Sydney fast ferry services affected after some staff fail random drug test
By Nick Bonyhady July 5, 2019 – 5.28pm
The NRMA-owned Manly Fast Ferry has confirmed it stood some deckhands down after they tested “non-negative” for illicit drugs on Monday, as revealed by the Herald’s CBD column on Friday.
With fewer staff available, the NRMA said it had been forced to reduce the frequency of some of its tourist services that travel between stops including Taronga Zoo and Darling Harbour on Friday.
But a spokeswoman said Manly to Circular services were unaffected and it expects normal schedule times to operate across the weekend.
“Some deckhand staff returned non-negative results and others who did not make themselves available for the random drug test have been stood down indefinitely,” a NRMA spokeswoman said.
“We’ve done this to give our passengers assurance around safety and that we have a zero tolerance policy around illicit drug use,” the spokeswoman said.
The NRMA, which operates 11 fast ferry vessels through a subsidiary, is locked in a dispute with the Maritime Union over worker pay which has lasted for months.
An NRMA spokeswoman said the CFMMEU, of which the Maritime Union is a part, was notified when the staff were stood down.
But the spokeswoman declined to say how many ferry workers were stood down or what drugs were allegedly in their system because the company has not informed other workers. It is understood that will happen on Monday.
The Maritime Union declined to comment.