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NEWS RELEASE September 14, 2004

Shipyard Workers Federation charges BC Ferry Services Board of Directors with dereliction of duty for refusing Washington Marine Group request for meeting to discuss exclusion from bidding on 3 new Super C Class ferries worth $500 million and 2000 direct jobs

Federation says Ferry Services' Board not representing BC public who own company

VANCOUVER – The BC Shipyard General Workers' Federation is charging the BC Ferry Services Board of Directors with dereliction of duty after the Board refused a request from the Washington Marine Group for a meeting to discuss the BC shipyard's exclusion from bidding for three new Super C Class ferries worth $500 million and 2000 direct jobs.

Federation president George MacPherson says that by turning down a request to meet the only BC shipyard that requested the opportunity to bid on the job, the Board of Directors is not representing the BC public which owns BC Ferry Services.

“Why would directors of BC Ferry Services refuse to meet a BC-based shipyard that says it can compete and win a bid to build these three ferries right here in British Columbia and keep jobs and investment and taxes at home?” MacPherson asked. “This is a flagrant dereliction of their duty to the real shareholders of BC Ferry Services, the people of BC who own it.”

MacPherson said he was told late Monday that the BC Ferry Services board had rejected a request to meet with Washington Marine Group representatives prior to the Board making a decision this Friday to ratify a tentative deal with Germany 's Flensburger Shipyard to build the three ferries.

“The BC Ferry Services Directors are clearly not representing the wishes of British Columbians, who have clearly indicated in several public opinion polls that they want ferries built in BC,” MacPherson said. “The Directors have an obligation to consider the option of building the ferries in BC and saving a 25% federal duty that will cost British Columbians an extra $125 million for this project.”

MacPherson said members of the BC Shipyard General Workers' Federation and supporters will be outside the BC Ferry Services Board of Directors meeting on Friday September 17 to make their presence felt and tell the Directors that building ferries in Germany instead of British Columbia is an unacceptable decision they should reject.

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, please go to: www.bcshipyardworkers.com

 

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