The Marine Workers have a long and proud history, dating back to 1927 when we broke away from the International Boilermakers. Our union along with Local 191 in Victoria voted to leave the International and form a new union, the Boilermakers and Iron Shipbuilders’ Union of Canada’ Local 1.
The newly established local in Vancouver wasted little time in affiliating with the All Canadian Congress of Labour founded the same year. The local received its charter from the Congress in 1928.
During the war years the Marine Workers was the largest trade union in Canada with a membership of over twenty five thousand members.
In 1944 the Marine Workers along with a number of other shipbuilding unions got together and formed the Shipyard General Workers Federation in order to bring forward one strong voice to government on behalf of organized labour on the west coast. The Federation is charted directly to the Canadian Labour Congress and has proven to be a strong lobbying vehicle for the industry.
At the end of the Second World War we once again made a name change with the amalgamation of various related shipbuilding locals including Boilermakers and Iron Shipbuilders Local 1, the Dock and Shipyard Workers Union and the Shipwrights and Caulkers Industrial Union Local 1 to be named the Marine Workers and Boilermakers Industrial Union Local 1.
The Marine Workers currently hold certifications with twenty-seven companies on the lower mainland and Vancouver Island. While most people associate our union with shipbuilding we also are involved with a number of other industries such as boiler shops, steel fabrication shops, on site mill and petro chemical plant repair, pressure vessel shops, manufacturing plants, a cement paving stone plant and of course deep-sea vessel repair.