Message to members after Irving Shipbuilding requests conciliation
After less than four days at the bargaining table, Unifor MWF Local 1 is disappointed to inform members that Irving Shipyard has filed a request for a conciliator, so early in talks.
Unifor is not commenting publicly or issuing a media release out of respect for our members and the bargaining process.
The bargaining committee met with the employer this morning, and within four minutes of walking away from the table, Irving Shipbuilding filed paperwork requesting the appointment of a conciliator, suggesting they were not at the table to bargain to begin with.
In a media release issued just moments later, Irving said a third party was required after it “offered two proposals to the Union in an attempt to move negotiations forward.”
Irving’s first proposal to Unifor was 33 pages of major concessions in the collective agreement, including removal of all break periods, and most safety provisions.
The second proposal by the employer still sought to remove all classification seniority provisions from the collective agreement.
The employer also maintains that shipyard workers are not entitled to any sick days.
It is clear by the company’s actions and its release, which states Irving Shipyard is “prepared to work with the Union to improve and modernize working conditions,” that there is a disconnect between what the employer says publicly and what is happening at the bargaining table.
Irving’s proposals do not reflect improved or modernized working conditions, in fact the removal of breaks and safety provisions are not improvements.
The bargaining team is committed to improving the workplace and we are disappointed by the employer’s attempts to mislead the public and contrary to the proposals they tabled.
If the employer chooses to continue to disrespect the process Unifor is prepared to publish all proposals to show all members that what you have read in the media is not reflective of what happened at the bargaining table today.