Lack of federal work prompts Davie Shipyards to lay off another 281 workers

LEVIS, Que. — The Davie Shipyard says a lack of federal contracts has forced the Quebec shipbuilder to lay off another 281 workers, raising the total number of employees out of jobs to nearly 400.

Without a “clear signal” from Ottawa, it says another 400 employees of the company — based in Levis, Que. — face uncertain futures now that construction of the supply vessel Asterix has been completed for Canada’s navy.

Davie was counting on the construction of a second supply ship called the Obelix, but Ottawa closed the door a little over a week ago.

The move prompted a protest on Sunday that attracted the participation of Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard and his political opponents.

Couillard said most federal ship contracts have been given to British Columbia and the Maritimes, leaving little for Quebec.

Davie spokesman Frederick Boisvert said laid-off workers could be quickly recalled once the Trudeau government decides to send a “clear signal” or letter of intent for the second ship.

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