KTUU News in Alaska reports on the practices of a cruise line hiring European students, over local citizens, to staff its excursion company in Alaska.
Princess Tours, a subsidiary of Princess Cruises, hires many students from places like Bulgaria because it pays the foreign workers virtually nothing. According to cruise industry watchdog Chip Thoma of Responsible Cruising in Alaska, cruise lines like Princess pay the students "cheap" wages and hire overseas workers because they can be "disciplined."
"The cruise industry is coming here, trying to sell this cruise tax reduction and saying it's for more Alaska jobs," Thoma said. "When at the same time, they have thousands of these Bulgarian kids working at their resorts. I think it's very offensive -- it's been going on for decades."
Princess says that's untrue, and about 1/2 of its employee in Alaska are from that state.
The article is talking about land based employees in Alaska. It does not address the fact that over 95 percent of crew members are from outside of the U.S. The basic business model of all cruise lines is to incorporate in a foreign country and register the cruise ships in places like Panama, Liberia or Bermuda in order to avoid all U.S. taxes. Cruise lines like Princess hire virtually all foreign crew members who will work for wages much lower than U.S. employees will accept.