News June 1, 2018

June 1, 2018

SIU of Canada Calls on the Federal Government to Enforce TFWP Standards Aboard Ships

June 1, 2018 – Montreal, QC- The Seafarers’ International Union of Canada (SIU) is calling on the Government of Canada to enforce the standards of the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) aboard the Bro Anna vessel, where foreign seafarers have been subject to abuses under the TFWP.

 

The Bro Anna is a Singapore flagged vessel operating on Canadian waters with a Cabotage waiver and is crewed by workers from Russia, Latvia and the Philippines.

 

While the crew members hold all of the required permits to work in Canada, they have been subjected to various pay and labour abuses. The SIU Canada has been following the government’s protocol for reporting abuses under the TFWP.

 

“There were clear violations of the TFWP aboard the ship. I have been calling the federal department of Employment and Social Development Canada and the TFWP hotline to report the labour abuses, and we await the government’s response” explains Vince Giannopoulos, an inspector with the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), who has spent the better part of the last two days aboard the vessel.

 

The situation has escalated and is urgent. The SIU of Canada is therefore calling on the federal government to move swiftly and ensure that the crew receives their hard-earned wages and are not subject to additional labour abuse.

 

“We have called upon Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to visit this vessel and enforce the regulations pertaining to the TFW program for this crew. This is not the first time the Bro Anna has violated the TFWP, and the consequences should result in both a fine and expulsion from the program altogether,” says James Given, President of SIU Canada. “Further, we ask that ESDC take the required action to detain the ship until such time as all wages and benefits are paid under the Canada Labour Code.”

 

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About the SIU of Canada: The Seafarers’ International Union of Canada (SIU) is affiliated with the Seafarers’ International Union of North America serving unlicensed sailors since 1938. The most important sailors’ union in Canada, the SIU represents the majority of unlicensed sailors working aboard vessels on the Great Lakes, the St. Lawrence River, on the East and West Coasts. In addition to vessels operated in Canadian waters, SIU members also have the opportunity to work aboard vessels delivering cargoes in the United States, Europe and South America.