State officials call strike unlawful, disruptive

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – The Latest on a labor dispute between Alaska ferry workers and the state (all times local):

4:55 p.m.

State officials say a strike by Alaska ferry workers is unlawful and will result in ships being laid-up.

Alaska’s Inlandboatman’s Union of the Pacific announced Wednesday that its members were going on strike after failing to reach agreement with the state on contract terms.

State Administration Commissioner Kelly Tshibaka called the strike unlawful and said the state was doing all it can, short of “capitulating” to union demands she described as unreasonable and expensive.

Transportation commissioner John MacKinnon says ships will be maintained at port. He says that could be complicated if the other unions representing ferry workers refuse to cross picket lines.

MacKinnon says the department, which oversees the ferry system, is refunding passenger tickets and telling passengers how they can get to their final destinations.

2:35 p.m.

A spokesman for a union representing workers for the Alaska ferry system says the union has gone on strike.

Robb Arnold says the union went on strike Wednesday afternoon. He says the Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific remains open to reaching a deal with the state.

According to the state, the union represents about 430 workers. A spokesman for Gov. Mike Dunleavy referred a reporter to a statement released by the state Tuesday night outlining deals of an impasse between the two sides.

The union is one of three representing ferry workers in the state.

7:50 a.m.

A union serving Alaska’s ferry system says it has been unable to reach terms for a new contract and may consider a strike.

Anchorage television station KTUU reports that 86% of the members of the Alaska’s Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific voted against a proposed contract offer by the administration of Gov. Mike Dunleavy.

The union represents about 430 workers across the ferry system.

In a media advisory Tuesday night, the union says the contract cancels 28 negotiated settlements reached over three years and requires mandatory overtime instead of hiring more workers. The two sides also disagree over a pay increase.

The union is one of three representing ferry workers.

The state Department of Administration in a release says the union has rejected “numerous fair and fiscally responsible contract offers.”

AP-WF-07-25-19 0559GMT