Washington State Ferry Workers Support Public Sydney Ferries

In the last week Seattle's ferry workers and ferry workers in British Colombia Canada have come out and declared solidarity with the campaign to maintain Sydney's ferries in public ownership.

Workers on Washington State ferries have expressed solidarity with the workers at Sydney Ferries in the battle to maintain Sydney Ferries in public hands. Ferry workers on Seattle's ferry wharves have put on Save our Sydney Ferries t-shirts on the job and their Union, the Inlandboatman's Union (IBU) which is the marine Division of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), has declared that the fight of Sydney Ferry workers is their fight too.

In the last week Seattle's ferry workers and ferry workers in British Colombia Canada have come out and declared solidarity with the campaign to maintain Sydney's ferries in public ownership. The negative effects of privatisation of ferries in British Columbia are still being felt since they were privatised in 2003. President of the British Colombia Ferry and Marine Workers Union, Richard Goode has written to Assistant National Secretary Warren Smith highlighting the negatives of ferry privatisation in the Canadian experience.

IBU president Alan Cote recognises that Washington's public ferry system is only one step away from privatisation also and that privatisation in Sydney may well have eventual impacts upon US ferry workers.

The campaign to maintain Sydney Ferries in public ownership continues and there has been broad public support for maintaining ferries in public ownership. "The private mentality is for profit and not public service", said MUA Assistant National Secretary Warren Smith. "Privatisation will mean higher fares, the public will pay. It will mean less services as unprofitable routes will be slashed. If they are not slashed private operators will have their hand out for public funds. The public will pay in the end. With a public operation at least there is some public accountability."