M.E.B.A. Calls for Recognition of U.S. Cruise Industry Mariners

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association Raises Awareness of U.S. Mariners in the Cruise Industry in Light of Media Coverage

The Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (M.E.B.A.) will represent U.S. Merchant Mariners on the only U.S.-flagged and U.S. crewed cruise ship, the Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) Pride of America.

Recent media coverage concerning the cruise line industry has highlighted the lack of qualified ship’s officers in this industry. However, the coverage has not addressed the skill and professionalism of the crew of the Pride of America, a U.S- flagged cruise ship. This vessel and its mariners have an outstanding safety and environmental record. In fact, it is the best in the industry; exceeding all the requirements and regulations set in place by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the International Maritime Organization.

In addition to the Pride of America, there are M.E.B.A. members serving aboard other NCL vessels that are registered in the Bahamas. These mariners also hold USCG licenses and are therefore trained and tested to the same high standards as all U.S. deep-sea mariners. Throughout the world’s oceans, they are considered to be of the highest caliber in terms of education and training.

The M.E.B.A. welcomes all opportunities to expand current job positions for our U.S. mariners in the cruise industry. We have experienced members who are ready and willing to crew these highly sophisticated vessels servicing the cruise industry. An important element in maintaining this condition of readiness is the training conducted at the Calhoon M.E.B.A. Engineering School (CMES). Since its founding in 1966, CMES has assured that M.E.B.A. Deck and Engineering Officers are prepared with courses unique to the service requirements; including those of the cruise ship industry.

If there were more opportunities for U.S. mariners, the M.E.B.A. could help further ensure the safety of U.S. citizens, our national defense, and our economy. While other U.S. maritime unions may call for further job opportunities, the M.E.B.A. is the only organization that actually has U.S. officers who work in and can give an accurate portrayal of the state of the industry.

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