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Steamship Authority Teamsters Demand Fair Contract, Improved Schedules

steamship authority

As Summer Kicks Off, Ferry Workers Sound the Alarm Over Working Conditions

Press Contact: Matt McQuaid Phone: (202) 624-6877 Email:

(HYANNIS, Mass.) – The following is a statement from Teamsters Local 59 President and Business Representative Jeff Sharp regarding ongoing contract negotiations with the Steamship Authority:

“For months, Local 59 has been engaging with the Steamship Authority to negotiate new collective bargaining agreements for the hundreds of Teamsters working in and on the vessels.

“The primary concern of Steamship Authority workers has been their scheduling. The licensed deck officers—also known as captains and pilots—are required to work 18 hours within a 24-hour period. With often only having six hours off the clock, it has been extremely difficult to attract new hires and maintain current staffing levels.

“Working beyond 18 hours in a 24-hour period poses a serious safety threat to workers and passengers alike. Industry standard for maritime workers is a 12-hour limit during a 24-hour period, but the Coast Guard granted the Steamship Authority an exemption more than two decades ago that allows them to work more hours.

“The exemption was initially intended to be temporary and now needs obvious updating.

“With the current contract set to expire on July 26, 2024, Steamship Authority Teamsters are urging their employer to negotiate a fair contract with reasonable scheduling that allows for a work-life balance, which would benefit the workers, community, and employer alike.

“It’s time for the Steamship Authority to make a serious proposal that addresses workers’ concerns because it is abundantly clear that the current staffing levels and scheduling are not working for anyone.”

Since 1933, Teamsters Local 59 has served workers in wide range of trades throughout Greater New Bedford, Cape Cod, and the Islands. For more information, visit