You are here

Unifor MWF Local 1 - Irving Shipyard

Bargaining began on November 1st with MWF Local 1 members, who proudly build Canadian navy ships at Irving’s Halifax Shipyard.

Irving won the multi-billion dollar federal contract to build Atlantic Offshore Patrol Vessels in 2011.

Unifor represents 800 members at the Halifax Shipyard working in several trades from metal fabricators to electricians; all of who are involved in all aspects of shipbuilding.

The union’s bargaining team is committed to improving the workplace and hopes to reach a fair collective agreement as the current contract expires at the end of the year on December 31, 2017.

Watch this page for regular updates from your bargaining committee.


Update to all members at the Halifax Shipyard

The bargaining committee is pleased to report that the employer has told workers who walked off the job in protest today that their pension contributions will be reinstated by the company.

Earlier today workers were very concerned to read on their pay stubs that the company had unilaterally stopped paying pension contributions on their overtime, something that has been in place for decades.

The bargaining committee was disappointed that this step was taken given they are working hard at the bargaining table, with the assistance of a conciliator, trying to reach a fair collective agreement.

The employer has now agreed to return to the status quo and bring this issue to the bargaining table, where it belongs.

The employer has also agreed that no discipline will occur as a result of today’s protest.​


Notice to all members at the Halifax Shipyard

Your bargaining committee is disappointed to learn that this week’s paystubs indicate that the company has unilaterally stopped paying pension contributions on overtime.

The committee strongly disagrees with Irving taking this step at a time when we are in conciliation with the province of N.S. and the company cannot change the terms and conditions of employment.

This is another disappointing tactic by the company to upset our members and cause a possible workplace dispute. 

Don’t give the company the chance to discipline you and side track our negotiations.

We would ask all of you to stay on the job, and have faith in your bargaining committee to attempt to resolve this issue at the negotiating table.

We will not accept this kind of continued bad faith bargaining from Irving and we will react to this very quickly.

If Irving wants to see more demonstrations of our solidarity, Unifor MWF Local 1 is happy to do that and it will be fully supported by our National union.

We have placed calls and emails to Irving and are awaiting a response.

Stay tuned and stand proud!

Your Bargaining Committee

Workers at Irving shipyard vote 99 % to strike

The bargaining committee would like to thank the more than 700 members who turned out for an update on talks with Irving Shipbuilding.

As members are aware, the committee was disappointed the employer requested conciliation after less than four days at the table last month. The employer then issued misleading and concerning statements in media interviews, news releases and in a letter to employees.

Today the bargaining committee walked members through the 33 pages of concessionary proposals from the employer.

After a healthy discussion, a strike vote was held, which resulted in a decisively strong mandate for the committee at more than 99 per cent.

Please be advised that the committee will continue to respect the bargaining process and upcoming conciliation, and will not be speaking publicly or bargaining in the media.

The bargaining team remains optimistic that the conciliator with be able to convince the employer that a confrontational and concessionary approach is not the best way to reach a tentative agreement.

To read the Nov. 30 2017 update from the Marine Local 1 bargaining committee please click here.


Campaign Updates

Progress after four days of conciliation

12/15/2017 -

After four days of conciliation that ended on December 14, 2017, the bargaining committee believes the tone of talks is changing and can report that some concessionary demands have come off the table.  There is still a lot of work to be done but it is important to note that the committee has made progress and has signed off on several pages of agreed language.  This marks a significant improvement from where things stood only a few days ago and is a clear step in the right direction.  The committee is not in a position to release full details until we have reached a tentative agreement.

This is a direct result of the huge show of support from members who attended the December 3, 2017 special meeting and supported the bargaining committee and the negotiation process with a decisive 99.8% strike vote.

The bargaining committee is prepared to stay the course until a fair agreement can be negotiated.  Talks resume January 15, 2018, a week later than hoped but the employer’s committee was not available.

The bargaining committee will be in the workplace and members are reminded to respect the negotiating committee’s requirement of confidentiality as they work through this process to try and reach an agreement.

The bargaining committee would like to thank all members for their continued patience, support and understanding and wishes everyone and a happy and safe holiday season.

Message to members after Irving Shipbuilding requests conciliation

11/23/2017 -

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.