Don't blame Marine Atlantic employees

Staff ~ The Telegram
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Recently, there were comments made by callers on a Newfoundland VOCM open line show with respect to the cleanliness of Marine Atlantic's vessels and the attitude of its employees.

I am the president of CAW Local 4285, and represent the unlicensed vessel employees at Marine Atlantic.

I would like to emphasize that all employees at Marine Atlantic are highly trained professionals with a strong focus on safety, customer service and satisfaction.

Letters to the editor -

Recently, there were comments made by callers on a Newfoundland VOCM open line show with respect to the cleanliness of Marine Atlantic's vessels and the attitude of its employees.

I am the president of CAW Local 4285, and represent the unlicensed vessel employees at Marine Atlantic.

I would like to emphasize that all employees at Marine Atlantic are highly trained professionals with a strong focus on safety, customer service and satisfaction.

I realize the recent mechanical issues with the Joseph and Clara Smallwood resulted in delays and the decision to re-route passenger traffic from Argentia to Port aux Basques.

That decision was made in order to mitigate the total impact on the summer schedule, and this caused frustration and inconvenience for travellers.

The employees empathize with these frustrations and do their utmost to provide a comfortable and pleasant experience for their customers.

Not fair

Therefore, I feel it is unfair for negative comments to be directed at employees who are working under circumstances that are beyond their control.

With regard to the comments made on cleanliness, the vessels are kept clean and maintained on a regular basis.

The age of the Caribou and Smallwood lends to the fact that their appearance is somewhat dated and could be viewed by some as substandard.

The recent announcement by the government of fleet renewal has led to a decision by Marine Atlantic not to invest additional monies in refurbishments, as the vessels will soon be retired from the service.

The addition of the two new vessels to the service in 2011 will hopefully address the ongoing issues of reliability and capacity, and the employees will continue, as always, to maintain their strong customer service ethic.

Mavis Grist

president, CAW Local 4285

North Sydney

Organizations: Marine Atlantic

Geographic location: Port aux Basques, North Sydney

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Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • Eric
    July 20, 2010 - 13:02

    Marine Atlantic has come in for a lot of negative criticism, some of which may be justified, but my wife and I have made many crossings over the last number of years and have always had pleasant crossings and courteous service from the staff which we appreciate. With the recent changes and resultant criticism around that, I can say that again we encountered no problems and the staff were excellent as we made our reservations and subsequent changes. We can only speak from our own experience but feel we should do that since the positives should also be reported.

  • TownieGirl
    July 20, 2010 - 13:02

    In the past 12 months, I have made 7 crossings with Marine Atlantic. On 4 of these crossings I've had to deal with rude and/or incompetent staff. At one point I was left on the ship during a fire drill, and didn't get to disembark until 2 hours after the ship had docked. As I travel to Halifax frequently for work, and need my vehicle while there, I am unfortunately at the mercy of Marine Atlantic until that situation changes. I am not looking forward to the introduction of the new vessels as they will not be equipped with dorm sleepers. I travel on my own, and paying for a cabin for one person is just not cost effective. I prefer the dorm sleepers which allow me to sleep on the night crossing, and awake refreshed and ready for the drive in the AM. However, I seriously doubt that Marine Atlantic has given any consideration to people such as myself in their plans for the new ferries.

  • Steve
    July 20, 2010 - 13:02

    Yet again we have another example. If you want any response from Marine Atlantic or it's employees simply use Letters to the Editor or an open line radio show. We now know that they at least read the newspapers and listen to the radio. Eventually the service might even improve.