A man was arrested Tuesday after a BC Ferries worker was allegedly sexually assaulted aboard a vessel, the Crown corporation and the workers’ union both confirm.
According to BC Ferries, the incident occurred on the Coastal Celebration while it was docked at the Tsawwassen ferry terminal in Delta.
“We take every report seriously. BC Ferries has a zero tolerance policy for abuse of its employees,” a statement from the corporation said.
A spokesperson confirmed to Global News the incident involved sexual assault.
Kevin Hall, labour relations officer for the BC Ferry and Marine Workers Union (BCFMWU), confirmed Delta police were called and a man was arrested in connection with the incident.
“A traumatic incident, but our members are physically OK,” Hall said in an email.
Hall said the incident was one of three “significant” instances of abuse against ferry workers in the last two weeks.
The union has gone public with its concerns about worker abuse, which includes daily instances of verbal and physical assault, and is making it a key element of its contract renegotiation talks.
Hall commended BC Ferries for taking appropriate measures to address the abuse.
“For our part, once all facts are established and the investigation is complete we hope the assailant will be dealt with, with every available measure,” Hall added.
Delta police says it was called out to a vessel Tuesday and a man was arrested on warrant from another police agency.
The force could not confirm whether the man was also being investigated for sexual assault.
In its statement, BC Ferries noted it does not tolerate abuse against workers and will contact police for assistance when necessary.