A strike by the Canadian Merchant Services Guild against key Island-mainland shipping service Seaspan Ferries Corporation was called off Friday, after the two sides reached a tentative agreement. (Seaspan Ferries)

A strike by the Canadian Merchant Services Guild against key Island-mainland shipping service Seaspan Ferries Corporation was called off Friday, after the two sides reached a tentative agreement. (Seaspan Ferries)

Island communities breathe sigh of relief, Seaspan Ferries reaches deal with union

Strike that was set to begin Jan. 21 called off, agreement must still be ratified by union members

Seaspan Marine Transportation announced Friday (Jan. 21) that a strike scheduled to begin the same day at 3 p.m. has been called off.

The corporation’s affiliate, Seaspan Ferries, has reached a tentative deal with the Canadian Merchant Services Guild, with which it has been negotiating since January 2021 for a new collective agreement. Those negotiations reportedly fell through earlier this week, resulting in the Guild issuing Seaspan a 72-hour strike notice on Jan. 18.

The strike would have seen commercial ferries operating with limited sailing at 30 per cent carrying capacity, and could have placed additional stress on the availability of goods and services on Vancouver Island.

Some ferry service will resume tonight and over the weekend, with operations back on schedule by Monday, Jan. 24, Seaspan said in a media statement.

“SFC would like to thank their customers and all affected parties for their understanding and patience over the past three days leading up to a potential strike,” the corporation said.

The tentative agreement must still be ratified by the union membership.

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Labour