News

Wheelhouse Weekly – October 27, 2008

October 27th 2008

 

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

Volume 12 . . . . . Number 43. . . .October 27, 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.


POWER OUTAGE TEMPORARILY HALTS TWIC ACTIVATIONS

MM&P has received word that a power outage has temporarily made it impossible for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to activate Transportation Worker Identification Credentials (TWICs).  This means that TWIC applicants who still need to have their cards activated may not be able to do so until the problem has been resolved. MM&P advises mariners to call ahead to the enrollment center where their cards are to be activated to ensure that the center is capable of activating TWICs. We will update readers on the situation in the next edition of The Wheelhouse Weekly.


COAST GUARD ANNOUNCES TWIC COMPLIANCE DATES FOR FINAL GROUP OF PORT FACILITIES

The Coast Guard has announced that April 14, 2009, is the TWIC compliance date for owners and operators of facilities in the Captain of the Port Zones of Houston-Galveston, Los Angeles-Long Beach, San Juan and Guam. The TWIC compliance date for owners and operators of facilities in the Captain of the Port Zone of Port Arthur, Texas, has been extended until April 14 because of disruption of enrollment and port activities in the wake of Hurricane Ike. Ports affected by the April 14 compliance date include: Arecibo, Mayaguez, Guanica, Ponce, St. Thomas, Christiansted, Port Arthur, Sabine Pass, Beaumont, Orange, Houston, Galveston, Freeport, Texas City, La Porte, Lake Charles, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Port Hueneme, Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Newport Bay Harbor and Guam.

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 regulated under the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 that has a TWIC compliance date earlier than April 15. After April 15, all ports must be in compliance and all credentialed mariners must be in a possession of a TWIC.


RETAILERS EXPECT CONTAINER TRAFFIC TO BE 6.5 PERCENT LOWER THIS YEAR

The volume of cargo processed by America’s major retail container ports is expected to be 6.5 percent lower this year than last, according to a report released by the National Retail Federation and the economic forecasting firm Global Insight. A spokesman for the retailers’ federation said the holiday season was expected to be “challenging” and that U.S. retailers are trying to import “only as much merchandise as they think they can sell.” The ports taken into consideration in compiling the forecast were Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland, Seattle, Tacoma, New York-New Jersey, Hampton Roads, Charleston, Savannah and Houston.


MM&P EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM OFFERS FREE ADVICE FOR TOUGH TIMES

In recent weeks, the economic uncertainty generated by the financial crisis has caused all of us to experience unusually high levels of stress. This is a reminder that there are resources available from Ceridian LifeWorks to help MM&P members, employees and their family members cope with stress and financial issues.

“We are receiving more calls from people in financial crisis than ever before,” says a spokesperson for LifeWorks. “Employees are facing bankruptcy or foreclosure on their homes or they need emergency resources to help with utilities, food and other basic necessities.” For more information on the free services that are available, go to www.lifeworkshr.com. Enter the username MMP and the password, which is 5100.

The services that are offered free of charge to MM&P members and employees include seminars on topics such as Managing Your Money in Today’s Economy; Managing Stress and Personal Budgeting; and phone consultations with master’s-level financial consultants who have dual training in emotional and financial issues. LifeWorks consultants are highly skilled in helping people deal with stress, emotional challenges, workplace change and uncertainty.

Publications available online include:
•           Coping with Uncertain Financial Times
•           Resources for a Financial Emergency
•           Dealing with the Possibility of Foreclosure on Your Home
•           When Your Family Income Changes
•           When You’re Having Trouble Paying Medical Bills
•           Making Utility Payments
•           Ten Tips for Living Within Your Means
•           Shopping Tips to Save Time and Money
•           Food Assistance Programs
•           Dealing with Workplace Change
•           Financial Strategies and Steps to Take Following a Layoff
•           Getting Back to Normal Following a Work-Force Reduction
•           Bouncing Back, Staying Resilient Though the Challenges of Life
•           Getting Out of Debt: A Step-by-Step Guide

There are also online audio podcasts: Coping With Uncertain Financial Times and Managing Stress (seven episodes)

LifeWorks is also featuring a series of weekly Web chats on financial topics with Melanie Hardie. She is an experienced LifeWorks expert and a Certified Financial Planner, an Accredited Financial Counselor and a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor.
The dates and times are as follows: Oct. 30, 1 – 2 p.m. CST, Housing Market; Nov. 6, 1 – 2 p.m. CST, Debt Management; Nov. 20, 1 – 2 p.m. CST, Managing Your Money. Audio CDs on managing stress and taking charge of your money are also available.


SOMALI PIRATES SEIZE ANOTHER SHIP; TAMIL TIGERS ATTACK TWO VESSELS

The International Maritime Bureau has reported that last week, pirates captured an Indian ship with 13 crew members aboard off Somalia’s north coast. Somali pirates are currently holding 250 mariners and 11 commercial vessels, one of which is the MV FAINA, a Ukrainian cargo ship transporting Russian arms. Pirates are demanding a ransom of $8 million for the release of the Ukrainian ship.

A Russian warship, the NEUSTRASHIMY, has been dispatched to the area to protect shipping lanes. NATO and the United States already have warships on site. Pirate attacks off Somalia have increased by 75 percent since the beginning of the year. Pirates have hijacked 26 ships so far in 2008.

The Tamil Tigers, a terrorist group based in Sri Lanka, have responded to a major government offensive with suicide attacks on merchant ships off the island’s northern coast. In the first attack, boats packed with explosives were rammed against two vessels, the MV RUHUNA and the MV NIMALAWA. The terrorists also attacked naval units defending the port of Kankesanthurai on the Jaffna peninsula. Both merchant ships were damaged but no casualties of merchant mariners or naval personnel were reported.


COAST GUARD CLARIFIES REQUIREMENTS FOR REPORTING MARINE CASUALTIES

Coast Guard Sector Anchorage has issued a bulletin that provides clarification on marine casualty reporting requirements. The bulletin was issued after incidents in Western Alaska that involved two fishing vessels and a landing craft. In one case, the Coast Guard reported that temporary repairs had been made before Coast Guard personnel could assess the damage to the vessel.

The bulletin specifies that, “Immediately after addressing safety concerns, the owner, agent, master, operator or person in charge shall notify the nearest Coast Guard sector office or marine safety detachment whenever a vessel is involved in a marine casualty consisting of: an unintended grounding, or an unintended strike of (allision with) a bridge; an intended grounding, or an intended strike of a bridge, that creates a hazard to navigation, the environment, or the safety of a vessel; a loss of main propulsion, primary steering or any associated component or control system that reduces the maneuverability of the vessel; an occurrence materially and adversely affecting the vessel’s seaworthiness or fitness for service or route, including but not limited to fire, flooding, or failure of or damage to fixed fire-extinguishing systems, lifesaving equipment, auxiliary power-generating equipment or bilge-pumping systems; loss of life; an injury that requires professional medical treatment (beyond first aid) and, if the person is engaged or employed on board a vessel in commercial service, that renders the individual unfit to perform his or her routine duties; an occurrence causing property-damage in excess of $25,000; significant harm to the environment as defined in §4.03-65.

“Along with the immediate notification, a written report must be submitted to the appropriate Captain of the Port within five days of the marine casualty. The written report must be provided on Form CG-2692 (Report of Marine Accident, Injury or Death), supplemented as necessary by appended Forms CG-2692A (Barge Addendum) and CG-2692B (Report of Required Chemical Drug and Alcohol Testing Following a Serious Marine Incident). The five-day requirement does not mean five days after the vessel has returned to port.” The Coast Guard said failure to comply with these regulations may result in a maximum penalty of $27,000 or action against a merchant mariner’s credential.


COSCO BUSAN TRIAL POSTPONED UNTIL APRIL

The federal court trial of a ship management company and pilot on criminal charges stemming from last year’s massive oil spill in San Francisco Bay has been postponed until next April. U.S. District Judge Susan Illston set an April 6 trial date after a lawyer for Hong Kong-based Fleet Management Ltd. said preparing for the trial will be “a painfully time-consuming process.” One factor that was expected to make pre-trial preparations particularly challenging was the need to evaluate the depositions in Chinese of the six crew members of the vessel, the COSCO BUSAN. Fleet Management and the pilot on board at the time of the accident, John Cota, are both accused of polluting the bay and killing migratory birds. The company also faces six counts of false statements and obstruction of justice for allegedly falsifying transit documents after the accident. Fleet Management has said in court papers that it, the ship’s owner and their insurers have thus far paid $69 million in clean-up costs and compensation. The owner of the ship, Regal Stone Ltd. of Hong Kong, is also a defendant in the case. The two companies and the pilot are also charged in several civil lawsuits pending before a different federal judge. The pilot is additionally charged with two counts of making false statements on medical forms in 2006 and 2007.


PROTECT YOUR INTERESTS: SUPPORT CANDIDATES WHO SUPPORT AMERICA’S MERCHANT MARINE

We strongly encourage every MM&P member to vote in November’s federal elections. The candidates elected to the House of Representatives and the Senate, and the individual elected to the Presidency, will be in a position to affect the future viability and growth of our industry.  Their actions will determine whether American-flag vessels and American shipboard jobs will remain under the U.S. flag or be outsourced to the benefit of foreign shipping interests. 

Through the MM&P Political Contribution Fund (PCF), our union works to support candidates who, regardless of their political party affiliation, believe our country needs a strong U.S.-flag merchant marine. The MM&P PCF supports candidates who understand that it is critically important to our nation’s economic and military security that the Federal government fully fund and implement the Maritime Security Program; that the Jones Act be maintained and enforced; and that the cargo preference laws remain in place. Equally important, we vigorously support candidates who will fight with us to preserve employment opportunities for American maritime workers.

In response to requests from MM&P members and employees, a partial list of some of the candidates the union is supporting in state races has been posted in the MM&P halls and in the Members Only section of www.bridgedeck.org.


REAR ADM. ALLEN B. WORLEY NAMED SUPERINTENDENT OF U.S. MERCHANT MARINE ACADEMY

Maritime Administrator Sean T. Connaughton has announced the selection of Rear Adm. Allen Worley as superintendent of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point. Worley’s career has spanned more than 30 years of public service as a U.S. Navy officer and an educator. He is currently superintendent of the Texas Maritime Academy in Galveston. “Adm. Worley has a long career of leading, educating and inspiring young men and women in the Navy and as Superintendent of the Texas Maritime Academy,” said Connaughton. “His wealth of experience will allow him to positively and immediately impact the future direction of Kings Point.”
 
Worley is a 1974 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and holds advanced degrees from Webster University and the Naval War College. During his tenure in the Navy, he served in various aviation and surface billets in both training and combat roles, culminating with the position of Navy Base Commander in Diego Garcia. Worley also held various staff roles throughout the Navy and served as deputy director for programming on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations.  He also served as professor of naval science and commanding officer of the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps at the University of Illinois. 


COAST GUARD COMMANDANT ESTABLISHES BLOG

Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen has started his own website and “blog” to help the Coast Guard communicate in new ways.

The Admiral’s website is at http://www.uscg.mil/comdt. The blog, “iCommandant,” is at http://www.uscg.mil/comdt/blog. In announcing the new communications vehicles, Allen asked visitors to the site to let him know “what you think and how we can use this new information environment to enhance our ability to work together, take care of one another and better serve the public.”


MARINER PLEADS GUILTY TO ILLEGAL LICENSE USE

The United States Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Louisiana, says a mariner will be sentenced on Jan. 21 for use of a forged document. The mariner, a resident of Sorrento, La., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Helen G. Berrigan to a one-count indictment for using an altered, changed, forged and/or counterfeit U.S. Coast Guard license to gain employment as a captain of a vessel. He faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years’ incarceration, a $250,000 fine, not more than three years of supervised release and a $100 special assessment.


D-BOOK MEMBERSHIP COURSE FOR APPLICANTS TO BE HELD AT MITAGS

The course required for D-Book Membership in MM&P will be offered at MITAGS in Linthicum Heights on Nov. 14-15. The session on the 14th will take place in the evening. The session on the 15th will be held during the day. Applicants who plan to attend should notify the MM&P Atlantic Ports Vice President by e-mail (rmay@bridgedeck.org) as soon as possible.


COURSE EQUIVALENCIES FOR REQUIRED COMPANY TRAINING

Given the number of required company training courses, it is extremely important for new members to request a transcript review to determine whether they meet the course equivalency requirements.  The courses eligible for “equivalency” are listed in the MITAGS Trust Student Guide located on www.mitags.org under the “MM&P Member” tab.  You may also request a copy from Diane Ford (dford@mitags.org or 443-989-3238). Remember, the dispatcher in the MM&P hall cannot assign you a job unless you meet the company training requirements.


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

GMDSS � Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 12/1
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

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)

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 10-24-2008

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
8,379 1,552 876.77
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
40.24
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
80.82
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
22.94
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
12.01
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
11.09
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
18.66
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.22
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
19.70
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
4.29
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
12.84
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
15.32
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
11.85
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
14.48
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
9.55
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
9.31
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
9.01
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
8.98
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
9.27
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
9.70
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
21.08
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
13.62
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
10.65
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
13.04
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
9.16
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
43.49
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
12.07
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
38.91
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
12.87
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
25.80
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
19.73
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
15.06
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
9.62
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
10.30
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
10.46
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
10.06
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
9.67
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
5.53
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
6.35
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
9.16
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
22.17
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
31.00
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
19.44





~ 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.