Strike deadline set for Labour Day weekend at Victoria Clipper ferry

Main Image
Ferry on the water with mountains in the background

VICTORIA—Unifor Local 114 members at the Victoria-Seattle ferry service have voted 100% in favour of taking legal strike action on Sunday, September 3 if a fair contract cannot be reached before then.

“Unless the employer shows up to the bargaining table with a fair offer, the Victoria Clipper will be anchored on one of the busiest tourism weekends of the year,” said Lana Payne, Unifor National President. “Ferry workers deserve a fair contract and will take job action if negotiations continue to stall.”

Unifor has begun outreach to local businesses and festivals on both sides of the border who rely on international tourism. Customers who do not want to risk being stranded can cancel reservations by email @email or call 800-888-2535. Standard fares are fully refundable for cancellations received two or more days prior to travel.

Clipper workers are seeking to negotiate fair wage increases, adjustments to the scheduling system, and better job security. Local 114 applied for the assistance of a conciliator to help close the gap between the parties, but during the entire 60-day conciliation period, the company only agreed to meet for three days.

“Good jobs and fair wages are pivotal to building a thriving tourism industry,” said Gavin McGarrigle, Unifor Western Regional Director. “The Victoria Clipper is no exception. The company must negotiate a fair contract or risk total service disruption.”

Contract disputes and service disruptions would be new to the Clipper service. The German company who purchased the service in 2016 has been more difficult to work with, says Unifor.

Unifor Local 114 represents 25 workers at the Victoria side of the Clipper’s workforce in customer service, ticketing, baggage handling and docking.

Unifor is Canada’s largest union in the private sector, representing 315,000 workers in every major area of the economy. The union advocates for all working people and their rights, fights for equality and social justice in Canada and abroad, and strives to create progressive change for a better future.

Media Contact

Ian Boyko

National Communications Representative - Western Region