West Kootenay ferry workers, employer reach settlement

Tentative deal ends ongoing threat of job action on Kootenay Lake ferry

The ferry dispute in the West Kootenay appears to be over.

The union representing ferry workers in Glade, Harrop-Procter and Kootenay Lake says it has reached a tentative deal with the employer.

“The communities of Kootenay Lake are no longer facing disruptions to their ferry service due to the labour dispute between BC Government and Service Employees’ Union ferry workers and their employer, Western Pacific Marine,” says a union news release.

It says the new deal was settled on Nov. 26 after 13 days of “intensive bargaining”. The two sides have been locked in a dispute over a new contract for nearly five months, and workers disrupted service on the Kootenay Lake ferry several times in September and October to pressure bargaining.

“This bargaining process was hard work and this tentative agreement is fantastic news,” said BCGEU President Stephanie Smith. “I’m proud of the solidarity shown by our members and the support of the community throughout this process. And I’m grateful that the employer was ultimately willing to get back to the table and get this deal done.”

The tentative agreement includes provisions similar in principle to the collective agreement between the union and the other two inland ferries employers—WaterBridge Ferries and Waterbridge Equipment. That agreement was overwhelmingly ratified by union members in October.

These provisions included wage parity with BC Ferries within the term of the agreement and a commitment to successor-ship training that will protect existing members.

BCGEU members will vote on the agreement this weekend. The union’s bargaining committee is recommending ratification. If ratified, the WPM agreement will take effect immediately and expire on March 31, 2024.

The communities of Glade and Harrop were unaffected by the union’s job action due to an essential service ruling made August 29. When talks resumed on November 13, the union eased up on its job action – which had been resulting in up to 70 per cent of regular sailings being cancelled per day – ensuring all regularly scheduled sailings on Kootenay Lake while bargaining was ongoing.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Snow scenes around Castlegar

Our favourite reader submiltted photos.

Castlegar Curling Club hosts mixed bonspiel

The winning rinks were McKenzie (A event), Cooke (B), Nichol (C), and Knutson (D)

West Kootenay snowpack nearing record levels

High snowpack can mean a greater risk of flooding in spring, say forecasters

VIDEO: Kootenay Patricks, Montreal Canadiens play to the crowd in Nelson

The charity game was a spectacle from puck drop

Two-vehicle collision near Castlegar sends two to hospital

The incident took place Wednesday evening near the Brilliant Bridge in Ootischenia

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

Canada’s basketball community mourns Kobe Bryant after helicopter crash

Bryant was an 18-time NBA all-star who won five championships

‘Devastated’: Fans, celebrities remember Kobe Bryant after his death

Bryant played all of his 20-year career with the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe Bryant, daughter killed in California helicopter crash

Bryant entered the NBA draft straight out of high school in 1996

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Canadian Lunar New Year celebrations dampened by coronavirus worries

But Health Minister Patty Hajdu said today that the risk of infection is low

B.C. VIEWS: New coronavirus outbreak an important reminder

Walking the line between cautious and alarmist

Risk of coronavirus low in B.C. as first case emerges in Toronto: officials

There have been no confirmed cases of the virus in B.C.

Most Read