The recent shut down of two ferries that service Kootenay Lake won’t become a regular event, according to the B.C. Government and Service Employees Union. File photo

Union says no further Kootenay Lake ferry shut downs planned for now

Workers are currently negotiating for a new contract

The union representing Kootenay Lake ferry workers says it has no immediate plans for further job action.

Danielle Marchand, a spokesperson for the BC Government and Service Employees Union, said the strike that shut down service between the Balfour and Kootenay Bay terminals Aug. 31 to Sept. 2 will not become a weekly event.

“There is nothing else planned for right now, but we are still in a legal strike position,” said Marchand.

Eighty members of Local 2009 are currently pressing employer Western Pacific Marine for better wages and working conditions as well as improved training and employee retention. Their last five-year contract ended in March.

Marchand said the union is currently waiting on the B.C. Labour Relations Board to make essential service rulings on other ferry routes in B.C., including the Needles ferry south of Nakusp that connects Fauquier to the west side of Lower Arrow Lake.

The Glade and Harrop ferries, which are also operated by Western Pacific Marine, will not be affected by the strike.

Marchand advised commuters to check ferries.bcgeu.ca for status updates.

“We’re not trying to surprise anybody. This isn’t about shutting down the ferry, it’s about getting that agreement.”

Related: Ferry workers could be on strike in West Kootenay before month’s end

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