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  #1 (permalink)  
Old May 13th, 2003, 07:56 AM
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Default Labor Practices by cruise lines

The exploitation of employees all in the name of a *happy* experience and what a GREAT company they are to work for, I've heard the line they give to people.
Believe me, I have heard from employees that these companies will jerk them around anyway they can. Not just the people on the ships, the people on the land too. I heard from someone that works at the docks they pay them 8 bucks an hour to haul all this stuff around, stand in excruciating heat for hours all in the name of Princess or Carnival or whatever line it may be. The office workers I have heard from are so unhappy at the constant barrage of bum kissing and illegal firings from these companies it is pathetic. The companies charge exorbitant amounts for vacations and yet can't pay their employees decent wages or treat them fairly! BUT they can charge YOU an exorbitant amount of money for your airline tickets and when it comes time to do your air, they choose the cheapest flight they can find, what does that say? They won't tell YOU that, but word does get out!
Yes I do cruise some lines, but I check into their labor practices before I do. IMHO I think people should be treated fairly whether they are an employee or a passenger or a travel agent!
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Old May 13th, 2003, 08:06 AM
Jimbob
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Default Re: Labor Practices by cruise lines

Get a life, perhaps without a soapbox. Life is not fair and people all over the world are exploited every day. There are far more worthy causes then the plight of poor dissatisfied cruise line employee.
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Old May 13th, 2003, 08:20 AM
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Default Re: Labor Practices by cruise lines

Jimbob, you get that name from TV or sumthin? How many teeth you have?
You're right when life isn't fair, BUT when it is ILLEGAL is a different story.
Besides, I never said I am a displaced cruise line employee..........
Maybe you should take remedial reading, it IS offered at many libraries!
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Old May 13th, 2003, 08:47 AM
Peabodynvl
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Default Re: Labor Practices by cruise lines

NikkiC_6to3 -

Have these employees attempted to organize? My boyfriend is a union rep and right now, no unions have sanctions against any cruiselines for employees problems. Nor I have heard about these employees attempting to unionize and being thwarted by the company. No cruiselines are on the union boycott lists either.

I do carefully watch this things and you can bet my boyfriend tells me if a company is mistreating employees and it is well known. Such as Wal-Mart. I also stay away from Food Lion. These two organizations have allegedly docked wages or make employees work off the clock or thwart any attempt the employees make to organize a union.

Years ago, we were going on vacation to Disneyworld and we made reservations at the Swan, a hotel inside the park. Turns out, it was on a union boycott list, so we changed our reservations.

Is there a site where I can read about these alleged labor problems?

Pea
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Old May 13th, 2003, 09:07 AM
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Default Re: Labor Practices by cruise lines

Anyone that attempts to organize gets FIRED, fast!!
Since I am not employed by them, I was thinking of attempting an organization for their reservations agents, etc. As far as a web site, I am sure I could contact some employees outside of their work area and create one
I go by what is told to me and records of state filings.............unemployment rate from these companies, complaints filed to state agencies etc.

Any help peabody would be greatly appreciated.
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Old May 13th, 2003, 09:16 AM
Peabodynvl
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Are these records available to the public or online and if so where?

BTW, if these truly are unfair labor practices, even if the employees aren't union members, the unions might put them on a boycott list with adequate proof.

But I would think rather than post here to people who may not be interested or think you are bearing a grudge, you should try to find a newsgroup that deals with these problems. A group like that could be very helpful.

You don't want to get personal, as you did in to the first poster (and he should not have gotten personal with you). You don't get your point across when you get abusive, in fact it hurts your cause. If you've got a valid point, it gets lost in the fight. Take the high road, it pays off in the end.

Pea
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Old May 13th, 2003, 09:54 AM
PEB PEB is offline
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Default Re: Labor Practices by cruise lines

You may have a point that some of the employees are treated unfairly. You may be right in that some things the company does may be illeagal by US Labor standards and rules. I would not doubt this. I do doubt that any cruise line is perfect in their treatment of employees. I also doubt that any land based company of any kind is perfect of the treatmeant of employees.

I am sure any company especially some of the giant companies in the US play with the rules and the laws to their advantage. It is obvious, especially the last few years, that companies play with the books to make things look the way they want. It is also obvious that companies that go bankrupt still pay the big shots giant bonuses and shaft the regular employee.

If you decide to do business with only lawful upright business that treat their employees fairly and with respect, I do believe you will find a limited list of places to do business with. You may not see all the problems behind the scenes but they are the same as on a cruise ship. I know I have seen plenty of mistreatment in several companies I have worked for. JMHO and no flaming on my part is intended.
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Old May 13th, 2003, 10:01 AM
Peabodynvl
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I have seen so many irregular practices and firings. I know US companies, on average, all of a lot of problems with employee relations and accounting.

Lay offs and firings are hard to categorize as "illegal" in many states. In my state, Virginia, it is a right to work state. The employers do not have to give you a reason why you are being fired, only that you are. It's very hard to prove why, because nothing was ever said. Many companies do not have a policy or handbook that spells out how a "sub-par" performance" is handled, since it is not required by law. The only time the employers are going to get in trouble is when they are stupid enough to tell someone they were fired because of their gender, age, race or sexual preference or otherwise but something in writing. Otherwise, if an employer doesn't like your nosehair, they can fire you.
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Old May 13th, 2003, 12:07 PM
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Default Re: Labor Practices by cruise lines

It is illegal when they tell you they are *worried* about your health and it would be a
shame if you lost your job AND this person had a voice activated tape recorder and has many conversations just like this one on tape! At will employment does NOT mean they can break the law!

Am working on that web page Peabody, will send you a link when finished and Thanks!
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Old May 13th, 2003, 01:22 PM
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Default Re: Labor Practices by cruise lines

ugh! fair fair fair......to me, what's fair to one person is not fair to another. Welcome to the world!! Welcome to the world of differences and being able to choose also. This is what I say....if the employees of the cruise companies do not like their jobs...guess what? I once worked for a company that made me make coffee in the morning. Guess what? now I know how to make coffee AND I have a different job!!! Sorry, I'm just so tired of people complaining about every little thing. If it's a legitimate complaint and there just is NO PLACE else to work in the world, I guess then it might be a problem.
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Old May 13th, 2003, 01:54 PM
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Default Re: Labor Practices by cruise lines

While it is not right, it is not necassarily illeagal. Most cruise ships have registries outside the United States. Therefore, they are not forced to comply with labor laws that would apply to US companies (when it comes to paying crew). As far as people working on land, they are paying them above minimum wage. While it may seem like exploitation, it is legal. As far as the firings, I don't know the whole story so I can't comment.
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Old May 13th, 2003, 02:40 PM
Frank
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Default Re: Re: Labor Practices by cruise lines

Not only are these cruise ships outside US law, as far as labor goes, most of the employees sign up for these jobs because it allows them to earn better wages than in their own country. You may call that exploitation while the workers see that as opportunity. The factor I find most interesting is how many of these workers have been on these jobs for many years. On my recent trip, most of them said they'd been doing this for 16 or more years. If it was so bad, I'm sure they'd have walked. Some have changed ships and lines which is how dissatisfied workers should respond.

Take the time to do the math as to how many tables/cabins a worker handles and the amount of suggested tip/day/person they most likely receive. Don't forget there are two seatings at dinner time. It may be a sweat shop at times but those aren't sweat shop wages - especially when compared to what they could earn back home.
Frank-in-CA
P.S. In addition to the suggested amount, I always increase that to reflect the service provided. But that might make up for those that stiff the staff.
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Old May 13th, 2003, 08:38 PM
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Default Re: Labor Practices by cruise lines

I think Nikki is talking mostly about the Princess employees at the corporate center in California. These would be bound by US law.

Actually, it is not illegal to fire someone because of questionable health. It may be morally questionable. If someone has a disease and is worried about being fired, if they are covered by the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) then firing them because of their health issue would be actionable.

I know these things, cuz when I was younger and worked for the federal government, I was very ill. It took 15 yrs for me to get diagnosed. I missed a lot of work time, but always had my work done, plus some extra. I was wokring at a level 2-3 grades above the level I was. Still, they refused to give me my next grade (from GS3 to GS4 even though I was doing the work of a GS5 or GS6) because of my attendance record. I went to our EEO office. My illnesses were covered under ADA, but once you get catergorized you can get discriminated against. So, I just went tooking for another job in the government where I could start fresh.

Why were they worried about her health? Was she missing work? Did she supply adequate documentation of her illness, etc? Did Princess have a short-term or long-term disalility program she could have used? Were her physical limitations brought to the attention of management and did they try to accomodate her? All of these things lead to different places.

I have known very ill people who would not or could not produce the documentation needed and they were fired. It's not illegal.

Pea
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Old May 13th, 2003, 08:50 PM
Ron Ron is offline
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Default Re: Labor Practices by cruise lines

Good grief Someone else out to teach the big bad cruise lines a lesson???
Of course you "hear " all this crap from the cruise line employees if you are willing to spend your cruise listening and egging it on.

There are unhappy employees in any company. Go to any Walmart and spend 7 days and nights---talk to the employees the way you do to cruise ship employees---you will get more than an ear full.

Most of the employees on a cruise ship make far more than they could in their native countries and have food, medical care, lodging, etc. all provided which would come to a considerable amount if they had to pay for it like most of us do. They are employees, not slave laborers--they are free to go at any time.

The cruise line employees that the average person has the most contact with are the waiters, asst. waiters and cabin stewards. Why is it important to know their personal background? When you go out for a nice dinner at home is it important to try to find out how much / little your waiter makes?

If how the cruise lines conduct their business bothers you, then boycott--don't cruise.
One of the oldest tricks re / tips is to give a real sob story. It works. Exp.--I have 4 little kids I haven't seen for a year. --I am trying to save for college--I am saving to get my mother new teeth-- I haven't been home for 2 years, etc etc, etc.

If the cruise lines starting paying the salaries and benefits that it sounds like you think they should, these very people you are so concerned about would be without a job
because the average person couldn't afford to cruise. Guess we could all drive by the docks every now and then and take photos of all the rusting ships tied up and remember the good old when the cost of a cruise was within reach.

Just my opinion.
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Old May 13th, 2003, 10:42 PM
Peabodynvl
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Default Re: Labor Practices by cruise lines

Since most of the cruiseship employees are not American and the ships are not registered to the US, they are not governed by US law.

But once again, I believe Nikki is referring to the Princess employees in California and the ones that work on the docks at the US ports. Some of these replies keep referring to the staff on a ship, whereas Nikki is mostly pointing out the employees working at US facilities, not on the ships. These venues would be covered by US labor laws.

Pea
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Old May 14th, 2003, 08:01 AM
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Default Re: Labor Practices by cruise lines

Yes she had proper documentation from doctors. She tried to collect her disabilty owed to her and found it nearly impossible to collect. This person had to go to the State Insurance Commissioner to even collect the disabilty owed her, but that took around 3 months. One of her co workers is still trying to collect hers from November of last year!
From what I understand, this companies Employee handbook states they will receive their disabilty the same pay dates as thier regular paycheck..................obviously that isn't true. It was a serious illness requiring surgery and YES these people did fill out FMLA, but the minute they returned, they were fired for various trumped up charges they refuse to prove!
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Old May 14th, 2003, 08:17 AM
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Default Re: Labor Practices by cruise lines

as far as California, Princess has two offices. One for cruises in California and the other is for Cruise Tours in Seattle, wa. Just as Carnival is in Florida and Holland America is in Seattle and on and on.
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Old May 14th, 2003, 12:24 PM
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Default Re: Re: Labor Practices by cruise lines

<<<But once again, I believe Nikki is referring to the Princess employees in California and the ones that work on the docks at the US ports. Some of these replies keep referring to the staff on a ship, whereas Nikki is mostly pointing out the employees working at US facilities, not on the ships. These venues would be covered by US labor laws.>>>>>


http://hometown.aol.com/peacefuldrag...age/index.html

It's a start Pea, but everyone has to start somewhere right?

Post Edited (05-14-03 12:27)
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Old May 14th, 2003, 06:25 PM
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Default Re: Labor Practices by cruise lines

NikkiC_6to3,

The exploitation of employees all in the name of a *happy* experience and what a GREAT company they are to work for, I've heard the line they give to people.
Believe me, I have heard from employees that these companies will jerk them around anyway they can. Not just the people on the ships, the people on the land too. I heard from someone that works at the docks they pay them 8 bucks an hour to haul all this stuff around, stand in excruciating heat for hours all in the name of Princess or Carnival or whatever line it may be. The office workers I have heard from are so unhappy at the constant barrage of bum kissing and illegal firings from these companies it is pathetic. The companies charge exorbitant amounts for vacations and yet can't pay their employees decent wages or treat them fairly! BUT they can charge YOU an exorbitant amount of money for your airline tickets and when it comes time to do your air, they choose the cheapest flight they can find, what does that say? They won't tell YOU that, but word does get out!
Yes I do cruise some lines, but I check into their labor practices before I do. IMHO I think people should be treated fairly whether they are an employee or a passenger or a travel agent!


Your own statements contradict themselves. The pay of $8.00 per hour is well above any legal minimum wage here in the United States, so it's certainly a fair wage for a position that requires NO SKILL WHATSOEVER.

I also do not comprehend why you posted this spam on this discussion board. Princess Cruises has a longstanding reputation for paying all shipboard staff well above prevailing wages in the countries from which they come. In thirteen cruises aboard Princess ships, I have consistently found that the staff and the crew have been most enthusiastic about their wages, their working conditions, and the opportunities for advancement that their employment with Princess Cruises offers to them.

I'm quite disaffected by the recent acquisition of Princess Cruises by Carnival Corporation, which has a horrible track record across all of its cruise lines in the areas of safety, security, and passenger satisfaction, and thus intend not to return. Nonetheless, I also believe that criticism of a cruise line needs to be fair and objective. Your initial post in this thread does not meet that standard.

Norm.
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Old May 14th, 2003, 06:48 PM
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Default Re: Re: Labor Practices by cruise lines

NikkiC_6to3,

Yes she had proper documentation from doctors. She tried to collect her disabilty owed to her and found it nearly impossible to collect. This person had to go to the State Insurance Commissioner to even collect the disabilty owed her, but that took around 3 months. One of her co workers is still trying to collect hers from November of last year!

Before you go any further, is this a problem with Princess Cruises or a problem with the insurance company that provides the disability coverage?

From what I understand, this companies Employee handbook states they will receive their disabilty the same pay dates as thier regular paycheck..................obviously that isn't true. It was a serious illness requiring surgery and YES these people did fill out FMLA, but the minute they returned, they were fired for various trumped up charges they refuse to prove!

The employee handbook probably repeats the terms of the insurance contract, but the disability payment undoubtedly is subject to a determination of eligibility by the insurance company.

Since the "evidence" that you present is anecdotal (two employees is not exactly a high percentage of the headquarters staff at Princess Cruises), it's possible that somebody fouled up -- either in processing the claim at the insurance company or in forwarding the claim (or providing the proper paperwork therefor) in Princess's personnel office. While such mistakes are a serious inconvenience, the reality is that the clerks in both companies are human beings who can err just as you and I do. Most companies do provide efficient ways to remedy such administrative blunders.

Norm.
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Old May 14th, 2003, 06:51 PM
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Default Re: Re: Labor Practices by cruise lines

NikkiC_6to3,

as far as California, Princess has two offices. One for cruises in California and the other is for Cruise Tours in Seattle, wa. Just as Carnival is in Florida and Holland America is in Seattle and on and on.

Princess also has staff in other places for varoius support functions -- for example, in Seattle and in Vancouver to who assist with embarkation and throughout Alaska to support the cruisetour program -- though some of this staffing may be seasonal.

Norm.
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Old May 15th, 2003, 06:11 AM
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Default Re: Labor Practices by cruise lines

<<<Princess Cruises has a longstanding reputation for paying all shipboard staff well above prevailing wages in the countries from which they come. In thirteen cruises aboard Princess ships, I have consistently found that the staff and the crew have been most enthusiastic about their wages, their working conditions, and the opportunities for advancement that their employment with Princess Cruises offers to them.>>>>>>

Shipboard staff is paid BELOW minimum wage AND the 8 bucks an hour is for the dockworkers in the US! Sounds like you work for Princess Norm. As far as using 2 for examples, that's exactly whay they are *examples* about their disability benefits owed them, there are*several* people that haven't been able to receive theirs with proper documentation and NO it isn't an insurance co problem, it is the Cruise Line problem, since THEY pay the premiums and only pay the incruance company when they *feel* like it is what it looks like to their employees.SO before you jump down my throat Norm, please check your facts FIRST. and as a pracationary measure, you might want to check their inspection records BEFORE you sail. They are public Information
Thank you

Nicole

Post Edited (05-15-03 06:24)
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Old May 15th, 2003, 07:25 AM
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Default Re: Labor Practices by cruise lines

Princess also has staff in other places for varoius support functions -- for example, in Seattle and in Vancouver to who assist with embarkation and throughout Alaska to support the cruisetour program -- though some of this staffing may be seasonal.


Yes they do Norm, but I am talking about *office* workers in the United States! The reservations agents that speak with YOUR travel agent, or to you directly!
I am not talking about their Hotel people nor am I talking about the people on the trains etc. Embarkation personnel are paid $8 an hour in the US as well as the people that
haul your luggage around and *dance* in the heat for your trip!
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Old May 15th, 2003, 08:02 AM
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Default Re: Labor Practices by cruise lines

I might be wrong, but as far as I know any "dockworker" is most likely a member of the Longshoremen (whose history of fairness is somewhat dubious, but that's another topic) and therefore guaranteed union wages and benefits. I often see those people with handfuls of bills they've collected as tips from passengers - in New York, the nice fellow who loaded our bags had a dog-choking wad of bills, mostly fivers. He was kind enough to make change for me so I could duke him with a fin. All that, I'm sure, went as unreported income, so there was no tax contribution from those funds for schools, health care, or anything else. But if asked, I'm sure this nice person (he was) would tell you all about how "unfair" life is for him.

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Old May 15th, 2003, 08:27 AM
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I might be wrong, but as far as I know any "dockworker" is most likely a member of the Longshoremen (whose history of fairness is somewhat dubious, but that's another topic) and therefore guaranteed union wages and benefits.

Unfortunately Okie not all of them are longshoreman making union wages.
These companies refuse to hire anyone that is Union unless law mandates it, that's why they build their OWN piers, so they don't have to do this! While corporate America is far from legal in a lot of issues, this is unacceptable. People do have rights to be treated fairly and humanely in the workplace. I haven;t seent his happening yet with these companies! The employees should be compensated *fairly* for the work they do and not have to battle a company for benefits they are supposed to receive, nor should anyone have to walk around a workplace with a voice activated tape recorder everyday because some supervisor or head of HR gets their jollies threatening people!
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Old May 15th, 2003, 08:49 AM
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Default Re: Labor Practices by cruise lines

I think it depends on the port as to whether the workers are longshoremen are not. I know for a lot of ports, the employees on the dock are employees of the pier and not employees of the cruiselines. If the pier has a contract with the longshoremen, then these employees would be members of that union. Even when the docks aren't unionized, cruiselines usually hire contract companies and do not employ the dock workers themselves.

$8 per hour is not a great wage. as my boyfriend says, it's not a decent salary to be able to live and raise a family on, but there is nothing illegal about it and if the workers don't like the wages, they shouldn't accept the job in the first place. There are lots of customer service jobs and manual labor jobs here in the DC area that offer the same rate. Where do you live and why do you consider $8 to be a bad rate?

Here is an interesting link for those interested in some of the employees who work below deck...the ones we don't see: http://www.cruisejunkie.com/ot.html. I'd like to note that Princess is not mentioned but passingly in the article.

Remember, Nikki, it isn't just Princess that pays these rates...it's all cruiselines. I can understand your being concerned about abuses in firing/disability, etc. But it isn't right to single Princess out about the salary rates.

I am unsure what you mean about Princess and the insurance company. I'm sure they are paying the premiums for the insurance as these things are audited each year. If they weren't paying, the insurance companies would not even look at a claim, much less turn it down. Princess nor an other company, for that matter, have a say in how the insurance company handles it. They don't want a say...that's why they have the insurance is the first place, it takes it off their hands. And whether these employees like it or not, it is the insurance company's responsibility, not the cruiselines, if the insurance company will not approve the disability. It's like having a health insurance policy paid for by your company. If you have treatment and the health plan won't cover you for some obsure reason, it's not your company's fault. If current employees complained enough about coverage, the company/cruiseline could and just might change their insurance carrier.

Pea
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Old May 15th, 2003, 09:05 AM
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Default Re: Labor Practices by cruise lines

Remember, Nikki, it isn't just Princess that pays these rates...it's all cruiselines. I can understand your being concerned about abuses in firing/disability, etc. But it isn't right to single Princess out about the salary rates.

I am unsure what you mean about Princess and the insurance company. I'm sure they are paying the premiums for the insurance as these things are audited each year. If they weren't paying, the insurance companies would not even look at a claim, much less turn it down. Princess nor an other company, for that matter, have a say in how the insurance company handles it. They don't want a say...that's why they have the insurance is the first place, it takes it off their hands. And whether these employees like it or not, it is the insurance company's responsibility, not the cruiselines, if the insurance company will not approve the disability. It's like having a health insurance policy paid for by your company. If you have treatment and the health plan won't cover you for some obsure reason, it's not your company's fault. If current employees complained enough about coverage, the company/cruiseline could and just might change their insurance carrier.

Pea



I'm not singleing Princess out, I AM saying it is ALL cruise lines. When an employee calls the insurance company, they are told <name> of cruise line never sent the money for your disablility. An employee asks the company, they call the insurance company a liar and this goes on for MONTHS, in one case since November of last year! Employees have complained and that's another reason some of them aren't there! They aren't about to change insurance carriers that are in their favor, they would rather get rid of the employees!
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Old May 15th, 2003, 10:59 AM
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If there is an irregularity with the insurance and the payments of premiums, this is a different issue...and if it is happening, illegal, as many companies have their employees pay for their long-term disability. Sometimes, employees do not read their handbooks or papers correctly and op-out of the disability program, because it would cost them more money, or just don't realize they have to pay to get the benefit. No one can make a judgement without seeing the Employee Handbook and seeing the pay stubs of the affected employees.

Companies do not send insurance companies "money" for disability. They send premiums on a monthly basis. Do employees pay for their own disability insurance? Does it show on their earnings statement (pay stub) they get every pay period? If it is on their pay stub, they need to show the Human Resources office and make them produce documentation about the policy and if their money was indeed forwarded to the insurance company. If there is still a problem, go to your State Department of Labor.

Something more has to be going on here that I am not getting. No large company could operate like this in this day and age (especially after Enron) and not have this brought to someone's attention. All it would take is one call to the press and it would all blow up in their face. And the press likes a story like this, if it can be verified...which should be easy, if these are the facts. A child could do it.

Pea
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Old May 15th, 2003, 11:38 AM
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Default Re: Labor Practices by cruise lines

All it would take is one call to the press and it would all blow up in their face. And the press likes a story like this, if it can be verified...which should be easy, if these are the facts. A child could do it.

The press has been notified more than once. They refuse to deal with it.
Yes the employer pays the disability to the insurance company. NOT monthly premiums,but payroll sends the money to the insurance company when an employee
is disabled. Long term comes out of the paychecks, but short term is a company benefit. Unfortunatley, employees can't seem to get hold of this money promised to them and end up with less than perfect credit becuase they can't pay their bills.
Automatic payments out of their checking accounts are bounced, but you don't see these companies offering to help these people. The only option they have is to go to the State and a lawyer. This is documented so many times it is rediculous!
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Old May 15th, 2003, 01:00 PM
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Default Re: Labor Practices by cruise lines

If long term is coming out of their paychecks, I do not know of a company that does not send the money directly to the insurance companie at least every quarter (3 months). The insurance company works on permiums...don't pay the premiums when due and policies cease. It makes no business sense to wait until someone is disabled and then send money...that goes against the whole point of insurance.

Suppose you had a policy for your car. If you didn't have to pay the premium until you had an accident, what is the advantage to the insurance company? Where are they getting money to pay there claims, etc?

As far as not being paid by the company for short-term disability, the employees need to take their claim to their State Department of Labor and the US Department of Labor. Try this site for more information regarding disability in the state of California:
http://www.edd.ca.gov/difaq8.htm

Pea
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