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.