Wheelhouse Weekly – October 20, 2006

October 20th 2006


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

Volume 10 . . . . . Number 42. . . . October 20, 2006




T-AGS Oceanographic Survey Ships Info

Required Coursework

Security Clearances

MSC Physicals

MM&P Health & Benefit Plan News

Notice to Members who are taking Vioxx

NMHC Mail-Order Prescriptions Website Updated & Improved

WWII USCG Veterans Outreach

Company Gives Bucks Back for buying Safe Shoes

Website Offers Union-Made Goods and Services

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



Tuesday, November 7th, is Election Day. People across the country will have the opportunity to vote for their representatives and, in 33 states, for their senators. This is an opportunity for all of us who care about the US Merchant Marine to make a decision that will affect our future and help determine whether our country maintains a US-flag shipping industry.

This is our opportunity to vote for our jobs, to protect our economic interests and to promote a stronger, larger and more competitive US-flag Merchant Marine.

Every vote counts. Remember that whether or not we are disillusioned by what has or hasn’t happened in Washington, the candidates who are ultimately elected November 7th will control the fate of our industry and thus, our future.

Log onto MM&P’s Web site at , for a list of candidates who support: funding and expansion of the Maritime Security Program; enforcement of the Jones Act; implementation of cargo preference programs; the right of American workers, including licensed maritime officers, to join and belong to unions and bargain collectively. Please review the candidate recommendation page.

If we take the time to learn about an individual’s position on issues important to our industry and if we use that information when deciding how to vote, we can and will make a difference. We can elect candidates who will fight by our side for a stronger US-flag Merchant Marine.

Go to today to view our Candidate Recommendations. If you don’t have access to the Internet and want information on the candidates, send an email to Jim Patti at MIRAID in Washington, DC at or contact him by phone at 202-463-6505.



Resumes are needed for Second Mates interested in sailing on the Horizon Lines T-AGS Oceanographic Vessels. Please email your resume if interested to Richard Plant, Director of Special Projects at


For those members interested in job opportunities on Horizon Lines (T-AGS vessels), or possibly other MM&P vessels requiring security clearance to ship, it is important to note the following information. Once the company decides to hire an individual mariner, at that point the mariner will have to obtain a government security clearance. Members are advised that they SHOULD NOT submit security clearance documents to the shipping company until they are told to do so by the company. For further info, contact Richard Plant, MM&P’s Director of Special Projects at or phone: 410-850-8700 ext.36


Each year the MM&P Plan allows for the award of six scholarships to the dependent children of MM&P offshore members and co-pay pensioners in good standing who are participants in the Health & Benefit Plan. This year’s scholarships for the 2006-2007 school year were approved at the Board of Trustees meetings held May 17-18 and the winners will be featured in the MM&P newspaper.

Now is the time to begin thinking about scholarship applications for the 2007-2008 academic years. The deadline for filing an application with the Plan office is November 30, 2006

All interested students who are high school seniors during the 2006-2007 school year should contact the Plan Office as soon as possible to request an application packet. The applications will be reviewed and the winners selected by the Scholarship Recognition Award Program in Princeton, NJ, who reviews all of the qualifications of the applicants including test scores, grades, extracurricular activities, community service, etc. In the spring, a list of approved candidates will be sent to the Plan Office to verify eligibility. The final list will be presented to the Trustees at the May 2007 meeting and winners will be notified immediately.

Please call Madeline Petrelli at the MM&P Plan Office, 410-850-8615, to request an application.


As a result of a Rule adopted by the US Department of Labor (DoL) in June 2006, all Unions that represent employees who work for the federal government are now required to send out a notice to their government employee/members. There are many benefits and advantages for CIVMAR Masters and Licensed Deck Officers who join the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots (MM&P). As you know, MM&P works daily to protect your employment rights. The Union secures yearly CIVMAR wage increases through deep sea contract negotiations. Additionally, without MM&P’s almost 30 years of recognition, your wages, benefits and inherent right to work in a safe and healthy environment would not be protected. MM&P is your voice. Without the Union, you would have no voice in retaining and gaining benefits from management.

The summary noted below is forwarded in accordance with DoL regulations and is intended to ensure that all MM&P members understand the rights and privileges of Union membership and the responsibilities of the Union officers they elect.

Union Member Rights Bill of Rights – Union members have:

  • equal rights to participate in union activities
  • freedom of speech and assembly
  • voice in setting rates of dues, fees, and assessments
  • protection of the right to sue
  • safeguards against improper discipline
  • Collective Bargaining Agreements ­ As an MM&P member you have the right to have input into collective bargaining negotiations. Members and certain nonunion employees have the right to receive or inspect copies of collective bargaining agreements.

    Constitutions, Bylaws, and Reports – Unions are required to file an initial information report (Form LM-1), copies of constitutions and bylaws, and an annual financial report (Form LM-2/3/4) with OLMS. Unions must make these documents available to members and permit members to examine the records necessary to verify the financial reports for just cause. The documents are public information and copies of reports are available from OLMS and on the Internet at

    Officer Elections ­ In accordance with the Union’s Constitution, Union members have the right to:

  • nominate candidates for office
  • run for office n vote in accordance with the Union’s Constitution and By-Laws
  • cast a secret ballot
  • protest the conduct of an election
  • Officer Removal – Local union members have the right to an adequate procedure for the removal of an elected officer guilty of serious misconduct.

    Trusteeships ­ A union may not be placed in trusteeship by a parent body except for those reasons specified in the standards of conduct regulations.

    Protection for Exercising CSRA Rights – A union or any of its officials may not fine, expel, or otherwise discipline a member for exercising any CSRA right.

    Prohibition Against Violence – No one may use or threaten to use force or violence to interfere with a union member in the exercise of his or her CSRA rights.

    Union Officer Responsibilities Financial Safeguards – Union officers have a duty to manage the funds and property of the union solely for the benefit of the union and its members in accordance with the union’s constitution and bylaws. The union must provide accounting and financial controls necessary to assure fiscal integrity.

    Prohibition of Conflicts of Interest ­ A union officer or employee may not (1) have any monetary or personal interest or (2) engage in any business or financial transaction that would conflict with his or her fiduciary obligation to the union.

    Bonding – Union officers or employees who handle union funds or property must be bonded to provide protection against losses if their union has property and annual financial receipts that exceed $5,000.

    Labor Organization Reports – Union officers must:

  • file an initial information report (Form LM-1) and annual financial reports (Forms LM-2/3/4) with OLMS
  • retain the records necessary to verify the reports for at least five years
  • Officer Elections ­ Unions must:

  • hold elections as required by the Union’s Constitution and By-Laws
  • conduct regular elections in accordance with their constitution and bylaws and preserve all records for one year
  • mail a notice of election to every member at least 15 days prior to the election n comply with a candidate’s request to distribute campaign material
  • not use union funds or resources to promote any candidate (nor may employer funds or resources be used)
  • permit candidates to have election observers
  • Restrictions on Holding Office – A person convicted of certain crimes may not serve as a union officer, employee, or other representative of a union for up to 13 years.

    Loans – A union may not have outstanding loans to any one officer or employee that in total exceeds $2,000 at any time.

    The Union works to make sure that CIVMARS understand their shipboard rights and responsibilities and receive fair treatment from management. For more information about how the MM&P can better serve you please contact, Randi Ciszewski, MM&P Government Fleet Representative, 37 Edward Hart Road, Jersey City, NJ 07305. Randi can also be reached via email at or via phone at 201-433-7700.


    The next Ship Operations Cooperative Program (SOCP) meeting will be held at MITAGS on November 1st and 2nd. The third and last SOCP meeting to be held this year will showcase presentations and discussions regarding “Legislative and Regulatory Issues Impacting the Maritime Industry.” The meeting offers a great opportunity for open discussions relating to legislative support needed to facilitate utilization of our nation’s maritime mode.

    SOCP is an industry-government partnership that was formed in 1993 to share resources in the development and evaluation of technologies to advance shipboard safety, training, reliability and productivity for its members in an effort to improve the competitiveness of the US maritime industry. Each meeting provides an open forum for discussions highlighting obstacles and business opportunities relating to the maritime industry.

    All industry representatives are welcome to attend. While there is no registration fee, interested persons are urged to reserve a seat by contacting Kim-Anh Rester at your earliest convenience by email at or by phone at 202-366-0364. Provide your name, position title, the name of your organization, mailing address, phone number, fax number, and email address.

    All SOCP meetings are open to the general public. SOCP works with the support of Maritime Administration (MARAD) and various industry, labor, and government organizations to address common challenges and identify new solutions for improvements in ship operations. For more info and an agenda of meeting topics, visit the SOCP website at or contact Todd Ripley at 202-366-2625.


    Those members who are issued a mariner credential (license, MMD, CoR, or STCW) dated on or after Oct 16, 2006, will notice a change. The Social Security number (SSN) is no longer printed anywhere on the credential. It has been replaced by a “mariner number”. This USCG generated number allows you and the REC to ensure we are talking about the same John Smith without using the SSN. The SSN can still be used, but the mariner number will be the preferred way to identify a mariner to the USCG.

    The credentials with the SSN are still valid. A new credential will not be printed just to remove the SSN.
    For further info, contact Richard Wells, Acting Chief, Regional Examination Center New Orleans, 201 Old Hammond Hwy, Metairie, LA 70005. Phone: 504-846-6190; Fax: 504- 219-2713.


    New US Maritime Administrator Sean Connaughton said earlier this week that his agency will focus on four main objectives under his watch, among them promoting increased US involvement in the international maritime industry.
    Connaughton, named to head MARAD five weeks ago, said other priorities are:

  • Facilitating transportation development to ease congestion nationwide.
  • Helping the industry meet new and augmented government compliance standards.
  • Expanding the agency’s national security reach to extend to domestic emergencies.
  • “We will focus on the promotion of American involvement in the maritime industry. It’s not just about how many US-registered vessels there are, it’s about how much US involvement there is in the industry. It’s about involvement in the financial aspects of the industry. It’s about involvement in ship operations. It’s about involving America in each segment of the industry.”


    Cruise ships and ferryboats need more protection against terrorist attacks that could kill and injure many passengers and cause serious financial losses, according to a new RAND Corporation report.

    “Attacks on cruise ships and ferry boats would meet the interrelated requirements of visibility, destruction and disruption that drive transnational terrorism in the contemporary era,” said Peter Chalk, one of the report’s co-authors. “Recognizing this is essential to any comprehensive regime of maritime security.”

    The report concludes it is not adequate to base maritime counterterrorism efforts only on increasing port security and the security of cargo container ships, rail cars and trucks that transport goods into and out of United States ports. “Focusing solely on securing the container supply chain without defending other parts of the maritime environment is like bolting down the front door of a house and leaving the back door wide open,” said Henry Willis, a RAND researcher and a co-author of the report.

    The study by RAND, a nonprofit research organization, also says a maritime terrorist attack is likely to create complicated liability issues that will slow efforts to compensate victims of an attack. “We need to examine closely the challenges that a maritime attack would create for our civil justice system,” said Michael Greenberg, another of the report’s authors. “Tort liability is supposed to compensate victims while providing appropriate security incentives for firms. But ambiguous liability standards in the maritime terrorism context raise the prospect that the civil justice system may neither be effective as a compensation mechanism, nor in generating clear incentives for the private sector.”

    The report, titled “Maritime and Terrorism: Risk and Liability,” was produced by the RAND Center for Terrorism Risk Management Policy. Researchers point out that their review of more than 30 years of terrorist activity shows that less than 2 percent of international terrorist attacks have hit maritime targets. Historically, this is because it has been difficult to successfully carry out maritime terrorist attacks and because such attacks have rarely caused the large loss of life or generated the heavy news coverage that terrorists seek, the study says.

    The report acknowledges that the largest maritime disaster would involve the detonation of a nuclear device smuggled through a major domestic port inside a shipping container. However, the report stresses that the likelihood of such an event occurring is far lower than for other types of attacks.

    Though considerably less catastrophic than worst-case scenario, the report argues that attacks on passenger ferries or cruise ships would be more probable. These attacks might involve on-board bombs or biological contaminants inserted into the food supply, according to researchers.

    The RAND Center for Terrorism Risk Management Policy provides research to inform public and private decision-makers on economic security issues created by the threat of terrorism. The center is a partnership of the RAND Institute for Civil Justice, the RAND Infrastructure, Safety and Environment unit, and Risk Management Solutions, the world’s leading provider of models and services for catastrophe risk management. Text of the 200+ page report may be downloaded at:


    The United States Attorney’s Office Eastern District of Louisiana has issued the following press release:

    Jim Letten, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana, James Bernazzani, Special Agent In Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Admiral Joel Whitehead, United States Coast Guard, announced that on September 27th,former vessel cook Isreal Caldwell, age 46, was sentenced to 90 months of imprisonment by United States District Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt for assault causing serious bodily injury within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 113(a)(6).

    Caldwell was also sentenced to a term of three 3 years of supervised release and a fine of $56,175.00.

    The press release states that inn this case, the evidence demonstrated that while on the high seas, Caldwell, a cook onboard a vessel in the Gulf of Mexico, stabbed the victim with a knife following a verbal altercation which involved criticism of the ship’s food. According to testimony, Caldwell approached the victim in anger and, following an escalation of the argument, stabbed the victim causing him to sustain serious bodily injury. The victim had to be medically evacuated via US Coast Guard helicopter and undergo emergency surgery.

    Caldwell was found guilty by a federal jury on July 11, 2006. The case was also presided by United States District Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt. Jim Letten praised the rapid response of the US Coast Guard to medically evacuate the victim and those who provided medical aid to the victim. If not for their actions, Letten said, the victim was in risk of dying.

    This matter was investigated by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Coast Guard. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Juan M. Masini and Theodore Carter.


    The Maryland Port Administration (MPA) has announced that this year’s forum, “Building Partnerships for the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore’s Next 300 Years”, will be held at MITAGS on Thursday, November 9th. The forum will be hosted at MITAGS from 0830 to 1630 and will include panel discussions, break out sessions and question and answer periods.

    This forum is designed to educate and engage diverse groups and individuals that are all stakeholders of the Port of Baltimore. The leaders of the Port believe that success for Maryland’s communities, environment, and economy equals success for the Port, and that such achievement is best pursued in partnership with stakeholders. This one-day forum will provide all attendees with multiple opportunities to learn more about port operations and business trends, and to engage in discussions regarding social, environmental, and economic issues and potential partnering opportunities amongst the many stakeholders within the Port community.

    Registration is free, but is limited to the first 150 registrants. On-line registration is available at However, if you have problems registering on-line, the registration form is available from Katrina Jones, Maryland Port Administration, 2310 Broening Highway, Baltimore, MD 21224. Fax to 410-631-1057 no later than November 3rd. On site check-in and registration will begin at 0800 hrs.


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

    JUST ADDED: Small Arms Course (4 day): 12/4
    Small Arms Re-Qual (2 day): 12/8

    AIS – Automatic Identification System: 12/15
    ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 11/14, 12/5
    AZIPOD-KAM-2 – Two-Day Azipod and Kamewa Steering and Propulsion Systems: 12/4

    BRMP – Bridge Resource Mangement for Pilots: 12/7
    BST – Basic Safety Training: 10/30, 11/13

    [CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
    *WX-BASREF-2 – Two day Basic weather refresher, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED PREP for Advanced Meteorology: 10/26
    *CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 10/30
    CMM-ADVSTB – 10/23, 11/27
    CMM-CHS I – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 11/13
    CMM-CHS II – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 11/6
    CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart and Display Information System: 12/4
    CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 10/30, 12/4
    CMM-SHS-ADV-1 – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 12/11
    CMM-SHMGT-I – Ship Management II (week 1): 12/11
    CMM-WKP – Watchkeeping: 11/27

    COMP-OPSYS – Basic Computer Course: 11/13
    CONT-PLNG – Contingency Planning: 12/16

    CSE-AASE – Confined Space Entry: 11/28

    FF-BADV – Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 10/30, 11/13

    HAZ-Hazardous Materials (5-day): 11/6

    MEDIA-RSP – Media Response: 11/9

    MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 12/9
    MED-PIC – Medical Person In Charge: 12/4
    MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 12/4

    [MSC – Military Sealift Command]
    MSC-CBRD-1 (Chemical Biological Radiological Defense Orientation): 10/25
    MSC-DC (Damage Control): 10/26
    MSC-SMA-Small Arms Re-Qualification (4-day): 12/4
    MSC-SMA-R – Small Arms Re-Qualification (2-day): 11/3, 12/8 (must have proof of passing all 3 weapons within 2 years)

    ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal (5-day): 11/27
    ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 11/13, 12/4

    SEC-OFF-VCF – Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 11/6, 12/12
    SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling 11/6
    SHS-EMR- Emergency Shiphandling: 11/13
    SHS-EMR- BRMP-3- Emergency Shiphandling & Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 12/4

    TRAC-TUG – Water Tractor and Azimuth Stern Drive Tugs: 12/7

    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:


    Fall and Winter: 2006-2007

    MATE 500/1600 TONS Program Begins January 2007
    Due to the high demand for this program, PMI has now scheduled another that is already close to full enrollment for its 2007-start date. See the PMI Web site at for more info on this new development.

    SCHEDULE OF COURSES – (Course schedule also posted online at

    October 2006
    10/23 Flashing Light
    10/23-27 ARPA
    10/23-27 Cargo Handling & Stowage – Basic
    10/24-25 Simulation Assessment

    November 2006
    10/30-11/3 Tankerman Person in Charge
    10/30-11/3 Able Bodied Seaman
    10/30-11/3 Medical Person in Charge
    10/30-11/3 Medical First Aid Provider
    11/6-10 Tankerman Person in Charge
    11/6-10 ARPA
    11/6-10 Emergency Shiphandling
    11/6-17 GMDSS
    11/27-12/1 Radar Observer Unlimited

    December 2007
    12/4-8 ARPA
    12/4-15 Shiphandling – Advanced
    12/11-13 Security Officer – Vessel, Company, and Facility
    12/11-22 GMDSS
    12/18-22 ECDIS
    12/18-22 ARPA
    12/18-22 Medical First Aid Provider
    12/19 Radar Recertification

    January 2007
    1/2 Mate Program Begins/Orientation
    1/8-1/26 Ratings Forming Part of a Navigational Watch
    1/22-1/26 Terrestrial and Coastal Navigation
    1/22-1/26 Tankerman Person in Charge
    1/22-1/26 Emergency Shiphandling
    1/29-2/2 Medical First Aid Provider
    1/29-2/2 Radar Observer Unlimited
    1/29-2/9 Medical Person in Charge
    1/29-2/9 GMDSS

    For registration call Jennifer Fowler 888-893-7829


    High quality with embroidered PMI logo.
    Navy or Khaki Hats : $16 / includes tax
    Button Down Long Sleeve Dress Shirts
    Blue or Khaki: $38 / includes tax
    Pocket t-shirts with Logo: $12 / includes tax
    15oz. Cobalt Blue Ceramic Mug: $8 / includes tax

    Call DeeDee Lazik 206-838-8328 or e-mail



     D O W  N A S D A Q  S & P 500
    12,011.73 +51.22 for the week 2,340.94 -16.35 for the week 1,366.96 +1.34 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)
     Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)


    ~ Reminders ~




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Richard Plant, Director of Special Projects

    700 Maritime Blvd.
    Linthicum Heights, MD 21090


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

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

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

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

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

    From the “Type of Investigation” screen:

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

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



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




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

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

    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 and is posted on our web page.

    C 2006, International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots. All the material contained in this publication is protected by copyright. For permission to reprint text from the Weekly, contact the MM&P Communications Department: For changes of address, contact John Peige at