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NEWS RELEASE September 20, 2007

No celebrations Friday for BC shipyard workers as BC Ferries launches first of German-built Super-C Class ferries that cost province 3,500 direct and indirect jobs, lost $542 million of BC investment, says BC Shipyard Workers’ Federation

BC Ferries users will pay in fares for $60,000 party for 3,000 in Germany, Fed says

VANCOUVER – While BC Ferries holds a $60,000 party in Germany for 3,000 people on Friday, there will be no celebrating the launch of the first of three German-built Super-C Class ferries that have cost the province 3,500 direct and indirect jobs and the loss of $542 million in investment, says the BC Shipyard General Workers’ Federation.

And Federation President George MacPherson says that BC Ferries users will be paying the bill in higher ferry fares for the huge $60,000 party for 3000 people in Germany, including federal and provincial politicians flying in for the event and German workers who built the ferry.

“There will be no celebrations in British Columbia shipyards on Friday when BC Ferries launches a German-built ferry that should have been constructed by BC workers right here at home,” said MacPherson.  “And it is astonishing with the loss of jobs and investment that BC Ferries should spend even more money celebrating at a party in a foreign country the very same month CEO David Hahn tells ferry users they are in line for up to a 25% fare increase.”

MacPherson said the BC Ferries’ decision to build the Super-C Class ferries at Flensburger Shipyard in Germany without allowing Vancouver Shipyards to even make a final bid on the job has had a very detrimental impact on the BC and Canadian shipbuilding industry.

“David Hahn and the BC Liberal government could have helped invigorate the BC shipbuilding industry with 3,500 direct and indirect jobs – instead workers and companies in Germany got all the work without even giving our BC shipyard a chance to bid,” MacPherson said. “What’s more, not one dime of taxes will be paid to BC by those workers and companies – it all benefits Germany, not Canada.”

MacPherson said it’s clear that BC Ferries users will pay higher fares to offset the costs of the high-priced party in Germany, featuring food created by top Vancouver restaurant owner John Bishop.

“While BC Ferries customers pay out more and more there are 3000 people in Germany who are eating and drinking for free on Friday – that’s just another $60,000 insult to British Columbians and especially to the shipyard workers here in BC who have built and serviced BC Ferries for decades,” 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;

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