OPSEU/SEFPO Local 428 President Jody Pringle and 1st Vice President Lee MacLaren, both full-time Ministry of Transportation (MTO) ferry workers, brought a petition to Queen’s Park at the end of March on behalf of Wolfe Island and Glenora ferry workers, and area residents.
The 1,000-signature petition, presented by NDP MPP and Labour Critic Jamie West, calls on the Ministry to end service disruptions to the Wolfe Island and Glenora ferries by hiring more ferry workers and retaining them with fair, competitive wages. MPP and Transportation Critic Jennifer French also presented petitions in December 2022.
OPSEU/SEFPO President JP Hornick, Region 4 Vice President Melissa Coenraad, and Region 4 Executive Board Member Chrisy Tremblay accompanied Pringle and MacLaren to bring the ferry workers’ message directly to MPPs.
Their recent visit to Queen’s Park was covered by the Kingston Whig Standard.
Watch MPP Jamie West hold Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney to account for the staffing crisis on the Wolfe Island and Glenora ferries that her ministry created by paying MTO ferry workers far below industry standards.
Instead of fixing their wages, the ministry is paying a temporary agency two to three times more than the unionized ferry workers earn. Mulroney’s excuse about industry-wide shortages just doesn’t wash. Marine workers are available, but they won’t work for MTO if other employers in the industry pay considerably more.
The Ministry of Transportation’s ferries are so understaffed that the Wolfe Island ferry service has been cancelled for hours at a time, stranding residents on the Island, and the Glenora ferry was forced to cancel 15 minute service last summer at the height of tourist season, creating huge line ups. The understaffing situation is also a health and safety issue, as a dangerous incident on the Wolfe Island ferry illustrated.
It’s time for the Ford government to fix our ferries!