Why the cruise industry has been so successful for a decade
Posted On May 23, 2021
Cruise lines are back.
More cruises, bigger boats, more money for the coasts.
It’s a story that began in 2000, when the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), an international union, joined forces with cruise lines to form the National Maritime Federation.
Today, it’s a force of over 1,300 workers representing more than 30,000 vessels and a fleet of more than 80,000 ships.
In 2016, the union won its first contract with a major cruise line, Virgin Atlantic, a contract that paid for a new terminal in Jacksonville, Florida, and a new cargo ship for the Gulf Coast.
And now, in 2018, the IAM is on track to join the United States Coast Guard as a union, as the government’s inspector general released a report on the industry in 2016.
And in 2019, the government also gave the unions the option of entering a collective bargaining agreement with the U.S. Coast Guard.
“The cruise industry is the industry of tomorrow,” said James M. Schmitz, the executive director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service.
“It’s the engine of the U