Message from the President, James Given

As with all Unions and workers in Canada, our membership must adapt to new technologies and new ways of thinking. Change can be overwhelming and scary if you have to face it alone. New market conditions, threats from trade deals, changes to our Coasting Trade Act that weaken Cabotage, new vessels with new manning and technology combine to make our industry more challenging. In the wake of these challenges, we are resilient.

The SIU team works tirelessly to adapt to these changes, ensuring the Union is best in class at serving its members. Every day we ask ourselves the tough questions. How do we remain relevant in an ever-changing, ever-evolving industry? How do we keep our members working for the long-term? How do we ensure our seafarers are protected from corporate greed? Most importantly, how do we keep the Canadian Flag flying on the stern of our vessels?

As your President, I am often charged with making the tough decisions that impact your life, and that of your family. I don’t take that responsibility lightly. I understand what being a Seafarer means, the isolation of shipboard life, the long work days and struggles of holding it all together at home. I also understand that job security gives us peace of mind, a paycheck keeps the family secure, medical benefits keep the kids healthy and a good pension is something we have earned, not handed. Not every decision we’ve made has been easy, but we’re proud of the work we’re doing. When our seafarers succeed, our industry succeeds and we succeed.

We are known for our Sisterhood and Brotherhood, our ability to move forward, and fighting for what we believe in. We must stick together, respect each other even when we don’t agree. We must be patient and resolved in order to withstand this ever-changing and challenging industry. If we can do this, we will continue to strengthen what it means to be a Canadian seafarer.

We are the brotherhood of the sea.


Canadian Cabotage Law

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