The Seafarers International Union of Canada issued the following news release in conjunction with a press conference yesterday:
Leaders are fighting for the survival of the Canadian Maritime Industry
OTTAWA, Sept. 3, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Maritime and Supply Chain Coalition held a press conference today explaining their significant worries concerning the Canadian-European Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) and the lack of transparency that our government has had when making this deal.
This free trade agreement will allow EU beneficially owned flag-of-convenience (FOC) vessels and so-called European National Flag to trade freely between Canadian ports without any restrictions on origin of the crew, or level of wage and working conditions. What we can be sure about is that this agreement will completely halt the Canadian maritime transport sector’s growth. Moreover, the communities and regions that depend on this industry will be destroyed. Once this agreement is in place, it will not take long before the rest of the Canadian transportation sectors are affected, including, air, road and rail.
“This agreement will have a severe negative impact on the Canadian Maritime Industry by opening domestic trade to foreign carriers, doing away with our cabotage laws,” said James Given, president, SIU of Canada and chair of the Canadian Maritime and Supply Chain Coalition. “This is the most serious threat that we have ever faced in our industry.”
Points to consider:
-- With no consultation process whatsoever, the government of Canada has unilaterally taken the decision to destroy the Canadian Shipping Industry with a trade agreement that will throw thousands of dedicated men and women out of work.
-- Is Canada not a developed nation?
-- How can we stand for FOC vessels to trade within Canadian domestic markets and not follow our most simple social standards?
-- Are we ready to go backwards and promote unregulated shipping?
-- What’s more, are we willing to allow FOC vessels, with no local knowledge, to freely sail within the St. Lawrence Seaway, the Great Lakes, and the coastal waters’ fragile ecosystem?
The Canadian Maritime and Supply Chain Coalition is working diligently with representatives from various transportation unions from around the globe to ensure that CETA is in no way successful in destroying the Canadian marine transportation industry and the logistics that will follow.
About the Canadian Maritime and Supply Chain Coalition: This coalition was formed in response to the detrimental effects that Canadian-European Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) will have on the Canadian maritime industry and the rest of the logistic chain. This coalition includes leaders from the following Unions from Canada and around the globe: UNIFOR, International Longshoremen’s Association, International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Alliance du St-Laurent, Canadian Union of Public Employees-Dockers, United Steelworkers, Canadian Labor Congress, Teamsters Canada, International Transport Workers’ Federation, European Transport Workers’ Federation, BC Ferry and Marine Workers Union, International Association of Machinists, Maritime Union of Australia, AFL-CIO Maritime Trades Department.