News

Wheelhouse Weekly – May 28, 2007

 

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

Volume 11 . . . . . Number 21. . . .May 28, 2007

STORIES COVERED

Also

REMINDERS

T-AGS Oceanographic Survey Ships Info

Required Coursework

Security Clearances

MSC Physicals

MM&P Health & Benefit Plan News

Notice to Members who are taking Vioxx

NMHC Mail-Order Prescriptions Website Updated & Improved

WWII USCG Veterans Outreach

Company Gives Bucks Back for buying Safe Shoes

Website Offers Union-Made Goods and Services




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


COMMENTS BY MM&P INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT TIMOTHY BROWN ON SUEZ LNG ACCORD

On a professional and personal level, I am very pleased with the recent signing of MM&P’s agreement with Suez LNG and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy. The complete story appears in the article that follows.

This is a great first step into the LNG business for MM&P, and one that increases our prestige and standing in the maritime community. We will continue to meet the high level of professional standards that MM&P is known for as we move into this new market.

The driving force behind this agreement is the terrific initiative and follow-through demonstrated by MM&P Director of Special Projects Richard Plant. He deserves high praise for his hard work and dedication to this project.

As George Allen, former coach of the Los Angeles Rams and the Washington Redskins, once said, “The future is now!”


DETAILS OF MM&P’S AGREEMENT WITH SUEZ LNG AND THE MASSACHUSETTS MARITIME ACADEMY

MM&P will crew as many as nine ships for international energy industry leader Suez LNG.  The historic agreement, which includes the Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA), covers recruitment, training and manning of Suez LNG vessels with licensed deck officers and engineers.

The historic, three-part agreement was announced at a Maritime Day commemoration ceremony in Boston on May 24 by U.S. Maritime Administrator Sean Connaughton “This is a great step forward and shows what can be accomplished when all parties work together,” Connaughton said.

Suez LNG plans to employ MM&P members and MMA cadets and graduates on as many as nine vessels. The company will deploy three vessels to deliver LNG to the Neptune Deepwater Port, in Massachusetts Bay. Six more ships will operate internationally. 

“Suez LNG is extremely proud to have formed this partnership with MMA, MM&P and MITAGS,” said Joe McKechnie, senior vice president of Suez LNG.

“Our maritime academies are involved in the future through the training of cadets,” said Rear Admiral Richard Gurnon, president of MMA. “This step makes the future brighter for them and reassures the public that Americans aboard and offshore will ensure safety for all.”

If you are interested in working on the vessels covered under the agreement, send your resume to both:

MM&P Special Projects Director Richard Plant – rplant@bridgedeck.org; 410-850-8700 ext. 36 (phone); 410-850-0973 (fax)

– and –

MM&P Atlantic Ports Vice President Rich May – rmay@bridgedeck.org; 201-963-1900 (phone); 201-963-5403 (fax).


 

MARK YOUR CALENDAR: MM&P 2008 CONVENTION DATES ANNOUNCED

The 82nd Convention of the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots will be held June 23-25 in Linthicum Heights, Md. The convention will kick off at 1000 on June 23. Only members in good standing for two continuous years in payment of their union dues are eligible to run for elected office. Members in good standing as of June 30, 2008, are eligible to vote.



MERCHANT MARINERS HONORED AT WASHINGTON MARITIME DAY COMMEMORATION

Union leaders, military officials and maritime industry representatives gathered in cities throughout the country over the course of the past week to honor the service of America’s merchant mariners. In Washington, D.C., MM&P International President Tim Brown and International Secretary-Treasurer Glen Banks joined leaders of the American Maritime Officers, the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association and the Seafarers International Union in a ceremony organized by MARAD.

Speakers at the Maritime Day commemoration and the wreath-laying that followed included Maritime Administrator Sean Connaughton, Congressman Gene Taylor (D-Miss.), and Rear Adm. Robert Reilly, commander of Military Sealift Command. “If we truly want to honor those thousands of men who gave their lives in World War II, we have to invest in a strong shipbuilding industry and in the maritime industry as a whole,” Taylor told the crowd. He called the U.S. maritime industry a perfect example of “Americans working for Americans.”

President Bush, in his official Maritime Day proclamation, lauded the members of our country’s merchant marine. “During times of peace, the U.S. Merchant Marine helps ensure our economic security by keeping the oceans open to trade,” the President said. “In times of war, the Merchant Marine is the lifeline of our troops overseas… On this day, and throughout the year, America is grateful for their service.”


MERCHANT MARINE VETERANS AT MITAGS MARITIME DAY EVENT

Members of the American Merchant Marine Veterans (AMMV)  were among the participants in a Maritime Day celebration hosted by MITAGS. At the event, which was organized by the Chesapeake Chapter of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, members of “the greatest generation” were given special recognition. MM&P trust students were among the 120 attendees present at the event, which featured the artwork of MM&P member Brian Hope of the Maryland Pilots. Speakers at the event included Congressman Elijah Cummings, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Marine Transportation and Coast Guard Affairs, and the Honorable Helen Delich Bentley. “This country owes you a great deal of gratitude,” Cummings told the merchant mariners present at the event. 


SOMALI PIRATES ARE BACK�WITH A VENGEANCE

All merchant vessels transiting the coast of Somalia, no matter how far offshore, are being advised to increase their anti-piracy precautions in the wake of a series of new attacks by pirates. The International Maritime Bureau has also increased, from 75 nautical miles to 200 nautical miles, its “recommended transit distance” for vessels not calling on Somali ports. The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) has issued the same warning.

Vessels report being fired on approximately 190 nautical miles off the Somali coast by gunmen in small white speedboats armed with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades. Because of the distance from shore at which the attacks have taken place and the poor weather conditions typical of this time of year, the authorities believe the pirates may be using a larger merchant vessel as a mother-ship to launch the small boats. 

Among the techniques being used by the pirates: issuing a false distress call to lure vessels into a trap; masquerading as authorities involved in stopping vessels for pollution violations or illegal fishing; opening fire in broad daylight to intimidate vessels into stopping. “To date,” MARAD warns, “vessels that slow down are boarded, taken to the Somali coastline, and released after payment of ransom, often after protracted negotiations of as much as 11 weeks.” Vessels that increase speed and take evasive maneuvers have so far avoided being boarded.

Pirates are still holding 24 crewmembers of two Tanzanian-flagged, Korean-owned vessels that were seized on May 15.



HOUSE RESOLUTION PRAISES, THANKS MERCHANT MARINERS

On May 22, National Maritime Day, the House of Representatives adopted a resolution recognizing “the tremendous sacrifices and contributions of the Merchant Marine and its veterans and the entire maritime industry to the Nation.” The resolution was sponsored by long-time industry supporter and MM&P friend Congressman Bob Filner (D-Calif.), who is also the chief sponsor of HR 23, the “Belated Thank You to the Merchant Mariners of World War II Act of 2007.”

The resolution states that “the story of the United States Merchant Mariners of World War II is one of patriotism, of youthful exuberance, of dedication to duty, of bravery in the midst of battle, and of a Nation that forgot these heroes after the end of the war for more than 40 years until 1988, when they were given veteran status.” MM&P expresses our appreciation to Congressman Filner for sponsoring H. Res. 413 and for his tireless efforts on behalf of World War II merchant mariners.


MSC SPELLS OUT EXEMPTION CRITERIA FOR ANTHRAX VACCINE

Military Sealift Command (MSC) has provided criteria for conditions under which crews of chartered ships or activated ships are exempt from taking the anthrax vaccine. 

Under the criteria, crewmembers of foreign time charters are administratively exempt from receiving the vaccine. Crews on U.S. time charters must get the vaccine only if they remain in a high risk area for exposure for over 28 days in a row, or if they return to the same area while on the charter. They can still receive the vaccine, however, if they want to receive it and MSC policy allows it in their case.

The same exemption applies to crews on contract-operated USNS ships or MARAD ships under operational control of MSC which have been activated for fewer than six months. These contract mariners also can receive the vaccine if they want it as long as MSC says it’s okay.

The Department of Defense (DOD) recently announced it would resume the mandatory anthrax immunization program for designated military personnel, emergency-essential and comparable DOD civilian employees and contractors performing essential services. The vaccination is mandatory for personnel fulfilling specific missions in certain geographic areas.

Contract and civilian mariners between the ages of 18 and 65 working aboard military sealift vessels will be required to get vaccinations before setting out on a mission expected to last at least 15 consecutive days in the Central Command (CENTCOM) area of responsibility. Mariners designated as forward-deployed to the Korean peninsula will also be required to be vaccinated.


HOUSE AUTHORIZES FUNDS FOR KINGS POINT, STATE ACADEMIES

As part of its fiscal year 2008 defense authorizations legislation, the House of Representatives authorized funding for Kings Point and for the maintenance and repair of school ships at the state maritime academies. The House authorized $13.85 million for capital improvements at the United States Merchant Marine Academy and $8.2 million for the state academies’ school ships.

The House Armed Services Committee criticized the Administration for not requesting funds for the student incentive payment program (SIP), choosing instead to shift funds from the SIP account to the direct payment account for the maritime academies. The committee stated that “the graduates of the state maritime academies are essential to the United States merchant marine fleet as well as the ships of the Military Sealift Command (MSC) and many midshipmen participate in the SIP program as a way of offsetting the cost of their education at the state maritime academies. . . The committee is concerned that shifting this funding to the direct payment account will reduce the program’s effectiveness and may ultimately lead to fewer midshipmen accepting commissions in the merchant marine.” 

The Defense authorizations bill, HR 1585, passed the House of Representatives on May 17.  The Senate has not yet taken action on its fiscal year 2008 defense authorizations legislation.


HOUSE ACTS TO MODIFY NSPS SYSTEM

Also included in HR 1585, the fiscal year 2008 defense authorizations legislation that passed the House of Representatives on May 17, is language intended to restore collective bargaining rights to DOD employees under the National Security Personnel System (NSPS).  In reporting this legislation to the House for its consideration, the Committee on Armed Services said it is “concerned that the implementing regulations, issued in November 2005, exceeded congressional intent, especially with respect to limitations on employee bargaining rights. Furthermore, the committee notes that the Government Accountability Office issued several reports highlighting areas of concern, including the need for the Department to better define elements of the system, and made recommendations for continuing employee involvement in the implementation process.”

At present, civil service mariners (CIVMARS) are excluded from all human resource and appeal provisions of the NSPS. The final DOD NSPS regulations did, however, include CIVMARS within the labor relations provisions of the NSPS. MM&P and the other seafaring unions that represent CIVMARS have argued that the measure will diminish the scope of the collective bargaining rights enjoyed by CIVMARS relative to the rights of those serving in the commercial maritime industry, which in turn would impair MSC’s ability to recruit and retain qualified seafarers. 


APPEALS COURT APPROVES DOD PLAN TO LIMIT COLLECTIVE BARGAINING, UNIONS FIGHT BACK

While Congress moves to counter the negative effects of NSPS, the battle also continues on the judicial front. An appeals court has just ruled in fact that the Department of Defense (DOD) can choose which labor issues it wants to negotiate. The decision, which was issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, represents a setback for federal workers.

The appeals court held that the law creating the controversial human resources system authorized DOD to limit the collective bargaining rights of its employees through November 2009. After that time, DOD will be required to comply with the collective bargaining procedures of the 1978 Civil Service Reform Act unless Congress modifies the law. DOD has argued that the personnel system changes will help it improve management of its civilian force so as to better respond to terrorist threats.
 
The new appeals court decision reversed an earlier district court ruling that found that NSPS infringed on employees’ right to bargain collectively. The American Federation of Government Employees, one of the 10 labor unions that filed the lawsuit, said it may appeal the decision to the full court of appeals, the Supreme Court, or both.


MITAGS OPENINGS FOR SHIP SIMULATOR OPERATORS

The Maritime Institute of Technology & Graduate Studies (MITAGS) is seeking two part-time operators for its full-mission ship simulator. This is an ideal opportunity for computer-savvy MM&P members who know how to maneuver ships in a variety of situations and environments. Applicants should enjoy computer gaming, be creative and have demonstrated the ability to master computer programs. These are ideal positions for MM&P members who want to alternate between shipboard deployments and teaching. Excellent communications and computer skills are a must. E-mail resume to hr@mitags.org or fax to HR Manager at (443) 989-3341. 



OPENING IN SAN FRANCISCO PILOT TRAINEE PROGRAM

The Board of Pilot Commissioners is accepting applications for the San Francisco Pilot Trainee Program. Minimum requirements: USCG 1,600-ton master’s license with unlimited radar endorsement. Two years’ command of vessels over 1,600 tons and/or towing vessels engaged in ship assist or towing of vessels with combined GRT of 1,600 tons within the past five years. One year’s experience must be within the past three years. Applications must be received by June 15. Written exam administered at California Maritime Academy, Vallejo, on Aug. 13. Simulator exam for successful candidates Aug. 16 and 17. For more requirements,  go to: www.calregs.com, Title 7, Sections 213 and 214. For more information and an application, go to www.pilotcommission.org or write: Board of Pilot Commissioners, Pier 9, Suite 102, San Francisco, CA, 94111. Phone: 415-397-2253, fax 415-397-9463, e-mail: pilots@earthlink.net.


MARAD PRODUCES STATISTICAL SNAPSHOT OF U.S. SHIPPING

MARAD has issued a new publication, U.S. Water Transportation StatisticalSnapshot, a pocket-sized reference book containing updated statistics on the U.S. maritime industry. The publication, which highlights changes that have taken place in the past five years, is available online at http://www.marad.dot.gov/MARAD_statistics/2007%20STATISTICS/USWTSR%20bOOKLET.pdf. Hard copies may be requested through the Public Affairs Office at the Maritime Administration: pao.marad@dot.gov.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

CLASS OPENINGS: Between now and the end of August 2007, seats are available in the following courses:

AIS – Automatic Identification System: 7/13, 8/3
AIS ECDIS 3 for Pilots – Automatic Identification System and Electronic Chart Display Information System (3 day) for Pilots:  6/12
ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 7/24
AZIPOD-KAM-2 – Azipod and Kamewa Steering and Propulsion Systems: 6/2

BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 7/17, 8/1
BST – Basic Safety Training: 6/4

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-CHS I – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 6/25
CMM-CHS II – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 7/9
CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 7/30
CMM-SHMGT-I – Ship Management(week 1): 7/16
CMM-SHMGT-II – Ship Management (week 2): 7/23
CMM-SHS-ADV-I-Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 7/9
CMM-SHS-ADV-II-Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 6/25

CSE-AWR-2 – Confined Space Entry Awareness (2 day): 7/12

FF-BADV – Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 6/4

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5-day): 6/11, 7/23

LAP – License Advancement Program: 7/23
LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage(Evening): 7/17, 8/1

MEDIA-RSP – Media Response Workshop: 7/12
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 6/16, 7/28
MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge:  6/11, 7/23
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 6/11, 7/23

[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-CBRD-1 – Chemical Biological Radiological Defense Orientation: 6/28, 7/21
MSC-DC – Damage Control: 6/26, 7/19
MSC-SMA – Small Arms: 6/25
MSC-SMA-R – Small Arms Re-Qualification (2-day): 6/29 (must have proof of passing all 3 weapons within 2 years)

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 6/4, 7/23, 7/30
ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original or Renewal (5 days): 7/9

SEC-OFF-VCF – Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility:  7/9
SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling:  7/23
SHS-EMR- Emergency Shiphandling: 6/4, 6/18, 7/30
SHS-ESH- BRMP-3– Emergency Shiphandling & Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 7/10

TPIC – Tankerman Person-In-Charge: 6/4


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 Email: admissions@mitags.org.


PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

Spring – Fall 2007

Due to the high demand for this program, PMI has now scheduled another that is already close to full enrollment for its 2007-start date. See the PMI Web site at www.mates.org for more info on this new development.

FOR REGISTRATION CALL JENNIFER FOWLER: 206 838-1126

SCHEDULE OF COURSES – (Course schedule also posted online at www.mates.org)

May 2007
29th    RADAR RENEWAL
29-2    WX BAS
29-2    AB
29th    FL
30-31 SHS ASSESS

June 2007
1-2      SHS ASSESS
4-8      TPIC
4-8      MED PRO
4-15    MED PIC
4-15    WKP
4-22    TCNAV
5-8      LFBT
11-13  SEC VCF
11-13  WKP
11-15  BST
11-15  AB
11-29  TCNAV
18-22 ARPA
25-29 ROP
25-29 BAFF

July 2007
9th      FL
9-13    ARPA
9-13    BST
10th     RADAR RENEWAL
10-11  SIM ASSESS
10-13  LFBT
16-20 AB
16-20 MED PRO
16-20 ENAV
23rd     RADAR RENEWAL
23-27  SHS BAS
23-3    CNAV
30-3   ARPA
30-3   MED PRO
30-10 MED PIC      

August 2007
6-7      SAR
6-10    BST
7-10    LFBT
8-10    EP
14-17  LFBT
13-17  AB
13-17  CONSTB
13-17  SHS EM5
13-17  ECDIS
13-17  TPIC
20-24 AB
20-31 SHS ADV
20-24 CHS BAS
27-31  BAFF
27-31  ENAV
27-31  MED PRO
27-8    GMDSS
27-29  CSO/SSO

September 2007
4-7      LFBT
4-8      WX BAS
4-8      TCNAV
10th    RADAR RENEWAL
10-14  BST
10-14  AB
10-14  MED PRO
10-14  TCNAV
10-14  SHS BAS
17-21  MED PRO
17-21  ARPA
17-21  SHS BAS
17-21  TCNAV
17-28  GMDSS
19-21  AFF
24-5    WKP
24-28 ROP
26-28 AFF

For registration call Jennifer Fowler 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 5-25-2007

 

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
13,507.28 2,557.19 1,515.73
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
139.92
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
42.28
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
26.28
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
20.52
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
38.23
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.13
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX)
6.30
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
9.92
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
20.07
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
16.89
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
33.03
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
92.66
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
22.37
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
89.77
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
53.76
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
36.29

.






~ 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.
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:

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

5.00 percent for 25-48 months;
5.75 percent for 49-60 months ($20,000 minimum); and
6.25 percent for terms extending from 61-72 months ($25,000 minimum).
You can lower your loan rate even more — by 0.75 percent — by becoming a Preferred Borrower.

Are you paying a higher rate on your current vehicle loan at another institution? Consider refinancing your outside loan at the MM&P FCU and taking advantage of our lower loan rates.

MM&P FCU will finance up to 100 percent of your new vehicle loan, and up to 90 percent of NADA Book Value on a used vehicle. Maximum vehicle loan amount is $30,000.

PREFERRED BORROWERS GET LOWER LOAN RATES
MM&P FCU members can reduce the interest rate they pay on any new loan even further by becoming a preferred borrower. What is a preferred borrower? That’s a member who deposits at least 10 percent of the original loan amount into their MM&P FCU savings account and keeps those funds on deposit until the loan is paid in full. By doing this you save twice – first, your deposit works for you by earning our regular dividend savings rate, and second, you save money by reducing the interest rate on your loan by 0.75 percent.

Contact the MM&P FCU for full details on all loan programs by email to mmpfcu@bridgedeck.org or call 1-800-382-7777 toll-free.



 

MM&P HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN NEWS

NOTICE TO MEMBERS WHO ARE TAKING VIOXX

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

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

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

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

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



NMHC MAIL-ORDER PRESCRIPTIONS WEBSITE UPDATED & IMPROVED

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



WWII USCG VETERANS OUTREACH

The U.S. Coast Guard has announced an initiative to identify and collect the oral histories of its World War II veterans. Coast Guard WWII veterans, including SPARS and merchant mariners, are encouraged to record their histories online with the Library of Congress Veterans History Project at www.loc.gov/folklife/vets.

Those veterans needing assistance in recording their stories can receive help from their local Coast Guard Auxiliary public affairs contact by leaving a message at 1-877-875-6296, a toll-free call.




 

COMPANY GIVES BUCKS BACK FOR BUYING SAFE SHOES

LMS Ship Management, the company that manages vessels for Central Gulf, Sulphur Carriers and Waterman Steamship, wants to remind MM&P members that they offer their crewmembers a $75 reimbursement on the cost of purchasing certain slip-resistant shoes and boots for use aboard ship.

This offer has been in place for some time and LMS reports that “we have been pleased with the participation to date, but feel a reminder may be in order.” Their goal is for every crewmember to wear slip resistant footwear during working hours aboard their vessels.

The $75 reimbursement is available to each crewmember who provides LMS with an original receipt for the purchase of slip resistant footwear. In order for the crewmember to obtain the reimbursement, they must wear the shoes while on duty. Upon presentation of the receipt, the crewmember will be reimbursed on their pay voucher. The receipt will be retained by the Master and will remain aboard the vessel.
 
 

Vessels in the LMS footwear reimbursement program are:

  • Green Cove
  • Green Dale
  • Green Lake
  • Green Point
  • Atlantic Forest
  • Sulphur Enterprise
  • Energy Enterprise
  • SGT Matej C. Kocak
  • MAJ Stephen W. Pless, and
  • PFC Eugene A. Obregon

LMS notes that in order to receive reimbursement, crewmembers must purchase one of the following recommended brands:

  • WORX by Red Wing Slip Resistant Footwear
  • Caterpillar (must have steel toe & slip resistant sole)
  • Wolverine (must have steel toe and slip resistant sole)
  • Dunham Sierra Work Boot EH
  • Steel Toe Voyager
  • Georgia Boot 6- or 8-inch Safety Toe Boot
  • Dr. Marten’s (must have steel toe & slip resistant sole)

LOOK FOR THE UNION LABEL:

Of the boots listed above, Red Wing, Caterpillar and Wolverine boots are produced by US union labor.

Redwing’s Union-made products are: Red Wing shoes and boots, Red Wing motorcycle boots and Craftsman (Sears).

Wolverine World Wide manufactures boots under the Caterpillar brand using US union labor. (Other union made safety-shoe brands by Wolverine are the company’s Hy-Test, Durashock and Bates Military labels. The company’s Wolverine brand combat boots are also produced using US union labor.)

Most Dr. Marten’s shoes and boots are produced in the UK.

To find US, union-made products, visit the AFL-CIO Union Label Service and Trades website at www.unionlabel.org and click on “Union Made Product Search”. To shop for union-made products online, go to www.ShopUnionMade.org.




 

WEBSITE OFFERS UNION-MADE GOODS AND SERVICES

The Union Label recently went digital with a new website offering shoppers an array of union-made gifts, from clothing and chocolates to computers, games and greeting cards.

The website, www.shopunionmade.org, launches on the eve of the fall and winter holidays, when shoppers will spend an estimated $1 trillion on gifts, food, drinks and other seasonal items, explained Matt Bates, Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO Union Label & Service Trades Department. The all-union shopping site, however, will be a year-round operation because that is what consumers demand, he added.

“Shoppers spent $56 billion in Internet sales last year, and on-line spending is doubling every two to three years. Everyday we receive Email and calls from people who want to support good jobs by buying union-made goods and services. The website will reach millions of people, 24 hours a day, with a quick convenient way to shop union,” Bates said.

“The public is ready for this. People have seen millions of good jobs disappear and they are looking for ways to take a stand and make a difference,” he added.

The AFL-CIO will target the peak of the holiday shopping season by promoting “Buy Union Week” Nov. 26 through Dec. 5. The newly-launched, all-union shopping site will be a cornerstone of that campaign. MM&P has a link to the Shop Union Site on this website under “Links and Other Sources”.



The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 700 Maritime Blvd., Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1941. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: iommp@bridgedeck.org. For further info or to subscribe contact John Peige at jpeige@bridgedeck.org. The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea and is posted on our web page.

C 2006, 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 John Peige at jpeige@bridgedeck.org.

.



IOMMP

IOMMP

IOMMP

Latest posts by IOMMP (see all)