Maritime Workers Day of Action January 12


Canadian maritime workers will take to the streets again on Jan. 12. Our movement continues to gather strength as we fight hard to protect decent jobs and Canadian communities — and ensure that our marine environment is safe for future generations.

We ask you to join us to be part of something big. Join us as we link hands with our allies in First Nations and NGO communities. Join us in the fight against the federal Liberal government’s ignorant and flat-out assault on maritime jobs — and its plans sell us out to corporate greed.

Canadian maritime and transport workers and their unions are united in our determination to see this struggle through to the end. Our ranks are swelling. The streets are filling.

Here are the times and places you can take part in our marches Thursday, followed by a short backgrounder on the acts of utter disrespect by the Liberal government that have drawn us into the streets.

Montreal: 12:30-2:30 pm Jan. 12. Meeting at 200-1333 Rue St-Jacques, marching to office of Transport Minister Marc Garneau, 340-4060 Rue Ste-Catherine.

Toronto: 12:30-2:30 pm Jan. 12. Meeting at Matt Cohen Park (intersection of Bloor Street and Spadina Avenue), marching to office of Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland, 344 Bloor Street West.

Vancouver: 9:45-11:30 am Jan. 12. Meeting at Denman Street and Beach Avenue (English Bay), marching to office of Vancouver Centre Liberal MP Dr. Hedy Fry, 106-1030 Denman Street (Denman Place Mall).

Victoria: 10 am Jan. 12. Rally at Ogden Point, 152 Dallas Road.

Prince Rupert:  10 am, Jan. 12. Rally at Transport Canada office, 309 2 Avenue West.


Leave Canadians on deck — don’t deregulate our safe seas!
Hands off our Docks!

We’re asking you to help us take it to the streets as maritime and transport workers join in a National Day of Action on Jan. 12, 2017.

We’ll be raising our voices publicly, nationwide, in defense of the maritime jobs and the coastlines now under attack by the federal Liberal Government. They’re out to dismantle cabotage — the legal guarantees that ensure maritime work in Canada remains in the hands of trained and dedicated Canadian workers. Specifically, we’ll be calling out the Trudeau government for its intention to adopt the Emerson Report on the Canadian Transportation Act — which calls for dismantling of the hard-won safety net of regulations that requires people and goods moving between two Canadian locations be transported by Canadian companies with Canadian equipment and Canadian workers. In the maritime world, these regulations are known as cabotage.
The Emerson Report would change all that — and mean the death of 12,000 good maritime jobs that support families and communities across Canada. At risk is every Canadian who works aboard a ship, tug, ferry, barge or dredge. The Trudeau government’s goal? To allow the industry to hire foreign seafarers paid as little as $1.26 per hour – a wage no Canadian worker can live on. And that’s just where it starts. Job losses will mushroom across air and rail transport in the tens of thousands for all the same reasons.

The gift to industry doesn’t end there. Canada’s ports — built with billions of dollars of public infrastructure investment — will be further privatized. Payments to surrounding municipalities, already reduced, will be slashed. Private investment will drive decisions on opening our Arctic, and decisions on climate-change action will be aimed at coordinating with the United States, a country now poised to dismantle much of its already minimal environmental commitment.

We know that beyond the straightforward social and economic costs, changes to cabotage will put our marine environment at higher risk. Canadian seafarers are largely unionized, which gives them the ability to speak up and stop environmental degradation when they see it. They are committed to their families, community and coasts.

Vulnerable, poorly paid foreign workers who fear retribution and blacklisting and struggle to work for dollars a day are far less likely to speak up. We know this through our daily work on decks and docks across the country. Those of us who represent Canadian seafarers form the support network for the International Transportation Workers Federation (ITF) as it stands up for crew who sail aboard foreign-flagged vessel. We bear witness all too often to the men and women for whom a job at sea means everything to their families at home — and speaking up at work about poor safety conditions on board or poor environmental practices can mean dismissal.

None of this is imaginary. Last fall, the Nathan E. Stewart, the foreign-flagged tugboat, ran aground off Bella Bella in B.C., leaking thousands of litres of diesel fuel into the water. The vessel was operating with a waiver exempting it from Canadian regulations that would otherwise have required it to carry a B.C. coast pilot on board during its passage, ensuring local knowledge of the waters it sailed.

The Canadian Transportation Agency has also issued an eight-year waiver to the foreign owners of the Cable Innovator, an underwater cable-repair ship stationed in Victoria.The majority of the 50 foreign are paid less than $4 per hour to work in Canadian waters — even though current cabotage regulations require use of a Canadian company and a Canadian vessel employing Canadian seafarers earning Canadian wages.
In yet another example, in Newfoundland, the Woodwards group of companies has reflagged vessels from Canada to the Marshall Islands, allowing them to lay off up to 100 Canadians and replace them with low-paid foreign crew.

The solution to this assault on our communities and coasts is to LEAVE CANADIANS ON DECK and HANDS OFF OUR DOCKS!

YOU can help save our coast and our jobs!

Send an email to: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Transportation Minister Marc Garneau, BC Liberal caucus leader Hedy Fry and your MP. Demand they protect good paying Canadian jobs and our environment by rejecting the Emerson Report.

For more information in BC, please contact ILWU Canada.

ILWU-Canada: 604-254-8141 or

In Eastern Canada, please contact Charles-Etienne Aubry at 514-931-8285 or

You can also express your opposition to:

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: or Justin Trudeau /House of Commons/ Ottawa, Ontario KlA OA6

Transportation Minister Marc Garneau: or Marc Garneau/ House of Commons I Ottawa, Ontario KlA OA6

BC Liberal Caucus leader Hedy Fry: or Hedy Fry I House of Commons I Ottawa, Ontario KlA OA6

Letters mailed to members of parliament do not require stamps.


We encourage dialogue

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