Pandemic sparks increase in abuse against BC Ferries workers


Mid-afternoon Friday ferry traffic in Swartz Bay is a far cry from the typical long weekend lines. But as British Columbians look forward to getting out and exploring amid this pandemic, BC Ferries expects a long, busy weekend in August. Since the easing of the pandemic restrictions, BC Ferries’ traffic has slowly increased. But at the same time, abuses against BC Ferries workers have also increased. “I wouldn’t say the last few weeks are the last months,” said Dan Kimmerly of BC Ferries’ Union. “We’ve had a lot of people who’ve been abused pretty badly, to the point that people can’t get into work.” The union says that on average, eight in ten workers suffer abuse from passengers, but incidents can increase. “Anecdotally we are seeing a slight increase,” said Tessa Humpries, spokesperson for BC Ferries. “During this pandemic, it’s safe to say everyone has heightened anxiety, but that doesn’t mean you can mistreat our employees. We have a very strong position on this. You will be denied service if you abuse our employees. BC Ferries said the best way to voice concerns is through the formal complaints process. More information is available on the BC Ferries website.

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