News

Wheelhouse Weekly – September 07, 2009

September 7th 2009

 

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

Volume 13 . . . . . Number 36. . . . September 7, 2009

STORIES COVERED

REMINDERS

T-AGS Oceanographic Survey Ships Info

Required Coursework

Security Clearances

MSC Physicals

MM&P FCU News

MM&P Health & Benefit Plan News

Meet Our New Prescription Benefit Manager, PHARMACARE

Notice to MM&P Health & Benefit Plan Participants

WWII USCG Veterans Outreach

Company Gives Bucks Back for buying Safe Shoes

Website Offers Union-Made Goods and Services



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


MM&P CLOSED FOR LABOR DAY

MM&P union halls, MM&P headquarters, MM&P Plans and the MM&P Federal Credit Union are closed on Monday, Sept. 7, for Labor Day.


AFL-CIO TRANSPORTATION TRADES DEPARTMENT CALLS FOR NEW INVESTMENTS IN AMERICA’S INFRASTRUCTURE

The AFL-CIO’s Transportation Trades Department (TTD) has released an official Labor Day statement that encourages Congress to step up investments in America’s transportation infrastructure. TTD President Edward Wytkind urged legislators to pass “long overdue legislation investing in our surface, air and maritime transportation needs to create millions of family-supporting jobs.”

“In the midst of a recession, where high unemployment and slow job growth persist, transportation workers are calling on their elected leaders to create an economy that works for everyone, not just for the well off and the well connected,” Wytkind said. “On this Labor Day, we recommit ourselves to giving voice to the transportation workers who form the backbone of our freight and passenger transportation system, the lifeline of our national economy.”


TRIAL OF VIKING ISLAY MASTER BRINGS NEW ATTENTION TO CONFINED SPACE RISKS

Accidents in enclosed spaces continue to be one of the most common causes of work-related fatalities aboard ships today. The risk to mariners of confined space accidents is receiving increased attention following the June 2009 acquittal of Don Fryer, master of the Vroon Offshore ERRV VIKING ISLAY, where three men died in a chain locker in September 2007.
 
Following a two-week trial, a jury found Captain Fryer not guilty of causing the deaths of the three crew members, who died after collapsing in the oxygen-deficient atmosphere of the chain locker. Fryer had been charged with two counts of conduct endangering ships, structures or individuals under England’s Merchant Shipping Act of 1995.
 
Nautilus International, the European officers’ union, condemned the decision to prosecute the master in the first place. “That he stood indicted not for an action that he did, but for the actions of others that could never have been reasonably foreseen, is appalling,” said Nautilus General Secretary Brian Orrell. In an article that was published in the Nautilus International newspaper, Fryer thanked the union for supporting him during his 19-month ordeal. “I knew that I was not guilty and the verdict was a great relief,” he was quoted in the paper as saying. “Even so, three men died, and they were my friends as well as my shipmates, and it was very, very sad.”
 
Investigators found that oxygen concentrations in the VIKING ISLAY’s chain locker at the time of the accident were possibly as low as 4.4 percent by volume, compared with the normal 20.9 percent. The ship lacked an atmosphere testing device. The Marine Accident Investigation Bureau report said the crew had not been adequately trained for a confined space rescue and that the company policy, which restricted confined space entry to port, was unrealistic and did not reflect scenarios in which seafarers could be required to enter such spaces while at sea. 


MM&P TESTIMONY IN SUPPORT OF MEMBERS’ RIGHTS NOW ON WWW.BRIDGEDECK.ORG

MM&P statements, testimony and other written material detailing the union’s advocacy efforts on behalf of our members have now been posted on www.bridgedeck.org.
 
The first item posted, “Officers Unions Say Mariners Losing Work Because of Problems in USCG Medical Review and Credential Programs,” consists of testimony presented in July to the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, chaired by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.). At the hearing, representatives of the nation’s maritime officers unions told Congress that the Coast Guard’s medical review process is both unfair and unworkable, and in many cases has the effect of denying mariners the opportunity to provide for their families.
 
Also posted is a supplement to the July testimony. The supplement is entitled, “Maritime Labor Asks Congress to Help Those Affected by NMC Backlog.” In the supplement, the nation’s maritime unions call for immediate improvements in the way the Coast Guard’s National Maritime Center (NMC) conducts merchant mariner credentialing and medical review functions. “Unfortunately, there are those within the Coast Guard who still do not understand that their failure to manage their licensing and documentation and medical review missions properly has a direct impact on the ability of American merchant mariners to continue in the maritime profession and to provide for their families,” the unions said in the supplement.
 
The third new posting, “Unions, U.S.-Flag Shipping Companies, Express Support for Short Sea Shipping and Harbor Maintenance Tax Reform,” is a letter to Congress in support of a bill that would modify tax laws to promote short sea shipping. “The use of commercial vessels for the carriage of cargo along our coasts will be a cost-effective, efficient and environmentally sound way to supplement and complement the rail and truck traffic that is already pushed to capacity in most major transportation corridors,” the letter says.
 
Go to www.bridgedeck.org and click on “What’s New,” to read more about MM&P’s advocacy work on behalf of members and seafarers everywhere.


MM&P-CONTRACTED APL SEEKS CHIEF MATES

MM&P-contracted APL Maritime is seeking to fill several Chief Mate positions on vessels in its containership fleet. The jobs are permanent positions in the fleet, with opportunities for advancement with experience. Please send resumes to bill_mahoney@aplmaritime.com for review and consideration.


MARINERS URGED TO ATTEND SEPT. 22-23 MERPAC MEETING AT NATIONAL MARITIME CENTER

The next meeting of the Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee (MERPAC) will be held Sept. 22-23 in Martinsburg, W. Va., at the Coast Guard’s National Maritime Center (NMC). A major focus of the meeting will be NMC’s performance in processing mariners’ document requests, including licenses, upgrades and medical reviews.
 
MM&P has been very active in MERPAC, including in the long debate over the USCG’s medical evaluation process. The union has appeared before Congress and taken its concerns to the Coast Guard Commandant. Members are strongly encouraged to attend this meeting. If you are planning to attend, there are several hotels in the area. The phone number of The Comfort Inn, which has 109 rooms, is 304-263-6200.


NY/NJ MEMBERSHIP MEETING MOVED TO SEPT. 16

The next monthly membership meeting at the NY/NJ Hall will be held Wednesday, Sept 16 because of a conflict with the meetings of the MM&P General Executive Board (GEB).


COMMENT PERIOD CLOSES ON REGS THAT WOULD ENSURE JONES ACT ENFORCEMENT IN OFFSHORE ENERGY OPERATIONS

On Aug. 17, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officially closed the comment period on a series of regulations that would ensure that the Jones Act is fully enforced in the offshore energy operations sector. As previously reported in The Wheelhouse Weekly, the Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA) has said the proposed regulations would “take important steps to help enforce the Jones Act more effectively and protect American maritime jobs.” CBP administers the Jones Act as it applies to offshore energy operations. The agency plans to revoke or modify 20 rulings to restore the original intent of the Jones Act as it applies offshore. “With this proposal, CBP is saying that there is a hard line between transportation and installation. Foreign boats may be able to install oilfield equipment, but only U.S. boats can carry it offshore,” said OMSA President Ken Wells. “The problem is that for many years, CBP rulings had allowed foreign vessels to carry cargo to subsea oil and gas locations as long as that vessel also installed it.”


HORIZON LINES PARTICIPATES IN ANTI-PIRACY DRILLS

MM&P-contracted Horizon Lines says it participated this summer in two trials of commercial anti-piracy systems. The vessels involved were HORIZON CRUSADER and HORIZON CHALLENGER. In the first exercise, held in late July, International Maritime Security Network conducted safety drills aboard the CRUSADER when the ship was docked in Orange, Texas. Included were deterrent measures for approaching vessels, physical deterrents for potential unlawful boarders, security and fortification for the crew and mitigating risk of penetration of the safe area. On Aug. 11, HORIZON CHALLENGER, docked in reserve status in Bayonne, N.J., was the site of an experiment with the SAFE Solutions high pressure water system. “While Horizon Lines has never encountered any threats of piracy in the lanes we serve, we made it a priority to have two vessels available, along with our support staff and vessel operations experts, to participate in these trials,” said Horizon Lines CEO Charles Raymond. “While containerships have more speed and maneuverability than tug and barge operations, we need to find solutions that can be applied to all commercial carriers. It’s critical to share new ideas, technology and experience because a risk to any mariner at sea is a risk to all of us.”


COAST GUARD PROPOSES POLLUTION PREPAREDNESS RULES

The Coast Guard has published proposed rules designed to increase pollution response preparedness for non-tank vessels carrying oil as fuel. One proposed rule, entitled “Nontank Vessel Response Plans and Other Vessel Response Plan Requirements,” would establish the content of response plans for oil discharges, helping non-tank vessel owners and operators understand how to comply with preparation and submission requirements for response plans under the Coast Guard Maritime Transportation Act of 2004. The Coast Guard is also revising the compliance date for updates to vessel response plans required by the Salvage and Marine Firefighting final rule published Dec. 31, 2008 (73 FR 80618). A new compliance date of Feb. 22, 2011 makes it possible for operators to avoid updating their VRPs twice within a 12-month period.


ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION GROUP SAYS TWO POLLUTANT-LADEN U.S. SHIPS HEADED FOR SCRAPPING

An environmental protection group, the Basel Action Network (BAN), says two U.S.-flag ships sold by a U.S. company are destined to be scrapped abroad in violation of international law. BAN says one of the ships, the EX-PVT JAMES ANDERSON JR., sailed from Norfolk Aug. 25. The group says it expects the other vessel, the EX-1ST LT ALEX BONNYMAN, to leave Norfolk soon. BAN says the vessels are chock full of highly toxic polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The Maritime Administration is countering that it has received assurances from the buyers of the vessels that they will be used in trade, not scrapped.


CREW BLAMED IN SINKING OF PANAMANIAN OIL TANKER

A Filipino captain and crew have been blamed for the sinking of an oil tanker that broke in two in the Red Sea. The captain of the Panamanian-flagged MV ELLI said his crew was cleaning the cargo tanks when the ship suddenly “split in two for reasons yet unknown.” A spokesman for the Suez Canal said the captain and his crew are responsible because they did not consider the vessel’s equilibrium when they were cleaning the tanks.


PENNSYLVANIA CONGRESSMAN HONORS WORLD WAR II MERCHANT MARINERS

Veterans of World War II who transported supplies and troops to the combat theater received certificates and medals recently from Rep. Charles Dent (R-Pa.). Dent, a cosponsor of the “Belated Thank You to the Merchant Mariners of World War II” bill, presented the awards on Aug. 27 to 25 World War II merchant marine veterans during a ceremony at Northampton Community College in Bethlehem.
 
Dent said it was “high time” that the nation formally recognizes the essential role the merchant marine played in the Allied victory in World War II. “These mariners suffered hardship and heavy casualties, from our own coastline to the remote corners of the world,” Dent said. “We owe them our eternal thanks, as we do all who served in that great and terrible conflict.”
 
The “belated thank-you” bill, which would give certain merchant mariners a $1,000 monthly stipend for service in World War II, was passed in the House earlier this year but is still awaiting action in the Senate.


AMERICAN MERCHANT MARINE VETERANS CHINA COASTERS CHAPTER SEEKS NEW MEMBERS!

The American Merchant Marine Veterans China Coasters Chapter is seeking new members. The only requirement to join is a Merchant Mariners Document. Meetings are held on the third Saturday of each month. Discussion focuses on a variety of maritime-industry related topics, including the Jones Act, cargo preference and the campaign to achieve fair compensation for World War II merchant mariners. For more information, please send an e-mail to chinacoasters@earthlink.net, write to American Merchant Marine Veterans, China Coasters, 440 North Avalon Blvd., Wilmington, CA 90744 or call or fax 310 834 2488.


D-BOOK MEMBERSHIP CLASS IN SAN FRANCISCO SEPT. 30-OCT. 1

The D-Book Membership class will be held in the San Francisco Hall on Sept. 30-Oct. 1. The class begins at 0900. All applicants should complete this course as soon as possible to avoid delays in becoming members. Applicants should take the course before completing 360 days of covered employment. For more information and to sign up, please contact the San Francisco Hall at 415-777-5074.


DO YOU KNOW WHAT NPDES AND VGP MEAN?

If not, you may want to take the two-day seminar designed by MITAGS to keep you abreast of recent changes in the environmental regulations that apply to our industry. The first day of the seminar offers a detailed overview of recent changes in domestic and international regulations. The second day focuses on how to develop and submit an EPA vessel general permit (VGP).  The VGP is now required for most vessels operating in U.S. waters. Ample time will be available during the seminar to discuss operational questions. For more information, visit www.mitags.org. If you are interested in taking the seminar, you can enroll on line, or by contacting Mary Matlock in the Admissions Office: admission@mitags.org and 866-656-5568.


NOV. 24 DEADLINE FOR D-BOOK APPLICANTS TO SUBMIT PAPERWORK TO NEXT GEB MEETING

The deadline for D-Book applicants to submit material for consideration at the Dec. 1-2 meeting of the MM&P General Executive Board (GEB) is 5:00 p.m. East Coast time, Tuesday, Nov. 24. As has been previously mentioned in MM&P publications, a one-week deadline for D-Book document submission is now in effect. All back-up paperwork for the application, including a copy of the “D” Certificate for the D-Book membership class, four letters of recommendation from senior officers and a copy of the discharge (if the applicant got off a ship just before or on the deadline date) must be received by the MM&P Membership Department by close of business, 5:00 p.m. East Coast time, one week before the GEB meeting in question. Applicants’ initiation fee must also be paid in full.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

CLASS OPENINGS: Between now and the end of 2009, seats are available in the following courses:


ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 9/22, 10/6, 11/16

AZIPOD – (2-Day) Azipod Propulsion Systems: 10/1

BST – Basic Safety Training: 10/5, 12/7

BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 9/14, 11/16

BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 12/3

CNAV – Celestial Navigation: 10/19

CHS-BAS – Basic Cargo Handling & Stowage: 10/5

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

CMM-ADVSTB � Advanced Stability: 12/14

CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 9/21, 11/16

CMM-CHS I – Advanced Cargo Operations (week 1): 10/5

CMM-CHS II – Advanced Cargo Operations (week 2): 10/12

CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 11/2

CMM-SHMGT I – Ship Management (week 1) : 11/30

CMM-SHMGT II – Ship Management (week 2) : 12/7

CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1):  10/26, 11/9, 11/30, 12/2

CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 11/2, 11/16, 12/7

CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 11/9

EP – Emergency Procedures: 11/4

ENVRO-REGS PERMIT – Environmental Regulations In The Maritime Industry / Epa General Permit For Commercial Vessels:  10/7, 11/11

FF-BADV – Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting Combined: 10/5, 12/7

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5-Day) course: 10/12

LAP – License Advancement Program (Original Third Mate Only): 11/30

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 9/28, 12/2

MEDIA RSP – Media Response Workshop: 9/18, 11/19

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 10/17, 11/14

MED-PIC – Medical Person In Charge: 11/9

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider:  11/9

[MSC – Military Sealift Command]

MSC-CBRD-1 – CBRD Orientation: 11/20

MSC-DC Damage Control: (Special Evening Course: 11/16 – 19/09)

MSC-SMA – Small Arms Training: 11/16

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 10/5, 11/9, 11/16

SAR – Search & Rescue: 11/2

SEC-VCF – Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 11/16

SEC-VSO-R – Vessel Security Officer Refresher (1 day):  11/13

SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 11/9

SHS-EMR-5 – Emergency Shiphandling: 10/12, 12/7

SHS-EMR-BRMP3 – Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 9/28, 11/30


WKP BAS – Basic Watchkeeping: 9/21

…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 e-mail: admissions@mitags.org.


PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

Schedule of Courses – Please also see our schedule online at www.mates.org

For registration, call our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen, at (206) 838-1126

September 2009

14-18  Basic Cargo Handling
21        Radar Renewal
21-2    Celestial Navigation
22-25  ARPA
21-25  Medical Care Provider
21-2    Medical Person-In-Charge

October 2009

5-9 Basic Stability
12-16   Basic Meteorology
12        Security Refresher
19-30  GMDSS
19-23  Tankerman Person In Charge
26        Radar Renewal
26-30 Medical Care Provider
27-29  Security VCF

November 2009

2-13    Watchkeeping with BRM
2-6      Radar Observer Unlimited
9          Radar Renewal
9-13    Medical Care Provider
9-20    Medical Person In Charge
10-12  Security VCF
16-20  Tankerman Person In Charge
20       Flashing Light
30       Security Refresher

December 2009

7          Radar Renewal
8-11     ARPA
14-16   Security VCF


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 9-4-2009

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
9,441.27 2,018.78 1,016.40
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
45.60
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
94.07
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
29.58
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
15.76
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
13.66
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
21.70
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.71
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
24.46
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.13
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
14.60
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
18.28
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
13.05
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
16.81
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
10.73
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
10.86
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
10.71
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
10.86
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
11.23
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.35
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
25.08
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
14.54
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
13.03
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
14.89
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.03
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
59.59
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
14.46
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
52.06
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
15.22
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
33.31
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
26.13
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
21.34
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
10.44
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
11.11
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
12.01
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
11.91
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
11.64
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
6.70
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
7.78
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.28
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
27.68
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
36.07
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
23.48





~ 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.

© 2009, 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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