Fellow Canadian seafarers and peers,
Kathy Tomlinson of the CBC’s GoPublic TV news-magazine is doing a story on the MV Silja Festival, its foreign crew and such, and I was wondering if anyone would be interested in offering input and perspective.
In particular we would like to hear from any deck, or engine room officers and ratings, who would be willing to work on this ship in Kitimat, regardless of the current terms being offered. Please send me your comment by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
as soon as possible.
Please spread the word widely.
If you are not aware, the MV Silja Festival is a foreign ship that has been granted a Canada Coasting Trade Act Waiver. The retired ~30,000 ton Latvian flagged ferry is currently working on long term in Kitimat, housing workers for the Rio Tinto Smelter expansion project, and possibly the LNG plant development project.
The operators of the ship are currently “recruiting” all ranks of officers and crew – see attached document. Some of the wages offered are 50-75% below current Canadian standards, with preferred requirements that applicants should speak Estonian, and very long rotations among other requirements.
Clearly, it is an attempt to continue utilizing cheap foreign crew who pay no Canadian taxes, under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program. In my view, this sets a dangerous precedent, affecting the entire marine industry, clear across Canada – from fish camps, tug and barge operators, ferry workers, offshore, maritime training institutions, so on and so forth.
Please, spread the word and consider getting involved; this is about the future of your paycheck.
Licensed Marine Engineer and Webmaster
Martin’s Marine Engineering Page
2208 Blue Jay Way
Nanaimo, British Columbia
Canada, V9X 1G7
Tel : 1 250 722 7062
Moile : 250 797 0711