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Who we are



Local 4401 was formed in the mid-sixties by the Canadian Labour Congress to represent Canadian Seamen during a very tumultuous time for sailors.  The Local was originally known as the Canadian Maritime Union and was a member of the CBRT (Canadian Brotherhood of Railway and Transportation Workers) but later joined the CAW in 1995.  The CAW merged with the CEP in 2013 to form the largest private sector Union in the country.

The local has attained a solid reputation over the years as an advocate for seafarer’s rights as well as workers in general.  The Local was the bargaining agent for the unlicensed employees of Upper Lakes Shipping prior to their sale to Algoma Marine.  Currently Local 4401 represent unlicensed seamen at Sterling Fuels, McAsphalt and Algoma Great Lakes Shipping.


Jim MacDougall – President Local 4401

Jim was elected as a full-time Officer of Local 4401 in 1995 as Vice-President/Patrolman.  He became the elected President in 2002 and continues in that role to the present.  He currently serves on a number of Committees including Transport Canada, Health and Safety and a marine advisory role at Georgian College.  Jim is a supporter of seafarer’s rights and is a strong advocate for injured workers.


His Marine career began in 1976 as an ordinary seaman on both Lake boats as well as the coastal trade.  Jim worked on a variety of self-unloaders as a cargo maintenance man from 1982 until taking elected office in 1995.


Jim is married and lives with his wife and son in Port Colborne.  He is very active in Niagara Minor sports and remains an avid sports fan.


Randy Nicholls – Secretary-Treasurer


Randy Nicholls is the Secretary-Treasurer of Local 4401 since January 1, 2017.  Previously Randy held the position of Vice-President Patrolman from 2010 to 2013.

His marine career began with Upper Lakes Shipping in 1990 and he held the position of Chief Cook/Second prior to his election to office in 2017.  Randy lives in Welland and comes from a family of seafarers originally from the Niagara area.


Doug Donnelly– Vice-President


Doug began his marine career back in 1972 and served numerous vessels over the years as a wheelsman.  He has been elected to the Executive Committee the past 12 years and has served on numerous bargaining committees for the membership.  Doug remains a strong advocate for seamen and lives with his wife in Port Colborne.