Workers at Irving shipyard in Halifax ratify new agreement

Members currently building ships for Coast Guard, Navy
|labour-reporter.com|Last Updated: 12/03/2012

Irving Shipbuilding workers in Halifax, who are members of the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) Marine Workers Federation Local 1, have voted 69 per cent in favour of a new collective agreement on Nov. 28, wrapping up 11 months of negotiations between Irving and the union.

The six-year deal includes a 10 per cent wage increase in the first year, 2.5 per cent increases in 2013 and 2014, and three per cent in each of the remaining years. It also includes an updated long-term disability (LTD) plan and it maintains seniority rights.

“Our negotiating committee worked very hard to get a good deal for our members, one that increased benefits for workers and improves our ability to attract skilled trades to Halifax Shipyard to build new ships for Canada,” said CAW Local 1 president Karl Risser in a press release. “Our campaign to build ships in Canada, by Canadian workers, for Canada has been going on for years. The competitive wage rates in this new agreement will help us to attract and retain skilled trades here in Nova Scotia.”

The agreement covers 1,000 workers at the shipyard, who are currently constructing six patrol vessels for the Canadian Coast Guard and refitting seven frigates for the Canadian Navy. On Oct. 19, 2011 the federal government announced the Irving Shipyard had been awarded $25 billion in shipbuilding contracts. The projects are expected to be complete in 2017.

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