Contract negotiation blips could cause Clipper service disruptions

Contract negotiation blips could cause Clipper service disruptions
Nicholas Pescod

Travellers between Victoria and Seattle may have some choppy water ahead as the union for Clipper workers says contract negotiations are moving too slow.

Contract negotiations between the Clipper and Unifor, which is the union representing the workers, have been ongoing since May 2023.

“The Clipper’s negotiators seem to be stuck in a pandemic concessionary mindset,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National president. “Ferry ridership has rebounded from COVID-19. The company simply has no excuse to drag its feet on a fair contract for workers.”

According to Unifor, the workers are asking for fair wage increases, adjustments to the scheduling system, and better job security.

The previous contract expired on Oct. 31, 2022 and this is the second contract negotiated with the company that bought the Clipper service in 2016.

Unifor Local 114 applied for the assistance of a conciliator, but the union says the company only agreed to meet for three days of the 60-day period.

“The Clipper is a key part of the region’s tourism. The workers responsible for the smooth operation of ferry services deserve a fair agreement,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor western regional director.

The union represents 25 workers on the Victoria side which includes workers in customer service, ticketing, baggage handling, and docking.

CHEK News has reached out to the Clipper for a comment and this story will be updated if a response is received.

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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