BC ferry officers presented with exclusion offers

Union says exclusions will be bad for morale and unsafe for customers
By Zachary Pedersen
|labour-reporter.com|Last Updated: 04/05/2011

The BC Ferry & Marine Workers’ Union (BCFMWU) is hoping the Labour Relations Board will stop BC Ferries Inc. from making exclusion offers to top officers of the fleet. BC Ferries began making offers in September 2010 when an arbitrator ruled the move valid.

BCFMWU says that exclusion offers have been made to about 155 senior officers, which includes senior chief and chief engineers, senior chief and chief stewards and masters. Standard offers are being customized to individual officers and they are playing off against each other, according to a BCFMWU press release.

One of the biggest issues the BCFMWU has with removing officers from the union is that the current collective agreement, senior chief and chief engineers can exercise “go or no-go” powers over whether a ferry sails.

“They fear under this new regime, they will simply be forced to toe the line and the ferry will sail, regardless of concerns for public safety,” said Brett Joyce, provincial president of the Ships’ Officers’ Component of the BCFMWU.

BCFMWU has asked BC Ferries to stop implementation of the exclusion process while the appeal is underway with the Labor Relations Board, but the company has indicated that they have no plans to do so.

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