Yesterday, Travel Pulse published an "interview" of Christine Duffy, the incoming president of the Cruise Line International Association ("CLIA"). CLIA is the cruise industry’s trade organization responsible for promoting the cruise lines’ interests and lobbying Congress.
We have written a few articles about CLIA and their Pravda-like view of the facts regarding the cruise industry. We were hoping the new leadership at CLIA would be a change from the past.
The "interview" was the usual PR piece, consisting of prearranged soft ball questions. But I fell out of my chair upon reading her comments about what she told Congressional leaders during a lobbying trip to Washington D.C.:
Part of the message we delivered in D.C. is that the travel industry employs more people than the auto industry, and we didn’t get a bailout. We employ a lot more people than anybody recognized, and our impact is in all 50 states. We’re not going to offshore our jobs . . .
Wow! What a whopper!
The fact of the matter is that all of the CLIA cruise lines are foreign corporations. Unlike Ford or Chevrolet which are U.S. corporations and employ U.S. employees, the CLIA cruise lines are 100% foreign corporations. Carnival was incorporated in Panama. Royal Caribbean was incorporated in Liberia (yes, Africa). And all of these cruise lines fly the flags of foreign countries like Panama, Liberia, Bermuda and the Bahamas. By registering their companies and cruise ships overseas to avoid U.S. labor, wage and safety laws, the foreign cruise lines also avoid U.S. income taxes. The $35,000,000,000 (billion) cruise industry pays no U.S. Federal income taxes.
If the cruise lines were required to pay U.S. taxes, they would pay over $10,000,000,000 a year. The cruise industry receives a $10 billion bailout each year, year after year.
But that’s not all. All of the cruise ships are manufactured and constructed in foreign shipyards, in Italy, Norway or France. And 99.9% of the officers and crew members (except some of the U.S. dancers and singers) are from "overseas." No U.S. workers are going to work 360 hours a month for around $545 like the incredibly hard working utility cleaners from India, Central America and the Caribbean islands.
The cruise industry is the most outsourced, non-U.S. industry in America. The industry is built on the business model of tax-paying U.S. citizens paying their hard earned wages to the foreign corporation cruise lines who pay no taxes to the U.S. and exploit their foreign employeesby paying slave wages to the lower tier crew members.
"We’re not going to offshore our jobs" Ms. Duffy? Please, it’s too early in 2011 to tell lies.
Photo credit: Travel Industry Today