Inside Logistics

Seafarers’ International Union defends stance against CETA

January 15, 2015

MONTREAL, Que.–The Seafarers’ International Union of Canada (SIU), representing the majority of unlicensed sailors working aboard vessels across Canada,  announced that “they will not stand idle to the criticisms they face by the Canadian Government, including the joint statement issued last week by Transport Minister Lisa Raitt and International Trade Minister Ed Fast.  Moreover, the SIU of Canada stands firmly behind its message that by opening Canadian Cabotage the Government is needlessly taking chances with Canada’s Maritime Security.”

There are over 1.4 million seafarers in the world, and while reputable shipowners will hire their own crew, most seafarers gain employment through third party manning agents.

“If the Canadian Government can say with 100% certainty that they know who is on a vessel which is registered in Cyprus, owned in Greece, operated from Thailand, Classified in Japan, insured in the UK and crewed by Indonesian and Syrian Seafarers hired through third party manning agents, then they are living in a world that I did not know existed,” said James Given, President, Seafarers’ International Union of Canada.  “It is unfathomable that our Government will not admit that CETA’s Maritime Industry clause will weaken Canadian security.”

The SIU of Canada said it is once again calling on the Canadian Government to hold an open and public debate of the contents and the outcomes for Canadians and Canadian industries if CETA becomes a reality.

“We can guarantee one thing for sure, if CETA is signed and adopted, Canadian Maritime jobs will be lost and it will not take long before the rest of the Canadian transportation sectors are affected, including, air, road and rail,” said President Given.

He went on to say: “As seafarers we work hard to protect Canadian waters, our shoreline and our country, if cabotage is weakened via CETA, there will be no guarantee that our waters, our shoreline, or our country will be as secure as it is today,” the statement concluded.

See more on the CETA deal in the January/February issue of Canadian Shipper.