The CAW is urging people to join a campaign opposing the federal government's cuts to the Canadian Coast Guard.

The union said the federal government intends to cut service hours at 11 of 22 marine communications and traffic services centres and close another by the end of 2012.

Union president Ken Lewenza said the marine communications officers play an integral part in rescue support efforts during times of crisis.

"This government has to wake up to the fact that it's simply not worth putting Canadian lives at risk to save a few bucks," Lewenza said. "These marine communications officers are the eyes and ears of our coastal waters and play an integral part in rescue support efforts during times of crisis. Cutting these hours only creates conditions for failure."

He is encouraging people to sign a petition, demanding a reversal of the cuts.

The CAW represents 350 marine communications and traffic services officers across Canada.