Demand Just Treatment for Grand Princess Workers Stranded on Coronavirus-Stricken Cruise Ship

We hold Princess Cruises responsible for the death of a Filipino crew member of the Grand Princess ship who died from COVID-19 on April 1 in a hospital in San Francisco, CA. Like other crew members and passengers, this worker was denied adequate access to full testing, humane treatment, and safe quarantine, all which might have prevented this catastrophe.

Hundreds of mostly foreign-born workers remain stranded on the coronavirus-stricken Grand Princess ship since it journeyed back to the San Francisco Bay Area and docked in Oakland, CA on March 9, 2020, after an outbreak of COVID-19 infections was confirmed. Although passengers and crew members were evacuated when the ship docked, over 600 workers remained on board when it pushed back out from port and remained in the SF Bay. This was despite the fact that, by March 21, seventeen percent of all the passengers who were tested for coronavirus returned positive results.

Princess Cruises’ management of the coronavirus outbreak has been a clear and egregious violation of its responsibility as an employer to protect its workers, and it acted counter to public health best practices and scientific guidelines. Read more about the failure of Princess Cruises’ failure to protect workers.

Help amplify the voices of these workers who are demanding COVID-19 testing & treatment, repatriation to their home countries, compensation for lost wages, and transparency from Princess Cruises by signing this petition and sharing it with your networks.

Our demands:

Princess Cruises has thus far resisted all calls for transparency regarding any measures it has supposedly taken to guarantee crew members’ safety, and, because of this lack of transparency, we cannot be sure that workers are safe from harm amidst the current pandemic. Workers continue to face a high risk of exposure and infection until they are disembarked and provided testing, medical care, and safe quarantine. We demand that Princess Cruises take the necessary immediate action to preserve the health, safety, and well-being of its workers on all of its ships, including:

  1. Disembarking, testing, and humanely treating all workers. All workers must be tested, and not just screened for symptoms; and that testing must be paid for by Princess Cruises. Those who test positive must be given proper treatment and documentation of the treatment, and those who test negative must be provided the documentation proving negative test status.
  2. Providing all workers with comprehensive medical and mental health services Workers should be provided access to a social worker and full psychiatric and medical evaluations and treatment to address their mental and physical health concerns upon disembarking, especially after being quarantined on a contaminated ship with limited to no contact with their families, their union representation, and the outside world throughout this traumatic experience.
  3. Providing safe housing accommodations. Disturbingly, the San Francisco Port Commission has indicated that workers may continue to be housed on the ship. We believe that all workers (non-essential and essential) should be removed from the ship, per WHO guidelines, and provided temporary housing in a local hotel, paid for by Princess Cruises, throughout the duration of their quarantine and their process of returning to their home countries, until they reach their own homes safely and completely healthy.  
  4. Compensating workers for lost wages for their full contracted term, ensuring financial and job security. According to their Collective Bargaining Agreement, seafarers are entitled to additional compensation specified in the event of an unexpected termination of their voyage or contract. Princess Cruises needs to honor all its commitments to its workers whose contracted work will be terminated prematurely by this public health crisis. Beyond that, Princess Cruises should provide hazard pay for work conducted while on board infected ships, and any and all additional compensation needed to restore the workers’ being “fit to work.” Princess Cruises should not discriminate in the rehiring and recontracting of these workers when the industry restores its cruise operations.
  5. Covering all costs attendant to repatriating workers to their countries of origin. After providing testing and humane treatment, Princess Cruises must work with the workers’ home countries to repatriate the workers, and cover the cost, as expeditiously as possible.
  6. Decommissioning the ship and having it disinfected by professionals with proper protection and equipment in accordance with World Health Organization guidelines.
  7. Transparency on its management of the COVID-19 outbreak. Princess Cruises must divulge its process of testing workers, answer to why workers were kept on the ship despite official recommendations to disembark all people on cruise ships, and, share its supposed outbreak management plan, with confirmation from workers that outbreak management training was provided, and a sanitation certificate.

In solidarity,

Migrante NorCal

ASATA (Alliance of South Asians Taking Action)

NAFCON (National Alliance for Filipino Concerns)

PAWIS (People’s Association for Workers and Immigrants)

FCC (Filipino Community Center)

ABSF (Anakbayan SF)

Filipinx Health Initiative SF

League of Filipino Students – SFSU

Equality Labs

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