February 16, 2022
BCFMWU VS BCFS
STOP FERRY WORKER ABUSE CAMPAIGN
Brothers, Sisters and Comrades,
The Union launched a social media campaign in the summer of 2019 to raise public awareness of abusive treatment of Ferry Workers by customers. In response, BC Ferries filed a grievance alleging the Union and members of the Provincial Executive (PE) breached a duty of fidelity owed to the Corporation and that elected PE members were personally liable damages to the Corporation.
The Union thoroughly rejected this assertion and filed its own grievance alleging BC Ferries breached the Collective Agreement and Labour Relations Code in threatening to discipline the Union Provincial President and by seeking damages through civil suits and arbitration against Union members elected to the Union Executive.
On February 14, the Union settled the matter at mediation, where BC Ferries has recognized its legal obligation not to interfere with the administration of the Union.
Any future attempt by BC Ferries to control, direct, or discipline any Ferry Worker for activity in the Union may be immediately forwarded to Arbitrator Sims, who remains seized with the interpretation of the settlement agreement.
While the settlement agreement has resulted in increased protection for the Union and is clearly a win, it must not be treated as creating immunity from discipline for employees who are elected Union officials. Illegal actions and failure to follow health and safety regulations will not be protected from Company discipline by the settlement agreement.
We are hopeful such measures will not be needed given the clear language of our settlement.
To view as a pdf: Bulletin #10 BCFMWU vs BCFS Stop Ferry Worker Abuse Campaign