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BC Federation of Labour News Release

Federation warns Liberals not to ship private sector jobs out of the country

July 8, 2002
Vancouver, B.C. -- The B.C. Federation of Labour today called on the provincial government to re-examine its plan to offer a multi-million dollar BC Ferries construction and purchasing deal to international bidders.

"BC workers have built and maintained our vital ferry system for over forty years," said B.C. Federation of Labour Secretary-Treasurer Angela Schira. "Only blind ideology could lead this government to destroy yet another crucial BC industry right now."

The Shipyard General Workers' Federation of BC today released a brief prepared by the Trade Union Research Bureau that says BC stands to lose $177.4 million worth of industrial output and 1,527 person years of employment if BC Ferries goes ahead as planned.

The brief also warns that once BC Ferries go off-shore for the purchase of ferry construction they cannot go back to a built-in BC procurement policy due to restrictions under Chapter 10 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

"The Liberals don't have a life-time mandate in British Columbia," said Schira.

"This will have serious economic and political consequences for BC and Canada. It would be foolish to ship good private sector jobs outside our borders forever."