News

Wheelhouse Weekly – September 24, 2007

September 24th 2007

 

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

Volume 11 . . . . . Number 38. . . .September 24, 2007

STORIES COVERED

Also

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.


BRAVERY OF HORIZON FALCON CREW WINS KUDOS IN CONGRESS

Members of Congress heard details last week of HORIZON FALCON’S dramatic rescue of several Chinese seafarers whose vessel sank in July in a typhoon. Describing the act of heroism, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) told her colleagues on the Hill that employees of MM&P-contracted Horizon Lines, which is headquartered in her district, were the authors of “an exemplary deed.”

“We live in a time when it is easy to pass up opportunities to help someone in distress with the assumption that someone else will take care of it,” she said. The Horizon Lines crewmembers “deserve to be commended for reaching out across boundaries of language and culture and helping people in dire need.”

“I wish to extend my thanks to all the people at this fine North Carolina company for a job well done,” she added. “I hope other companies take notice and follow their lead.”

The HORIZON FALCON came to the rescue of the crew of a log ship which had sunk in the 70-mile-per-hour winds and 24-foot seas of a typhoon. Foxx told members of Congress how the FALCON’s captain, Tom McDorr, navigated  heavy seas filled with logs to get the huge container ship within range of a rescue mission using one of the ship’s lifeboats. “I cannot say enough to commend the bravery of these men who risked their lives to save someone with whom they had no connection. Their selfless act was a demonstration of profound humanity in the face of extreme danger,” Foxx said.

She quoted Chuck Raymond, chairman, president and CEO of Horizon Lines, saying: “Ever since man has been going to sea, there has been danger. But there also has been and will ever be brotherhood at sea that crosses any boundary. This rescue effort is a shining example of that.”

Besides McDorr and Chief Mate Kevin McCarthy, MM&P members aboard the FALCON at the time of the rescue include Second Mate Harvey Bert Smith and Third Mate Nicholas C. Moore.


USCG COMMANDANT SAYS AGENCY TRYING TO EVOLVE

Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad Allen has reiterated that the USCG will hire civilians to augment its marine inspection and investigation program and make other organizational changes. Allen made the remarks in a speech to members of the Propeller Club in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 19. He also said the agency is working to make USCG’s merchant mariner credentialing process more efficient and transparent.

The focus of Allen’s remarks to members of the Propeller Club was USCG’s Marine Safety Program, one of several at the agency that have been the object of congressional scrutiny in recent months. MM&P has presented testimony at a number of recent hearings on various Coast Guard programs. On Aug 2, MM&P Pilotage Group Vice President George Quick, who testified on behalf of the union, told members of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation that experienced civilian maritime professionals should supplant Coast Guard officers in marine inspection roles. Quick said port state control officers, marine inspectors, license examiners and accident investigators should all be seasoned maritime industry professionals with managerial experience.

Allen, who also testified at that hearing, admitted there were problems in the current system but insisted marine inspection should be kept within the USCG for purposes of efficiency and security. He reiterated this position during the Propeller Club speech. Allen has proposed a blended marine inspection work force with some percentage of civilian employees.

The past year has been a difficult time for USCG, which has faced public scrutiny over the Deepwater program as well as questions about the impartiality of its administrative law judge system and the efficacy of its marine safety program. Among the commitments Allen made during thePropeller Club speech was that the Coast Guard would develop metrics to continually measure its progress in meeting the objectives of its mission.  

Rep. Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, has proposed removing some regulatory missions from the Coast Guard.



NON-UNION ALCATRAZ FERRY CONTRACTOR HAS LET CITY DOWN, SAYS SAN FRANCISCO PORT EXECUTIVE

Non-union ferry operator Hornblower Yachts, which last year unseated MM&P-contracted Blue & Gold in the bidding contest to provide ferry service to Alcatraz Island, has failed to provide the environmentally friendly vessels that were part of its contract, says Port of San Francisco Executive Director Monique Moyer. She said Hornblower has also failed to construct a suite of shoreside educational facilities that were required by contract. The company is still battling several court decisions that require it to pay its workers the prevailing wage.

Nonetheless, Hornblower has instituted a 150 percent increase in ticket prices that visitors to the island have to pay to ride the ferries.

The National Park Service awarded the Alcatraz contract to Hornblower when the non-union company underbid Blue & Gold by offering its workers lower wages and benefits. Several courts and the Department of Labor have since ruled that Hornblower must pay the prevailing wage. The courts ruled that the National Park Service erred grossly in failing to make that requirement a condition of the bid. In the meantime, in July the Park Service awarded Hornblower a second lucrative government contract, this time to run the ferry service to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. In that bidding process, another unionized contractor was unseated by Hornblower.

San Francisco Port Director Moyer made her statements regarding the city’s disappointment with Hornblower in testimony before the National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands Subcommittee of the House Committee on Natural Resources. The subcommittee is investigating why the National Park Service did not take Hornblower’s performance in San Francisco into account before awarding it the contract to manage service to the Statue of Liberty.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a release underlining the fact that in San Francisco, Hornblower had failed to provide promised lower-emission ferries or a new hybrid-electric ferry maximizing the use of solar and wind energy. “The National Park Service should have considered Hornblower’s performance in San Francisco before awarding the company another major contract,” Pelosi said.

MM&P United Inland Group Vice President Mike Murray and Inland Boatmen’s Union President Alan Cote submitted a joint statement for the record. The two asked Congress to examine “whether legislation is needed to ensure that workers are treated fairly in the process of awarding such contracts…. They recommended that “the existing skilled workforce be given due consideration in the hiring process of the new contractor. This is not just a matter of preserving jobs, but of visitor safety,” they said.

After the Park Service gave Hornblower the Alcatraz contract, Blue & Gold was forced to issue 314 layoff notices to union crew members.


COAST GUARD ISSUES PLACES OF REFUGE POLICY, AGREES TO CONDITIONAL SUPPORT FOR SHIPS IN DISTRESS

The Coast Guard has issued an internal policy that agrees to grant conditional support to requests from ships in distress for entry into places of refuge in U.S. waters. But the agency says it wants to make it clear that it retains the authority to deny entry and take other measures deemed necessary under the Intervention on the High Seas Convention.

In its “Commandant Instruction 16451.9 of July 17,” the Coast Guard provides  guidance to its field commanders, area committees and regional response teams on how to go about selecting the lowest risk place of refuge for a stricken vessel. The document sets forth a process to support risk-based planning and decision-making, including a sample checklist and risk assessment job aids.

Under the policy, the ship owner or operator has to prove the ship is actually in a “force majeure” situation and that the proposed entry represents an acceptable risk. The Coast Guard says the ship owner or operator must have a valid OPA 9 certificate of financial responsibility (COFR) or an acceptable letter of undertaking (LOU), as well as an approved salvage plan and an approved transit plan.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) adopted guidelines on places of refuge for ships in need of assistance on Dec. 5, 2003, following separate incidents in which several oil tankers broke apart and sank, resulting in major oil spills. The PRESTIGE, a Liberian ship registered in the Bahamas, sank in November 2002, after having made repeated efforts to seek refuge in the ports of France, Spain and Portugal. The captain of the PRESTIGE, Apostolos Mangouras was taken into custody in Spain after being charged with not cooperating with the authorities and harming the environment. At this writing, he is under house arrest in Greece.


MM&P SEEKING RESUMES FOR LMSR BIDS

MM&P-contracted companies are submitting bids for the Watson Class LMSR contract.  Resumes are requested from members who have LMSR and/or government contract service. For further information and resume format, please contact MM&P Agent-Pacific Ports Dave Boatner via e-mail at dboatner@bridgedeck.org. Members are reminded that submission of resumes to non-MM&P employers disadvantages our contracted companies and reduces the possibility of acquiring new MM&P jobs. Such actions violate a member’s duty to MM&P under our constitution.



HOUSE-PASSED FAA BILL CALLS FOR INSPECTIONS OF FOREIGN AIRCRAFT REPAIR STATIONS

The AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department, of which MM&P is a member, has  expressed satisfaction with passage by the House of Representatives of  the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill. Among the bill’s provisions is one that would require drug and alcohol testing of mechanics at foreign repair stations who work on U.S. aircraft. “Why bother drug and alcohol testing U.S. mechanics if we’re not going to require the same of foreign mechanics who work on the same aircraft?” said TTD President Edward Wytkind. According to a recent government report, there are 698 FAA-certified foreign aircraft repair stations. Thirty-five percent of outsourced heavy maintenance work at nine U.S. carriers was sent overseas in 2006.

The bill would also require foreign aircraft repair stations to be inspected by FAA inspectors at least twice a year. Despite increased use of outsourced repair facilities, the FAA has continued to concentrate inspections on in-house facilities, TTD says. In addition, a substantial amount of repair work on American plans is being outsourced to subcontractors that are not FAA certified. The bill ensures that critical maintenance work will be done either at in-house facilities or at certified repair stations with proper oversight. “As more and more maintenance work is outsourced, safety standards abroad must be as tough as they are here,” Wytkind said.


COURT UPHOLDS SECURITY SCREENER’S RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH

A U.S. appeals court has ruled that a government security screener fired in 2004 after receiving a warning about posting union materials can sue the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for violating his right to free speech.  The Sept. 5, 2007 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed an earlier district court decision which declared that Congress had precluded judicial review of screeners’ constitutional claims because screeners were excluded from civil service job protections when TSA was created in 2001.


MORE DETAILS ON REORGANIZATION OF NATIONAL MARITIME CENTER

The Coast Guard has posted to its website a report that details the changes it is making at the National Maritime Center (NMC), which runs the mariner licensing and documentation program.  The NMC is moving from Arlington, Va., to Martinsburg, W. Va. As part of the move, all application evaluation functions, credential issuance, record maintenance and fee collections currently performed at the agency’s regional exam centers (RECs) will be centralized at the new facility. The Coast Guard says that although staff will be reduced at most of the RECs, none will be closed.  The report is at:
http://www.uscg.mil/hq/g-m/nmc/web/NMCRCProjwebpagerevo1.htm
The Coast Guard says a primary goal of the centralization is to improve customer service for mariners and cut down on excessive wait times in the document issuing process.


HAWAII SUPERFERRY WON’T RESUME SERVICE WEDNESDAY

Operators of the Hawaii Superferry said they had decided not to resume service on Wednesday because of safety concerns. The ferry’s first trip was blocked by local protesters two weeks ago. A judge is currently deciding whether the superferry should be allowed to operate or not during a court-mandated assessment of its impact on the marine environment. The environmental assessment could take more than six months, not considering possible legal challenges, and there is doubt about whether the operators of the vessel can maintain financial viability if the service does not run in the interim.


MARK YOUR CALENDAR: MM&P 2008 CONVENTION DATES ANNOUNCED

The 82nd Convention of the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots will be held June 23-25 in Linthicum Heights, Md. The convention will kick off at 1000 on June 23. Only members in good standing for two continuous years in payment of their union dues are eligible to run for elected office. The two-year period for good-standing as far as nominations is April 1, 2006, through March 31, 2008. Members in good standing as of June 30, 2008, are eligible to vote.


JOBS AVAILABLE ON THE GREAT LAKES

MM&P Great Lakes and Rivers Representative Charlie Malue reports that numerous jobs are available on the Great Lakes for licensed mates with pilotage, engineers, QMEDS and able-bodied seamen. Retirees are also encouraged to apply for these jobs. 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 the Organization. Interested parties should call Charlie Malue at 216-776-1667 or e-mail him at cmalue@bridgedeck.org.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

If you can’t make the class, make the call.  Be courteous, don’t be a “no show.”
– PLENTY OF OPENINGS:  CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 10/8

CLASS OPENINGS: Between now and the end of November 2007, seats are available in the following courses:

AIS – Automatic Identification System: 11/30
ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 11/12

BRMP � Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 10/17
BST � Basic Safety Training: 10/8

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-CHS I � Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 11/26
CMM-MPP � Marine Propulsion Plants: 10/1
CMM-SHMGT-I � Ship Management (week 1): 10/15
CMM-SHMGT-II� Ship Management (week 2): 10/8
CMM-VPEN � Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 10/8
CMM-WKP � Advanced Watchkeeping: 10/22

COMP-OPSYS � Basic Computer Operating Systems: 10/8
CSE-AAES � Confined Space Entry, Atmospheric Analysis of Enclosed Spaces: 11/5

FF-BADV � Combined Basic & Advanced Fire Fighting: 10/8

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

LEG � Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 10/17 (evening class)
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 11/10
MED-PRO � Medical Care Provider: 11/5
MEDIA RSP � Media Response: 11/29

[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-CBRD-1 � CBRD Orientation: 10/28
MSC-DC � Damage Control: 10/26
MSC-SMA – Small Arms Training: 10/22
MSC-SMA-R – Small Arms Re-Qualification (2-day): 10/26 (must have proof of passing all 3 weapons within 2 years)

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 11/5, 11/12
ROP-5 � Radar Observer Unlimited (Original/Renewal): 10/1, 11/5

SEC-VCF � Security Officer: Vessel, Company & Facility: 11/26
SHS-ESH- BRMP – Emergency Shiphandling & Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 11/26
SHS-EMR5 � Emergency Shiphandling: 10/22

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 Email: admissions@mitags.org.


PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

Fall 2007

Due to the high demand for this program, PMI has now scheduled another that is already close to full enrollment for its 2007-start date. See the PMI Web site at www.mates.org for more info on this new development.

FOR REGISTRATION CALL JENNIFER FOWLER: 206 838-1126

SCHEDULE OF COURSES – (Course schedule also posted online at www.mates.org)

September 2007
24-5    WKP
24-28 ROP
26-28 AFF

October 2007
1-3      BRM
1-5      ARPA
2-5      LFBT
2-5      AFF
8-19    GMDSS
8-12    SHS EM5
8-12    BST
8-12    AB
15-19  ECDIS           
15-19  MED PRO
15-26  MED PIC
17-19  SEC VCF
15-19  BAFF
22        FL
23-24 SHS ASSESS
25-26 SHS ASSESS
29-2    TPIC
29-9    SHS ADV

November 2007
5-16    SHS ADV
6-9      LFBT
13        ROR
12-16  BST
12-16  AB
13-15  SEC VCF
26-7    GMDSS
26-30 ROP
26-30 MED PRO
26-30 SHS BAS

December 2007
3-7      ARPA
3-7      SHS EM5
3-7      BAFF
3-14    CNAV
4-7      LFBT
11        ROR   
10-14  BST
10-14  AB
17-21  ENAV
17-19  SEC VCF
17-21  ARPA
17-21  TPIC
17-21  SHS BAS

For registration call Jennifer Fowler 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 9-21-2007

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
13,820 2,671 1,526
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund(VAARX)
69.33
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
140.49
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
42.00
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
27.09
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
21.34
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
37.50
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.17
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
33.03
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
6.04
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
17.28
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
25.81
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
14.23
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
21.69
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
12.25
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
13.43
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
14.18
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
15.17
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
15.66
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
9.96
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
36.72
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
21.89
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
16.99
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
30.27
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.13
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
97.76
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
22.86
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
88.34
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
25.30
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
45.22
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
41.96
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
32.00
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.67
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
12.85
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
15.31
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
16.43
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
17.12
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
10.14
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
11.82
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.29
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
41.04
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
54.22
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
35.08






~ 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.
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.

C 2007, 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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