News

Wheelhouse Weekly – October 20, 2008

October 20th 2008

 

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

Volume 12 . . . . . Number 42. . . .October 20, 2008

STORIES COVERED

REMINDERS

T-AGS Oceanographic Survey Ships Info

Required Coursework

Security Clearances

MSC Physicals

MM&P FCU News

MM&P Health & Benefit Plan News

Meet Our New Prescription Benefit Manager, PHARMACARE

Notice to MM&P Health & Benefit Plan Participants

WWII USCG Veterans Outreach

Company Gives Bucks Back for buying Safe Shoes

Website Offers Union-Made Goods and Services



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


MARITIME UNION PRESIDENTS UNITE IN UNPRECEDENTE GET-OUT-THE-VOTE DRIVE FOR OBAMA

The leaders of America’s seagoing unions are reaching out to all their members nationwide to encourage them in the strongest possible terms to vote for Sen. Barack Obama for President of the United States.

In a joint letter that is being mailed to tens of thousands of maritime union members across the country, the presidents of the unions say they stand as one on the importance of electing Barack Obama. “We are united in the conviction that the future growth and viability of the U.S.-flag fleet and the jobs of American maritime workers in all segments of our industry directly depend on the election of Sen. Obama,” they write.

The letter contrasts Obama’s consistent support of the Jones Act, which protects our jobs and working conditions, with John McCain’s history of working directly for its repeal.“We need a President like Barack Obama who agrees that only U.S.-flag vessels built in American shipyards and crewed by American mariners will carry commerce along our coasts and on our rivers and Great Lakes, rather than a President like John McCain who wants to repeal the Jones Act, a move that would give our jobs away,” the union presidents write. 

McCain has tried to weaken the Maritime Security Program, which is intended to ensure that U.S.-flag vessels and U.S.-citizen crews will be available to support our troops and our country’s economy and security. He has also worked tirelessly in Congress to chip away at cargo preference laws in favor of allowing foreign vessels with foreign crews to carry U.S. taxpayer-funded commodities. 

“There is too much at stake in this election for any of us to be misled and sidetracked into looking at things that are not important and relevant,” the union presidents say. “When all is said and done, this election is about your job, your future and your families’ future. We ask that you do what we will be doing on Election Day: VOTE YOUR JOB!”

Besides the MM&P International President, the other signatories to the letter are    American Maritime Officers President Thomas Bethel, Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association President Donald Keefe, Sailors’ Union of the Pacific President Gunnar Lundeberg, Marine Firemen’s Union President Anthony Poplawski and Seafarers International Union President Michael Sacco.


WHERE DO THE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES STAND ON MSP, CARGO PREFERENCE AND THE JONES ACT? GO TO WWW.BRIDGEDECK.ORG TO FIND OUT

The September-October issue of The Master, Mate & Pilot will be arriving in your mailbox soon. In the meantime, look for it online at www.bridgedeck.org. In the most recent issue of the magazine:

  • coverage of MM&P’s 82nd convention, including the unanimous decision by delegates to endorse Sen. Barack Obama in the Presidential race;
  • news and photos from the licensed deck officers on MM&P-contracted vessels: MAERSK SEALAND ACHIEVER and MATSON’S MV MOKIHANA;
  • Republican lawmakers push for changes in tax law that could make short sea shipping a reality;
  • news from the government fleet; plus
  • Military Sealift Commander briefs maritime unions on fleet readiness.

    Also online: a chart that shows where the candidates for President stand on the issues of primary importance to MM&P members and their families: protecting cargo preference laws, the Jones Act and the Maritime Security Program.

    And: the detailed letter from Sen. Obama that outlines his commitment to the programs and policies of primary importance to the U.S.-flag maritime industry. “It’s an honor to receive MM&P’s endorsement in the race of President,” Obama says. All the seafaring unions, as well as the AFL-CIO, have united to support Obama’s campaign.


    NOAA ISSUES SPEED REDUCTION REG TO PROTECT RIGHT WHALES

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has issued a new regulation to protect endangered North Atlantic right whales. The regulation will, for the first time, require large ships to reduce speeds to ten knots in areas where the whales feed and reproduce, as well as along migratory routes. The goal of the regulation is to reduce the risk of ship collisions. “The ship strike rule, based on science, is a major addition to NOAA’s arsenal of protections for this endangered species,” commented Navy Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher Jr., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator.

    There are only 300 to 400 North Atlantic right whales left in the world. They are at high risk of being hit since they move slowly and their migration route crosses major East Coast shipping lanes. The new rule requires vessels to travel at ten knots or less during the seasons whales are expected to be present in designated areas along the East Coast. It will be up for renewal in five years, after scientists assess its effectiveness. The rule will go into effect in early December, 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

    In the mid-Atlantic area, the 10-knot speed restrictions will extend out to 20 nautical miles around major ports. NOAA’s Fisheries Service researchers report that approximately 83 percent of right whale sightings in the mid-Atlantic were within 20 nautical miles of shore. The rule also establishes temporary voluntary speed limits in other areas when an aggregation of three or more right whales is confirmed. The rule is part of NOAA’s broader ship strike reduction efforts. Existing protective actions include surveying whale migration routes by aircraft and mandatory ship reporting systems that provide advisories and information on right whale locations to mariners.  


    PIRATE ATTACKS CONTINUE AS NAVAL VESSELS SPEED TO SCENE

    NATO has dispatched seven allied naval ships to the Gulf of Aden, where the Ukrainian arms ship FAINA, surrounded by U.S. warships, is still being held by pirates. In the meantime, pirates have released the crew of the South Korean-registered bulker BRIGHT RUBY, which was seized Sept. 10. A spokesman for the Korean government said Korea will send its own naval vessels to protect other Korean ships and their crews.

    A Philippine-operated bulk carrier with 21 crew members was hijacked last week. The week before, pirates attempted to board a World Food Program ship off Mogadishu. The captain outmaneuvered the pirates and managed to escape. A Greek chemical tanker with 20 crewmembers on board was seized by pirates in speedboats while on its way from Europe to Southeast Asia.

    The FAINA and its 20 crewmembers have been held by pirates for several weeks. This particular case has generated significant concern because the ship is carrying 33 tanks and other heavy weapons and ammunition. Six U.S. naval warships along with military aircraft surround the vessel off the central coast of Somalia. The pirates had originally demanded a $20 million ransom, threatening to blow up the ship, its crew members, and themselves if it wasn’t paid. A spokesman for the pirates said the threat and deadline have now been withdrawn and that the ransom has been reduced to $8 million. 


    COAST GUARD ANNOUNCES MORE PORT FACILITY TWIC COMPLIANCE DATES

    The Coast Guard has announced that March 23 will be the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) compliance date for facilities in the Captain of the Port Zone of New York, and that Feb. 28 will be the compliance date for facilities in Portland, Puget Sound and San Francisco Bay. In Oregon, ports affected by the Feb. 28 date include Astoria, Portland, Pacific City, Coos Bay and Port Orford. In Washington, they include Longview, Blaine, Neah Bay, Anacortes, Everett, Seattle, Tacoma and Olympia. In California, they include Crescent City, Humboldt, Bodega Bay, Stockton, San Francisco, Santa Cruz and Monterey Harbor. Ports affected by the March 23 date include New York City, Tarrytown, Hempstead and Albany.

    Mariners can use a valid Coast Guard-issued merchant mariner’s document, license or certificate of registry, along with a valid photo ID, to be eligible for unescorted access in secure areas of any facility that has a TWIC compliance date earlier than April 15, 2009.  After April 15, all ports must be in compliance and all credentialed mariners must be in possession of a TWIC.

    For more info, call 1-866-DHS-TWIC (1-866-347-8942) or 1-877-MTSA-AID (1-877-687-2243), or send an e-mail to credentialing@dhs.gov.


    NAVY MAGAZINE COVER STORY PROFILES TSV-1 PREVAIL

    TSV-1 PREVAIL, the high-tech teaching ship crewed by MM&P and operated by Trinity Management, has been featured in a cover story in “All Hands,” the official magazine of the U.S. Navy. Ten of the 14 crewmembers aboard the vessel are MM&P members. PREVAIL has trained 20 strike groups. about 500 individual ships and several thousand sailors. The vessel, which is now based at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek Norfolk, is part of the Mobile Sea Range. Its work includes submarine trails, new construction builders’ trials and research and development.

    The training scenarios enacted aboard PREVAIL change continually to reflect real-life conditions that sailors face in day-to-day operations. In recent scenarios, sailors have encountered non-English-speaking stowaways, concealed weapons and medical emergencies. The exercises aboard PREVAIL are videotaped so that trainees can review their performance later. The master of the vessel is George W. Fleck. Other MM&P members aboard the ship when the article was written include Curtis Barcliff, Torii Corbett, Mike Gray, Forrest Halley, Anthony Johnson, Kevin Murphy, Jeff Patrick, Gil Peligro and Timothy Webb.


    MM&P-CONTRACTED COMPANIES TO RECEIVE AMERICAN MARITIME SAFETY AWARDS

    American Maritime Safety Inc. has selected eight member companies to receive maritime safety awards during the AMS Membership Dinner on Oct. 21. MM&P-contracted companies singled out for the honor are Crowley Maritime Corporation (Tanker Vessel Safety Award), LMS Ship Management (Quality Ship Management Award) and Maersk Line Limited (Responsible Vessel Carrier Award). AMS is a non-profit maritime trade association established in 1988 to facilitate the maritime industry’s compliance with U.S. Coast Guard regulations and international protocols.


    MARAD PUBLISHES REQUEST FOR COMMENTS, PROPOSALS, ON SHORT SEA SHIPPING

    The Maritime Administration (MARAD) has published an interim final rule requesting interested parties to comment in detail on the establishment of short sea shipping corridors. The effective date of this interim regulation is Nov. 10. Further comments can be submitted up to Feb. 6. Interested parties can submit comments [identified by DOT Docket Number MARAD–2008–0096] by several means, including over the Internet: http://www.regulations.gov and by mail to Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE, Room PL–401, Washington, DC 20590–0001. For more info, contact Michael Gordon, Office of Intermodal System Development, Marine Highways and Passenger Services, at (202) 366–5468, by e-mail at michael.gordon@DOT.gov or by writing to the Office of Marine Highways and Passenger Services, MAR–520, Suite W21–315, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE, Washington, DC 20590. (See the following article for more details.)


    Short Sea Shipping Update From MarEx:
    JOE KEEFE REPORTS ON INAUGURATION OF NORFOLK�RICHMOND SHORT SEA BARGE/CONTAINER SERVICE

    It finally looks as if short sea shipping will come to the ports of Norfolk and Richmond, writes MarEx Managing Editor Joe Keefe in an article that took its cue from last week’s ceremony inaugurating container-on-barge service between Virginia International Terminal in Norfolk and the Port of Richmond. “Recent developments breathe new life into the concept that short sea shipping has value in many ways,” he writes, “and, not a moment too soon. “

    The start of the James River service coincides nicely with the Maritime Administration’s announcement of an interim final rule intended “to solicit recommendations for short sea transportation routes to be designated as Marine Highway Corridors and to solicit applications from interested parties to participate in a short sea transportation project.”

    The notice in the Federal Register defines short sea transportation as “the carriage by vessel of cargo contained in intermodal cargo containers and loaded by crane on the vessel or loaded on the vessel by means of wheeled technology; and that is loaded at a port in the United States and unloaded either at another port in the United States or at a port in Canada located in the Great Lakes Saint Lawrence Seaway System; or loaded at a port in Canada located in the Great Lakes Saint Lawrence Seaway System and unloaded at a port in the United States.”

    The new program directs the Secretary of Transportation to promulgate interim regulations and delegates to MARAD the authority to administer the program, dubbed “America’s Marine Highway.” MARAD’s identification of the Hampton Roads–Norfolk corridor as an appropriate route to test its marine highways initiative is a smart move. The James River could potentially provide real relief on the intermodal corridor running from Richmond to Norfolk, which includes the highly congested Interstate 64.

    The fledgling service has yet to demonstrate that it will lower fuel costs, but certainly, if it is used to any extent at all, it will serve to relieve congestion on the highways that parallel the James River. In Connecticut, for example, traffic has been significantly reduced on I-95, partly through use of a high speed ferry system between the state and New York. According to the Connecticut Maritime Coalition, as much as 19 million tons of cargo, 2.6 million people and 850,000 vehicles are moved over water by private operators each year and waterborne transport keeps 950,000 trucks off Connecticut’s roads annually.

    The Virginia-based barge service got a shot in the arm in July, when sponsor T. Parker Host received a three-year, $2.3-million Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program grant from the Richmond Regional Planning District. CMAQ is managed by the Federal Highway Administration through regional planning agencies. Still waiting for action is the federal effort to remove the Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT) from short sea routing along the U.S. coasts.

    In the end, through the use of a few “super” ports on each coast, there is real potential for millions of tons of cargo in all forms to be moved on small feeder ships to other, smaller, shallow draft “niche” ports. Richmond is clearly one of those ports. We don’t need 30 ports each dredged to 60 feet. Those resources are probably better spent on maintenance of existing berths, intermodal port infrastructure and waterways. Eventually, and through a coordinated effort to remove trucks from the roads, we’ll have to spend less on maintenance of the highways and thereby make the tax dollars that we do have go farther.

    As the promising Richmond–Norfolk service kicks off, the elimination of the short sea component of the HMT will foster and perpetuate the current surge in domestic maritime activity that comes in the form of shipbuilding, maritime-related employment, reduced emissions, sealift capabilities in time of war and yes, increased tax revenues. But if we need a good excuse to finally get this done, then highway issues are as good a place to begin as any. — Joseph Keefe, Managing Editor, MarEx


    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.

    To make sure your ballot counts, the group is publicizing a simple, six-point plan that all voters should follow.
     
    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, 12/1
    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: 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): 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
    23FL

    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

    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 10-17-2008

    D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
    8,852 1,711 940.55
    Fund Name & Trading Symbol
     Closing
    Price
     Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
    43.21
     Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
    86.69
     Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
    25.61
     Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
    13.76
     Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
    12.15
     Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
    20.04
     Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
    10.19
     Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
    21.43
     Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
    4.28
     Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
    13.34
     Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
    16.50
     Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
    12.10
     Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
    15.30
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
    9.90
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
    9.80
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
    9.61
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
    9.69
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
    10.01
     Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
    9.67
     Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
    22.75
     Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
    14.48
     Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
    11.14
     Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
    14.46
     Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
    9.17
     Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
    48.69
     Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
    13.18
     Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
    44.11
     Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
    13.86
     Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
    28.21
     Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
    22.34
     Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
    16.79
     Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
    9.80
     Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
    10.52
     Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
    10.95
     Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
    10.68
     Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
    10.39
     Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
    5.97
     Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
    6.89
     Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
    9.18
     Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
    24.55
     Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
    33.25
     Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
    20.91





    ~ 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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