Pelee Island Ferry crew vote in favour of strike

The Pelee Island Ferry Service building in Leamington. (Photo by Ricardo Veneza)

Employees of the Pelee Island Ferry operator could go on strike as early as Thursday.

Unifor Local 444 represents three bargaining units comprised of around 75 people at Owen Sound Transportation. Members voted in favour of a strike if necessary.

The union has issued a notice to the employer and employees will go on strike as of 12:01 a.m. Thursday if an agreement is not reached.

“Our bargaining committee is working hard, diligently as we speak hoping to come to some type of resolve before Thursday at midnight,” said Unifor Local 444 President Dave Cassidy.

This is the first round of negotiations with two out of the three bargaining units. Cassidy said employees are looking for parity among other operators in the company.

“There’s a big gap between them and Owen Sound. People who do the exact same work, for the same employer by the way,” said Cassidy. “They’ve been like second-class citizens for a long time and they are tired of it.”

The M.V. Pelee Islander II makes currently makes two to three round trips between Leamington and Pelee Island a day. M.V. Pelee Islander also operates daily.