News

Wheelhouse Weekly – October 06, 2008

October 6th 2008

 

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

Volume 12 . . . . . Number 40. . . .October 6, 2008

STORIES COVERED

REMINDERS

T-AGS Oceanographic Survey Ships Info

Required Coursework

Security Clearances

MSC Physicals

MM&P FCU News

MM&P Health & Benefit Plan News

Meet Our New Prescription Benefit Manager, PHARMACARE

Notice to MM&P Health & Benefit Plan Participants

WWII USCG Veterans Outreach

Company Gives Bucks Back for buying Safe Shoes

Website Offers Union-Made Goods and Services



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


MARITIME INDUSTRY REJECTS CALLS TO ARM SEAFARERS AGAINST PIRATES

The suggestion that mariners be equipped with weapons so they can defend their ships against attacks by pirates has been met with opposition by the maritime industry and is sure to be a topic of discussion at next week’s meeting of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in London.

The International Transport Workers Federation, of which MM&P is a member, signed on to a strongly worded statement distributed last week by maritime industry participants, including the international shipping organizations. “Pirates are now attacking ships on a daily basis with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades, and are currently holding over 200 seafarers hostage,” they said. “The pirates are operating with impunity, and governments stand idly by. If civil aircraft were being hijacked on a daily basis, the response of governments would be very different.”

The group has asked repeatedly that coalition navies take measures to protect merchant ships. So far the response from official channels is that seafarers and ships should look for new ways to protect themselves. An article in “Fairplay” quoted U.S. Navy officer Bob Davidson as saying, “There’s got to be an element of self help…. If they don’t have weapons and fire back, the pirates will get on board.”

Davidson, a commanding officer of Coalition Task Force (CTF) 150, told “Fairplay” that the maritime industry would have to seek help elsewhere because CTF’s primary mission is to hunt for terrorists and drug dealers. Government officials in countries whose ships participate in the coalition have also cited legal limitations that they say prevent them from taking action.

Davidson also cited the costs implicit in policing a vast expanse of water, saying that for coalition forces to intervene, “vessels need to be within visual range –you need to be able to be seen and to fire warning shots or you need to have a helicopter or other air asset that can do the same thing.”

He said that if pirates have boarded a ship and taken hostages, the situation is even more complicated. “I don’t have a mandate to do a hostage rescue on a Panama-flagged vessel, owned by the Greeks, managed and operated by the Danes, crewed by Filipinos and carrying a cargo from Australia,” he was quoted as saying.

The response of the maritime industry has been quick in coming. According to the ITF’s John Bainbridge, arming mariners is “unacceptable” and would create chaos. Besides calling on governments to intervene, the ITF is suggesting that commercial ships be fitted with more surveillance equipment as well as electronic fences.

A spokesman for the International Maritime Bureau, which monitors global piracy, agreed. “The Somali coast is not the place for gun battles between merchant ships and pirates. Putting arms into the hands of untrained crews on merchant ships will make an already bad situation worse. And what kind of weapons could merchant ships carry to withstand rocket attacks?”

While he agreed that it is not possible for naval fleets to patrol all the waters off Somalia, he said “most of the attacks are occurring in specific areas and the task forces should be focusing on these, not trying to give 100 percent coverage of the area. The fact that naval vessels are in the area can act as a deterrent, just as helicopters being deployed to the scene of an attack is a good way to fend off pirates or terrorists.”

The ITF has said that the pirates’ work is being made easier by the relentless drive to cut manning levels on ships. The guidelines of the IMO and the International Shipping Federation (ISF) require strengthened night watches and 24-hour visual and security watches in pirate-prone areas, but there is not enough manpower on today’s merchant ships to meet the need. Local security guards at port or at anchor may be unreliable or in league with the criminals, all parties agree. At next week’s IMO meetings, the ITF will insist that there be higher manning in pirate-prone areas and that private security be used in places where it is dependable and available, including during transit through high-risk stretches of water.


FIDELITY AND VANGUARD OFFER FINANCIAL ADVICE FOR TROUBLED TIMES

Financial service providers Fidelity and Vanguard are advising mutual fund investors and other retirement plan participants that market volatility is normal and that they should remain focused on their long-term goals. “The extraordinary events of the past few weeks have tested the portfolios and the confidence of investors around the world,” said Fidelity in an official statement that we are reprinting here in part. “Rest assured that in times of market volatility, Fidelity retains the strength and stability that you’ve come to expect from us. As the markets continue to fluctuate, keep in mind: market volatility is normal, and is to be expected; your investments should reflect your risk tolerance and investment time frame; stay focused on your long-term goals.”

“There’s no question that the news from Wall Street has been distressing,” agrees Vanguard. “How should you respond to the headlines? If you’re like most retirement plan participants, you’ve remained focused on the long run.” Vanguard has posted a videotaped statement from its Chief Executive Officer Bill McNabb, at https://retirementplans.vanguard.com/VGApp/pe/PubVgiNews?ArticleName=McNabbQnAVideo. In the video, McNabb discusses market volatility and Vanguard’s financial strength.

The company also offers advice on “how to keep your cool” when stock prices fall. “It’s perfectly natural to be concerned when the value of your investments falls. You can weather these swings by sticking to an investment plan based on your personal situation and long-term goals, not on the short-term moods of the financial markets.” A video that offers helpful tips for concerned investors is posted on the following website: https://retirementplans.vanguard.com/VGApp/pe/PubVgiNews?ArticleName=WhenStocksGoDown

“The time-tested principles of diversification and balance, fortified by a long-term perspective, will most likely prove the most productive response to the market’s recent turmoil.” For more information, go to: https://retirementplans.vanguard.com/ VGApp/pe/PubVgiNews?ArticleName=WallStreetWobbles

Vanguard added that its money market funds are “managed with extreme prudence” and that its largest fund, Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund, holds more than half its assets in U.S. Treasury and federal agency securities.” This fund has no exposure to money market instruments issued by securities dealers, including Lehman Brothers. It also has no exposure to securities of AIG,” the company said.

Vanguard Chief Investment Officer Gus Sauter talks about the resiliency of the U.S. financial system in another video, which is posted at https://retirementplans.vanguard.com/VGApp/pe/PubVgiNews?ArticleName=GusSauterVideo


MESSAGE FROM MM&P FCU: CREDIT UNION DEPOSITS INSURED UP TO $250,000 BY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) reminds consumers that the money of credit union members is protected by federal insurance coverage that is similar to that provided banks by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC). “It’s important for the millions of credit union members across the nation to know their money is as safe and sound as any deposits in federally insured banks,” said CUNA President and Chief Executive Officer Dan Mica. Virtually every credit union in the nation has federal deposit insurance. Just like FDIC insurance at banks, savings in credit unions are now insured to $250,000. The federal insurance safety net at credit unions is provided by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), a U.S. government agency. Credit union insurance is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States. “No one with savings at a federally insured credit union has ever lost a dime,” Mica said. CUNA has posted a video that explains federal credit union savings insurance at www.creditunion.coop.


2007 SAW SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN SHIP OPERATING COSTS

Total operating costs for ships of all types grew by an average of over 11 percent last year, according to accountants Moore Stephens. Their survey was based on an analysis of costs reported by 1,800 vessels of several different types. The container ship index saw the largest overall increase, 18 percent, mainly driven by higher crew costs in all three container ship types covered. Tanker costs grew by 11.1 percent while the bulker index grew by 7.4 percent. A spokesman for Moore Stephens said container ships saw crew wages increase by an average of 20 per cent in 2007, and the average crew wage rise over all ships was over 10 per cent. He said the category “stores” was also up by an average of 16 per cent, mostly due to a sharp increase in lube oil costs. The cost of repairs and maintenance grew by an average of 12 per cent. Insurance also increased by around 7 per cent, which was lower than the increase registered between 2006 and 2007


ILWU DOCKWORKERS AND ITF HELP CREW OF LIBERIAN-FLAGGED SHIP

The crew of a Liberian-flagged vessel, CAP SPENCER, called off a strike in Long Beach last week after winning all their demands with the support of members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU). The crew had contacted the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) for help getting paid and to protest the conditions under which they were being made to work. ITF inspector Stefan Mueller-Dombois put them in touch with the authorities and also alerted the ILWU.

The crew called a strike on Tuesday, which they announced by holding up signs saying “On Strike” and “Low Wages and Conditions.” Dockers offloading the ship recognized the protest, ceased operations and disembarked the vessel. Later that day with the ITF and ILWU’s help, the crew was able to secure back wages, letters of indemnity and an ITF-approved Verdi agreement.

“This sends a clear message that ILWU dockworkers support the efforts of seafarers to join unions and better their working conditions,” said ILWU International Affairs Director Ray Familia. “Longshoremen from the ILWU well know that solidarity between seafarers and dockworkers is the way to stamp out union busting on the docks and the ships that seafarers work on. With the many attacks on maritime labor in this global economy, a union that gives solidarity today may be in need of solidarity tomorrow.” The ITF says its representatives in New Zealand and Australia will check that all is well on the CAP SPENCER when it reaches its next ports of call.


USNS MERCY BACK FROM HUMANITARIAN MISSION

Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS MERCY, with MM&P licensed deck officers on board, is back in San Diego. The vessel has just finished its most recent mission: a four-month humanitarian deployment during which it served as a platform for military and nongovernmental organizations carrying out relationship-building in the Philippines, Vietnam, Micronesia, Timor-Leste and Papua New Guinea. During the mission, more than 90,000 patients were treated by the medical teams on board the ship. “While MERCY’s focus was primarily medical, the mission wouldn’t have been possible without the civil service mariners getting the ship where it needed to go,” said the ship’s civilian master, Capt. Robert Wiley.


COAST GUARD TO DISCONTINUE FLASHING LIGHT EXAMS AT RECS

Effective Nov. 1, the Coast Guard will discontinue offering the flashing lightexam at its Regional Examination Centers (RECs). Mariners applying for their firstissuance of an STCW certificate as Officer in Charge or a Navigational Watch and/or for a raise in grade of an unlimited tonnage deck license will now be required to take a Coast Guard approved visual communications (flashing light) course in lieu of testing at a REC. The Coast Guard said that in recent years, RECs have given the exam very infrequently and most mariners go to an approved course to satisfy the flashing light requirement. Some RECs have not offered the exam for over five years. More than half the 17 RECs now lack the equipment needed to give the flashing light exam. Mariners who request the exam at these RECs are advised to either go to another REC or to one of many approved visual communications courses. There are currently 39 approved courses that will substitute for the Coast Guard exam. These are distributed throughout the country and most mariners will have a course equidistant to or closer than a REC. Approved courses also offer the mariner the benefit of giving the test at a slower transmission speed, four words per minute versus the six words per minute that had been given at the RECs. For additional information about the flashing light exam, see National Maritime Center Guidance Document 02-05, at www.uscg.millnmc/. Comments or complaints can be sent by e-mail to iasknmc@uscg.mil.


HOW TO APPLY FOR THE STCW 95 VESSEL SECURITY OFFICER ENDORSEMENT

As previously announced in The Wheelhouse Weekly, the Coast Guard is implementing a new rule that will require all mariners sailing in the position of vessel security officer (VSO) on foreign voyages to have a VSO endorsement by July 2009.  One of the regulations will require mariners to supply evidence of successful completion of a certified security course. That requirement is met by the MITAGS/PMI Vessel, Company, and Facility Security Officer (VCF) course as well as by its predecessor, the MITAGS/PMI Security Officer: Port, Company, and Ship (PCS) course (April 2003 to April 2005). Mariners who have taken courses other than these will need to complete additional training, such as a one-day security refresher course. If members took any VSO course at MITAGS before April 2003, they will need to take a refresher. For more information: visit the MITAGS website at www.mitags.org and click on the “Specialized Courses” tab at the top of the page; e-mail Admissions@mitags.org; or call 866-656-5568.

Here is the process for applying for the STCW95 VSO endorsement: first, fill out CG-719B Form and apply for an endorsement (include copies of your license, MMD, STCW, VSO Course Certificate—make sure you have taken an approved course–and a passport photo); mail the package to your local Coast Guard Regional Exam Center (REC), which will forward it to the National Maritime Center (NMC) in West Virginia.  


JOB OPENINGS FOR MM&P MEMBERS ON THE GREAT LAKES

There are job openings on the Great Lakes for MM&P members. Our contracted employers are seeking engineers and licensed mates with pilotage. 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 MM&P. Interested parties should call 216-776-1667 or e-mail cmalue@bridgedeck.org.


PACIFIC MARITIME INSTITUTE SEEKS TPIC AND CARGO HANDLING INSTRUCTORS

MITAGS/PMI is accepting applications for TPIC and Cargo Handling contract instructors for employment at the Pacific Maritime Institute in Seattle. The jobs, which are non-benefit positions, are an ideal opportunity for active or retired members to pass on their knowledge and experience. Applicants must meet Coast Guard approval requirements and have more than two years of experience in cargo handling or TPIC as senior mate/chief mate/master. Residence in Washington State or near PMI is a plus but not required. For more information, go to www.mates.org. Send resumes/ applications to hr@mitags.org or by fax to HR at (443) 989-3341.    


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

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

AIS-1 � Automatic Identification System (1 day): 11/21
ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 10/6

BRM � Bridge Resource Management: 11/10
BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 10/6

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVSTB � Advanced Stability: 11/17
CMM-ECDIS � Electronic Chart Display & Information Systems: 11/3
CMM-MPP � Marine Propulsion Plants: 11/10
CMM-SHMGT-I � Ship Management (week 1): 10/6
CMM-WKP � Advanced Watchkeeping: 10/20

COMP-OPSYS � Basic Computer Operating Systems: 10/6

GMDSS � Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 10/20
HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day) course: 10/27

LEG � Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 10/7

MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 10/13, 11/16
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 10/13, 11/16
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 10/18, 11/15
MEDIA RSP – Media Response: 11/20

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 10/6, 11/3
ROP-5 � Radar Observer Original or Renewal (5 Day): 11/10

SEC-VCF – Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 11/17
SEC-VSO-R � Vessel Security Officer Refresher (1 day): 10/16, 11/4
SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 10/13, 11/17

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

Check the MITAGS website at www.mitags.org for course descriptions associated with the course title abbreviations, and schedule revisions. For class availability or info on MITAGS courses and programs, contact admissions toll-free at 866-656-5568 or by e-mail: admissions@mitags.org.


PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

PMI Web site at www.mates.org for more info

FOR REGISTRATION CALL JENNIFER PITZEN: 206 838-1126

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

October
6 ROR
6-10WKP BAS
7-10ARPA
13-17ECDIS
13-17TPIC
20-31GMDSS
20-24MED PRO
20-31MED PIC
22-26MED PRO
20FL

November 2008
3ROR
4-7ARPA
10-14MED PRO
10-21MED PIC
17-19SEC VCF

December 2008
1-5MED PRO
1-12GMDSS
1-12MED PIC
8-19GMDSS
15-19ECDIS
15-19TPIC

January 2009
7-11ENAV
7-11STB BAS
8-11ARPA
14-18WX BAS
14-25GMDSS
14-18ROP
14-2/1TC NAV
21-2/1WKP
21ROR
22-25ARPA
28-2/8GMDSS
28-2/1MED PRO

February 2009
4-8ROP
12ROR
11-12SAR
12-15ARPA
13-15EP
16FL
18-22ENAV
18-22MED PRO
18-22SHS BAS
18-29MED PIC
25-3/7 CNAV
25ROR

March 2009
3-14GMDSS
10-11SAR
10-12SEC VCF
12-14EP
17-28GMDSS
24-4/4 GMDSS
24ROR
25-28ARPA

For registration call Jennifer Pitzen 888-893-7829

PMI MERCHANDISE FOR SALE!!!

High-quality clothing embroidered with the NEW PMI logo! We can ship these items also! Acceptable forms of payment are check, credit card, money order and exact cash. Call Laura Bendixen at 888-893-7829 for prices and to order. If we don’t have your size, we’ll be glad to special order for you at no extra cost.


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 10-3-2008

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
10,325 1,947 1,099
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
50.67
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
101.23
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
30.23
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
16.77
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
14.02
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
23.57
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.34
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
24.82
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
4.93
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
14.57
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
19.15
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
12.84
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
17.22
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
10.76
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
10.94
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
10.96
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
11.26
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
11.63
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
9.93
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
26.62
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
16.40
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
12.34
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
17.20
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
9.52
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
57.81
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
15.16
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
53.77
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
16.28
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
32.93
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
26.87
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
20.02
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
10.32
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
11.14
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
12.09
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
12.10
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
11.99
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
6.94
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
8.08
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
9.71
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
28.93
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
38.83
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
24.61





~ Reminders ~



 

T-AGS OCEANOGRAPHIC SURVEY SHIPS MANNING REQUIREMENTS

REQUIRED COURSEWORK

All MM&P members are reminded that to sail aboard the T-AGS ships that MM&P-contracted Horizon Lines will be operating, you must have the required training certification and your certificates must be current in accordance with Military Sealift Command requirements. Members are also required to have had a MSC pre-employment physical and to possess Ship Security Clearance (see below).

The MSC Contract calls for all training certificates required for manning of these vessels to be no older than 5 years and that all STCW-95 courses be renewed every 5 years, or annually, as applicable.

Five-year renewable courses include, but are not limited to:

  • Advanced Fire Fighting
  • Basic Safety Training, and
  • Damage Control

Small Arms certificates must be less than 1 year old and MUST NOT expire during your tour of duty.

Members interested in applying for one of the positions onboard the T-AGS vessels are advised to make sure your certificates are up to date. If not, contact Mary Matlock or Diane Ford at MITAGS Admissions, email: admissions@mitags.org, and schedule to take the course(s) needed.

Those MM&P members interested in obtaining more information and facts about the T-AGS Oceanographic Vessels are asked to email the Director of Special Projects requesting the “facts sheet”. It will be provided by return email in an Adobe Acrobat PDF format.

Members interested in employment on the T-AGS ships are asked to provide a 1-2 page resume. Please list the desired position you are seeking along with the certificates of training you possess and their dates. Upon receipt it will be forwarded to Horizon Lines and a confirmation sent back to the member. Vessel turnover commenced Oct.17, 2004. Positions for all ratings remain open.

The point of contact for sending a resume for employment on the Horizon Lines T-AGS Oceanographic Vessels is Richard Plant, MM&P’s Director of Special Projects. Send resumes in an email or as a Word file attachment to him at: rplant@bridgedeck.org, by fax to 410-850-0973 or by mail to:

Richard Plant, Director of Special Projects

IOMM&P
700 Maritime Blvd. Suite B
Linthicum Heights, MD 21090



SHIP SECURITY CLEARANCE NEEDED

Members who want to sail for Horizon Lines on the T-AGS Oceanographic Survey vessels the company is set to begin operating for MSC must have Ship Security Clearance before going aboard.

Special software must be downloaded from the US Government’s Defense Security Service to complete the Security Clearance application. You must have an Internet connection and a Windows-based computer to retrieve the application and run the program.

Go to https://sclient.dss.mil/download/w9xfull.htm to download the software titled “EPSQ SUBJECT2_2”.

After the software is installed and the program is launched, select “Create” from the menu bar at the top of the screen. You will be required to enter your Social Security Number and a case-sensitive password. A window titled “Type of Form” will appear.

All Deck Officers should select the first button titled “Request for Security Clearance (SF86)” and then click “OK” to go to the next screen, “Type of Investigation”.

From the “Type of Investigation” screen:

  • Masters and Radio Officers should select the first button, “Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI)”.
  • All other Deck Officers (C/M, 2/M, 3/M) should click on the second button, “National Agency Check (NAC or NACLC)”.

After selecting the appropriate investigation type, click on “OK” to begin filling in the forms.



MSC PHYSICALS

Horizon Lines requests all mariners seeking employment aboard the T-AGS Oceanographic vessels to take their MSC Physical at specially-designated facilities only after being advised to do so by the Company. This is to assure that all requirements of the MSC Physical are properly met.


MM&P FCU NEWS

GET NEW WHEELS OR LOWER EXISTING PAYMENTS WITH MM&P FCU VEHICLE FINANCING

Is it time to replace that car you’re driving? Vehicle loan rates are looking great at MM&P FCU.

Drive away in a new or used vehicle for a standard loan rate of:

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

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

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

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

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

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



 

MM&P HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN NEWS

MEET OUR NEW PRESCRIPTION BENEFIT MANAGER, PHARMACARE

As you know, effective July 1, 2007, MM&P will have a new Prescription Benefit Manager, PharmaCare. If you use the mail service and have not sent your Confidential Mail Service Enrollment Form to the MM&P Plan Office, you have until June 30 to do so. Otherwise, you can call PharmaCare’s customer service line and give them the information over the telephone or send the form with your first new mail prescription directly to PharmaCare. In the next couple of days, you will be receiving a letter with your new MM&P identification cards and a prescription booklet with information on how to obtain your prescriptions. PharmaCare’s customer service number is listed in the booklet. If you have any questions, please contact the MM&P Health & Benefit Plan Advisors.



NOTICE TO MM&P HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN PARTICIPANTS

As you know, MM&P Health & Benefit Plan members have a new prescription benefit manager, PharmaCare. When you first obtain a prescription at your retail drug store, please show your new Health & Benefit Identification Card with PharmaCare’s information. If you do not show your card, please inform your pharmacist of the following information so you can receive your prescriptions through the Plan. Your identification number HAS NOT CHANGED. Please provide the pharmacist with your full member identification number. You will have to also provide the following numbers. RxGrp#- Z50136968, RxBin: 610468 and RxPCN: PC2 

If your pharmacist has any questions, he or she should call PharmaCare directly at (800) 503-3241.  If you have any questions, PharmaCare members can call the company directly at (888) 364-6815.


WWII USCG VETERANS OUTREACH

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

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



 

COMPANY GIVES BUCKS BACK FOR BUYING SAFE SHOES

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

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

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

Vessels in the LMS footwear reimbursement program are:

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

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

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

LOOK FOR THE UNION LABEL:

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

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

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

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

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


 

WEBSITE OFFERS UNION-MADE GOODS AND SERVICES

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

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

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

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

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



The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 700 Maritime Blvd. Suite B, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1953. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: iommp@bridgedeck.org. For further info or to subscribe contact Lisa Rosenthal at lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org. The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea and is posted on our web page.

© 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: lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org. For changes of address, contact Lisa Rosenthal at lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org.




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