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NEWS RELEASE August 5, 2004

BC Shipyard Workers Federation says BC Ferry Services CEO David Hahn should tell the truth about intention to build ships offshore instead of misleading British Columbians and blaming unions for public opposition when they reveal secret plans

Only reason public knows about European shipyard negotiations is because unions found out

VANCOUVER – The BC Shipyard General Workers' Federation says it's time BC Ferry Services CEO David Hahn told the truth about plans to build several new ships offshore instead of misleading British Columbians and then blaming shipyard unions for public opposition.

Federation president George MacPherson said it was unbelievable that a news release from Hahn on Wednesday would claim that the Federation was running a “campaign of misinformation” about BC Ferry Services negotiations with European shipyards to build new ferries.

“BC Ferry Services has deliberately kept the public in the dark about all its plans to build new ferries in Europe and it is only because of the Shipyard Workers Federation that anyone knows anything about these secret negotiations, “ MacPherson said. “We have uncovered that a $500 million project that would create 2000 jobs is going to a foreign shipyard – information that we forced BC Ferry Services to admit or they would have said nothing.”

“Who is misleading the public in this situation – an unaccountable government-owned corporation that was secretly exporting thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to a foreign country or shipyard unions who found out and blew the whistle? Who is misleading the public – a CEO who falsely claims the unions want to build ferries at any price or the unions who are only asking that BC shipyards be given the opportunity to bid on a half-billion dollar project under the same terms as German and Finnish companies?” MacPherson asked.

MacPherson said it was a Victoria-based political newsletter that disclosed BC Ferry Services negotiations with a Polish shipyard to possibly build a new $30 million Bowen Island ferry, not BC Ferry Services.

“BC Ferries was once an accountable crown corporation that consulted the public and built all its ships in BC, keeping jobs here at home. The new BC Ferry Services is unaccountable, does not consult the public and is exporting jobs to foreign countries. It's about time the BC Liberal government stopped ignoring the problem and started fixing it,” MacPherson said.

For more information : Call George MacPherson at 604-254-8204 or cell 604-220-3291 or Bill Tieleman, West Star Communications, at 604-844-7827 or cell 778-896-0964. For background, go to www.bcshipyardworkers.com

 

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