More ferry delays blamed on staff issues

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by GARY CHITTIM / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @gchittimK5

KING5.com

Posted on October 16, 2012 at 5:54 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 16 at 6:34 PM

One day after State Ferry Officials said they have consider the possibility there is some kind of work slowdown behind a spike in staff related cancellations, there were two more interruptions blamed on staff issues.
   
Ferry officials confirm they missed two sailings on the Point Defiance to Tahlaquah (Vashon Island) route after a worker failed to show up for work and they could not contact him. They say another worker failed to show up for a shift on the Anacortes to Sydney B.C. route, but they were able to get hold of her and she showed up in time to keep a delay from becoming a cancellation.
  
Ferry workers coming off shift at Point Defiance told us their missing co-worker was involved in a  car accident Tuesday morning. They did not want to be identified but also said ferry officials have cut the staffing to the minimum allowed by the Coast Guard so if there is any problem with any worker, they can't sail.
  
They and their union leaders vigorously deny any organized labor slowdown is underway.
  
Records show that after the workers took a 3 percent wage cut and the staff size was cut, there have been four times the number of staff related cancellations.
 
State Ferries Director David Moseley told KING 5 he believes both absences Tuesday were honest mistakes but it is happening far too often.
  
Both sides say they know how important it is for passengers to have a dependable ferry system and that's what they are hoping to preserve.

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