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Interesting SIU History re: DQ

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    Interesting SIU History re: DQ

    The SIU is showing past support of the DQ on their web site. There is no mention of their current opposition that I can locate. Also, there doesn't seem to be any way to Email their officials.

    First, on their "About the SIU" page, a photo of the DQ appears at the top.

    Next, a search on their web site for "Delta Queen" reveals the following:

    Oct, 2005- "SIU Delivers Katrina Relief"
    "Several of the union’s contracted companies have been affected by Katrina. The Delta Queen Steamboat Company, which had facilities in New Orleans, continues operating its fleet but has moved its offices to New York State."

    Oct, 2005- "For Seafarers, it's always Safety First"
    "we have an ongoing program with Delta Queen Steamboat Company where we visit each of their ships three times per year and teach a wide variety of safety programs."

    Date unknown- "Delta Queen Honored"
    The National Historic Landmark Delta Queen – crewed by SIU members – will be inducted into the National Maritime Hall of Fame at a January 24 ceremony at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y. A national committee of museum directors and maritime historians selected the Delta Queen for this honor.

    The Delta Queen -- the last operational steam paddlewheeler that has overnight accommodations – is the only National Maritime Hall of Fame boat still plying the waters. To be eligible for this award, usually the honored ship (or in this case, boat) must have been sunk or scrapped for at least five years.

    However, the committee made an exception this year for the Delta Queen as it appears she will sail on for years to come.

    “This is a great honor for the Delta Queen,” said Rick Abramson, president of Delta Queen Steamboat Company, Inc. “The Delta Queen is a treasured piece of Americana, and we are proud to continue to preserve a piece of our history.”

    January, 2003- in SIU President Sacco's report to members:
    "And, in a most welcome rebound from the economic consequences of September 11, three SIU-crewed riverboat cruise vessels in the Delta Queen fleet returned to service under new ownership."(DN)

    In SIU's "2002-The year in review":
    "The month of May brought some of the year’s best news, and again it had roots in September 11. SIU members recrewed the Delta Queen river cruise fleet — dormant since parent company American Classic Voyages filed for reorganization following the attacks — after Delaware North Companies Inc. purchased the Delta Queen, Mississippi Queen and American Queen at auction. Delaware North also bought the Delta Queen brand name."

    July, 2002- SIU President Sacco's report titled "A Break in the Clouds":
    "After a tumultuous period that followed September 11, the Delta Queen boats are under contract."

    Note the "the Delta Queen boats are under contract" which now they are not! I think it is imperative that we find a way to contact the Union, let them know that they don't want to go down in history as the Union that Scuttled the last authentic overnight steamboat. Also mention that the crews will be out of their jobs, even though they are not now Union jobs. These folks had no choice but to continue to work the boats sans union; most of them lost everything they owned in Katrina, and have known no other work than being on the boats. It is bad enough to have lost their homes, but now their livelyhood too, and what does the Union gain from this?? Nothing!, But the country loses an important piece of history.
    Just because the boats are not union now, does not mean they will stay that way. The current "owners" of the boat don't really own the DQ, they only caretake her for a time, she outlives them! Who knows what the future holds for the DQ WITH the exemption!
    David D.


      0% vs. 50%

      Exactly, David! With the DQ out of service, there is NO chance for Union members to be employed, but if she were to continue, and perhaps under new ownership, there would be a GOOD likelihood of employment for Union members. Just say "EMPRESS OF THE NORTH"...


        Amo & Siu

        AMO & SIU crew members were treated horribly by MAL. Most of the quality engineers are oversees (including John who worked there over 12 years and went through so much (layoffs, sales, and who also worked to the last day to help the boats while they were under AMO Contract). He was one of the best engineers in the fleet however we belong to a union for a reason and he chose not to "scab" and hurt his union brothers. There are contract jobs for SIU & AMO workers, SIU and AMO non-licensed employees were allowed to work for MAL without penalty, however AMO officers who remained with MAL are to and should face penalty (losing retirement, benefits, black ball etc.) As much as I want the DQ to remain sailing, we can't blame the unions. The unions have a strong lobby because union dues (that we all pay for) help pay for that and are reserved to help contracted boats and stay ahead of legislation that can threaten the American Shipping industry. Why do you think the unions should spend money to help a company that treated their members and union representatives so terribly? The company has made it 100% clear that they have no intention of ever allowing the unions back in and that is there right. The unions are not sabotaging the DELTA QUEEN they just chose not to help because they have no connection to the boats any longer. MAL is using the unions and the Congress as scape goats don't fall for it, look at the evidence. Don't get me wrong I am doing all I can to get the DQ Save the Queen info to everyone I know and have spoken to a few reporters. I just think the facts should be out there to stop heresay and rumor and we should squarely blame MAL. I thought it couldn't get worse than Delaware North but I was wrong.


          MAL is blaming the union, we aren't...

          Apparently you haven't had a chance to look through all the postings about this situation. We know (our opinion) that MAL doesn't want to run the DQ and is using both Congress and the union as scapegoats. We've said that here. Please go through and find the many postings on that. I believe I had one just this weekend, saying that we need to contact the newspapers who print the article without any research to point out MAL's real desire(my opinion) to scuttle the DQ. As I've posted several times, why is the Union actually HELPING MAL by either speaking against the DQ or by doing nothing to help save her? This is exactly what MAL wants(in my opinion)! MAL spent so much time lobbying that they were able to email us the grandiose plans for the DQ's last year the very same day they announced her demise! If the union were to speak up for the DQ, then MAL would have to face the music themselves and admit they don't want to run the boat. The union is in no way getting any payback on MAL by their current action/inaction - they are aiding and abetting MAL. I don't know your husband, but I do know Chief Dennis and all the pilothouse personnel who had to 'retire' early due to the MAL union-busting. I share your anger toward the corporate, not toward the union, nor really even Congress yet. Only one committee has been approached, with 14 months to go. As Lexie said WWBBD?


            Has anyone written to AMO & SIU and explained how you all feel and told them what MAL is saying? They are in litigation with MAL over the broken contract. Do you need contact info? I don't think they are trying to or not to punish MAL I think they are not even aware. AMO has had there own share of problems hence the new president. Please let me know if you want the contact information. I know you probably know John he was the DQ first with Dennis. I met John when I was a purser on the DQ.



              please send me contact information, I'd love to get in contact with SIU but so far didn't get any answer on e-mails to the addresses given on their website.

              Just a few comments on what you've written: Fact seams to be that the SIU is heavily opposing the exemption for the Delta Queen, which seams to be the main reason why Sen. Inouye from Hawaii is blocking the exemption in the relevant Senate's committee. I've talked to the reporter from the LA Times as she has had a phonecall with the SIU and they're not commenting the issue at all.

              Sorry, but I have a very clear opinion about the behaviour of the SIU (remark: I'm a union member in my profession, too, and think unions are important and helpful!): It's the worse thing they can do to use a National Historic Landmark as an instrument in their fight with MAL. It's very, very poor to take in account that the DQ will be vanished just because they don't like how MAL is running their business (yes, I konw, it's a little bit more complicated than that, but this more or less is the base line ...). Shame on the SIU if they opposing the DQ exemption for what ever reason. They're, by the way, also killing jobs with opposing the exemption - not union member's jobs, but jobs of hard working people.

              SIU: Settle your issues with MAL in front of a court or by direct negotiations, but leave the DQ alone!



                5201 Auth Way
                Camp Springs MD 20746
                301-899-7355 FAX

                Contact SIU and get a true comment not heresay. Until you have the proof you can't blame them or any of the unions. I think they could care less how MAL runs there company. The unions have scores of contracts, many of them new and they have moved forward. There are plenty of seafaring jobs and there is not one bit of information either union has even given us to appear that this DQ issue is even on their radar. If the union was in place they would throw there support however we can't blame them for doing nothing and they shouldn't even be mentioned unless there is proof they are pushing the Congress to shut her down.


                  Yes, I probably knew your husband, and you too... I haven't been riding recently, but I'm the one who brings the cookies on at the locks and at Davenport, and I run errands for the crew. Please email me at I'd like to discuss this situation more in private. Judy


                    I just sent a 10 page FAX to the Seafarers International Union this morning. I'm hoping that they have the influence that will help make a difference.


                      Renee & John,
                      The "Proof" is in Senator Inouye's remarks--the SIU IS working "behind the scenes" against the exemption. Can't get any closer than the Senator in Charge, IMHO. SIU may be only talking to the Senator, leaving no "paper trail."
                      Egads, I'm sounding like a conspiracy theoriest!
                      David D.