Ferry employees get elimination notices

Lyme – All eight employees of the two state ferries received notices today that their positions will be eliminated as of Aug. 25, according to Tom Darcy, one of the captains of the Chester-Hadlyme ferry.

Darcy said the state Department of Transportation's maritime manager, Chuck Beck, held a meeting at noon today in which he informed the five full-time employees of the Chester-Hadlyme ferry that they would be losing their jobs next month as part of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's plan to reduce the total state workforce by about 13 percent. Darcy said the three full-time Rocky Hill-Glastonbury ferry employees also received elimination notices.

The fate of the two ferries have been in jeopardy since last year, when ferry employees first got word that the beloved ferries, which have been running since 1769 and 1655, were on a list of possible budget cuts.

Ferry supporters rejoiced when it appeared the ferries would continue to be funded under the new state budget. But the relief was short-lived, and word quickly spread that the ferries were once again on the chopping block after Malloy's administration failed to negotiate concessions with state unions that would have prevented mass layoffs.

DOT spokesman Kevin Nursick could not confirm the layoffs and referred all questions to the governor’s office.

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