Hundreds lose jobs at Carnival, Progreso’s main source of cruise-ship dollars

FILE - In a Thursday, March 26, 2020 file photo, Carnival Cruise ships are docked at the Port of Tampa in Tampa, Fla. Carnival Cruise Lines says it plans to gradually resume cruising in North America in August, nearly five months after it halted operations due to the new coronavirus. Sailings will begin on Aug. 1 with eight ships setting off from Galveston, Texas; Miami; and Port Canaveral, Florida. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)
Carnival Cruise ships are docked at the Port of Tampa in Florida. AP Photo

Carnival Corp., the main cruise line to dock into Progreso, has announced hundreds of layoffs as the industry struggles to rebound.

Entering its third month of lockdown, Carnival’s CEO Arnold Donald said the combination of layoffs, furloughs and pay cuts were “necessary given the current low level of guest operations and to further endure this pause.”

Progreso, which relies heavily on tourism dollars from ships like Carnival’s, is still planning on welcoming back ships in less than two months. The Carnival Dream is scheduled to leave Galveston for Progreso on Aug. 3.

But the voyage isn’t guaranteed to happen while Carnival sheds workers by the hundreds.

The majority of affected employees in the U.S. will be in Florida, California and Washington state, Carnival Corp. said. The company is eliminating 820 positions and furloughing 537 employees for up to six months in Florida out of a workforce of about 3,000 employees.

Cruise lines announced they were halting sailing on March 13 due to the spread of the coronavirus. Several cruise ships saw outbreaks of COVID-19 cases and found themselves stranded at sea after being rejected by port authorities who were worried they would import more cases.

Companies have been trying to repatriate tens of thousands of crew members who are still on ships in or near U.S. waters due to the increase in restrictions by health authorities in the U.S. and abroad.

With information from The Associated Press

Staff Writer

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