Islanders wanting to travel between Skidegate Landing and Alliford Bay were out of luck Wednesday afternoon, after ferry workers walked off the job at noon, to protest the province’s imposed cooling off period.
As well, service to Prince Rupert and on the inside passage route is not assured, according to BC Ferries, which says that “as a result of illegal job action on the part of our union, we sincerely regret that all regular BC Ferries services are suspended.”
The end of service left some people stranded-at least temporarily- in Sandspit, as passengers flying in from Vancouver had to use water taxi service to get to Graham Island.
The province brought the ferry strike to an end Tuesday-or thought it did- by legislating an 80-day cooling off period and appointing special mediator Vince Ready to work with BC Ferry Services Inc. and the BC Ferry and Marine Workers’ union.
However, members of the union decided Wednesday morning to go on strike when the province refused to abandon the cooling off period.
The union says workers cannot afford the “massive cuts in pay and benefits, and coastal communities need decent, safe ferry service.”
How long service will be disrupted is anybody’s guess, but ferry workers have said they will go back to work for the Christmas period, offering at least essential service levels between Dec. 19 and 28.
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