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Ferry Service Stoppage Impacts Southeast Alaska Communities

By ,   July 26, 2019 ,   Cruise Industry

Alaskan ferries (Alaska Marine Highway System) serving dozens of coastal communities which lack outside road access, was shut down for a 2nd straight day on Thursday, July 25, by a boat workers' strike protesting stalled contract talks along with deep budget cuts imposed by the governor.

Around 420 members of Inlandboatman's Union of the Pacific (represents most of Alaska's ferry workers) walked off the job on Wednesday, July 24, after 3 years of labour negotiations with state-run Alaska Marine Highway System saw a setback.

The strike, which is the first such walkout against ferry system in 42 years, comes at the peak summer season, posing a crippling blow to tourism across southeastern Alaska.

The Alaska Marine Highway System website is promoting getaways to over 30,000 miles of picturesque shoreline posted a notice saying its ships "will not be sailing until further notice" due to the strike.

Port of Juneau (Alaska)

Among the dozens of coastal and island communities that rely on ferries for transportation of people, vehicles and day-to-day supplies is the state capital Juneau which can be reached from the outside only by plane or boat.