Skip to content

Labour Day weekend strike deadline set for Victoria Clipper ferry workers

An estimated 25 workers are involved in Victoria/Seattle route
The Victoria Clipper ferry service could be disrupted before the end of the summer. (Black Press Media file photo)

The Victoria Clipper ferry is set to remain docked during one of its busiest weekends of the year as workers voted 100 per cent in favour of taking legal strike action as of Sept. 3, unless a new contract can be negotiated before then.

Unifor Local 114, which represents 25 workers on the Victoria side of the Clipper’s workforce in customer service, ticketing, baggage, handling and docking, is seeking to negotiate wage increases, adjustments to the scheduling system and better job security.

While Unifor Local 114 applied for the assistance of a conciliator to close the gap between parties, the company only agreed to meet with the union for three days during the 60-day conciliation period, according to the release.

“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,” wrote Unifor National President Lana Payne in a release. “Ferry workers deserve a fair contract and will take job action if negotiations continue to stall.”

This marks the first time the Clipper service has encountered contract disputes and potential labour disruptions. The German company that purchased the service in 2016 has been more difficult to work with, according to the release.

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

Passengers who do not want to risk being stranded during strike action can cancel reservations by emailing or calling 800-888-2535. Standard fares are fully refundable for cancellations if received two days or more before departure.

READ MORE: Ferry servicing Nanaimo-Tsawwassen anticipated to be out until October