Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Labour Troubles making for rough seas for BC Ferries and union negotiators

It may be the season of giving and joy, but at the moment there's little of that on display in the latest round of negotiations between BC Ferries and BC Ferries Marine Workers union.

The current round of talks coming with enough leaks to keep a vessel the size of the Northern Adventure in Dry dock.

The Vancouver Sun has the details of the tidings of the labour negotiations which are decidedly not in the vein of Ho Ho Ho and seem to suggest a few weeks off and large volumes of Egg Nog and Christmas baking is something for the two sides to consider.

In the Sun report, it notes of angry outbursts at the negotiating table and the background to a 14 page complaint lodged with the BC Labour Relations Board which has the BC Marine Workers' Union seeking 2.1 million dollars in damages from the Ferry Corporation.

The complaint traces salary negotiation themes, impact on workers and the nature of the labour discussions which seem testy at best.

 So far, BC Ferries has not issued any statements towards the current negotiations, or the complaint now under consideration by the Labour Relations Board.

While they have not issued any statements either, the Marine Workers Union Website does include an archive of "news coverage' that highlights the current labour climate at the province's vital marine transportation service.

Those entries provide a glimpse into some of the tensions behind the current contract negotiations and some background into BC Ferries recent summer season of woe and the apparent ongoing distrust between management, ferry workers and the workers representatives.

More notes on Marine Transportation on the North Coast can be reviewed here.

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