Ferry Food Needs Your Help!
Dear OCSI Customers & Supporters,
Twelve years ago, after the last multinational company to serve food on the Washington State Ferries bailed out and closed the galleys for more than a year, we stepped in as a local company to reopen service and restore jobs, and we have been providing consistent galley service for more than 11 years. Throughout this time, we have greatly appreciated your patronage, and we have enjoyed serving you, our fellow citizens and visitors to our state. Thank you.
In March of this year, WSF chose another multinational corporation to replace us and several other local companies. We were very surprised by this decision, as WSF has praised us for our work for over a decade, asking us to take on increasing levels of responsibility for them.
However, all of this changed last summer when a new WSF employee was hired from the East Coast and put in charge of the evaluation panel that made the decision to replace local companies with a Connecticut-based multinational corporation. Despite the fact that we pointed out the discrepancy between this decision and WSF’s goals—and the negative impact that it will have on local jobs, small businesses, and the economy—we have not been successful in persuading either the ferries or the Governor to correct this error.
As a family-run Washington business, we have dedicated all of our resources to this account, and closing out galley service, as we have been instructed to do, means losing our business entirely. Beyond our own losses, nearly 50% of our work force is likely to be displaced, either because they do not wish to work for another entity or because they have no chance of being hired. Recently, a number of these employees have already quit or retired, as they do not wish to work for a large corporation. We apologize for any inconvenience related to reduced staffing, and we appreciate your ongoing support of those employees who continue to do their best to serve you, despite very stressful conditions.
We are deeply saddened to see the damaging impact that this closure is having on so many of our employees, as well as our other small business colleagues who are losing their companies and homes. This is a very sad time for all of us.
Throughout our efforts to let the State know the real impact of its decision, we have been heartened by the many thousands of you who have expressed your support to “Keep Ferry Food Local.” Thank you. However, despite the thousands of citizens who voiced their concern and the many letters from state legislators who contacted Governor Jay Inslee, the Governor declined to take any action.
If you would like to register your concern, you may reach the responsible parties as follows:
- Governor Jay Inslee (360-902-4111)
- Secretary Lynne Griffith, WSF director (GriffiL@wsdot.wa.gov)
- Kristina Arsenault, WSF evaluation panel chair (ArsenaK@wsdot.wa.gov)
- Tim McGuigan, WSF contracts manager (McGuigan@wsdot.wa.gov)
Again, we thank you for your many years of loyal patronage of the galleys. It has been a pleasure serving you and our beautiful state.
Olympic Cascade Services