News

Wheelhouse Weekly – May 25, 2009

 

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

Volume 13 . . . . . Number 21. . . .May 25, 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 CLOSED FOR MEMORIAL DAY

MM&P Headquarters, all MM&P Union Halls, MM&P Plans and the MM&P Federal Credit Union will be closed on Monday, May 25, for Memorial Day.


MM&P MEMBERS ABOARD MAERSK ALABAMA HONORED ON NATIONAL MARITIME DAY

Members of the Masters, Mates & Pilots and the other maritime unions who last month successfully fought off the attempted hijacking of MAERSK ALABAMA were honored for heroism at separate Maritime Day ceremonies on Friday. Captain Richard Phillips was named “Mariner of the Year,” by Massachusetts Maritime Academy. MAERSK ALABAMA First Mate Shane Murphy and Third Mate Colin Wright were recognized by U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood at the National Maritime Day ceremony in Washington, D.C. LaHood commended Murphy and Wright for heroism and told the crowd that they were excellent examples of the stellar performance America has come to expect from the members of the Merchant Marine.

National Maritime Day in Washington was held at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in conjunction with the opening of a new permanent exhibition on maritime history, “On the Water: Stories from Maritime America.” Among the speakers at the event was Ane Maersk Mc-Kinney Uggla, vice chairman of the board of A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S, which contributed to creation of the permanent exhibition. She told the audience that Denmark will always be grateful to the American merchant mariners who played a crucial role in keeping the Nordic nation alive and supplied with essential goods during World War II.

“The men and women of the U.S. Merchant Marine and the many other workers who have supported the maritime industry have made significant contributions to our leadership in the global marketplace and to our security,” President Barack Obama said in the official Presidential Maritime Day proclamation. He called on Americans nationwide to display the U.S. flag this weekend in honor of our country’s merchant mariners.


WEST COAST MARITIME DAY COMMEMORATION DRAWS OVER 200 PARTICIPANTS

More than 200 people attended the annual observance of National Maritime Day at the American Merchant Marine Veterans (AMMV) Memorial in San Pedro, Calif. This year, National Maritime Day corresponded with the 20th anniversary of the memorial. The memorial and its Walls of Honor are dedicated to the unsung heroes of the American Merchant Marine who sacrificed their lives in World War II and subsequent conflicts. The AMMV Memorial in San Pedro, which pays honor to these heroic mariners, is the first memorial of its kind in the United States.


REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS CALLS ON NAVY, COAST GUARD, TO DEPLOY SECURITY TEAMS ON U.S.-FLAG SHIPS

The United States should play a direct role in protecting U.S.-flag vessels from pirates, says Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation. Cummings made the statement during a hearing conducted in the aftermath of the attempted hijacking of MM&P-crewed MAERSK ALABAMA and the kidnapping of Captain Richard Phillips, who was held hostage by pirates before being freed by Navy SEALS.

MM&P and the rest of the nation’s maritime unions have called on the Navy to provide force protection to U.S.-flag ships. In testimony last week before the subcommittee, representatives of the unions, including MM&P headquarters staffer Mike Rodriguez, underlined the need for embarked military security teams.

“The U.S.-flag merchant fleet has always been able to rely on the protection of the U.S. Navy to ensure its safety,” Cummings said during the hearing. “As we saw with the MAERSK ALABAMA, that Navy is more than capable of handling this current threat. Nonetheless, at the present time, it appears that the U.S.-flag fleet is essentially being left to handle its immediate security needs by itself.”

Cummings said he was perplexed by the Coast Guard’s recent MARSEC directive on piracy. The directive requires U.S.-flag vessels to adopt an anti-piracy plan before entering high-risk waters and to employ measures known to help prevent pirate attacks, including transiting through established lanes, using erratic course changes and traveling at the highest possible speed. Additionally, the directive requires vessels to “supplement ship’s crew with armed or unarmed security based on a piracy-specific vessel threat assessment conducted by the operator and approved by the Coast Guard.”

“While these are sensible recommendations, there is a broader question to be considered,” Cummings said. “Why is it that the best our nation appears to have to offer our merchant mariners at this time is instructions on the steps they should take to protect themselves? It is not at all clear to me why the Navy or, in the absence of a willingness to act on the part of the Navy, the Coast Guard, isn’t providing embarked military personnel on the few U.S.-flag vessels that transit the Horn of Africa region – most of which, I note, are carrying U.S.-government impelled cargoes.”

Cummings said the situation is particularly serious given threats made by Somali pirates to take revenge against American mariners for the killing by Navy SEALS of the three men who were holding Captain Phillips hostage.

“We have long argued that we need a U.S.-flag merchant fleet to carry U.S.-government cargoes and to provide sealift capacity to support the Department of Defense in time of war and national emergency,” Cummings said, and “for that reason, we have created the Maritime Security Program, which provides direct payments to U.S.-flag ships to ensure that they are available when the government needs them. Isn’t it in our national interest to use the very limited U.S. military resources that would be necessary to protect our U.S.-flag fleet rather than leaving them to implement their own defensive measures?”


ARMING SEAFARERS AGAINST PIRATES COULD LEAD TO UPSWING IN VIOLENCE, IMO DIRECTOR SAYS

A leading executive at the International Maritime Organization says naval forces in the Gulf of Aden and off the Horn of Africa should play the leading role in protecting ships against pirates and that arming the crews of merchant ships is not an answer to the problem. IMO Deputy Director of Maritime Security and Facilitation Nicolaos Charalambous made the remarks to a Reuters reporter during a session called, “Overview of the Global Piracy Situation,” which was held at the Kuala Lumpur International Conference on Piracy and Crimes at Sea on May 17.

The IMO has repeatedly expressed concerns that the arming of civilian crews on commercial ships could cause a spike in violence. “Do we want to turn the whole area into a naval battle?” Reuters quoted Charalambous as saying. “If you have firearms on board, where do you draw the line?” The IMO official said that if confronted with arms, the Somali pirates would simply equip themselves with bigger weapons.

He said that the international community should work to stabilize Somalia and then to set up a Somali Coast Guard. In the meantime, he said, naval forces in the region should guarantee the safety of shipping lanes.


PIRATES ATTEMPT TO HIJACK MAERSK VIRGINIA AND LEBANESE- FLAGGED CARGO SHIP

Canada’s Navy intervened last week in defense of a Lebanese cargo ship, MARIA K, that was being fired on by pirates with rocket propelled grenades. Three helicopters flew from a Canadian naval vessel, HMCS WINNIPEG to the Lebanese vessel, which was located about 60 miles away. The pirates then abandoned pursuit of the MARIA K and turned their attention to another ship in the area, MAERSK VIRGINIA. Maersk said the 4300-TEU containership was en route to Salalah, Oman, and about 70 miles off the coast of Yemen when the attack occurred. It said 19 crewmembers, all U.S. citizens, are safe. The ship was traveling in a defined security corridor when the incident took place Friday morning between 10 and 11 a.m.


HOUSE COMMITTEE DEALS WITH TWIC ISSUES

The House Committee on Homeland Security, responding to complaints from MM&P and other seafaring and longshore unions, has started the process to correct various problems with Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) Program.  The committee, under the leadership of Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), adopted a series of amendments offered on labor’s behalf by Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez. 

One amendment adopted by the committee makes clear that existing law allows individuals who are waiting to be issued or reissued a TWIC and who work in a secure area to be escorted by another individual who holds a TWIC. At present, a number of ports are refusing to allow longshoremen and other workers to be escorted. Rather, they are shutting these workers out of the ports and away from their jobs. Another amendment requires the Department of Homeland Security to develop a process by which an individual can receive his TWIC at his place of residence instead of having to return to the enrollment center to pick up his card. The current system penalizes maritime workers who frequently work great distances from the place where they applied for the TWIC.

These and other amendments to improve the TWIC process are included in HR 2200, the Transportation Security Administration authorizations legislation awaiting action by the full House of Representatives. No similar legislation is yet pending in the Senate.


PRESIDENT, SENATORS, LATEST TO URGE FULL MSP FUNDING

A bipartisan group of 22 senators has joined President Barack Obama in urging Congress to fund the Maritime Security Program at its authorized level of $174 million in fiscal year 2010. The effort is led by Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W. Va.), chairman of the Commerce Committee and Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), chairman of the Senate Merchant Marine Subcommittee. In a letter dated May 15, the senators reminded their colleagues that, “MSP was enacted to ensure that the United States has the U.S.-flag commercial sealift capability and trained U.S.-citizen merchant mariners it needs in time of war or other international emergency… it ensures that America will in fact be able to support and supply our troops overseas.” The first budget sent to Congress by President Obama included a request for full MSP funding for the coming fiscal year.
 
A similar communication was sent March 1 by a bipartisan group of 55 representatives. The appropriations process in the House of Representatives and Senate is expected to continue for a number of months.


BRITISH AND DUTCH MARITIME UNIONS OFFICIALLY MERGE

More than 24,000 shipmasters, officers and unlicensed mariners will be represented by the new “trans-boundary” union for maritime professionals which was launched last week by Nautilus International, based in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. The announcement follows many years of increasingly closer cooperation between Nautilus NL and Nautilus UK, including joint industrial negotiations with companies employing British and Dutch members. The first general secretary of Nautilus International, Mark Dickinson, said: “We embarked on the course of unity out of a sincere and shared desire to build a better future for our members and I am convinced that we will deliver that. For Nautilus UK and Nautilus NL, the move towards unity has been about maintaining our identity as unions representing maritime professionals rather than being swallowed at some point in the future by big general unions.”


INTERNATIONAL MARITIME ORGANIZATION ADOPTS SHIP-RECYCLING TREATY

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has adopted a long-awaited new treaty on ship recycling, the “Hong Kong International Convention for the Safe and Environmentally Sound Recycling of Ships, 2009.” The treaty was developed to respond to complaints from governments, citizens and environmental groups about the dangerous and ecologically unsound practices currently used to dismantle many obsolete ships. Environmental groups said the treaty does not go far enough and that it allows unsafe ship-breaking operations in developing nations to continue and punishes companies that have invested in safer and cleaner methods. Regulations in the new treaty address: operation of recycling facilities; the preparation of ships to facilitate environmentally sound recycling; and establishment of an appropriate enforcement mechanism for ship recycling. Under the terms of the treaty, ships to be sent for recycling must carry an inventory of hazardous materials and be surveyed during their life and before recycling. Breaking yards will be required to provide a plan on how each ship will be recycled.

The European Union (EU) is also expected to propose legislation on ship-breaking this year. Environmentalists are shifting their attention to this new front in an attempt to ensure stronger control measures are enacted.


MM&P OFFSHORE PENSION PLAN UPDATE

During the week of May 18, the MM&P Pension Plan Board of Trustees met to review and analyze potential long-term Pension Plan design changes to comply with the requirements of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 in anticipation of the Plan being in the “red zone” next year. The Segal Company consultants conducted “live computer modeling” which allowed the Trustees and members who attended the meeting to see the contribution rates associated with different Plan design changes. During the meeting, the Trustees analyzed a number of scenarios using different assumptions such as investment returns, continuation of COLA’s, minimum retirement ages, etc. Each of these scenarios will be reviewed by the Segal Company for quality control purposes. After review, the Segal Company will report back to the Trustees at the June meeting. During the most recent Trustee meeting, members in attendance were able to ask questions of the plan professionals during two, one-hour sessions on May 19 and 20. No hard and fast decisions were reached during this interactive session.


MITAGS WORKBOAT MATE PROGRAM GRADUATION

MITAGS and PMI have announced that each campus has now graduated mate candidates under the Workboat Mate Program. A graduation ceremony was held last week at MITAGS. The 500/1600 GRT training program continues to offer domestic U.S. tug and OSV companies the best source of talent for new mates. The May 15 workboat mate program graduation featured students, families, staff, company representatives and federal officials. Acting Deputy Maritime Administrator James E. Caponiti gave the keynote speech. Walt Megonigal of MITAGS spoke about the importance of leadership, especially in view of recent changes in the maritime industry’s business model. “With those changes will come ever-expanding personal opportunities for you,” he told the students. “The cultural change that will become most important and apparent to you is the fact that to be successful in this profession you will have to commit to a practice of lifelong (or career long) education and training.”


NEW JERSEY MAN MISSING OFF COAST OF HONDURAS

MM&P has been contacted by friends of an Edison, N.J., man, Joe Dunsavage, who is missing in the waters off Roatan, Honduras. “He could be anywhere from Roatan to Belize to Guatemala,” his friends say. Ships in the area are requested to keep a look out for Dunsavage, an experienced waterman who was in an unsinkable “Craig Cat” pontoon boat. Dunsavage has been missing for about 10 days. Multinational search efforts ceased last week, but friends say they are heartened by the fact that “during the search for Joe, four unrelated lost souls were found, one adrift for 11 days, which still gives us hope.” They say their own, privately funded search will continue “as long as we can keep it going.” To keep the awareness level high, they are reaching out to everyone who may be on or near those waters. To find out more, Google Joe Dunsavage Honduras.


MITAGS AND PMI ANNOUNCE NEW PROGRAM: INTRODUCTION TO ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS IN THE MARITIME INDUSTRY/EPA GENERAL PERMIT FOR COMMERCIAL VESSELS

MITAGS and PMI have added the “Introduction to Environmental Regulations in the Maritime Industry/EPA General Permit for Commercial Vessels” program to the course schedule. The program has been designed as two, one-day modules. Module one is an introduction to the environmental aspects of vessel operations and the basic structure of the marine regulatory environment. It is intended to give vessel operators a broad perspective on the potential environmental impact of their operations and a greater appreciation for why a vessel general permit is required. Module two is devoted to the vessel general permit. Attendees will be given a copy of the permit. This module will involve discussion and analysis of the permit language. It will also focus on how the permit requirements apply to the specific vessels operated by the students.  Note: module one is a prerequisite for module two.

 The course will be held at MITAGS May 27-8, June 16-17 and July 29-30. For more information or to register for the course at MITAGS, contact Robert Becker: (443) 989-3235, (866) 656-5569 or rbecker@mitags.org.

The course will be held at PMI May 27-28 and June 23-24. For more information or to register for the PMI course, contact Gregg Trunnell: (206) 838-7422, (888) 893-7829 or gtrunnell@mates.org.


YOUTUBE VIDEO ON AMERICA’S MERCHANT MARINERS

As Maritime Day is celebrated, MM&P calls your attention to a video posted at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DO_drlO5vSU. The video, which recounts the heroism of World War II Merchant Mariners, features a soundtrack by Celtae, one of Canada’s premiere Celtic bands.


AT&T WIRELESS PHONE DISCOUNTS FOR UNION MEMBERS

The MM&P Communications Department has been contacted by several members who have been unable to access discounted phone services described in a recent article in the Wheelhouse Weekly and the Master, Mate & Pilot. The discounted services in question are being offered to affiliates of the AFL-CIO, which has issued a statement clarifying that most of the discounts are offered only to union locals. Individual union members and their families are however eligible to receive a 10 percent discount off the regular monthly rate for individual and family AT&T Wireless cell phone plans. Union members can also save money on cell phones and accessories like ear buds for hands-free talking. Go to http://www.unionplus.org/att-wireless.cfm to find out how to take advantage of the 10 percent discount for union members and their families. To receive the 10 percent discount, union members will need to reference the following discount code: Fan # 113662. To find out about discounts on phone equipment for union locals, as well as an 18 percent discount on some services for full-time union employees, go to www.bridgedeck.org, click on “What’s New” and scroll down to the bottom of the page.


NEW HOURS FOR MM&P TAMPA HALL

Starting May 1, MM&P’s Tampa Hall changed its hours of operation. The schedule is now 9:00 a.m.—2:00 p.m. If you have any questions, please call the Tampa Hall at (813) 247-2164.


TWO MISSING IN SINGAPORE TANKER FIRE

Two crewmembers are still missing after a fire last week aboard MV VERTEX, a Honduras-registered tanker carrying 2,000 tons of used oil which caught fire at anchorage. Seventeen members of the crew escaped the fire by jumping into the sea. Fifteen were rescued, but two are still missing.


E-LEARNING CONFERENCE AT MEBA CALHOON SCHOOL JULY 21-23

Two workshops have been added to the 2009 International Maritime E-Learning Conference at the MEBA Calhoon School July 21-23. The two are Online Crowd Management and Crisis Management Certification and Design and Implementation of an STCW-Approved Distance Learning System. For more information, go tohttp://conf09.cutwater.org.


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: 7/27
BRMP � Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 6/25
BST � Basic Safety Training: 6/1
CONT PLNG � Contingency Planning: 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): 6/29
CMM-ECDIS � Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems: 7/27
CMM-MPP � Marine Propulsion Plants: 6/15
CMM-SHMGT I � Ship Management (week 1) : 7/13
CMM-SHMGT II � Ship Management (week 2) : 7/20
CMM-SHS-ADV-I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 6/1, 7/13
CMM-SHS-ADV-I I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 6/8, 7/20
CMM-VPEN � Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 6/1, 8/3
CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 5/25

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
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: 6/8
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 6/13

[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-CBRD-1 � CBRD Orientation: 7/18
MSC-DC � Damage Control: Special Evening MSC-DC Class: 7/16
MSC-SMA � Small Arms Training: 6/22

[OICNW � Officer in Charge of a Navigation Watch Courses]
OICNW-CHS-BAS � Basic Cargo Handling and Stowage: 5/25
OICNW-TCNAV/CO � Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 7/13

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 6/22

SEC-VCF – Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 6/23, 7/6
SEC-VSO-R � Vessel Security Officer Refresher (1 day): 6/8, 6/22
SHS-BAS � Basic Shiphandling: 6/16
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
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 5-22-2009

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
8,277.32 1,692.01 887
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
40.80
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
81.98
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
24.87
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
13.57
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
11.86
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
18.74
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.68
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
21.27
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
4.79
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
13.47
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
16.18
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
12.35
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
15.26
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
9.92
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
9.76
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
9.46
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
9.45
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
9.78
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.14
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
21.70
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
13.19
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
11.71
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
12.85
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
9.51
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
51.62
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
12.18
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
42.16
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
13.03
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
28.24
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
23.01
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
17.75
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
9.82
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
10.34
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
10.79
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
10.50
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
10.13
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
5.80
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
6.71
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
9.70
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
23.32
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
31.47
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
20.07





~ 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.