Wheelhouse Weekly – October 20, 2005

October 20th 2005



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

Volume 9 . . . . . Number 42 . . . . October 20, 2005






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


As the Wheelhouse Weekly is being distributed, Hurricane Wilma is a strong Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 145 mph that is currently headed for the Yucatan Peninsula where hurricane warnings have been posted. Wilma is then forecast to turn northeast toward Florida where it is now expected to make landfall on Sunday.

In preparing for the storm in Florida, tourists and non-residents have been ordered away from the Keys and further evacuations are planned. “This is a very, very powerful hurricane. The potential for large loss of life is with us,” said Max Mayfield, the director of the National Hurricane Center in Miami. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is positioning emergency materials in the Florida cities of Jacksonville, Lakeland and Homestead.




The MM&P Disaster Relief Fund is collecting donations to help members and applicants who have suffered severe losses due to the recent hurricanes. Members of the MM&P extended family are encouraged to assist their brothers and sisters by contributing to the fund. Further details can be found on the MM&P web site at Contributions by credit card are welcomed. All requests for assistance from the proceeds generated by this fund must be made in writing and sent to MM&P Headquarters, 700 Maritime Blvd., Linthicum, MD 21090 in care of John Gorman, Comptroller or Beverly Gutmann, Assistant Comptroller.



The US Coast Guard’s National Maritime Center has an opening for the head of the deck license examination team. This position is responsible for the administration and maintenance of deck license exams, including the creation of exams and exam questions, and the evaluation of exam protests from mariners taking exams. The position is currently in Arlington, VA but will likely move to Martinsburg, WV in the future. Minimum starting salary is approx. $75,000 per year.

The ideal candidate will have experience as Chief Mate or Master, preferably on a variety of ship types, and also have experience developing examinations and presenting maritime training. More details on the position are at

The USCG advises that it is important to follow the instructions in the on-line position announcement rather than sending applications to the National Maritime Center. A critical part of the application process is the qualification questionnaire that is part of the on-line application process. For more info, contact James Cavo, USCG National Maritime Center, Course Approval Team Leader at phone 202-493-1040 or fax 202-493-1062. For the latest info on STCW and Licensing, visit the NMC web site at



Richard Plant, MM&P’s Director of Special Projects, attended the National Propeller Club Convention held in Boston, MA from Oct. 4-7. Much of the three-day conference revolved around the transport of LNG and the new construction of hundreds of LNG vessels that will be needed to keep up with the increasing US demand for natural gas.

Cadets from the Maine, Massachusetts and Texas maritime academies along with those from the US Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY, attended an industry/cadet gathering where they were encouraged to ask industry representatives hardball questions about their future in the maritime industry. During the session, it was pointed out that the US has less than 250 unlimited tonnage vessels built to SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) standards. Yet, the fact that maritime schools are graduating over 350 third mates and third assistant engineers each year makes it difficult for any company/union to promise licensed graduates a career on unlimited tonnage vessels.

The cadets were informed that sailing on vessels that are rated less than unlimited tonnage means that after five years, when it is time to renew or raise their license, they could be issued a USCG “limited tonnage license” thereby losing their unlimited license status. Shipping presently remains good in light of OIF (Operation Iraqi Freedom) and RRF (Ready Reserve Force) breakouts, but unless the government takes some action to assist commercial operators to build vessels and comply with OPA-90 laws, the US Merchant Marine is likely to further diminish in size.

Plant noted that, “MM&P continues to oppose having cadets sail on foreign-flag LNG vessels. MMP, MEBA and AMO all have licensed and STCW-95 qualified deck and engine officers that are ready, willing and able to be trained to crew LNG vessels. The US has proposed numerous legislative initiatives to encourage and allow operators to flag vessels under the US registry so that US mariners could safely and adequately operate LNG vessels in US waters.”



Three representatives of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) visited MM&P HQ and MITAGS on October 13th. The purpose of the visit was to tour the MITAGS LNG simulator and to learn more about the security, environment and cost effectiveness of possibly requiring US merchant mariners to crew LNG vessels operating in US waters.

It is estimated that the current worldwide fleet of 170 LNG vessels will have to increase to over 400 ships in the next 5 to 15 years to handle the world’s growing demand for natural gas. How will this affect the US? Where will LNG terminals be built? How long will it take to train LNG officers and crew to be ready to assist in operating these vessels? GAO representatives were researching answers to these and many other related questions.

Overall, the meeting featured an excellent exchange of information and all participants gained a great deal of knowledge on the current status of LNG shipping in US waters, along with a better understanding of future needs. GAO’s information gathering commenced several months ago with on-site visits to LNG facilities located on the Gulf Coast, in Kenai, AK, and at Cove Point, MD. GAO has also held meetings with oil company personnel and LNG operators.

The current phase of the LNG research project began when GAO selected MM&P as the base authoritative source from where accurate and timely information on the education and training of US maritime labor could be obtained. Richard Plant, Director of Special Projects, Mike Rodriguez, Executive Assistant to the President and MITAGS instructors Charles Snyder and Bob Becker were all instrumental in making contributions to the GAO’s research effort.


The Maritime Cabotage Task Force (MCTF), the largest advocacy organization in the history of the Jones Act, has released a position paper regarding the temporary waivers of the Jones Act that were made by the federal government in the aftermath of the Gulf Coast hurricanes. As previously reported in the Wheelhouse Weekly, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the waivers for the movement of certain petroleum products and the paper documents the MCTF’s ongoing efforts to express the US-flag maritime community’s concerns regarding them to the respective government agencies in Washington. Portions of the paper are excerpted below.

The general state of the Jones Act and long-term outlook are strong. President Bush has been a strong supporter of the Jones Act since before he was elected, and he understands that the Jones Act is the foundation of our industry. The unique circumstances resulting from the unprecedented devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, followed almost immediately by Hurricane Rita, and resultant pressure on the federal government to respond in any manner possible, which have given rise to limited waivers of the Act, will ease over time as sufficient US-flag Jones Act vessel capacity is demonstrably available and Gulf Coast refineries return to production.

Three days after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, in response to the devastation and human tragedy that occurred in the storm’s aftermath, President Bush announced a series of federal actions that included a limited blanket waiver of the Jones Act for the movement of certain petroleum products. As to the transportation of petroleum and refined petroleum products, this waiver expired as planned at 0001 hrs, September 19; with respect to transportation of petroleum released from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), no expiration was set.

Disaster struck again in the form of Hurricane Rita, which caused even greater damage to America’s refinery capacity. As a result, on September 26, DHS issued a second blanket waiver for the transportation of petroleum and refined petroleum products, to expire at 0001 hrs, October 24. Because of the blanket nature of these waivers, no official government data is available as to the extent they have been used. Based on industry sources, however, it appears that four to six foreign vessel movements occurred under the first waiver and that three vessels moved immediately under the second waiver from the New York area to the Gulf. No movements under the waiver have been reported since.

With respect to dry cargo, the Maritime Administration (MARAD) and DHS/Customs are handling requests on a case-by-case basis, granting waivers only after a determination that qualified US-flag Jones Act tonnage is not available. To date, only a very limited numbers of containers have moved under such waivers. Significantly, during the last week of September, the Administration denied a request by 21 large and influential agricultural interests for a blanket waiver of the Jones Act for agricultural products.

The MCTF did not oppose the initial petroleum waiver for a variety of reasons, including the extreme human tragedy and loss of life in the Gulf region, and significant interruptions to the production and transportation of refined petroleum products. In addition, there was reason to believe that original proposed versions of the waiver were far more extreme, permitting the movement of all cargoes and with no expiration date. However, in contrast to generally supporting the President on the initial waiver, the MCTF and domestic industry have taken the position that the second waiver was neither necessary nor justified by any demonstrated need, notwithstanding the devastating impact of Rita on American refinery capacity.

The MCTF continues to emphasize to government officials that there is a substantial fleet of US-flag tank vessels standing by and ready to assist in the movement of refined product within the US. The MCTF also points out the absurdity of a situation where US-flag vessels manned by American crews stand idly by while foreign vessels with foreign crews transport domestic cargoes.

The MCTF continues to remind those officials that these Jones Act waivers could substantially harm the American maritime industry. This is particularly true in the Gulf region, where the maritime industry is a major employer and where there is an urgent need to get American workers back on the job. For example, charters with Jones Act vessels were canceled to send the work to foreign vessels immediately after the waivers were announced. In short, the MCTF argues that five years of strong support for the Act by the Bush Administration should not be undermined by broad waivers of the Jones Act, particularly those (like the post-Rita waiver) that are simply not justified.

The MCTF strongly believes that a fact-based, systematic educational campaign is the best approach to addressing the waivers. Members of the MCTF board have found that over the past several weeks, many of the key decision-makers in government have been operating with an imperfect understanding of the way the American maritime industry works. The MCTF is doing everything possible to ensure that the right people have the right information.


Some terminals and port facilities have improperly denied access to crewmembers and visitors to and from ships in violation of the ISPS code. MM&P is preparing a protest of these violations but to do so, we need your help. Please send an e-mail to to report incidents of access denial, as well as cases in which a fee to access port facilities is levied on crewmembers or their visitors. The MM&P is interested in receiving reports from all ships, not just MM&P-contracted vessels. Please provide the date of the incident, the names of the port, facility and ship, and a brief description of what occurred.


CLASS OPENINGS: Between now and the end of January 2006, seats are available in the following courses:

AIS – Automatic Identification System: 12/15
ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 10/24, 12/5, 1/9
AZIPOD – Azipod Propulsion System (2 day): 12/5

BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 1/23
BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 12/12
BST – Basic Safety Training: 10/31, 1/30

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-CHS I – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 11/7
CMM-CHS II – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 11/14
CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display and Info Systems: 12/5, 1/9, 1/30
CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 12/5, 1/16
CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 1/9, 1/23
CMM-SHS-ADV-II – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 1/30
CMM-SHMGT I – Ship Management (week 1): 12/12, 1/9
CMM-SHMGT I I- Ship Management (week 2): 10/31
CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 10/31
CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 1/23
CMM-WKP – Watchkeeping: 11/28

CONT-PLNG – Contingency Planning: 11/11, 12/2, 12/16, 1/20

FF-BADV – (Combined) Basic and Advanced Firefighting: 1/30

HAZ-Hazardous Materials (5-day): 11/14, 1/9

LAP – License Advancement Program: 1/9

MEDIA-RSP – Media Response: 11/10, 12/1, 1/19
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 12/10, 1/14
MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 10/31, 12/5, 1/9
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 10/31, 12/5, 1/9

[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-SMA – Small Arms (4-day): 1/30
MSC-SMA-R – Small Arms Re-Qualification (2-day): 11/4 (must have proof of passing all 3 weapons within 2 years)

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal (5-day): 11/28
ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 12/5, 12/10, 1/9

SEC-OFF-VCF – Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 11/28, 12/12, 1/16
SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 11/7, 1/9
SHS-EMR – Emergency Shiphandling: 1/16

TRAC-TUG – Water Tractor and Azimuth Stern Drive Tugs (3-day): 12/8

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


PMI is offering a USCG Crew Endurance Management Coaches Seminar in Seattle from October 26-27 in addition to its regular course offerings listed below. This training is designed to provide commercial mariners the knowledge and skills to develop, deploy, and assess Crew Endurance Management Systems (CEMS) within their companies.

As a Crew Endurance Coach, the employee is critical to the success of CEMS implementation. Coaches provide education and guidance on the principles of light and sleep management, assist with changes to the work and rest environment, make recommendations on schedule changes, and help create personal endurance plans for each crewmember. Once successfully completing the training the Coach will have the necessary training to educate personnel on a vessel, and the processes and practices specific to the USCG Crew Endurance Management Program. The training session spans two full days and includes a written exam. Cost: $425 per person To Register: Call Pacific Maritime Institute at 206-441-2880 or toll free 888-893-7829.

October 2005

10/31 Flashing Light
10/31-11/11 GMDSS

November 2005

10/31-11/2 Medical Care Provider
10/31-11/11 Medical Person-In-Charge
11/7-11 TPIC
11/7-18 GMDSS
11/7-19 100 Ton OUPV
11/14-18 ECDIS
11/21-23 Ship Security Officer
11/28-12/2 Radar Observer Unlimited
11/28-12/2 Emergency Shiphandling 5-day

December 2005

12/5-9 Medical Care Provider
12/5-9 ARPA
12/5-16 Basic Safety Training
12/5-16 GMDSS
12/5-16 Medical Person-In-Charge
12/13-16 Lifeboat/Survival Craft
12/19-21 Ship Security Officer
12/19-23 ARPA
12/19-23 Basic Shiphandling
12/26-30 Emergency Shiphandling 5-day

January 2006

1/ 2-6 BST
1/9-27 TCNAV
1/9-12 Lifeboat/Survival Craft
1/9-13 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
1/9-20 GMDSS
1/9-21 100 Ton OUPV
1/16-20 ECDIS
1/16-20 ARPA
1/16-20 Emergency Shiphandling 5-day
1/23-27 MEDPRO
1/23-2/3 MEDPIC
1/30-2/1 Ship Security Officer
1/30-2/3 RADAR Observer Unlimited
1/30-2/10 GMDSS

February 2006

2/6-10 BST
2/6-9 Lifeboat/Survival Craft
2/6-10 ARPA
2/6 Radar Renewal
2/13-17 ENAV
2/20-3/3 CNAV
2/20-3/3 Advanced Shiphandling
2/20-3/4 100 Ton OUPV
2/27-3/3 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
2/27-3/3 ARPA
2/27 Radar Renewal

March 2006

3/6-10 BST
3/6-9 Lifeboat/Survival Craft
3/6-10 Basic Meteorology
3/6-18 100 Ton OUPV
3/13-24 GMDSS
3/13-17 CONSTB
3/20-24 CHS BAS
3/27-31 MEDPRO
3/27-31 ARPA
3/27 Radar Renewal
3/27-4/7 MEDPIC

For registration call Jennifer Fowler 888-893-7829

PMI Merchandise for Sale: High quality with embroidered PMI logo. All prices include tax. Navy Caps: $18.00; Button Down Long Sleeve Dress Shirts Blue or Khaki: $38.00; Coming Soon: Navy, Burgundy, Khaki T-shirts, high quality thick Hanes shirt with pocket $22.00; 15 oz. Beautiful Cobalt Blue Ceramic Mug $10.Call DeeDee Lazik 206-838-8328 or e-mail



 D O W  N A S D A Q  S & P 500
10,414.13 +239.24 for the week  2,091.24  +61.71 for the week  1,195.76  +25.34 for the week


Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX)
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)


~ Reminders ~




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Richard Plant, Director of Special Projects

700 Maritime Blvd.
Linthicum Heights, MD 21090


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

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

Go to to download the software titled “EPSQ SUBJECT2_2”.

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

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

From the “Type of Investigation” screen:

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

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



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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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

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

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

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

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


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

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

First-time and Registered users may bypass the welcome screen and go directly to the log-in page at

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

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

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

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


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

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



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

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

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

Vessels in the LMS footwear reimbursement program are:

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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