May 26, 2012
Golden Gate Ferry Workers Strike for Safe Conditions and Good Jobs
SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Golden Gate Ferry workers led the way toward securing safe conditions and good jobs when they struck this morning at the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District. Supporters from the public and other unions joined members of the Inlandboatmen’s Union on the picket lines at the Larkspur Ferry Terminal.
Terminal Assistants are fighting for their jobs as well as fair compensation for an increased work load. Last year, Golden Gate Bridge District management replaced all human ticket agents with ticket machines. Management is now threatening to replace ferry terminal assistants with metal ramps. The Terminal Assistants voted unanimously to go on strike over the recent elimination of the ticket agents and the impact it has on them every day.
“Since they laid off the ticket agents, our work has quadrupled. We don’t want management to lay us off too. Everyone knows it’s better to have a human being helping passengers than a machine,” said Rene Alvarado, terminal assistant at the Larkspur Ferry Terminal and member of the Inlandboatmen’s Union (IBU).
The IBU also represents Golden Gate Ferry Deckhands, who are in a battle with the District. The Deckhands are demanding that Management fix the unsanitary sewage system and clean up the rampant mold on the older boats. “This conditions are a health hazard for our members as well as the public who is forced to ride these boats.” noted Marina V. Secchitano, Regional Director of the Inlandboatmen’s Union. “We are also asking Management to limit the number of bicycles on the Sausalito service, so the boats can run on schedule and get our commuters to their destination on time.” Ms. Secchitano said.
The IBU Deckhands are also protesting the elimination their fo’c'sle, or break room on the Districts newer vessels. The District reduced the size of the Deckhands’ fo’c'sle on two of its vessels making them virtually uninhabitable. Sailors are captive in their workplace, and the fo’c'sle is where they go to eat their meals away from the passengers. They are on their feet sometimes 11 hours a day, without an opportunity to have a 30 minute uninterrupted break at all.
A further issue for the Deckhands is unauthorized surveillance of them in their workplace and invasion of their privacy by management. “They have placed surveillance cameras on the vessels –funded by Home Land Security to fight terrorism — then they are turning them in to a surveillance tool that can be used against the crew. We object to being treated like a terrorist” said Ms. Secchitano
For further information contact:
Marina V. Secchitano
Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific
450 Harrison St., SF, CA 94105
415-896-1224 / 415-896-1226 fax
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