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Premier calls for conciliation to bridge both sides of ferry captains strike

The MV Legionnaire docked on the Bell Island side of the Tickle. Telegram File Photo
The MV Legionnaire docked on the Bell Island side of the Tickle. Telegram File Photo

Proposal comes after meeting with mayors of some of the affected communities

Premier Andrew Furey has waded into the waters surrounding the ongoing ferry captains' strike in the province.

Furey issued a news release Wednesday afternoon stating he is taking steps to find a solution in the labour dispute with the Canadian Service Merchant Guild.

Furey said he met Wednesday with Wabana Mayor Gary Gosine, Brian Dwyer of the Bell Island Ferry Users Committee and Fogo Island Mayor Wayne Collins to hear first-hand what impact the strike action is having on affected residents of the province.

Furey has asked the Department of Immigration, Skills and Labour to utilize conciliation services from the labour relations division of that department, to assist in resolving outstanding issues to bring an end to the ferry disruptions.

“I am hopeful both parties will participate in the process to bring this dispute to a timely resolution in the best interest of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador,” Furey said.

The strike started on Aug. 25 when the province’s ferry captains took action after working the last eight years without a contract.

Ferry users on five intra-provincial ferry routes deemed essential had to adjust to new schedules. The affected routes are: Bell Island-Portugal; Fogo Island-Change Islands-Farewell; St. Brendan's-Burnside; Ramea-Burgeo-Grey River; and Long Island-Pilley's Island.

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