Wheelhouse Weekly – May 26, 2005



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

Volume 9 . . . . . Number 21 . . . . May 26, 2005




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



In a reversal of fortune over last week’s federal court ruling that was reported in the Wheelhouse Weekly, MM&P-contracted Patriot Contract Services has now received some positive news regarding the LMSR contract with the Military Sealift Command. Earlier this week, Patriot was granted a limited injunction that will temporarily halt the turnover of the remaining LMSRs pending a ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In a May 23 decision, US District Court Judge Martin Jenkins amended his earlier denial of Patriot’s motion for a preliminary injunction. The most recent move “effectively stops the clock on the turnovers,” says Patriot CEO Sandy Jones.

In his most recent ruling, the judge wrote that Patriot had “certainly raised questions about the integrity of the procurement process in the context of its fraudulent misrepresentation claim.” He said Patriot had “presented evidence that [competing bidder] AMSEA may have misrepresented to Military Sealift Command the extent to which it had secured agreements from proposed key personnel regarding salary, benefits and position.”

“We have an extremely good chance of success in the Ninth Circuit,” said Jones. The Ninth Circuit is expected to issue a ruling in several weeks. In addition to the MM&P, the unions that intervened in the case alongside Patriot are the SUP and MFOW. As more details surface from this ongoing federal court case, they will be published in future editions of the Wheelhouse Weekly.




Acting Maritime Administrator John Jamian has sent the following letter to members of the US-flag shipping community: “As Acting Maritime Administrator, I encourage you to participate in the National Moment of Remembrance, taking one minute at 1500 hrs local time on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30, to remember the sacrifices of America’s fallen, from the Revolutionary War to the present. This honors not only members of the Armed Services, but also the US Merchant Marine and other civilians whose devotion has preserved and defended our heritage of freedom.

The observance is sponsored by the White House Commission on Remembrance, a bipartisan, independent executive branch agency. I will be directing the ships of the Maritime Administration’s Ready Reserve Force to dress ship on that day and to ring eight bells at 1500 hrs local time, wherever they are in the world. I will also be encouraging them to send an e-mail to the Commission, with a picture if possible, at

I encourage all US-flag ships and all gatherings of members of the maritime industry to take appropriate steps to participate in the National Moment of Remembrance. We are grateful to the brave men and women who have served this great country so bravely to ensure the many freedoms we enjoy every day.” For more info about the National Moment of Remembrance go to:



The Annapolis Maritime Museum exhibit “Before GPS: the Genius of Captain Philip Van Horn Weems, 20th Century Navigation Pioneer,” is currently on display at MITAGS. An evening reception to promote the exhibit has been scheduled for Thursday, June 9, at MITAGS. Philip Van Horn Weems Dodds will give a special presentation, which details his grandfather’s remarkable career as a navigator, educator, and entrepreneur.

“This is the perfect location for an exhibit highlighting the life of Captain Weems,” says Buck Buchanan, Chairman for the Annapolis Maritime Museum. “It’s a wonderful addition to all of the maritime history that is already on display at the Institute.” The Weems exhibit was introduced by the Annapolis Maritime Museum in the summer of 2003. However, its availability for viewing at the museum was short-lived due to the devastation that was caused by Hurricane Isabel. Fortunately, volunteers were able to retrieve the exhibit and temporarily relocate it to the MITAGS campus.

The Museum, in coordination with the Institute, has scheduled an evening reception on June 9th at 1830 hrs to promote the exhibit. Special tours of MITAGS’ world-class shiphandling simulator have also been arranged. The first tour will begin at 1800 hrs, followed by a second tour at 1830. The evening will close with a special presentation by Mr. Dodds. For additional info on the Weems exhibit reception, contact Jefferson Holland at 410-295-0104 or via email at, or call MITAGS at 410-859-5700, ext. 0.



During several recent annual inspections of small passenger vessels, USCG Marine Inspectors discovered a number of problems with Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) manufactured by Atlantic-Pacific Manufacturing Co. (APCO). APCO formerly produced various types of PFDs including several sizes of unicellular plastic foam life preservers and is currently out of business. PFDs from other manufacturers could have similar problems.

A close inspection revealed: varying body strap lengths, sometimes less than 54″ from the tip of the snap hook to the tip of the D-ring, resulting in a very tight fitting adult sized PFD on average sized crewmember; non-resilient and brittle condition of the PFD flotation foam; differences in foam volumes and physical size for the same model of PFD and; inaccurate markings, incorrect Q-spec numbers (106.055 vs. 160.055), misspelled words, and incorrect narratives.

Additionally, follow-up buoyancy tests of suspect PFDs performed by the Marine Inspectors resulted in numerous failures. All PFDs that had failed were condemned and each exhibited noticeable shrinkage and compression. Many of these PFDs have been in use since the 1970s and may have reached the end of their service life. The USCG strongly recommends that owners and operators carefully inspect all of their older Type I unicellular plastic foam PFDs.

While the potential for problems applies to all older PFDs, those manufactured by Atlantic-Pacific Manufacturing Corporation (APCO) have been specifically noted. Approval numbers for APCO PFDs are:
160.055/54/1 Adult Model 8130
160.055/111/0 Adult Model 8150
160.055/112/1 Child Model 81510
160.055/121/0 Adult Model 81407 LOT # 73
160.055/122/0 Child Model 81410 or 81413

Questions regarding the info presented in this alert may be addressed to Marty Jackson, Staff Engineer of the USCG HQ Lifesaving & Fire Safety Standards Division at 202-267-0710 or



Earlier this week, two large flag-of-convenience ships collided with each other. The Liberian registered 71,810-dwt tanker CHRISOPIGI LADY was damaged in a collision with the Panama registered Capesize 169,159-dwt bulk carrier YUE SHAN in the Singapore Strait. The tanker was in ballast while YUE SHAN, which also sustained some damage, was carrying a full cargo of iron ore. Investigators report that prior to the collision both ships were warned by the Strait’s Vessel Traffic Information System to no avail.


Last week, Norwegian Cruise Line’s 40,800-gt cruise ship NORWEGIAN MAJESTY hit three yachts while coming into Bermuda on May 11, almost sinking one with its terrified passengers aboard, according to media accounts from the scene. The ship was entering St George’s Town Cut in high wind conditions when it ran afoul of yachts at the Powder Hall anchorage.

Eyewitness accounts said that the anchor chain of one yacht appeared to become fouled in the MAJESTY’s propeller, with the yacht suddenly lurching at 45 degrees and “looking as if she would be sucked under the cruise ship and smashed to pieces. We could hear on the radio the people on the yacht shouting for help – it was terrible,” the onlooker said. Fortunately, that yacht bounced back up and floated free, but the MAJESTY then proceeded to hit two other yachts moored at the anchorage, which broke away after their lines were snapped. An investigation of the incident is underway.



A salvage firm has been contracted to tow the 76,049-gt Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) cruise ship NORWAY from Bremerhaven, Germany, around South Africa to a final destination believed to be one of the ship-breaking beaches of India. German environmentalists joined by activists from Greenpeace have demanded the removal of asbestos from the NORWAY before she is taken under tow. The vessel has been laid up at the German port since July 2003 after a boiler explosion in Miami in May of that year killed several of her crew and seriously injured many more.

Before she became the NORWAY, she was the CGT (French Line) Atlantic liner FRANCE built in 1962. The FRANCE was the longest (but not largest) Atlantic liner at 1,035 feet. She was withdrawn from passenger service in 1974 on the removal of government subsidies. She was laid up at the French port of le Havre until 1978 when NCL purchased her for $18 million, and proceeded to spend over $80 million transforming the transatlantic liner to a warm-weather cruise ship.

Her forward engine room was shut down, two of her four propellers removed and her crew reduced, while additional cabins were added. Some of the duplicate facilities for the two-class liner were converted to shops or other new facilities; other spaces were filled in with additional cabins, boosting her capacity to 1,944 to 2,181. Her success as a cruise ship far eclipsed that on the transatlantic trade, which was already waning when she arrived on the scene in the early ’60s.

In 1984, she had the first of three additional renovations, in which she was given diesel engines for auxiliary power. Then, in 1990, she had two additional decks added atop her superstructure, boosting capacity to 2,565. Many argued that the addition was detrimental to the ship’s classic lines. In 1996, a further renovation converted several public spaces to shops. All these changes were deemed necessary to keep the ship profitable, but by 2000, she was eclipsed by far more modern tonnage that was expressly designed for tropical cruising.

The ship departed on what was expected to be her final voyage with NCL on Sept. 5, 2001. She was in mid-Atlantic when the US was attacked by terrorists on 9/11. Shortly after she arrived in Europe, NCL announced that she had been given a reprieve, and would return to her former slow-motion voyages round the Caribbean. The NORWAY was sailing fairly full, although at very cheap fares, when a boiler explosion killed several of her crew shortly after the ship docked in Miami in the fall of 2003. She was then towed to her present berth at Lloyd Werft in Bremerhaven, site of her three prior refurbishments. In her heyday, she was regarded as one of the most magnificent super liners to ever sail the seven seas.


Last week, a seafarer who fell from a tanker while at sea survived for 13 hours in shark infested waters before being rescued off the coast of Australia. The 41-year-old man tripped and fell from the 33,239-dwt-product tanker BARRINGTON at about midnight. He was reported as missing at 1000 hours the next day and plucked out of the sea by a passing fishing boat that afternoon. Suffering from hypothermia and exhaustion, the seafarer was then airlifted by helicopter to a local hospital where he was treated and later released.


Beautiful large prints suitable for framing of the SEAWANHAKA, signed by the artist, Capt. Brian Hope, are now available for sale to benefit the MM&P Political Contribution Fund. The $40 price includes shipping and handling. The fire aboard the SEAWANHAKA and the scapegoating of her Master, Capt. Charles Smith one hundred and twenty-five years ago, mark the beginnings of the MM&P.

Capt. Hope’s paintings hang in several museums and in many businesses and private homes throughout the Baltimore-Washington area. For more info on how you can obtain one of these colorful maritime prints while also assisting the MM&P PCF, contact Asst. Comptroller Beverly Gutmann at MM&P HQ, 700 Maritime Blvd., Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1941. Phone: 410-850-8700 ext. 11, Fax: 410-850-8384, Email:



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

  • AIS – Automatic Identification System: 6/17, 7/23, 9/2
  • ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 6/13, 7/18, 7/25, 8/15
  • BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 6/13, 8/1
  • BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 6/14, 8/9
  • BST – Basic Safety Training: 8/29
  • CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses

  • CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 7/18
  • CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 6/6
  • CMM-CHS I – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 8/22
  • CMM-CHS II – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 8/15
  • CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display and Info Systems: 8/1
  • CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 6/27, 8/8
  • CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 6/20, 7/25, 8/8, 8/15, 8/22
  • CMM-SHS-ADV-II – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 7/18, 8/1, 8/15
  • 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, 8/29
  • CONT-PLNG – Contingency Planning: 6/17, 7/15, 7/22
  • FF-BADV – (Combined) Basic and Advanced Firefighting: 6/27, 8/22
  • 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: 6/8, 6/14, 8/9
  • MEDIA-RSP – Media Response: 6/16, 7/14, 7/21
  • MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 6/25, 7/30, 8/20
  • MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 6/13, 7/25, 8/15
  • MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider (1st week of MED-PIC): 6/13, 7/25, 8/15

MSC – Military Sealift Command

  • MSC-SMA – Small Arms Training (4 day): 6/20, 8/29
  • MSC-SMA-R – Small Arms Re-Qualification (2-day): 6/24, 9/2
    (must have proof of passing all 3 weapons within 2 years)
  • ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal (5-day): 8/22
  • ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 6/13, 7/18, 7/21, 7/25, 8/20
  • SEC-OFF-VCF – Security Officer,Vessel, Company & Facility: 6/13, 8/1
  • SEC-PLT-AWR Security Awareness for Pilots: 7/19
  • SHS-ESH-BRMP: Emergency Shiphandling/Bridge Resource Management for Pilots (3-day): 7/20
  • SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling (5 day): 8/29
  • TPIC Tankerman Person-In-Charge: 6/27



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.


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 or by calling toll-free, 1-866-656-5568.



 D O W  N A S D A Q  S & P 500
 10,457.80 -6.65 for the week  2,067.99  +32.71 for the week  1,190.01  +3.71 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)

~ 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.

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 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:, 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.

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, 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.


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.



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.