The Inland Boatman’s Union hasn’t actually taken a strike vote since earlier this year, although it’s been negotiating a contract with the state since way back in the Walker Administration.
The ferry workers’ union could, however, take that vote at any time, now that it has decided it can’t get any more concessions from the State of Alaska. That’s the leak, anyway. The union has begun to negotiate via the media.
Once a strike vote takes place, ferries get tied up, cargo and passengers get stranded, food spoils, building materials can’t make it on time, and Alaskans will realize how much they are held hostage by state employees who run the ferries.
We pulled a list of typical wages for job classifications on the ferry system. These are enviable jobs, and the list doesn’t include the signing bonuses or the generous benefits. Workers often work two weeks on, with two weeks off, and make money whether or not they are on a four-hour shift.
Note, the wage-and-hour schedules are exceedingly complicated. This chart is only a surface-skimming example: