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NEWS RELEASE June 8, 2006

BC Ferries management’s bad attitude is the biggest safety concern facing passengers and crew after Queen of the North sinking, says BC Shipyard General Workers’ Federation

VANCOUVER – The biggest safety concern facing BC Ferries passengers and crew after the sinking of the Queen of the North is not new navigational equipment, communications or training but the bad attitude of BC Ferries' management, says the BC Shipyard General Workers' Federation.

“BC Ferries CEO David Hahn has absolutely no right to be downplaying the legitimate concerns expressed by the Transportation Safety Board,” said Federation President George MacPherson. “The last time I looked, David Hahn was running a business – and he should leave safety issues to the professionally trained people who are legally responsible for them, not make self-serving comments that ignore the problem.”

MacPherson also said Hahn is wrong to blame BC Ferries crew members and their union for problems the federal Transportation Safety Board raised about the inadequacy of BC Ferries training of crew on new navigational equipment in a letter sent to the company May 11.

“The BC Ferry and Marine Workers Union has consistently raised the issue of safety for years before the tragic loss of the Queen of the North and for Hahn to attempt to now blame the union and union members is outrageous,” MacPherson said.

“The BC Shipyard General Workers' Federation has shared those safety concerns expressed by the crew and its union but David Hahn has belittled these serious questions. Now he is belittling the serious questions asked by the Transportation Safety Board, when he should be making a commitment to fix the problems,” MacPherson said.

The BC Shipyard General Workers' Federation represents about 1,600 workers in the shipbuilding, repair and maintenance industry.

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. Website: www.bcshipyardworkers.com

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