Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis, Longshoremen Call on CDC to let Domestic Cruises Sail Again

New York Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis, Longshoremen Call on CDC to let Domestic Cruises Sail Again; ILA’s Mike Vigneron and Ron Misiti Join Congresswoman Maliotakis at Manhattan Cruise Terminal

(MANHATTAN, NY) – Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11), member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, today joined constituents, members of the International Longshoremen’s Association, Local 824 (Manhattan), Local 1814 (Brooklyn), as well as other affected small business owners who provide food and travel services, in calling on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to revoke its current No Sail Order and provide updated COVID-19 mitigation guidance so cruise lines can safely resume domestic operations.

“It has been more than one year since cruise ships have sailed with passengers out of New York City,” said Congresswoman Malliotakis. “This affects the livelihoods of longshoremen, ground transportation operators, hotel, restaurant, and retail workers, travel agents, and the many other businesses in New York City that service cruise ships, with no reasonable timeline provided for a safe return to cruising. During this economic climate, we simply cannot afford to have these good-paying union jobs and lost revenue in our city and nation sent to other parts of the world, which is exactly what is happening.”

Malliotakis added: “The cruise industry has been able to successfully resume operations in other regions of the world, as nearly 400,000 passengers have already sailed from Europe, parts of Asia, and the South Pacific since last summer. With the accelerated rollout of vaccines and improving the public health environment, there is absolutely no reason why cruise lines should not be able to begin a phased and careful resumption of operations from Brooklyn, Manhattan, and other U.S. ports this summer.”

Every year, the cruising industry in the United States supports over 437,000 jobs and generates over $25.1 billion in direct spending. In New York State, the industry brings over 550,000 tourists to New York, generates over $1.3 billion in spending, supports 17,400 jobs, and $1.2 billion in wages earned, however, the suspension of domestic cruise operations has resulted in the loss of nearly 14,000 jobs, and over $830 million lost in direct spending.

“We need the CDC to drop the No Sail Order,” said Ron Misiti, President of Longshoremen’s Association, Local 824. “We need the CDC to come up with some kind of plan. We need the CDC to come up with a date so we can get back to work. We’ve suffered for 13 months, we’re still suffering today and we need some kind of light at the end of the tunnel. We’re all respected taxpayers; we’re the ones who will get the economy back on track once we can get back to work.”

Malliotakis has joined her Alaskan and Floridian colleagues as an original cosponsor of the Careful Resumption Under Improved Safety Enhancements (CRUISE) Act, legislation that would require the CDC to lift its No Sail Order and allow cruise lines to resume domestic operations no later than July 1, 2021.