News

Wheelhouse Weekly – September 15, 2008

September 15th 2008

 

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

Volume 12 . . . . . Number 37. . . .September 15, 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.


MM&P HOUSTON HALL DAMAGED BY HURRICANE IKE

MM&P Houston Hall staff and their families are safe and sound in the wake of Hurricane Ike. The hall itself has been severely damaged, however. Agent-Gulf Ports Wayne Farthing reports that half the roof of the Houston pilot office, where the MM&P Offshore Hall is housed, was “peeled off” in the storm and that there is standing water in the hall. Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA) Houston rep Dana Woodruff has kindly offered to let MM&P temporarily conduct business from the MEBA Hall, located at 316 Broadway. However, local conditions are such that MEBA staffers have not yet been able to get to the MEBA Hall to see how it weathered the hurricane. Houston Port rep Nell Wilkerson reports that she and her family are fine, although without power. Also: the cars of MM&P members parked behind the Seafarer Center at Barbours Cut “appear to be dry and undamaged.” We will update members about the Houston Hall in the next issue of The Wheelhouse Weekly.


MM&P MEMBERS IN HOUSTON AVAILABLE FOR PRO WORK

MM&P members in the Houston area are available for PRO work. Ships with PRO requests should contact Wayne Farthing via e-mail: wfarthing@bridgedeck.org.


LIST OF MITAGS AND PMI COURSES THAT MEET USCG REQUIREMENTS FOR VSO ENDORSEMENT ON STCW-95 CERTIFICATE

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.


COAST GUARD ANNOUNCES NEW TWIC PORT FACILITY COMPLIANCE DATES

The Coast Guard and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced that Jan. 13, 2009, is the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) compliance date for owners and operators of facilities located in the Coast Guard Captain of the Port Zones of Hampton Roads, Va., Morgan City and New Orleans, the Upper Mississippi River, Miami, Key West and St. Petersburg. Ports affected include Newport News, Morgan City, Baton Rouge, St. Louis, Miami, Key West and St. Petersburg.

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.  The date by which owners and operators of vessels and outer continental shelf facilities must implement TWIC access control procedures is also April 15.

Compliance will be phased in by Captain of the Port Zones between Oct. 15, 2008, and April 15, after which all ports must be in compliance and all credentialed mariners must be in possession of a TWIC.

Workers can pre-enroll for the TWIC online at www.tsa.gov/twic. The Coast Guard says pre-enrollment reduces the time it takes to fully enroll in the TWIC program and shortens the wait at enrollment centers.


USNS SATURN IN HUMANITARIAN MISSION, RESCUE

Military Sealift Command (MSC) combat stores ship USNS SATURN recently participated in a humanitarian mission in Guatemala. MM&P members aboard SATURN include Captain Richard Cicchetti and Cargo Mate Kelvin Battle. As part of the humanitarian mission, civilian mariners and sailors aboard the ship spent a day in port delivering medical supplies and hygiene products to the Centro de Salud Clinic in Municipio de Ztapa, Guatemala. They also delivered toys and first aid kits to local elementary schools. During their humanitarian deployment, SATURN’s crew helped fishermen aboard a vessel that had been stranded for several days without power off the coast of Costa Rica.


USS MOUNT WHITNEY DELIVERS HUMANITARIAN AID IN WAKE OF RUSSIA-GEORGIA CONFLICT

The amphibious command ship USS MOUNT WHITNEY has been deployed to Poti, Georgia, with a shipment of humanitarian supplies such as powdered milk and blankets. The CIVMARS aboard the vessel include MM&P licensed deck officers, MEBA engineers and SIU unlicensed personnel. MOUNT WHITNEY is the third U.S. ship to deliver aid to Georgia since the country’s recent conflict with Russia. The city of Poti is still partly occupied by Russian troops.  


SOUTH KOREAN SHIP HIJACKED AND THREE OTHERS ATTACKED

More pirate attacks off the coast of Somalia: last Wednesday, pirates hijacked a South Korean bulker and its crew of 21 and, in a separate incident, speed boats manned by men firing machine guns attacked a Greek bulk carrier. The crew of the Greek ship contacted the International Maritime Bureau’s piracy center, which alerted the international multinational force. The force sent a warship and a helicopter that chased the pirates away. During the same period, a Chinese-owned ship, a Singaporean liquefied gas carrier and a Thai bulker were also attacked. The three vessels avoided hijacking when their crews took evasive action.


MARAD SUGGESTS WAYPOINTS FOR VESSELS IN GULF OF ADEN

MARAD has issued an advisory (2008-05) suggesting waypoints for U.S. vessels transiting the Gulf of Aden, as well as an advisory (2008-04) to all mariners aboard U.S. and U.S.-controlled vessels to be on high alert for pirates. U.S. Naval Central Command has directed the establishment of a maritime security patrol area in the Gulf of Aden. A force of coalition navy warships will patrol it and aircraft will fly in the airspace above. The coordinates of suggested corridor through the Gulf of Aden are:
Waypoint: 12 15N 045E
Waypoint:  12 35N 045E
Waypoint: 13 35N 049E
Waypoint: 13 40N 049E
Waypoint: 14 10N 050E
Waypoint:  14 15N 050E
Waypoint: 14 45N 053E.

The advisories are at http://www.marad.dot.gov/Headlines/advisories/2008-05.html and http://www.marad.dot.gov/Headlines/advisories/2008-04.html


MARITIME ADMINISTRATOR CONNAUGHTON TO BE APPOINTED TO FMC

President Bush will nominate the Maritime Administrator, Sean T. Connaughton, to serve as commissioner of the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) and, upon appointment, as chairman of the FMC. Once his nomination is approved by legislators, Connaughton will serve the remainder of a five-year term that expires on June 30, 2012.


MM&P APPLICANTS’ COURSE FOR D-BOOK MEMBERSHIP IN SAN FRANCISCO SEPT. 17-18 AND IN HONOLULU OCT. 1-2; COURSE SCHEDULE FOR OTHER HALLS TO BE ANNOUNCED

 The course for MM&P applicants seeking to qualify for D-Book Membership will be held in San Francisco Sept. 17 and 18 and in Honolulu Oct. 1- 2, from 0900 to 1600. If you are interested in participating in these classes, please call the San Francisco Hall (415-777-5074) or the Honolulu Hall (808-523-8183) to reserve your seat. Class size is limited so sign up early. Courses in other MM&P halls will be announced in The Wheelhouse Weekly as soon as they are scheduled.

If you wish to be considered for D-Book status next year, you need to have completed this class, have four favorable recommendations, have paid the initiation fee and have at least 360 days sea time under MM&P contract. A packet detailing the requirements for D-Book Membership was recently mailed to all MM&P applicants. The packet includes four copies of an applicant evaluation form that can be given to the masters or chief mates who will write the letters of recommendation. The applicant evaluation form can also be downloaded from www.bridgedeck.org: just click on “What’s New.” If you have questions about D-Book Membership, please contact your Area Vice President, the MM&P Agent-Pacific Ports or MM&P Gulf Port Representative.


FREE PODCAST ON ACCIDENTS AT SEA EMPHASIZES IMPORTANCE OF GOOD COMMUNICATION

As many as one in five accidents at sea are caused at least in part by a breakdown in communications. “The Case of the Fallen Savior,” the most recent edition of the free “Maritime Accident Casebook” podcast, describes how a seafarer was seriously injured when a freefall lifeboat launched accidentally. Although the main cause of the accident was inadequate training, communication failures—including inadequate signage and garbled spoken instructions—also played key roles.

The accident took place aboard the Russian-crewed MAERSK POMOR in Queensland, Australia, during a port state inspection. “There are two conflicting accounts as to why the lifeboat was launched and neither speaks well of the training and safety regime onboard the ship, but the common element is poor communication,” says Bob Couttie, administrator of Maritime Accident Casebook and narrator of the podcast. Although the ship’s working language was Russian, critical safety signs were in English. “You can argue that the crewmembers should have had sufficient proficiency in English,” Couttie says, “but what saves lives isn’t what people should know, it’s what they do know.” In the podcast, the importance of accurate signage is underlined. “Pictorial signs can prove confusing,” Couttie says. In this case, the hook release warning sign did not adequately reflect the way in which the lifeboat was supposed to be launched. The podcast concludes that even simple strategies, like asking someone to repeat the instructions they have been given, can reduce the chance of communication errors.

All Maritime Accident Casebook podcasts are available for free download at www.maritimeaccident.org. Each podcast is backed by an illustrated online transcript that seafarers can read and share with their crewmates. Those with training and safety responsibilities can use the broadcasts and the transcripts freely. For more information about Maritime Accident Casebook, go to http://maritimeaccident.org or e-mail Bob Couttie at mac@maritimeaccident.org.


TRAGIC RECORD: 41 COLOMBIAN TRADE UNIONISTS KILLED IN FIRST EIGHT MONTHS OF 2008

The number of union members murdered in Colombia in the first eight months of 2008 has already surpassed the total for 2007, according to statistics released by the AFL-CIO. The Aug. 26 murder of Alexander Blanco Rodriguez, a member of the Colombian oil workers’ union, brought the total for the first eight months of the year to 41. Thirty-nine Colombian trade unionists were murdered in 2007. Rodriguez was killed in front of his co-workers by a group of armed men as he was finishing his shift at the state oil company, ECOPETROL. The “impunity rate” for murdering a trade unionist in Colombia is over 96 percent, according to the AFL-CIO. “It is unconscionable that the Colombian government is continuing to expend significant resources here in Washington to lobby for passage of the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) as the violence facing trade unionists in Colombia escalates, the problem of impunity for perpetrators of that violence persists, and labor law reform is stalled,” AFL-CIO President John Sweeney said in an official statement. “These issues must be adequately addressed before Congress considers the Colombia FTA.” 


IMMEDIATE OPENING FOR SIMULATION DEPARTMENT MANAGER AT PMI

The Pacific Maritime Institute (PMI) in Seattle is seeking a Simulation Department Manager to maintain and operate its two full-mission simulators. A degree in computer science or equivalent experience is required; a Mate’s license is a plus, as are two or more years in network support systems, integration and simulation; a proven track record in programming, design or simulation desired. Please e-mail your resume to hr@mitags.org or send a fax to (443) 989-3341.


JOB OPENINGS FOR MM&P MEMBERS ON THE GREAT LAKES

There are job openings on the Great Lakes for MM&P members. Our contracted employers are seeking engineers and licensed mates with pilotage. Retirees are also encouraged to apply. The rules of the MM&P Pension Plan allow pensioners to accept without penalty employment–other than Covered Employment–aboard vessels covered by collective bargaining agreements with MM&P membership groups, on condition that the employment is first approved by MM&P. Interested parties should call 216-776-1667 or e-mail cmalue@bridgedeck.org.


PACIFIC MARITIME INSTITUTE SEEKS TPIC AND CARGO HANDLING INSTRUCTORS

MITAGS/PMI is accepting applications for TPIC and Cargo Handling contract instructors for employment at the Pacific Maritime Institute in Seattle. The jobs, which are non-benefit positions, are an ideal opportunity for active or retired members to pass on their knowledge and experience. Applicants must meet Coast Guard approval requirements and have more than two years of experience in cargo handling or TPIC as senior mate/chief mate/master. Residence in Washington State or near PMI is a plus but not required. For more information, go to www.mates.org. Send resumes/ applications to hr@mitags.org or by fax to HR at (443) 989-3341.    


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

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

AIS-1 � Automatic Identification System (1 day): 11/21
ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 10/6

BST – Basic Safety Training:  10/6
BRM � Bridge Resource Management: 11/10
BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 10/6

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-CHS II – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 9/22
CMM-ADVSTB � Advanced Stability: 11/17
CMM-ECDIS � Electronic Chart Display & Information Systems: 11/3
CMM-MPP � Marine Propulsion Plants: 9/29
CMM-SHS-ADV-I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 9/29
CMM-SHS-ADV-II-Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 10/6
CMM-SHMGT-I � Ship Management (week 1): 10/6
CMM-SHMGT-II � Ship Management (week 2): 10/13
CMM-WKP � Advanced Watchkeeping: 10/20

COMP-OPSYS � Basic Computer Operating Systems: 10/6
CONT PLNG � Contingency Planning Workshop: 9/26
CSE-AWR2 � Confined Space Entry Awareness (2 day): 9/25

FF-BADV – Combined Basic & Advanced Fire Fighting: 10/6

GMDSS � Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 10/20
HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day) course: 10/27

LAP � License Advancement Program: 9/15
LEG � Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 9/29, 10/7

MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 10/13, 11/16
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 10/13, 11/16
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 10/18, 11/15
MEDIA RSP – Media Response: 9/25, 11/20

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 10/6, 11/3
ROP-5 � Radar Observer Original or Renewal (5 Day): 11/10

SEC-VCF – Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 9/22, 11/17
SEC-VSO-R � Vessel Security Officer Refresher (1 day): 10/16
SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 9/22, 10/13, 11/17
SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling: 10/20

TPIC-DL � Tankship Dangerous Liquids (PIC): 9/22

…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)

September 2008
22-26MED PRO

October 2008
29-3 ROP
29-3 SHS BAS
6 ROR
6-10WKP BAS
7-10ARPA
13-17ECDIS
13-17TPIC
20-31GMDSS
20-24MED PRO
20-31MED PIC
22-26MED PRO
20FL

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
15-19ECDIS
15-19TPIC

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 9-12-2008

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
11,422 2,261 1,252
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
57.63
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
115.79
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
36.15
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
19.20
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
16.55
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
26.54
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.41
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
29.23
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.45
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
15.83
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
21.61
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
13.63
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
18.96
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
11.47
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
11.95
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
12.20
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
12.72
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
13.14
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.10
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
30.65
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
18.29
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
13.86
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
20.91
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
9.85
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
72.56
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
17.29
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
65.41
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
18.85
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
37.67
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
31.02
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
24.11
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
10.83
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
11.71
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
13.19
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
13.52
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
13.63
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
7.95
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
9.31
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.10
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
34.00
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
44.44
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
28.05





~ 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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