A strike by three unions has shut down American merchant ships since June 16th. With?
Various views of the super liner United States at her pier, pickets, crowds pour on board Italian liner Cristoforo Colombo.
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Background: A strike by three unions has shut down American merchant ships since June 16th. With no solution in sight, Americans are turning to foreign passenger liners for their trips while the U-S ships lie at their piers.
The Marine Engineers union struck first on June 16th over the issue of how many engineers would be assigned to man new automated ships. The ships companies want the number frozen at five by contract. The union wants the number left to future negotiation.
The following week the Masters, Mates and Mariners union and the Radio Officers union joined the strike. The effect was to put all U-S flag ships off the sea and into ports on the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts.
Big cruise liners, like the United States -- the queen of the merchant fleet, have been sitting for nearly 7 weeks, sleep at their piers. At a time of year when they normally would be making quick turnarounds back and forth across the Atlantic, their only occupants are a few watchmen who periodically walk the decks.
The United States looks forlown as her decks, staterooms, pools and dining rooms are empty and still.
At nearby New York docks forcing flag liners are the scene of the annual tourist rush with typical scenes known to anyone who has been near a busy seaport.
The strike drags on and with it soaring losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars to the American shipping companies and their employees.