President Given fighting for Canadian seafarers across the globe

December 6, 2017

Over the past few months, President Given has been busy fighting for Canadian seafarers and sharing the message of stronger together across the globe.


In September, President Given attended the Seafarers International Union of North America (SIUNA) annual convention, which also celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Paul Hall Centre for Maritime Training & Education. Alongside our American brothers and sisters, President Given and others from the SIU of Canada highlighted our union’s accomplishments, the ongoing fight to preserve Canadian seafarer jobs and protect workers’ rights.


In October, President Given travelled to St. Louis to attend the Maritime Trades Department of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) 2017 Quadrennial Convention. The Maritime Trades Department is a constitutionally mandated department of the AFL-CIO.  Since its inception, it has given workers employed in the maritime industry and its allied trades a voice in shaping national policy.


During his time in the U.S., President Given met with U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Elaine Chao to discuss how the union is standing up for Canadian jobs and fighting to ensure Cabotage Law is upheld. The U.S. is often regarded as having some of the strongest Cabotage Laws in the world; however, as threats to the Jones Act grow, President Given emphasized the importance of the U.S.’ ongoing commitment to its merchant mariners.


Most recently, President Given has appeared at an International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) strengthen laws worldwide. The President is Chair of the ITF taskforce on Cabotage. The taskforce aims to challenge the threat of Cabotage liberalization posed by international trade talks, and weak enforcement by government. Unions participating in the task force represent groups from the USA, Norway, Nigeria, Canada, Brazil, Australia, Greece and the Philippines.


President Given will close out this year by participating in Transport Canada’s Canadian Marine Advocacy Council (CMAC) meetings. CMAC represents parties with an interest in shipping, navigation and marine pollution concerns. It advises the government on issues and opportunities related to marine safety and security and releases reports annually. Participation in CMAC compliments other Canadian government advocacy conducted by the union this year, including regular meetings with Members of Parliament and an appearance at the House of Commons standing committee on Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.


Stay up to date on union activities by following us on Facebook and Twitter