Shipbuilding Union Lauds New Coast Guard Vessel Purchase

September 2, 2009, 4:27 PM EST

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The CAW is applauding the announcement by federal ministers today that the Canadian Coast Guard's nine new patrol vessels will be built at the Halifax shipyard.

"This is the first step in trying to strengthen the approach government takes to procurement contracts," said Karl Risser, president of CAW/Marine Workers Federation 1. "The announcement is great news for workers in the area."

Currently there are 500 skilled trades workers employed at the Halifax shipyard, and the new contract could add another 150 -200 jobs over four years, said Risser.

"This is incredible news for our members at the Halifax shipyard, their families and the entire community - the first of what we hope will be a number of good news announcements for this industry," said CAW President Ken Lewenza.
"Canadian shipyards have great potential and it's encouraging that the Canadian government is finally turning its attention towards this industry." 

The CAW has been working with industry in lobbying all levels of government to ensure that any ships purchased by government are built in Canadian shipyards, as part of the union's 'Made in Canada Matters' campaign.

"This announcement is in no part due to the pressure groups like the CAW and other industry players have exerted on the government to make shipyard development the priority it should be," said Les Holloway, CAW Atlantic Area Director.


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