Wheelhouse Weekly – May 26, 2008


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

Volume 12 . . . . . Number 21. . . .May 26, 2008




T-AGS Oceanographic Survey Ships Info

Required Coursework

Security Clearances

MSC Physicals


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 Headquarters, MM&P Plans, the MM&P Federal Credit Union and MM&P port offices will be closed Monday, May 26, for Memorial Day.


MM&P-contracted LMS Ship Management (Waterman/Central Gulf/Sulphur Carriers) is celebrating the most recent in a series of awards for safety from the Chamber of Shipping of America.

The most recent award is a citation of merit, to the officers and crew of the GREEN BAY, for providing fresh water to a distressed fishing vessel. The fishing boat was five days out of safe refuge in home waters with no drinking water and a reported 30 fishermen aboard, all citizens of Iran.

According to the report of the incident prepared by Captain Steve Werse, Second Mate Timothy Arey received the distress call from the fishing vessel, FV ALFAZAL, at latitude 13-27N/Longitude 069-09E. The fishermen reported they were severely dehydrated and that there was no fresh water aboard their boat.

Werse then activated the security plan, while fire hoses were led out fore and aft. The officers and crew of GREEN BAY went on alert, with watches established, monitoring activities aboard the fishing vessel’s deck. The captain of the FV ALFAZAL was instructed that the transfer would be made by line and told not to attempt to land alongside hull or make fast to GREEN BAY. 

When sea conditions made it impossible to get a clear shot with a rocket line gun, Werse decided to shift activities to the stern mooring station for a second attempt. The crew of the GREEN BAY was then able to hand throw a heaving line from the stern, and the line transfer of multiple five and 15-gallon jugs of drinking water was commenced. Once all available containers were passed, a length of garden hose was run from GREEN BAY’s fresh water outlet on stern to the fishing boat, where the crew began filling empty 30 gallon water containers on the fore deck (there were no fixed water tanks on the fishing vessel).   

For GREEN BAY Captain Werse, the recent recognition is the second citation of merit in two years. As master of LMS Ship Management’s MV GREEN LAKE, he received a letter of commendation last year for rescuing a crewmember who went overboard.

LMS Ship Management rep Lisa Johnston nominated the officers and crew of GREEN BAY for the award, which will be presented on June 5 in Houston.


The 84th session of the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC 84) of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) met in London in early May. Among the items on the agenda were “the role of the human element,” amendments to the International Safety Management Code (ISM), the Code of the International Standards and Recommended Practice for a Safety Investigation into a Marine Casualty or Marine Incident (Casualty Investigation Code) and safe manning.

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), supported by the MM&P Vice President of Pilotage and the Executive Assistant to MM&P’s President, and the government of New Zealand, introduced an amendment to the ISM that would require a seafarers’ safety representative (SSR) on all ships that fall under the ISM. The SSR would be appointed or elected by the crew and provided with adequate shore-based support to perform his or her duties. But MSC 84 declined to approve the amendments to the ISM that would have established the position of SSR.

The government of Liberia submitted a proposal for near-miss reporting. ITF expressed deep concern over the proposal, saying it did not go far enough toward ensuring that seafarers who report near misses would not face disciplinary action. ITF also expressed concerns that near-miss reports could be used by prosecutors in criminal actions against seafarers.

The U.S. delegation objected to the Code of the International Standards and Recommended Practice for a Safety Investigation into a Marine Casualty or Marine Incident (Casualty Investigation Code). The Casualty Investigation Code would, among other things, require that governments inform mariners of their right to legal representation during accident investigations as well as of the risk that the investigation might result in criminal charges. The United States has repeatedly stated that certain provisions in the Casualty Investigation Code are in conflict with U.S. law and do not relate directly to maritime safety. MM&P has taken the position that criminal prosecutions following accidents hinder safety investigations because mariners may incriminate themselves by talking with investigators. The Casualty Investigation Code is set to become part of SOLAS as regulation XI-1/6 and enter into force on Jan. 1, 2010.

MSC 84 considered a proposal, put forward by the ITF, for an international code for safe manning. The proposal would require companies to show that manning levels aboard their ships were determined through sound principles that take into account trade, security duties, cargo carried, level of automation, etc. MSC 84 agreed that a correspondence group, chaired by the United States, would continue work on the ITF proposal. MM&P strongly supports the safe manning proposal and will continue to represent the interests of the membership by participating in the correspondence group.


Merchant mariners were honored in Washington last week during an official National Maritime Day observance that spanned two days.

Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters, who gave the keynote speech at the official National Maritime Day observance at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial in downtown Washington, spoke of “the essential role played by mariners in our nation’s prosperity, as well as our safety and security, since the birth of our nation.” She added, “Whenever duty calls, they’ll deliver.”

Among those present at the ceremony were Military Sealift Commander Rear Adm. Robert D. Reilly Jr., the Maritime Administrator Sean Connaughton, MARAD directors and staffers, representatives of the armed forces and representatives of maritime labor. The commemoration was followed by a luncheon at Washington Navy Yard, held under the auspices of the Propeller Club of Washington, at which Connaughton spoke. Later, Reilly and Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, Commander of USTRANSCOM, presided over a wreath-laying ceremony.

President Bush issued the traditional Maritime Day proclamation, in which he called America’s merchant mariners “brave patriots who help keep our nation safe and strengthen our economy in peace and war.”


The new medical standards being used by the Coast Guard to vet mariners for duty from a central location in West Virginia could have the effect of further reducing the maritime workforce, according to an MM&P headquarters staffer who was quoted in an article in the May 1 issue of the respected industry publication Fairplay. The article, by Will Watson, Fairplay’s Senior Correspondent for the Americas, described how the Coast Guard is seeking to tighten medical and physical standards for U.S. seafarers in the wake of several high-profile accidents. Under the new system, all medical reviews are performed at the National Maritime Center in Martinsburg, West Va.

In the article, the MM&P staffer voiced the union’s concern with medical reviews performed at the National Maritime Center by people who have never even seen the mariner. MM&P has suggested that licenses be issued or renewed as soon as the mariner’s medical form is approved by the mariners’ physician in a process similar to the one adopted by the Federal Aviation Administration. “That way, they can keep working while the process is ongoing,” the MM&P staffer said.

A spokesman for the Coast Guard who was quoted in the article maintained that the changes are in compliance with STCW standards and were intended to simplify the process. The new procedures increase the number of “potentially disqualifying” medical conditions from 47 to 202.

According to Will Watson, “with 60,000-70,000 applications being processed each year, many in the industry are worried that the same delays that dog the centralized TWIC system will plague the medical review process.” Watson also notes that “Draconian penalties” await those who run afoul of the Coast Guard on medical issues, as COSCO BUSAN pilot John Cota learned when he was slapped with two felony counts for omitting over-the-counter medications from his medical questionnaire, which is signed under penalty of perjury. “It was ointment for his feet,” one source familiar with the case told Fairplay. “Explain to me how that’s relevant to the accident.”

The MM&P staffer said he and other union representatives had met with Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen to discuss their concerns about the new medical standards. 


Matson Navigation Company has been named General Motors 2007 supplier of the year. The MM&P-contracted shipping company was honored for its contributions to GM’s global product and performance achievements. In particular, GM praised Matson for the renovation of the MV MOKIHANA and the addition to SS LURLINE of a new above-deck garage.

“Matson is truly honored to receive this award for the second consecutive year from one of our most valued customers,” said Matson president and CEO James Andrasik in an official statement. “Since 1999, Matson has carried 100 percent of GM’s vehicles from the U.S. mainland to Hawaii and Guam, as well as vehicles to the mainland under GM’s remarketing program. Matson has worked closely with GM over the past eight years to continuously improve the transportation and distribution strategy for the Hawaii and Guam markets.”


There is a pressing need to expand the size of the U.S. Coast Guard so that it can better carry out its duties in the area of marine safety, according to Congressman Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation. Cummings made the remark in response to a report by the Inspector General (IG) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which found, among other things, that unqualified USCG personnel are conducting marine casualty investigations and that there is a substantial backlog of investigations caused by ineffective management.

“We cannot expect any organization to operate at full capacity when it does not have the staff or resources necessary to do so,” Cummings said in the context of a hearing by his subcommittee last week. Cummings said the Coast Guard should perform a workload analysis to determine how many people it needs to properly fulfill its marine casualty investigation duties.

He also said that the Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board should revise their existing memorandum of understanding on accident investigations to ensure that marine casualty investigations yield all safety recommendations necessary to prevent future casualties.

The main goal of a maritime accident investigation is supposed to be to identify safety issues. The DHS IG’s report raises serious questions about the Coast Guard’s ability to adequately carry out this mission. The report found, among other things, that 68 percent of USCG investigators fail to meet the agency’s own qualification standards. The auditors also reported that investigations were being conducted improperly and that a substantial backlog of cases had been closed by Coast Guard headquarters without proper review.

According to the IG report, between Jan. 1, 2003, and Oct. 31, 2006, the Coast Guard conducted 15,327 investigations, but the majority — 93 percent — never progressed beyond the data collection stage.

The Coast Guard has said it agrees with most of the findings and hopes to address the problems through a 2009 budget request to hire 276 additional maritime safety employees, which would represent a 40 percent increase in the number of inspectors and investigators.


A London-based film production company has contacted MM&P in its search for “someone involved in shipping” who is a descendant of one of the passengers who came to the United States as a pilgrim on the MAYFLOWER.

The production company, Pioneer TV, says it is shooting a Thanksgiving program for an American broadcaster. “The program will look at the story of the MAYFLOWER and the first Thanksgiving and will include modern descendents of the original Plymouth pilgrims,” producer Jamie Broome told MM&P in a phone call and follow-up e-mail.

“One key person we would like to find for the show is a ship’s master or someone involved in shipping who is a MAYFLOWER descendent. If you are this person and would like to find out more about the program, you can contact me via e-mail at either or at” Broome says the idea is to describe “the perils of the sea and how it is difficult now with all the modern equipment and GPS let alone in the 17th century when the Mayflower sailed across the Atlantic with none of the equipment we have today.”

He said the producers also hope to find: a sailor, fisherman, oil tanker captain, ferry captain, lifeboat crew or anyone who works on the sea and is a descendent of any pilgrim; a carpenter or someone who works in construction who is related to any pilgrim; a crop or cattle farmer related to any pilgrim; a chef or someone who is a  specialist in the history of food/pilgrim food related to any pilgrim; a turkey farmer or someone who goes turkey hunting and is related to any pilgrim; a doctor, surgeon or nurse related to Samuel Fuller; someone in government related to William Bradford; someone in the Army descended from Myles Standish; and a preacher related to William Brewster.

MM&P has no further information about this production. If you, your friends or family meet Jamie Broome’s qualifications and want to be part of the production, you can e-mail him directly at The phone number is: +44 (0) 208 846 8090 x 2608. The website is


MM&P Great Lakes and Rivers Representative Charlie Malue reports that numerous jobs are available on the Great Lakes for licensed mates with pilotage and engineers. Retirees are also encouraged to apply. The rules of the MM&P Pension Plan allow pensioners to accept without penalty employment–other than Covered Employment–aboard vessels covered by collective bargaining agreements with MM&P membership groups, on condition that the employment is first approved by the Organization. Interested parties should call Charlie Malue at 216-776-1667 or e-mail him at


A new study released by Drewry Shipping Consultants concludes that the shortage of experienced officers is expected to worsen in coming years, increasing from what may be 34,000 this year to as many as 90,000 by 2010. The study, “Manning 2008,” presents a detailed analysis of the demand/supply gap between global seafarer numbers and total vessel requirements.

The shortage, the report states, is especially worrisome given the unprecedented growth in shipping over the past decade, and its continued expected growth. The supply chain will be disrupted by the shortage, since fewer ships will make voyages to deliver raw materials, vital commodities and finished goods. Although so far, the study reports no vessels confined to ports because of crew shortages, the authors say that day may come.


The Department of Homeland Security has announced that port security grants totaling $388.6 million have been awarded to port areas nationwide with the aim of helping to protect infrastructure from terrorists. The Port Security Grant Program (PSGP) is designed to improve risk management capabilities to prevent, detect, respond to and recover from attacks involving improvised explosive devices and other non-conventional weapons. Grants will also be used in part to implement the Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC) program.

The seven port areas receiving the largest grants are New York/New Jersey, LA/LB, Houston/Galveston, New Orleans, Puget Sound, San Francisco Bay and Delaware Bay.

PSGP is one of five grant programs under FEMA’s Infrastructure Protection Activities (IPA) grant program, described in detail in the DHS publication “Overview: FY 2008 Infrastructure Protection Activities,” which was released May 16.


ExxonMobil is suing the state of Alaska for $800 million in damages for revoking its gas and oil leases on the Point Thomson oil field on the North Slope. Alaska has responded that it revoked the leases in 2006 because the company had not tried to develop the field. The leases were sold to Exxon and other oil companies over 30 years ago. The state said that when it revoked them, it was hoping to encourage other companies to develop their own fields. The state says it hopes now to sell the fields for development to operators in the lower 48 states.


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

    AIS-1 � Automatic Identification System (1 day), 7/11
    AIS ECDIS 3 for Pilots – Automatic Identification System and Electronic Chart Display Information System (3 day) for Pilots:  6/23

    ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 8/11

    BST – Basic Safety Training:  6/23, 8/11
    BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 6/16, 7/21
    BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 6/26, 8/11

    [CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
    CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 8/26
    CMM-ADV-WX � Advanced Meteorology: 6/9
    CMM-CHS I – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1):  6/23
    CMM-CHS II – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 7/7
    CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display & Information Systems: 8/18
    CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 7/28
    CMM-SHS-ADV-I-Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 8/4
    CMM-SHS-ADV-II-Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 7/14, 8/11
    CMM-SHMGT-I � Ship Management(week 1): 7/14
    CMM-SHMGT-II � Ship Management(week 2): 7/21
    CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 8/4
    CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 8/11

    CSE-AWR2 – Confined Space Entry Awareness (2 day): 8/25

    FF-BADV – Combined Basic & Advanced Fire Fighting: 6/23, 8/11

    LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 6/25

    [MSC – Military Sealift Command]
    MSC-CBRD-1 – CBRD Orientation: 6/20, 8/29
    MSC-DC – Damage Control: 6/18, 8/25
    MSC-SMA – Small Arms Training: 8/25 (6/16 Standby Only)

    MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 6/9, 7/21, 8/18
    MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 6/9, 7/21, 8/18  
    MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 6/14, 7/26, 8/23
    MEDIA RSP – Media Response: 7/10

    ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original or Renewal (5 Day): 8/4
    ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 6/2, 7/7

    SEC-VCF – Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 7/7
    SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 6/16, 7/21, 8/18
    SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling: 6/23, 7/28, 8/25
    SHS-ESH-BRMP 3 day – Emergency Shiphandling & Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 8/13

    TPIC-DL – Tankship Dangerous Liquids (PIC): 6/9
    TPIC-LG – Tankship Liquefied Gases (PIC) LNG: 8/4

    …remember: If you can’t make the class, make the call.  Be courteous, don’t be a “no show.”

    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 by e-mail:


    PMI Web site at for more info


    SCHEDULE OF COURSES – (Course schedule also posted online at

    May 2008
    27         FL
    27-30  ARPA
    27-29  AFF
    27-31  WKP BAS/BRM
    28-30 CHS BAS

    June 2008
    2          FL
    2-20    TCNAV/CO
    2-6      ROP
    2-6      SHS ASSESS
    3-5      AFF
    9         ROR
    9-13    SHS ASSESS
    9-13    BST
    9-20    GMDSS
    10        FL
    10-13  ARPA
    16-20  MED PRO
    16-20  SHS BAS
    16-20  BST
    16-27  MED PIC
    23-25  SEC VCF
    23-27  ROP
    23-27  BAFF

    July 2008
    7-11MED PRO
    14-18MED PIC
    21-25STB BAS
    21-8/1SHS ADV
    28-30SEC VCF

    August 2008
    4-8MED PRO
    11-15MED PRO
    11-15SHS BAS
    25-29MED PRO
    25-29SHS BAS

    September 2008
    2-6CHS BAS
    2-6MED PRO
    8-12MED PIC
    9-12SHS EMR-5
    15-19WX BAS
    22-26MED PRO

    For registration call Jennifer Pitzen 888-893-7829


    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 5-23-2008

    D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
    12,479.63 2,444.67 1,375.93
    Fund Name & Trading Symbol
     Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
     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 Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
     Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
     Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
     Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
     Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
     Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
     Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
     Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
     Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
     Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
     Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
     Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
     Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
     Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
     Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
     Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
     Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
     Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
     Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
     Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
     Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
     Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
     Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
     Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
     Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
     Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
     Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
     Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
     Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
     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:

    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.

    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.




    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.


    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.


    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. Suite B, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1953. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: For further info or to subscribe contact Lisa Rosenthal at The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea and is posted on our web page.

    © 2008, 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: For changes of address, contact Lisa Rosenthal at