BC Ferry & Marine Workers' Union Response to Safety Reports

Smooth Sailing or Choppy Waters Ahead

VANCOUVER, Feb. 15, 2012 /CNW/ - With the recent departure of CEO David Hahn and reports released on both safety and the governance of BC Ferries, some would venture there has been much improvement in the system.

That may be true when comparing on time performance, or customer satisfaction with the service, both of which have been achieved by outstanding commitment and professionalism exhibited by the frontline employees of BC Ferries.

Unfortunately, there is still much to be accomplished.

Brother Brett Joyce, Ships' Officers' Component President stated, "There are increasing concerns being raised by our members that the Company's insistence on continuing with exclusions will result in less effective, and lower certificated managers in high ranking shipboard positions.  What the end result will be is yet to be seen, but it is abundantly clear employee morale is on a steady decline.  A very different reality than expressed by the Company's outgoing leader."

This stark reality coupled with reports commissioned to review the BC Ferries model and safety, further highlight changes and improvements are still to be seen.

Ferry Commissioner Macatee's thorough report provided many recommendations of benefit to the public as well as the ferry operator however, it is not without concern.  Our focus for BC Ferries and its service to the travelling public continues to be the maintenance and safe service of transportation in the marine environment.  This means a true Marine Highway and extension of the Province's Transportation System.

A follow up report on safety at BC Ferries further illustrates areas requiring improvement.  In many cases these will require time and significant funding.  There may need to be improvements on training and familiarization or risk management and hand over policies, we trust fiscal restraint will not compromise the many gains attributable to the workforce.

"Although uncertainty and questions remain in how this service is supplied to the public, our Members, our Union, remain committed to providing a safe, reliable and efficient service to the travelling public," stated Brett Joyce.

SOURCE BC Ferry and Marine Workers' Union

For further information:

Brett Joyce at 250-661-5880 or BC Ferry & Marine Workers' Union office at 250-716-3454 or 1-800-663-7009

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BC Ferry and Marine Workers' Union

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