Unionized employees at Halifax Water served the Minister of Labour with a 48-hour strike notice.
The employees — represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees Locals 227 and 1431 — announced their intention to withdraw services and urged the employer to return to the bargaining table.
Local 227 represents 230 outside workers with Halifax Water. Local 1431 represents 105 inside workers with the utility.
“The last thing our members want to do is go on strike, but this employer has put our backs to the wall with their demand for major concessions to a pension plan that we’ve built up over two generations of workers,” said CUPE Local 1431 president Heather Corkum.
“Our objective now is to resume bargaining and find a sensible solution to this labour dispute. It will take both parties, however, bargaining in good faith to reach that goal.”
In addition to issues over the pension plan, the union said wages continue to be a stumbling block in bargaining. Negotiations surrounding wages and pensions also prompted the parties to vote in favour of strike action in December 2014.
The union said it is willing to go back to the bargaining table beyond the 48 hours designated by the strike notice, saying “the ball is now in the employer’s court.”