News

Wheelhouse Weekly – October 13, 2008

October 13th 2008

 

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

Volume 12 . . . . . Number 41. . . .October 13, 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.


MM&P CLOSED FOR COLUMBUS DAY

All MM&P port offices, MM&P headquarters, MM&P Plans and the MM&P Federal Credit Union will be closed on Monday, Oct. 13, for Columbus Day.


IT’S AN HONOR TO HAVE MM&P’S ENDORSEMENT IN THE RACE FOR PRESIDENT, SEN. BARACK OBAMA SAYS

In a detailed letter that outlines his commitment to the programs and policies of primary importance to the U.S.-flag maritime industry, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama has officially thanked the Masters, Mates & Pilots for endorsing his Presidential bid. Delegates to the 82nd MM&P Convention voted unanimously in June to endorse Obama on the basis of his consistent record of support for America’s working families and the American Merchant Marine. All the seafaring unions, as well as the AFL-CIO, have united in support of Obama’s campaign.

In the thank-you letter to MM&P, Obama said seafaring labor could count on him to support the Jones Act, including the Passenger Vessel Services Act, as well as the continued exclusion from international trade agreements of maritime services. “American Merchant Mariners have always answered our nation’s call, from the first days of the Revolutionary War to today,” Obama wrote. “In peace and in war, our mariners have stood with us, and my Administration will stand with them.” Obama cited specifics of how his Administration would support the U.S.-flag shipping industry, including continuation of the Maritime Security Program and support of cargo preference laws. He said such programs “set a firm foundation for America’s Merchant Mariners by providing opportunities for decent wages, good benefits and fair treatment.”


REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFUL SEN. JOHN MCCAIN ISSUES GENERIC STATEMENT ON MARINE TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM

Republican Presidential hopeful John McCain has issued a generic statement on the role of the American marine transportation system. In the statement, McCain said that if he were elected President, he would work to improve maritime security. In particular, he expressed strong support for “strict background checks” for the American mariners who crew vessels in the U.S.-flag fleet. McCain’s statement made no mention of any of the programs that are essential to maintaining a U.S.-flag merchant fleet, thus leaving the door open to an expanded presence of foreign-flag ships in the domestic maritime industry. The statement is consistent with his voting record during his career in the Senate, when he has advocated: waiving cargo preference laws, forcing U.S.-flag carriers to accept foreign-flag rates and assigning slots in the Maritime Security Program based on a competitive bidding process. In his most recent statement, McCain also vowed to continue to fight against the Employee Free Choice Act, which makes it easier for workers to form unions.


FIDELITY AND VANGUARD OFFER UPDATES, ADVICE ON MARKET DEVELOPMENTS

Both Fidelity and Vanguard are offering customers advice on how to ride out troubled times. The two companies 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.

Vanguard has posted a video that offers advice on “how to keep your cool” when stock prices fall. “You can weather these market swings by sticking to a carefully selected investment plan based on your long-term personal situation and goals, and not on the short-term moods of the financial markets,” the company says. A video is posted at: https://retirementplans.vanguard.com/VGApp/pe/PubVgiNews?ArticleName=WhenStocksGoDown.

Fidelity has issued an analysis of the “bailout package” approved by Congress earlier this month. The main objectives of the rescue package are to: remove troubled assets from the financial system; recapitalize the financial system; protect taxpayers by requiring that institutions that sell troubled assets to the program issue warrants that allow taxpayers to have an equity stake in their companies; limit executive compensation for participating institutions; increase government insurance of bank deposits and credit union deposits to $250,000, with an expiration date of Dec. 31, 2009; provide tax incentives for renewable energy programs; extend alternative minimum tax (AMT) tax relief for individuals; create relief packages for Midwestern states; extend several personal and business tax cuts scheduled to expire this year.

Fidelity says its analysis of the government rescue package will give retirement plan participants an understanding of the potential impact of the measures on the financial markets and the economy. The analysis is posted along with numerous other reports, updates and tips at www.fidelity.com


STAND-OFF OVER ARMS SHIP ESCALATES AS IMO, ITF AND INDUSTRY AGREE JOINT MEASURES TO COMBAT PIRACY

Representatives of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and the four shipping organizations known as the Round Table met under the auspices of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) last week to devise a strategy to combat piracy. Participants in the meeting said the situation had become particularly urgent in light of the world financial crisis because the costs of avoiding the Gulf of Aden in favor of alternative maritime routes would cause transport costs to increase dramatically. The Gulf of Aden is part of a strategic corridor leading to the Red Sea and to the Suez Canal, which represents a key conduit for almost 12 percent of the world’s crude oil, not to mention other energy, container and general bulk traffic.

Some 13 vessels and over 200 seafarers are now in the hands of pirates. News of the meeting coincided with the announcement that the pirates holding the Ukrainian ammunition ship MV FAINA are threatening to blow it up, along with everyone on board, if they are not paid a $20 million ransom by the evening of Monday, Oct. 13.   The MV FAINA is carrying a shipment of battle tanks. U.S. warships have surrounded the vessel and a Russian frigate was said to be on its way to help. The Kenya-bound ship, together with its mainly Ukrainian crew of 21 and cargo of 33 tanks, was seized Sept. 25.

Participants in the meeting at IMO headquarters called for: sustained coordination between all naval forces operating in the area currently and in the future; clear rules of engagement that would enable the military to intervene to protect ships; and an extension, for an adequate duration, of the mandate given in United Nations Security Council Resolution 1816 (2008) enabling States co operating with the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia to enter the country’s territorial waters and use all necessary means to repress acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea, consistent with international law. Participants in the meeting agreed on a number of specific measures to be taken by the IMO Secretary-General and themselves to mobilize support and action.


COAST GUARD LAUNCHES ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE HELPDESK; HEARING TRANSCRIPTS NOW FREE

The Coast Guard says it is making technical improvements to its administrative law judge program, including introduction of a toll free call center and a program aimed at greatly improving access to hearing transcripts. The call center is being created to help people fill out and file documents, as well as to explain the process that the Coast Guard uses to adjudicate cases. The toll free number for the administrative law judge helpdesk is 1-866-612-7524. Documents can also be faxed to the administrative law judge docketing center free of charge. The fax number is 1-877-3453 (1-877-CGFILE).
Free electronic or printed transcripts of hearings will also be offered, the Coast Guard says. Introduction of the free service ends the 25-year-long practice of charging people for copies of hearing transcripts. The docketing center will provide transcripts upon request in the appeals process. The Coast Guard said that transcript hearings will also be posted on http://homeport.uscg.mil/mycg/portal/ep/home.do.


DHS OFFICIALLY ENDS CONTROVERSIAL PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has officially ended a controversial personnel management system that the Bush Administration had originally intended to extend to Department of Defense (DOD) personnel and government contract employees, including civilian mariners. The program, which had been vigorously opposed by the nation’s labor unions, was ultimately defunded by Congress. About 35,000 DHS employees who have already “transitioned” to the new performance management system will revert to their original personnel systems. The definitive end of the program came last week, when President Bush signed into law a 2009 spending bill for federal agencies that prohibits DHS from spending money on the new system, which is called “MaxHR” at DHS and the National Security Personnel System (NSPS) at DOD. The new systems were beset with legal challenges from the outset. In 2006, a federal judge ruled that they illegally infringed on employees’ collective bargaining rights.


UNITED STATES ISSUES INDICTMENTS IN MT NAUTILUS MAGIC PIPE CASE

A Spanish company and a Cypriot company, as well as the chief engineer of the chemical tanker MT NAUTILUS, have been indicted for covering up discharges of oil-contaminated waste. The companies, Conultores de Navegacion and Iceport Shipping, share ownership of the tanker. They were charged along with the chief engineer with violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships by failing to maintain an accurate ship record and making false statements to the Coast Guard. The indictment alleges that between June 2007 and March 2008, the two companies acted through the engineers on the vessel to use a metal pipe to bypass the oily-water separator. If convicted, the companies face a statutory maximum fine of $500,000 on each of the five counts or, alternatively, twice the gross gain resulting from the offenses. The chief engineer is facing years of imprisonment and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.


ILWU MEMBERS RATIFY CONTRACT

Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) have ratified a new six-year contract with the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA), which represents waterfront employers. ILWU and PMA negotiators agreed to the contract after almost five months of negotiations that began in March. About 75 percent of the ILWU rank-and-file membership approved the contract, which calls for pension increases, wage increases and creation of a series of “skill differential categories” so that many longshoremen can earn wages that are higher than the basic longshore wage. Other provisions in the contract include a guarantee that the ILWU will have jurisdiction over maintenance and repair work at new facilities on the West Coast. Also, the ILWU in Los Angeles, Long Beach and Oakland will add a fourth position under each crane. In the 2002 contract, the number of workers under each crane was reduced to three, but the fourth position was reinstated in the new contract. Employers received a guarantee of speedier arbitration in the event of work stoppages.


MAKE SURE YOUR VOTE COUNTS ON ELECTION DAY

This year’s historic election may come down to two major factors: how many people turn out to vote and how many of their votes are counted. The AFL-CIO has joined a nonpartisan coalition of civil rights organizations, faith-based organizations, students, lawyers, and other community groups nationwide to tackle voting problems and inform citizens about their voting rights.

The group is publicizing a simple, six-point plan that all voters should follow to make sure their votes count.
 
First, call your local elections office before Election Day to verify the location of your polling place.

Second, bring some form of identification to the polls, preferably a government-issued photo ID.

Third, ask for help from poll workers and check posted information signs if you have questions or need assistance at the polls.

Fourth, if you are in line at the polling place when the polls close, do not leave. You’re still entitled to vote.

Fifth, if you are offered a provisional ballot, ask if you can cast a regular ballot instead by providing additional ID or by going to another polling place.  If there are no other options, cast the provisional ballot.

Sixth, if you have a voting rights problem, ask to speak to an election official or to a voting rights volunteer, or call the toll-free voting rights hotline 1-866-OUR-VOTE, operated by a nonpartisan coalition of groups, including the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and the AFL-CIO.
           
A truly historic election day is going to come down to individual voters who must be active proponents of their own right to vote. 


MITAGS SECURITY COURSE SCHEDULE; 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.  

Upcoming dates for MITAGS security course are as follows: 

Three-Day VCF Course
Nov. 17-19, 2008

One-Day Refresher Course
Oct. 16, 2008
Nov. 4, 2008
Dec. 2, 2008

2009 Schedule

Three-Day VCF Course
Feb. 23-25
May 11-13

One-Day Refresher Course
Jan. 21
Feb. 26
March 27
April 21
May 14
June 8
June 22


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

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

AIS-1 � Automatic Identification System (1 day): 11/21

BRM � Bridge Resource Management: 12/16

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 12/01
CMM-CHS I � Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 12/8
CMM-CHS II � Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 12/16
CMM-MPP � Marine Propulsion Plants: 11/10
CMM-SHS-ADV-I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 10/27, 12/01
CMM-SHS-ADV-II � Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 11/3
CMM-WKP � Advanced Watchkeeping: 10/20

GMDSS � Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 10/20, 10/21
HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day) course: 10/27
LNG Awareness (2 day): 11/05

MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 11/10, 12/01
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 11/03, 11/10, 12/01
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 10/18, 11/15, 12/6
MEDIA RSP – Media Response: 11/20

[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-CBRD-1 � CBRD Orientation: 12/05
MSC-DC � Damage Control: 12/03
MSC-SMA � Small Arms Training: 12/01 Standby Only

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 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, 12/02
SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 11/17

TTT � Train the Trainer: 11/10

…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
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 10-8-2008

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
8,451.19 1,649.51 899.22
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
41.29
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
82.87
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
25.07
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
13.68
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
11.67
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
18.97
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.14
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
20.71
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
4.47
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
13.12
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
15.95
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
11.99
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
14.92
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
9.79
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
9.61
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
9.37
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
9.40
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
9.70
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
9.74
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
21.85
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
13.98
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
10.98
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
13.72
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
9.22
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
47.26
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
13.31
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
43.52
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
13.36
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
27.49
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
21.63
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
16.12
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
9.77
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
10.47
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
10.80
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
10.47
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
10.11
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
5.79
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
6.68
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
9.25
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
23.88
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
31.78
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
19.93





~ 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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