Washington State Ferries


I’m hearing of attrition already.


Not buying it…

WSF doesn’t just send port captains to fire someone without SOME reason…

The ferries are currently UNDERstaffed, so much so that I’ve been getting 15+ calls to work OT on my days off all Summer.

You have to really fuck up to get the boot from WSF–ESPECIALLY within the first couple of weeks of starting. My money is on him being late to his watch on more than one occasion.


Well, buy it or not I refer you to Bill Michaels or Ryan Brazeau.

Though I remember a conversation I had on my last day of work with a high seniority AB. I told him I supported right to work and hoped the Janus decision came down the way it ultimately did.

The IBU did nothing for me.


GOOD! I am glad they did nothing for you. You dont deserve the representation.


You’re glad even though I paid my dues?

Hell, I even went to the meeting in Ballard and I was glad to be there.

Glad to know I was washed out of a toxic organization that doesn’t care for diversity of thought.


doesn’t that just sum the whole ugly WSF mess up in a nutshell…


Would you still be paying dues after the Janus ruling?


Also said he got fired from Harley. Sounds about right.


You were hired in April, likely trained and sent to work in late May and got the boot by the beginning of June.


source? I’m curious…


@Doublewide His own post earlier in the thread.
See post #11


ah, yes…thanks.


Yes I was canned from Harley, specifically Olympic after 2.5 years.

Canned from WSF after 6 weeks (02. April - 18. May).

I was really looking forward to WSF then too, but saying that I supported right to work, I feel, got me canned.

Hell, I filed for unemployment against both and got it both times.


It’s really sounding more like you believe more in the right to not work.


Why not take it?
I used it temporarily until I found another boat(!) job.

Told me both times I was canned without cause.


That was “right to work” in action. The name is a masterwork of propaganda. It means that employers have the right to fire you at any time, for any reason (or for no reason) and they don’t have to tell you why you are being fired.


The misleading term “Right to Work” means different things to different people in different places.

It is supposed to mean that workers have the right to work without being compelled to join a union and pay union dues.

Washington is NOT a “right to work” state. Private sector employees often are required to join unions in Washington.

Public sector employees have been required to also join unions. For example, WSF requires Mariner employees to join the IBU or MMP. Maybe Janus changes that, but maybe not. I am not qualified to discuss the practical application of the Janus decision.

‘Right to Work” is often confused with “At Will Employment.” That is, employers are free to hire and fire at will, for any reason or no reason at all.

Washington IS an “at will employment” state, but . . .

Washington is a liberal state that provides a lot of employee rights, including employment due process in hiring and firing. There are state and city human rights commissions where employees can file complaints. Remember, Seattle was the first or second city to institute a $15 an hour minimum wage through a city ordinance.

Washington law specifically provides mariners with additional rights that are more generous and more practical to enforce than seamen’s rights under maritime law.

Washington state employees, like state employees anywhere, have a lot of extra rights and due process in addition to those available in the private sector. A public sector job is considered to be a form of “property”. The state cannot take someone’s property without due process, and possibly compensation.

‘Probationary” or new hire employees are much easier to fire than regular employees.

There is a good reason why Washington, and Seattle in particular, are overflowing with employment lawyers. It’s because employees have a lot of “rights” in Washington. You cannot swing a dead cat in Seattle without hitting a contingent fee plaintiffs employment lawyer.

That said, it probably isn’t very hard for WSF to fire a probationary employee for specifically established “offenses,” like not showing up in time to sail as scheduled. A manager might cut an employee with a good attitude a little slack. He might also use showing up or late as a pretext to fire an employee with a bad attitude.


They are not exactly the same but they are closely related. In both cases the individual workers rights are protected by a larger organization, the union in one case, the state in the other

In the case of “Right to Work” the intention is to weaken unions ability to provide workers with the protection of a contract. Without a contract the worker must instead rely upon the protection of the state.

At will employment means that the state will not provide the worker with some of the rights they would have gotten if they had a union contract.

Both “Right to Work” and at will employment are intended to weaken workers rights.


There are almost always employment contracts that are implied by law. Courts have held for a longtime that employee handbooks, that most employers pass out, are “contracts” that bind the employer to do what is promised in the handbook.

It is becoming more common for large employers to require new employees to watch computer videos and take computer based exams. Of course these are mostly safety related, but they usually include employment terms and conditions, ethics, human rights, etc. I don’t know whether any court has ruled that these are a valid substitute for a signed contract, but I expect that courts might.

Employers are also required by federal and state laws to provide mariners in certain trades with a written contract. If a maritime employer fails to provide a written contract, he might be required to pay the “Highest Wage” paid by other employers in the port of hire. Non-union employers seem to be keen to avoid that.


The Ninth Circuit (federal appeals court) has just certified a question to the Washington State Supreme Court asking:

Is obesity an “Impairment” under Washington State anti-discrimination law?

Hopefully they will say “Hell no”.

The last thing we need is all the fat boys being rejected by Jeaux Boss flooding the Seattle job market.