OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Longshore union workers are holding an emergency rally at the Port of Oakland Sunday to stop the shipment of contaminated waste from the coronavirus-stricken Grand Princess cruise ship through Oakland waters.
The union ILWU Local 10 said Sunday they were previously alerted that Princess Cruise Lines would be unloading contaminated waste from the ship, which held many passengers infected with coronavirus after a voyage to Mexico in February. The ship docked at the Port of Oakland earlier this week and passengers were disembarked in a multi-day operation.
COMPLETE COVERAGE: CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
ILWU 10 said that Princess Cruise Lines previously promised that the waste be loaded on a barge and removed from the Bay Area by sea. ILWU 10, other maritime workers and community representatives will be speaking at the rally to oppose the plans to improperly remove the contaminated waste so the ship can leave the pier on time.
California governor Gavin Newsom said that the ship must be removed from the pier by around 7 p.m. Sunday. After leaving the port, it will drop anchor somewhere in the San Francisco Bay, where it will remain for a 14 day quarantine.
Upon the ship’s departure, the Port of Oakland site where it was docked will be “fully remediated and decontaminated by immediately removing temporary structures and pressure washing the entire site with a bleach solution to disinfect it,” the California Office of Emergency Services said Sunday.
Princess Cruises said Sunday it will pay for the ground transportation and charter flight costs for its crew members to return to their home countries. Crew members who disembark the ship will go through the same health screening as guests did earlier in the week, managed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services.
Crew members who are ill or symptomatic will not be allowed to fly on charter flights, Princess Cruises said. All crew members who are not showing symptoms but for whom no charter flight is available will stay under quarantine on the ship.
As of Sunday, 2,900 individuals were disembarked from the Grand Princess, including over 2,400 passengers and over 500 crew members, according to Cal OES.