Alaska Marine Highway - "Elimination Budget could end state ferry sailing by October

Also why I prefer to live in the SE, at this point, as opposed to end of road places like Anchorage, Fairbanks or even Central.

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Latest update provides a bit more information as to what is probably the real reason for this disgustingly shameful plan.

Save the ferries, sink the governor and his cronies.

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A reasonable compromise is needed. Eliminate or scale back the high cost, but low utilization routes. Offer low cost Alaska resident “commuter book” fares. Raise prices for tourists. Slash the high cost ferry bureaucracy.

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I’ll second that one!

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I am going to say that why not should AMHS mariners accept periods of no work? Hell, those of us who worked in the commercial sector never are immune from Joe Boss giving us a pink slip so why shouldn’t those in the public sector? I truly believe those mariners who work for any public ferry service (WSF in particular) have built themselves a fiefdom where they are protected by so many favorable work rules that they have ended up with about the easiest and highest paid employment possible and where no supervisor can touch them.

I would like to finish my career at the WSF and with all the talk of a vast retirement wave about to roll over the fleet you would think they would be actively recruiting mariners such as myself to come in to help fill the supposed shortfall but far from it. There unions (at the acquiescence of management) have enacted so many hurdles for someone like me to overcome that it has become an effective barrier and I have no desire to play their game to get over it. Two to three years of sucking it up to get onto the bridge is time I am not going to give them because that is just how the unions want it!

No, I say let the AMHS mariners go to Hawaii and sit on a beach or play golf all winter and then come back in the spring. Maybe they will not earn so much in a given year but tough. I am not sympathetic to their plight.


It would not be easy to lateral over into another industry from there. The officers are under Inland MM&P. Without DP or a towing endorsement, I guess sailing off the board would be the first choice.

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The article mentions IBU, is MEBA striking as well?

Whole lotta boats stacked in the bayou that could run the cargo part of the ferry service pretty easily… and probably would be willing to do it cheaper than IBU. Just a thought.

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Well I didn’t know they were on strike,
If they have a picket line up. In Bellingham or Rupert,
I might just drop by and offer my support.

It’s not the working man who screwed the system up.

What a piece of shit you are.

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For making an observation? For suggesting an alternative that would possibly save the state of Alaska and her residents taxpayer dollars?

No, just someone who has friends in the state government in Juneau that were telling me over two years ago that the Alaska Marine Highway was in danger because it was so expensive to keep running… That has friends that used to work AMH that left because they saw this writing on the wall long before now.

Well number one those boats do not have DP so not sure how those guys can get the boat alongside a dock.

Just the thought of scabbing makes you part of the problem in this industry. Those Mariners provide a service to the community and should make a living wage for it.

How do you know AMH is not a cost effective method of public transportation?

2018 Revenue: $47.3m
2018 Expenditure: $142.0m

2017 Revenue: $45.8m
2017 Expenditure: $134.9m

2016 Revenue: $47.2m
2016 Expenditure: $145.2m

Shall I go on?


Jesus you did that research fast.

No you won that argument.


Lol, like I said, I have a couple very good friends in Juneau that warned me off of applying at AMHS for this very reason when the bottom fell out in the oil field. So I knew this was the case a while back. The writings been on the wall for some time, just nobody wanted to do anything but kick the can down the road to the next administration.

Yes, the service AMHS provides is very very crucial in the small communities, but it’s hemorrhaging money like crazy. Maybe a change would be good.

It shouldn’t take the brightest of minds to determine that a state run and appropriated ferry system, crewed by a bureaucratic fat hog union, is the perfect recipe for destruction. It comes as a surprise that the prediction earlier in this thread didn’t come to fruition a whole lot sooner. I would imagine WSF is in a very similar… boat as well.

Some type of change may be good for the state but not at the expense of the local Mariners trying to make a living.

What if the US govt decided the jones act needed a change? That would save the taxpayers plenty of money but would affect all of us.

You may not have a labor contract but we all live and die by the jones act which is an agreement that unions are spending alot of money to keep in place. We can go round and round about oil subsidies and what not but bottom line is undermining a labor movement is good for nobody.

This number is what strikes me most of all… $101,858,000 for marine operations in 2018. That doesn’t include fuel or overhaul or support; and while it’s not broken down any further than that, I can’t help but guess that a sizable portion of that (maybe all?) is the wages that are in negotiation for marine crew. That’s huge for (what was in 2016) 1,017 employees (which possibly may be ALL the employees in AMHS that year, but it doesn’t say).

That works out to an average of $100k+/year across the board, for all rates and positions. Likely more if that employee count included shore base employees as well. (IBU is 430 workers on 11 ships with only 9 in service)

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