Save the Delta Queen: A private initiative to save the steamboat Delta Queen A private initiative to save the steamboat Delta Queen
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Delta Queen on Fox News Channel, Friday July 16!

Jul 17, 2008

The Fox News Channel has taped a segment featuring the Save the Delta Queen Campaign. Barring a major breaking story, you can see it on Special Report with Brit Hume this Friday, July 16.

Update: Watch the video at Fox News Special Report "Delta Queen Retiring?"

11 Comments »

11 Responses to “Delta Queen on Fox News Channel, Friday July 16!”

  1. Tom Denson M.D. Says:

    I am in favor of saving the Delta Queen. As a citizen of the state of Texas, how can I help ?

  2. Aeylise Wylde Says:

    I just saw the report on the rebroadcast of Special Report. Sad how a politician will change his vote because the Delta Queen is now non union, very sad.

    Good Luck, Delta Queen, I’ve heard beautiful stories from your passengers!!

  3. Donna Mrogan Says:

    I too watched the segment on the Delta Queen. It ran over 2 minutes with excellent pictures and very specific and truthful information about the plight of this beautiful Riverboat – the last remaining of its kind.

    Not only is it so sad that one politician can wield that kind of power, but sadder still that he does so with lies. Everyone knows he is kowtowing to Union re-election donations.

    In the segment, Rep. Oberstar is quoted as saying, “The Coast Guard says this is an inherent fire hazard”. The Coast Guard has never said this.

    I believe it is time to force the issue. Everyone who cares about the Delta Queen and wants to see her continue to travel the rivers of America, should write a short specific letter and fax it to Rep. Oberstar’s office. Clearly he doesn’t understand that there is opposition to his stance on this issue. Let’s make sure he understands now, before it’s too late for the Delta Queen.

    Rep. Oberstar’s Washington Office FAX: (202) 225-0699

    Nothing like several thousand letters jamming his fax machine to make others in congress take notice of how people feel about Rep. Oberstar’s political choices.

    Thank you to everyone who helps to save the Delta Queen.
    Donna Morgan
    North Carolina

  4. J. Tyler Ballance Says:

    Seafarers and other maritime unions, such as Masters, Mates and Pilots, help ensure that only well trained, experienced professional operate out vessels. Most of the USA maritime jobs have already been handed over to foreign labor and we have witnessed the result: groundings, oil spills and collisions. Ships that formerly safely made their way up our rivers are now likely to wreck bridges along the way as often as they make the passage.

    There is no logical reason to support the use of non-union labor on our rivers and on US flagged vessels. The jobs that are created allow these men to support their families and provide a modicum of health coverage for a very dangerous profession.

    Many Republicans, like me, are in favor of unions to the extent that the bargaining process is kept fair and employers negotiate in good faith. There is no legitimate reason for the Delta Queen operators to summarily dispatch their union crew. This is not a case of unions asking for outrageous demands, but just a union of professionals seeking a fair living for a time honored profession.

    The only history being destroyed here is the tradition of American employers negotiating in good faith.

    Union busting in the last few decades has not served the best interests of our citizens. While temporary savings in wages were achieved for some companies, those firms typically found their management still seeking cheaper labor, so whole factories have been moved to Red China and other countries where slave labor can be used.

    This sort of raiding of America’s industrial base and the race to the bottom of the wage scale for those jobs that are left, must be stopped. It is better to see the Delta Queen burned to the waterline than to have it operated by ill-trained, non-union personnel.

    If the same union busting strategy was applied to airlines, would any of us want to take a flight with some illegal alien pilot who got a rubber stamp on a license through some shady school; or perhaps an Arab fellow who passed the flying part, but told his instructors that he didn’t need to learn the landing part?

    We should do all we can to keep American jobs in the hands of Americans and to ensure that the big corporations can no longer raid the wealth and industry of our country, or get away with taking all of the gold from the mine and giving the workers the shaft.

  5. admin Says:

    J. Tyler Ballance, I’d totally agree if you weren’t so extremely wrong her. What you say is just not true for the Delta Queen. The Unions have never secured to have well trained staff on the DQ – in fact when you were hiring on the DQ, you were forced to join the Union when boarding the boat. No up-front training, no training by the Union after this.

    Go ask the DQ staff today: They’ll tell you that their benefits, especially what healthcare concerns, is much better without the Union than it had been with the Union.

    But all this aside: What the … gives the Union the right to end a 81 year-long career of a historic steamboat, a National Historic Landmark, a one-of-its-kind type of living history of this country? It’s against everything I think of when I think of a proud, honest and free country when a Union misuses its power in this way.

    By the way: The Delta Queen has been unionized only a short period of her 81 years on the rivers. Most of the time she was a non-Union boat. And nothing, nothing at all in all this time showed what you’re claiming, Mr. Ballance.

    One more thing: There is no chance of having non-American crew in the Delta Queen because she is a US vessel and hence is not allowed to hire non-Americans. This doesn’t have to do anything with the Unions either.

    Please, let’s not forget our heritage, our history, everything what made this country so great and powerful just because some politicians and union leaders always got to be in the limelight and don’t care a bit about what their constituents and members want.

  6. Jennifer Lemmon Says:

    Thank you for your response. I am an employee and an American citizen, and I am well-trained in the safety issues of this boat. There are no foreigners or illegals on this boat, and we are trying to SAVE AMERICAN JOBS being performed by AMERICAN CITIZENS from many, many states in this country. This is not about companies negotiating for “American” jobs.

    In wondering about the “union issue” I too have specifically talked with one of the Captains of our vessel about the difference between now, as non-union, and before as union. What I learned is that the pay is higher, the benefits are better, and there is more take home pay. The only thing he mentioned as “missing” was the accumulated years of retirement paid in.

    This is a political football, and now that Oberman has taken his position, he will never back off, and he is being supported by his party. Facts, in this case, don’t seem to matter. I love my job on this boat, and thanks to one man from the party who cares about the “common man”, come October 31st we will sail back to New Orleans empty of passengers. We are manned with approximately 80 crew members and an equal number of relief crew members who will join the ranks of the unemployed thanks to “Honorable” representative who holds our future hostage.

  7. Neal Kapp Says:

    Not only does this impact AMERICANS that are working on the boat, but it will also impact all the dozens of AMERICAN cities in which the boat makes a Ports O’ Call. Each of these cities (some small river communities, other large Metropolis’) usually recognize $1000’s if not $10’s of thousands of tourist dollars. To some of these AMERICANS who own small shops, boutiques etc. that have the unique midwest only type of merchandise or antique at midwest bargain prices, it will be a huge hit to their livelyhood and local revenue streams. If Mr (Non Democracy) Oberstar single handedly can ruin all these peoples lives, I will do my part, to do the same to his state. My wife is orginally from Minn. If He stops the DQ I will never fly into or rent a car in his state ever again. Her family lives close enough to No Dakota that if we need to go to the store or pick up any mementos of our travel It will be money spent in ND not MN!!! What comes around goes around, and hopefully karma will drive him crazy for years…

  8. Teresa Anger Says:

    Tom, Aeylis, Donna, Neal, and Jennifer-Please go sign here. If you don’t sign-at least read it please.

    http://www.petitiononline.com/stdqs/

    Neal, you are very correct in the fact that a lot of stores will probably close. Our town has already been hit hard by recent high waters and the fact that the DQ hasn’t been here but a few times this year. Our quality of life, so to speak, depends on this boat, to some degree.

    The DQ is part of our history and we can’t just sit by and allow this to happen.

    PLEASE HELP SAVE THE DELTA QUEEN!!!

  9. Beecher Vaillancourt Says:

    I was born and raised in Minnesota and was in fact a strong Union advocate. This is the same for my father and my grand father who was one of the originals back in Minneapolis back in the early 1900’s.

    This all changed for me when I came to realize that Union’s became one and only one thing! The advocate of money which is way down the list on what they were founded for. Primarily the original union concept was, working conditions, hours of work, and health and safety. What the hell happened?

    We have lost all perspective with our “Have to have it now attitude” No one wants to work an d save to buy what they want. Notice I said WANT! Not Need. Our congressmen have fallen victim to the “My way or the Highway Attitude” carried by most upper level Union Bosses! In fact, on a national level the chance of you having a conversation with one of them is practically impossible. They do not have time for those that pay their wages because their busy lobbying for themselves. They attend all of the big parties and hide away in Washington just like our elected officials.

    We need term limits in Unions as well as congress!

    Oberstar, I use to think you were different! You’ve been there so long now your just one of them!

    TIME TO GO !!!!!

  10. Nicholas Says:

    Dear Sir: I have just returned from our 5th voyage on the Delta Queen. I have written a letter to the Editor of the Mobile Press-Register regarding the efforts to save the boat. Letter follows: Dear Sir: The City of Mobile has for some years been attempting to attract cruise ships to our fair town. Our city fathers have invested millions in docking facilities on the waterfront and have acquire one ship to date. However, there is another cruise operation that travels our inland waterways, from the Tennessee River to the Ohio River, to the mighty Mississippi River. Furthermore, the Federal Government has invested several billion dollars connecting Mobile to these waterways via the Tenn Tom waterway, linking Mobile to the Tennessee River.
    These rivers are now used and have been for many, many years by paddle boats. The boat that is still sailing on these rivers that has been down the Tenn-Tom is the Delta Queen, which made her inaugural voyage on the Ohio River in June 1948. She is still sailing these rivers, thrilling passengers with her majestic lines and passenger service. However, her days on the rivers may be limited due to a fight over ownership and unionization of its crew.
    As a result of a terrible accident on an ocean going cruise liner, the Yarmouth Castle, with the loss of 90 lives, Congress passed the “Safety of Life at Sea” law. It prohibited any vessel with wooden superstructure to carry 50 or more passengers overnight. With much effort the operators of the Delta Queen were able to obtain an exemption from this rule since it is not a sea-going vessel and is within yards of the banks of the rivers at all times. However, the exemptions are set to expire in Oct 2008, which will force to boat into retirement.
    The Delta Queen is the only river boat that can transit the narrow locks on the Tenn-Tom waterway. With help from our Senators, especially Senator Jeff Sessions, the wavers from the ocean safety law can be obtained and this vessel will be able to make frequent trips to Mobile, thereby bringing hundreds of tourists to our community. In fact, with proper planing by our Convention and Visitors Bureau, passengers from our Cruise ships could be connected to the Delta Queen for further travel. For more information about this vessel and its future impact on the tourist and visitors business for the City of Mobile, please see: http://www.save-the-delta-queen.org.

    Sincerely yours,

  11. keith Says:

    I worked on the “unionized” Delta Queen and I can assure you that the union was a thorn in the side of her operations. There was absolutely no union support or representation. We need to avoid turning the saving of this historic treasure into a special interest battle. As long as the Delta Queen is here she will have an American Crew. Only masters/mates/engineers/pilots/deckhands and “hotel” employees were union anyway and we stood by and watched as non-union employees enjoyed better benefits and compensation from the company than the union ever offered. Let’s leave “turf” battles out of this and work together to save this historic landmark. Her loss would be a tragedy!!
    Keith T. New Orleans, LA. Steamboater 1984-1986 and 2005-2006 seasons.