February 25, 2022
Sisters, Brothers, Comrades,
Several weeks ago your Union sent to a letter to Honourable Minister Rob Fleming regarding staffing challenges in our workplaces and certificate shortages leading to sailing disruptions. The Minister has since thanked us for our letter, and has shared our letter with his colleagues, the Honourable Harry Bains, Minister of Labour, the Honourable Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction and the Honourable Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation. These colleagues will be able to consider potential solutions from the perspective of the work being done in their ministries, and will be glad for the opportunity to review our ideas. Additional good news, please find attached a link to the news release for tabled changes to the Coastal Ferry Act by the Honourable Minister Rob Fleming. The changes represent significate potential for coastal communities, the public interest in BC Ferries and our membership.
This past week I have had the chance to partake in three training sessions with the ILWU, Seaspan, and BCMEA for the “Be more than a bystander” program aimed at preventing bullying, harassment, and violence in the workplace. BCFS and the BCFMWU are in discussions on bringing a very similar program to your worksites. The presentations by the former CFL players and by Union instructors is a powerful message that BCFMWU would welcome across the fleet.
As you are likely aware the Russian Federation has begun attacking the sovereign and democratic European nation of the Ukraine. In the BCFMWU constitution under article 23 – Union Policy, This Union: (h) Oppose the arms’ race and any war of aggression. Clearly the actions of the Russians are an illegal and unjust war of aggression, as such, It is appropriate for the Ferry Workers’ Union to denounce the attack by the Russian Federation and fly the Ukrainian flag at the hall in support, much like the BC Provincial Legislature has done. Russia must cease all hostile actions against the Ukraine and withdraw all forces and any and all proxy forces from inside the Ukraine’s internationally recognized territorial borders.
To view as a pdf: