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The Shipyard General Workers' Federation

The Shipyard General Workers' Federation represents all unions with members active in the B.C. shipyard industry and exists to advance the economic and social welfare of workers. The Federation was founded in 1943.

Setting a 30 tonne outboar into place

The Federation works with business, government and labour to promote the creation of jobs and investments in the shipyard industry.

Members of the Federation include unions representing mechanics, helpers and general workers engaged in engineering and all metal and metal alloy, fabricating, processing, coating and any other type of work related to the shipbuilding industry.

The industry is made up of number of different trade groups listed below with a brief description

Ship fitter: Ship fitters work with a variety of hand and power tools in the layout and construction of steel ships.

This includes all areas of ship fitting from laying out of the hull to the construction of the superstructure.

The layout, cutting, bending and erection of steel plate are an important part of this trade. The shaping of steel plate into a variety of curves and shapes related to ship forms is a specialty to this trade

Boat builder: A boat builder builds, repairs, and renovates boats. The work involves the use of diagrams, blueprints, a wide variety of hand and power tools, and knowledge of a variety of boat building materials, such as woods, metals, and resins.

Setting a forward main deck unit on the Spirit of British Columbia ferry

Steel Fabrication: Steel Fabrication means the interpretation of drawings and involves the developing, layout, marking, cutting, burning, sawing, shearing, punching, rolling, bending, drilling, shaping, forming, straightening, fitting, and assembling, reaming, bolting, riveting, welding, testing, inspecting, preparing, priming, painting, rigging and handling of structural and mechanical fabrications constructed from plates and structural shapes of ferrous and non ferrous material used in the steel fabrication trades.

Heavy Duty Mechanic: A heavy-duty mechanic adjusts, repairs and/or replaces worn and damaged mechanical, hydraulic, pneumatic and electrical parts. The mechanic must have the ability to diagnose electrical, mechanical, air, and hydraulic troubles and make repairs according to the manufacturer's specifications.

The work involves the ability to determine the cause of faulty operation of equipment, disassembling and reassembling parts of equipment such as the engine, generators, cooling systems, fuel and exhaust system, by using the necessary hand and power tools and specialized equipment.

Placing the first deckhouse section onboard the Skeena Queen ferry

Machinists: A Machinist operates a variety of machines including lathes, planers, shapers and boring mills along with many specialized machines used in the manufacture, repair and rebuilding of machinery and components. The Machinist utilizes a variety of metals such as steel, steel alloys and non-ferrous metals. Used also are plastics of various types.

Pipe Fitters- Steamfitter:
A pipe fitter-steamfitter installs, repairs, and maintains various types of heating and process piping systems in industrial installations such as oil refineries, pipelines, power plants, or pulp mills. The work involves general knowledge of a variety of metal and non-metal piping and their pressure capacities for use in high and low pressure pipe systems.

The activities of a steamfitter-steamfitter include working from building plans and cutting openings in floors, walls, and ceilings, according to specifications. The pipes themselves must be measured, cut, threaded, and bent to the required sizes and shapes, using a variety of hand and machine tools, and then joined to other sections of pipe by means of threading, soldering, brazing, cementing, or welding.

Finally the overall elevation of a piping system, including the cleaning of pipe units and fittings, and the testing of systems for leaks, using gauges to check the pressure of air, water, gas, or chemicals, is an important skill of the job.

Electricians: Marine electricians must have a valid trade certificate and are responsible for the installation of all electrical components including all navigational equipment on the vessel. An electrician has the ability to access and repair all electrical problems according to manufacturer's specifications.

Sandblaster/Painter: must be knowledgeable with all marine products and the applications. Must be able to read and understand safety data sheets on all products being used. This trade is responsible for all painter prep and in some yards is also considered general labour.


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