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Union VP says ‘inexperienced’ workers behind Wolfe Island Ferry incident

Click to play video: 'Union VP says inexperienced workers behind scary Wolfe Island Ferry incident'
Union VP says inexperienced workers behind scary Wolfe Island Ferry incident
WATCH: Eyewitnesses say a man was just inches away from the frigid water after an incident at the Wolfe Island side ferry dock saw the platform fall out from under him as he walked across – Feb 10, 2023

Just a day after an incident on the Wolfe Island ferry dock at Dawson Point, the local Ontario Public Service Employees vice-president said there’s a clear solution.

It was a scary incident according to eyewitness accounts.

“While the ship was unloading, it backed away from the port causing someone to slip and fall off of the ramp,” said OPSEU Local 428 vice-president Lee Maclaren.

Eyewitnesses said that after the ferry seemingly docked, a dump truck began pulling off the boat while pedestrians walked off.

As the dump truck drove off, the ferry pulled backwards, opening a gap between the two gates and nearly plunging a pedestrian into the frigid water below.

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“The ferry dock, ramp, it just sagged, like to the water level, basically,” said James M.

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James said the man who nearly fell into the water was a friend of his, and that he was saved by a people walking in behind him who pulled him back to safety.

“Apparently he was inches from the water,”

James said his friend is alright, but now the question remains: how could something like this have happened?

Maclaren says it comes down to inexperienced non-unionized workers.

“When they bring in the temporary agency employees, it’s certainly hard on our guys,” he said.

“The MTO has said it was a ramp failure but it wasn’t a ramp failure. There were inexperienced people working on the boat,” added James.

Global News reached out to the Ministry of Transportation for comment on the matter.

The MTO responded with an email statement which said:

“MTO takes the incident very seriously. We are cooperating with Transport Canada and a full internal investigation will be conducted to determine the cause.”

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The ministry declined further comment.

As for making sure that problems like this don’t happen again, Maclaren said it’s simple: pay the unionized workers more.

“This is a public safety concern. A lot of us have done this job for a long period of time and come up through the ranks. It’s a very dangerous job and you need people that know what they’re doing.”

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