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Unifor MWF Local 1 - Irving Shipyard

Bargaining begins 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.

To prepare for bargaining the union’s team has been meeting to review proposals from the membership.  This will be a challenging round of negotiations as there are many areas of concern raised by the membership and leadership of Local 1.  

Watch this page for regular updates from your bargaining committee.

Campaign Updates

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.