My name is Ayoe and for the past four years, until I resigned in frustration, at the Pier 33 landing I worked as a member of the Guest Services/ Security team at Alcatraz Cruises (in San Francisco, Ca), a subsidiary of Hornblower Cruises, owned by CEO Terry MacRae. In that period of time I was subjected to easily over twenty instances of rampant discriminatory conduct, threats, unequal advancement opportunities and frequent racial epithets and insults, online and in person, in particular frequent derogatory use of the N-word, by several of my direct supervisors, one of whom was subsequently promoted twice to a managerial position. I am asking that you conduct a full and open investigation into the policies and practices of Alcatraz Cruises for ignoring rampant racial discrimination among its employees, details of which several incidences, past and present, I am sure the company will not be as forthcoming with.
When I reported these to the Human Resources Director, I was told that I must have encouraged it, and somehow it must have been my fault, and as punishment for stepping forward to make this report, I was shunned, castigated and given a bad annual performance review in spite of twice being Employee of the Quarter, the most experienced member of the team, tri-lingual, and being the current winner of the company's annual international Hornblower Q2 award (voted on by the guests, thank God). In further retaliation, I was denied several well-deserved and overdue promotions and informed that the prize for the Q2 award, a cruise for two, would expire two months after it was awarded, even though the company knew I had already booked my vacation for that time period. By contrast the winner of the award the previous year was allowed to extend the cruise expiration deadline by over a year.
Every department in the company is notoriously plagued by the most horrible instances of racial prejudice. In the history of the entire company's supervisorial and managerial staff there has been only one manager and no supervisors who are African-American. The Marine Ops Department has traditionally excluded African-Americans since the company's inception and when I asked why, I was told, "it's not your people’s thing", as if those positions were traditionally reserved for only a certain race. Senior officials of the company are entrenched in a pattern of favoritism towards Caucasians and prejudicial treatment against African-Americans to the point where African-Americans are fired for minutiae and the least infractions, such as 'not being as fluent as expected in the English language' or not having the proper attitude towards guests, (my favorite was the African-American employee that was written up and subsequently terminated because he had a baseball hat on during his break time).
Conversely there are reported and documented cases of at least one Caucasian employee who threatened to come to the company premises and shoot people, physically intimidating guests and being intoxicated while on duty, in addition to other serious infractions, who was still allowed to continue working there with only a slap on the wrist. Another routinely came to work under the influence of alcohol and was a supervisor. After resigning myself mentally to absorbing this treatment for four and a half years, I finally resigned myself physically, and removed myself from the environment altogether. While I have been advised to pursue legal action against the company, I feel that resolving the case of racism against one individual (in this case me) is the easy part. There is a wider and entrenched cancer, and still many voiceless employees there, being subjected to the same discrimination, fearful of complaining, lest they lose their jobs.
Thoroughly overturning, reorganizing and reversing this entrenched pattern of hatred and illegal preferential treatment at Alcatraz Cruises will require the efforts of a wider community and the glare of a national spotlight so I am asking the National Parks Service, and in effect, the Federal Government (and by extension, Terry Macrae, the owner of Hornblower Cruises to look into this and take appropriate action) to investigate Alcatraz Cruises for ignoring this rampant racial discrimination among its corporate ranks. In the event that Alcatraz Cruises refuses, as they have, thus far, to reverse these racist policies and hateful practices, the National Parks Service should not renew their contract, which expires on September 27, 2015. Thank you all for your support. Thank you.