State refunds passenger fares as Alaska ferry strike goes on

Tickets will be fully refunded for passengers affected for as long as the strike lasts

State officials said Thursday more than $580,000 in fares has been refunded to passengers affected by striking ferry workers.

Meadow Bailey, communications director for the Alaska transportation department, said that tickets will be fully refunded for passengers affected for as long as the strike lasts.

Bailey said passengers are being given information about other options. Passengers can use their refunds to book alternate travel, she said, adding the state is not paying for air fare or for the transport of vehicles that passengers may have had on ships.

Members of the Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific went on strike Wednesday, halting a network that serves many coastal communities not connected to the road system. The department said ferries won’t be sailing until further notice.

The union represents about 430 workers, according to the state. It is one of three unions representing ferry workers.

READ MORE: Mayor Brain scheduling multi-stakeholder meeting to save Alaska ferry in Prince Rupert

Robb Arnold, a union spokesman, said wages and health care are side issues compared with how he said workers are treated. He said workers are frustrated by a lack of communication on what cuts to the ferry system budget could mean for them.

Administration Commissioner Kelly Tshibaka called the strike unlawful and said the state is considering its options. But she said she doesn’t want to escalate the situation. She said she wants to work toward a resolution with the union and a federal mediator.

Tshibaka said the sides have exchanged letters. Arnold said if the state is serious it can call or meet with union officials. He said the state is escalating the situation with its rhetoric.

Both sides said they’re open to talks.

Becky Bohrer, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

New band mayor elected in Lax Kw’alaams

Garry Reece Sr. will be replacing John Helin as band mayor

Prince Rupert is Hometown Hockey and here’s everything you need to know

The two day-festivities are full of games, prizes and special guests

WATCH: Ballet Kelowna graces the stage in Prince Rupert

The Lester Centre of the Arts hosted the group who performed Mambo and Other Works

In Our Opinion: This is why shopping Rupert First matters

Shop in Prince Rupert before you go online

Your Prince Rupert 55th Rotary Auction guide

Online guide to all the items up for bid before Monday’s live auction

Federal laws at heart of West’s anger up for debate, as Liberals begin outreach

Vancouver mayor to Trudeau’s western critics: ‘Get over yourselves’

Snowboard pioneer Jake Burton Carpenter dies at 65

He was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2011

Teen developed ‘popcorn lung’ due to vaping: Ontario doctors

Boy went from being in perfect health to being on life support after just five months

B.C. judge tosses ‘N’ driver’s claim he was just using phone to decline his mom’s call

Distracted driving laws are more strict for Class 7, or Novice drivers, the judge noted

Woman calls 911 to say she was late for train, asks Ontario police for ‘emergency ride’

Peel Regional Police received more than 180,000 improper calls so far this year

Most Read