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Seaspan Ferries announces strike, service disruptions affecting Vancouver Island

Vital commercial cargo ferry service will see reduced service starting Jan. 21
Seaspan Ferries Corporation issued notice Thursday that its service would be reduced starting Friday (Jan. 21) as a result of strike notice being given by the Canadian Merchant Services Guild. (Seaspan Ferries)

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

A commercial cargo ferry service between Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland is alerting users of potential service disruptions, after labour contract negotiations fell through.

On Thursday (Jan. 20) Seaspan Ferries Corporation issued a notice to customers saying it will be operating limited commercial sailings with 30 per cent carrying capacity starting at 3 p.m. Friday (Jan. 21).

The disruption comes after year-long negotiations with the Canadian Merchant Services Guild reportedly fell through earlier this week, resulting in the Guild issuing Seaspan a 72-hour strike notice on Jan. 18.

Only three sailings will run for the duration of the strike. One daily return sailing between Tilbury terminal in Delta and Swartz Bay and one daily round trip sailing between Tilbury and Duke Point in Nanaimo will operate seven days a week. Additionally, one return sailing between Surrey and Duke Point will run six days a week.

Seaspan is warning its Vancouver Island customers that the service disruption could have an impact on the availability of goods and services. Essential products such as food are prioritized under an Essential Service Order during strike actions, but only at 30 per cent carrying capacity.

A representative for Seaspan declined to comment on the labour contract negotiations. Black Press Media has also reached out to representatives for the Canadian Merchant Services Guild for comment.

READ MORE: Grocery store closures loom amid labour, product shortages

READ MORE: BC Ferries anticipating service disruptions in coming months as Omicron spikes

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