Looming long weekend Clipper strike averted

Looming long weekend Clipper strike averted

Union workers for the Clipper ferry service have signed a tentative agreement with the company, averting a strike that was slated to take place during the Labour Day long weekend.

Unifor Local 114 has been negotiating with the Clipper ferry service since May, after the union’s previous contract expired on Oct. 31, 2022.

Last week, the union said its members voted 100 per cent in favour of taking potential strike action this long weekend if a deal could not be reached.

On Friday, Unifor Local 114 announced that it had signed a tentative agreement with the Victoria Clipper.

A vote to ratify the agreement is scheduled for Sept. 6, at which point details about the agreement will be released, according to the union.

On Aug. 23, the union said its main sticking points revolved around wage increases, better job security and updates to the worker scheduling system.

At the same time, Clipper chief operating officer Gordon Dirker told CHEK News the company believed its offer was “very competitive” and that the Clipper was looking to “continue to bargain in good faith and come up with a solution that supports our team members.”

On Friday, the clipper added that it was grateful for the support of all team members and partners.

“We are pleased to announce that we have come to a tentative agreement during our latest negotiations with UNIFOR Local 114,” said the company in a statement. “This shows our commitment to enter a collective agreement with our unionized team members, allowing us to continue to provide the high level of service FRS Clipper has been offering, and will offer, for years to come.”

Unifor Local 114 represents 25 workers in Victoria who work for the Clipper in various roles, including ticketing, docking, baggage handling and customer service.

“Congratulations to the bargaining committee and the members who mobilized quickly to get the word out on both sides of the border about their struggle for a fair contract,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western regional director in a release Friday.

Adam ChanAdam Chan

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