Workers at Irving shipyard in Halifax vote to strike

Employer requested speedy mediation: Unifor
||Last Updated: 12/12/2017
Labour relations
Shipbuilding workers at the Irving Shipyard in Halifax, in this file photo. REUTERS/ Sandor Fizli

Unifor Local 1 members gave their bargaining committee a 99.8 per cent strike mandate on Dec. 3 as they seek a new collective agreement with Irving Shipbuilding.

“With that level of solidarity, Irving should remember that our collective agreement was used to win the shipbuilding contract, and they can’t now come to the table looking for concessions, they need to come to the table with solutions,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor national president.

More than 700 of the 800 members in the local packed a Halifax hall to hear an update from the bargaining committee. The committee reported on the tactics of the employer including the 33 pages of concessions proposed by Irving Shipbuilding, said the union.

The employer’s bargaining proposals seeks to remove a 10-minute break, safety provisions and delete of all classification seniority provisions from the collective agreement. In addition to issuing an attack on the collective agreement, after less than four days in negotiations last month Irving Shipbuilding requested conciliation to mediate a resolution, according to Unifor.

The collective agreement expires on Dec. 31.

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