PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Ferry Operator Sidelined By Government Shutdown

Passengers board the ferry to Fort Sumter. (Fort Sumter Tours)

Passengers board the ferry to Fort Sumter. (Fort Sumter Tours)

With the partial government shutdown, some 800,000 federal workers will be furloughed and more than a million others will be asked to work without pay.

But there are hundreds of private businesses that contract with the government that are also affected by the shutdown.

One of them is Fort Sumter Tours in South Carolina, which shuttles 300,000 tourists every year to Sullivan Island in Charleston Harbor to see Fort Sumter, which is owned by the National Park Service.

Guest

  • Rick Mosteller, co-owner Fort Sumter Tours.

Transcript

MEGHNA CHAKRABARTI, HOST:

It's HERE AND NOW. Some 800,000 federal workers have been furloughed due to the government shutdown, and more than a million others have been asked to work without pay. But the shutdown is also affecting private businesses with government contracts. One of them is Fort Sumter Tours, based in Charleston, South Carolina.

Usually the company ferries 1,000 tourists every day to see Fort Sumter, the Civil War monument owned by the National Park Service. Rick Mosteller is co-owner of Fort Sumter Tours. And Rick, your boats are at the dock today. What's been going on?

RICK MOSTELLER: We are trying a novel approach. We're operating nonstop harbor tours in lieu of our normal tours out to Fort Sumter National Monument. And on our first tour this morning, we took about, oh, 15 percent of what we would normally carry.

CHAKRABARTI: So what impact do you think this is going to have on your business?

MOSTELLER: Well, it depends upon how long the partial shutdown continues. If it continues for a long period of time, it's going to be very painful.

CHAKRABARTI: Government workers who are being furloughed may actually get back-pay eventually, but I don't see anything that the federal government's going to do to help businesses such as yours. So what do you make of this government shutdown having an impact on your business?

MOSTELLER: Unfortunately, it is the frontline hourly employee who is likely to be hurt first. Our salaried employees will continue to draw pay as long as we're around. The problem is the hourly folks who really tend to live more paycheck to paycheck because their hours will be cut if we're unable to operate these boats.

CHAKRABARTI: What would you like to tell lawmakers in Washington right now about this government shutdown? What's your thought on it?

MOSTELLER: My thought is that most reasonable people in America think this is crazy, and I would encourage them to please come together and for the sake of the American people to do what's right and fund the government.

CHAKRABARTI: Well, Rick Mosteller is co-owner of Fort Sumter Tours. Rick, thank you so much.

MOSTELLER: It's been my pleasure, thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

July 30 37 Comments

Oxford Conservationist Talks About 7 Years Of Tracking Cecil

The 13-year-old lion was not only a tourist favorite, but also, a research animal. The beloved lion was being studied by the Oxford University Conservation Unit.

July 30 27 Comments

NAACP To Begin 860-Mile ‘Journey For Justice’ March

The march, which will travel from Selma, Ala. to Washington, seeks to highlight vulnerable communities subject to regressive voting rights.

July 29 2 Comments

Garden-Inspired Cooking With Kathy Gunst

We visit our resident chef's garden in Maine, make gazpacho and get a recipe for a plum tart with hazelnut crust.

July 29 847 Comments

Two Sides Of The GMO Debate

We moderate a debate over a bill that would bar states from forcing food manufacturers to label genetically modified foods.