MARITIME UNIONS HELP KILL THE AMERICAN PASSENGER SHIP – SS AMERICA LEAVES 100s OF PASSENGERS STRANDED IN 1963.

SS AMERICA – Didn’t sail in Sept 1963 – because of a strike.

Cruising the Past: The Maritime Unions – corrupt leaders, under gangster control, along with the JET, helped kill American passengers ships.  Maritime strikes were endless throughout the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s.  The workers demanded more wages, shorter hours and guess what?  All American passengers ships disappeared in the 1970s.  Thousands of jobs were lost.  The unions would strike at the height of the season.  Alaska Steamship was the first to discontinue passenger service in the early 1950s because of labor problems.  The other lines such as Grace, US Lines, American Export Lines, Matson – soon went out of business.  Now there’s one ship operating in Hawaii – but the American crews were so poorly trained they had to bring in foreigners.

Passengers on SS America departing after ships voyage cancelled when Maritime Union charged engineer with bigotry. (Photo by Truman Moore//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)

Passenger on SS America disapointed after ships voyage cancelled when Maritime Union charged engineer with bigotry. (Photo by Truman Moore//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)

Passengers on SS America in lounge after ships voyage cancelled when Maritime Union charged engineer with bigotry.  Photo: Truman Moore/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

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About Michael L. Grace

During the mid-80s, Michael Grace worked as a writer on the TV Hit Series THE LOVE BOAT. He wrote many of the two hour special featuring great stars of the past, including Lana Turner, Claire Trevor, Anne Baxter, Ethel Merman, Alexis Smith, etc. The public’s access to these stars, in familiar dramas and comedies, made them want to go on a cruise. They could see the stars in an ordinary world as “regular” people. The phenomenally successful series was responsible for creating the cruise industry as we know it today. By the time he was writing for Love Boat, the great steamship companies and their liners were flying hand me down foreign flags, painted like old whores, scrapped or doing three day cruises to the Bahamas. He had sailed on over thirty ships and liners with his parents, aunt and grandmother in late 50s to early 70s. The very successful CRUISING THE PAST website has been an outgrowth of Michael’s strong interest in cruise and social history. Drawing on his own knowledge and a vast maritime and social history collection, he is able to produce a very successful website. Michael is part of the award winning team that created the internationally performed award winning musical SNOOPY, based on PEANUTS by Charles M. Schultz. He has written for television and films. Read more by going to "About" (on the above dashboard) and clicking "Editor"…

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