12/19/2012 09:41 EST | Updated 02/18/2013 05:12 EST

Unions Angry Foreign Shipyard To Build SeaBus Replacement

Flickr: roy.luck

Some B.C. unions are angry TransLink has decided to use a foreign shipyard to build replacements for the SeaBus.

The first three SeaBus vessels were built in Vancouver and Victoria, but TransLink has given the new $25-million contract to Damen Shipyards, a multi-national company.

"It's not very complicated,” said Jim Sinclair, president of the B.C. Federation of Labour.

“A public agency that takes taxpayer money is deciding to spend $25 million to build a SeaBus in the Netherlands instead of using that money to hire and train people in British Columbia, which would be a huge advantage to the economy. So it makes no sense, no matter how you look at it, to send this work offshore.”

Sinclair says the economic spinoffs would likely total $75 million.

He's calling on Premier Christy Clark to push TransLink to reverse the decision.

TransLink, however, says three bids were received through a rigorous bidding process that evaluated criteria like shipyard experience, cost and quality of construction.

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