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

Volume 10 . . . . . Number 12. . . . March 24, 2006

STORIES COVERED

REMINDERS

T-AGS Oceanographic Survey Ships Info

Required Coursework

Security Clearances

MSC Physicals

MM&P Health & Benefit Plan News

Notice to Members who are taking Vioxx

NMHC Mail-Order Prescriptions Website Updated & Improved

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 Archives section.



 

NOTICE: LA/LB, SAN FRAN AND SEATTLE HALLS CLOSED MARCH 31ST

The MM&P union halls in Los Angeles/Long Beach, San Francisco and Seattle will be closed on Friday March 31st in observance of Cesar Chavez Day. This is a longshore holiday in West Coast ports.

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SEATTLE OFFSHORE HIRING HALL AND OFFICES HAVE MOVED

The Seattle Hiring Hall and Offshore Division offices have moved. As of Monday, March 20th, the new location is 15208 52nd Ave. S., Suite 100, Seattle, WA 98188. Telephone and fax numbers are unchanged: tel: 206-441-8700, fax: 206-448-8829. Please call for directions. The location is at the intersection of Interstate 5 and Interstate 405, just northwest of Southcenter Mall, near SeaTac Airport.

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HORIZON LINES TO CHARTER NEW SHIPS

MM&P-contracted Horizon Lines has announced that it will charter five US-flag, foreign-built ships for operation on its service linking the US West Coast with Guam and Asia. The five ships are being built in South Korea and will be chartered for 12 years from Ship Finance International Ltd. Each will have 2,300-TEU capacities and 23-knot service speeds.

When the new vessels enter service in early 2007, the company plans to re-deploy some of its older ships to the Hawaii and Puerto Rico trades. The transferred ships were built in the US and qualify under the Jones Act for use in US domestic services.

By July 2007, Horizon plans to have 17 active ships and four others in reserve status. Horizon said that when the new ships are deployed, the average age of the company's active fleet will be reduced to 20 years from the current average of more than 28 years. Horizon now operates five ships, with capacities of 2,100 to 2,400 TEUs, in the Guam/Asia trade.

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RAYMOND SAYS PORT SECURITY INVOLVES THREE CRITICAL FACTORS

In commenting on the on-going controversy over foreign ownership of US port operations, Charles (Chuck) Raymond, President and CEO of MM&P-contracted Horizon Lines recently said that physical security "is the responsibility of the port facility operator and must conform to plans regulated and approved by the US Coast Guard." Raymond said that it was important for people to remember that, "Security of our ports breaks down into three pieces."

"Physical security - This is the responsibility of the port facility operator and must conform to plans regulated and approved by the US Coast Guard. USCG inspectors regularly review port cargo facilities to insure agreed-to precautions are in force. Physical guard services can be obtained from public or private resources, depending on the practice at any particular port.

"Vessel Security - This is the responsibility of the vessel operator. The USCG also has jurisdiction over the safe operation of vessels in US waters, environmental compliance and crew clearance matters. The Coast Guard has good data to determine what vessels represent various levels of risk.

"Cargo Security - This is the area that concerns most people, the question of 'What's in the box.' Homeland security has a series of programs to help assure we know what is in a container intended to be loaded on a ship headed for the US. The National Targeting Center uses sophisticated programs to sort shipments according to anomalies or unusual changes from patterns. Suspect containers or shipments (this is the critical 5-6% often cited by less-than-fully informed critics) are then stripped out and fully inspected by US Customs, or in certain cases are even prohibited from being lifted aboard a vessel headed to our shores."

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MATSON PLANNING TO SCRAP THE CHIEF GADAO AND EWA

According to published reports, MM&P-contracted Matson Navigation is planning to scrap two of its oldest vessels. Maritime industry sources report that a pair of former APL containerships, the 2,015-TEU CHIEF GADAO (ex-PRESIDENT GRANT, built 1971) and EWA (ex-PRESIDENT TYLER, built 1972), have been sold for demolition and will no longer sail for Matson. The two Avondale-built steam-turbine ships have been laid up for over a year.


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PRESIDENT BUSH TO BE GRADUATION SPEAKER AT USMMA

President Bush will be the first President to be the graduation speaker for the US Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, NY. The announcement was contained in the following statement received from the USMMA Alumni Association:

"The White House Chief of Staff, Andrew Card, made a short detour yesterday afternoon on his way to a Long Island fund raiser. He called the Superintendent a couple of days earlier and indicated he had a free "hour" that he'd like to spend with the Midshipmen. So, before a packed house in Ackerman Auditorium he recounted his memorable moments surrounding 9/11 and visit to ground zero. He reminded the midshipmen that 9/11 would change their lives forever. He also reminded them that their oath of office and allegiance to their country would be the most important step in their lives.

As his final salute to the Academy, he presented VADM Joseph Stewart with a personal note from the President of the United States that briefly stated he would be at the Academy on June 19th to be the graduation speaker. The midshipmen went wild and deservedly so. Card stated that it was time that Kings Point should no longer be the only service academy that has never had a President as the graduation speaker."

MM&P is always represented at the USMMA graduation ceremony where the union presents an award to a high-achieving MM&P student associate member chosen by the USMMA faculty as the student the Academy's sea-going instructors would most like to sail with.


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US NAVY SHIPS ENGAGE IN FIREFIGHT WITH PIRATES OFF SOMALIA

The USS CAPE ST. GEORGE and USS GONZALEZ returned fire on a group of suspected pirates in the Indian Ocean, killing one and wounding five, US Naval Forces Central Command officials based in Bahrain reported earlier this week. The incident occurred about 25 nautical miles off the central eastern coast of Somalia in international waters.

CAPE ST. GEORGE, a guided missile cruiser, and GONZALEZ, a guided missile destroyer, were conducting maritime security operations in the area as part of Combined Task Force 150. Members of this maritime coalition task force spotted a suspect vessel towing two smaller skiffs bearing west toward the coast, officials reported. As GONZALEZ's boarding teams prepared to conduct a routine boarding of the suspect vessel, the two Navy ships noticed the suspected pirates were brandishing what appeared to be rocket-propelled grenade launchers. The suspected pirates then opened fire on the Navy ships.

The CAPE ST. GEORGE and GONZALEZ returned fire with small arms in self-defense, officials said. One suspected pirate was killed and a fire ignited aboard the main suspect vessel. Boarding teams from CAPE ST. GEORGE and GONZALEZ took 12 suspects into custody and confiscated a number of assault weapons. No US sailors were injured in the engagement.

Coalition forces conduct maritime security operations under international maritime conventions to ensure security and safety in international waters so all merchant shipping can operate freely while transiting the region, officials said. On March 15, the United Nations Security Council encouraged naval forces operating off the coast of Somalia to be vigilant and take action against piracy.



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NAVY SHIPBUILDING COSTS WAY OVER BUDGET AND CLIMBING

The final cost of the US Navy's newest ship, the amphibious transport SAN ANTONIO was supposed to have been about $830 million. But the final cost of the ship is expected to reach $1.85 billion.

The SAN ANTONIO, also known by the designation LPD-17, is the first of 12 sister ships in its class. The ship has been troubled by major construction deficiencies, including poor wiring, inadequate ventilation, corrosion, safety problems throughout and "poor construction and craftsmanship standards." The Navy has accepted the ship, despite criticizing its builders for being two years late and more than $400 million over budget.

According to the Government Accountability Office, the Navy is having trouble controlling costs on other shipbuilding projects as well. Costs also are climbing for ships on the drawing boards. The Navy plans to spend as much as $3 billion each for a new class of destroyers and $13 billion each for new aircraft carriers. "I never thought I'd live so long as to see a destroyer that costs $2 billion or $3 billion and aircraft carriers at $13 billion-plus," Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, said last week. "These are staggering numbers."

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MM&P ISSUES CALL FOR 81ST CONVENTION

In accordance with Article IV, Section 2, of the International Constitution, you are hereby notified that a regular convention of the MM&P will be convened at 1000 hrs on Tuesday, August 22, 2006, at MITAGS, 692 Maritime Boulevard, Linthicum Heights, Maryland 21090.

Members are also hereby notified that in accordance with Article IV, Section 6., Subsection b), all proposed resolutions must be forwarded to the International Secretary-Treasurer at least 30 days prior to the opening day of the Convention for inclusion on the Agenda and determination by the Convention.

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USCG LA-LB REGIONAL EXAM CENTER MOVING TO NEW LOCATION

The US Coast Guard, Los Angeles-Long Beach Regional Exam Center (REC) is now in the process of relocating from its Seaside Avenue, Terminal Island location to the sixth floor of the Long Beach Federal Building located at 501 W. Ocean Blvd. Suite 6200, Long Beach, CA. The REC closed its Seaside Avenue location on March 23rd and is scheduled to reopen to the public at its new Long Beach location on April 13th.

All mail-in credentialing business should be sent to the following new address starting on April 10, 2006:
US Coast Guard
Regional Examination Center
501 W. Ocean Blvd. Suite 6200
Long Beach, CA 90802

To view updates on the REC move go to the USCG Web page at: http://www.uscg.mil/d11/sectorlalb/recdiv.htm
For replacement of lost credentials during the closure, contact REC San Francisco Bay at 510-637-1124.


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USCG REGIONAL EXAM CENTER RETURNS TO NEW ORLEANS AREA

The USCG's limited-service regional exam center for the New Orleans area has been relocated to Metairie, LA. The new location at 201 Hammond Highway, Metairie, LA, 70005, is scheduled to operate Monday through Friday, 0800 to 1145 and 1300 to 1530. Personnel at the regional exam center will be able to provide such limited services as identification and fingerprinting services and oath administration. For more info call 504-219-2719.



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SUPERINTENDENT POSITION OPEN AT TEXAS A&M MARITIME ACADEMY

If you are interested in taking the helm of a growing Maritime Program at a coastal branch-campus of a world-class university, can navigate the deep waters of the US Maritime Administration and other Federal and State Agencies, and mentor maritime cadets from the bridge of a training ship in the stormy North Sea, you may be the leader that Texas A&M University at Galveston is seeking to serve as the next Superintendent of the Texas Maritime Academy. For more info go to the A&M Web site at http://www.tamug.edu/hrd or write to: Texas Maritime Academy, Human Resources Department, Texas A&M University at Galveston, PO Box 1675, Galveston, TX 77553-1675.


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USCG MERPAC SETS MEETINGS FOR EARLY APRIL

The Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee (MERPAC) and its working groups will meet to discuss various issues relating to the training and fitness of merchant marine personnel. Two MERPAC working groups will meet at USCG HQ on April 3rd, from 0830 to 1630. The full MERPAC committee will meet on April 4th from 0830 to 1630 and on April 5th from 0830 to 1600. For more info, contact Mr. Gould at 202-267-6890, fax 202-267-4570, or email mgould@comdt.uscg.mil.

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UPDATE: CAPT. CHARLES PILLSBURY REMAINS HOSPITALIZED

Capt. Charles Pillsbury, former Executive Director of MITAGS and current teacher at the school, has made some progress and is now out of the Intensive Care Unit. He remains hospitalized with a serious heart condition. Members who would like to send a get well card to Chuck can do so in care of MM&P HQ, 700 Maritime Blvd., Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1941.

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MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

CLASS OPENINGS: Between January and the end of June 2006, seats are available in the following courses:

---
AIS - Automated Identification Systems: 5/5
ARPA - Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 4/3, 5/1, 5/15, 6/5
AZIPOD-2 - Two-Day Azipod Steering and Propulsion: 6/5
-
BRM - Bridge Resource Management: 5/15, 6/12
BST - Basic Safety Training: 4/24, 5/22, 6/26
-
[CMM - Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-CHS I - Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 6/12
CMM-CHS II - Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 3/27, 6/19
CMM-ADVSTAB - Advanced Stability: 4/3, 5/22
*WX-BASREF-2 - Two day Basic weather refresher, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED PREP for Advanced Meteorology: 6/22
CMM-ADVWX - Advanced Meteorology: 6/26
CMM-ECDIS - Electronic Chart Display and Info Systems: 5/1, 5/15
CMM-MPP - Marine Propulsion Plants: 4/17, 6/26
CMM-SHMGT - Ship Management I (week 1): 6/19
CMM-SHMGT - Ship Management II (week 2): 6/12
CMM-SHS-ADV-I - Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 4/17, 5/29
CMM-SHS-ADV-II - Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 5/29
CMM-VPEN - Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 3/27, 5/8, 6/5
CMM-WKP - Watchkeeping: 4/10, 6/5
-
COMP-OPSYS - Basic Computer Operating Systems: 6/26
CONT-PLNG - Contingency Planning: 6/9
CSE-AASE - Confined Space Entry: 5/15

FF-BADV - Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 4/24, 5/22, 6/26
-
HAZ-Hazardous Materials (5-day): 3/27, 4/10, 5/1, 6/12
-
MEDIA-RSP - Media Response: 5/4, 6/8
MED-DOT-DA - Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 4/22, 5/13, 6/10, 6/24
MED-PIC - Medical Person-In-Charge: 4/17, 5/8, 6/5, 6/19
MED-PRO - Medical Care Provider: 4/17, 5/8, 6/5, 6/19

-
[MSC - Military Sealift Command]
MSC-CBRD-1 (Chemical Biological Radiological Defense Orientation): 4/19, 5/10, 6/19
MSC-DC (Damage Control): 4/20, 5/11, 6/20
MSC-SMA - Small Arms (4-day): 5/15, 6/19
MSC-SMA-R - Small Arms Re-Qualification (2-day): 3/31, 4/28, 5/19, 6/23 (must have proof of passing all 3 weapons within 2 years)
-
ROP-5 - Radar Observer Original and Renewal (5-day): 5/22
ROR-1 - Radar Observer Renewal: 4/3, 5/1, 5/15, 6/5, 6/21
-
SEC-OFF-VCF - Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 5/1, 6/5
SHS-EMR - Emergency Shiphandling: 3/27, 6/28
-
TPIC - Tankerman Person-In-Charge: 4/10

---
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.

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PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

Spring - Summer 2006

March 2006

3/27-31 MED PRO
3/27-31 ARPA
3/27 Radar Renewal
3/27-4/7 MEDPIC

April 2006
4/3-4 Search and Rescue
4/5-7 Emergency Procedures
4/3-7 BST
4/4-7 Survival Craft (Lifeboatman)
4/10-14 ECDIS
4/10-14 Radar Observer Unlimited
4/10-14 AB
4/10-21 GMDSS
4/17-21 ARPA
4/17 Radar Renew
4/17-21 Basic Shiphandling
4/24-5/5 Watchkeeping (BRM Inc.)

May 2006
5/1-3 BRM
5/1-5 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
5/2-5 Survival Craft (Lifeboatman)
5/8-12 Basic Shiphandling
5/8-12 BST
5/8-12 AB
5/8-19 GMDSS
5/8-20 100 Ton OUPV
5/15-19 MEDPRO
5/15-26 MEDPIC
5/22 Flashing Light

June 2006
6/5-9 ECDIS
6/5-9 ARPA
6/5-9 BST
6/6-9 Survival Craft (Lifeboatman)
6/5-23 TCNAV/CO
6/19-23 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
6/19-30 GMDSS
6/26-30 Radar Observer Unlimited
6/26-30 Basic Shiphandling

August 2006
31 Jul-4 Aug Basic Shiphandling
7-11 ECDIS
7-11 Basic Safety Training
7-11 Meteorology - Basic
8-11 Survival Craft / Lifeboatman
14-18 Able Bodied Seaman
14-18 Basic and Advanced Firefighting
14-25 GMDSS
14-25 Shiphandling - Advanced
21-25 Ship Construction & Basic Stability
21-25 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
28-1 Sep Cargo Handling & Stowage - Basic

September 2006
5-9 (tu-sa) Medical Care Provider
5-9 (tu-sa) Emergency Shiphandling 5-day
5-15 Medical Person-In-Charge
11-12 Search and Rescue
11-15 Basic Safety Training
11-23 100 Ton OUPV
12-15 Survival Craft / Lifeboatman
13-15 Emergency Procedures
18-22 Radar Observer Unlimited
18-22 Shiphandling - Basic
18-22 Able Bodied Seaman
18-6 Oct Terrestrial & Coastal Navigation with Compasses
25th Radar Recertification
25-29 ARPA
25-2 Oct Watchkeeping & BRM

For registration call Jennifer Fowler 888-893-7829

PMI MERCHANDISE FOR SALE!!!

High quality with embroidered PMI logo.
Navy or Khaki Hats : $16 / includes tax
----------------------------------
Button Down Long Sleeve Dress Shirts
Blue or Khaki: $38 / includes tax
----------------------------------
Pocket t-shirts with Logo: $12 / includes tax
------------------------------------
15oz. Cobalt Blue Ceramic Mug: $8 / includes tax

Call DeeDee Lazik 206-838-8328 or e-mail dlazik@mates.org.

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MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 3-23

 

 D O W  N A S D A Q  S & P 500
11,053.53 -83.64 for the week 2,314.64 +31.47 for the week 1,291.24 -1.43 for the week

 

Fund Name & Trading Symbol
Closing
Price
Change
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
119.27
-.04
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
36.70
+.32
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
22.61
+.40
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
18.49
+.11
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
32.45
-.05
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.25
-.02
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX)
6.20
NC
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
9.99
-.02
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
20.08
-.01
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
16.42
+.03
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
35.17
-.16
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
111.18
+1.12
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
21.56
+.18
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
80.39
+.17
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
45.84
-.01
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
31.09
+.08

 

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~ 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:

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:

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.

 

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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:

4.75 percent for terms up to 24 months.
Standard loan rates for longer-term loans are:

5.00 percent for 25-48 months;
5.75 percent for 49-60 months ($20,000 minimum); and
6.25 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.

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MM&P HEALTH & BENEFIT PLAN NEWS

NOTICE TO MEMBERS WHO ARE TAKING VIOXX

On Sept.30, Merck & Co. voluntarily withdrew Vioxx, a popular anti-inflammatory medication, from the market. As a result, individuals who are currently taking the drug have been asked to contact their health care professionals to discuss discontinuing use of Vioxx and possible alternative treatments.

MM&P Plans Administrator Valerie Verrecchio reports that, "We have gotten a number of calls from members who want to know what to do with their remaining supply of Vioxx and whether the Plan or NMHC will refund their co-pay for the unused portion.

"Unfortunately, neither NMHC nor the Plan was aware of the Merck decision prior to the public announcement on Sept.30. As of that date, all deliveries of Vioxx to our members was suspended in accordance with Merck's announcement. Orders that had already been processed and were in transit could not be stopped.

"In regard to refunds, Merck has set up a website at www.vioxx.com where members can obtain information on how to recover refunds from Merck for the unused portion of medication. Members can also call following toll free number for information: 1-888-368-4699.

"We are sorry for any inc onvenience this may have caused to members currently taking this medication, however, the matter is out of the control of the Plans."


NMHC MAIL-ORDER PRESCRIPTIONS WEBSITE UPDATED & IMPROVED

MM&P Plans Administrator Valerie Verrecchio reports, "Good news! NMHC mail has finally gotten their website upgraded and functioning properly. I went in and tested it myself and found it to be quite user friendly."

To use NMHC's upgraded service, go to the NMHC Mail website at www.nmhcmail.com and click on "MEMBER LOGIN" at the bottom of the screen.

First-time and Registered users may bypass the welcome screen and go directly to the log-in page at https://members.nmhcrx.com/Login/Login.aspx.

After creating your account, NMHC will email you a password to gain entry into your records. With your first sign-in, the NMHC system will prompt you to change the NMHC password to one of your own choosing.

Once you are registered at NMHC, you can check the status of open orders by logging-in to the system through the "MEMBER LOGIN" page and going into the "MAIL ORDER" menu. You can look up all prescriptions and get the price our members will pay for any medication. You can also view an order history of all of your medication transactions (both retail and mail) for the last 24 months, locate 24-hour pharmacies in your zip code region as well as access other helpful member education information.

"We hope this welcome improvement will assist our members. Although you cannot order refills on line if you don't provide a credit or debit card number, you can phone in your refill. Once you register on the website, you will still have access to all of the other information including checking the status of your order once it is phoned in," said Ms. Verrecchio.

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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.

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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:

LMS notes that in order to receive reimbursement, crewmembers must purchase one of the following recommended brands:

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.

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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".

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