Lott Hopes Cruise Ships Still Have A Future; Union Leaders Question The Number Effected

Sen. Trent Lott says while the Ingalls layoffs were unfortunate, he hopes the layoffs will be temporary. He said Thursday afternoon that lawmakers are still working to get these cruise ships built in America.

"We are pursuing other ideas, talking with Northrop Grumman, talking with other maritime administration and other companies to see if we can come up with some other arrangements to get this done," Lott said. "I really would like for these cruise ships to be built in America. I'd like for them to be built by Americans and fly American flags. If this doesn't work, it's going to be hard to make it work in the future. We're still working on it and we're hoping something can be developed."

Two of the unions that represent Ingalls workers say they've already contacted Sen. Lott and Sen. Thad Cochran, pressing them to help re-instate the funding for the cruise ships.

The Pascagoula Metal Trades Council and the International Brotherhood of Electric Workers Local 133 also say the number of people out of work is much higher than Northrop Grumman has stated, 1,500 instead of the 1,250 the company reported. Union leaders say it's likely the total layoffs connected to the cruise ship project will reach as high as 2,500 people.