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B.C. Ferries’ employees may go on strike

VANCOUVER, B.C. -- B.C. Ferries' employees may be preparing to go on strike as early as the end of the month.

VANCOUVER, B.C. — B.C. Ferries’ employees may be preparing to go on strike as early as the end of the month.

That’s when the workers’ contract expires, and the ferry corporation has announced it will be asking employees to make significant concessions so the company can improve customer service and on-time performance.

David Hahn, president and CEO of B.C. Ferries recently said “Our company and our customers cannot afford the current contract with its $9 million in annual overtime costs and its rigid operating rules. In fact, it’s a contract that provides no incentives to be on time. We’re an independent company that’s regulated by government, but we don’t have access to government’s deep pockets. As a result, business-as-usual just won’t work at the new B.C. Ferries.”

The B.C. Trucking Association has asked that at least 50 per cent of B.C. Ferries’ service be deemed an essential service in the event of a strike, as was the case last time there was a strike in 1998. Also, the association has asked that in the event of a strike, commercial trucks be given priority while boarding.

Details of contract negotiations have not been released.

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