Union on Strike Against Algoma

Canadian Merchant Services Guild has launched a strike against the country’s shipping company Algoma Central Corporation.

The union represents navigation and engineering officers on the company’s domestic product tanker fleet.

As informed, 54 employees of Algoma Tankers Limited are involved in the strike.

“The union has provided assurance that the vessels affected by the strike will sail to a safe berth and be secured before the employees leave their posts,” Algoma said.

Algoma Tankers Limited currently has two foreign tankers carrying cargo in Canadian waters and both are being crewed by foreign workers. The Temporary Foreign Worker Program rules say that foreign workers cannot be used to replace striking Canadian workers, according to the Seafarers’ International Union of Canada (SIU Canada).

“As a result of this strike, SIU crews working aboard the vessels have been laid off; however, this is standard procedure due to collective agreements impacting the SIU members onboard the vessels,” SIU Canada noted.

“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,” the union pointed out.

In its financial report for 2016, the company said that navigation and engineering officers are represented by six separate bargaining units of the Guild. Four of these agreements expired on May 31, 2016, and two other agreements on July 31, 2016.

World Maritime News contacted Algoma and Canadian Merchant Services Guild for more details on the matter, however, the parties are yet to reply.