SIU of Canada advocates for labour law enforcement during strike against Algoma Tankers Limited

October 24, 2017
Algoma Tankers use foreign ships & crew while Canadian officers on strike

Montreal, QC – The Seafarers’ International Union of Canada (SIU) has learned that Canadian officers commenced legal strike actions against Algoma Tankers Limited on October 21.


Algoma Tankers Limited currently has two foreign tankers carrying cargo in Canadian waters, both are being crewed by foreign workers. The Temporary Foreign Worker Program rules enforced by Employment and Social Development Canada are clear: foreign workers cannot be used to replace striking Canadian workers. Further, the SIU has learned that wages owed for the vessels Sten Idun and Bro Angus are approximately $400,000 CDN for the time they have been sailing in Canadian Cabotage.


The officers on strike are represented by the Canadian Merchant Services Guild. As a result of this strike, SIU crews who work aboard some of the vessels have been laid off. This is standard procedure, however, due to collective agreements impacting the SIU members onboard the vessels.


The SIU believe that the right to strike is entrenched in Canadian labour laws, and Temporary Foreign Worker Program rules must be enforced by the Federal Government.


“Although the SIU is not on strike we are always prepared to mobilize our members to defend Canada’s cabotage and labour laws to protect Canadian seafarers,” says SIU President James Given.    


The SIU will stand up for all seafarers in this situation. We strongly encourage these foreign flag vessels to leave Canadian waters immediately, and we call upon the Government of Canada to address this issue.



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.