SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

State and Inlandboatmen’s Union Reach Tentative Agreement on Contract

Three-year deal ends strike, ferry service will resume in the days ahead


August 02, 2019
Friday PM

(SitNews) Anchorage, Alaska - Just before mid-night Thursday, rumors began spreading on social media that a tentative agreement had been reached by the Inlandboatmen’s Union and the State giving hope that the AMHS strike initiated on July 24th will come to an end.

Alaska Department of Administration Commissioner Kelly Tshibaka announced just before noon today, that she and her negotiating team in fact had reached a tentative agreement late Thursday night with the Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific (IBU) on a new three-year contract. The agreement ends the 9-day strike, and striking employees will return to work so the Alaska Marine Highway System can prepare for the resumption of ferry service to coastal communities as quickly as possible.  

“I want to thank IBU leadership, Commissioner Tshibaka and her team for their tremendous effort to reach an equitable compromise that treats our hard-working employees fairly while recognizing the State’s current fiscal situation,” said Governor Michael J. Dunleavy. “Strikes are tough on all sides, so it is especially gratifying to see this one come to an end so we can get the ferries back out on the water serving Alaskans.”            

“This new agreement addresses many of our members’ concerns,” said IBU President and chief negotiator Marina Secchitano. “We are very pleased with our new tentative agreement and we appreciate the efforts of the State’s bargaining team in helping to bridge our differences to reach a fair resolution.” 

The new contract is the result of more than two years of negotiations between the State and the IBU. Terms of the tentative agreement will be released once the contract is ratified by IBU members.  

“We spent a lot of long hours and late nights at the negotiating table, but it was worth it,” said Commissioner Kelly Tshibaka“I want Alaskans to know both the IBU and the State made concessions and compromises to reach this win-win agreement. This deal is both good for employees and good for Alaska, and that is what really matters.”  

"We’re glad to have our IBU employees headed back to work. We are moving as quickly as possible to restart Alaska Marine Highway operations and get our ships ready to sail to serve our coastal communities,” said DOT Commissioner John MacKinnon. “I thank everyone who worked hard to reach this agreement, the crews who kept our fleet shipshape these past nine days and those behind the scene who kept the lights on and managed all the cancellations. I also thank those private sector businesses who altered their normal course of operations to accommodate the stranded passengers and cargo."

The Alaska Marine Highway System will not be able resume service immediately but will immediately begin the process of preparing the ships to begin service for Alaskans and visitors from around the world as quickly as possible. The earliest ships will sail on Saturday.

AMHS Will Resume Service on the Following Schedule:

  • MV Columbia Will begin with a Ketchikan-Bellingham run at 3:00pm on Wednesday, August 7th.

  • MV Malaspina Will begin with a Juneau-Petersburg run at 5:45pm on Sunday, August 4th.

  • MV Aurora Will begin with a revised schedule of Valdez-Whittier-Cordova run at 7:30am on Sunday, August 4th.

  • MV LeConte Will begin with a Juneau-Gustavus run at 7:00am on Sunday, August 4th.
  • MV Tazlina Will begin with a revised schedule of Juneau-Haines-Juneau run at 7:00am on Sunday, August 4th.

  • MV Lituya Will begin with a Ketchikan-Annette Bay run at 10:45am on Sunday, August 4th.

  • MV Kennicott: Will begin with a Ketchikan- Bellingham run at 3:00pm on Thursday, August 8th.

  • MV Tustumena: Will begin with a Kodiak-Homer run at 10:15pm on Wednesday, August 7th.

The above schedule takes into consideration where each ship is docked, where it will depart to according to the published schedule and gives AMHS time to get the vessels fully crewed and provisioned and the ships ready to sail.

The full ferry schedule is posted online at  


Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews

Source of News:

Alaska Department of Administration

Alaska Dept. of Transportation


Representations of fact and opinions in comments posted are solely those of the individual posters and do not represent the opinions of Sitnews.

Submit A Letter to SitNews

Contact the Editor

SitNews ©2019
Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska

 Articles & photographs that appear in SitNews are considered protected by copyright and may not be reprinted without written permission from and payment of any required fees to the proper freelance writers and subscription services.

E-mail your news & photos to

Photographers choosing to submit photographs for publication to SitNews are in doing so granting their permission for publication and for archiving. SitNews does not sell photographs. All requests for purchasing a photograph will be emailed to the photographer.