years ago, so if you were one of the first to attend, your certificate may have expired. Members attending MITAGS this summer, should consider staying aboard an extra day to attend MED-DOT-DA on any of the following Saturdays: 5/13, 6/10, 6/24, 7/29.

CLASS OPENINGS: Between January and the end of July 2006, seats are available in the following courses:

ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 6/5, 7/24, 8/14
AZIPOD-KAM-2 – Two-Day Azipod and Kamewa Steering and Propulsion Systems: 6/6, 8/5

BRMP – Bridge Resource Mangement for Pilots: 6/20
BST – Basic Safety Training: 5/22, 6/26, 8/28

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 5/22, 6/26
CMM-CHS I – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 6/12
CMM-CHS II – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 6/19
*WX-BASREF-2 – Two day Basic weather refresher, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED PREP for Advanced Meteorology: 6/22
CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display and Info Systems: 7/31
CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 6/26, 8/7
CMM-SHMGT-I – Ship Management I (week 1): 6/19, 7/10, 8/21
CMM-SHMGT-II – Ship Management II (week 2): 6/12, 8/14
CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 6/19, 7/24, 8/7, 8/21
CMM-SHS-ADV-II – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 5/29, 6/26, 7/31, 8/14
CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 7/24
CMM-WKP – Watchkeeping: 6/5, 8/28

COMP-OPSYS – Basic Computer Operating Systems: 6/26
CONT-PLNG – Contingency Planning: 6/9, 7/14
CSE-AASE – Confined Space Entry: 8/28

FF-BADV – Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 5/22, 6/26, 8/28

HAZ-Hazardous Materials (5-day): 6/12, 7/31

LAP-License Advancement Program (5 weeks including USCG Exam): 7/24

MEDIA-RSP – Media Response: 6/8, 7/13
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 6/10, 6/24, 7/29, 8/12
MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 6/5, 6/19, 7/24, 8/14
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 6/5, 6/19, 7/24, 8/14

[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-CBRD-1 (Chemical Biological Radiological Defense Orientation): 6/19, 8/23
MSC-DC (Damage Control): 6/20, 8/24
MSC-SMA – Small Arms: 8/28
MSC-SMA-R – Small Arms Re-Qualification (2-day): 6/23, 9/1 (must have proof of passing all 3 weapons within 2 years)

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal (5-day): 5/22, 8/28
ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 6/5, 6/21-evening, 7/15, 7/24, 8/14

SEC-OFF-VCF – Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 6/5, 7/10
SHS-BAS -Basic Shiphandling: 7/10
SHS-EMR – Emergency Shiphandling: 6/26, 7/31, 8/28

Check the MITAGS website at 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:


Spring – Fall 2006

May 2006

5/30-6/2 Orientation/RFPNW for New Mate 500/1600 Tons Program!

June 2006
6/5-9 ECDIS
6/5-9 ARPA
6/5-9 BST
6/6-9 Survival Craft (Lifeboatman)
6/5-23 TCNAV/CO
6/19-23 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
6/19-30 GMDSS
6/26-30 Radar Observer Unlimited
6/26-30 Basic Shiphandling

August 2006
31 Jul-4 Aug Basic Shiphandling
7-11 ECDIS
7-11 Basic Safety Training
7-11 Meteorology – Basic
8-11 Survival Craft / Lifeboatman
14-18 Able Bodied Seaman
14-18 Basic and Advanced Firefighting
14-25 GMDSS
14-25 Shiphandling – Advanced
21-25 Ship Construction & Basic Stability
21-25 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
28-1 Sep Cargo Handling & Stowage – Basic

September 2006
5-9 (tu-sa) Medical Care Provider
5-9 (tu-sa) Emergency Shiphandling 5-day
5-15 Medical Person-In-Charge
11-12 Search and Rescue
11-15 Basic Safety Training
11-23 100 Ton OUPV
12-15 Survival Craft / Lifeboatman
13-15 Emergency Procedures
18-22 Radar Observer Unlimited
18-22 Shiphandling – Basic
18-22 Able Bodied Seaman
18-6 Oct Terrestrial & Coastal Navigation with Compasses
25th Radar Recertification
25-29 ARPA
25-2 Oct Watchkeeping & BRM

10/2-4 Ship Security Officer
10/2-4 Basic Safety Training
10/2-13 Shiphandling – Advanced
10/9-13 ECDIS
10/9-13 Radar Observer Unlimited
10/9-20 GMDSS
10/10-13 Survival Craft / Lifeboatman
10/16-20 Basic & Advanced Firefighting
10/23 Flashing Light
10/23-27 ARPA
10/23-27 Cargo Handling & Stowage – Basic
10/24-25 Simulation Assessment

For registration call Jennifer Fowler 888-893-7829


High quality with embroidered PMI logo.
Navy or Khaki Hats : $16 / includes tax
Button Down Long Sleeve Dress Shirts
Blue or Khaki: $38 / includes tax
Pocket t-shirts with Logo: $12 / includes tax
15oz. Cobalt Blue Ceramic Mug: $8 / includes tax

Call DeeDee Lazik 206-838-8328 or e-mail



 D O W  N A S D A Q  S & P 500
11,130.06 -370.67 for the week 2,180.88 -65.18 for the week 1,262.22 -32.52 for the week


Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX)
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX) 44.76
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)


~ Reminders ~




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:, 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:, by fax to 410-850-0973 or by mail to:

Richard Plant, Director of Special Projects

700 Maritime Blvd.
Linthicum Heights, MD 21090


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 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.



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.




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.

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 or call 1-800-382-7777 toll-free.




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 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.”


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 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

  • 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.


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

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.



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)


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 and click on “Union Made Product Search”. To shop for union-made products online, go to



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,, 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: For further info or to subscribe contact John Peige at 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.