BC Ferries rescinds layoff notices and seeks clarity on COVID-19 wage subsidy

BC Ferries says it will be rescinding temporary layoff notices as it works to confirm whether its regular employees are eligible for a federal wage subsidy program.

The corporation revoked the notices “as an act of company support for our valuable employees at this uncertain time,” said spokesperson Deborah Marshall.

About 1,400 workers were laid off earlier this month as BC Ferries cut sailings amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The BC Ferry and Marine Workers Union has since filed a complaint of unfair labour practice.

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According to a memo from BC Ferries CEO Mark Collins, the notices were rescinded after the corporation received “possible confirmation” that it is eligible for the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy.

Under that program, regular employees would be paid 75 per cent of their base salary for days without work, the memo said, and 100 per cent of their salary on any days they are called in to work as of April 11. Employees can also top up to full pay through the use of credits.

On Tuesday, Marshall said a response to the request for clarity on eligibility will take time, now that the federal legislation has been passed.

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