Update: No Golden Gate Ferry service Friday due to ticket agent strike 

Ferry commuters travelling between the North Bay and San Francisco will be left stranded today due to a one-day strike by Golden Gate ferry ticket takers.

With their contract that expired at midnight on June 30, the Inland Boatmen’s Union has made indications it will take a one-day strike for the Friday ferry commute, according to Golden Gate Ferry spokeswoman Mary Currie.
Ferry commuters traveling between the North Bay and San Francisco will be left stranded today due to a one-day strike by Golden Gate Ferry ticket agents.

With the expiration of their contract at midnight Tuesday, the Inland Boatmen’s Union indicated that it would undertake a one-day strike for today’s ferry commute, ferry spokeswoman Mary Currie said.

But officials from the Golden Gate Bridge District, which operates the ferry, were not informed about the strike plans until Thursday. In light of the news, Currie said, the transit district opted to cancel today’s service to minimize the impact on commuters.

Golden Gate buses will run supplemental service from the Larkspur Ferry Terminal to make up for the loss of ferry service today, she said.

Currie said the district had been in good faith bargaining with IBU, which represents ferry ticket agents, and was surprised by the action.

In a released statement by the union, which represents the ticket takers, the strike is in reaction to the bridge district’s decision to replace its ticket takers with automated ticket machines.

“Replacing the ticket agents with machines eliminates the only real customer service available to the public,” said Marina V. Secchitano, regional director of union. “Meanwhile, the ferry division has just announced another 5 percent increase in its fares. They are asking the public to pay more for less service, and that isn’t fair.”

Secchitano also alleged that the bridge district will be violating the rights of ticket agents and the IBU by transferring some of their work duties to other district employees, a plan which it has allegedly decided to implement without bargaining with the union.

Golden Gate Ferry has two departure points from Marin County — Larkspur and Sausalito — which bring passengers to San Francisco. More than 4,600 passengers take the Larkspur service daily, and nearly 1,500 travel on the Sausalito line.

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

Examiner Staff Writer Andrea Koskey contributed to this report.

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